Locks have been around for thousands of years. The oldest locks ever discovered were found in an ancient Egyptian palace and were at least 2700 years old. They were of the wooden pin and tumbler type. The sheer age and the variety of uses for locks have led to a huge diversification of design.
Here is a quick guide to the kinds of locks you can use as part of your home improvement project. Be aware that external doors need to be secured far more than internal doors and that consulting a professional locksmith when securing external doors is a great idea.
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5 Types Of Lock You Can Install In Your Home
Cam Locks are not the most secure form of locking, but they can be extremely handy if you are securing a cabinet or locker. Turning a key in a cam lock spins a ‘tail’, which keeps the lock secured when it is locked. When the tail is spun into dead space, then the lock is unsecured, and whatever it is attached to can be moved.
A deadlock – otherwise known as a deadbolt – is one of the most secure kinds of locking mechanisms. Unlike sprung locks that automatically lock when you close a door, a deadbolt is completely inane. It needs to be locked and unlocked manually. This is a security measure. A good locksmith will usually suggest that you install a deadlock on any external door to your property.
Sprung locks are held in place by – you guessed it – a spring. This means that a would-be thief can gain entry if they are able to apply pressure to the bolt, pushing in the spring. Deadbolts are not vulnerable to this attack. The bolt cannot move in either direction without the use of a key.
Lever Handle Lock
Lever handle locks are commonly used as part of internal door locking systems. They incorporate the lock mechanism into the handle of a door so that it can be activated by inserting a key and pulling the handle down. This kind of lock is not suitable for external doors because it is vulnerable to ‘torque’ attacks – where an intruder uses force to open the mechanism.
Rim Latch Lock
Rim latch locks are immensely popular and simple to install. Most older houses have rim latch locks installed on their external doors. They attach to the outside surface of a door, making them relatively vulnerable to brute force attack. They also latch using a spring, which further compromises their effectiveness against intruders. Most locksmiths recommend pairing your rim latch lock with a deadbolt for optimum security.
Sliding bolts are one of the oldest forms of lock. They are perfect for securing sheds and internal doors – especially when paired with a padlock. This kind of lock does not provide very good protection against brute force attacks. Because they are usually screwed into the external surface of a door, they can often be bypassed by simply ramming the door with force.