Keytek’s Padlock Buying Guide

What is a Padlock?

Padlocks are defined as portable locks with a shackle that may be passed through an opening to prevent use, theft, vandalism, or harm. A padlock is traditionally used to secure; gates, sheds, bikes etc.

What do I need to consider when buying a Padlock?

The first thing you need to consider is what your padlock will be protecting. If it’s just going on your shed to stop any kids from stealing your plants then you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money. However, if your padlock is securing a £600 bike, then it might be worth investing a little more money in a high security padlock. Once you’ve decided on how much you want to spend then there are some other factors you may want to consider.

Materials and design– As with most things in life you get what you pay for, so if you buy a cheap padlock made with cheap materials, it will be easier to break. Whereas a well-made padlock, constructed with high grade materials will provide you with more protection. If your padlock will spend most of its life outside, then consider buying a weatherproof or waterproof padlock. Its rains a lot in this country so you don’t want your padlock to rust and therefore become ineffective.

The Shackle– you are looking for the silver loop at the top that clicks in to secure the padlock. If you can, get a padlock with the shackle almost completely hidden. One way thieves break padlocks is by snipping the shackle with bolt cutters, but if they can’t get near the shackle, they can’t cut it. Cheaper padlocks tend to have the shackle completely exposed, so again, it goes back to what you are trying to secure and how much you want to spend on a padlock.

Different Types of Shackles:

  1. Closed shackle

The closed shackle is a common type, which increases the protection and difficulty of any attack with a saw and bolt cutters – as the name suggests, the shackle is closed to prevent being cut off.

  1. Straight shackle

The straight shackle is another common type, which is often used for roller shutter doors. That being said, it has other uses, such as securing containers and large warehouse doors.

  1. Circular/round shackle

From its name, the circular shackle has a curved design, unlike any popular or traditional design. Since the design is spring loaded, it prevents any force or the lock being drilled.

  1. Long shackle

With a very traditional design, the long shackle is popular for making the padlock use itself very convenient and easy to secure items.  However, it is important to consider that shackles are the most vulnerable part of any padlock, and having a long pass through shackle does reduce the security level of these particular padlocks.

Is it a good standard? – To be sure that you are getting a padlock that has been rigorously tested and vetted by a trusted authority, you need to look out for mark of quality. Look for the ‘British Standard’ kite mark. When you see this mark you know that a padlock has been tested by the British Standard Institute and that it passed the criteria set by them.

The British Standard Institute will test the different qualities the padlocks have, for example; how long a padlock would take to pick, or how much force it would take to get through the shackle. So you can be sure that if a padlock has this symbol on, it will be of good quality.

Combination VS Key- You might be more familiar with the key designs as they are more common, but like we’ve stated before it depends on what you are using your padlock for. For example, if it is being used to secure a back gate in a family home, then a combination lock might be best, as many people will need access and there is no risk of losing the key. However if it only one person using the padlock for say, a bike, then a key lock may be more beneficial as you don’t want the code falling into the wrong hands.

If you do decide to go for a padlock with a key then you want as many pins as possible, the more pins the harder it is to copy the key. If you are really worried about someone coping the key then you do have the option of buying a high-end padlock with a restricted key, this means that a Locksmith or key cutter will refuse to cut a new key without evidence that you are the owner.

Best Padlocks

 

  1. Master Lock 189EURD Key Padlock with Shrouded Shackle

£12.97 From Amazon.

The Master Lock Padlock is a perfect fit for both indoors and outdoors, from doors to storage units, fences, and garages. The shrouded design of its shackle is mainly styled to protect the padlock from cutting. What makes the padlock unique are the double locking levers, which add to its security from hammering and prying. The stainless steel material of the padlock is also making it very durable and weather resistant.

 

  1. TSA Approved Locks – Pack Of 2- UK Brand – New And Improved Model for 2021

£9.99 From Amazon.

The TSA padlock is a perfect use for luggage, gym bags, and lockers. What makes it unique is the 4 digit combination that is more secure than any other standard 3 digit padlock. The combination of the padlock is made of a hard zinc alloy, a high quality material that increases your security.  It is very affordable and used by many people.

 

  1. ABUS 37/80 Granit Alloy Steel Padlock

£148.52 From Amazon.

The ABUS padlock has a tensile strength of nearly 25,000 pounds, making it a difficult one to defeat! It has a reinforced steel foundation that adds to its resistance to physical strikes. As a result, the padlock is extremely resilient physically. It’s a product that comes with a lifetime warranty. The best part is that you will never misplace the key as well as featuring a substantial size and strength.

 

  1. Arrone Fingerprint Padlock

£50 From Hausnous.

If you are looking for a smart padlock, look no further! The Arrone padlock offers you convenience and easiness for anything that you use quite often and as a result, would end up with lost or stolen keys. Whether indoors or outdoors, the Arrone Padlock is water and dust resistant with a long-lasting charging battery that can last up to 200 days after a full single charge. It is very easy to use, especially when it comes to charging it as it uses a USB cable to charge.

