If you're looking for ways to add more security to your home, improving the deadbolt is one thing you can do almost immediately. However, once you see the choices out there, improving the deadbolt doesn't seem so easy. One choice you'll have to make is whether or not to go with a regular keyed deadbolt or an electronic combination deadbolt. Both styles have some serious safety implications, so here are some considerations to help you decide which way to go.
Electronic Combination: If Many People Are Coming and Going
Electronic combination deadbolts usually have a keypad that allows you to access your home using a code rather than a key. The deadbolts usually do have a keyhole that allows you to enter with a typical key, too. Sometimes the keypads are wired into the home's electrical system, and other times they have a multi-year battery powering its operation.
The fact that you can program different codes into the keypads means that you can give different people limited access to your home that you can then cut off. For example, if your home is listed on a home-sharing site, you can give guests their own codes and then cancel the codes once the guests leave. This means you don't have to worry about giving a key to strangers and then those strangers possibly making copies of the key without you knowing.
However, the deadbolt does have some disadvantages. These are often of a lower grade, for one. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) gives deadbolts three grades, with grade 1 being the most secure. But it's not unusual to find combination deadbolts that are grade 2, which is still rather high security for residences, but it's not the highest available.
Deadbolts that are wired into the home's electrical system are at risk of not working if there's a power outage. This isn't a problem if you have a key or the deadbolt has a battery backup. But a guest who doesn't have a key would have trouble getting in if the battery were old and had lost power, too.
And speaking of the battery, even the fully battery-powered locks have issues because you have to remember to change the battery. Check with the manufacturer of the locks you're interested in to see what sort of advance warning you get when the battery starts to fade.
One other issue is that, if you get into the habit of not carrying a key, someone could play a prank on you and cancel the code you use to get into the house. Always carry your key.
Some of these electronic deadbolts count as smart deadbolts that have monitoring services and whatnot. Be aware that these smart deadbolts often have monthly subscriptions. There's also the theoretical risk of the deadbolt being hacked.
Regular: If Budget Is an Issue
If you're not having people enter the house constantly, you don't want to mess with power supplies, and you want guaranteed access into the house, a regular keyed deadbolt will do. These are usually less expensive than the combination locks, and it's easier to find grade 1 deadbolts.
With these deadbolts, there's no worry about batteries dying, and the locks install within minutes. Of course, you have to remember to keep your key with you, and you want to be sure that the lock has anti-pick technology.
Regular deadbolts are also available in keyed-entry models, where the interior half uses a key, too. These are good for doors that are next to panes of glass.
If you'd like more information about which deadbolts might be right for you, contact a locksmith like LI Locksmiths Inc as soon as possible. Ensuring your home is secure is crucial, and you want to be sure you use the right type of deadbolt for your situation.