fbpx
COVID-19 – WE ARE OPEN For more information on how we are operating during the COVID-19 outbreak please click here

Door Lock Types

door lock

Door locks play a crucial part in providing security for your family and your belongings. Just as there are many different types of doors, there are also several types of door locks. Knowing the best type of lock for a specific door is important to ensure the appropriate level of security. Generally, you would want to have the best locking system for your external doors and probably just a simple lock for inside doors and other simple doors like the cabinet or the toilet. Here, we provided you with a guide about the different types of locks to help you decide which one to buy and use for your doors.

  1. Main Parts of a Door Lock
    • Cylinder
    • Bolt
    • Strike Plate 
  2. Different Types of Door Lock
    • Mortice Locks
    • Multi-Point Locks
    • Night Latch
  3. Other Useful Door Locks
    • Euro Cylinder Locks
    • Hand Levers
    • Barrel Bolt
    • Chain Lock
    • Padlock
    • Electronic Locks

Best CCTV installers and Aerial engineers near you

Main Parts of a Door Lock

To understand the difference between the different types of locks, it is good to know first the different parts of a lock. A door lock generally has three main parts: the cylinder, the bolt, and the strike plate.

Cylinder

The cylinder is the part of the lock where you insert the key. It is essentially the section that brings the “locking mechanism” to your locking system. Inside the cylinder are several pins that move when the key is inserted. All of the pins inside the cylinder will move only if the key fits the cylinder correctly. The lock will then unlock once the key reaches the last pin, allowing you to move the bolt and open your door. The lock will remain locked if the key does not fit the cylinder correctly.

There are two categories of the cylinder lock. One is the single-cylinder which only has space for a key on one side. The key side is on the external part of the door, while the other side is a knob or a handle that you can lock from the inside of the door. The other one is the double cylinder. Double cylinders do not have a single knob. To lock and open doors using double cylinder locks, you need a key on either side of the door. You can usually find double cylinders in places where you don’t want anyone to be able to lock the door from the inside without a key.

Bolt

Bolts are the part of the door lock that you can move once the key fits within the cylinder. It is the part that moves in and out of the carved-out part of the door frame. There are two common types of bolts: the deadbolt and the spring bolt

A deadbolt is a locking mechanism that cannot be moved without the correct key. This means that, for a deadbolt, you need to have a key to open the lock before you can move the bolt. On the other hand, spring bolts have a spring within that allows the bolt to retract once it touches the door frame or the lip of the strike plate. The bolts will then automatically extend back to the carved-out part once the door fully closes.

Deadbolt provides more security than the spring bolt, but a deadbolt requires you to always have a key with you. Spring bolts are better than a deadbolt for people who forget their keys most of the time. Spring bolt is ideal for doors that need to be closed but do not need to be locked all of the time.

Strike Plate

The strike plate is the piece of metal attached to the door frame. It holds the door closed once the bolt fully extends to the hole of the strike plate. Strike plates usually come with two holes where it can be screwed to the door frame, making it easy to attach as well as replace when it gets damaged.

Different Types of Door Lock

Choosing the right type of door lock is essential for your security as well as convenience. Additionally, when applying for home insurance or looking for home insurance deals, you will also usually be asked what type of locks you have fitted on your outside doors and windows. 

If you have the home insurance industry approved locks fitted on your doors, you could get a discount and may even save a lot of cash on your home insurance premiums. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying a higher premium for your home insurance. Thus, we listed here a guide about the best and most common types of locks that conform to the standard, especially those types of door locks home that can be found in home insurance policies.

  1. Mortice Locks
  2. Multi-point Locks
  3. Rim Automatic Deadlatch/ Night Latch

Mortice Locks

A Mortice Lock is one of the most common door lock types you can see in home insurance policies. Mortice Locks include heavy-duty latches that make it popular for their strength and level of security. Consequently, this type of lock mechanism is commonly used not just in homes but also in residential properties in the UK. A mortice lock requires a mortice to be cut into the edge of the door. This mortice or pocket is where the mortice latch will be fitted to.

A popular mortice lock is the 5 Lever Mortice Deadlock which is commonly fitted to wooden doors. It provides a good level of security as it is locked from both the inside and outside with a key. Thus, this type of lock is most commonly used in external doors, particularly the front door and the back door. Mortice deadlocks are not found on doors like the uPVC (Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride) & composite doors.

Aside from the 5 Lever Mortice Deadlock, there is also the 3 Lever Mortice Lock. However, this type of lock is less secure since it has fewer levers. Fewer levers mean that there is a high risk of key duplication. Thus,  a 3 Lever Mortice Lock is not approved by the British standard. To be insurance and standard approved, it is best to use the 5 Lever Mortice Deadlock and ensure that it conforms to the current approved British standard.

To identify whether your mortice lock conforms to the standard, the quickest and right way is to look at the faceplate and see if these are engraved: British Standard Kitemark, Number of Lever, and Standard Number. A mortice lock that conforms to the standard is more secure because of its use of hard plates for protection against drilling. If the mortice lock is not standard-approved, the lock is usually fitted with a Nightlatch for added security.

Multi-Point Locks

A multi-point lock is a key operated locking system that is fitted into the body of the door.  It has multiple bolts that will engage to the door frame when the door locks. This locking system is commonly operated with a euro cylinder lock. This lock system is approved as it offers a high level of home security due to the lock bolting the door into the frame. It often has three locking points (sometimes 4 or 5) that simultaneously lock when you turn the key.

You can often find this locking system on uPVC and composite doors, especially on entrance doors. It can also be fitted to other doors like timber and aluminium doors. The multi-point lock is often found on the external front door and external back door. Despite its several locking points, only a single cylinder is required for a multi-point lock. 

However, you must know how the lock is operated the right way to fully lock the door properly. There is a risk that your key may get broken and stuck inside the lock of your uPVC door, so make sure to use it correctly.

Night Latch or Rim Automatic Deadlatch

Another generally approved lock for insurance is the rim automatic deadlatch or night latch. However, this type of lock is not recommended to be the only lock fitted on your door. For extra measure and to double the security, most providers would prefer the rim automatic latch to be mounted with either the mortice lock or the multi-point lock.  Night latch is less secure because it is only mounted on the surface of the front door.

