We often get asked from our customers “What locks do I need to meet my insurance company’s requirements”?
Generally your insurance company will stipulate that all final exit doors, by that I mean, Front Door, Back Door and Patio/French Doors, all doors that lead to the outside of the property basically, will need to be fitted with locks that meet or exceed BS3621. I have carried out a lot of insurance checks in my time as a locksmith, albeit a few years ago now and this is the information I have amassed from experience.
Whatever lock you need will be dictated by the door type, so lets cover off the basics here to make things a little clearer:
Wooden Doors: Most wooden doors will have either a Night Latch generally referred to as Yale fitted around shoulder height, or a Mortice Sash Lock with handles again generally referred to as a Chubb, fitted at waist height. Some doors will have a combination of both a Night Latch and a Mortice Deadlock, whatever you have on the door only one needs to be of BS3621 specification, as long as you have a lock to that standard you should be covered.
UPVC doors are fitted with what we refer to as Multi-Point Locks, this is the full locking mechanism fitted to the side of the door and not the cylinder that is operated by the key, as this is a Euro Cylinder see my other Blog posts about these in my previous blog
Insurers usually want 3 or more locking points on these type of doors, the basic ones offer this with two or more rollers, deadlocks or hooks coupled with a deadlock that is operated when the handle is lifted and locked in place when the key is turned. Others have more locking points and are therefore more secure from the insurers point of view.
Multipoint lock (MPL’s) is the term used to refer to the locking mechanism located in the side of your door, usually found on UPVC doors but more recently they are being fitted to wooden and composite doors. They are a very secure alternative to a night latch and a dead lock fitted to similar doors.
The requirements for the majority of insurance companies when looking at these type of locks are as follows, generally they are looking for 3 or more locking points, so for example, when you lift the handle to lock the door you have a deadbolt in the centre and at least two other locking points, so possibly hooks, rollers or additional deadbolts.
There are so many varieties of these locks in service as an experienced locksmith I would generally go for the ones with hooks or deadbolts rather than rollers as they go further into the frame side and are therefore more secure.
The most common type of Multipoint Locks are what are referred to as lever lever, this means they have a handle on either side of the door, this is used to engaged all the locking points on the side of the door and a turn of the key in the cylinder locks it all properly. There is another version not so widely seen and they fall under the category of wind up locks and the handles they have are slightly different and are referred to as lever pad, they have a lever handle on the inside and a pull pad on the outside, this is because there is no need to lift the handle to operate the mechanism, it is worked by turning the key in the cylinder to wind up the mechanism instead.
What are the advantages of fitting Anti-snap or Snap Safe Euro Cylinders to your property?
This is a question more and more people are asking these days, mainly due to a few programmes that were recently shown on BBC Televisions ”The One Show”. It highlighted the fact that normal Euro Cylinders, that are generally fitted to UPVC/Composite doors can be vulnerable to attack from thieves targeting a quick entry to your property.
The fact that some of the new cylinders are referred to as anti-snap is a bit misleading, the reason for this is that they are actually designed to snap in a pre-determined place, so the term snap safe cylinder is more apt, let me explain more, in the standard cylinders they could with the correct knowledge be snapped in the middle of the cylinder thus allowing would be thieves easy access to the internal workings of you lock.
The idea of the snap safe and anti snap cylinders is that if someone attacks them they actually snap within the first part of the cylinder, leaving half of it still in place in the door, this means that the thief cannot get to the mechanism in the actual lock. However upon you returning home with your house keys, you can still insert your key into the broken lock to access your house in the usual way, the lock of course will need replacing, but it will have prevented a potentially very costly burglary, for more information about the best Anti-Snap or Snap Safe Euro Cylinders visit our website www.discountlocks.co.uk