We all know that locks and deadbolts are not created equal. Some locks provide better security than others do, which is why it is common for most homeowners to have more than one lock on their door — sometimes a digital lock and a keyed deadbolt.
When it comes to choosing locks, you can get the most security from those that hold up to Australian Standards. These regulations and requirements prevent homeowners from using any lock, some of which may even cause safety issues during emergencies.
Here are four things to watch out for when choosing a lock:
Many locks sold in Australia are tested against the Australian Lock Standard AS4145.2:1993. This is the most important standard you should look for because it determines whether your lock is safe or not. This standard tests whether your locksets are durable and resistant to forced entry. For example, they test the torque on the key, its resistance to twisting, pulling, sawing, or drilling.
This standard also determines whether it holds up to daily use. Will the mechanism loosen after daily use? Is it possible for the key to break?
The Australian Lock Standard also takes into account the number of key differs that opens each lock. ‘Key differs’ refer to the number of different keys that are capable of opening your lock — the fewer key differs it has, the more secure it is.
Next, comes the fire rating. Australian Standards AS1905.1:2005 describes the importance of using fire rated door sets. This was actually a problem in the past — in 2014, it was discovered that many digital door locks did not meet fire regulations and some homeowners and commercial establishments were asked to remove them during fire inspections. Having locks which meet fire regulations are especially important for fire doors in commercial buildings and apartments.
Locks should also be resistant to corrosion, according to Australian Standards AS4145.2:1993. To prevent corrosion, Standards Australia recommends the use of galvanised coatings or electroplated coatings, which prevents oxidation. Corroded locks can jam or break and cause safety issues.
Locks used indoors can have a lower rating than the ones used outdoors — your front door locks need a higher corrosion resistance than the ones for bedrooms and other inner rooms.
By considering these three metrics, you can choose safer locks that are up to par with Australian building codes.