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Home > ADVICE AND TIPS (FAQS) > Door Lock Types – A Simple Guide for your Home (with Pictures)
You may want to know what door locks you have on your front & back doors, our guide will help you find out what type of door locks you have fitted in your home.
When getting house insurance most comparison sites or providers will ask what type of door locks are on your front door & all external doors. Find our below about each type of door lock with advantages & disadvantages of each lock type.
To help you identify if you have a deadlatch, mortice deadlock or a multi-point locking system, we will tell you about the following main types of house lock.
5 Lever Mortice Deadlock | BS3621 5 Lever Mortice Deadlock |
Multi Point Locking System | Rim Automatic Deadlatch | Euro Cylinder Lock
The first lock we will look at is a five-lever mortice deadlock, which is a lock that seems to confuse a lot of people.
A 5 lever mortice deadlock is commonly fitted to wooden doors and is locked from both the inside and outside with a key, they are fitted within the material of the door, rather than on the surface.
Any five-lever mortice deadlock that is NOT BS3621 approved will usually have a Nightlatch fitted as additional security. We recommend any Nightlatch fitted as a 2nd lock is a British Standard Approved Nightlatch.
What a 5 Lever Mortice Deadlock looks like
A standard 5 lever mortice deadlock won’t be as secure as a mortice deadlock conforming to BS3621 though, for example usually, there will be no hard plates to protect against drilling.
The first thing you should know is that a 5 lever Mortice Deadlock is NOT found on uPVC & composite doors, look out for the below:
Number of 5 Levers stamped on Faceplate of Lock
The difference between a 3 lever lock and a 5 lever lock is that a 3 lever lock is less secure because it has fewer levers which increases the risk of key duplication. Also, a 3 lever lock will NOT be BS3621 approved due to the poor security of the lock.
The difference between a mortice deadlock and sash lock is that a mortice sashlock has a latch and bolt to open and close the lock. Where-as a mortice deadlock does not have a latch to open the lock.
A 5 lever Mortice deadlock is found on the following door types:
The pros of having a 5 Lever Mortice deadlock as your door lock are:
The cons of a 5 Lever Mortice deadlock are:
The best & most secure 5 Mortice lock is a lock that is Kitemarked to British Standard BS-3621. A Kitemarked British Standard lock ensures the mortice lock has been tested against burglary techniques such as drilling.
For more on BS3621 & British Standard locks click here.
The price of a 5 lever mortice deadlock is from £20, the price will vary dependant on the standard of mortice lock fitted and brand of door lock. A 5 lever mortice deadlock will be slightly more expensive than a 3 lever lock.
For prices of door lock types see our locksmith price list here.
A 5 lever mortice deadlock conforming to BS3621 will have the British Standard Kitemark engraved on the faceplate of the lock and operates the same way as a Standard 5 lever mortice deadlock.
More Secure – the difference compared to a standard 5 lever mortice deadlock is that a BS3621 approved 5 lever mortice deadlock is more secure and is tested against common theft methods.
The quickest way to identify that your Mortice Deadlock is approved to BS3621 is looking for the following:
For more info about BS3621 locks read our guide here.
A 5 Lever Mortice Deadlock approved to BS3621 is found on the following door types:
The pros of having a 5 lever Mortice Deadlock conforming to BS3621 are:
The price of a BS-3621 5 lever mortice deadlock will be from £30.
For prices see our locksmith price list here which has costs of locks & estimated locksmith charges for different types of locksmith work.
The most well-known manufacturers of BS3621 Mortice Dead Locks in the UK are as follows:
A key operated multi-point lock system is fitted into the body of the door and locks into the door frame.
When the lock is engaged multiple bolts will engage into the door frame, usually with a minimum of 3 points and sometimes 4 or 5 points
What a Multipoint Lock looks like
The mechanism is usually operated with a euro cylinder lock to which the key inserts.
A multipoint lock is found on the following doors:
The pros of having a multipoint lock as your door lock are:
The disadvantages of a multipoint lock are:
You only have one lock cylinder, although this is convenient it’s fewer locks to defeat (a traditional wooden door may have 2 or more different locks on it).
Therefore it is essential that the cylinder has been tested to SS312 Diamond Approved or TS 007 3 star kitemark standard against Picking, Drilling, Bumping and Snapping.
Alternatively, you can have a minimum of 1-star cylinder with 2 star PAS24 handles fitted.
