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Mechanical locks are the backbone of your security system. There are three types of tumbler locks: pin-tumbler, disk-tumbler, and lever-tumbler. Pin-tumbler locks are the most common. The tumblers in this type of lock are small pins. The modern door lock is a compact pin-tumbler cylinder lock of the type developed (1860) by the American inventor Linus Yale. Most high-security locks have pin tumblers. Disk-tumbler locks are often used in desks and file cabinets. Lever-tumbler locks employ a series of different-sized levers resting on a bolt pin to prevent the bolt from moving. When the proper key is inserted, all the levers are raised to the same height, enabling the bolt pin to release the bolt. Lever-tumbler locks are often used in briefcases, safe-deposit boxes, and lockers.
Pin-tumbler locks can be keyed to your existing key, master keyed and re-keyed over and over. They come in many architectural styles and finishes to suit your taste and building style.
Deadbolts can be keyed on one side with a turn knob on the other, keyed on both sides, Keyed or turn knob on one side only. Your bolt should extend at least 1 inch from the edge of the door. Many older deadbolts have a much shorter "throw" and it is not enough to prevent the door from being pried open. Deadbolt strength is dependent upon the strength of the JAM, or what the bolt goes into. Jams can be reinforced with many products to make it much more difficult for intruder to bypass the lock.
Latch locks refer to locks that have a beveled, spring loaded bolt that slides past the jam edge and drops into the hole. These locks keep the door shut when closed, generally give you a knob or lever to pull or push the door open/closed and provide some degree of security. But not nearly the security of a deadbolt lock. The newer latches have a pin which, when properly installed does not allow the latch to be pushed back by a credit card or other means when the door is closed and locked. Proper installation is the key here.
These kinds of mechanical locks can be used for many places, for example they can be used as Drawer Lock, Cam Lock, Glass Door Lock, Cabinet Lock and Wardrobe Lock. Even with an alarm and an armoured door, if you haven't got a good quality lock, a burglar could easily force it and enter the house undisturbed. Crime data regularly compiled by the Home Office show that most burglars (almost 70%) force the front door. About 20% come in through the window and the rest don't actually break in: they gain entrance because the homeowners have forgotten to lock the door.
Home security begins with the front door, lock and cylinder that you choose.
But with so many options to choose from, how do you go about finding the lock that best meets your needs? Locks aren't something you buy every day: they are usually purchased when building a new home or renovating your existing one. We often don't have a say in the matter and are not fully aware of the choice made.
If you ever have to buy or replace a lock, remember to bear in mind a couple of variables such as the type of door/window you are going to install it on, the quality of the structure it is going into and the level of security you want. Basically, no single lock can satisfy all needs.
For instance, the lock you choose for an armoured door will be different from that for a wooden or aluminium door. Or, if the structure of the door is weak or damaged, it will inevitably be less secure, regardless of the type of lock you install.
Even the best lock in the world is useless if installed on a weak door. For example, some garage doors in apartment buildings are made of sheet metal that is so thin, it can easily be cut and manipulated, without even having to touch the lock.