Nothing is more confusing than selecting door locks. The door is the first line of defence against burglars. Hence, it is crucial to choose the right types of door lock with high quality and durability to keep our houses secure. Yet, it is often difficult because of the numerous terminologies used to describe them, none of which is intuitive. So, here is the ultimate guide that will help you navigate through the confusion.
- Night latches
- Mortice deadlocks
- Mortice sash deadlocks
- Multipoint locks
- FinBolt mortice automatic deadbolt
In this blog, we list five types of door lock commonly used in London and explain how they work, whether they are insurance rated (or insurance approved), and their advantages and disadvantages. We will help you to choose the perfect door lock to protect your house and your loved ones.
1. Night latches
A night latch (also known as a 'Yale lock') is one of the types of door lock commonly used in the wooden front or back doors. It is fitted on the inner surface of the door and regularly used in conjunction with another lock, typically a mortice deadbolt. There are four types of night latch; standard night latch, deadlocking night latch, auto deadlock night latch, and auto-deadbolt night latch.
Standard night latch
The latch is lockable from inside
Deadlocking night latch
The latch is lockable from both sides
Auto deadlock night latch
The latch automatically locks
Auto deadbolt night latch
Bolt automatically locks
How do night latches work?
All night latches have a spring-loaded latch that keeps the door closed. They are operated from the outside using a key and from the inside via a handle that you push firmly down or twist.
- A standard night latch has a latch that can be opened from the outside with the key. Then at night, if the snib button is pushed up, the latch is locked in position and cannot be unlocked from the outside with a key.
- A deadlocking night latch is the same as a standard night latch, except you can turn the key on the outside one full turn that will lock the latch in the closed position. You will not be able to open the lock from the inside as the handle will be disabled.
- An auto-deadlocking night latch deadlocks the latch automatically when the door is shut. Some models allow the inside handle to be locked in position with a key such that a key is required to unlock the handle to exit.
- An auto deadbolt night latch is a high-security lock that has a bolt rather than a latch that deadbolts automatically when the door is shut.
Are night latches insurance rated?
Insurance providers often specify that you must fit a British Standard compliant night latch that meets the requirements of BS3621 (e.g. operated by a key from outside and inside). You can check if a lock is British Standard compliant when it has a kitemark and standard number on the side of the lock. When it comes to insurance, most providers would prefer the night latch is used in conjunction with other types of locks (commonly mortice deadlocks) as an additional security measure.
What are the advantages of night latches?
- Night latches are easy to use and shut behind you.
- The snib can be used to lock the night latch in the open position. So, it is handy when you are popping back in and out and you do not want the door to lock.
What are the disadvantages of night latches
- A standard night latch is not sufficient on its own and will require an additional lock fitted, such as a mortice deadlock.
- With the standard and deadlock night latches, people often misperceive the door as locked when in reality it is just shut. Whilst it is possible to lock the latch in position on a deadlocking at night latch, this requires the user to be in the habit of manually locking it every time.
- If a key is used to deadlock the night latch, it is possible to lock someone in.
2. Mortice deadlocks
A mortice deadlock (also known as a mortice deadbolt), is usually recessed into the edge of front or back doors and used in conjunction with a night latch. A mortice deadlock can also be used on its own, particularly on doors you want to be kept locked at all times.
Mortice deadlock with lever
Key used for entry & exit
Mortice deadlock with euro cylinder key
| Mortice deadlock with euro cylinder thumb turn
Key used for entry & thumb turn for exit
How do mortice deadlocks work?
Mortice deadlocks require manual locking from inside and outside. A euro cylinder thumb turn allows locking or unlocking without keys from the inside by turning the knob. This allows keyless exit at all times.
Are mortice deadlocks insurance rated?
Yes, but for the external entrance door, you need to make sure that the lock that you bought is a British Standard five-lever mortice lock that conforms to the requirements of BS3621. The locks that meet BS3621 requirements should have a kitemark and standard number on the side of the lock. The more lever (number of indentations on the key) a mortice lock has, the more secure it is. Hence, the five-lever mortice lock is the insurance approved lock for the external entrance door that is vulnerable to attack. Whilst three-lever mortice locks are fitted internally as insurance rated locks where less security is needed. For example, three-lever mortice locks can be used on doors from the garage leading into your home.
What is the advantage of using mortice deadlocks?When locked, the bolt makes it very secure against burglar techniques such as drilling and picking.
What are the disadvantages of using mortice deadlocks?
- Most people are too busy to use manual deadlocks, leaving them vulnerable to burglary. A burglar can tell within seconds whether you have locked your deadbolt by pushing the bottom of the door with their knee.
- With deadlocks operated by a key from both outside and inside, it is possible to lock someone inside, and homeowners are required to use keys to manually lock and unlock every time the door is used.
