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Security Requirements For Your Wooden Doors

wooden front door

Recently I have attended quite a few residential properties as a locksmith which still have wooden doors on them, as opposed to upvc or composite ones. A common theme with many of them is the lack of or inadequate security measures in place. Not only does this make you more vulnerable to a break in but it may also mean that your insurance company may not pay out in the event of a burglary. Many customers are surprised and shocked at how quickly and easily a locksmith is able to gain entry to their home when they are locked out particularly when only a ‘Yale’ type lock is installed.

The following is a typical set of requirements that a home insurance company may request in order for your home to be covered. It is important to note that some higher level policies may require extra measures but for standard home insurance the following is usually the rule. It is always advised to check your policy documents thoroughly.

  • A discount is usually allowed if your home is protected to the required standard
  • Your property may not be covered unless the required security measures are operational whilst the property is left un attended.


  • Must be fitted with a mortice deadlock/sash-lock with at least 5 levers or is fitted with a lock conforming to BS3621 1998 or higher (see end of article for examples)


  • Must be fitted with 2 key operated security bolts/rack bolts at the top and the bottom of the final closing door and if the door is not rebated i.e one door must close before the other, this must be done to both doors.
  • The bolts must be fitted vertically so as to enter the top and the bottom of the door frame.


Mortice locks and night latches are the two main type of lock that you will need to be concerned about on your single door final exit. These two locks are commonly refered to as Chubb locks and Yale locks respectively although these are actually just brand names.

A lock conforming to BS3621 will have the ‘Kitemark’ logo stamped on to the lock or packaging

BS3621 lock

2 Types of Mortice Lock are available and acceptable if conforming to BS3621

  • Mortice Sash Lock. This type of mortice lock will have a bolt and a latch and will be operated with a lever type door handle.
  • Mortice Dead Lock. Similar to a Sash Lock but with just a bolt and no lever handles required.

Night latches or ‘Yale’ type locks are also acceptable but again only if conforming to BS3621. It is important to note that many night latches are available but only a small amount are British Standard so make sure it shows the kite mark logo.

Bolts for French or Double Doors

  • Surface mounted bolt
Surface Mounted Multi Purpose Bolt
  • Rack Bolt

It Is important to remember that these bolts should be fitted with the bolt going into the frame.

Although standard requirements for most insurance companies please always remember to check your individual policy documents

A History of Locks

early lock

From the very beginning of modern civilization, we as humans have always had the need to keep possessions and things we hold to value safe, therefore for just as long we have been developing ways in which to keep these items safe. In the earliest of days this was done by intricately tying ropes into knots to keep things hidden away and safe. But as the time went on new technologies were developed, true locks made from wood and metal started being used across the world.

The earliest known lock and key device was discovered in the ruins of Nineveh, the capital of ancient Assyria. Locks such as this were later developed into the Egyptian wooden pin lock, which consisted of a bolt, door fixture or attachment, and key. When the key was inserted, pins within the fixture were lifted out of drilled holes within the bolt, allowing it to move. When the key was removed, the pins fell part-way into the bolt, preventing movement.

History of mechanical locks started over 6 thousand years ago in Ancient Egypt, where locksmith first managed to create simple but effective pin tumbler lock that was made entirely from wood. It consisted of the wooden post that was affixed to the door, and a horizontal bolt that slid into the post. This bolt had set of openings which were filled with pins. Specially designed large and heavy wooden key was shaped like modern toothbrush with pegs that corresponded to the holes and pins in the lock. This key could be inserted into opening and lifted, which would move the pins and allow security bolt to be moved.

early lock

It wasn’t until the Roman Empire that locks really began to shine. Building on Greek designs for locks the Romans introduced metal to lock construction making them far stronger and able to protect valuables. The Romans were also able to shrink locks and keys making the key far easier to keep close. Many wealthy Romans use to wear keys as jewellery as a sign of their affluence. During this time wards were also developed, ensuring that only correct key with correct shape of projections can push corresponding pins before lock could rotate and throw the bolt.

