Not all locks are created equal. Security should always be your top priority whenever you are picking a new set of locks for your home. Only after you are certain you have found a lock that will keep your home secure should you begin narrowing your search based on other factors, such as appearance or cost.
Here is a general overview of how locks are graded to give you an idea of the types of security you should be looking for when you work with a locksmith in Los Angeles, CA. The grading system used is created by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and features three categories of security. “Cycles” as seen below refers to turning a knob or handle completely so as to retract the latch and open the door:
- Grade One (the best level of security): This is the highest security grade available for locks and deadbolts. It meets all commercial building requirements and can also be used for residential deadbolts. No standard knobs, handle sets or mortise locksets will meet an ANSI Grade 1 certification—these are primarily commercial level handles. These knobs must be able to withstand six door strikes, 360 pound weight tests and 800,000 cycles. Deadbolts must withstand 250,000 cycles and 10 door strikes with a hammer test.
- Grade Two (good security): This level of security meets light commercial building requirements and exceeds security standards for residential properties, as well as residential building requirements. To meet Grade Two standards, knobs must be able to withstand 400,000 cycles, a 250 pound weight test and four door strikes. Deadbolts must be able to withstand 150,000 cycles and five door strikes with a hammer test.
- Grade Three (minimal security): This level of security meets residential building requirements. It is the minimum level of security that must be achieved in residential buildings. To meet this specification, knobs must be able to withstand 200,000 cycles, a 150 pound weight test and two door strikes. Deadbolts must be able to withstand 100,000 cycles and two door strikes with a hammer test.
Most people have Grade Three locks at their homes. However, it is strongly recommended that people upgrade to Grade Two locks, as these provide significantly more security. Grade One locks may be considered a bit excessive for residential use but are occasionally used as deadbolts.
In general, it is important to understand the differences in security levels of locks. While you do want any new locks and handles you install in your home to be aesthetically pleasing and match the rest of your locks and handles as closely as possible, the ANSI rating should be the very first thing you look at before making your purchase.
If you have any questions at all about lock security or your choices of locks, contact a locksmith in Los Angeles, CA. An experienced professional from Locksmithology, Inc. will be able to make recommendations to you based on your building and your general security needs. We look forward to assisting you!
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