 

  1. Yale Closed Shackle High Security Steel Padlock

Yale is one of the biggest names in the security industry, if you’ve done any research on padlocks or any locks for that matter, then you will have come across the name. The Closed Shackle Padlock is perfect for securing anything indoors, tool boxes or internal doors for example. As mentioned before any padlock with a concealed shackle is going to be very hard to tamper with. The Shackle on this Yale padlock is made of boron steel; boron is high-grade precision steel that is used in advanced automotive and heavy-duty industrial applications due to its extreme strength. It also features double ball locking, this means that even if the thief cut the shackle on both sides, it wouldn’t move. The Yale Closed Shackle High Security Steel Padlock is a robust and secure padlock, the only limitation being that it’s not built to withstand bad weather conditions, so its use is limited to inside.

Check out more of our Security Tips!

Smart Locks vs Traditional Locks

Having a secure door lock is one of the most effective ways to protect your home and ever since Smart Locks came on to the market, there has been an ongoing debate about whether they are A) safe, and B) more secure than Traditional Locks. We are going to look at a thorough comparison of smart and Traditional Locks, and see which comes out on top as the most secure.

Traditional Locks

When we talk about ‘Traditional’ locks, we are referring to the typical locks you see on pretty much every door; a Euro Lock, Mortice, Yale type (Night Latch) etc. These are the locks that you know already, and will most likely have on your door. These locks need a physical key to open them. Have a look on our ultimate guide to traditional locks here.

Traditional Lock

Smart Locks

When we talk about ‘Smart’ locks we are referring to a lock that is controlled by your phone, or another devise such as a fob. These locks use either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and not a physical key to unlock your door. Read our ultimate guide on smart locks here!

Smart Locks

Door Lock Security

This one is the biggy. Which lock is actually more secure? The one big issue facing Smart Locks is that anything that is connected to the internet can be vulnerable to hacking. So if you install a Smart Lock for your home, there is a chance someone could break in by hacking the lock. This is one fundamental flaw that affects all Smart Locks.

With Traditional Locks it’s hard to give an overview of safety because they are all different and many factors have to be taken into consideration. However, we will just look at common locks that you will find on your front door, like a Euro or a Mortice Lock, as they are vulnerable to picking.

Traditional front door locks are susceptible to breaks in; arguably just as much as or even more so than a Smart Lock. An experienced burglar can snap a Euro Lock and gain entry to your house in seconds (see more on our lock snapping page). You can invest in an anti-snapping lock, but this is still vulnerable to ‘picking’.  This is also true of Mortice Locks. You can get high security locks that are anti-snap and anti-pick.

When deciding which the most secure lock is for you home, you need to think about whether it’s more likely an intruder will pick your lock, or hack it. Statistics show us that burglary is a crime of opportunity, so it’s not likely an intruder will have pre planned to hack into your smart door lock. As discussed, Smart Locks often run off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi so there is always a chance this will fail, potentially leaving your home vulnerable.

There is a lot of debate about which lock is the most secure lock for your home. Both have the strengths and weaknesses.  So, comparing them on secureness might not make you decided one way or another. It’s the other factors that might make up your mind.

Convenience

This is an area where Smart Locks definitely come out on top. The ability to let someone into your home from miles away is great. Especially if you have children that tend to misplace their keys during the school day. In this day and age, people are generally never without their phones, so it’s a good way to ensure you are never locked out.

With Traditional Locks, if you want to grant someone access to your home while you are not in, you would have to trust them with a key, or leave on under the mat (which we strongly advise against). These can both cause security issues, as it’s an open invitation to any burglar who finds it and you trust someone not to lose the key. Having a Traditional Lock also means that if you lose your key or lock yourself out, whomever else has a key would need to physically come to your location to let you in.

However, a phone running out of battery, having no internet access or something disrupting the Bluetooth means that you could be locked out of a Smart Lock. Most Smart Locks do have a key override for this reason, but you may feel this defeats the object of having a smart door lock, a physical key is never going to run out of battery or lose connection.

 

versatility & Control

The Smart Lock market is growing very quickly, and more options are constantly introduced to the market. When it comes to versatility, Smart Locks come on top of the competition. Although the device is controlled by a phone or other smart device, regular keys will also work most of the time. Some Smart Locks have fingerprint scanners on the inside, while others have touch sensors that actuate the lock to open or close a door. In terms of versatility, some Smart Locks can even connect to different other smart devices, including the Amazon Echo.  As for control, you can use key tag, keypad, or your mobile phone to control your lock or even to log in activities and see who has accessed your door when you are away. Traditional locks wouldn’t be considered as versatile. There are many options with different brands in the market, but the way to use them is often somewhat the same.  As for traditional locks, you can control who has a key and ensure that you have high security locks fitted, but this does not protect you from having your keys stolen.

