The Urban Institute notes that in most retail burglaries, thieves enter through a door or window. Businesses and business districts are mostly unoccupied during nighttime hours, so they make attractive targets.
To make your business a less attractive target, use sturdy door locks and other theft deterrents like bright lights and alarms.
Door locks not only discourage break-ins, but they can slow down or prevent thieves from leaving your premises with stolen goods. Finding the best door lock for your establishment means answering a few simple questions.
Keep reading for things to consider before you choose security door locks.
Industrial Door Locks vs. Home Door Locks
The first thing you need to determine is the type of door you need to secure. Door lock parts for residential installation are often smaller sized and made of less sturdy materials. On the other hand, industrial door locks are for heavy-duty use.
Industrial locks fit larger and thicker doors. They use harder metals. Many have hardened strike plates, bump prevention, and challenging to pick tumblers.
Door locks and doors meant for commercial use meet safety requirements. Residential door locks may not include the same features.
Door Types Determine Lock Set Choices
Securing an all-glass revolving door requires a different locking mechanism than a solid metal one-way door. The most common type of lock for an interior door is the simple knob lock. Knob locks alone are generally insufficient to protect an exterior door.
Deadbolts are the most straightforward protection for doors. The bolt mechanism moves with the turn of a knob or key. The locks come in three types: single, double, and lockable thumb turn. Fire laws in most areas state that you cannot use this kind of lock on an exit door while the building has occupants.
Control of a single-cylinder deadbolt is on one side with a key. A double cylinder deadbolt opens with a key from either side. A lockable thumb-turn deadbolt is the most versatile. The thumb turn can be locked with a key. This type of deadbolt provides the most security but can be against the local fire codes.
Other Types of Door Locks
Mortise locks are a very popular commercial choice due to their reliability and durability. The mechanism is pre-assembled and fitted to a pocket in the door. Mortise locks are generally more substantial and made of heavy-duty materials throughout. This contrasts with a simple knob lock or deadbolt.
Cylindrical cam locks secure doors, windows, and cabinets unobtrusively. A small twisting metal cylinder is generally unnoticed.
Smart locks can be any combination of simple knob locks or mortise locks with remote or keyless opening options. Most use a wifi connection or a password memory. Some rely on strong magnets to secure doors, rather than a mechanical bolt.
Lever handle locks for privacy and padlocks for portable security round out the choices.
Choose for the Right Amount of Traffic
Not all locks work for all types of situations. For example, frequently used passageways need locks that can withstand the strain of locking and unlocking several times a day (or hour!) A little-used cabinet might only need a simple cam to keep it secure.
A busy office entrance might need a keyless smart lock entry to keep track of dozens of entrances and exits. A less trafficked area might use a push-button code lock. Traffic makes a difference in the longevity of the lock.
It is not unusual, for example, to see a numeric keypad with the numbers worn off in the pattern of the passcode. Magnetic locks that do not rely on mechanical parts may be superior to keyed locks.
Interior or Exterior Location
Door locks inside a hospital, for example, are made of an easily cleanable material. They might have special handles to meet ADA requirements and safety features to prevent ligatures. They are not, however, weatherproof.
Exterior exposed locks are water-resistant, protected from extreme temperatures and UV light, and generally more pick and bump resistant than models meant for indoor use.
In addition, the difference between securing a barn in Princeton vs. locking up a jewelry store in Hoboken makes lock selection complicated.
The Right Look
Commercial and industrial locks come in a variety of finishes and styles. Although you must keep regulations and use requirements in mind, there is no reason that your locks need to be ugly.
Door knobs, locks, hinges, and other trim pieces can coordinate for a unified look. Brushed stainless steel, white enamel or chrome are common choices, but brass, black polished pieces, and decorative colors are possible.
Need Expert Help?
Commercial door locks and hardware options can be confusing. There are many factors to consider.
Start with the basics. Determine if you need a commercial lock or a simple residential lock. Look at the type of door to be secured.
Is it a standard thickness and opening in one direction? Or is a sliding door on a track? A locksmith can give you guidance.
Consider use and traffic. A lock securing a busy passageway vs. a little-used office needs a heavy-duty cylinder to stand up to thousands of lock and unlock cycles. Does the lock need keyless entry or one-way access?
Location is important. Some environments place certain requirements of locks for safety. Some environments are much more destructive to locks over time. Sun and seawater, for example, can corrode locks quickly.
A harmonious lock, door hardware, and trim combination adds to the unified look of any project.
Our experts at Accurate Door Hardware have the largest in-stock inventory of door locks, door hardware, and doors in the Tri-state area. Since 1987, we have become the go-to place for all your door needs. Contact us today.