This guide looks at various timber doors and the best ways to lock them.
Doors are the first priority when securing your home. It is best to have a solid door but many (partly) hollow doors are strong enough. If your wooden door is obviously of a very poor standard, you should think about a new door before spending money on locks.
Good quality deadlocks can be installed when a new door is fitted and this may save you money in the end.
Many homes have deadlocks fitted by the builders and require no additional locks. If you can lock your door on both sides, you have a deadlock. This will satisfy your insurance company requirements. The idea is that if a burglar enters through a window it is difficult to get your belongings out if the doors are locked on the inside.
If you have a locking doorknob (entrance set) and wish to make the door more secure the best lock is a deadbolt. Deadbolts have a longer and stronger bolt than an entrance set. The bold retracts inside the door when unlocked making the door very simple to use as it can be closed but unlocked. You are also less likely to lock yourself out.
If you have an old-fashioned night latch (Yale lock), the best replacement is a deadlatch. A Lockwood or Whitco deadlatch will usually fit in the hole the night latch has come out of.
Deadlatches lock automatically when the door is closed (as long as the bolt is not held back). The lock suits busy households where some people cannot be bothered using a key to lock the door from the outside. The double cylinder deadlatches a key lock on the inside so the door can either be left locked or unlocked on the inside. It is easier to lock yourself out with this type of deadlock.
In Case of Fire
In case of fire, or other emergency, you should be able to get out of your house easily, preferably without needing to find a key. If you feel you need to have your door key locked on the inside when you are home, either leave a key in the lock or have a key where you can easily find it (even in the dark).
Double cylinder deadlocks mean that if glass in or near the door is broken, a burglar cannot reach in and open the door from the inside as long as the door is locked on the inside.
Security doors and peepholes are handy as you can see who is at the door without letting them in. Security doors are good for fresh air but are not as secure as a good wooden door with a deadlock.
Double timber doors, or French doors, are best secured with concealed bolts or locking bolts on the inside. If the door is used as an entrance, the side that usually stays closed needs to be very secure or the effectiveness of any deadlock will be compromised. The best deadlock for double doors is the Lockwood 355 as it locks both doors together.
When locking your home there is usually a trade off between security and convenience. Deadlocks need to be easy to operate so your home is both safe and secure.
© Mark McLean 2010
Fremantle Lock Service
Stirling Highway, North Fremantle 6159
Tel: 0409 086 497