Smart lock vs traditional lock cost

smart lock vs traditional lock cost

Generally speaking, Smart Locks are more expensive than Traditional Locks and this could be a big factor in your decision. So we will run through some general prices and what you get for your money. (This is not taking in the account the cost of hiring a locksmith to fit/replace your locks)

Depending on what door you have the cost for a new lock will change. A replacement cylinder for a uPVC door starts at £25 for the most basic lock. This price will change if you have a wooden door, as you will probably need a Yale lock replacement or a Mortice Lock replacement. With a Yale Lock you can just replace the cylinder and that starts at £15 and upwards, but if you needed the whole lock and back set replaced, the price starts at £35. When changing a Mortice Lock you need to decide if you want a 3 Lever or 5 Lever, (5 Levers are generally used for external doors, and 3 Levers for internal).  5 Levers start at around £45 and 3 Levers at £25.

If you wanted high security locks then the price will jump up again. For the highest grade anti-snap or anti-bump lock, the price will start at £30. Higher security Mortice Locks start at around £40.

There is no denying that Smart Locks are more expensive than Traditional Locks. The cheapest Smart Lock out there is the Candy House Sesame Smart Lock and that’s around £100. The bigger names for Smart Locks out there are August and Yale and they will set you back around £250-£300 for the basic package. You have to think whether or not the extra cost is worth it, but you get all the benefits; lock and unlock your house from anywhere, send friends and family virtual keys and receive notifications about whose entering and leaving.

Smart Locks will use the same mechanisms as Traditional Locks, so really you are paying extra for convenience. If you wanted to pay extra for home security, you might be better off investing in an entire smart home system that includes cameras, motion detectors and an alarm system.

The Future of Home Locks

The future of technology holds many aspects in home security. The main concern is what the future will be like in terms of home security, especially when it comes to your property’s first line of defence, which is your lock. In fact, smart locks will be part the ever changing technology just like other smart device. Just like any other technological device, it is very expected that smart locks will the future of home locks, with convenience taking a huge aspect of it.  In fact, in 2020, 47% of UK households own already a smart home device, apart from smart TVs and watches.  Therefore, it is not a surprise to expect that convenience would win and the future will be mainly smart locks.

 

For a full buyer’s guide on Smart locks visit our Smart Locks Blog.

Call Keytek® Today!

There is nothing that can make your house 100% secure, but by taking some simple measures you can deter thieves. Look out for sturdy doors and windows or consider replacing them when they are old and worn. Having the locks changed is one of the BEST things you can do to protect your new home.

Hiring a professional Locksmith to fit these is the only way to be sure that your locks are insurance compliant. Keytek® offer a free home security check with every job we do, so if you book us in for the day you move we can appraise your home and give you our best advice on how to keep the burglars away.

You can find a rough guide for the cost of Locksmith services on our Locksmith Prices Page.

Autumn Home Security Checklist

security checklist autumn

Often as nights become darker there is a rise in opportunistic burglaries, therefore we have created a checklist containing some simple steps you can take to improve your home security.

Check you locks

Make sure all exterior doors and windows are locking correctly. If you have any problems call a locksmith to either service or replace your locks.

So, how can you check your locks to see if they are working correctly?

  • Testing it – if you don’t use a lock in your house often, your back garden door for instance, it is best to check every now and then that they still work and are in good condition. Also make sure to regularly check your most used locks and call a locksmith if anything seems out of the ordinary. Not only will this help prevent a burglary, it could help you spot a fault before it breaks completely potentially leaving you locked out or in!

  • Cleaning your lock– carefully cleaning your lock to remove any dirt can be vital as it can prevent the inner mechanism sticking.

  • Upgrade worn or damaged locks –locks will occasionally get damaged due to weather conditions, burglary attempts or wear and tear. In all of these cases it is always best to have them replaced.

  • Install additional locks – in addition to your basic lock, why not add some extra security to your door like a chain or a sash jammer? If you have a wooden door, having both a Yale type lock and a mortice will help increase security.

  • Call a Locksmith – while there are some steps you can take to check your locks, if you are concerned at all about them, or if they are not working correctly, it is always best to call a professional locksmith.

Check your outdoor lights

Outdoor lights ensure there are no dark areas for unwanted visitors to hide, and having fully functioning outdoor lights will help deter a burglar during the darker nights.

There are many different types of outdoor lights. Smart lighting (often called motion sensors lighting), is one of them and is quite often recommended. Besides convenience, smart lighting has many other benefits for security:

  • Saving energy – instead of having to turn lights on all night when not needed, a smart light only comes on when someone passes by, conserving energy.

  • Deter burglars– it can help prevent a burglary as it draws attention to your home, and they can no longer hide under the cover of darkness.

  • Long life span – these lights often come with a long life span meaning they are a good investment.

