Monthly Archives: October 2011
The latch or bolt is the most likely part to fail. This is often caused by binding pressure from an improper installation. The bolts and latches should extend and withdraw smoothly and completely. If you need to push, pull, or lift the door to operate an entry lock or deadbolt, there will be binding pressure against the latch or bolt.Broken or inoperative deadlatches interfere with proper lock operation. If the deadlatch is broken, fails to extend with the latch, or falls into the strike plate, service is needed. If a key binds or rotates further than normal, have the lock serviced before you find yourself locked out – or in. Many common residential locks use a small metal clip to hold the cylinder in the lock. These clips can weaken and break or fail,
If the key turns without operating the lock, this clip has likely failed. Worse yet, the cylinder may come out of the lock when you pull out on the key, dumping a pile of pins and springs at your feet. Avoid lock-outs or lock failures; call Altic Lock Service to inspect and service your locks before they fail.
Altic Lock Service never recommends installing double-sided (keyed on both interior and exterior sides) deadbolts. Some homeowners desire double-sided deadbolts when there is glass in the door or in close proximity that would allow a potential intruder to break the glass, reach in, and unlock a single-sided lock. It is suggested that any such glass be replaced with polycarbonate or other shatter-resistant material, or otherwise shielded. Double-sided locks also present a possible hazard to the homeowner or other occupants. In case of fire or other emergency, they can interfere with the evacuation of the home. Quite simply, if the smell of smoke awakens you in the middle of the night, you do not want to worry about finding or using a key just to get out of the house. This is especially true when there are children or visitors in the home. Other than the fact that a key must be used to unlock the door from the interior, double-sided locks provide no greater security than a single-sided one.
A Maryland “locksmith” has been the subject of several news reports, civil, and criminal complaints. He has finally been convicted of theft and identity fraud charges. He frequently charged people $800 and more to open their cars and homes.
If you feel that you have been overcharged by a locksmith or would like to see if an estimate you have received from a locksmith is reasonable, you can submit the information at Locksmithripoffs.com. The invoice audit and estimate evaluations are provided by the Society of Professional Locksmiths.
Consumer Reports’ Door Lock Guide has a lot of good points. How the strike is attached is important in resisting forced entry attempts. They don’t like that this might mean the purchase of an additional part to improve the security provided by the lock, but you must consider that some metal frames do not allow for the installation of anything other than a standard strike without considerable alteration to the frame. Most break-ins are by force. The door jamb is the most vulnerable part, but it can be reinforced. Even then, the door edge will probably fail before the lock itself, even a cheap lock. But again, the door edge can be reinforced.
The door, lock, and jamb must form a solid unit to resist a forcible attack. Each part must be considered. On the one hand, it doesn’t make sense to spend $200 on a lock if the door frame is weak. On the other hand, it doesn’t make sense to install a $20 lock that can be easily defeated when you consider the lives and property that you are trying to protect. A quality lock, mounted properly, is a good balance that will protect your home against the average break-in attempt. Keep in mind that a determined attack may target windows as well as doors, so you should take a complete look at your home’s vulnerabilities. Even the best locks, alone, are no guarantee against break-ins, but to rely on locks found at most big-box stores is an equally big mistake. Altic Lock Service recommends Arrow locks for the best combination of quality, security, and economy.
Altic Lock Service will be at the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show on October 21 and 22 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. We will have lock demonstrations, padlocks that we will key to match your house key, and copies of “A Homeowner’s Guide to Residential Door Security.”