Door Locks and Security
One of the integral parts of any door is its locking mechanism. We have come a long way in recent years from the standard single mortice locks that used to keep us safe. Today’s doors have multiple locking mechanisms that make them highly secure. Having said that, it’s always a good idea to check with your supplier or a local locksmith that you have the right hardware installed.
Open a newly installed uPVC door and pull up the handle and you’ll see that the inner rim locks at several points from one central point. This not only provides a sturdier frame when the door is closed but also gives you much needed added security.
You can fit a multipoint lock to an old door, depending on the type, but any new installation should come with this feature already fitted. Multi-point locks normally have a central dead bolt and one or two hook or compression bolts that run the length of the door rim.
Split Spindles vs Solid Spindles
There are two different kinds of lock available and which you choose is largely a matter or preference:
Split Spindle: When you go out and close the door behind you, you will need a key to get back in. This is because the spindle on the outside does not operate the door lock but the key does. This is useful if you just want to close the front door and go off without worrying whether you have locked up or not. The main disadvantage is if you forget to put your key in your bag or pocket before you go out.
Solid Spindle: This works like a normal door and you need to lock it from the outside with the key if you are heading off to work. The advantage is that you will not lock yourself out of your home accidentally but the disadvantage is that you have to lock it each time you go out.
Whilst doors on the whole are more secure, you also need to make sure you have the right type of central door lock. These have also developed over the years, mostly in response to the way burglars have been gaining access to our homes. The latest locks are kitemarked and pass EU and UK standards. Even if you have a door already fitted you can change your lock to a more secure model with the help of a qualified locksmith.
Adding new locks or ensuring that your new door installations has the European TS 007 standard can keep you more secure and also reduce insurance costs because you are less likely to suffer from a burglary. This is the kind of lock that the police currently recommend we all use so it’s worth checking with your door supplier or installer as to what grade lock you have in place.
There has been a rise in burglars using a technique called lock snapping which the TS007 standard is designed to combat. Basically, lock snapping involves applying a lot of force to the cylinder so that it snaps, allowing the thief to open the door. It can take them up to a couple of minutes to perform this act but expert thieves can do it in just a few seconds.
Whilst most of us are worried about the energy efficiency of our doors and how much they cost, it is always important to check that they also have the right standard of lock. Your installer should be able to produce documentation to show that the lock you have on your new door is suitable and will keep you protected. If you already have a door fitted but are not sure how good the lock actually is, then a quick call to a reputable locksmith will make sure that you are confident you are being well protected.
Electric Door Locks
One area that we are seeing more and more advances in nowadays is the use of technology. Some people are opting to replace their mechanical locks with digital ones and the future could even see more of using systems that react to a fingerprint or face recognition. The benefits of an electronic lock where you simply do something like press your code into a keypad is that you don’t have to carry keys around. Some also act as an alarm system if someone tries to break in. The disadvantages, particularly as they become more complex, is the possibility of someone hacking into the system and gaining access.
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