After the fall of the Roman empire the development of locks seemingly ground to a holt, there just wasn’t the funds or technology available for advancement. 

It was in 1778 when the next advancements in locksmithing came about. Robert Barron, with the help of technological advancements managed to design and create the first double acting tumbler lever lock.His double acting lever lock required the lever to be lifted to a certain height by having a slot cut in the lever, so lifting the lever too far was as bad as not lifting the lever far enough, the principles behind this lock still remain today. In 1784 this lock was improved on by Joseph Bramah from Barnsley who designed a lock that remained unpickable for 67 years.

1818 saw the emergence of Jerimiah Chubb who designed the Chubb detector lock. A Chubb detector lock was a type of lever lock that contained a re locker, which would jam the lock up if unauthorised attempts to gain access were made. Only inserting the original key would re set the lock. Chubb still remains a household name today.

chubb detector lock
Chubb Detector Lock

The final notable advancement in locking technology came with Linus Yale in1848 who developed the first pin tumbler lock.This lock design used pins of varying lengths to prevent the lock from opening without the correct key. His son then slightly built on this  inventing and patenting a smaller flat key with serrated edges as well as pins of varying lengths within the lock itself, this design remains the basic principle for pin tumbler locks today.  

yale lock
Yale Pin Tumbler Lock

Today, majority of world’s locks are based on the inventions of these engineers, with only a small portion using advanced techniques such as magnetic keys and anti-pick technology included in the pins or levers of locks.

A Not So Romantic History of Love Locks

A love lock or love padlock is a padlock that couples in love, most traditional lock to a bridge, as a declaration of their love. Typically the locks are engraved with the initials of the lovers, the lock is then attached to the railings of the chosen bridge and the key thrown in to the water below to symbolize unbreakable love.

Since the 2000s, love locks have been a prominent feature at many bridges worldwide the most famous is a bridge in Paris, The Pond des Arts, but more about that later.

bridge showing love locks

So where did this seemingly ultimate gesture of romance come come from and is all as it seems?

The history of Love Locks dates back to a small town in Serbia over 100 years ago.

It was1914 and Europe was on the verge of war. In the small town Of Vrnjacka Banja there lived a boy named Relja. Relja was on officer in the Serbian army and was facing imminent deployment to fight on the front lines of WW1. Like so many others Relja was young and in love. He had recently fallen for a local school misstress named Nada and the couple were inseperable and soon became engaged. However the course of true love never did run smooth. On the 28th July 1914, one month to the day that Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot dead by a Serbian national, Austria declared war on Serbia. Relja was forced to say goodbye to his betrothed and sent to defend his country.

Nada was heartbroken, but she believed in her heart of hearts that Relja would survive the war and they could continue from where they left off.

This is however where this tale of true love in the face of adversity comes to abrupt and not so romantic end. Relja went to war in Greece, where he fell in love with a local woman from Corfu, swiftly breaking of his engagement to Nada never to return to Serbia. Nada was heartbroken, and she fell into a grief that she never recovered from. The schoolmistress died young and alone, of a broken heart, another tragic ending to a story of young love

Word soon spread of the betrayal and the other girls in town were understandably perturbed by this turn of events, and they quickly moved to ensure their own romantic futures. The women of Vrnjačka Banja went into a panicked frenzy buying padlock after padlock, quickly writing their names and those of their betrothed on the locks before attaching them to the bridge where Nada and Relja used to meet. The keys were hurled into the river, ensuring a life of fidelity.

The story of Nada and Relja was largely forgotten until Serbian poet Desanka Maksimovic brought it back to life in her poem, Molitva za ljubav (Prayer for Love). This time the story caught fire and young lovers across town started attaching padlocks to what soon became the Most Ljubavi, or ‘Bridge of Love’. Most Ljubavi is a pedestrian bridge in Vrnjacka Banja and it is known as the earliest mention of the love padlocks tradition, where padlocks are left on the bridge railing by couples as sign of their everlasting love.It is one of the famous landmarks of Vrnjačka Banja, and it is the best known among the town’s 15 bridges.

