In our work as forensic locksmiths, we have come to learn that burglars prefer doors as their entry point of choice. It is a large opening, and easy to carry out televisions and other large items. For that reason, it is crucial that homeowners choose the right locks and other security devices. Of course, windows are as important, so be sure to fit locks onto all your first floor windows.
Depending on the type of door, the level of security needed and the material the door is made of, there is a wide variety of locks available.
1. Mortice Sashlock
Used for timber doors, the mortice sashlock combines the benefits of a standard mortice lock with a handle-operated latching mechanism. The door can be opened at shut without the use of a key, and it can be securely locked with a key upon leaving the home.
Sashlocks offer differing security levels, with level 3 being mid-level and level 5 (5 levers) is the highest. Five-lever sashlocks are best for use on backdoors or front doors, while 3-lever locks are best for internal doors where a keyed lock is required.
2. Mortice Deadlock
Also suitable for use on timber doors, a mortice deadlock is usually combined with a night latch on front doors. It usually only has a bolt that is key-operated. This type of lock is generally fitted at waist height, and allows for the door to be locked from the outside or inside.
3. Nightlatch Lock
Best for front doors, a nightlatch is usually fitted at shoulder height on the internal panel of the door. It uses a latch mechanism to keep the door shut. A spring-loaded latch withdraws into a special casing when the knob is turned, and this allows the door to be opened. However, closing it works on a “slam lock” principle. With this lock, a rim cylinder is fitted to the external side of the door, and this attaches to the nightlatch through a drilled hole in the timber. Combine the nightlatch with a mortice deadlock for the highest level of security.
4. Rim Cylinders
Another lock suitable for timber doors, is a rim cylinder lock. It is mounted on the surface and uses a key turning mechanism. The rim cylinder has a brass brrel that fits into a hole drilled through the door. The barrel is connected to a nightlatch. This type of lock allows you to open the front door from outside, using a key to turn the latch inside. Although new nightlatches generally come with a rim cylinder, it is possible to obtain replacement rim cylinders.
5. Euro Cylinders
The Euro cylinder is part of many different types of multipoint locks that work on PVCu doors, but also some types of mortice locks that are used on timber doors. It’s easy to replace Euro cylinder, and this is usually referred to as changing the lock.
There are 3 types of Euro cylinder locks:
✔ Single cylinders offer key access from one side.
✔ Double cylinders provide key access from either side of the door.
✔ Double cylinders with thumbturns offer key access on one side, and thumb turn access from the other.
It’s important to know beforehand the size and type of cylinder, and the level of security you require.
Installation is another key component to securing your property. If you’re not a qualified locksmith, it is best to hire a professional.