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Is Your House Lock Good Enough?

When it comes to home safety and security, I doubt you'll look at your door locks the same way again after reading this interesting Engadget piece.

Unfortunately, far too many homes are only equipped with cheap conventional mechanical locks that carry no kind of security ratings and can easily be broken.

The key here is to seek out locks that have been tested and rated by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). A lock built to the UL 437 rating can handle at least 10 minutes of covert entry (picking and impressioning) while the ANSI 156.30 standard lock can withstand about 15 minutes of the same.

Neither standard addresses bumping, however, perhaps the greatest threat of all. Fortunately, some brands of locks -- Medeco, Primus, Assa and Mul-T-Lock -- are equipped with a sidebar, a secondary locking device that resists bumping.

Be aware, however, the rules change completely if you're attempting to rely only on door locks to protect big-ticket valuables like cash or information, because even home door locks of the highest quality can be compromised by the most determined criminals, and in far less than 10 minutes.

Engadget March 19, 2007

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