UPDATED SEPTEMBER 1, 2021 This piece has been updated to reflect the emergence of new technology

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Christian Mathews Security Writer

“Prepare and prevent; don’t repair and repent” – This quote encapsulates the necessity for security door locks for homes. So, exactly how do we prepare and prevent? How do we build an effective front door security plan?

This article will provide you with all the necessary information you need to choose the best security door lock for your home. 

We’ll discuss security ratings, lock types as well as other measures to keep your front door burglar-proof. 

A hand unlocking a door with a key.

1What is “ANSI Grading?”

ANSI, stands for the American National Standards Institute. The organization fosters the development of technology standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. “ANSI Grade” is the collaboration between ANSI and the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association to ensure quality.

On the packaging of each lockset, you will find the “ANSI Grade” number. The number shows the strength of security that the lock offers:

  • Grade 1: The most secure. Use as the first entry door lock for businesses or homes.
  • Grade 2: Not as secure as 1, but it still meets the standards for front door security. It’s stronger than common home locks and is a more budget-friendly choice.
  • Grade 3: Locks that meet basic requirements. The lowest of ratings, for locks used as secondary security measures.                                                     

When choosing your lock, make sure you take note of the ANSI grade on the lock to ensure the lock’s strength quality will meet your intended use needs. 

2Lock Types

There are many kinds of locks that could effectively enhance your front door security. From; deadbolts, and keyless, to padlocks, and smart locks. The list is extensive. 

The prevailing theory is that you would need a good mix of these lock types as part of your security plan to make it as effective as possible.

Let’s cover the top 4, most popular and effective exterior door locks. 

3The Deadbolt 

When you turn the lock, a metal bolt on the door will extend and fit into the slot on the door frame. This is a simple, but effective type of door safety lock.

There are two kinds of deadbolt locks:

The deadbolt lock is always paired with knobs or handles. It’s one of the most effective security door locks for homes because it’s hard to pick or saw through. 

A Mortise Lock

A Mortise lock is a grade 1 entry door lock. The lockset comprises many parts and requires a bit more technical skills to install.

It’s a complicated mechanism that is strong, reliable and extremely hard to break through. Due to its intricate setting this lockset could however be difficult to fix. Not all Mortise locks are interchangeable.

Keyless Locks

The keyless lock system solves a problem many people face daily: “I can’t find my key!”.

A keyless or electronic lock consists of a keypad that lets input a code. Alternatively it could require a smart card to unlock the door automatically. Some of the newest designs feature fingerprint or even facial recognition capabilities to unlock the system.

A Smart Lock

The smart lock is considered the latest technology when it comes to home security. With this lockset, your phone is your key, which means you can monitor your door wherever you are. The front door security system usually consists of a lock and a video or audio system which allows for optimal control of your home’s safety.  

This system can utilize a phone app to allow for remote access to the system, so you can lock or unlock the door without being in the vicinity. A geo-location feature automatically locks or unlocks the door when you are near the front door.

In choosing the best remote door locks for your home, consider these 3 types of connection:

  • Bluetooth – the most common, but can’t be operated when your phone is not close to the lock.
  • Wifi – this allows you to connect to your front door from anywhere with your phone.
  • Z-wave – works similar to wifi, but requires an additional hub to communicate with. 

The advantage of z-wave over Wifi is that z-wave will not create any wifi interference.

4“Survival Tips” for Front Door Security

Knowing how most intruders access a home can be useful information in protecting your home. Beyond having a secure front door lock, here are some other things to keep in mind: 

Common entry methods by burglars 

  • A Crowbar or credit card can be slipped through locks to pry open entryways.
  • A Pipe wrench can be used to break a common entry door lock.
  • Deadbolt locks could be breached by pick guns, bump keys, or even a power drill. 
  • Hackers can steal your password and gain access to the smart lock;
  • Brute force for example kicking in a door is probably the most common way to gain access.
An intruder trying to break open a door.

Extra steps to strengthening your front door

  • Use a grade 1 deadbolt.
  • Your front door should be solid, metal is preferable. 
  • Your front door should be well lit to reduce break-in attempts at night.
  • Use good quality strike plates with long screws to toughen front door locks.
  • Add a secondary door safety lock. 
  • Replace front doors with windows.
  • When purchasing Keyless or smart locks, make sure it’s from reputable companies.
  • Use long passwords that you frequently change, with 2-factor authentication in place.
  • Use a video doorbell and security cameras as an extra precaution.


The security of your front door lock is a crucial component in creating a safe living environment for yourself and your family. This article could be used as a checklist to ensure you get the best security doors for your home.