A lock plate is the component of a lock system that is attached on the frame of the door. Some homeowners don't pay sufficient attention to this component when they are selecting a lock set to buy. Such an oversight can expose the home to burglars who may pry the door open using a crowbar or any other heavy object. This article discusses the characteristics of the best lock plates that you should look out for.
The Metal Gauge
It is advisable for you to select a lock set whose lock plate (also called a strike plate) is made from a heavy-duty metal if the lock that you are replacing is for an exterior door, such as the front door. The appropriate metals include hardened steel. Read the manual of the lock and find out the gauge of the metal used to make that lock plate. Stronger metals have a lower metal gauge number. For instance, gauge 8 hardened steel is usually stronger than gauge 10 hardened steel.
The Anchoring Screws
Another way to be sure that the lock set that you buy will be able to reduce the likelihood of a burglar separating the lock plate from the frame of the door is by examining the screws that are provided for anchoring the lock plate. Longer screws make it harder for someone to force that lock plate off the doorframe. Select a lock set whose lock plate screws are at least three inches long. Such screws will penetrate deep into the wall framing of the door thereby enabling the lock to perform well when there is an attempt to force the strike plate out.
Examine the Deadbolt
Look at the deadbolts of different locks from two perspectives. First, the deadbolts should be made from the heavy-duty metals discussed earlier. Secondly, the throw of the deadbolt should be as long as possible, such as one inch. Such a throw will reduce the likelihood of a successful forced entry attempt because it will penetrate deep into the slot protected by the lock plate. A deadbolt that meets these two requirements is likely to be included in a lock set that has the best lock plate. This is because it is rare for a manufacturer to design a strong deadbolt and then pair it with a flimsy lock plate.
A strong lock plate is an integral part of an effective lock set. Use the suggestions above to select the most appropriate lock plate for your exterior doors. You can also enlist the help of a mobile locksmith in case you are uncertain about which locks would be suitable for your needs.