The Ultimate Guide to Locks
By Orlando Barry
Sep 07, 2019
Locks are one of the most fundamental aspects of any security system. If you think about it, doors and windows are the first line of defence against intruders. So they have to be securely locked: there is no question about it. There is however more to locking up than you may think. Let’s take a look at all the essentials when it comes to locks so that you can arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make certain your home is properly protected.
Lock quality and security
The quality of a lock is of paramount importance, especially with lock snapping becoming such an issue. Lock technology has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few years, so if your locks are fairly old, it may be that the quality isn’t as good as it could be and perhaps not designed to stand up to the sophisticated techniques that today’s intruders are employing. Locks such as the Abloy Protec2 are engineered using rotating discs rather than older style springs and pins, making them virtually snap proof.
The higher the level of security you are looking to achieve, the more you will need to invest in lock quality. It is vital that you choose the right locks for the right doors. If you are looking to protect particularly high value possessions, or you live in a greater risk area, then you will need to factor this in when thinking about the quality of the locks you are using.
Lock standards and compliance
There are various standards that locks will adhere to, and this is of particular importance when it comes to insurance compliance. Insurers generally require main entry doors to be fitted with a five-level mortice deadlock which conforms to British Standard BS3621. Look for the Kitemark stamped on the face place of the lock. Such locks can be deadlocked and the key removed from both sides so that no one can gain access or exit without a key once it is locked.
French or patio doors are usually required by insurance providers to be fitted with either a multipoint locking system; a central rail key operated lock or a bottom or top lock.
Sold Secure, a Home Office, Police and insurance recognised scheme run by the Master Locksmith’s Association, lists products which have been tested and approved by industry experts. The Sold Secure Quality Mark denotes approval across three levels of classification: Gold, Silver and Bronze. The higher the grading, the higher the level of security offered by the lock.
The condition of your locks is just as important as their quality. You may have invested in a top quality lock some time ago, but is it still functioning as it should be as the years have gone by? Or has the lock sustained some form of damage, perhaps following an attempted break-in? If so, it may not be working optimally.
Multipoint locks are renowned for their limited lifespans, with research by Yale suggesting that as many as a million multipoint door locks still in use were actually close to the end of their lifecycle and could fail at any time. Multipoint locks including handles, locking points and the locks themselves should be regularly checked for signs of failure.
Incorrectly or poorly fitted locks are one of the biggest security fails. A good quality lock that is not correctly fitted is a waste of an investment, because it just simply won’t provide the security expected. What’s more, euro cylinder locks that have not been fitted properly will be prone to lock snapping.
The wisest course of action is to invest in professional lock fitting. Locks and cylinders fitted by a specialist locksmith will provide full peace of mind and, in addition, will give you the added reassurance that the lock you have chosen is suitable for the intended purpose.
The Master Locksmith’s Association (MLA) is the leading trade association for the UK locksmith industry and the authority body for locksmith expertise. Member locksmiths provide a guarantee of reassurance of being able to meet exceptional levels of knowledge, ability and service standards. Choosing one to carry out your lock installation is the best investment you can make in home security.
A lock is only as good as the door or frame it is secured to. Be sure to check the condition of your door and window frames. UPVC or composite frames tend to have a long shelf life, although they do need regular checking to ensure they have not dropped or warped during changes of temperature.
Timber frames need a lot more maintenance. If they are rotting or splitting, it is time to repair or replace them. Softened wood could make it a simple task for an intruder to gain access without much force, even if your lock is of high quality. Timber should be regularly treated in order to protect it from the elements.
Master Locksmith Accredited Knowhow from Barry Bros Security
Barry Bros Security is Master Locksmith Association, Guild of Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) and BS EN ISO9001 accredited. As well as stocking a vast range of quality locks from leading brands in our London showroom, we also offer an expert lock installation service. Our security specialists are on hand to provide in-depth advice and are able to design bespoke locking systems to suit specific needs. Contact us or visit our showroom today; we look forward to being of assistance.