Towns all over the world started copying the tradition, but places like Paris, Barcelona and the rest would eventually be forced to cull the locks in order to preserve the bridges, starting the process all over again. South Serbia is a land of superstition, however, and the locks have never been removed from the Bridge of Love. There are more than 15 bridges in Vrnjačka Banja, but you can’t mistake the one that has captured the hearts of men and women across the globe.

locks been removed from bridge

In 2015 Paris city officials started to remove padlocks symbolically fastened to one of the French capital’s main bridges by loved-up couples. Fastening love locks on to the Pont des Arts before throwing the key into the River Seine beneath had become a massive tourist tradition in recent years. However these bridges were not designed to take the weight of so many locks. The fastening of love locks had become such a trend that close to 1 million locks weighing in at 45 tonnes had been attached to the bridge and it had started to collapse in parts. The Pont de l’Archeveche, near the Notre Dame cathedral, is also having locks removed from its side.

Coronavirus Burglary Prevention Advice For Businesses

coronavirus virus

With so many businesses been closed due to Coronavirus over the past few week, there has been a rise in the amount of reported commercial burglaries.

Here are a few tips on how you can minimise the risk to your business.

  • Make sure that you have working CCTV cameras installed and that they are well positioned. CHECK that they are working correctly.
  • Any safes on site should have there codes changed .
  • Any entrances and exits to your premises should be protected with security grilles, shutters, bars and good high security locks.
  • Any roof openings and skylights should be protected and alarmed.
  • All entrances and both front and rear should be well lit and internal security lighting should be in place.
  • Check around the perimeter of your premises and remove any items that could be used to force entry to your building.
  • Any cash should be moved from the premises and where possible all stock of value.
  • Leave any tills/ cash registers that are visible open and empty.

For any help, advice or assistance after a break in call us on 07577138335 or visit us here.

Security for your Air BnB

showing the air bob logo

Top tips for your AirBnB home security

AirBnB is an ever increasing and popular way to rent out property for personal and investment reasons alike. However, with these short term rentals comes more opportunity for break ins, lost keys and general security issues due to the high turnover of guests. However, there are ways to ensure that your AirBnB home security is the best it can be, yet easy and convenient to access for your guests.

showing the airBnB logo

Key Safe

Key safes are a popular way to give guests access to the home without having to find a time to exchange keys. If there are multiple guests staying at the same property, the key safe allows them to come and go as they please without having to worry about being locked out.

Police approved key safe

Smart Locks

Smart locks are great way to offer keyless entry to your AirBnB property. Virtual keys can be issued for different guests and no key returns or pickups will be required.

Restricted key systems for AirBnB home security

A restricted key system ensures that all keys given to guests cannot be duplicated. The locks with these kind of keys will come with a code that is required in order to get a key copied or a signed document. Many high security cylinder locks now come with this feature. This is important to keep in mind. If prior guests have access to the property it may put future guests in danger.

Lock away valuables

Property owners may wish to stay in their AirBnB at certain times of the year. In this case, it’s advised that any personal items left at the property are securely locked in a store room, spare bedroom, or garage store room. This will ensure they’re not damaged or stolen but still at the property for convenience.

AirBnB Insurance

Ensure your home is correctly insured for short term rentals. This will make sure you are effectively covered, not only for damages but for loss of rent for last minute cancellations or if a guest is injured in your home.

Smart Security Alarm System

Consider installing a smart security alarm system. This means that you’ll have the ability to control your home security system remotely and be notified when the alarm is activated and even add additional video feed cameras 


Precision Locksmiths

If you’re interested in finding out more information on how you can secure your AirBnb, please feel free to give us a call on 07577138335. We offer free on-site quotations and all our locksmiths are fully trained and professional.

