Doors offer direct access into a property and are also the most common entry point for burglars trying to break-in.
When casing a property, one of the first things that burglars look for is weaknesses in the main door and vulnerabilities in the locking mechanism. Therefore, the two fundamental rules of controlling unauthorised entry through doors are:
- Making them sturdier by using strong material and reinforcing them using frames, and
- Investing in good quality locks.
Door locks are an essential part of security and are considered one of the most basic forms of physical defence against intrusions. They have been used for over 6000 years and remain a popular choice among people looking to protect their properties.
They don’t just keep homes and offices safe and secure but also help maintain privacy by controlling and limiting access.
Door locks come in various types and offer different levels of protection and security. Read on to find out the best types of locks for your doors and how to get them installed:
DOOR LOCK TYPES
Some of the most common types of door locks found in both residential and commercial properties are as follows:
Padlocks are one of the most common types of door locks and are used all over the world for protecting valuables.
They are extremely flexible and can be used for a variety of purposes other than securing the front and back doors.
They come in two different styles; keyed or combination, and are immediately recognised by intruders as an obstruction.
Security-wise, they offer a basic level of protection and it is best to pair them in combination with other locks for front door security.
Depending on the size and type of padlock, they can sometimes easily be broken by force. Therefore, it is necessary to invest in a sturdy variant with a shouldered shackle that inhibits burglars from cutting through it.
Deadbolts, also known as deadlocks, are another classic door lock and are stronger than a regular spring latch.
They are manually operated by the turning of a key or thumb-turn and are available in three different variants; single, double, and lockable thumb-turn.
Single thumb-turns are the simplest type and can easily be opened from the inside if an intruder gains access into the property.
Double thumb-turns offer a solution to this problem and lock the door from the inside, but that means you would have to unlock the door every time you wish to go out.
A lockable variant offers more comfort and flexibility in choosing the way you wish to lock the door. You may leave it unlocked when you’re inside, but when you close the door, it will automatically secure itself.
Knob locks are most commonly found in residential properties and are usually used as a secondary line of protection in combination with other locking mechanisms such as deadbolts.
Since the lock cylinder is inside the knob itself, instead of the door, it can easily be broken off with a hammer or pliers, making knob locks unsuitable for securing external doors.
It is best to replace knob locks with simple passage knobs that provide the same level of protection but can’t be broken off as quickly since they are placed inside the doors.
Lever handle locks
Lever handle locks provide more protection than knob locks and are much easier to use. They are more accessible, even for the elderly, disabled, and handicapped individuals, and have a large lever that is pushed down to open the door.
Their ease-of-use and durability don’t just make opening them easy but also ensure that the door stays closed when you need it to.
They are, however, susceptible to torque attacks which are when excessive force is applied to the lever to break the lock.
To counteract the issue, a clutch lever may be added to the lock which makes it resistant to extreme pressure applied by intruders trying to gain access.
Rim or Mortice locks
Rim and Mortice locks provide a high level of security and are most commonly found on commercial doors, entry glass doors, and apartment doors.
While both have similar security advantages, they differ in their design and the way they are installed. Regardless of the choice, both rim and mortice locks provide superior security and protection as compared to other door locks.
Rim locks are mounted on the inside surface of the door and because they do less damage to the door when installed, they are the preferred choice for heritage and listed properties.
Mortice locks, on the other hand, are installed inside the edge of the door, and because they are difficult to force open, most insurance providers require that they be used for home security to be compliant with the terms of the cover.
Euro profile cylinders
Euro profile cylinders are incredibly popular in the UK and various other parts of the world due to their sleek design and high performance security-wise.
They run through the door and use a single screw to hold themself in place, and are available in different styles that include the single and double-cylinder varieties.
They help keep unauthorised access under control, however, since they have only one attach point, they are susceptible to being broken using a simple technique known as “lock snapping”.
The risk of lock snapping can be reduced significantly if the cylinders are tested, installed, and reinforced by a certified locksmith.
Cam locks offer a decent amount of protection and are best used for cabinets, drawers, mailboxes, and as an added protection for main doors.
They offer an incredible number of choices with different lengths and tailpieces or “cams”, along with functional specifications.
To unlock, they can tilt between 90 and 180 degrees and can be set to twist in either the clockwise or counter-clockwise direction.
Though not ideal as a primary source of protection, cam locks help protect your property as a secondary option for your door by putting a little more in the way of intruders trying to break in.
Multi-point locks are heavy-duty locking mechanisms that provide a high level of security by bolting the door at multiple points with the turn of a single key.
More bolts mean more security since intruders will have more than one lock to bypass. They are comprehensive systems and may include locks, keys, handles, and keeps, and are often found on modern residential doors such as composite, solid core wood, and UPVC models.
Lock snapping is a very simple, easy, and quiet method that burglars use to “snap” open doors fitted with standard euro-cylinder locks. All it takes is a few seconds, some DIY tools, and a bit of strength.
Burglars using the lock snapping technique break or snap the lock into two by applying a specific amount of force at the weakest part of the cylinder.