SS312 Diamond Euro cylinder fitted on Multipoint locking system | Image by Mul-T-Lock
When used in Multi Occupancy Properties
On properties with multiple occupancies, ie.a block of flats or a house converted into flats, a thumb turn cylinder must be fitted for easy egress in case of emergency.
Remember if your locking system does not lock properly, your insurance may not cover for your losses.
Burglars wander around streets and gardens during the night trying door handles, because they know most people do not lock the doors correctly.
uPVC Door Security Tips
What is the Best uPVC Door Handle?
A rim automatic deadlatch (nightlatch) is fitted on the inside of your door, with the key locking cylinder to insert your key to open the door located on the outside of the door.
You will find Deadlatches commonly referred to as Nightlatches and Yale Locks as well.
Deadlatches (Nightlatches) are found on wooden/timber doors and also glass panelled doors.
You will find a deadlatch (nightlatch) found on the below types of doors:
The advantages of having a deadlatch (nightlatch) as your door lock are:
The disadvantages of using a deadlatch as your main door lock are:
The difference between a Rim lock and a Mortice Lock is that a rim lock is fitted on the surface of the door, whilst a Mortice lock is fitted in the door edge.
Fitting a Night Latch that is British Standard approved will improve the security of your door.
Nightlatch Guide (Best & Most Secure)
A euro cylinder lock is commonly fitted to uPVC & composite doors and is used with multi-point locking systems and are also fitted to some mortice deadlocks and sashlocks on timber or Aluminium doors
Euro cylinders are now one of the most common types of locks fitted to modern homes.
A euro cylinder lock is found on the below door types:
The advantages of having a euro cylinder as your door lock are:
The only disadvantage of a euro cylinder lock on your door is:
Make sure you fit a Euro cylinder that is either SS312 diamond approved or TS007 3 Star.
Most Secure Euro Cylinder Lock
The best type of front door lock depends on a few factors such as the type of door and also the building type.
Door Type – A Wooden door will require a different lock compared to a uPVC or Composite door, as most wooden doors have TWO locks fitted.
Building Type – A door lock on a flat or apartment (or a dwelling with a single exit) will have different escape requirements compared to a domestic house lock.
This is a reason why a vetted, inspected and competent locksmith should be specifying and fitting your door locks.
We also recommend your door lock is independently tested (e.g British Standard) with the correct egress requirements followed. To read our guide on British Standard Locks click here.
The brand of lock you choose is a personal choice, we recommend any lock has been Independently tested meaning a lock has met minimum security and durability needs.
Two locks are commonly only found on Wooden Doors.
The best lock for a wooden door is a lock that meets the requirement of BS3621, the type of lock fitted can be a night latch, mortice deadlock or mortice sash lock.
A non-tested night latch can be used for access but it must be supported with a tested lock so you would have two locks on the door.
It should be noted that if a non-tested night latch is used on its own, the door is not securely locked and is in just a latched state and vulnerable to attack.
Live in a flat or apartment? If the door is on a single exit dwelling (flat or apartment) then the lock should meet the requirement of BS 8621.
You will usually find a multipoint lock with a Euro cylinder on most uPVC doors.
Euro Cylinder locks are prone to lock snapping though, please read our guide here on lock snapping.
The For extra security, we recommend the lock standard of any euro cylinder on a uPVC door is either an SS312 Diamond Approved Cylinder or TS007 3 Star.
If your composite door has been tested to PAS 24 and carries a Secure by Design certificate, then the lock has been tested to a very high level of attack so new locks are not needed.
If the door is untested then changing the lock cylinder to a Sold Secure SS312 Diamond cylinder or TS 007 3 star cylinder will prevent locks being broken and burglars gaining entry.
Please read our locksmith price guide here which covers the price of locks and even a checklist of questions to ask a locksmith if you are looking to change your locks.
A police approved door lock means your lock has been tested to Secured by Design requirements.
Security products that meet Secured By Design requirements are then awarded the ‘Police Preferred Specification’ status which is often referred to as Police Approved.
Check your door lock is “Police Approved” here
If you are still confused about the type of door locks you have fitted, we recommend contacting your nearest locksmith approved by the MLA who will be able to help.
Or you want to upgrade your door locks to comply with BS3621 again a locksmith approved by the Master Locksmiths Association can help.
For expert advice on door lock types
Find a local MLA approved locksmith near you
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