It is a well-known statistic that most burglaries in the UK happen during the day. What most people don’t know is that statistic relates to a break in and does not take into account the exterior of your property. When it comes to outdoor burglary, this usually happens from 6 pm to 6 am, so we advise investing in some kind of security lighting to help prevent this. Although most burglaries do happen during the day, some do still occur at night so security lighting will also protect you from this.

Arm your security system

It is important to have your home protected at all times, therefore invest in a top quality home security system, or ensure your own system is functioning correctly.

There are many reasons to invest in a home security system for your house, including protecting your valuables, deterring crime, allowing house remote access, lowering your home insurance and giving an overall peace of mind when it comes to the safety and security of your household.

Evaluate your exterior

Trimming shrubs and bushes will eliminate places for burglars to hide. Raking leaves, mowing the lawn and keeping the front of your house tidy in general, will indicate that someone is home even if you are absent.

Secure your shed

Once summer ends it is likely your garden equipment will go into hibernation all winter, therefore it is essential to make sure they are stored properly and securely as these could be used by burglars to break into your house. There are many ways that you can help secure your shed.

  • Windows – we suggest avoiding having windows in your shed as it could let whoever is looking see if it’s worth breaking in to. If you already have windows, it could be worth applying a film or spray on them to avoid seeing through them.

  • Position – don’t place your shed somewhere that you can’t see properly; a burglar will definitely find it a better opportunity to break in if it is in a secluded spot in your garden.

  • Lights – smart lighting is also suggested for a shed to act as a burglar deterrent.

  • Alarm – another suggestion is to add an alarm to your shed, this will again help deter a burglar but also alert you if someone is attempting to break-in to your shed. Even a dummy alarm can help in these circumstances, as most burglars will not attempt just in case it is a real alarm.

Safety first!

The start of the colder months means fireplaces and heating will be turned on, therefore it is crucial to ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are still working correctly.

Keep your eye out for even more great advice from the National Home Security Month’s website and social media channels!

To download our Autumn security checklist click here!

Need a Locksmith?

There is nothing that can make your house 100% secure, but by taking some simple measures you can help deter thieves. Look out for sturdy doors and windows or consider replacing them when they are old and worn. Having the locks changed is one of the BEST things you can do to protect your new home.

Hiring a professional Locksmith to fit these is the only way to be sure that your locks are insurance compliant. Keytek® offer a free home security check with every job we do, so if you book us in for the day you move we can appraise your home and give you our best advice on how to keep the burglars away. Talk to the Locksmith about anti-snapping locks and any other doors you need securing such as a garage, gate, or shed as our professional Engineers carry a wide variety of locks on every job.

Further reading:

The Reality of Home Insurance Requirements

Spring home security checklist 

Bluff the Burglar 

How do celebrities protect their homes?

Celebrities Homes

There have been various cases over the years of celebrity houses being broken into. It makes sense; they are well known to have a lot of money, making them a target for thieves. With advancements in smart security happening quickly, many of the rich and famous have plashed the cash on the most up to date way to protect their homes.

Harry Styles

Harry Styles has recently been the victim of a stalker, so has felt the need to upgrade his home security. Reports say that his has installed smart locks, alarms and cameras in his London home that give him an alert whenever they sense movement. The star has also reportedly purchased the houses surrounding his home, in bid to create a ‘fortress of security’ having been so shaken by the incident. The hit maker is often seen in the company of a 7-foot body guard, so it seems like he takes his personal security as seriously as he takes his home security.

Jack Grealish

After a spate of high-profile footballers being targeted by home invaders, the England player has become the most recent in a long line of footballers splashing out on a £25,000 security dog. These dogs come from the company Chaperone K9, who specialise in training these dogs to protect you and your home. The dogs are able to handle; home invasion, road rage, robbery and personal attacks. The dogs, mainly German Shepherds and Bull Mastiffs, are sourced from expert breeders worldwide and are selected based on their temperament and sociability. Once you have engaged the services of Chaperone K9 your dog will be specifically trained for your needs.

David and Victoria Beckham

Last year the famous couple submitted plans to maximise the security at their Cotswolds mansion after a spate of celebrity home invasions. The planning was said to include a large gated entrance that is to be manned 24/7. There were also plans for an underground escape tunnel, this would let the Beckhams enter a wine cellar under the existing garage, we can only assume that the wine cellar will double up as a safe room, to keep the family safe in an emergency.

 

50 Cent

The famous rapper spares no expense when it comes to securing his Connecticut mansion, spending a reported $1 million per year.  50 used some of that money to install an extensive camera surveillance system all over his home. Which is a great deterrent for burglars, you can even buy fake ones for much less money. An offender is less likely to break into a house, if they feel they are being watched.

