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Quick Guide to your locks

Some home insurance policies need you to know what kind of door lock types you have. Our helpful guide is your key to identifying what you have in your home and garden.

  1. Mortice locks

Mortice deadlocks are one of the most common type of locks referred to in a policy. A mortice lock requires a key to both lock and open it. Your home insurer may ask that it complies with British Standard BS3621.

  • External use, harder to break design
  • Check for the Kitemark symbol
  • Check for at least five levers marked on face plate
  1. Nightlatches

You may know these as ‘secondary locks’. In general, they come in two forms: standard nightlatches and deadlocking nightlatches.

  • Standard – locks the door automatically unless you use the snib to hold the latch back
  • Deadlocking – locks automatically and needs a key to open the door from inside and outside
  • Deadlocking latches are more secure
  • Extra security – should not be sole lock on the door
  1. Multi-point locking systems

Multi-point locking systems are now commonly used and are found mainly on UPVC doors. A multi-point locking system has a minimum of three locking points that all lock simultaneously with the turn of a key.

  • External use, garage and patio doors
  • Minimum three locking points
  • Locks using hook bolts, camrollers or pins
  • All points lock simultaneously
  1. Cylinder locks

Cylinder locks are a common type of lock found on doors. You would need to check with your home insurer whether this type of lock is acceptable as some types of cylinder locks are vulnerable to a technique known as lock snapping.

  • Internal and external use
  • Easy to install
  • UPVC and composite friendly
  • Check lock for Kitemark or ES symbol
  1. Sliding patio doors

Sliding patio doors may be referred to specifically in a policy as the lock requirements will slightly differ from that of a standard door. Sliding patio doors can be vulnerable as they can be lifted off their runners.

  • Open onto garden or into conservatory
  • Key-operated multi-point locking systems or key-operated patio door locks at top and bottom – check your home insurance policy wording
  • An anti-lift device may be required
  1. Key-operated security bolts

Commonly used on external doors, including French and double doors. Your policy may specify that key-operated security bolts should be fitted to the top and bottom of the door.

  • Can be surface-mounted or fitted into the door
  • For French and double doors these should be fitted to the final closing door and positioned vertically
  • Surface-mounted bolts are only as strong as the screws which hold them in place
  • A mortice bolt is more secure than a surface mounted bolt. If the key is removed, the bolt cannot be opened or easily manipulated
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