The best way to prevent them from breaking your locks and gaining unauthorised access is by using anti-snap locks.
Anti-snap locks differ from standard locks in that when a standard lock is snapped, the entire body of the lock breaks off. With anti-snap cylinder locks, the body stays intact even when it is snapped. Because the lock is in two parts, the door remains locked even when part of the barrel is broken.
The best anti-snap euro-cylinder locks must have a:
- SS312 Diamond Standard rating
- TS007 3-star rating
Smart locks are the latest and most advanced form of locking mechanism that enables you to lock and unlock your door wirelessly using various authentication methods, including your smartphone.
They are keyless electronic or mechanical locks that eliminate the need for traditional keys entirely and with it, all the drawbacks associated with using them such as the keys being lost, stolen, or copied.
The most common authentication methods include key cards, key fobs, keypads, biometrics, and Bluetooth.
Smart locks are more secure and offer a higher level of control than their traditional counterparts. In addition to providing increased accessibility and higher security, they also allow the users to monitor and track access and usage, something that is next to impossible using keys.
With keys, you know that whoever has them has access to your property, but with smart locks, you not only control who enters the premises but can also know when the system was used.
Also, with the help of cloud technology, smart locks allow controlling and monitoring access from a remote location. You have the comfort of adding and removing access permissions, monitoring and tracking the access activity, and locking or unlocking the entire property with just a single tap.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST DOOR LOCKS?
When choosing the best door locks for your property, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
Lock gradings and ratings
Based on industry standards, locks are given gradings and ratings that determine the level of protection they offer. They are rated at Grades 1 to 3 with Grade 1 being the safest. Another marker of quality is the BSI Kitemark which shows that the locks meet the applicable and appropriate British standards for quality, safety, performance, and trust.
Type of door and lock
The four most common types of doors in the UK are UPVC, aluminium, timber, and composite. All locks are made different and are best suited to different types of doors which is why they must be chosen considering the hardware that they have to be combined with.
All locks are not created equal. Sometimes, the best way to choose an effective door lock is to opt for a good quality brand. Locking brands such as Chubb, Yale, Securikey, and Garrison have been in the security industry for years and are known to produce state-of-the-art products that never compromise on your security.
While it is not possible to put a price on your safety, how much you are willing to spend on your door locks will be a huge determining factor of the type of lock you choose for your property. It is always best to run a risk assessment and determine the level of protection you require along with the acceptable budget for it.
WHO CAN INSTALL THE LOCKS ON YOUR PROPERTY?
As discussed above, locks are an integral part of security which is why it is crucial that the right types of locks are used and that they are installed and maintained properly.
You need to be able to trust the locks you have on your property but you also need to be able to trust whoever installs them.
It is always best to have a professional locksmith work on your door locks since they are professionals in the field and provide a range of services that contribute to a property’s safety and security.
A professional locksmith has the required skill, expertise, and experience to work with all kinds of locking mechanisms and have adequate knowledge to recommend tailored solutions for each property.
They are up-to-date with the latest lock technologies and can perform a risk assessment of your existing locks and security measures to see if they comply with the industry standards or not.
They can be relied upon to provide a holistic package that includes not just installation but a variety of other services that include replacing, rekeying, and repairing locks on domestic and commercial properties.
Trained and certified locksmiths have specialised tools needed to carry out the job in the least amount of time with no or minimal damage to existing locks, doors, or windows. They also provide insurance coverage which means that any damages done to your locks or doors will be covered.
Depending on the type of your property, you may avail the services of either a residential or commercial locksmith.
Residential locksmiths are professionals who specialise in home locks and security. They are trained to work on residential properties, to understand the nature of risks and threats that they face, and give recommendations accordingly.
They do so much more than just install locks on the doors of your house. They help assess your security needs and provide tips on how to protect your home from unauthorised access.
Commercial locksmiths are professionals who work on larger commercial properties such as buildings, offices, schools, hotels, warehouses, and factories. They can cater to small residential properties as well and have specialised skills to provide solutions for commercial properties on a large scale.
A commercial locksmith not only opens and changes locks but also helps with a variety of other services that may include installing and servicing electronic and digital locks, and master keying.
CONTACT CALDER SECURITY
We at Calder Security are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA) since 1976 and can work on a wide range of locking mechanisms.
We specialise in wooden, UPVC, and aluminium doors, and are the official suppliers for leading lock brands including Chubb, Yale, Securikey, and Garrison.
In addition to installation services, our professional locksmiths also offer repair services for when the locks become damaged or develop faults.
We have an in-depth knowledge of all kinds of locks and can often repair them on site. We can also access locks that have become jammed, including safes, and can respond to your calls quickly which can be very useful if you’ve locked yourself out.
Using our state-of-the-art digital equipment, we can cut virtually any key including cylinder keys, mortice keys, dimple keys, Mul-T-Lock keys, padlock keys, locker keys, and safe keys to a high degree of accuracy without having to send them away to be cut.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 for the best door locks for your property!