Locks, Strike Plates & Hinges

Locks / Deadbolts

The "lock-in-knob offers you privacy and convenience but it does not offer security from intruders. In fact many "lock-in-knob" locks can be opened by using a simple credit card. You may have privacy, but you don't have security.

All exterior doors require the use of a deadbolt lock. When you turn the key the locking mechanism slides a strong metal bolt from the door into the door's frame.

When you buy a deadbolt lock, make sure:

  • The bolt extends at least 1 inch into the front edge of the door
  • The strike plate is attached through the trim to the door frame with screws at least 3 inches long
  • It has a rotation case hardened shroud that prevents it from being twisted off with a pair of pliers or other tools

The two most common types of deadbolts:

  • Single Cylinder Deadbolts - Have a thumb turn on the interior side. They are convenient to use and may speed up the exit process in the event of fire. If used near a window they can be opened by breaking the window and reaching through. This type of deadbolt lock does not prevent the burglar from taking your property out through the door.
  • Double Cylinder Deadbolts - Utilize keys on both sides. This type of lock should be considered if there is glass window within 40" of the lock. However, this type of lock does present a potential fire escape hazard. This type of deadbolt lock can delay a burglar that wants to use the door to remove your property from your home.


As many as half of all burglaries take place without forced entry. Many times the burglar uses a key. Be sure your keys don't fall into the wrong hands.

  • Never carry identification on your key ring or holder.
  • Re-key all locks when you move into a new house or apartment.
  • Know who has keys to your home. Do not give keys to maintenance or deliver people. If you must leave a key behind, leave it with a trusted neighbor. Make sure that each member of your family knows where his or her key is.
  • Never hide a key outside. Burglars know all the hiding places.
  • Do not hang keys on hooks within plain view inside your home.

Strike Plate

The strike plate is attached to the door frame with screws. The metal bolt of the deadbolt lock slides into the strike plate to secure the door soundly to the door frame.

A high security strike plate is required to keep the metal bolt from being kicked from the door frame when locked. A high security strike plate should have at least 4 screws that are a minimum of 3 inches long.


Hinges are often installed with the same 3/4" screws as the common strike plates. Replace these with 2" to 3" fully threaded screws so the hinges are anchored to the sub frame.

In some cases the hinges are installed in such a manner that the hinge pins are exposed to the exterior and an intruder may attempt to remove the pins in an effort to gain entry.

Hinges can be pinned by installing a partially threaded screw into the frame side of the hinge. The unthreaded portion of the screw is left exposed and the head of the screw is cut off. A corresponding hole is drilled into the door and hinge on the opposite side, so when the door is closed the exposed portion of the screw fits in to the door. This will prevent the door from the being lifted out.