We also offer an emergency locksmith service, so if you find yourself or your guests locked out, our locksmiths are ready to help.

Ultion Smart Lock

Cylinder locks have come along way over recent years. With changes in break in methods, locks have had to adapt to overcome these new techniques. First and foremost the new Ultion Smart lock hasn’t compromised these advancements in lock technology as it still contains the same 3* Diamond standard lock security of a standard Ultion euro cylinder. The fact that this smart lock still contains a high security manual lock and key removes any concern you may have about what would happen if the ‘smart’ technology were to fail. The lock still features a key hole and comes with keys so in the event of any failure the door can just be manually locked and unlocked like any other door.

Installation of the smart lock is quick and easy and there should be no need for your locksmith to adapt or drill further holes into your door. This is what makes the Ultion smart so adaptable and versatile. Unlike other smart locks such as the Yale Conexis the Ultion smart will use the same fixing holes as your existing door handles and cylinder lock.

So what exactly does the Ultion smart offer? The door can be locked and unlocked using just your phone from the Danalock phone app, and combining geolocation and the bluetooth from your phone the door can be unlocked on approach, totally hands free, and then automatically lock after a chosen time meaning no more worrying about if you remembered to lock up behind you. You can even send remote guest keys via text or email which will work on a permanent or temporary basis.


  • Auto-Lock
  • Twist Assist
  • Hold Back Latch
  • Ultion 3 Star Plus security
  • Digital Key Sharing
  • Phone proximity auto-unlock
  • Remote Control (via 3rd Party Hub)
  • Works with Samsung SmartThings
  • Wireless keypad compatible

There are four versions of the Ultion SMART available. The basic edition has Bluetooth only control, and is the only model available with the wireless Danapad keypad. If you want to integrate your lock into your smart home, via a system such as Smart things, there are Zigbee and Z-Wave versions available, which can also be controlled via the Danalock App and Alexa. Finally, there’s an Apple Homekit version, which can only be controlled via the Apple Home app, Siri or your Apple Watch.

Increase your home security

Increase Your home security

1: Try to think like a burglar, if you had to how would you break into your home. Identify any weaknesses in your home security and rectify.

2: Keep all doors and windows locked even if you have only popped out for a short time. It only takes a minute for an opportunist thief to try your door and steal valuables.


3: Lock garage doors when not in use and try not to leave it open for too long. Garages often provide access to your house and contain valuables.


4: When you move home always get the locks changed. You never know how many sets of keys are out there or who has them.


5: If you’re going out for the night leave some lights on with energy saving light bulbs and the tv or radio. You are less likely to be targeted if your house looks occupied.


6: Don’t leave notes on the door telling delivery men to leave parcels. This is an obvious sign that you are not going to be in for the day.


7: Install security lights outside. If a thief can’t stay  out of sight they are less likely to target you.



8: Install a burglar alarm. This will always make a thief think twice.



9: If you ever lose a key outside always change the locks, even if they turn up later. You never know if someone found it and had one cut.


10:  Do not leave spare keys hidden outside. Even if you think you have a good hiding place.

Christmas Home Security Advice

Christmas Home Security: 10 Tips to Beat the Burglar

The weeks leading up to Christmas are the biggest shopping weeks of the year and for many retailers often accounts for 70% of their annual revenue. Stocking our homes with the latest electronic gadgets, computers, jewellery and must-have accessories is the norm, unfortunately though it provides thieves with the perfect incentive to commit burglaries.

Christmas; A time for giving, receiving… and taking!
Please read our tips on ensuring your home is secure over Christmas and the New Year period.

1. Deterring would-be criminals is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention. Invest in a motion sensor flood-light or even some outdoor Christmas lights to highlight your home’s exterior. This will hopefully make approaching your home too conspicuous for a burglar. Highlighting the fact your possessions are security marked and registered on Immobilise using window decals provides a further warning that your goods are marked, traceable and not worth the risk of stealing!

