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Lock Types - A little guide

There are lots of different locks and doors on the market today to suit your needs and budget, so finding the right one that does the job for you is important to us. Our little guide is aimed to help you to identify your lock and give you an idea about prices.

The first question our engineer will ask you when you phone is most likely "Which type of door have you got?" - different doors use different locks.

UPVC Doors

Most doors these days are UPVC doors which work with a Multi-point locking system and a Cylinder Barrel. For such doors you have to lift the handle in order to be able to lock the door - you engage the locking mechanism (little hooks or bolts that fit matching bits in the frame) and then you can turn the key to lock the door. This system works also on composite or aluminium doors.

These Multi-point locking mechanism can cost anything from £45 onwards, depending on if you need only the gearbox (the bit inside the door that holds the handle and the lock) or the full mechanism (the metal strip with the hooks and rollers).

  • Gearbox

  • Full Mechanism

  • Euro Profile Cylinder

  • Thumbturn

UPVC doors mostly take cylinder barrels which come in different sizes and shapes, most common are Euro Cylinders which can either be operated with a key from both sides or can have a thumbturn on the inside to enable you to open the door without having to unlock it with a key first.

Euro Cylinders can cost anything between £15 for a basic model up to £55 for the more secure model that can withstand lock snapping, drilling and picking.

Apart from Euro Profile you find that some doors take Oval or Scandinavian Cylinders (often in composite doors), these can have a thumbturn on the inside as well and fit into special gearboxes. Oval Cylinders will cost roughly the same as a Euro Cylinder.

Speak to your insurance to find out which kind of cylinder lock they approve, most insurances insist on BSEN1303:2005 which is the standard for cylinder locks. Also look out for the kitemark sign.

Wooden Doors

Wooden doors are often fitted with a mortice lock - sashlock or deadlock. The lock case is inserted into the door itself and on turning the key the dead bolt moves into the keep in the frame and so locks the door. If you are using a handle to open and close the door, you have got a sashlock.

Dead locking mortice locks (without handle) are often accompanied by Rim Cylinders with a nightlatch on the inside. You can pull the door shut from the outside but to secure it you need to turn the key in the rim cylinder to engage the bolt. From the inside you can push down a little snib or button to lock the door, and you have a thumbturn or handle to open it.

  • A mortice sashlock in the door

  • and on its own

A mortice lock starts at around £20, a nightlatch with rim cylinder costs from £20 upwards and a rim cylinder on its own comes in at around £10, depending on size and standard.

It's worth to look out for mortice locks with at least 5 levers that are kitemarked and fulfill British Standard 3621, these are the most secure ones and are often required by insurances. Such a mortice costs from £30 onwards. Speak to your insurance to find out more, or discuss your requirements with us.

AL Security can deal with all types of doors and all types of locks. We can supply and fit all locks and door furniture and ironmongery (handles, door knobs, letterboxes, window sash jammers, window handles etc). We carry an extensive range of stock, in the unlikely event that we don't have your particular lock / mechanism in your size or finish, we can order it for you and will have it in most cases within 48 hours.