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Lock grades explained
Tough-as-nails door locks are crucial for your home security.
Locks that failed or weren't locked in the first place have caused an alarming number of burglaries.
The first step in choosing locks is understanding the grading system put in place by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The institute is a private non-profit that helps create standards for many products.
When you see packaging bearing “ANSI Grade 3” or “2” or “1”, those numbers on door locks and deadbolts are a collaboration between ANSI and the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association.
- Grade 1
Top ANSI Lock Grade
Protects business or home
▹ This is the highest level of ANSI grades for door locks. It is often reserved for locks intended for commercial security. But, these grade locks and deadbolts are also useful in some residential applications. Please note the difference between commercial and residential applications is not functional. It is more a matter of budget, legal requirements, and the owner’s willingness to invest in higher quality.
To earn this grade, a door knob must withstand 800,000 cycles, six door strikes and a 360-pound weight test. A deadbolt rated as Grade 1 must withstand 250-thousand cycles and 10 door strikes with a hammer. The ANSI grading system has endured for decades. It is a proven way of setting professional standards of durability.
So, combining ANSI Grade 1 hardware with video surveillance creates a solid defense against intrusion.
Some consumers say it’s not always easy to locate Grade 1 locks. This may be a result of the high volume of Grade 2 and Grade 3 locks sold at a lower price.
Correct mounting is essential. If you believe your door frame is not particularly thick, ask for 3-inch screws to secure your lock to the 2×4 wooden stud.
- Grade 2
Heavy-duty status in ANSI Grading System
Durable security grade
▹ These locks are not expected to be as heavy-duty as Grade 1. Therefore, they may not be appropriate for many commercial applications.
Described as "light commercial," Grade 2 locks also exceed most apartment building requirements. The also exceed typical residential requirements. As a result, Grade 2 locks are not quite strong enough for most businesses. On the other hand, they offer more protection than common home locks.
“Most burglars strike between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, and around 34% enter through the front door,” according to Emily Ferron writing at safety.com. “These surprising statistics can be chalked up to the fact that it’s easy to slip into an unsecured door when most people are busy at school or work.”
- Grade 3
Meets basic requirements
▹ While this is the lowest grade of locks set by the ANSI, don't assume that these locks are low quality! ANSI grading represents decades of hard work and research by security specialists.
DoorSecurityGroup.com points out that door locks are graded with specific criteria that has earned industry-wide respect:
“The handle or lever of a lockset is graded using the same system, however the important part of the lockset is the deadbolt. The deadbolt is the part of your lockset that deters a break-in.”
You'll find these locks in apartment buildings; they meet most residential building requirements.
These products are not as secure as Grade 2 locks and aren't recommended for use on your main entry point. Grade 3 locks are acceptable on secondary entry points.
However, it’s important to note that ANSI Grade 3 is higher quality than ordinary non-ANSI locks.
Please consult a locksmith when evaluating ANSI Grade 3 for residential security needs.
These links show more information about ANSI and BHMA (Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association):
- Search “locks” at ANSI.org website
- Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association ANSI/BHMA standards
- ANSI information at Wikipedia
At Holder's Security, we'll help you find locks to secure your home or business in Tulsa or NE Oklahoma. We carry high-quality Medeco products, as well as keys, deadbolts, locksets and keyless entry options.