The main difference between a rim lock and a mortice lock is that rim locks are mounted on the surface of the door while mortice locks are mounted within the door edge. Thus, the disadvantage of using rim locks is that it cannot be used and operated alone. Still, rim locks or night latches can be useful in improving security. Night latches can also be easily used as they lock automatically once shutting.

Get Fast-Service Aerial Repairs and CCTV Installations

Other Useful Door Locks

The three previously mentioned lock types are the lock types that are often found in home insurance policies. However, this doesn’t mean that other lock types are not important looking to and should no longer be used. Other products can still be ideal for certain types of doors inside your home. Using other locks can also be good to keep your home safer. Here is a guide about the other categories of locks that can be used to improve the security of your house.

  1. Euro Cylinder Locks
  2. Hand Levers
  3. Barrel Bolt
  4. Chain Lock
  5. Padlock
  6. Electronic Locks

Euro Cylinder Locks

Euro cylinder locks are one of the door lock types that are most commonly found and fitted to modern homes. It is commonly used on doors like uPVC & composite doors. To conform with the standard, euro cylinder locks can be mounted along with either the mortice or multi-point lock. 

Euro cylinders can be used in external and internal doors. A cylinder lock may also be used for internal doors in offices, hospitals, schools, etc. Euro cylinder locks can be both single cylinder and double cylinder in design.

Hand Levers

Hand levers are common options for inside doors such as closets or basement doors. Hand levers come with a simple hand lever or a handle accompanied by a single twist knob. A hand lever is a less secure type of lock, but it allows you to easily open the door. This hand lever may be a big help when you’re carrying many items since you can just push the lever or handle down to open the door.

Barrel Bolt

Barrel bolts come with two main parts: the first one is the one that goes on the door’s frame and the other one that goes on the surface of the door. The barrel bolt is essentially a simple lock on the surface that you can slide to lock the door. This type of lock can easily be installed and can help make your home more secure.

Chain Lock

Similar to the barrel bolt, a chain lock is a type of lock that comes with two parts. These parts connect and lock the door to the frame with a chain. Chain locks are common in hotel doors, but many also use them in their house.  Using chain locks allow you to slightly open the door to see and greet someone outside of the door from the inside of your house while keeping the door locked. The door can only be unlocked once you close the door back and release the chain, allowing you to open the door all the way.

Padlock

A padlock is one of the simplest types of a door lock. These are not ideal to be used for the front door or back door of your home as it is not secure. People use a padlock in locking doors and common areas that do not require that much of security. You can find padlocks in less secure areas like the storage or a shed or in locking doors that are needed to be closed shut.

Electronic Locks

Electronic locks and digital locks are those locks that allow you to secure and lock your door without the need for a single key to open it. Instead of a key, these locks may be unlocked with the use of a smartphone or a number password. Using digital locks, you may also monitor and know who opens the door at a specific time.  Some electronic lock mechanisms can even be operated to assign special privileges or services to family members or other people. These are just some of the many options that may be possible with the use of an electronic lock.

If you’re looking for an emergency locksmith, contact Aerialforce now! We provide same-day emergency response.

How To Change A Door Lock

lock

You can’t just deal with broken door locks as if it’s just nothing. In this article, we will discuss how to change a door lock.

  1. Replacing Door Locks vs Changing Key Locks
  2. Replacing Door Locks
  3. Reconfiguring Key Locks

Improving your house security is not easy. Aerialforce makes it their top priority to assist you in making your home or establishment 100% safe and sound.  Some of the reasons why you want to change your lock include:

  • You lost your keys 
  • You moved into a new home
  • Your lock has been faulty and has become unreliable to ensure security
  • You plan to upgrade your locks with a more enhanced security
  • You got your key stuck inside your lock 

Whether your reason to replace locks is listed above, or not, we can help you secure your home or office with just a few steps! But before we get started, you need to understand the difference between replacing door locks and changing keys.

Best Emergency Locksmith Near You

Improving your house security is not easy. Aerialforce makes it their top priority to assist you in making your home or establishment 100% safe and sound.  Some of the reasons why you want to change your lock include:

  • You lost your keys 
  • You moved into a new home
  • Your lock has been faulty and has become unreliable to ensure security
  • You plan to upgrade your locks with a more enhanced security
  • You got your key stuck inside your lock 

Whether your reason to replace locks is listed above, or not, we can help you secure your home or office with just a few steps! But before we get started, you need to understand the difference between replacing door locks and changing keys.

REPLACING DOOR LOCKS VS CHANGING KEY LOCKS

Replacing a Door lock

When you ought to replace door locks, this involves dislodging the original lock from the door (together with the handle if it comes with it) and then inserting a new door lock that you have chosen.

Reconfiguring a Key Lock

Meanwhile, when you reconfigure key locks, this process rearranges the inner springs and pins of the lock to match it with a new key. Residential compounds notably use this process as it is more convenient and less expensive compared to replacing the entire door lock.

Once you have come to terms with the difference of replacing a door lock and reconfiguring a key lock, we can now begin!

REPLACING A DOOR LOCK

Steps:

  1. First, measure your last door lock with a tape measure before you buy a new replacement so it will fit in the hole.
  2. Leave the door open before you unscrew the screws from the last lock of the door. As you slowly loosen the screws, remove the interior and exterior plates on each side (if possible) by carefully pulling it off.
  3. Once you have loosened the screws, insert your key. Turn it until you can now gently withdraw it together with the key.
  4. Next, try to fit the new lock into the existing hole where you removed the previous lock. Once done, insert your key inside the keyhole. Turn it left and right before you can finally screw the lock tightly into the door again. Don’t forget to place the interior and exterior plates on each side as well!
  5. As for the last step, you can now check if the lock works fine by turning the key to see if the screw is tightly done, and the bolt is attached correctly. Check the handle or knob as well, so you are sure that the newly installed cylinder lock is tightened and ready to use. Cylinder locks are also known as a pin tumbler.

