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The Ultimate Guide to Residential Lock Types

It’s all very well to talk about locks on doors, but what exactly are all the locks, how do they work and what are their strengths.
At South Perth Locksmiths we’re always happy to give our clients information about their security and how it works for them, so we’re going to lay out the different door locks here for you, so you can really get to grips with the nuts and bolts of door locks.

The Basics: Spring Bolt

A spring bolt door is your classic turn-key and handle front door lock. The spring mechanism keeps the door latched unless the key is present in the lock and is being turned to move the bolt out of the way and let the door open. This may be double sprung with another key mechanism on the other side, or it may be operated by the handle on the inside. Spring bolts are locks, but they are susceptible to invaders, as the bolt itself can be slipped out of the way by a skilled individual.

The Big Brother: The Deadbolt

The deadbolt mechanism is called a ‘cam’. This mechanism is unlike a spring in that you cannot push it out of the way. It holds the bolt in place when the key is not in the lock. This is an additional layer of security for your home, however, if there is a window nearby, a shrewd invader can make a hole or open a window and open the deadbolt mechanism.

Door with two locks, one in the doorknob and a separate deadbolt
Door with two locks, one in the doorknob and a separate deadbolt

Going Down: Vertical Deadbolts

In addition to the standard turnkey locks at hand height, deadbolts can be installed at the head and foot of doors to add security. Vertical deadbolts that are installed to push into the floor of a home are the strongest as they are the least likely to break and the hardest to jimmy open.
While it’s possible to install more bolting mechanisms on any door and this does add security, it also poses a risk during an emergency. For example, if you need to escape during a fire, you do not want to have to unlock five bolt mechanisms.

On the Edge: Rim Locks

Rim locks are easy-install ad-hoc security solutions. They are fitted directly to the door and jamb surface and are designed in general for apartment complexes, where additional outside security is in place. They are not very strong, but they do often have a locking mechanism that prevents their being opened even with a key, which is great if you are home alone. However if you accidentally lock it before you leave, it can be a headache.

Get Smart: Smart Digital Locks

A huge range of the above mechanisms can now be integrated with a digital system that allows you to control your security with a fob and/or your phone. This gives you the additional security of multiple modes of access without losing security, and also deterring would be invaders with the presence of high tech solutions.
South Perth Locksmiths is your local installer for smart lock systems and we have many years of experience in providing these for our Perth clients.

Digital door lock
Digital door lock

Types of Locks Reference

Give us a call to talk about your home security today!