2. Festive lighting – be secure. A common mistake of many festive decorators is to feed extension cables through partially open windows, criminals know to look for this vulnerability. When it comes to outdoor lighting, opt for solar or battery operated lights or install outdoor electrical outlets.

3. Dispose of gift packaging carefully. Refuse collections over the Christmas / New Year period are normally at different times. If you can’t take packaging to a recycling point, make sure you only put your rubbish out just before the collection and do your best to fold boxes so that they do not advertise your new contents of your home to thieves!

4. Protect your Identity. It is good practice never to dispose of receipts and personal paperwork without first shredding it. Christmas is a time when this is especially important! Be careful though not to shred any important warranty details, make sure documents you keep are stored somewhere secure.

5. Check doors and windows for weak spots. Government statistics show that 30% of burglaries happen through windows. Installing a few dead-bolts and new window hinges could increase the security of your home exponentially.

6. Keep your curtains, drapes and window blinds closed at night, making sure valuable items are out of sight. When going out for the evening make use of inexpensive timers to give the illusion of occupancy.

7. Away over Christmas – plan ahead. If you’re going away at Christmas be sure to cancel any newspaper or milk subscriptions. Arrange for a neighbour to park on the driveway to help create the impression someone is home. Do not to leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages like “we’re away skiing for the Christmas holidays” etc and again make use of light timers.

8. Secure garages & sheds. Make sure that garden tools or ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not left lying around or accessible from an unlocked garden shed. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment – make sure the garage is secure and your possessions are secured too in the case of bikes and tools. Naturally make sure anything portable / valuable is recorded on immobilise.

9. Don’t hide keys & use alarms if you have them. Burglars know to look for hidden door keys so don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to family or trusted neighbour. Many houses these days have alarms, many though are rarely set, make sure yours is on and protecting your home.

10. Register your property for FREE on Immobilise at . This is a national property database that the Police can access and search if we recover suspected stolen property. We regularly search houses of suspected criminals, we check second hand dealers, and visit car boot sales and we have a device that can identify stolen property if the bar code is registered. Don’t let them get away with your gear. Get it logged. Get it back.

Most mobile phones have a unique identifier such as a serial number or an IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity) which can found easily by pressing the following keys on your mobile handset: * # 0 6 # . If your gift doesn’t have a unique identifier there are several affordable marking kits available (i.e. Smart Water / untra-violet pens). Contact your local PCSO for further advice.

Hopefully your property will not be targeted by burglars but we do hope some of the advice provided helps to keep your home safe over the seasonal period and into 2012.


Advice from Police Community Support Officer Alan Stead

Robin Homes | Operation Lockdown



South Yorkshire Police have launched the ‘Keep It Safe’ campaign.

The ‘Keep It Safe’ campaign is South Yorkshire Police’s latest drive to combat burglary and car crime and will feature four fictional characters – PC Andy Beat, Siren the police dog and two criminals, Nick De Mota and Robin Holmes. These characters will be used to encourage householders and vehicle owners to secure their property and keep items out of view from criminals.

A website has recently been launched where you can view where there has been car crime and burglaries in a particular area and what you can do to prevent it.

The website can be viewed at and will be updated Monday to Friday.


Here are just a few tips to help prevent home and vehicle crime:

Keep your home secure

  • Keep all doors and windows locked at all times even when inside.
  • One in three burglaries does not involve forced entry.
  • Do not leave house or car keys in your home, particularly near doors or windows.
  • Keep valuable property out of sight.
  • Lock away ladders, garden tools, and other items that burglars could use to enter your home
  • Have effective house alarms, CCTV systems and good quality locks fitted.
  • If you’re not sure don’t open the door – always check the callers identify card and look up the organisation to check the caller is genuine. Don’t use the number on their card.