Connect with the best local Locksmiths

RECONFIGURING KEY LOCKS

Whether it’s a mortice, euro cylinder lock, a rim cylinder lock, or a UPVC lock, many establishments need to reconfigure the pins and springs of the lock for new tenants or office officials. So, to help you out, here are the steps that you must follow to rekey your locks successfully!

But first, buy a re-keying kit with the same brand of the lock in your doors and keys. This product can be easily bought in the hardware store, supermarket, or even online.

Steps:

  1. Once you have your rekeying kit with you, you can now officially start. Insert the key into the keyhole, and turn it to unlock the door. Then, thrust the wire-like tool to the small hole on the side of the knob. As you do so, this wire-like tool pushed at the side of the knob will quickly release the knobs and will let you pull it out of the lock.
  2. After you take out the exterior lock face, check the inside of the knob for any small pieces of metal or plastic that attach the cylinder lock where it belongs. If there are any small pieces of plastic or metal, take it away and put force on the key that is still inside the keyhole for the cylinder to spring out at the back of the knob.
  3. Inside your rekeying kit, there will be a tool similar to a wrench. Apply that to take out the cylinder retainer ring that protects the cylinder housing. Press the wrench-like tool against the cylinder retainer ring to have it jump off the cylinder.
  4. This next step can be quite tricky since you will need to put out the cylinder plug from the cylinder. What you will need to is the tube-shaped tool in your rekeying kit that you will use to slide the cylinder plug out of the cylinder housing. Push the tube-shaped tool from the side opposite the keyhole for the plug to jump out. Ensure to keep constant pressure between the plug and follower for the pins and springs not to jump off.
  5. Put away the old pins from the cylinder plug by either turning the plug over to empty the pins or by plucking them out with very tiny tweezers that are part of your kit. If you don’t know how to take out the old pins with the tweezers, check out the instructions in your equipment kit!
  6. After putting away the old pins, use the tweezers to match the new pins according to the instruction sheet, and insert your key to the keyhole as well.
  7. Finally, once the pins are installed, reverse the steps instructed above to reassemble your lock.

Looking for a professional emergency locksmith? Contact Aerialforce at 0330 173 1355 now!

Must-Have Local Services After Moving House

moving house

Congratulations!

So you’ve finally moved. You can now throw away your extensive and long moving house checklist. You have successfully pulled it off. Hopefully, there weren’t any problems.

Unfortunately for you, you can’t celebrate and invite your family and friends over just yet. It’s now time to pull up your post-moving house checklist. You read that right. Groan if you want, but you know that it must be done. 

One of the major items that should be on your post-moving house checklist is compiling a list of the local servicemen in the area. Here we have listed down the essential must-have local services once you have moved houses. Why local? Because they know the lay of the land more than you and can propose small tweaks in your plans that will help it better fit the neighbourhood. Additionally, their proximity to your property would mean reduced waiting time and costs.

Entertainment System: Aerial Engineer

Having a fully-functioning entertainment system is the first step towards settling in your new home. Being in a new area can be quite a stressful time. Having a comfortable space where you can relax and unwind after a long day is essential. Your entertainment system does not have to be a full-grown home theatre. It just needs to receive TV reception so you can watch your favourite shows. And no, you don’t need cable!

If it’s your first time in the UK, you must know that the country has Freeview. Freeview is the biggest TV platform in the UK, used in 18 million homes. It provides 95% of the nation’s most popular shows for FREE! If you want to have free TV programming, look for a local Aerial engineer. Call them immediately so you can set up your TV.

Best CCTV installers and Aerial engineers near you

Home Security

According to the Office for National Statistics, the total police recorded crime increased by 3% for the year in England and Wales. If this statistic disturbs you, then you might want to invest in home security. When you’re in a new location, it’s understandable that you feel uncomfortable sleeping at night. What can help you is knowing that you and your family is safe and secure.

We’ve listed down two of the best ways to improve your home security.

Locksmith

If you’re moving into a place that other people have lived in before, it might be best for you to change the locks. By doing this, you can ensure that only you will have a copy of your keys. And while you’re changing your locks, splurge a little bit and choose industrial strength locks to keep out intruders. Have your local locksmith change your locks immediately after you’ve moved.

CCTV

CCTVs act as a visual deterrent to burglars by sending the message that your property has surveillance. While it doesn’t turn crime away 100%, it works most of the time. And in the unfortunate event that your house does get broken into, you can use the footage to find out the perpetrators. Video footage may also be used in court as evidence. Read here which type of CCTV is best to install for your property. Once you have decided, call your local CCTV installer for more information.

Internet

What is a house without Wi-Fi? Unless you want to live in the Dark Ages, one essential house commodity you must have installed is your internet. Check around the neighbourhood on what the best Internet service provider is for your area. In fact, you can have your Internet connected before you move in, so you don’t have to deal with servicemen inside your house while you are unpacking all of your stuff.

Waste Disposal

If you just had your new place refurbished and renovated, then one thing you need to think of next is how you’re going to dispose all of your waste. Construction materials, demolished walls, old furniture. What do you with all of these? You can’t just leave them on the curb outside the streets. It would be best to have the number of your local skip hire to clear the rubbish for you. By doing this, you can come in to your new house all clean.

Plumber

Safety is key to living harmoniously inside your new place. If you’re moving in a previously lived-in home, it would be best to contact your local plumber to give your plumbing system a once-over. They can assess the state of your plumbing system and identify any problems that you might face. Additionally, they can determine whether there are parts of your plumbing system that must be repaired or replaced before they break down. You don’t exactly want to wake up in the middle of the night with a plumbing emergency like a broken boiler or a burst pipe, do you?

Emergency Phone Numbers

The number one rule of safety is to know all of the emergency phone numbers in the area. If you can’t find the details online, ask the number from your realtor or landlord. It’s imperative that you know the local number of the nearest police station and fire department. Also, you must know the contact details of your utilities providers such as the water department, gas company, and power company.

It’s another task that’s being added to your already gargantuan list of tasks, but it’s worth in the long run. Maintaining your new house will be easy once you’ve gotten familiar with your local servicemen.