Security Camera

Johnny Depp

The quirky Pirates of the Caribbean actor has an equally quirky house in Los Angeles, fit with turrets, battlement and towers. However his home security is definitely not medieval, his security systems include security cameras and security guards. He has also employed the architecture of his home to help with security. Depp’s mansion only has one entrance, so is impossible to enter without somebody seeing. He also uses the tall trees around the property to obscure the view of inside for any potential thieves. This may not be advisable if you do not have round the clock security, as the trees can stop neighbours or a passer-by knowing someone has broken in or attempting to break in. You can definitely take some ideas from Johnny – making sure any valuables are out of sight is a great way to deter burglars.

Tom Cruise

The movie stars’ mansion home is sectioned off into ‘zones’ with fingerprint identification required for a person to enter. This means the staff are only able to access the sections of the house they work in. There is also an impressive electric gate, with guards posted at the entrance 24/7. Now we know that not many people could afford such a beefed up security system, however you can make small changes to your own home, to make it more secure. Be sure to install a peep hole in your door, so you don’t have to open the door to strangers. You can also make sure (if it can be accommodated) you have a sturdy gate with a lock, to prevent people trespassing on your property.

Manned Security

 

Prince William and Kate Middleton

Now as you would expect, the security for the future king is the best you can get. Security details of the couples’ new home were made public not that long ago and include an ‘air lock’ double door system, a CCTV system, pop up bollards and spiked railings. An ‘air lock’ double door system is simpler than it sounds. It means that there is a small passageway between two doors that are air tight. Meaning if an intruder was to enter the first door, he could be trapped within the passageway until the police arrived. Now it is impossible to have as many precautions as the Royals, however you can secure your home by making sure all doors and windows are locked securely. If your house does have a porch area, make sure both the front door and porch door have sturdy locks, if a burglar has to get through two doors, they are less likely to break in.

Or if you have the money and really want to protect yourself, then you could buy your own private island like Virgin founder Richard Branson. Who needs cameras and security guards when you are surrounded by water?

For more tips on protecting your house visit our Security Tips page

Info from;

www.telegraph.co.uk

www.radaronline.com

www.inmyarea.com

www.hiphopdx.com

What to do if someone breaks into your home

While it is very unlikely that you will be confronted by a burglar breaking into your home, as most break-ins happen when a house is empty. However, it is always best to be prepared for the worst case scenario. In 28% of burglaries someone is thought to be home when a someone breaks in , if this does happen then it could be an extremely traumatic experience and you might not know what to do. We detail below our suggestions of ways to handle it should this happen to you.

Burglar in your Home? Get to a Safe Place outside your Home

Your first course of action should always be to escape, in the majority of cases a burglar will want to be in and out as quick as possible. They will most likely have their exit route planned, which statistically will be out of the back, according to safe.co.uk; ‘burglars will have a clear exit to the rear of the property through the back door before heading upstairs to check the bedrooms’ so we advise trying to hide yourself away from this route. It is never a good idea to confront a burglar, so confrontation is a last resort, as this could provoke a violent reaction. Nothing they could take is worth risking your life for.

 

Activate Your Burglar Alarm System

Plan B would be to use you burglar alarm, if you have one., this is especially useful if you have one with a panic button, if you don’t have an burglar alarm like that then try the alarm button on your car keys. Anything that is loud and will bring attention to your house will spook a burglar, hopefully enough for them to leave.

 

Hide and Try to Call the Police

Hide. Grab your mobile phone if you can and get somewhere safe. The best place to be is somewhere you can either lock the door from the inside or barricade yourself in. Call 999 as soon as you can and explain that someone has broken into your home. It will be difficult but try to be calm and explain what is happening in short and concise words. However, if you feel that speaking or making a noise would endanger your life or give away where you are hiding then you can stay silent and press 55 (silent solutions) and this will alert the police that you need help but cannot make a noise. Keep the line open so they can hear what’s happening and sit tight and wait for the police.

 

Be Calm, Collected and Compliant

However, you could be in the situation where the other plans fail, so you arrive at plan D. You come face to face with the burglar. Easier said than done but it’s very important that you stay calm, the calmer you stay the calmer the burglar should be. Don’t shout or scream, keep your voice as normal as possible. Don’t make any sudden movements or move towards the burglar, hold your hands up and be compliant; tell them that you are cooperating and they can take whatever they want, nothing you own is worth your life. Whether or not the person’s face is covered, it’s advised that you don’t make eye contact with the burglar, it could be interpreted as a sign of aggression and the burglar might feel like you would be able to identify them afterwards.

 

 

What to Do After a Break-In

The first thing you need to do on discovering your home has been broken in to, is call the police. If you are 100% sure the burglar is out of the house then you need to call 101. However, if there is any doubt in your mind to whether they are still around, call 999 from a safe place. Its very important that you don’t touch anything as the police forensic team will look and test for finger and foot prints. If the burglar is no longer in your property and the situation is non urgent then the police should arrive within a few hours, they will take a full, written statement from you, try to be clear and gove any relevant information you have. Once that is complete you will be issued a crime number, this is essential for you to make an insurance claim. It is then that you need to call an emergency locksmith, who can change or repair your locks and do any boarding up to make your home secure again. To find out more about emergency locksmiths, visit or Emergency Locksmith Page.