Top tips for keeping your vehicle safe

  • Remember to lock doors and close windows before leaving your vehicle.
  • Don’t leave items on show in your car, whether it’s an expensive laptop or just some loose change.
  • Don’t leave valuables in the glove box of your car.
  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit spot that is visible to other members of the public, or covered by CCTV.
  • At home, don’t keep your car keys next to your front door or in an obvious place.
  • If possible keep your vehicle in a garage.
  • If your car doesn’t have an alarm, get one fitted or use a steering lock.
  • Secure your number plates with clutch head screws.
  • In the cold weather don’t leave your car unattended with the engine running, to defrost the windows.
  • Never leave a Sat Nav in a vehicle and wipe away any sucker marks from the glass.

Students’ Open House For Burglars

Students are putting themselves at unnecessary risk of being burgled by not locking doors, after a random police patrol found officers could enter half of student properties without being noticed by the occupants.

On one shift of testing front doors, South Yorkshire police could easily enter 20 student-owned properties.

Inspector Darren Starkey, who leads the Sheffield Central safer neighbourhood teams, told Forge Press many cases of students being burgled were preventable.

He said there was evidence that students were not sufficiently locking their properties.

“Officers have been conducting regular patrols in student areas trying doors to see if they are locked.

“In one shift, 40 doors were tested and over half were unlocked. This allowed police officers to walk into the property undetected.

“The testing of doors will continue while officers work together with students to reduce burglaries.”

“Burglars know that students are often new to the city and away from home for the first time, and therefore not as conscious about security measures.

“This can lead to student and multiple occupancy properties being targeted by burglars.”

It comes after figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request showed traditional student-populated areas have some of the highest burglary rates in Sheffield.

A total of 4,861 offences of burglary have been reported in Sheffield so far this year with student areas among the worst affected.

Crookes was one of only three wards in Sheffield to have recorded an increase in burglaries year-on-year even though this year’s figures only apply for the first nine months of 2012.

Last year the ward recorded a total of 189 burglaries; however, so far in 2012, 192 burglaries have been reported to police.

The figures include the number of burglaries and attempted burglaries recorded by police in Sheffield from January 1 to September 30 2012.

Broomhill, which has one of the highest proportions of student-to-let properties in the city and includes Endcliffe student village, has so far had 231 incidents of property being burgled from.

Olivia Adams, a third year student at the University of Sheffield, lived in Broomhill last year but had her house burgled in broad daylight while housemates were upstairs.

She told Forge Press that her friends returned home from watching rugby at Varsity and found her television missing.

“I found the whole experience very stressful and never expected it to happen to me.

“My television was the only thing of value in the communal rooms. Everything else we kept locked away in our rooms.

“We couldn’t claim insurance on it because one of my housemates had left the back door propped open.

“Three of my housemates were in and heard noises but thought it was each other.

“I think it was an opportunistic burglar, who saw his chance and grabbed it.”

According to the figures, there is a daily average of 17 reported cases of burglary in Sheffield.

Every week Broomhill has on average six offences of property, cars or businesses being burgled, while Crookes has almost five.

South Yorkshire police said there was evidence that students were being specifically targeted because of their poor security.

Starkey said: “South Yorkshire police is aware of the increased number of burglaries in areas of Sheffield predominantly populated by students.

“Student properties present two main opportunities for burglars. There are often multiple laptops and other electrical equipment in one shared property, and unsecure doors and windows make a burglar’s job very easy.”

He added: “It is important to highlight that these incidents are not isolated to a particular time, when students are not at home for example. They are occurring throughout the day and night.

“To tackle this issue, police officers will be increasing their focus on areas that contain high numbers of multiple occupancy properties.”

Students’ Union welfare officer Jon Gleek said he wasn’t surprised that police had seen a rise in student-related burglaries.

“Student houses are seen as good targets for burglars because the houses often have multiple items which are easily grabable and easy to sell on.

“It is also really important to get appropriate insurance for your property and check the small print of the terms and conditions to see if things like window locks are required in the policy.”

PC Bob Kenney, universities liaison officer for South Yorkshire police, advised students to keep their valuable property out of sight.

Written By

 Jonathan Robinson