Posted on September 28, 2017
Door Chain Lock
When you think of security, the first thing that comes to mind is probably locks. One such lock is a door chain lock. What is a door chain lock, how effective are they, and what are the down sides?
What is a door chain lock?
Often found on hotel or apartment doors as well, a door chain lock is sometimes referred to as a security chain or a security door chain. All are essentially the same thing that consists of a small chain attached to the door frame which attaches to a track on the door. Usually, a chain lock is used in conjunction with other types of locks to add security but not typically to be the sole lock on the door.
Door chain locks are usually intended to be used for the person inside to be able to open the door slightly without completely unlocking the door. It keeps the person outside while still being able to communicate or slip small objects through. They are also used as an added measure of security. If someone manages to bump, pick, or break one lock, the chain lock serves as an extra layer of protection from break-ins.
How effective are door chain locks?
A door chain lock is fairly easy to install and to use. It provides some amount of security. If it is properly installed, a typical door chain lock can usually resist tampering from the outside until physical force is used to break the mounts. A knowledgeable burglar can easily break a door chain lock with tools as common as an envelope, a rubber band, or thread.
What are the down sides to door chain locks?
Door chain locks typically come with very short screws that can easily be pulled out with force. The tracks for a chain lock are usually straight, so it doesn’t take very sophisticated tools to separate the chain from the track. They also require a certain amount of dexterity to use, so people with shaky hands due to age or disability will find them difficult to use. On top of all of this, door chain locks are often installed improperly making them easier to break.
While chain locks are still used today because of their affordability and ease of installation, there are some more secure alternatives. Door bars, for instance, provide a similar benefit but provide you with a U-shaped bar that attaches to a hinge on the door frame and a knob on the door. The bar swing over the knob to restrict the full opening of the door. They are easier to use than chain locks and are generally sturdier and more difficult to break, though they are still far from top-notch security when it comes to locks. If you are wanting a chain lock for the purpose of not opening the door fully when someone knocks, consider a peephole that provides you with the ability to see who is at your door before opening while keeping the door completely shut and locked.