12 Jan What is a Grade For a Deadbolt?
A deadbolt is the epitome of security to most people. The loud thunk of the bolt sliding home means that the door is secure, and no one without the key is going to get past it. Not all deadbolts are created equal, though. In fact, there’s an entire grading system that tells you how tough your deadbolt is, and what kind of punishment it can stand up to if someone really wants to get inside. That’s why, before you install a deadbolt in your home or business, you need to know what the grades are, and what they mean.
What is a Grade For a Deadbolt?
The American National Standards Institute, or ANSI, created deadbolt grades. The ANSI is a private, non-profit group whose standards are used in a variety of products, from security devices to safety glasses. The Builders Hardware Manufactuing Associaition, aka BMHA, also adopts these standards. The BHMA/ANSI has three, separate grades for deadbolts, simply labeled grades 1 through 3. Grade 1 is the highest quality, and the most dependable deadbolt you can have. Grade 3 is your average deadbolt which will provide an accepted, but minimal, level of security.
What’s The Difference Between The Grades?
The different grades represent how tough the locks are when it comes to physical punishment they can take, and how long they’ll last on average. The standards are:
Grade 3 Deadbolts
These deadbolts are tested to withstand 800,000 openings and closings. The size of the latch bolt is 5/8 of an inch, and the deadbolt will hold up against two strikes of 75 pounds of force.
Grade 2 Deadbolts
These deadbolts are almost identical to grade 3 deadbolts. They have the same 800,000 openings and closings tested, and the same latch bolt size. These deadbolts will stand up to five strikes of 75 pounds of force. All of our deadbolts except for one of them are Grade 2 Deadbolts.
These deadbolts are seen as the best in the industry, and they’re typically used to protect industrial buildings rather than homes. They are tested for 1 million openings and closings, and the latch bolt is a full inch in size. These deadbolts can withstand 10 strikes from 75 pounds of force.
Is The Deadbolt Enough To Do The Job?
While a deadbolt should offer peace of mind, it’s just one piece in your chain of security. If the rest of your security is strong, then a deadbolt will just make it stronger. By itself, though, a deadbolt can only do so much.
What does that mean? Well, look at the other factors the deadbolt is part of. For example, the deadbolt may be able to stand up to a lot of pounding from a sledgehammer with no problem, but that won’t do you much good if the bolt is installed in a hollow-core door that anyone could put their foot through. Alternatively, if the lock and the door are both strong, but employees keep propping open the door for convenience, then the lock is useless. Like leaving the top down on a convertible, but locking the doors to keep it safe.
Getting a quality deadbolt is one part of an overall security plan. However, in order for it to be effective, regardless of its grade, you need to be sure that it is bolstering a strong system, and not trying to keep you and your property safe all by itself. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. That’s just as true with your personal security system as it is with a chandelier support system.