 

What am I allowed to do if someone breaks into my Home?

If someone has unlawfully entered your home, you are entitled to act in self-defence using reasonable force. The CPS have stated that you do not have to wait to be attacked to defend yourself, but you must only take actions that are deemed necessary to the situation. The general rule of lawful self-defence is that the more extreme the situation the more force you could reasonably use.

However, it is strongly advised that you never actively try to confront an intruder but rather firstly get to a safe location and then call the Police through 999.

 

How do you Report an Attempted Break-in?

Calling 999 is reserved for when you or another are in immediate danger or if the crime is currently in progress. If a break in has been attempted but you do not feel in immediate danger and it is not an emergency then we suggest calling 101 which will send you through to the non-emergency Police line.

What Attracts Burglars to Homes?

Burglars will pick houses that they believe they can break into with ease. They will look for secluded areas by your house where they won’t be disturbed while breaking in. They will use overgrown bushes and trees for cover, especially if you have no external lighting. 47% of burglaries aren’t planned and are carried out on the spur of the moment, so it’s very important that you make your home as secure as possible. Leaving valuable items in plain view is also what can attract a burglar to your home.

Clearly visible valuables can be a cause of why opportunistic burglars might target your home as most will want to be in and out and grab as much as possible, so if they know what already might be on offer they are more likely to target that house. If you’re home looks very secure, this could mean a burglar moves on without trying to break in.

 

Do Burglars Come Back After a Failed Attempt?

There are a number of things that thankfully could have prevented a burglar from entering your home; however this doesn’t mean that they won’t try again. Unfortunately the burglar thought that they would have been able to enter your home and would have targeted you for a reason, there is a chance that they still could think they may be able to do it successfully at a later date.

 

How to Protect Against Future Burglaries

Consider Installing a Burglar Alarm

The physical sight of a burglar alarm is a great visual deterrent to ward off any burglars scouting the area but also provides the sense of peace that if someone was to enter your home the burglar alarm would sound, alerting people in the area of a break in and scare off the burglar.

Act like More People are Home

If you are home alone and the doorbell goes you should always try to make it sound as though you are not home alone, you could do this by shouting “Can some get the door please” before opening the door yourself. Deterring burglars is all about appearance, giving the facade that your home isn’t easy to break into, that there are multiple occupants in the house are factors that would be considered when a burglar is choosing a target.

Teach Children How to Respond To Strangers and Intruders

A knock at the door can be exciting for children, running up to see who it is and want they might want, but this can be partially dangerous if they were to accidentally let in a stranger. Teach your children to never open the door, especially if home alone, but instead turn on a light somewhere in the house and notify someone that there has been a knock at the door.

Invest in a Few Simple Items to Make your Home Less of a Target

There are multiple things that you can do to make your home more secure and a less attractive target to intruders. Simple things such as outdoor security lights, thorny bushes and anti-climb paint are all blockers that you can implement to secure your home. To find out how to secure all the different aspects of your home head over to our Ultimate Home Security Guide.

 

Change your Locks after a Burglary

Once the police have left your property then you should call an Emergency Locksmith, if any doors or windows are damaged, or if you need emergency boarding up services. Keytek® Locksmiths has local Locksmiths available 24/7 so we can help you out whenever. 28% of people will get burgled for a second time at the same address, so it is important that your house is secure. Burglars will often target the same house again because of ease and familiarity. They might think they have been successful once, so they can be successful again, so it is imperative that you engage a fully accredited, trustworthy Locksmith to make your home secure again.

 

For more info on what to do after a break in visit our Burglary Page.

 

 

https://www.aviva.co.uk/news-and-guides/article/what-do-if-someone-breaks-into-your-house/
www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/natureofcrimeburglary/yearendingmarch2016
www.modernsurvivalblog.com/security/21-things-your-burglar-wont-tell-you/
www.independent.co.uk/life-style/call-999-emergency-services-what-to-do-if-cant-talk-advice-crime-accident-police-ambulance-a7524196.html
www.citizendefensetraining.com/safe_at_home.htm
www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/legal-rights-attack-intruder-home-12505317
www.safewise.com/home-security-faq/house-break-in
www.aol.co.uk/money/2017/02/15/why-burglary-victims-are-targeted-again-several-times/
www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/how-think-like-burglar-revealed-10366694
www.securitygem.com/what-to-do-after-a-home-burglary/
www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/how-think-like-burglar-revealed-10366694

 

What is a Tubular Key? When is best to use them?

