How to Choose a Deadbolt Lock

When it comes to protecting your business from intruders, having a secure deadbolt lock in place is vital. Deadbolt locks are heavy-duty locks that provide the necessary additional security, aside from the doorknob. The proper deadbolt can be the difference between peace of mind and imminent danger for your business. It’s really not an option anymore whether you have a deadbolt lock as a part of your physical security policy—it’s a standard.

So, knowing you have to have a deadbolt lock on every exterior door of your business—how do you choose the best one?

There are quite a few different types of deadbolt locks out there and a number of factors to consider that aren’t always top of mind when perusing your options. Before deciding on the type of deadbolt lock that will protect your business, ask yourself these questions:

Single or double cylinder lock?

Single and double cylinder locks are typically used for different situations. Double cylinder locks operate with a key on both sides of the deadbolt whereas a single cylinder lock can be locked from the inside by a thumb turn.

Typically, businesses used double cylinder deadbolt locks because they provide more security on exterior doors with windows. When intruders attempt to break into a building through a window, the key lock on the inside of the door will stop them from entering. However, this was really only a concern back when windows were not as tough as they are today. Modern windows are built stronger than they used to be, which negates the need for a double cylinder deadbolt lock. In hindsight, a double cylinder lock is a hazard in emergency situations—requiring you to unlock from the inside with a key instead of being able to immediately open the door and exit.

As security professionals, the locksmiths at Richmond Security recommend using a single cylinder deadbolt lock on doors with no windows, for extra security.

What grade lock is best?

According the ANSI (American National Standards Institute), the best grade of deadbolt lock is Grade 1. The ANSI is a non-profit group developed by the Builder’s Hardware Manufacturers (BHMA) that sets standards for a variety of industries and assigns grades of deadbolts to indicate it’s level of security.

The ANSI assigns three grades of deadbolt locks:

  • ANSI Grade 1: This specifies deadbolts as “commercial grade”. These types of locks are typically what are used on all business buildings since they are the most secure. To receive this grade, the deadbolt lock must pass the following tests:
    • Has been tested to 250,000 open/close cycles
    • Has a bolt that projects 1 inch into the door frame
    • Can withstand 10 hammer blows of 75 pounds of force without giving away
  • ANSI Grade 2: A “commercial grade” deadbolt lock with a mid-grade price. These locks are not tested as vigorously as locks that pass Grade 1 standards and are most commonly used on residences.
  • ANSI Grade 3: The lowest grade—these locks do not have to withstand nearly as much force as Grade 1 and Grade 2 locks. To receive this denomination, these deadbolt locks only need to hold up against 2 strikes of force. As the least resistant lock, they are commonly used as a secondary security measure on doors.

Another commonly regarded association in the security industry is the Underwriters Laboratories. This independent organization tests products and standards for security hardware. The UL 437 security test is the most difficult one to pass, requiring tests against forcing, drilling, prying, picking, lockbumping, sawing, and impressioning. UL437 standards must be met in order to be classified a high security locks.

At Richmond Security, we carry locks for all types of buildings, including Grade 1, 2 & 3 deadbolt locks. When choosing the proper deadbolt lock for high traffic areas in your business, our professionals recommend one that is an ANSI Grade 1 lock that passes the UL 437 security tests. We use Grade 2 locks for residential purposes and lower traffic areas in a business. Grade 3 is a lower grade lock that we offer upon request.

Install yourself or with a locksmith?

Whether you hire a professional or do-it-yourself is up to the situation you’re facing. How many locks will you be installing? Is it on your residence or business? And, does your building require a patented key control or master key system?

If you’re installing one simple lock on your residence and you’re pretty handy, you’re more than likely good to install it on your own. However, when it comes to installing a patented key control system on a business building—you better leave it to the professionals. Improperly installing one of your locks or misplacing a key will be detrimental to your business. Don’t take the risk of the future of your business for a one-time fee of installing a foolproof lock system.

Once you’ve identified the optimal deadbolt lock for your situation, also keep in mind that a solid deadbolt lock system is useless without a proper key control policy. Our locksmith experts at Richmond Security are glad to help you lock down physical security at your business. Get in touch with one of our experts today for a free security audit!