The best lock in the world isn't going to make a difference if the overall quality of your door, doorjamb and door frame are poor. Doorjamb reinforcement kits can be used to retrofit low-quality doorjambs. Strike plates made of galvanized steel dramatically enhance the security of exterior doors as well.
Additional tips about choosing the right exterior door locks include:
• Check the lock's quality rating. Organizations like the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) give quality ratings that range from one to three. One represents the highest quality, so you should restrict your search to locks that have that rating.
• Consider installing more than one lock system. Many homeowners opt for a combination of dead bolt and pin tumbler locks to ensure extra protection. A dead bolt lock is not connected to the door handle and will still provide protection if the handle has been breached.
• Deadbolts are vital, and you should stick with vertical deadbolts to avoid the risk of the door being pried apart. Vertical, surface-mounted deadbolts are virtually pry-proof, and they can bolster the overall security of an exterior door by a considerable degree.
An unlocked window is like an open invitation to a burglar. Whether the windows in your home are old or new, it's important to have them assessed for security.
Tips for choosing and using window locks include:
• Sliding windows should be outfitted with sash stops that prevent them from being opened too far. Steel locking pins can be used to add an extra layer of security.
• It's smart to use a wooden dowel to enhance the existing locks of a sliding window, and it's cheap.
• In the case of casement windows, which are hinged on one side, key-locking bolts are ideal.
• If your home has louvered glass windows, they should be replaced with more secure windows. There's no easy to way to secure a louvered window.
• The window locks that you use should be easily visible from the outside. More than anything, they will act as deterrents to would-be burglars. Most burglars are looking for easy targets. When they see window locks, they will typically move along.
• Above all else, window locks have to be used to be effective. Get into the habit of securely locking the windows in your home unless they have to be opened.