Common Compliancy Questions
- What are the differences between the main types of locks specified in insurance policies, eg five-lever mortice deadlock, key-operated multi-point locking system, rim automatic deadlatch? And, importantly, how do you know what type of lock you have?
A five-lever mortice deadlock is operated by a key and fitted on and into the side of timber doors. These locks are usually fitted about halfway up the door and the faceplate of the lock will have the British standard kite mark logo visible. Homeowners may also have a five-lever mortice sash lock, this is the same as a mortice deadbolt in that the key operates the deadlock but it also features a handle to retract the latch bolt.
If you have a uPVC or composite door then it is likely that you’ll have a key operated multipoint locking system. It is fitted into the side of the door and runs the whole height of the door. It will have multiple locking points along the length of the lock that will lock into the door frame when closed. The cylinder that locks the door is fitted through the door. If the cylinder has the British standard kite mark visible on the inner edge of the door then the cylinder has passed British standard BSEN 1303.
Rim automatic deadlatches are usually fitted on timber doors at about head height. These locks are fitted on the inside of the door with a rim (round cylinder) fitted through the door connecting to the rim deadlatch, which is visible on the outside of the door. These can be locked or unlocked with a key from the inside or outside of the door. If the dead latch lock has a kite mark showing on the faceplate, then the lock has been tested to BS3621.
- Which types of lock are suited to which purpose – and should you have more than one different type of lock on the same door for added security and/or convenience?
If you have a uPVC or composite door then it is likely you’ll have a key-operated multi-point locking system. For key-operated multi-point locking systems, there are two additional security features that could be added to the door.
They are door chains, so the door can be opened enough to see who is at the door but not allowing the person access to the house, or a door viewer. This would be fitted through the door to allow the person inside the property to view who is standing outside.
For timber doors with five-lever mortice locks and automatic deadlatch locking, the door can also benefit from these same additional security features.
- What standards should people look for in a lock?
For cylinders, homeowners should look for BS3621, PAS3621, BSEN1303 and BSI TS007.
For most first fit multi-point locks these are tested as part of a whole door set system and homeowners should look out for testing to PAS24. However, if they were to replace just the multi-point lock element of the door then the standard they would need to look for would be PAS3621.
- Should you change the locks when you buy a new property?
Homeowners should always change the locks when moving into a new property. In fact, most insurances will be null and void if it is found that access was gained by entry with a key (no signs of forced entry)
- What is the best way to keep track of keys if you are a landlord? For instance, registered key systems that should prevent unauthorised copying.
The best way for a landlord to keep track of keys and ensure tenant security is to use a Master Key/patented key system or section depending on the manufacturer. Using a system like this means that the landlord holds the Master Key and ‘owns’ the suite, allowing them to manage the distribution keys.
This means that these keys cannot be cut at any high street or online locksmith or key cutting company, they can only be obtained at the request of the landlord from the manufacturer, this stops any tenants getting additional keys cut without the landlords’ knowledge.
If a tenant leaves then the landlord can simply order a new cylinder and key to add to the suite.
The key blank will not be released until the patent has run out and in that instance, the landlord should then upgrade their system.