Home security - do you know your locks?

Do you know your locks?

It is important that you know your door and window locks when applying for home insurance policies.

When filling out your home insurance policies, you often need to note down the type of locks fitted on your external doors and windows.

There should also be mention of how many locks there are - both at the back and front of your house - so that an insurance company can work out how likely it might be for the home to be broken into, thus devising how much the cover is going to cost.

If you put down the wrong type of lock into your insurance policy then you risk invalidating the cover if you are broken into and you seek to claim.

With that in mind, it is prudent that you are aware of the different types of locks there are around and what they look like. This should provide greater peace of mind, while also ensuring you won't put down the wrong lock when applying for cover.

These are the main types of lock:

  • Five-lever mortice deadlock
  • Five-lever mortice deadlock that conforms to BS 3621
  • Key-operated multi-point locking system
  • Rim automatic deadlatch with key-locking handle
  • Digital keyless locks
  • Five-lever mortice deadlock/BS3621

These locks are both the same, with the exception being that one has a British Standard kitemark on it. These are generally the gold standard of locks that the police recommend and insurers will like to see on your policy.
If you're thinking of changing locks then this should be high on your list of choices, such is the extra security that it adds.

Key-operated multi-point locking system

This also offers a high level of security with a rim system that bolts the door into the frame, to make it difficult to kick in.

It has a minimum of three locking points that all bolt simultaneously by the turn of the key. They are most commonly found on uPVC doors that are seen more often on newer homes and also on patio doors.

Rim automatic deadlatch with key-locking handle

These offer additional security at night, allowing the door to be locked more securely from the inside. A nightlatch is mounted on to the door instead of being morticed into it.

The size of the nightlatch required is often dependent on whether or not it is fitted to a panelled door.

Digital keyless locks

These allow people to unlock the front door by entering a simple code without the need for keys - but of course keep the PIN in your head and not on your person for someone to find.

You can create temporary codes to give other people access to your home when you want to and then delete the code after it is no longer needed.

Which lock is the best?

If you have any of the above locks, then you shouldn't have to worry too much about security because they are among the safest on the market.

Some insurers will distinguish between the locks and obviously the kitemarked items will be favoured.
It must be remembered that the lock you have on will only be as strong as the door that it is attached to.

Therefore, the type of door needs to be taken into consideration as well.

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