Residential Home Security

What kind of lock will secure your home

What kind of lock will secure your home

On a typical door – either wood, metal, or plastic (yes, that’s not a typo, a lot of new doors are made of a plastic shell filled with foam) – there are two locks: a doorknob lock and a deadbolt.

Deadbolts come in two types – single-sided (or “single cylinder”) and double-sided (“double cylinder”). A single-sided deadbolt uses a key on the external side of the door, and has a thumb-turn (no need for a key) on the internal side. Most fire codes recommend or require single-sided deadbolts in order to ensure easy escape in case of a fire; anyone stuck in a burning building will not need a key to get out. But private homeowners can decide what type of lock they prefer to have on their door.

The disadvantage of a single-sided deadbolt is that if there is any type of window next to or within the door, it is relatively simple for an intruder to break the glass, reach in, and unlock the door using the thumb-turn.

A double-sided deadbolt includes a key-way on both sides of the door – the lock can only be locked or unlocked from the inside and outside by using a key. The advantages and disadvantages of a double-sided deadbolt are the opposite of a single-sided one.

Our recommendation is to have two sets of deadbolts on external doors. Immediately above the doorknob we recommend installing a single-sided deadbolt for daily usage that can be locked when people are inside the house. Above that we recommend installing a double-sided deadbolt that can be locked when the house is empty or when you will be away for long periods of time – e.g. if you leave the house during the day for work, go on vacation, go out to visit friends or family, etc.

The two deadbolts should be enough to secure your home, so we recommend installing a simple passage doorknob on external doors that does not include a lock. This will make sure that you do not lock yourself out by accidentally closing the door behind you. But if you prefer to have an extra layer of security you can install an entry doorknob, which gives you the option of using a key to lock it from the outside.

There are hundreds of types of locks on the market, and thousands of ways to combine them. When you are choosing how to secure your home, be smart, and make sure to consult a professional locksmith to find the best solution to protect you and your family.

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Washington, DC / July 10, 2012 /

“The bolt was stuck. Locksmith had to remove the entire lock and replace. The locksmith answered and provided same day service, which is a plus. Locksmith was punctual and very helpful. He came prepared to work and provide service quickly.” — Lisa Smiley

August 18, 2012 /

“A saferoom door deadbolt lock was installed. The locksmith selected the lock capable of providing maximum protection, installed it masterfully, and removed all evidence of debris. He did this within a half hour with the utmost professionalism. Outstanding experience. I would strongly recommend this locksmith and will use him again.” — Jonathan Emord

20 Feb 2013 / Customer Lobby

“I called Keyed In and they came over immediately to assess the damage. Unfortunately, my front door handle is a "specialty" handle and had to be ordered. Keyed In worked with me to find the cheapest handle and worked around my schedule to come back to my house (9pm) to do the repairs once the new handle came in. They were professional, friendly and very knowledgeable. I would definitely use them again and recommend them to anyone in need of a locksmith.” — Kory Dubayau

16 May 2013 / Customer Lobby

“Great experience, great company. I would highly recommend. I needed a lock replaced on the door leading out to my deck. The door is very heavy and the lock very old and it was stuck. Keyed In came out and said they could replace it. The guy gave me three options - a low price option, a middle price options, and a high price option. He then noticed that the handle on my screen door was broken. I thought I would have to replace the entire door but he said he could fix it for me. So not only did he do a great job with the door but he also saved me from having to buy and entire new screen door. It was a great experience.” — Dorothy Shildes

1/29/2014 / Yelp

“Foster Property Management in Washington DC has used Keyed In for the past 6 months. They are responsive, efficient and most of all cost effective. As a property manager, our business is based on the quality of our vendors. Keyed In is the best in the business and we appreciate them as part of the vendor team.” — Jean P.