Nothing is as important as the safety of your home and family. The locks you select, play a significant role in keeping your home secure. Let us look at the basic types of door locks available in the market.

Single Key Lock (Knob Lock)

cylindrical_knob_lockKnob locks are the most common door locks. They come with knobs on both sides of the door. The rear side will have a lock, and the front side has a keyhole to unlock the lock.

Keep in mind that there are two types of knob locks. The right-hand knob and the left-hand knob. If you are placing the knob (keyhole side, when you are looking from front) at the right-hand side of the door, then use a right-hand knob. And the left-hand knob for left-hand placement.

 

Pros : 

  1. Knob locks aka cylindrical knobs are inexpensive.
  2. The mechanism of a knob locks is straightforward and convenient for day to day usage

 

Cons :  

  1. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Knob locks are very easy to be broken or jammed. And for an intruder, this makes his life light.
  2. If an intruder gets into the house via some other means, then for him escaping from inside to outside is easy as there is no key required to open a knob lock from inside.

 

Sliding Door Locks

sliding key lockSliding door locks are mostly used on doors connecting to your backyard or veranda. It works on a sliding mechanism wherein the user pushes the lock into the groove. Keep in mind that you will have to reinforce the sliding door locks with additional locks

 

Pros :

  1. Easy to use.
  2. Inexpensive

 

Cons :

  1. Easy to force open.
  2. Will need an additional reinforcement lock

Deadlocks and deadbolts

deadlock boltMost standard front door locks. Deadlocks are secure and cost-effective. Keep in mind that you will need a key to open the door from inside or outside. Make sure that you get top quality metal locks and it’s typically suggested that the bolt itself be a minimum of one inch long. In Western countries most insurance co-operations insist on having deadlocks on all external doors and secure locks on all windows for being eligible for coverage.

 

Pros:

  1. Secure.  Some effort is required to break the lock
  2. Even if somebody manages to get into your house, exiting will not be easy.
  3. Being the most common type, various designs are available in the market for deadlock handles.

 

Cons:

  1. You have to keep a spare key and handling it could be irksome. And most time people end up keeping the extra key under the front door carpet or a flower pot near the porch. Such a behaviour makes it easier for an intruder to look for the key, find it and enter the house without any effort.
  2. Family members, particularly children getting locked themselves inside.

There are four types of deadbolts.

  1. Single deadbolts,
  2. Double deadbolts,
  3. Jimmy proof deadbolts, and
  4. Captive deadbolts.

 

Electronic Door Locks

electronic door lockThese are the new entrants in home security. The door can be opened/activated by a predefined passcode. Some of the electronic locks support RFID-based unlocking. And some comes with IC card support for opening the door. In these cases, additional options such as adding and deleting users are provided along with the system. Electronic locks are mostly backed by a battery system which usually run for a year or two.

 

Pros:

  1. Very secure with tight access control. Also, fast enough in times of emergency.
  2. Managing passcodes are easy once you learn the process.
  3. Additional deadlocking options are available most of the time.

 

Cons:

  1. Costly. A typical smart lock could cost you around Rs 10,000 if you want to buy from a well-known brand.
  2. There is a learning curve associated with these new locks. And every member will have to go through it.
  3. In the case of contingency, you will have to depend on the company support team rather than your local locksmith.
  4. Design wise the electronic locks look modern, but they might not go well with traditional wooden doors.

 

Smart Lock and Biometric Lock

smart lockBiometric locks are next level electronic locks. They come with additional user authentication namely fingerprint sensing. Most of the times the smart locks designed for houses will have all the options such as fingerprint sensor, passcode based unlocking, RFID and IC card support. And for the same reason are very costly. The pros and cons of a smart lock are similar to that of an electronic lock. The pricing will be higher than electronic lock most of the time.

Latest smart locks come with smartphone support and get away with the biometric part. An APP in the phone is typically used to unlock the door with the help of NFC technology. Apparently these locks can be distributed at a price cheaper than the traditional handle and deadlock combination. The dependency on the mobile phone is but a hindrance as one are expected to carry your phone, every time he or she gets out of the house. Also, fallback plan in cases of mobile phone power drain is another area of concern.