Why are you getting a new key?
When considering purchasing a new lock it is worth considering a few points to avoid a costly mistake or worst still, leave your home and/or place of business vulnerable to unwanted visitors. It is always good practice to have new locks fitted to your private and/or business premises, every time you move. After all, you have no idea how many other people have a copy of the key!
Are your locks insurance approved?
Insurance approved locks on external doors need to either be a mortise deadlock with at least 5 levers or be graded at British Standard BS3621: 1998 or a higher specification. However, you should always check your personal insurance documents with each annual review, in order to ensure that you are fully compliant with the specifications laid out by your insurance firm.
What type of external door is the lock for?
Depending on the material from which your door is constructed, will depend on what kind of lock you can opt for. If you have a wooden door, then you can have either a multi-lever mortise lock (5 lever minimum is advised), cylinder lock or night latch. With uPVC and aluminium doors however, it is not possible to fit a mortise lock due to the nature of the frame and material from which the door is made. There are high security, anti snap and anti bump locks now available though which make these types of doors much more secure.
Is the lock for an internal door?
If so, what is the purpose of the lock? Is it purely for privacy reasons, for example a toilet door? Or is the lock to protect valuable home/office equipment like an expensive computer? A simple bolt may well be enough of a locking mechanism on a toilet/bathroom door, which could easily be purchased from a DIY store and fitted yourself. If, however, you require a more substantial restraint to guard pricey electronics it is advisable that you consult a professional locksmith to fit a suitable internal lock. 2 or 3 lever locks offer a fair amount of protection internally, combined with excellent locks on your external doors and windows. There is also the option of an access control lock whereby you need to input a code to open the door. This is very useful if many different people require access, e.g. in an office environment, and with more sophisticated systems you can tell who has entered the room and when.
NB It is worth noting that thumb turn locks on internal doors can, in certain circumstances, invalidate your insurance if you are unlucky enough to be a victim of fire. Always check with your insurance company to ensure that the locks you have fitted within your property meet any necessary specifications.
Master Keys and Restricted Keys
It is possible to have a restricted key system should you require another level of security for the locks within your property. This means that no copies of your keys can be made without your prior consent. However, would this work for you in the work place? Remember that nobody can get a key copied without your written consent so that would require planning in advance.
Keyed alike systems are very useful in a home/work environment where there are a lot of doors that require locks. Instead of having to manage a large bunch of keys, one key fits all. Or however many keys you decide will work for your needs. It could be that you would like management staff to have access to all doors, genera staff can open only certain doors, visitors only have access to one door etc etc.
There are a wide variety of window security products on the market which basically fall into one of the following 3 categories:
Sash windows – locks and stops
Casement windows – locks, stays and fasteners
Other window types – Requiring universal multi bolt window locks.
Ensure that you fit window locks to all of your windows and not just the ground floor ones.
You get what you pay for!
Do not be fooled into thinking that you are saving money by purchasing cheap or even worse second hand locks. In the first instance, cheap locks will invariably not meet your insurer’s requirements, thus making your insurance invalid. In the second instance, having bought a second hand lock you have absolutely no guarantee that you have all the keys for that particular lock. Having that lock fitted would mean that you are then leaving your home/business premises accessible to anyone with a key!
DIY locksmithing is generally not a good idea. It is, to be frank, a complete false economy. Guarding your property and keeping the contents of it safe is extremely important, so investment in the skilled fitting of good quality locks is essential. You wouldn’t take out your own appendix, would you? By the same token, scrimping on the protection of your most prized possessions is equally unwise.
Should you require any assistance with your home and/or work place security then you can either view our added security page or get in touch with Leading Locksmiths directly.
Call 0208 977 4886
With thanks for the photograph of the Digital Lock to Waycool27 at the English Wikipedia project and Pethrus for the photograph of the antique lock under the Creative Commons 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.