A tubular lock is also known as a radial lock, barrel key, Ace lock or a circle pin tumbler lock where there are a variety of pins (between 4-10), arranged in a circular pattern with the matching key in a tubular or cylindrical shape. It became popular in 1933 by the manufacturer Chicago Lock Company, and has since been widely used with commercial products, such as computers, bicycle locks, ATM’s, glass display cabinets in stores, vending machines and elevators. They are ideal for business owners who want to secure their valuables, but also for theft and vandalism prevention, public safety and protection against unauthorised entrance to buildings and machines. Tubular locks are a smaller version of a morticed lock and are very budget friendly, making them ideal for home and door use. The tubular lock uses a basic pin tumbler system but has a few differences, with the shape of the key being circular and open in the centre, with grooves cut into the outsides of the circular shape.

 

Slots

 

What is their background?

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, tubular locks were recommended as high security locks for apartments and houses. In the 1980s, this was challenged by advancements in lock manufacturers, as well as locksmiths becoming familiar with their certain weaknesses. This led to a decline in the consumer market for tubular locks and keys. However, manufacturers such as Ace, the Van Lock company and Illinois Lock company, continued to manufacture different variations of the tubular lock concept. Today, these are still challenging to lock pickers and burglars, and therefore are used in the gambling industry for slot machines.

Tubular locks are also commonly found on doors and are most suited for new post-1950’s pre-drilled doors. They are one of the most common types of residential locks in the US and require your door to be drilled and prepared in different ways for installation. They were originally designed in order to prevent high manufacturing costs and labour-intensive preparation needed on doors. Tubular locks have an independent latch and independent deadbolt, so you can identify them though the independent face plate for each of these functions.

 

Door Keys

 

How do they work?

The key is circular and has a ring-shaped hole, with a metal cylinder surrounding it in the middle. The pins are pushed in horizontally to the lock; this compares to the standard pin and tumbler system where key pins are moved vertically. The notch on the key should correspond to fit the similarly shaped hole in the keyway of the door, and these will have to line up to allow insertion of the key. Once the key is fitted into the keyhole, the key pins are depressed to the correct depth.

 

What is their design?

The design is similar to the pin tumbler lock, the key has notches around each edge, these depress a pin inside the lock to a certain height, allowing the cylinder to turn. The key pins (red) and driver pins (blue) push towards the front of the lock, stopping the plug (yellow) from rotating round. Once the key is fitted correctly into the gaps between the key and driver pins; this will depress the key pins aligning them with the indentations and shear plane, separating the plug from its outer casing (green), and allowing the lock to turn.

 

Are they secure?

They are secure and good for emergencies, with a feature that allows quick access or exit in the case of an emergency. For tubular keys, this emergency mechanism is on the inside of the door, with a longer protective plate. However, they are also good for securing homes and doors, as a separate deadbolt can be added to the lock to secure the door. Tubular deadbolts have a hardened steel pin within the bolt, and this prevents people from drilling down on it. They are also available with a key in knob or lever function with or without an emergency system and can be great for storage areas or mechanical rooms where a deadbolt is not needed. They offer a high level of security and can be purchased for a good price, providing security for your home and doors.

 

Conclusion

Now that you understand the history and background of the tubular lock, and the basics of using one, you can appreciate why this lock is used widely in different industries. These locks are often considered safer and more resistant to picking than a standard lock, and therefore can be a good option for anyone who requires a higher level of security.

 

 

Home Security in Period Properties

Period properties combine class and style with both character and history, but can prove a challenge for security, especially if you are living in a listed building with restrictions or conservation area regulations. One of the main challenges can be home security, as period and heritage properties often have outdated security systems, making them easy targets for criminals. Modern security solutions can be introduced to increase the security of your traditional property and these are worth the investment. It is also possible to install security measures that work with the aesthetics of your property and its setting, without disrupting its visual appeal.

 

Home Interiors Chandelier on ceiling. Luxury Vintage Chanderlier

 

Window Security

Period properties have older windows such as wooden-frame sash instead of the lockable, double glazed uPVC windows that modern houses often have. You should consider looking at specialist sash-window locks as these will provide higher levels of home security. However, these might be subject to restrictions so you should always check with your local council’s conservation officer first before making any changes. You could also consider installing collapsible grilles for the insides of your windows; these may disrupt the period aesthetics but they do fold away when needed. These retractable security grilles are a good deterrent for burglars and also offer a higher level of security.

 

White Window

 

Door Security

Period doors can often be very thin, and therefore can be vulnerable to crime. If you have wooden doors, you could consider turning them around so that they open outwards instead of inwards, as this makes it harder for thieves to kick them in.

Georgian homes were built during the 18th Century and are often very symmetrical with large solid front doors, whereas Victorian properties were built during the 19th Century, identifiable by their red brick, large bay windows and gothic architectural style. Victorian front doors were representative of wealth within the community, presented through colourful, patterned tiling in the artwork on the door. If your door is from the Victorian or Georgian era, it may  not be as durable or sturdy as more modern doors to protect from intruders, with an increased risk of age and wear making it vulnerable to break-ins.

