Everyone wants to feel safe in their own homes. Homeowners should also feel confident that their homes and all the contents inside are secure.
The external doors of your home and the locks on them are your primary defence against burglaries.
Did you know that you can lower your insurance premium by upgrading the locks on your doors?
Anchor South Africa shares insight on the various types of locks you could use to greatly increase the security of your home.
Types of locks
There are three main types of locks for front doors. Finding the right one for you will generally depend on the spacing between the edge of your door and the centre of the bore hole where your lock will be fitted (the backset).
1. Mortice lock
Mortice locks come in two sizes.
To install this lock, measure the backset of your door. For a backset of 44mm, use a 67mm mortice lock or a nightlatch. For a backset of 57mm, choose an 80mm mortice lock.
Mortice locks are considered the ultimate in security, often featuring double length deadbolts and built-in nightlatches for additional security. The internal mechanism can either be a cylinder lock or a series of levers.
The rule of thumb is that the more levers in a mortice lock, the more secure it is. British Standard 5 lever locks (available here in South Africa) are considered strong.
Nightlatches are best suited to smaller backsets of 44mm.
You’ll frequently see this style of lock with a thumb turn attachment on the inside piece. This makes it vulnerable if you have a glass window in the front door as it can be easily opened or if a burglar enters the property by another means.
In both cases, the thief could then open the door and walk in and out of your front door easily. If you have a lock with an easy turn internal knob, you should consider changing it for a key slot. You should also replace any windows in doors.
Nightlatches are called this because you can draw back the lock and ‘latch’ it open. For maximum security, these should be used in conjunction with a mortice lock.
3. Euro cylinder lock
As mentioned above, mortice locks either operate using a cylinder or a lever. The euro cylinder lock is similar to the one used in some mortice locks.
Euro cylinders are used most often with PVCu doors and are available in a variety of lengths.
They’ve earned a slightly bad reputation as thieves discovered that they could snap the lock by applying pressure. However, lock manufacturers have since begun producing ‘anti-snap’ locks which combat this security issue.
Additional security advice
Remember to always close all the windows in the house before you leave for any amount of time.
You should also close all the windows in your back and upstairs rooms.
Opportunists will take advantage of an accessible window even if you’re in the house. Remember that a kitchen extension may make it easier for burglars to reach the upper level of your home.
House alarms will further increase the security of your house and lower your premium.
Article from privateproperty