Get Fast-Service Aerial Repairs and CCTV Installations

How to Get a Broken Key Out of a Lock

Broken key

You might have been in a rush to enter the house, and in your hurry, the key snapped while it was still in the lock. If you have a second entrance, then you might be able to put off removing your broken key. However, that isn’t the case for those who live in flats in the UK. With a broken key in the lock, your entire schedule is derailed. The new priority is to get rid of the broken piece and make a new key before it takes up more of your week. 

What Should I Do When My Key Breaks Inside The Lock?

The first step is to keep your hands off and calm down. You may get the strong urge to fiddle with the door lock. That is understandable–you want to remove the broken key. However, by doing so, it might only push the stuck key deeper into the lock. You need to create a plan, and there are two ways you can go about it, doing it yourself or calling a professional locksmith.

Best Emergency Locksmith Near You

Should I Remove It Myself Or Call A Locksmith?

When it comes to extracting a broken key, people are advised to leave it alone. No matter how careful or delicate you try to be the wrong tools and methods only aggravate the situation more. From a simple key extraction, you might need to have the whole lock removed and replaced. 

For the best results, you should call a local emergency locksmith. Why? Consider the different locks and models available in the market. Most of them are built with countermeasures against picking, drilling, snapping, and bumping. With all of that in place, they might not be the easiest lock to work with when you are a beginner. 

Professional locksmiths know how to get a broken key out of a lock and manage to keep everything intact. Another benefit of working with them is that they can have a new key made, using the broken parts as reference. In short, a professional locksmith has the tools, experience, and skills necessary to do the job with no fuss. 

If you need to extract a part of your key or replace a lock as soon as possible, you can book our technicians. Aerialforce has professional locksmiths across the country who are ready to take on any lock-related issue. 

When you go with the DIY route, you have to allot time for trying different methods. If it works, then that’s great! But you know that these things can go either way. If the DIY method doesn’t work, you are bound to call a locksmith to extract the broken key and create a replacement. You can make the long story–short by directly working with a professional from the get-go.

DIY Methods: How To Remove A Broken Key

When you are determined to remove the broken key by yourself, it is best to follow tried and true methods. There are many tips out there, but the ones listed here are closer to the methods of professional locksmiths. 

Tools

Before you get to work, you need to have the right tools for the job. It would be great if you can find a proper key extractor set. A key extractor tool is a long thin rod with a hook at the end. A kit usually has more than one option to account for different types of locks. However, most homes don’t have them on hand. If you are making do without the proper tools, find the following items:

  1. Needle-nose pliers/long-nose pliers or tweezers 
  2. Lubricant

While it is ideal that you have both, you can try to make it work with only the pliers or tweezers. 

Instructions

Method 1: Key Extractor

  1. Make sure your lock is in a neutral position to release the pin tumblers holding it in place. If it isn’t, use your needle-nose pliers to align your cylinders vertically.
  2. Insert the key extractor along the largest cut of the key and make sure the hook is facing upwards.
  3. Get a good hold on one of the key’s teeth and pull the broken piece out. 

Method 2: Pliers/ Tweezers

  1. Similar to the previous instruction, keep the cylinders at a neutral position.
  2. Add a bit of lubricant with the straw attachment and wipe off any excess. 
  3. Use your pliers/tweezers to grip on the end of the broken key.
  4. When you have a good hold, remove the broken key.

Things To Note

The first way to extract a broken key uses locksmith’s basic techniques. While it can give you the best result, there is a bit of skill involved, especially if you have a tricky door lock. On the other hand, the second method has no guarantee for a key stuck in the lock. There are too many issues that make it challenging. You may need multiple tries before you can get it out.

  1. The lubricant makes it easier for the key to slide out, but you end up compromising grip when you use tweezers. 
  2. Tweezers, in general, can be pretty hit or miss. There are different types of tweezers, and your success rate depends on which one you get. Look for the one with the best grip. You might want to avoid using point-tip or pointed slant tweezers since they don’t have the best hold for something as large as a key. 
  3. Even when you manage to do all these steps properly, consider the difficulty of the extraction. What part of the key is stuck? And how deep is it? The general rule of thumb is the deeper it is in the cylinder, the harder it is to extract.

There are DIY hacks online that can be very misleading. Most of them only contribute to breaking the lock further, like using super glue or graphite as a lubricant. 

The super glue method is about adding a bit to a thin stick or wire and using it to attach to the broken piece in the lock. When the glue dries, you pull it out. However, when was the last time you were able to use super glue without making a mess? It is very temperamental to work with, and precise applications are rare. When you use it to remove a broken key, the adhesive will dirty the cylinder and make it impossible to use. 

These methods, especially in the hands of a beginner, can make a simple key extraction into a door lock replacement. If you want to preserve your lock, a locksmith is your best bet.

Connect with the best local Locksmiths

So Why Did My Key Snap In The Lock?

It can be because of 1-2 of the following reasons: 

  1. Your keys are made out of cheap metal.
  2. Your keys were damaged, or there was excessive wear and tear.
  3. It was not properly flushed against the lock and was stuck in an improper position.
  4. It could not handle the excessive force.

Besides your key, the door lock has a lot to do with it as well. Most keys that snap while inside the lock are pin-tumbler locks/ euro cylinders. These locks use multiple pins to push against the teeth of the key/ shear line. However, when it is not fully inserted, it gets stuck, and you end up exerting unnecessary stress on multiple parts. Unfortunately, euro cylinders happen to be one of the most common residential locks in the UK, so key snapping is a very real possibility. 

If you want a clearer answer for your broken key, you can consult your local locksmith and see what they think. A locksmith has seen many broken keys, and they have a better idea about the contributing factors. You might have a brand that often breaks, or you have bad habits that contribute to quick wear and tear. If anyone knows whats going on, it’s a locksmith.

How Do I Prevent This From Happening Again?

There are steps you can take to make sure this doesn’t happen again:

  1. Invest in better quality keys. Make sure the metal can handle daily use without a problem.
  2. Avoid using your key as a dupe tool for another task. That means don’t use it to lift paint can lids, break plastic/ tape, poke holes in cardboard, etc. If it isn’t a lock, don’t use it. There are plenty of other doors for the job.
  3. Make sure you are using your key properly. Use the right key for the right door and make sure it is fully inserted before twisting to avoid having a stuck key in the lock.

