Home ImprovementDifferent Types of Door Locks – a Fantastic Guide (+ Illustrations)
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Thinking of having a new door or window fitted?
Well, if you opt for one with a lock approved by the home insurance industry, you can land yourself a pretty good discount. But discounts aside, approved locks come with added security and insurance, so even if you’re not looking to save some money, they are totally worth it. As some people say, you can’t put a price on security.
So, in this post, we’ll be looking at which types of locks are insurance-approved and what you need to know about them.
The types of locks that insurance providers want you to have in your home are the British Standard (BS) 3621 ones. These locks are designed, tested, and approved by British Standards to meet UK homes’ security standards and are essential for those of you who want to keep your front door security up to date.
These kinds of locks offer anti-theft protection and are quite respected in the security industry. And that is why if a break-in occurs when you have one of these installed, home insurers will be more likely to reimburse you for the damages.
As is the case with many other products and hardware, locks are first tested and then certified to a specific standard and grade, depending on their intended use.
The standard refers to how secure a given lock is. However, in some cases, it can also relate to the lock’s durability. You can find your lock’s standard either on the lock itself, the key, or the lock’s original packaging.
Here are some common lock standards in the UK:
There are three main types of door locks and one type of window lock that do well with insurance companies. However, even if you already have such approved locks fitted, be sure to always lock them, as your insurance company won’t cover you if the door or window that a burglar went through was open to begin with.
British Standard 5-lever mortice locks are cut into the door and have a hardened steel plate fitted onto the case. They come with a 14 or 20mm bolt (depending on whether your BS3621 is a new or old one) with a fixed in place keeper. These locks are amongst the most common insurance-approved locks and are most commonly fitted on wooden doors.
If you want to fit a BS 5-lever mortice lock into your door, however, you’ll first have to make sure that it’s thick enough. There should be more than enough timber left on each side of the lock.
If you’re wondering which uPVC door locks are Insurance approved, well it’s these ones. A key-operated multi-point locking system is more advanced than a five-lever mortice lock, as it has multiple locking hooks and a deadbolt on both the top and the bottom. These types of locks are also commonly seen on composite doors.
These types of locks are at a bit of a disadvantage when compared to 5 lever mortice locks. Since they are not morticed into the door, but are mounted on the surface, they are far less secure. Such locks should only be installed if the door isn’t thick enough for a 5 lever mortice type.
To be covered by your insurance company, all ground floor and easily accessible windows need to have key-operated window locks installed. These aren’t a requirement for uPVC windows, as they have a handle which is used for opening and closing the windows.
However, when it comes to wooden, metal, or even older uPVC windows that don’t have locking handles, it’s essential you get additional window locks fitted, which come with a lockable key.
In addition to installing locks, there are also other measures you could apply to increase the level of window security in your home, such as installing window bars, sash jammers, etc. And, of course, make sure you never leave these windows unlocked when you’re away from the property.
When it comes to protecting patio doors, a key-operated multipoint locking system is a great choice. It will secure the door with up to 5 locking points, all of which can be activated with a single turn of a key.
Also, installing a bi-fold patio door is the best way to keep your patio safe. Not only does it open up to a better view than the standard sliding door, but it’s also more secure.
The reason for this is that sliding doors can be easily lifted off their track, leaving your whole property exposed. An added benefit of bi-fold patio doors is that they can be fitted with a key-operated lock for added security.
Finding out if the locks on your windows and doors are BS3621 standard ones is quite easy. Just inspect your lock’s faceplate for the British Standard Institution (BSI) Kitemark.
Bear in mind that this kite sign somewhat resembles a heart. If your lock is an insurance-approved one, you should see a BS3621 script below the kite sign, engraved on the plate.
The short answer is, yes, insurance-approved locks are totally worth it.
But why? Well, we’ll look at that below.
Doors and windows fitted with insurance-approved locks not only reduce the risks of burglary but on the off chance your house is actually broken into, any damages from the break-in will be properly covered by your insurance company.
However, if you do not currently have insurance-approved locks installed throughout your home, it is normal to be hesitant to do so. They are somewhat of an expensive investment when you count the fitting, as well.
But whether you are a homeowner or landlord, it’s an investment that will pay off in the long run. Just think about it, how would you feel if your precious belongings got stolen, broken, or damaged by burglars? Changing your locks can prevent that, and if they can’t, they can at least get you some insurance money.
We at Fantastic Services can replace or install any type of lock you want, including those that comply with your insurance policy. If you’re looking to have a BS3621 type lock installed in your door, we can easily and quickly do that for you.
And if you want more details about our locksmith prices, check out our blog post on the matter!
Find a reliable locksmith in London to take care of your home safety and security.
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