If you're concerned about home security, you'll be more comfortable if you know that your door locks will prevent any kind of break-in attempt. Having a locksmith evaluate your locks and the way they were installed will tell you whether improvements can be made. Here are some of the ways you can make your home more secure by addressing the effectiveness of your exterior door locks.

Types of Deadbolts

Your first defense against a break-in are the deadbolts on the exterior doors. When these prove to be a challenge to a thief, they are likely to move on to another home. There are three common types of deadbolts available for your home:

Single Cylinder Lock - This is the common lock found in homes, including new home construction. It is mounted inside of the door with the metal bolt extending out through the side of the door into the door frame. A knob is used on the inside and a key on the outside to move the bolt. If a burglar can pry the door away from the frame sufficiently, they can try to saw through the bolt and gain access to your house.

External Mounted Lock - This is also called a "jimmy-proof" lock. It was designed to prevent the bolt from being accessed by prying the door away from the frame. The lock is mounted on the surface of the door on the inside. Another component is mounted on the wall next to the door. A knob and key are also used to move the bolt into the part of the lock mounted on the wall. The bolts on these locks are often wider and thicker than in the single cylinder locks, as well as being difficult to reach by prying the door away from the frame.

Vertical Lock - This is a variation of the external mounted lock. The component mounted on the door slips into the piece on the wall and the bolt moves up into a sealed area. This prevents a thief from having any access to the bolt, no matter how much they pry the door away from the frame.

Mounting Hardware

The best deadbolt will leave your house vulnerable if not installed with the proper hardware.

Strike Plate - This is the rectangular metal plate mounted on the door frame through which the bolt extends from the single cylinder lock. If the door frame is weak, the bolt could be forced through the strike plate and wooden frame. A specially designed strike plate prevents this. These plates have a metal box attached to them into which the bolt slips. This prevents the bolt from being forced through the door frame.

Wood Screws - If the screws used to install the lock are inadequate, a burglar can pry the strike plate from the frame. Use extra long hardened steel screws that have an extra wide thread to hold the components securely to the frame.

For more information on how to make your home more secure, contact a locksmith company like Arapahoe County Security Center Inc.