There’s more than one way to lock a door! Find out all you need to know about the different types of door locks commonly found in the home.
Deadbolts are one of the most common types of door locks for residential properties and are recommended for all external doors. That’s because they’re robust, reliable and secure. Made of super-strong steel, a deadbolt lock works by using a key to turn a bolt into place in the door jamb, keeping the door securely shut. There are several different types of deadbolt locks, including
- Single cylinder (operated by a handle on the inside and a key on the outside)
- Double cylinder (operated by keys on both sides of the door)
- Vertical (positioned on the top of the door rather than at the side)
Deadbolt locks are very difficult to force. If you have a deadbolt lock on your front door that requires a key to open from the inside, make sure you have a key at hand at all times, so that you can easily exit the building in case of emergency.
Mortice locks (sometimes known as ‘mortise’ locks) are a widespread type of door lock found in domestic properties. If you have a door with a keyhole large enough to peek through, you probably have a mortice lock. Most mortice locks work with levers: your key will have a number of bumps on it that operate 2, 3, 4 or 5 levers inside the lock, working to move a deadbolt in and out of place. For external doors, it’s recommended that you use a 5-lever mortice lock that complies with the British Standard BS 3621. As well as being important for security, this is often a condition of your home insurance.
Spring bolt locks and latches
Spring bolt locks are less secure than deadbolt locks. Operated via the door handle, they use a spring-loaded latch bolt to open the door when the handle is turned, and keep it shut when the door is closed. You might have a spring bolt lock on your front door, in addition to a mortice lock. It’s relatively easy to force a spring bolt lock, so you should always have an additional way to secure any external doors.
Digital combination locks are a handy way to provide security without a key. They’re more common in shared flats rather than separate houses, because they are convenient for access control to the communal hallway by giving residents the combination, rather than issuing lots of individual keys. Residential properties might also use digital combination locks if access is required by carers or other external professionals. (Alternatively, you might use a key safe for this purpose.)
Need a lock repaired or replaced? At Fort Locks, we’re experts at all types of door locks – and we’re here when you need us. Call us at any time of the day or night on 07976 359 552 for professional locksmith services in Hertfordshire and North London. Or read more about our domestic locksmith services.