Lock Out Looters: The 5 Locks That Stood The Test
We’ve done it! We’ve survived Hurricane Irma and now it’s time to return home, assess the damage, and round up any belongings scattered about. Unfortunately, some people will return to their homes or businesses to find their hurricane shutters worked, but their door locks did not. It happens all the time after a natural disaster. Looters break in and steal the very valuables you worked so hard to save and store. We at South Shore Locksmith hate hearing stories like this one, so we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best locks to keep out looters.
First, let us explain the general make-up of a lock, so you can understand what makes one particularly strong, or weak. Locks have steel cylinders that can be drilled open by thieves. The best locks have hardened steel or brass cylinders reinforced by steel plates. Don’t be mistaken, someone can still drill through the best-made lock but, it would take them a long time. Usually, time is enough to deter a thief and convince them to move on to the next home or business.
However, the biggest design flaw lock we tend to see concerns the strike plate. It’s the metal piece that holds the throw in a doorjamb when the door is locked. Many times, locks will come with screws that are too short to completely secure the strike plate to the jamb. So, thieves can easily kick the lock until those little screws fall out, and the lock falls apart.
Now that you know what makes a lock weak, here are the 5 strongest locks to thwart looters.
1) Medeco Maxum 11*603
This is the best lock overall. Not only did it stand strong against 15 minutes of relentless drilling, but the pros couldn’t even pick it during consumer report testing. After 15 minutes of drilling, it still takes an additional 15 minutes to remove the screws and break the lock apart. That’s generally enough time to make a thief worried and hopefully give up.
2) Kwikset 980
Looking for a lock that won’t break your budget? Look no further. The Kwikset 980 sells for just $30 and it’s worth every penny if not more! This lock couldn’t be picked by even our pros and comes with extra-long screws so thieves can’t kick your door in. Doors made of wood can become softer after a storm like the one we just experienced here in Florida, so having extra-long screw bits in your lock is even more important. But don’t be fooled! There’s a Kwikset lock doppelganger out there that is prone to lock pickers and easy to kick in. It’s called the Defiant Single Cylinder Deadbolt DL71. While its’ $11 price tag may seem alluring, its’ really not worth anything if it can’t effectively protect your belongings.
3) Baldwin Prestige 380
If brass is a part of your color scheme this lock will complete your look and security. The same company that created the Kwikset also designed this unit so it makes sense that they would receive almost the exact same marks in consumer report testing. Just like its’ sister lock, the Baldwin Prestige 380 also comes with extra-long screws for the strike plate which of course stood up to our kick-in test. In addition to that, we couldn’t pick it open so you can bet those looters won’t be able to either. The only difference between this lock and the Kwikset is its brass setting and the fact that it comes with a heftier gauge key.
4) Schlage Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Alarm BE469NX CAM 619
This list wouldn’t be complete without some of the newer, more technologically advanced locks we’re stocking these days. The Schlage Camelot is a great option if you have lots of people coming and going from your home or business. You can program up to 30 different entry codes and even sync it with smart home systems. Don’t forget, Hurricane Irma knocked out power to millions of homes and businesses so keypad systems like this one would no longer work. However, a loss of power won’t disarm the device; the lock itself will remain locked and you’ll have to use an actual key to re-enter. When put to the test, its’ long screws stood up to multiple kick-in attempts and it couldn’t be picked.
5) Yale Real Living Key Free Touchscreen Deadbolt Stand Alone YRD240
Try to pick this one! Well, you can’t because there’s no cylinder. This lock is instead opened only with your smartphone, tablet or with a keycode entry. Even if the power goes out, this lock will stay secure and the batteries inside the unit will keep the keypad working. When it comes to smart home locks, this unit is also one of the only ones we could find that stood strong against continuous drilling. But, there is one downfall to this techy device. The screws are too short for the strike plate, so we ONLY recommend you purchase this lock if and only if, you purchase a strike plate replacement for it. If you do that, the 2-inch wood screws completely pass our kick-in test.
Don’t forget, South Shore Locksmith is here for you. Security can be daunting and choosing the wrong lock for your home or business could be devastating. If you have any questions at all about the locks you own or ones you may purchase, please do not hesitate to call or stop in. Stay secure South Floridians!