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Entry Door Security with Multi-Point Locks

There’s a heightened awareness about home security lately. If your entry and patio doors are like most, you have the most common lock, a standard deadbolt, which offers little to no protection against forced entry. If you’re planning to purchase a new entry or patio door do some research first and learn about multi-point locking systems.

Integrity French Entry edit 1

Marvin Elevate French Hinged Door with Side-lite

With the demand for better security, manufacturers are deploying these systems as standard for French doors, 8 and 10-foot-tall doors and optional for many doors. Getting a good seal around the entire door frame is harder to accomplish with taller doors and the doors are also more likely to warp, but multi-point locking systems can add stability and security. You may want to seriously consider as an investment in your safety.

Multipoint locking systems provide an added layer of security to your front and back doors. Typically, there are at least three locking points on a multipoint system. Multipoint locks extend most, if not, the full height of the door and have multiple locking points along the edge of the door, or often at the top and bottom for French multi-lock door systems.

The extra locking points strengthen your home’s security by providing a tighter seal along the length of the door, top-to-bottom. This compression also makes the door more weathertight than a standard door. With a standard locking system, your primary lock is in the center, usually a single deadbolt. This one-inch deadbolt isn’t secure against a basic attack such as being kicked in, especially since wooden door jambs are weak and vulnerable. In contrast, this system divides the forced entry pressure across the full length of the door, rather than only in the center, making it much harder to dislodge.

Therma Tru EntryDoor

Therma-Tru Entry Door with Sidelites

Entry Doors Locks

Therma-Tru Fiberglass entry doors are one of Woodland’s most popular replacement doors. The multipoint lock system comprises several pieces, are customized for door height, assembled and installed in the door factory. Multipoint Locking system handlesets engage the door and frame at three critical points. Each handleset features an integrated mishandling device that protects the door and frame from damage. The locks are simple to operate, these grip-style handlesets require only one 90-degreee twist of the thumbturn (interior) or key (exterior) to engage the door frame at three points with no need to lift the handleset lever. Therma-Tru offers two styles and three finishes, Brushed Nickel, Black Nickel or Oil Rubbed Bronze. The multipoint lock system is available for single operating doors only.

Another favorite fiberglass entry door from Provia offers a multi-point locking system, coming standard for 8’ doors. You can also select the option to have the system factory installed for most 6’ 8” doors. Provia uses the Trilennium® Multi-Point Locking System with three full deadbolts that strengthens the door panel, pulling the door into perfect alignment to seal out weather. There’s a steel plate behind each connection point and the handsets come in multiple designs to match your style and budget.

Folding Outswing Door Locks

Companies such as Andersen offer a multi-Point locking system on many of their doors including the folding outswing door. The system design consists of a hook bolt above and below the center deadbolt along with flush bolts on the panels that lock into the head and sill of the door frame. This system provides a weathertight seal and enhanced security. The flush bolts and pull handles are available in a matte black or satin stainless-steel finish.

Multipoint Lock Handle ConstructionFrench Door Locks 

Manufacturers like Marvin, Andersen and Pella all offer multi-point locking systems for French Doors as standard. The designs are generally the same, they include a centrally located deadbolt and a live bolt (latch), at least two hook bolts and possibly compression bolts. Most locking systems are operated by lifting the door handle from either side of the door and are locked in place by turning the key or interior thumb turn. Some designs have additional bolting into the top and bottom frames for added stability and security. Systems can be automatic or semi-automatic. Automatic locking mechanisms engage the perimeter bolts when the door is closed, without the lever being lifted, whereas semi- automatic mechanisms engage the bolts when the lever is lifted. We’ve heard from customers who worry that this two-step locking process might be cumbersome, we can assure you, like anything else it becomes second nature.

Sliding Patio Door Locks

Patio doors have used multi-point one, two or three-four mortise locks for many years as standard from top manufacturers like Marvin, Andersen, Infinity and Pella. Many homeowners elect to add additional security by adding an auxiliary lock on the back edge of the slider or along the top rail of the frame or track. A foot bolt is another option, many manufacturers offer.

hurricane impact glassFrench Door and Entry Door Side-lites Special Safety Glass

French doors and entry doors with glass side-lites are beautiful and highly desirable additions to homes. These doors let in light, in fact the pane of glass running the full length of the door is what distinguishes a French door from other door types. Side-lites, on one or both sides of an entry door can be full length or half the span of the door height. Unfortunately, the glass makes these types of doors more vulnerable to break-ins. You may want to consider upgrading your glass to hurricane-rated or laminated glass to ward of thieves. Hurricane –rated glass is comprised of two sheets of glass bonded together with a protective interlayer of plastic that is designed to resist impact from missiles (projectiles) impacts during a hurricane. This glass is stronger than a car windshield, the glass might shatter if a heavy object is thrown into it, but it won’t break to bits. That makes it less likely that an intruder can shatter the glass and unlock the door or walk through the open pane. This impact resistant glass costs more but it is such a refined design you can hardly tell a hurricane-rated window from a regular window. They’re becoming mainstream and most contractors will install the durable glass if their customers ask for it.

If you’re worried about security, consider replacing your old entry or patio doors with products that come complete with multi-point locking systems. Our advice is to always buy enhanced security doorsets and upgraded glass if you can afford it when you’re selecting a replacement door. Today, most doors are purchased as complete systems, the door, the frame and the hardware all work together to create a solid entryway.

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