Deciding which high security locks to choose can be difficult. There are so many options among tens of brands. There are mechanical deadbolts, electronic locks, and other systems. But then again it’s a matter of what you need. Although everyone aims at increasing security and thus eliminating the possibility of a force entry, different applications create new needs. So, apart from wanting high security, you might also want access control. And therefore, the requirements of a large office building compared to the needs of an apartment, retail store, or family home might differ.
High security locks grade levels
No matter which high security door locks you get, they must meet the ANSI/BHMA standards. The American National Standards Institute and the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association test in order to certify door hardware products. The idea is to inform consumers about the level of quality, resistance, and durability of locks so that they can choose their new locks. There are grade one, two and three locks with grade 1 being the best in terms of security requirements.
Common mechanical high security lock options
Deadbolts are the most common high security locks. Their advantage is that they are springless and thus harder to pick, especially if they have a 1 inch bolt. Up until recently the most popular choices were the mechanical deadbolts. With traditional deadbolt installation, you operate the lock with a key. But then again there are still some variations.
- Single cylinder deadlocks operate with a key from outside but have a knob and are operated manually from inside.
- Double cylinder locks operate with a key either from inside or outside, but they are not allowed in many regions due to slow evacuation in the event of an emergency.
- The jimmy proof deadbolts utilize two interlocking vertical bolts, which are inserted in the strike plate.
Multi point security locks
One more high security lock installation option is the multi-point lock systems. They can be installed at the main door or sliding doors. As their name implies, they secure the door in different points. Most of them are 4-point locks.
Master key lock systems
Master key lock systems are a perfect choice when you want solutions to increase security but still keep track of keys. Such systems are ideal for residential buildings, big companies, or office properties, where there is a need to operate multiple locks and still know which person is the key holder of one or more doors.
So, with an office master key system, you can have a great master key but also sub-master keys and as many servant keys as the offices are (one for each worker). There are many variations, you can rekey locks if needed, and you also have key management – no need to keep many keys with you to unlock multiple doors.
Electronic high security locks
- Some door locks can have a dual interface. They are electromechanical locks. This means you can enter a pin or use a key.
- Pure electronic locks will only work with a pin. There are digital keypad locks and touchscreen locks.
- Proximity reader locks work with a card. Some locks can work with a card or keypad.
- The most advanced keyless locks are biometrics. These ones work with physical characteristics – your finger becomes your key.
The advantage of electronic locks is that most of them don’t need a key and so you don’t experience a house or office lockout, or deal with broken keys. Each high security lock has its pros and cons. So it really depends on what you need.