3. Mortice Sash Deadlocks
A mortice sash deadlock (also known as a mortice sash deadbolt) is one of the types of door lock used in the wooden front or back doors, fitted into the edge of the door.
Mortice sash deadlock with lever key
Key used for entry & exit
Mortice sash deadlock with euro cylinder key
Key used for entry & exit
Mortice deadlock with euro cylinder thumb turn
Key used for entry & thumb turn for exit
How do mortice sash deadlocks work?
Sash fixtures include a handle to operate a doorway latch and a manual deadlock. The latch ensures the door stays closed even if it is not locked. Whilst the deadlock requires manual locking from inside and outside. Additionally, a euro cylinder thumb turn allows locking or unlocking without keys from the inside by turning the thumb turn knob. This allows keyless exit at all times.
Are mortice sash deadlocks insurance rated?
Yes. But again, make sure that you bought British Standard mortice sash deadlocks that conforms to the BS3621 requirements.
What is the advantage of mortice sash deadlocks?
Mortice sash deadlocks are popular door locks because they hold the door closed on the latch rather than requiring them to be locked just to hold the door closed.
What are the disadvantages of mortice sash deadlocks?
- Most people are too busy to use this lock leaving them vulnerable to burglary. Most burglars are opportunists and it is common for them to test handles to see if the doors have been left unlocked.
- With deadlocks operated by a key from both the outside and inside, it is possible to lock someone inside, and homeowners are required to use keys to manually lock and unlock every time the door is used.
- Because the latch ensures the door stays closed even if it is not locked, it is easy to forget to lock the deadlock.
4. Multipoint locks
A multipoint lock is commonly used for front and back doors, and patio or french doors made of uPVC, composite or aluminium. It is fitted into the body of the door frame at 3, 4, or 5 points.
How do multipoint locks work?
Multipoint locks are operated with keys from inside and outside. You should lift the handle and turn the key to lock the door at multiple points in the frame.
Are multipoint locks insurance rated?
Yes, only if the cylinder is SS312 diamond approved or if the cylinder is TS007 3-star or 1-star cylinder with handles.
What are the advantages of multipoint locks?
- The door is secured at multiple points.
- Only one cylinder to open and lock every time you leave or enter.
- It is easy to change the cylinder.
What are the disadvantages of multipoint locks?
- Having only one cylinder means there is just one barrier for a burglar to get through.
- It requires the homeowner to get keys to manually lock and unlock every time the door is used.
- It is easy to leave the door unlocked as the latch ensures the door stays closed even if it is not locked. You must remember to Lift-Lock-Remove.
- The processes of locking and unlocking are such a hassle. Most people are too busy to use this lock, leaving them vulnerable to burglary. Whilst burglaries are opportunist thieves who are eager to test handles to see if the doors have been left unlocked.
- Modern multi-locking and uPVC doors have been prone to cylinder snapping where the cylinder is exposed and can be broken off. Homeowners should make sure to choose an anti-snap cylinder to standards.
5. FinBolt mortice automatic deadbolt
FinBolt mortice automatic deadbolt (FinBolt) is recessed into the wooden front or back doors on the top and bottom of the door.
How do FinBolts work?
FinBolt combines the best aspects of many locks to create the ultimate lock. FinBolt automatically deadbolts on the closure of the door, thus, providing automatic ultra-security. Other than that, FinBolt is morticed for extra security and discretion. This lock can be used as a night latch on the top of the door or as an automatic deadbolt on the bottom of the door. Once locked, it is openable from the inside with a thumb turn, allowing easy and quick exit in the case of emergencies.
Are FinBolts insurance rated?
Yes. FinBolt is a BS8621 compliant lock fitted with elegant door furniture and thumb turn for a guaranteed exit. It is available as part of BS3621 kitemarked, insurance-compliant FinBolt Dual door set or FinBolt Triple door sets.
FinBolt British Standard compliant
What are the advantages of FinBolts?
- These locks automatically deadbolt when the door is closed, making them the most secure and convenient deadlock. Homeowners no longer need to remember to manually deadlock every time they enter or exit.
- FinBolt is a unique failsafe mechanism, meaning that the bolt will never trigger prematurely. This means FinBolt, unlike most models of automatic deadbolt, will never bang against the door frame. Hence, keeping your door frame and lock in a good condition.
What is the disadvantage of FinBolts?
These locks are more expensive than manual mortice deadbolt locks. However, it is a perfect choice for busy homeowners looking for automatic, elegant, ultra high-security locks to secure their houses effortlessly. The truth is, a high-quality locks are a worthwhile investment. It is better safe than sorry. Burglaries cost £3,030 on average that is accumulated from the damages and the stolen belongings, not to mention the emotional costs.
Choosing your locks with FinFort