When we talk about high security locks, especially high security front door locks, we’re not talking about your everyday run-of-the-mill lock that can be picked with a bobby pin and opened with a sneeze. We’re talking about locks that are designed to protect you against the most determined and resourceful criminals out there.
But what does it take for a lock to be considered “high security” officially? Well, we need to break down who determines that and what are the requirements for locks to be on that standard.
It wouldn’t be a discussion about high security locks without mentioning these bad boys. As you may or may not already know, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has established a set of grades to measure the performance of locks based on various criteria, so it’s important to note that not all high-security locks are created equal.
The ANSI grades are as follows:
- Grade 1: Designed to provide the highest level of security and durability.
- Grade 2: Meant to have an intermediate level of security and usually for residential buildings.
- Grade 3: Intended for residential use and provides a basic level of security.
To achieve a particular ANSI grade, a lock must meet certain performance criteria. For example, a Grade 1 deadbolt must withstand 10 hammer strikes, while a Grade 2 lock must withstand five. Additionally, cycles of operation will vary depending depending on grade and the type of lock.
So, what does all of this mean for your high security front door lock concerns? Well, a true high-security lock should meet at least Grade 2, and ideally Grade 1 standards, depending on the level of security required.
BHMA & UL
Now let’s delve into the key requirements that a lock must meet to be considered high security. These requirements are usually set by industry standards organizations such as the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) or the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in collaboration with the ANSI.
So, what makes a high-security lock so special? Here are the key requirements:
First up, a high security lock needs to be tested and certified to meet certain standards for resistance to physical attacks. This means that the lock must be able to withstand various forms of brute force attacks, such as hammering, prying, and drilling. The lock should also be able to resist attacks from lock picking tools.
First up is resistance to brute force attacks. This is all about making sure the lock can withstand some serious punishment. We’re talking sledgehammers, crowbars, and any other heavy tools that burglars might use to try and force the lock open. A high security lock needs to be made of tough materials like hardened steel, and it should have reinforced bolts and plates to make it virtually impenetrable.
Drill-resistance is another important requirement for high security locks. Burglars can sometimes use power tools like drills to try and force the lock open. A high security lock should be designed to resist these kinds of attacks, with hardened plates that prevent drilling and other advanced security features that make the lock virtually impossible to compromise.
Next up is pick-resistance. This is all about making sure the lock can’t be opened with a simple lock-picking tool. High security locks use special pins, tumblers, and other mechanisms that make them incredibly difficult to pick. So if you’re a wannabe cat burglar, you might want to think twice before trying to crack one of these locks.
2. Key Control Measures
Next, a high security lock should have strong key control measures in place. This means making sure that the keys can’t be easily duplicated, that only authorized people have access to them, and that there is a clear record of who has access to the keys at all times. A combination of all three helps prevent unauthorized key duplication and adds an extra layer of security to the lock.
3. Secure Keyway
In addition to strong key control measures, a high security lock should also have a secure keyway design. The keyway is the part of the lock where the key is inserted, and a secure keyway design makes it more difficult for someone to pick the lock or manipulate it in other ways. High security locks often use special keyways that are patented, which means that only authorized locksmiths can make copies of the keys, making it much harder for someone to make a copy of your key and gain access to your property.
A lock that fails to open when you need it to can be a major headache, especially in an emergency. So another important requirement for a high security lock is reliability. This means that the lock should be able to perform consistently and reliably over an extended period of time, without requiring frequent repairs or maintenance.
Finally, a high security lock should be made of durable materials that are resistant to wear and tear, and it should be designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions, allowing it to be long-lasting, with mechanisms that work smoothly and efficiently through its lifetime of use.
So, there you have it. To be considered a high security lock, a lock needs to have these key features, from its resistance to the design of its keyway to its durability, and of course, it needs to meet the criteria by the organizations mentioned above. And if you want a true high-security lock, look for one that meets at least Grade 2 or Grade 1 ANSI standards. If you require any assistance with the installation or any locksmith services, your friends at Expert Locksmith Aurora are here to help, contact us at any time and we’ll be happy to be of service!