Disappointing Dead-Bolt Locks

FRESNO, Calif.

In addition to conducting a kick-in test, technicians spent weeks sawing, picking, wrenching, and drilling to see how secure locks are.

Several locks come with features such as fingerprint access and keypad entry. But Consumer Reports found that many don't provide the protection they promise—even one that costs $250!

In fact, most of the locks tested could be defeated with a few hard kicks or by using a cordless drill in the right spot.

Only one lock passed all of Consumer Reports tests. It's the Medeco Maxum Deadbolt that costs $190. It's the only one that a drill couldn't get through. Testers also recommend the Falcon D241 for $55. It isn't drill resistant, but it did well in all of the other Consumer Reports tests.

Consumer Reports finds that a significant problem with most locks is that they come with a thin metal strike plate. It attaches to the doorframe with short screws that don't go into the home's framing.

If you already own a deadbolt, an easy way to strengthen it is to replace the strike plate with a more secure one. Consumer Reports recommends the Mag High Security Box Strike that goes for $10.

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