Doors and windows should be your primary concern when keeping your family and your home safe. While a lot of technology, like Boundary’s smart alarm system with police response, will ensure the police arrive if a break-in occurs, the locks can help prevent the break-in from happening in the first place.
Ensuring your home has the best locks as well as door & window sensors is another way to deter thieves from breaking in. Read on for expert advice on how best to protect your home with the right locks.
7 Best Door Locks to Keep Your Home Safe
1. Smart lock
Smart door locks on the front door bring your home security into the 21st century. A smart door lock is a door lock with a brain that removes the possibility of losing the key and permits trusted people to open your front door without having to be there in person. To lock and unlock your door, you’ll simply use an app on an external device, like a smartphone.
Technology – Smart locks can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet, meaning no more keys. They can also be connected to other smart devices and systems, for example, the ability to connect your smart lock with the Boundary IFTTT applet.
Convenience – With a smart lock, you don’t need to be present to permit access to your home.
Technology – Smart locks rely on either mains power or a battery. Some may worry that in the event of a power cut or loss of battery life they won’t have access to their home, however, many smart locks can also be unlocked using a mechanical key.
Price – Smart locks are more expensive than traditional door locks.
2. Digital/electronic lock
An electronic/digital locking system is another upgrade for your front door lock. Like a smart lock, you can forget about keys. But, rather than locking and unlocking your door using your smartphone, a digital locking system can be opened using a fingerprint, a numerical pin code, a combination of the two, or simply with your voice.
Security – Your fingerprint and voice are pick-proof and much more challenging to get around than a metal key.
Customisable – You can choose your home’s key and change it as often as you like.
Tracking – Digital/electronic locks will remember every entry, so you know who entered your home and when.
Usability – Works incredibly well for the elderly, disabled, and children in your home because they are so easy to use.
Price – These are some of the most expensive options.
Design – Some digital/electronic locks are mains powered and the locking system may not operate in a power failure. However, digital and electric locks often come with a manual key that can be used in these instances.
3. Mortice deadlocks
Mortice locks, also known as mortice sash locks or a lever mortice, are one of the original types of door lock. Simply a locking bolt that is installed inside of the front door, a lever mortice is separate from the doorknob. With a properly fitted mortice lock, the front door or door frame is more likely to fail than the lock cylinder of a lever mortice.
Security – A mortice lock is not vulnerable to power failures.
Availability – There is a mortice lock for virtually any size door.
Price – Mortice locks are typically reasonably priced and a much cheaper option.
Security – A mortice lock could be picked by someone with specialist skills.
Installation – A mortice lock could require a professional to install.
Replacement – It can be difficult and expensive to replace a mortice lock. In some situations, replacing the door may be the only option.
4. Multi-point locking system
A multi-point locking system has several bolts positioned along the door frame to provide a higher level of security. Typically, multi-point locking systems simultaneously lock at the top, middle and bottom of the door.
Many homes already have a multi-point locking system in place as they’re commonly found in most modern composite and uPVC doors. If you turn your handle upwards to lock your door, it’s likely that you have a multi-point locking system in place.
Security – Multi-point locks when fitted properly offer a very secure door lock.
Keyless locking – With the solid spindle design, you don’t need to worry about remembering to lock the front door.
Installation – For a multi-point locking system to lock correctly, it must be installed with precision. The entire lock is useless if any of the numerous bolts are misaligned.
Security – As with the mortice lock, a multi-point lock can be picked.
5. Rim Lock
A rim lock is similar to a mortice locking mechanism, except that a rim lock is surface mounted and typically uses numerous locking bolts to create a very secure lock. A rim lock can operate as a deadbolt, sliding latch, or both, such as rim sash locks. As with a mortice lock, if properly installed on a solid front door, the door frame is more likely to fail before the rim lock.
Installations – Rim locks are straightforward to install, and homeowners can do it themselves.
Replacement – As with installation, a rim lock can easily be replaced.
Price – Very affordable and one of the least expensive options.
Insurance – As the entire rim lock is exposed, many insurance companies do not consider them secure door locks.
Security – A rim lock is susceptible to lock picking.
6. Euro Cylinder Lock
Cylinder locks, also known as barrel locks, are commonly found across Europe due to the ability to replace them without removing other fittings.
They use a mechanism of various length pins which prevent the lock from opening without the correct key. The more pins the lock has, the higher level of security your door will have.
Replacement – The locking mechanism in a Euro cylinder lock can be replaced without replacing the entire door lock.
Usability – A thumb-turn can be used from the inside of the building, which doesn’t require pins. The user simply twists the thumb-turn to unlock their door.
Universal key – Several Euro cylinder locks can use the same key, which is particularly useful if you want just one key to operate multiple doors in the property. However, some may see this as a security concern.
Insurance – Insurance companies accept a British Standard Euro Cylinder lock.
Security – Only Euro cylinder locks rated to British Standard provide sufficient security.
Construction – Some models can be damaged simply by simultaneously inserting keys into both ends.
Environment – Cheaper models are susceptible to salt damage by coastal air which can cause the locks to jam.
