Ensuring our doors are secure is one of the basics of protecting our homes and businesses. When it comes to security, a door’s effectiveness has a lot to do with its lock - of course, that’s only part of the picture. It’s also important to make sure other hardware, such as hinges or even the door itself, are sturdy and well maintained. There’s a huge choice of locks suited to varying requirements, which we’re going to cover here.
When looking for the best lock for front and back doors, the choice is wide, but by going through the benefits of each, we can help you find the best option for your needs.
The Euro cylinder lock, originally known as the ‘pin tumbler lock’, has been around for around 200 years, and is one of the most common door locks in use today. It uses a simple mechanism, whereby the key rotates an internal cam, which drives a deadbolt into the doorframe. They’re simply replaced by loosening a set screw, so there’s no need to replace the whole surrounding hardware.
Common fitting, cylinder can be replaced without changing surrounding hardware.
Private and commercial properties.
Night latches are similar to rim locks in that they are fixed to the inside-facing side of the door. Unless set to remain open, night latches lock automatically with a bolt which can be unlocked from the inside, or from the outside with a key. Models with deadbolts provide a more secure lock, but it’s advised that a night latch is paired with a mortice deadlock for improved security. You might well be familiar with the broadly used brand of night latch, the Yale lock.
Standard sizing, common fitting, easily replaceable.
Private and commercial properties.
Mortice locks are fitted into a deep recess in the door, making them incredibly difficult to remove. They also operate through a more complicated mechanism than a standard cylinder lock; they have a deadbolt that provides a solid block to hold the door to the frame, along with a standard door bolt, which can also be locked. Among the most secure designs are five-lever mortice locks. When the key is turned, each lever moves to unlock the door. This means that without the key it’s not possible to unlock from the outside.
Durable, long lasting, very secure.
Commercial properties, some residential properties.
One of the oldest locking mechanisms in the world, rim locks for doors have been with us since the Medieval era. They’re known to bear ornate and stylised designs that also make them a decorative feature themselves. Rim locks are fastened directly to the door, without being recessed or needing to have a cylinder space cut through the door. It’s important to note that rim locks are often used in tandem with other door handles and locking systems. They act as a back-up if someone is leaving the property and forgets to lock up. They’re generally not sufficient alone as the sole security measure.
Easily fitted, provides automatic locking, can be fitted to doors too thin for other locking mechanisms.
Residential properties, internal/bedroom doors in shared apartments.
Keypad locks work by sending an electrical impulse that activates the door bolt when the correct code has been tapped in. Although you’re unlikely to see a keypad door lock very often in residential properties, they tend to appear in places that need to be kept private, or away from the general public.
As keypad door locks don’t require a physical key for unlocking, there’s no need to have new copies made or the mechanism replaced. Codes can be changed for extra security.
Commercial properties, staff and storage areas.
Locks are the first thing we think of when it comes to door security, however other hardware can be just as essential to keep properties safe and secure. For this reason, fitting further equipment such as a door closer will improve the security of a building.
In areas that see a lot of footfall, such as corridors and entranceways, it’s easy to pass through a door and leave it open. Door closers make sure the door is always closed, deterring opportunistic thieves. Door closers are also essential for helping to ensure safety standards are met when keeping fire doors closed.
For doorways that are designated for emergency exits, especially fire escapes, panic bolts and bars help to keep the door closed from the outside. Panic bolts and latches are designed to be easily opened by being shoved at waist height to leave the building quickly.
Mostly designed for outdoor use, such as sheds, garden storage and gates, the padlock is a commonly used and versatile solution. Available options are key or combination padlocks, or heavy-duty padlocks can really slow down someone attempting to break in.
Security door chains give residents more confidence when answering the door to strangers, allowing it to open a little way to talk through. While it’s not secure enough when used in isolation, door chains are a good idea for vulnerable and elderly people in particular.
For anyone renting a property for breaks and holidays, the key safe is incredibly useful. These are simply secured to a safe place outside, the key is placed inside, and the safe is locked with a combination. This gives an agreed party access to building through a code, removing the need to meet with the owner or guardian.
Order door locks for a large property project, mortice locks and keypads for commercial properties, or devices to lock up your shed or gate. You’ll find each of these locks and security devices available online now.