By following these easy steps for how to remove a broken key from the lock, you should be able to avoid breaking your keys. Whether it is your front door, car door, or padlock, a broken key is a major inconvenience. If you want a surefire way to extract your broken key and have a new one made, you can contact Aerialforce for a local locksmith! Our professional locksmiths try to respond to calls within the hour of your call, so we can quickly extract the broken key. You can book our services online or call us at 0330 162 9662!

Lock Snapping: What It Is and How To Prevent It

lock snapping

70% of burglary entries happen through the main door, while 30% through the window. So while there is a decrease in theft across the UK, residents should still be cautious. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) identifies households with young adults (16-24) and single-parent homes in urban areas to experience more burglaries than their counterparts. 

Regardless of how you fit into these categories, UK residents still ought to be aware of these things and be vigilant. How? By improving their home’s safety and security and directly setting up countermeasures for the common household break-in methods. 

So what should you know about household burglaries in the UK?

Most household burglaries are often accomplished with sheer brute force. Thieves rarely have the time, patience, or skill to pick locks. And given the Euro cylinders in old residential buildings and homes, that isn’t an issue. Instead of taking the time and energy-consuming task of picking the door lock, they simply resort to lock snapping. 

What Is Lock Snapping?

Home invaders use the lock snapping method to gain entry into your home. First, they use locking pliers, or anything similar, to expose the mechanism by bending or breaking the latch. When the locking mechanism is exposed, they “snap” your Euro cylinder. 

After snapping a lock in-half, they open your door. It doesn’t take much effort for them to gain access to your home. The moment they reach any outdated Euro cylinder locks, it will be open within seconds for experienced burglars. 

When you have an anti-snap lock, this isn’t the case. Lock snapping only works with specific types of lock cylinders. Unfortunately, the outdated model happens to be the one installed across homes in the UK. The Euro profile/ Euro cylinder lock is the go-to option of UPVC doors in the country. 

From front doors to back doors, you can often find the same locking mechanism. One of the main reasons for its popularity is its price and availability. It is very inexpensive and can be found just about anywhere. As long as they aren’t an anti-snap lock, this will continue to be a problem.

Best Emergency Locksmith Near You

How Common Is Lock Snapping?

Considering the cylinder lock in most residential homes has a weakness that can be exploited in second–lock snapping is fairly common. In fact, lock snapping is the popular entry method for 25% of burglaries in the UK. 

Ever since it gained traction in 2009, cylinder snapping has become a widespread practice that persisted for almost a decade. Until today, there are still home invaders that gamble on the fact that your door lock might be one of many that can be opened with a pair of pliers and brute force. 

Despite constant warnings from authorities, residents only make the switch after the theft as already happened. So even with TS 007 3-star anti-snap locks and decreasing burglary rates, you can still hear about lock snapping now and then. Only when homeowners and landlords start to invest in home security properly do these numbers go down. 

How Do You Prevent Lock Snapping?

The best way to prevent lock snapping is to invest in a better one, and that is all there is to it. You can call your local emergency locksmith and have your outdated cylinder locks with a more current anti-snap lock. It isn’t to say that the previous models are bad. It is just more expensive to make them work. If you want to keep the old Euro cylinders, you may need to look into adding deadbolt and other similar measures. 

You can say that the old Euro cylinders were just not built for brute force and anti-snap locks have a better mechanism in place. They have built-in redundancies so you can’t get through on force alone. It has an impressive core with 1-2 breakaway sections and sometimes a lockdown mode, making it impossible to pick. 

You should look into anti-snap locks that are TS 007-compliant and kitemarked. If you haven’t heard of TS 007, it is the standard against common breaking techniques like lock picking, drilling, bumping, snapping, and plug extraction. The British Standards Institution (BSI) tested a series of brands and models to make sure that they can withstand these types of attacks. You should either get the 3-star rating, which includes lock snapping tests, or the 3-star with a Sold Secure Diamond Rating (SS312), which goes way beyond the TS 007 testing, for your front door.

*Note: Locks with 1-star or 2-star ratings are not tested for anti-snapping. They only provide basic level protection, which is very similar to the old Euro Cylinder locks. 

Some examples of TS007 3-star cylinder locks you can look into are the Ultion Euro Cylinder Lock, Yale Platinum Cylinder, ABS Master Cylinder, AP Cylinder, Schlosser Technik Cylinder, among many others. All of these models have been tested by 3rd parties and are considered the top of the line locks. 

You can also prevent lock snapping by properly fitting your door handle and lock to your UPVC doors. When it is not properly installed, it only makes it easier for a stranger to gain access to your home. If you want to get the job done right, Aerialforce is a national service with technicians across the country. For new anti-snap lock installations or Euro cylinder repairs, you can contact our local locksmiths!

Other Security Measures You Can Take

If you are looking for other ways to keep your home secure, you can look into replacing your door hinges with long screws and installing a CCTV surveillance system. They can act as your contingency plan to ensure that no one can attempt a quick and quiet break-in. If they do, you have the evidence needed to help with the investigation. 

If you want to learn more about home surveillance, you can check out our blog, “Best CCTV System in the UK for 2020.”

When it comes to protecting your home, you can never be too safe. The dips in lock snapping burglaries are only due to the measures residents have been taking. The moment you become complacent about the quality of your door lock and lock installation, you immediately increase the odds of a break-in. 

From CCTV systems to your lock needs, Aerialforce has a well-vetted team that can help you improve your home security. We offer clients same day services for emergency jobs as well as the most competitive prices in the market. You can book our services online or call us at 0330 173 1924!

Connect with the best local Locksmiths

Ways To Improve Your Door Security

door security

As a place where we can relax and unwind, the home is the one place where we should feel safe and comfortable. However, just in the last year or so, there have been approximately 365,000 burglary cases in England and Wales alone. Moreover, a whopping 74% of those burglars break through the front door, making it the most common access point for home intruders.

It is safe to say that as a homeowner, door security is one of the most crucial things you should pay attention to.

Contrary to what most people believe, a front door lock is not enough to prevent break-ins from ever occurring. This is not to say that a regular door lock will keep your door secure. However, a burglar will not just up and leave when they discover that your front door is locked. They will try everything to gain entry into your home and access your most valuable belongings.

