Night Time Security Advice – Think Burglary Prevention and Fire Safety!
Do you know how best to secure your front door at night time? So many people I meet don’t! As a North London based locksmith specialising in emergency burglary repairs and lock fitting services in London I am all too aware of the dangers of poor night time security. The recent case of burglary in Barnet resulting in the death of a pensioner is devastating.
In this article in The Guardian a reformed criminal suggests how to protect your home and yourself from intruders.
When securing your front door it’s important to think about burglary prevention, fire safe front door locks and insurance approved locks. Here I advise how to cover all bases.
How I Recommend you Secure Your Doors at Night and Why
As a VERY MINIMUM I would suggest you have;
- A Cylinder Lock (Yale)
- A 5 Lever Mortice Deadlock (Chubb) that conforms to BS3621
There are a number of locks to consider …. I will describe each and how they meet requirements from 3 perspectives;
- Home Fire Safety
- Insurance Validation
These 3 aspects must be considered in conjunction with each other when securing any door. I will give you an overview of the efficacy of each lock type.
For top fire safety tips from The London Fire Brigade click here. This is the go to place for fire safety advice.
Night latch (Yale) Review
A night latch (many call it a Yale lock) serves a purpose and that is to lock the door automatically when it is pushed shut.
- It can be opened easily from the inside without the use of a key making it good from a fire safety perspective.
- It is NOT the most secure lock from a burglary prevention perspective.
- It isn’t sufficient on its own for insurance purposes.
My next post will explain exactly why a lever (Chubb) lock is more secure than a Cylinder (Yale) lock.
If you are burgled and have only used your night latch your insurance company will not honour your claim!
Mortice (Chubb) Lock Review
A regular 5 lever mortice dead lock needs to be locked and unlocked with the use of a key.
- It is one of the most secure locks and it is what insurance companies require to validate a home contents insurance policy.
If you have been burgled and have a mortice lock on your door but have not actually locked it your insurance policy will not pay out! This applies at night time as well as during the day.
You can read more about insurance approved locks here.
- The disadvantage of this lock is that if you lock it with a key at night time and there is a fire you will need to locate the key before you can open the door.
This can be a serious fire safety issue! The answer is to keep the key in a particular place and ensure that everyone in the house knows exactly where it is!
- A mortice lock is an absolute NO NO for a communal door and if a lock of this type is being used on a communal door it does not meet safety regulations.
Thumb Turn Lock Review
This lock can be locked by turning a knob inside the door by hand. It can also be locked from outside with the use of a key.
- The advantage of a thumb turn lock in the event of a fire is that there is no need to locate a key to escape the property.
- Most thumb turn locks do not meet BS3621 insurance requirements; however there are some thumb turn locks which meet BS8621 which may be used in new build flats.
Using a thumb turn lock in addition to a night latch significantly reduces the likelihood of being burgled. Using 2 locks makes an intruder’s job much more difficult!
How I Secure My Front Door as a Locksmith
The key is to use a combination of the locks mentioned above to achieve optimum security for all aspects – home security, fire safety and insurance. On my front door I have all 3 locks.
Of course my night latch always locks automatically.
When out during the day;
I ALWAYS lock my mortice lock – insurance requirement!
Night time door security;
I ALWAYS lock my thumb turn lock and the mortice – with an easy access key nearby.
When I go on holiday;
I lock both the standard mortice lock and the thumb turn mortice lock.
When I’m in The House
I lock the thumb turn.
By doing these things I know my family are safe and secure! I also know that I am covered from an insurance perspective.
I would advise anyone to do the same and follow these front door security tips.
It is never too early to educate your children about security and safety in the home. Here are tips on home safety for children in a child friendly poem format.
If you are based in the North London area and don’t have the minimum requirement for front door security please get in touch with me. At IKS Locksmiths we are MLA approved locksmiths providing high quality security and exceptional prices.