Whether you are an urban prepper or are perfecting a homestead, upgrading the locks on your home and making sure they are installed properly is one of the most overlooked, least expensive, and most effective ways to harden your security.
I believe the best way to keep the bad guys from getting your stuff is to keep them out in the first place. This is the job of a good commercial quality lock and NOT your average home alarm system. Alarm systems only let you now when someone got in – they will not keep them out. (Unless you are taking about perimeter defense systems-which I am not.)
Not all locks are created equal. The lock on your doorknob or leverset is not strong enough to withstand breaking and entering. Neither are the small screws holding the hinges to the door frame.
You need an ANSI Grade 1 deadbolt on every exterior door, the door from your attached garage leading into your home, and on every door leading to your stores. Period.
- ANSI Grade 1: Highest Rating for Commercial and Residential Locks
- ANSI Grade 2: Highest Rating for Residential Only Locks
- ANSI Grade 3: Lowest rating and only meets minimum grading requirements
Unfortunately, most common residential locks are only ANSI Grade 3 and can be quickly and easily defeated by intruders. The ANSI grade can be found on the package of higher quality locks. I recommend and install Schlage ANSI Grade 1 Deadbolt Locks.
You will also need to install a Door Reinforcer and a Strike Plate. The door Reinforcer is a piece of steel that wraps around your door at the deadbolt location. This prevents breaking and splitting of the door.
The strike plate is critical piece of hardware installed on the doorjamb. Without a properly installed quality strike plate, your door can be kicked in – even with an ANSI 1 deadbolt. The bolt can be kicked through the wooden doorjamb and trim.
Pro Tip: Use a Lock Installation Jig for doors with no existing deadbolt.
Once you have installed your new deadbolts it is now time to install the strike plate. The strike plate should also be ANSI Grade 1. The Schlage deadbolt comes with the strike plate and 3” screws.