A lock plate is the piece of your lock set that attaches to the door frame. It is often ornamental in nature, made of plastic or some other lightweight material. However, instead of something plastic and easily pried away or broken, the lock plate, also known as the strike plate, should be much more substantial.
Why is the Lock Plate Important?
The lock plate, or strike plate, provides one of the main connections to the door frame for the lock system. Crime statistics show that the front door is the favored entry method for burglars. One way burglars attempt to defeat door locks is to use something heavy, like a crow bar, to separate the lock from the door. The lock plate is a likely candidate because it is often the weakest link in the door and lock combination.
What to Look for in a Lock Plate?
Because the junction of the lock plate and the door frame is so important, and so often the target of a burglar trying to pry the door out of the jamb, look for a lock plate that’s as strong as possible.
Look for heavy gauge metal. Strike plates will come in hardened steel, among other heavy-duty metals, that will provide significantly more protection than plastic lock plate that’s more cosmetic than anything else.
Screws that reach the wall frame. Even a metal lock plate may have trouble withstanding a crowbar attempting to separate it from a door frame. But if the lock plate is screwed into the framing of the wall with screws that are at least 3 inches long, that provides considerably more protection that could cause a burglar to give up and head to another house where it doesn’t take nearly so much time to get inside.
Look for a strong deadbolt. A strong deadbolt can help in a couple of ways. Certainly, a deadbolt offers maximum protection to a door. Make sure that your deadbolt has at least a 1-inch throw. That’s how far the deadbolt extends into the door frame, and the more of the deadbolt into the frame, the more protection it offers. If you have found a heavy duty deadbolt, that’s here you are most likely to find a heavy duty lock plate. A steel strike plate is likely only going to be part of a high-security package.