You may be thinking, “Why would a burglar want to come in through my front door and not the back door or a window?” Well, the answer is simple! The front door is the easiest way to get in and out of your property.

To help you ensure your safety, we’ve created a list of front door security tips you will want to take note of. Moreover, we’re giving you tips on preventing any kind of security breaches in your home security in the future.

Are There Houses That Could Be In More Risk Than Others?

Unfortunately, yes. Burglars often set their sights on houses located:

  • Near a highway exit
  • On a corner lot
  • On a through street
  • Near a woodsy area, a park, or a playground
  • In an affluent neighbourhood

Moreover, the following are attractive to home burglars:

  • Houses where there are no signs of children living in the house
  • Properties that have recently been purchased
  • Houses that have an obstructed entryway (high fences or walls, bushes, trees, shrubbery, etc.)
  • Signs of an empty house (i.e., Piled up mail, unkempt garden, trash cans left outside)
  • Unsecured letter slots
  • Access to valuables (i.e., House or car keys on a hook or bowl near the front door)

Best Emergency Locksmith Near You

Tips To Ensure and Improve Your Front Door Security

Here are some tips to ensure that your front doors are safe and secure from a potential burglar.

Make Sure Your Doors Are Strong

Before you go into a deep dive into door furniture as a means of fortifying your house door security, you should make sure that your door is sturdy.

Most newly-constructed houses are already built with strong and sturdy doors. However, the same cannot be said for older properties. If you are working with an old door, you will want to make sure that it is not fragile or hollow. So, while hollow doors are often easier to install and maintain, it will also be much easier to break into. Doors with a solid core, on the other hand, are tough and harder to get into, thus making it the best option for a front door.

The most common materials used for doors are uPVC, timber, or aluminium. However, most homes have composite doors made with a combination of the previously mentioned materials.

You will also want to check the door frame, hinges, and hinge bolts on your door. After all, any sturdy door will be rendered useless if your hinges aren’t holding them up properly. Fortunately, a “faulty hinge” can only be one of three things:

  • Loose hinge bolts
  • Old and rusty hinges
  • Deformed hinges

So, see to it that the hinges on your front doors are nice and stable. Moreover, make sure those hinge bolts are properly installed and tightened. You will also want to make sure your hinges are installed from the inside as intruders may easily take out the hinge pin to get into your home.

Lastly, if there is a small glass installation or glass window on your door, make sure to use a strong kind of glass for it. The most ideal would be the same reinforced glass that is typically used for a sliding door. Do take note, though, that you are probably better off without a glass installation on your front door.

Change Your Door Locks

It is always a smart idea to change your locks periodically. However, aside from this periodical change in locks, you will want to replace your door locks when:

  • You move into a new place. Previous owners or tenants, after all, may still have a copy of the keys and could come in and out of the house without you knowing.
  • You lose even just a set of your keys.
  • Your door lock starts showing signs of damage or malfunction.
  • Your locks do not pass the British Standard (such locks are tested against common burglar techniques like lock snapping, drilling, and picking.)

Here are some door lock types that you may consider replacing or upgrading:

  • Mortice lock
  • Rim lock / Rim Cylinder lock
  • Night latch

Consider Doubling Up

Adding a porch or installing a screen security door will help provide you with a layer of extra security to your home. It is an extra step that burglars have to go through if they want to break in your house. However, as porches are generally more expensive and difficult to add, it would be more practical for you to use a screen security door.

A screen security door, together with a couple of front door security measures will definitely minimise the chances of intruders getting into your house.

Moreover, security screens have perforations that enable you to open your door and see everything outside without putting yourself at risk.

Connect with the best local Locksmiths

Use Additional Door Furniture

The most common door furniture or accessories to enhance your front door’s security include door jammers, a door security bar, a door chain, monitoring accessories, and many more.

Door Jammer/ Sash Jammer/ Door Security Bar

A door jammer or a door security bar can easily be attached to any door. This device prevents both hinged and sliding doors from opening from the outside. Usually made from steel, these can withstand even the force of a pickup truck!

A sash jammer works quite similarly. However, instead of being attached to the bottom of a door, sash jammers are attached to the door (or window) itself.

All these devices provide the best security for front door, as even the strongest burglars cannot easily bypass one. 

Door Chain

Door security is more than just about break-ins that happen when it is late at night or when the house is empty. Some thieves even attempt to prey on the vulnerable and charm or force their way into being let into the house, even with you inside.

A door chain, which works as a door restrictor, will lessen the chances of thieves coming or pushing their way into your home.

Door or Property Monitoring Accessories

You will also want to make sure you are able to monitor activity by your front door and the rest of your property’s perimeter without opening your front door. To do this, you may opt to install an alarm and CCTV system around your property. Here is a list of the best CCTV cameras in the market.

Additionally, you may also get a smart doorbell device or wide-angle spyhole or peephole fitted on your door.

Other Ways To Keep Your Home Secure

  1. Do not forget to turn on your alarm and security camera systems.
  2. Even when you’re out of the house, leave a light on. Alternatively, keep a TV or radio running.
  3. Keep your most valuable items in a safe.
  4. Fortify other entry points such as back doors, windows, and garage doors,
  5. Consider putting signs that could deter intruders (i.e., “Warning: Large Dog,” “You Are Being Recorded On Camera“)
  6. Only hire a professional locksmith and contractor to do any kind of work on your door.
  7. Lastly and most importantly, LOCK YOUR DOORS. The methods you have taken to strengthen your door security will only be useful if you actually use the locks!

Final Thoughts

Remember, these door security tips are merely suggestions on how you can fortify the security of your front door, and in turn, your whole house. Not having every single item on this list does always mean you will get robbed.

However, if you think you are in danger and are looking for ways to fortify your door security quickly, do not wait to get these security methods in place. Instead, contact the authorities who can help you get to the bottom of your concerns immediately.

Meanwhile, if you require professional emergency locksmith services to help you out with fortifying your door security, do not hesitate to call an Aerialforce locksmith today!

