Wherever you live in the UK and no matter how much you are looking to insure, one of the most common questions you will be asked when purchasing household insurance is “what locks do you have?” you may well not know this automatically, especially if you have just purchased a property, so here is a guide to what’s what:
- 5 lever mortice deadlock. This is where the locking mechanism is embedded into a slot in the door and the strike plate is fitted to the door frame and operated with a key. The face plate will usually have the number of levers the lock has stamped into it. Another trick is to count the number of ridges on your key if unsure. Fairly often insurers will ask for all exit doors to have 5 lever mortice lock which conforms to the BS3621 British Standards, this can be locked and unlocked by key from both sides. You will usually not find these on a UPVC or aluminium doors or most composite doors.
- Multi-point locking system will have a minimum of 3 locking points that lock simultaneously by turn of a key (you may have to lift a handle first). These are typically found on UPVC doors, including patio and French doors.
- Rim automatic deadlock with key locking handles. This is where the lock is mounted on the inside of the door, and a cylinder within the lock connects to the keyhole on the outside of the door. This can also be locked and unlocked from both sides.
- Patio and French Doors. As previously mentioned these will usually be fitted with a multi-point locking system, but the other type of locks are a top and bottom or a central rail key operated lock. The central rail key operated locking system is a locking system that’s fitted to the central rail where the doors overlap. A top and bottom lock out of the 3 are the most basic and is usually in addition to one of the other locks.
- Accessible window key operated locks. This is a standard insurance requirement for all accessible windows (ground floor/basement level, or within easy reach of the ground and capable of being opened, such as above a flat roof) to be secured with a key operated lock. These are normally on the handle but can differ depending on style or age of window.
It is very important to disclose the type of security you have accurately as you will be expected to use it, and false information could affect a claim. These will not always have a bearing on a price as they are generally a requirement.
Security is forever evolving, and with new systems such as key safes and biometric locks (which use your fingerprint to gain access) becoming more popular, it’s exciting to see what will be deemed “standard” security in the future!
Written by: Sarah Barrett, Broking Team Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org