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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Door Edge Reinforcement

To get the most out of your deadbolt locks, Altic Lock Service recommends the use of reinforced strike plates or door jamb reinforcement since most successful break-ins are a result of jamb failure. When the strike or jamb is reinforced, the next weakest point is the door edge where the bolt passes through. Keep in mind that most properly installed deadbolts will extend 1 inch from the edge of the door.

What you can't see is that the actual bolt is only about 1-1/2 inches long. When extended, more of the bolt is beyond the door than what remains in the door.

Exterior doors are commonly 1-3/4 inches thick, with a 1 inch hole drilled for the bolt. That leaves only 3/8 of an inch of material on either side of the bolt. Between the lock body and the bolt, there is only a hollow tube and the linkage connecting the bolt. Reinforcing this area is vital to protecting against forced entry. The jamb should be reinforced first, but don't ignore the vulnerability of the door edge. With the reinforcement shown below, the area is protected and the door edge is far less likely to split, as often happens during forced entry attempts.

Altic Lock Service currently provides a complete door protection package, which includes jamb, door edge, and hinge reinforcement. Optional savings are also available on door viewers and a sliding door deadbolt when you purchase the package. Package price available for a limited time only.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Deadbolt is a Deadbolt is... NOT!

Not all deadbolts are created equally. Far from it, actually. In past posts, we have noted how cheap lock cylinders are secured to the lock body, and the questionable new lock designs being sold in the home improvement stores. This time, we'll take a quick look at the construction of the actual bolt from a common deadbolt compared to the bolt from the Arrow deadbolts we recommend.
The deadbolt shown at the top of the first photo is from an Arrow brand lock. The deadbolt on the bottom is from a Kwikset brand lock. Both are designed for the same 2-3/4 inch backset. Both have bolts designed to extend 1 inch. The first thing to note is that the Arrow deadbolt weighed 4.8 ounces, the Kwikset only 3.2 ounces, suggesting far heavier duty construction.

Neither of these deadbolts are designed to be disassembled or repaired (in case of failure, the whole deadbolt assembly would be replaced), but we disassembled them anyway.
The photo above shows the disassembled Kwikset deadbolt. It took about a minute to pry it apart. The actual bolt is the round part, standing on its end, on the bottom left. Yes, that is a big, square hole in it - it is virtually hollow.

The photo below shows the disassembled Arrow deadbolt. It took about 15 minutes to get it apart, and not without considerably more force than it took to break down the Kwikset deadbolt. You will note that its bolt has a smaller round hollowed-out section, but inside the cavity is a hardened rod designed to prevent someone from sawing through the bolt.

Finally, we compared the weights of the actual bolt sections. The Arrow bolt weighed 2.6 ounces, the Kwikset only 1.5. There seems to be no doubt which is better-constructed, heavier-duty, and more capable of performing its job. That is why Altic Lock Service recommends Arrow locks and door hardware.