Can I Get A Keycut Without A Key?

keycut

Have you been locked out of your house without a key? Or did you lose the only car key you have? If so, then you’ve probably asked the question, “can I get a keycut without a key?” Well, you’ll be glad to know that the answer is yes!

A locksmith can easily help you out with this dilemma. You need to note, though, that this task is no easy feat, even for an experienced locksmith, as it will require a few complicated steps that you wouldn’t usually need to go through when you need a regular key cutting job.

This blog aims to help you understand how exactly a locksmith’s key cutting service can help you get a key that perfectly fits without needing an original key.

Why Would A Locksmith Need To Cut A Key Using Just A Lock?

Most of the time, locksmiths are asked to cut a key for a lock with an intact and functional original key. All they have to do is make use of a key duplicator and a blank key to make a spare key or a duplicate key.

However, there are instances where the key is broken, worn down, or lost, and that is when a professional locksmith would need to make a key without a lock. Professional locksmiths only make use of three methods to cut you a replacement key without the original.

Best Emergency Locksmith Near You

What Types Of Locks Are There?

Before we begin, it is essential for you to know that the methods which will be enumerated below are not at all interchangeable with each other. Instead, the approach as to which you can get your key cut will depend on the kind of lock you have. However, for some lock types, locksmiths cannot cut a duplicate key without an existing key. Here are the most common types of locks that one may encounter:

  • Cylinder Rim Lock (Yale Locks)
  • Mortice Lock
  • Car Lock
  • Restricted Lock / Secure Lock
  • Padlock
  • Nightlatches

How Does A Locksmith Produce A Key Cut Without The Original Set?

Impressioning A Lock

Tools A Locksmith Would Use:

  • Key Blank (Brass)
  • Vice Grip
  • Key File (6-inch Swiss #4 cut round file and a Pippin File)

The Process:

Of the three methods to key cutting without a model key, impressioning a lock is the most straightforward. Many locksmiths use this method the most because of how quick and efficient it can be. Impressioning locks, however, are not very easy to learn or to execute. Instead, it requires a lot of practice, experience, and fine-tuning.

Impressioning a lock is relatively simple. All a locksmith has to do is insert a blank into the lock, and turn, pull, tap, or wiggle it to bind the pins within the lock cylinder. This process will help mark out the sections that your locksmith will have to file down. However, as an ordinary lock contains multiple pins, your blank must be marked and cut numerous times. That means the locksmith will have to move the blank in and out of the lock several times. Once the blank has been appropriately marked, the locksmith may file the key down to a working one.

Easy as it may seem, impressioning a lock requires multiple trials to make sure that the markings are all accurate. Additionally, the amount of pressure applied is also very crucial to this task. Using too little force will be useless, while too much force may potentially damage the uncut key and the lock itself. Hence, locksmiths consider this skill as something that will require a lot of fine-tuning.

Cutting The Key To The Code

Tools A Locksmith Would Use:

  • Code cutter
  • Key blank

The Process:

A locksmith can easily cut a new key to the code.

A key code is essentially a set of characters used to make a key for a specific lock. There are two types of codes usually used for keys, namely:

  • Blind Code
  • Bitting Code

In cases like these, a locksmith will need to focus on the bitting code. However, because a locksmith does not always have access to the said code that they need, this is not always feasible. Most of the time, the code is printed onto the original or master key, or in the case of high-security locks, given to the user. If you’re looking for more information on key codes, check this out.

Of course, you may always track down a specific lock model’s bitting code by contacting the retailer or the manufacturer, but this would only work if you are working with a legitimate locksmith.

Connect with the best local Locksmiths

If you’re lucky and require a key for a cabinet lock, though, you’d be glad to know that these kinds of locks usually have the key code imprinted on them. In cases like these, all the locksmith has to do is find the code and cut the key based on this code.

To do this, a locksmith will need a code cutter. They simply have to insert an uncut key into the cutter, ensure the correct blades are in place and cut a new key.

Disassembling The Lock

Tools A Locksmith Would Use:

  • Key Cutter
  • Blank Key
  • Lock-picking tool
  • Miscellaneous tools

The Process:

When both key cutting based on the code and impressioning the lock both do not work, your locksmith will try disassembling the lock. In fact, because impressioning the lock is always either a hit or a miss, many people resort to disassembling the lock directly.

This process, however, is much more challenging as the locksmith will have to reverse engineer the bitting for the key based on the arrangement and height of pins in the cylinder in order to produce a new key.

One thing that locksmiths will have to do, though, is to make sure that the lock is disassembled in a non-destructive way, as this could damage or throw out the alignment of the pins in the lock cylinder.

To do this, your locksmith will have to remove the lock from the door and adequately disassemble it. Often, your locksmith will have to pick the lock in order to do so. Once disassembled, your locksmith may take direct measurements of your lock’s internal components and pins. These measurements will be used to fashion you a new, working key.

Final Thoughts

And that is how a locksmith can offer key cutting services without the need for a working key! The solution may not always be quick and easy, but it is definitely feasible!

Need a locksmith to come to the rescue? Book for an emergency locksmith service at Aerialforce today!

Lock Change: How Much Does It Cost? And Other Questions

lock

While locks are meant to be a long-term investment for your safety and security, there are times when changing them is the best thing to do. A high-spec lock is useless if you feel like it can be compromised. For example, when you move into a new flat or house, you don’t know who has duplicates of your door key. While residents are supposed to surrender all copies when they leave, there is no guarantee that the previous tenants followed through. You may need to change locks to ensure you don’t get any unwanted visitors.

Keeping previous tenants out is not the only scenario that calls for a lock change. It can be something as mundane as having an old, out-dated model to something soap-opera worthy like saying goodbye to a problematic roommate or partner. Changing locks is the natural course of action when living arrangements change or when there is a crime spike in the neighbourhood. Whether you are updating an old lock or keeping certain people out, a lock change is a great way to improve your home’s security. 

Before you look into DIYing your lock replacement or hiring your locksmith, learn about what factors affect the price of lock changes. When you have an idea about what goes into it, you can better judge locksmith quotes and make better decisions about your lock replacement. 

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Lock?

