What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

Do You Know How To Pick A Door Lock? Um, I Mean, Choose...?

Do you know how to pick a door lock?  Um, I mean, choose...?

Door locks are essential.  Too bad, but that's the way it is.  And you get what you pay for.

WHEN YOU CHOOSE A DOOR LOCK, DON'T GO CHEAP!

How do you know what to choose?  Go to the hardware store and look around.  There is a lot to choose from!  Some look very regular, some have great design.  But a lock is a lock, right?

Wrong.  Locks are rated!  They are rated by ANSI-BHMA.  There, I said it.  Who?

ANSI - the American National Standards Institute - is a non-profit that creates voluntary standards for products, services and processes for American products.

BHMA - the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association - a similar organization that develops standards for builder's hardware. 

These two organizations, working together and with the Underwriter's Laboratory, have come up with three grades for locksets.  It can be found here:  ANSI/BHMA A156.5

Grade 1 - commercial, and the highest grade for security and durability.

Grade 2 - residential, rated "excellent" for security and durability.

Grade 3 - residential, minimum acceptance grade.

The BHMA system for numbering locksets can be read here.  It can be found on the packaging.

The BHMA numbering system has a 5-digit number preceded by a prefix letter, e.g.  B54132.

FOR LOCKSETS THE LAST NUMBER WOULD BE 1, 2, OR 3.

It is the last number that has relevance for locksets.

Consumer Reports has tested locks and locksets.  They picked them, hammered them, pried them, and drilled them.  They report the Medeco lock to be the only one they could not drill easily.  The other locks could be drilled and accessed.  Drilling ruined the Medeco lock, but did not open it.  Medeco locks are Grade 1.

In 2002 the Department of Justice did a study and determined that 60% of burglaries happen during the day.  And 32% of those through the front door!  The locks are drilled, bumped, pried or otherwise opened in plain sight.  Interestingly, in 1961 only 16% happened during the day.  Why?  Because people were home then!

How can they do this?  Burglars are opportunists and predators.  They often watch neighborhoods and know when people are and are not home.  They choose a house based on many things, and go at it.

Here are some suggestions on what to do to better burglar proof your home when you first move in.

My recommendation:  be smart!  Buy good locks and locksets!  Look for the ratings!  Oh, the police and locksmiths say we should not be fooled by labeling that says something like, "This lock has many of the same features as a Grade 1 lock!"   That is a marketing trick!  It's like saying a cheap car has many of the same features as an expensive car.  Like seats, a trunk, and a radio.  Woohoo!  Good locks protect not only your belongings - they protect YOU! 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 23 commentsJay Markanich • January 15 2015 04:19AM

Comments

Good morning Jay,

All good information for picking a lock? Now do you know how to pick a combo lock box? Wishing you a great day:)

Posted by Katina Hargrove 352-551-0308, Broker/Owner, GRI,SFR, Realtor (Stake Your Land Realty, Inc.) almost 4 years ago

Check with your local lock professionals Katina and see which they recommend.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Now I will have to go check one of the boxes to see what number I have; hope I'm not too disappointed!

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 4 years ago

Good morning Jay,

I hope this post is featured! Great information and every homeowner needs to read it. So many times they go the cheap route not realizing what a difference there is in locks. Thanks for the informative post!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) almost 4 years ago

I vote for 1 or 2 Raymond!

Dorie - thank you!  There are some things we should never go cheap on.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Timely blog....we are in the process of redoing all the hardware in the house....and Yes...I do know how to pick a lock...one of the "skills" learned while dating a police detective in another life.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 4 years ago

The police seem to know S&D! 

This is Sally, right?

 

Kidding.

 

As you know.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

A good lockset and proper installation can go a long way in keeping a home safe Jay Markanich 

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) almost 4 years ago

Great info Jay. I've replaced many locks on my own homes and on rental properties and I never knew this. Thanks!

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Bob Timm, Project Coordinator for Tivoli Homes (Tivoli Custom Homes) almost 4 years ago

Ay, ay Cap'n AD Model.

Hence the post RealMan.  Info most do not know.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

"Good" locks keep people honest! I'd like to think people would keep their locked doors visible and lit at night so the bad guys don't have the time or feel comfortable enough to spend the time to drill out your lock to get in.

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 4 years ago

That is a true statement Fred.  Houses can always be entered, depending on how far the intruder is willing to go to get in.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Good advice, Jay.  Picking locks....I mean, choosing locks, is very important for the security of your home.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 4 years ago

Your home too Chris Ann.

 

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Says he, pretending not to understand her sentence.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

P.s.  My son just got back from Afghanistan and I am leaving Tuesday to see him.  Back Friday.  Your AR kaffeklatch is Wednesday, right?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

I might have to be there by skype.

Wanda may come, but the young college miss has her math class Wednesday 1230-145.  Wanda might be able to slip back and forth, don't know.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

 Good morning Jay. It is very interesting how easy it is to get into houses. The criminal element can normally get into a property in less than 30 seconds.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 4 years ago

There are many things that can be done to deter a criminal before he decides to try Michael, and he will simply move to a different house.

I have gotten into a door in less than 30 seconds in front of clients when there was no key in the lock box.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Not as you suggested just any door lock off the shelf will do Jay.  timely and well written post sir.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) almost 4 years ago

Thanks James.  I think you mean that not any door lock will do?

Home invasions and burglaries are on the rise, according to my FBI friend, so I thought the post was timely, as you say.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 4 years ago

Thanks for the coding system, Jay. I have to change locks frequently. This is good to know.

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 3 years ago

Glad you found it useful and can use it Mike!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments