Home External Door Security Hardware Explained
Keeping your home secure is a top priority for all homeowners. Not only is your home your greatest asset, especially if you have a mortgage, but it holds all your personal belongings, keepsakes and possessions.
If anything was to happen to your home, from fire, damage from natural disasters, flooding or break-ins, you could stand to lose more than just a few belongings.
It’s important to ensure that you hold both contents and property insurance for your home and invest in quality security measures to ensure those you want to keep out – stay out.
When you are looking to invest in security for your home, like any home renovation, you can become quickly overwhelmed with the different terminology and variations available. Without guidance, what should have been a quick journey to the local hardware store, or a few minutes of online shopping becomes a huge slog of researching and seeking advice?
To make things easier, we’ve put together the following guide on the types of security hardware to invest in for your home and what functions the different variations serve;
External Door Security Tips
Your external doors are the first point of entry into your home and without sufficient security, can be a major security flaw.
Glass doors and adjacent borders can look the part but unless you are making use of toughened security glass (which can increase the final cost of any project) the glass portion of your door/entryway presents a security risk and can be smashed through for quick access or to unlock the door from the inside.
A solid wooden door provides additional levels of security and is much harder to knock through the main portion of the door. However, a door is only as good as the hardware you use, so ensure you get the best security locks and quality door hinges for your property.
Different Types of Door Locks
There are many different types of door locks available but the types you would use for domestic home security are usually rated in security levels by the number of internal levers they have or for multi-point locking systems, the number of locking points they have. For instance, a 5-lever or 5-point door lock is harder to pick than a 3-lever or 3-point door lock.
The most common type of lock used on front doors, a mortice deadlock requires a key to open from either side of the door and should be rated to BS3621 to accommodate insurer requirements. Mortice deadlocks can include toughened plates in their design, making it near impossible to drill through the lock plate.
A night latch is used to describe a type of lock that includes a locking latch that secures automatically when the door is closed unless the latch has been manually set to open. Some mortice locks include an additional night latch however shouldn’t be used as the sole type of lock and instead supported by a bolt or non-latched deadlock.
Multi-Point Locking Systems
As the name suggests, multi-point locking systems are a key type lock that uses several bolts to secure the door in multiple places, usually at the top, bottom and middle. These types of locking systems are most popular on UPVC and composite doors, providing high levels of security for plastic, flexible doors that can otherwise be bent around a single locking point but can also be used on timber and metal doors.
Key Operated Security Bolts
The next step up in security from surface attached door bolts – which are usually only as strong as the screws used to install them. Key operated security bolts are installed into the material of the door, provide improved levels of security and are almost impenetrable when used alongside another high-security lock such as a mortice deadlock.
When upgrading or fitting new external door locks in your home, make sure to check any home insurance requirements and how these could affect a future claim. For example, your insurance may refuse to pay out after a burglary if they require a minimum of 5-lever deadlocks rated to BS3621, but you only have a non-BS-rated mortice deadlock installed. If in doubt, talk to a local locksmith who can advise the best security hardware for your property and ensure you keep your belongings in and sticky hands, out!