When you book a local service provider for a lock change, prices may vary. However, they are generally in the £70-£115 range. This price accounts for your locksmith’s hourly rate and the replacement lock. Other factors that affect the final bill is the difficulty/ complexity of the replacement.

Best Emergency Locksmith Near You

Cost of Replacement Locks

Even though your locksmith will supply you with a replacement, you can still take your pick from the models available. Whether you stick to your previous lock or look into a new one, you can check out the table below for a comprehensive price range: 

Type of Lock

Cost

Mortice Deadlock

 

3 Lever Mortice Deadlock

£8-£25

5 Lever Mortice Deadlock

£15-£45

5 Lever Mortice Deadlock BS3621

£25-£60

Multi-Point Locking System

 

Split Spindle

£20-£120

Single/Solid Spindle

£20-£100

Night Latch/Rim Lock

 

Standard Night Latch

£6-£90

Double Locking Night Latch

£35-£90

Deadlocking and Auto Deadlocking Night Latch

£15-£200

Euro Cylinder

 

1-2 Star Euro Cylinder

£15-£45

3 Star Euro Cylinder

£30-£85

3 Star Euro Cylinder with Sold Secure (SS312) diamond standard

£35-£50

* The prices listed here are the lowest and highest for each lock on Amazon and similar retail websites. These are not permanent and are subject to change. To get an exact quote, consult your local locksmith. 

While you can play around with the different models and brands, you have to make sure you have the right type of door lock. You can tell which ones work by the door material. When you have a wooden door, you will need to have two locks fitted. The common types of lock for these doors are the mortice deadlock and the night latch. If you have a UPVC door or composite door, you will need a euro cylinder lock. The multi-point lock is the only one that can be used for both a UPVC door and a wood door, though it is more common in the former. Make sure you get the appropriate replacement for each door or else it may create weak points in your security system. 

For the best effect, look into British Standard locks which are identifiable by their kitemark logo. If they are not kitemarked, it doesn’t matter if it is also a 5 lever mortice lock, there is no guarantee that it can last against the 5 common methods for breaking a lock (picking, drilling, snapping, bumping, and extracting).  

Why Do Lock Replacement Costs Vary?

The cost varies because there are so many options in the market. The metal, size, brand, and standard/validation can affect the lock’s final price. Locks are used for so many things. Some might want to settle for a cheap model for low maintenance use, while others may need to invest in high-spec locks to improve their home’s security. If you are adding a lock in the bathroom, it doesn’t make sense to get a kitemarked lock that has been tested by the British Standards Institution (BSI). Reserve those for the front door.

Besides, door locks aren’t the only kind you can change. If you have locks on your garage or window, you have to factor in their cost as well. For a low-mid range replacement, you can refer to the table below: 

Types of General Locks

Cost

Door Lock

£10-£50

Garage Lock

£3-£20

Window Lock

£3-£20

Cost Of Hiring A Professional Locksmith

Once you have settled on the lock, consider the cost of hiring a professional locksmith. The table below outlines the cost of each of their services:

Job

Cost

Gain Access- Left your key inside the home etc.

£65-£75

Broken Key- A broken piece is stuck in the door

£70-£75

New Key- You need a replacement for a broken/lost key

£3-£30*

Repair Your Lock

£40-£70

Rekey Your Lock

£35-£150

Replace Your Lock

£70-£115

*The price depends on what the key is for (window vs door, etc.)

**The prices listed here are estimates and are subject to change. To get an exact quote, contact your local locksmith.

Connect with the best local Locksmiths

Your locksmith’s rate can be broken down to these 4 things: 

  • Average Hourly Rate

The average hourly rate of locksmiths in the UK start from £65-£75 per hour. However, it can be lower. They might have a promotion to reduce the hours succeeding the first for long jobs or when you settle for an apprentice instead of an expert locksmith. 

  • Emergency Job/ Call Out

Issues with your locks and keys can happen at any time, because of this, it is important to be able to call a locksmith at any time of day. Whether you are lock-out or forced to stay-in, a compromised lock can greatly affect your home’s security. Most locksmiths offer a 24-hour service to accommodate this. Instead of changing locks the next day or crashing with a friend, you can have it taken care of as soon as possible. 

Aerialforce offers emergency locksmith services to help you sort out lost keys, change locks, and any other lock-related problem when you need it the most. Our on-call locksmiths will always try to respond to your call within 30 minutes-1 hour of your call. With their help, you can rest easy and have a bit of peace of mind.

The convenience, especially for calls outside of operating hours, comes at a price. While your locksmiths may provide 24-hour services, there is usually an additional fee. If you choose to call late at night, early morning, weekends, or holidays, their rates change. It typically increases around £65-£120 per hour or 50%-100%, their regular rate. Before you book any service, make sure to ask about this fee, so you are properly prepared.

  • Deals and Discounts

Since there is no current licensing requirement for locksmiths, the competition is quite fierce. Most free agents and companies provide deals and packages to set themselves apart. Every locksmith has their own approach, so it is difficult to say how much you would really save. The only way you can figure it out is by making multiple enquiries and directly comparing their quotes. 

  • VAT Registered

Being a VAT-registered locksmith or company comes with the usual 20%, however small groups or freelancers often don’t make enough to qualify, so they usually don’t need VAT. Some might try to get away with pocketing the amount, so remember to ask whether they are a VAT-registered service or not. 

Should You Hire A Locksmith For A Lock Change?

Changing your lock is a DIY-friendly task. You only need a screwdriver, a ruler, and your replacement lock. However, if you are inexperienced, it is still best to work with a locksmith. When a lock is incorrectly installed, your home is open to lock snapping and bumping. It doesn’t matter if you have an anti-bump or anti-snap lock. When it is poorly fitted, it is easy to bypass. When you call a locksmith to change a lock, you are sure to get the best installation possible.

If you are having trouble with your lock, be it your front door, garage door, car door, or window, look for Aerialforce locksmiths near you. Our 24-hour service can address your issues immediately and give you your much-needed peace of mind. Besides our speedy service, all our technicians go through a rigorous hiring process, so you are sure to be in good hands. Whether it is for a lock replacement, lock installation, or lock repair, you can contact us at 0330 173 6700 for professional locksmiths!