We all have important things to protect inside our homes: our families, our things, and our personal information. We choose building materials and a pre hung exterior door that will protect what matters most from fire, dangerous weather, and intruders. Locks are an essential part of home safety, but do you know how to choose the right lock for your door?
ANSI Grading System
ANSI or the American National Standards Institute determined three grading levels for both locks and deadbolts. These standards measure length of life, durability against force, and a weight test.
Here is how the grading stacks up:
Grade 3 locks and deadbolts provide only minimal security for a residential application.
- The doorknobs have to work for 200,000 cycles (a complete turn of the handle), at least 2 hits with a heavy weapon to break it, and a weight test of 150 lbs.
- The deadbolts must have a 100,000 cycle life expectancy and survive 2 hits with a hammer.
Grade 2 hardware meets the requirements for a light commercial building.
- The doorknobs have to withstand 400,000 cycles and handle 250 pounds in the weight test.
- The deadbolt life cycle must be at least 150,000 key turns and it must survive 5 hits with a hammer.
Grade 1 hardware is the most secure of any lock and deadbolt set. This grading means the hardware meets or exceeds commercial building requirements. This grading level is only available to residential home builders in deadbolts. There are currently no commercially available residential door knobs that meet the stringent demands of a Grade 1 rating. Only commercial handles receive this rating.
- Doorknobs must survive for 800,000 cycles, 6 strikes of a hammer, and bear 360 lbs in the weight test.
- Grade 1 deadbolts have to survive 250,000 turns and 10 strikes of a hammer.
How Can You Find the Rating?
Living in the age of Google has made research a breeze for most homeowners these days. The easiest way to determine which lock set is the best for your home is to do an Internet search. You’ll be able to find the ANSI standards for the options available to you, read consumer reviews, and safety ratings from security companies and law enforcement recommendations.
The cost for a deadbolt set will run anywhere from $30 to over $100, depending on the rating and the finish. This is one area of your home where you really don’t want to skimp on cost. The higher rating is worth the extra dollars. If you are building a new home, be sure to discuss this option with your contractor. Often they can get you the best price on your lock set.