There have been advancements in door security for period properties, with improvements supported by the government’s Building Regulations. Doors should meet or exceed the British Standard PAS24 and locks should conform to British Standard 3621 . You should check that your new front door meets the latest minimum British Standards in aspects of glass for security, thermal ability, energy-efficiency and safety qualities. Modern security systems can be installed to your period front door and property, ensuring that its original charm and elegance is sustained to achieve a period aesthetic without compromising security. In order to protect your period property, the main doors should have a door viewer, such as clear glass or a window next to the doorset, a door chain or limiter. A door chain or limiter is not always necessary and there can be alternative ways to identify visitors, such as electronic audio-visual door entry systems.

Furthermore, a good locking system will ensure that your home is secure, by having locks built in with bars, bolts and support structures to strengthen the body of your door. Locks available for timber doors are considered far superior and stronger than those for uPVC, composite or aluminium doors, as these can be worked into the door and provide you with the flexibility to choose from a range of high-quality door locks. If you do not have a timber door, there are options for improving uPVC door security, these can be secured by design accreditation and police approved. Examples of these include: anti-snap locks, uPVC door handles, door chains and sash jammers to improve the security of the door, these prevent the door from opening if the lock is broken or opened. High bolts or dog bolts can also be fitted to an opening door, as when it is closed hinge bolts will prevent the door from being forced open off the hinges.

 

Mortice Locks

There are many options to increase security solutions through the use of locks for period doors, such as mortice locks. Mortice locks are fitted inside the edge of the door, these make it difficult to break into as most of the locking mechanism is contained inside the door frame. They are visually pleasing as less of the locking mechanism is visible, and therefore do not compromise the style and aesthetics of your original period home.

 

Door handle with knob

 

Deadlocks

You could also consider using deadlocks or deadbolts as a secure locking system, manually operated using a key. When a deadlock is unlocked, it is held in the withdrawn position. These are much easier to unlock in emergency situations, such as fires overall providing higher safety measures.

 

Modern Security Solutions

You could consider installing modern technology and security solutions into your period property, whilst retaining its grandeur and style. A requirement of home technology is to install alarm systems, alarm bell boxes and CCTV systems, all of these can be hidden if you do not want them to affect your house’s period style. Modern lighting is also ideal for preventing burglaries and you can find specialist security lights in a period style or adapt outdoor lighting with a standard movement sensor.

You could also consider fitting spy holes, door chains and bars to your period front door, carefully designed to retain your door’s style but also to prevent intruders. You could consider replacing the spy-hole with a security camera or smartphone app for peace of mind. Wireless technology can be an asset to period properties and can be easily fitted without damaging its original features. You can also use remote monitoring and viewing from your smartphone to identify visitors without affecting your personal security. It is also possible to automate security functions and control them remotely from your smartphone or computer. Discretely styled monitoring equipment and wireless technology can allow higher levels of security for your home, whilst retaining the period aesthetic and in some instances, you won’t fall under planning legislation.

 

Top Tips for Ensuring Home Security for your Period Property

  • Hide all keys, especially away from the letterbox as a device could be used to hook keys through.
  • Install a visual burglar alarm and outside lighting.
  • Ensure you have good rear and outside fencing to protect your property.
  • Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property, e.g. trim high hedges.
  • Mark your property with postcode and house number and register your property for free with Immobilise. The system where you can register your valuable to reduce crime.
  • Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.
  • Avoid becoming a victim of a distraction burglary, if you’re unsure of who is at your door, don’t open it, check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are claiming to be from.
  • Use automatic timer-switches to turn on your lights and radios when it gets dark.
  • Use the Royal Mail’s ‘KeepSafe’ service, they keep your mail for up to two months while you’re away to prevent mail sitting on your doorstep as a sign that you’re away.

 

Home Surveillance

 

References
https://www.thevictorianemporium.com/publications/advice/article/home_security_tips_for_period_properties
https://www.londondoor.co.uk/modern-security-for-period-front-doors/
https://www.londondoor.co.uk/period-front-door-ideas-to-complement-traditional-features/
https://nhic.org.uk/2019/03/8-points-to-consider-when-choosing-a-new-front-door/
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/443221/BR_PDF_AD_Q_2015.pdf
https://www.ikslocksmiths.co.uk/blog/choosing-door-which-type-door-most-secure/
https://www.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/burglary/
https://www.locksmiths.co.uk/faq/upvc-door-security/
https://www.vibrantdoors.co.uk/news/?p=2020
https://www.ikslocksmiths.co.uk/blog/front-door-security-tips/
https://www.safety.com/door-security/#gref
https://www.ikslocksmiths.co.uk/blog/upvc-door-locks-problems-prevention/
https://broadswordsecurity.com/news/how-to-secure-your-listed-building-heritage-property/