Your locks protect your property but sometimes your locks need protection too. If your lock is in a dark alleyway or there are a lot of needles and broken bottles outside your door, you may want to consider some lock accessories.
Astragals cover the gap between your door and your door frame. They make it much harder to pry the door away from the door frame, allowing entry on doors with only a 1/2″ throw including most commercial levers and deadlatches. They also make it difficult for criminals to directly manipulate the deadlatch with a screwdriver or butter knife or sawz-all. I charge $850 for parts and labor to install an astragal.
Latch protectors, otherwise known as latch guards, serve to cover the gap between the door and the door frame so that people can’t stick a
screwdriver or credit card in and try to manipulate the door open. They are pretty inexpensive, around $20 and typically bolt onto the door. They come in many different styles. Some of them come with a welded anti-spread pin to prevent somebody from prying the door away from the door frame. They don’t do this as well as astragals do. If somebody has a crowbar they can pry a latch protector back and then pry the door open. These latch protectors with anti-spread pins will probably keep regular addicts armed with only a screwdriver at bay though.
Knob or lever guards are used for locks that face the street in places that may lack visibility or is a high crime area. A knob or lever guard makes it difficult to try to rip a lock off the door or to damage the lock with a hammer or other object. The only part of the lock that is accessible is the keyway. These should not be installed in low visibility areas near parking. Somebody could put a chain around their trailer hitch and pull the doorframe off!
Here is a lock that I installed a knob guard over a few weeks ago. Notice that they worked on it a long time, laboriously prying the face of the knob back, but were unable to gain entry or take the cylinder out. This means the knob guard did its job. A lock not protected by a shroud would be much easier to abuse with a hammer or something.
Here is the process to add a lever guard. The lever is cut off and a shroud is placed over it. The shroud, or lever guard as it is known in the trade, is bolted on through the door.
- In situations where you don’t want anybody chaining your lock to their truck, consider a pull handle and a rim cylinder.