As with most complex questions, the answer is going to be “sometimes”. The case also differs greatly between residential and commercial high security locks applications.
High Security Locks for Residential Properties
With residential, if you are worried about a break in, but have nothing special of value in the house, the answer is going to be High security locks are not worth it for you.
The reason is that with residential properties, locks are one of the statistically lowest probability compromised element in break-ins and theft. Normally, perpetrators gain entrance to your residence through a window, sliding door, a backdoor that is left open and the likes. The benefit of having a high security lock is not going to help much in this case – as the perpetrators are still going to gain access through different means.
If you are looking to increase the security of your residential property, we recommend the following options:
- Adding one-sided deadbolts (that can only be operated from the inside)
- Simply replacing your locks to a higher security brand/type (ex. Kwikset Smart Key or the New Schlage Anti-Pick systems).
- Adding a comprehensive security solution including security cameras and sensors.
All of the above are going to increase the security of your home more than a high security lock, and in many cases will be more cost-effective.
The one exception to this rule, is if you do have something of high value to protect in your house, and already took all the other security measures listed above. All of your doors and windows are already protected, and you have a security system. In this case, it does make sense to install a high security lock as your lock becomes the weakest link in your home security.
High Security Locks for Commercial Properties
With commercial properties, the picture is a little bit different. In many cases, it does make sense to install a high security lock. This is due to the high value cash and items many B&M business have in side, and that in general commercial buildings are built with higher security features (temper proof glass, commercial metal doors, less windows etc).
In this case, one of the most important considerations are the cost factors of the system. High security systems such as Medeco are quite expensive.
As a one-time cost, and depending on the amount of doors and locks you are seeking to protect, the cost is manageable. Where things get expensive is in routine maintenance and operational expenses such as re-keying. If you have a high turn-over rate for employees, where employees get fired in unpleasant ways, you may want to have your keys re-keyed pretty often – in which case it can get pretty expensive.
However, a benefit of using a system such as Medeco, is that employees are unlikely to be able to make copies of the keys – since only Medeco licensed professionals can duplicate the keys, and require a lock certificate in order to do so (so if you keep the lock certificate safe it is very unlikely an employee will be able to copy the key).
Final Comments about High Security Locks
It is important to remember that the lock is only as secure as the door it is install on. In the video below, you can see an example of a Medeco lock standing a forced entry kick attack. Since it is a promotional video, they will not show you what will happen to most of the residential doors in the U.S 🙂 . In most cases, the door hinges are just going to break, and while the deadbolt may stay in place, the door will just rip open from the hinges. So if you do choose to go with a high security lock, make sure you have a reinforced frame and hinges that will not buckle down during an attack.