7. Rim Automatic Deadlatch with Key-Locking Handle
An advanced version of the rim lock works with a keyed cylinder on the front door’s exterior connected to a keyed night latch on the inside. This allows you to lock your door more securely from the inside of your home.
Usability – The rim lock deadlatch is easy to turn and less likely to malfunction.
Auto-locking – Operates as an auto-locking mechanism.
Security – In many situations, the automatic rim deadlatch must be accompanied by a mortice deadlock to provide optimal security.
Here Are 7 of the Best Types of Window Locks
1. Keyed Locks
Among the most basic locks for a window are keyed locks. Some windows can be bought with a keyed lock fitted.
If keyed locks are fitted in your home, make sure to take the key out of the lock when not in use, as this could invalidate your insurance in the event of a claim.
Usability – The keyed lock works on most windows, especially large sliding glass panelled doors and single-hung and double-hung windows.
Security – The keyed lock offers more security than a sliding window lock due to the key.
Security – The overall integrity, installation, and quality of the window frame directly influence the security element of the lock.
2. Sliding Window Locks
Locks for sliding windows come in various styles, such as a lever lock or a keyed lock. Sash and sliding windows are common in older homes so fitting them with a modern security lock is normally necessary.
Usability – Can be used even on very old windows.
Security – Window stops should be used in addition to a lock.
3. Lock Pins
Like a chain lock for a door, a lock pin uses a chain or a cable that is anchored to both the window frame and the sash.
Convenience – This allows you to securely open windows for air circulation.
Security – Lock pins do not secure the window closed but only limit how far it can open.
4. Smart Locks
The cutting-edge of window security, smart locks use technology to replace keys and overcome mechanical cylinder lock issues.
Smart window locks can be automated and controlled by your smartphone. With smart locks for windows, you could set the windows to lock automatically when you’re leaving the house.
To further enhance this device, smart locks can be paired with motorised windows which open and close all from controls on your smartphone. This is particularly useful for hard-to-reach skylights, or for when you’ve realised you’ve left a window open and you’re not at home.
Convenience – Smart locks for windows are easily controlled from a smartphone when you’re not at home.
Technology – Smart window locks can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet, meaning keys are no longer needed.
Technology – An internet connection is needed for use. However, if required, smart locks can usually be unlocked with a mechanical key.
Price – Smart locks for windows tend to be rather expensive.
5. Window Latches
A type of lever lock, window latches are like a lever mortice and use a lever and a catch fitted at the top of the window to lock shut. Window latches are amongst the most common type.
Savings – Window latches create an excellent seal that will prevent heat from escaping and potentially lower your energy bills.
Security – Window latches are best fitted as a secondary lock and should always have an additional lock fitted on the window.
6. Swing Window Lock
A style of lever lock, swing window locks fit like a lever mortice and are a keyed handle and need to be keyed to both open and lock the window.
Security – Swing window locks create very tight seals, making the window draught-proof.
Security – If the key is lost, it’s not possible to lock or unlock the window.
7. Casement Window Lock
A high-end modern window lock typically comes standard on casement windows, making them very difficult to open from the outside.
Security – Can be the most secure option for first-floor windows
Maintenance – As the window and lock age they become increasingly easier to compromise.
What are the best locks for a wooden front door?
Wooden doors work with virtually any type of door lock, especially lever mortice styles. Wooden doors should always have two locks installed to fully protect them from forced entry. For example, a rim lock on its own would be insufficient for a wooden door and should be fitted with the addition of a deadlatch.
What does it mean to have a police-approved door lock?
Simply stated, a police-approved door lock meets Secured by Design (SBD) requirements and is the best door lock available. Door locks that carry SBD approval also carry ‘Police Preferred Specification’ status, more commonly called Police Approved door locks.
Secured by Design is a leading authority for developing and incorporating security measures in the building, design and construction industries while maintaining compliance with England, Scotland and Wales building regulations. You might also consider investing in a police response alarm for extra security.
What kind of lock does a uPVC door have?
The most common door lock found on uPVC doors is a multi-point lock with a Euro cylinder.
To understand which lock your uPVC door has, check to see how many locks are coming out from your door. If there are locks at the top, middle and bottom, your door is fitted with a multi-point lock.
However, if your door has just one lock in the middle, you may want to upgrade your locking system for extra security.
Do wooden front doors require two locks?
While having more than one door lock on a wooden door is not necessarily a requirement in regards to security, it can be an insurance requirement. If your door has just one lock, it could be beneficial to add a second lock or install a security system with door sensors.
Understandably, security is a big concern for any homeowner. Choosing good door and window locks is an excellent way to improve your home’s security, as doors and windows are common entry points.
Securing your windows and doors should be part of your overall plan to secure your home and adding a security system that is visible to potential intruders is always a strong deterrent. An intruder will notice contact sensors on doors and windows, as well as sirens on the wall, and will ultimately think twice before entering your property.
Which lock you choose for your home is ultimately up to you. This will depend on how much you’re willing to pay, how comfortable you are with technology and what is best for your family’s needs.