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Home Insurance – What You Should Know

Does Your Home Security Meet Insurance Requirements?

It may come as a surprise to learn that your home insurance may be invalid if you don’t have the correct locks fitted to your doors and windows, after all if a door can’t be opened without a key, it’s secure, right?…. Wrong. There are many types of lock and many types of security level and your insurance provider will insist that your door locks meet a certain standard and so it is important that you know the difference. 

If you don’t have the correct locks, properly fitted, you’re leaving yourself open to theft and insurance companies will see this as an open invitation to burglars and a reason why they should not be obliged to cover your losses. 

Often exceeding an insurers requirements can also mean a lower premium for you.

It pays to have the right house locks

Home insurance companies will expect a minimum level of security on what they refer to as the final exit from your property. That is the last door you must leave through to exit your property. So if you have a new porch built , for example, it is that door that will now need to meet the requirements and not what was your old front door to your home. 

So, which type of lock have you got?

It’s not always easy to tell, but your home insurance provider will need to know so that they can assess how secure your home is and whether you need to upgrade your locks. Most people will have no idea what locks they have to their home, and why would you? Here we aim to help you identify the different types of locks you need to be aware of and their most common applications.

There are four main types of lock and each is more commonly associated with either wooden, composite or Upvc doors. 

1 – Five-lever mortice lock

5 lever mortice lock in a wooden door
Mortice lock in a wooden door

Almost exclusively found on wooden doors, the British standard five-lever mortice lock is the most secure type of general house lock and is often referred to as a Chubb lock. The more levers a lock has the more difficult it is to pick.

The lock is ‘morticed’ in the door itself and the strike plate sits in the door frame. As you turn the key in the lock the bolt moves across to the frame and locks the door. The only way to open the door is with a key.

Most insurers will insist that your lock is at least 5 lever bust most require that it conforms to British Standard BS3621, which ensures it has certain security features in the mechanism such as larger bolt throw, anti drill plates and an anti pick curtain and levers. You can tell if your lock conforms by checking for the BSI Kitemark™ – usually on the face plate of the lock on the door as opposed to the frame.

2 – Multi-point locking system

a multi point lock commonly found in uPVC doors
multi point lock in Upvc door

These locks are often found in uPVC doors and composite doors. They must have at least three places in the frame that all lock at the same time and usually consist of hooks, bolts or little rollers that move up and down into keeps on the frame. The easiest way to identify a multi point lock is the action you perform when locking the door. If you need to lift the handle before turning the key you will have a multi point locking mechanism. 

The cylinder is a secondary part of a multi-point lock and can be easily replaced, this is the bit that you put your key into and controls the multi point locking mechanism.. The Master Locksmith Association recommend a 3* ‘Diamond’ approved cylinder for maximum security, for example the Brisant Ultion. This type of lock will display *** (3 Stars) and a diamond logo.

a 3 * diamond, high security anti snap cylinder lock
3* Diamond cylinder lock

3 – Rim locks or night latches

Yale PBS1

Unlike mortice locks that are morticed into the door, these locks are surface mounted on the door itself with the latch being mounted on the door frame and are almost exclusively found on wooden doors, they are often referred to as ‘Yale’ type locks. They can usually be deadlocked from the inside, but more secure versions can also be deadlocked from the outside with a key.

They are considered to be less secure than mortice locks or multi-point locks and unless they are deadlocked can be prone to ‘slipping’ ( similar to the credit card trick). Although you can get high security versions of this type of lock, such as the Yale PBS1, many insurers want you to have additional security, like a mortice lock, if this type of lock is on your front door.

Window locks

With casement and uPVC windows, you’ll probably find locks on the handles of the window or at the top and bottom of the window.

With sash windows there’s often a central locking bolt and two side bolts that allow you to open the window to let the air in, but not enough to allow a burglar to get in.

Many insurers will insist that you have key operated locks on your windows and insurance companies may not be obliged to pay out if you are found to have left windows open.

Which types of house locks are best for my home?

That depends on:

  • Where you live – house, flat/apartment, countryside, city
  • The type of door – wooden, composite or uPVC
  • The type of policy you have
  • Your insurer
  • Existing security measures

It is very important that you carefully read through your home insurance policy to find out exactly which locks are the minimum security requirements for your insurer. If you are still unsure you are more than welcome to contact Precision Locksmiths Sheffield and I would be happy to give any advice required.

Ultions Key Control

key control

So, you are wanting to upgrade your locks to 3* cylinders to combat lock snapping. Once you have the locks fitted you’re all set right? nothing more you can do to protect the security of your home now, right? Wrong!!

With the Ultion lock by Brisant you also have another layer of security featured that protects the key from compromise. Key Control. Once Precision Locksmiths Sheffield have installed your new Diamond standard cylinder locks you have the option to activate key control and all you have to do is register your Ultion online with the unique code embossed on your new key.

When your new lock has been installed by your locksmith, you will be able to register for Key Control at the same time as registering for your free 10 year £1,000 guarantee against lock snapping. All you have to do is visit the ‘register my Ultion’ website follow the instructions and input the number embossed on your new key and register it to an email address and a password. Brisant will never ask for your address, so the database doesn’t store information that could enable others to get new keys and burgle your home.

Ultion keys can’t be cut like normal keys. Locksmiths need a code to create the right key. The information needed to cut a new key is encoded on the Brisant website. To decode it, licensed Ultion Key Centres need the number embossed on the original Ultion key, and the homeowner’s password.

The homeowner gets an email to tell them that the Key Centre has been given the information to duplicate their key. So homeowners know exactly who is duplicating their key and when. Homeowners are asked to change their password every time the information has been decoded.

Changing Locks To Your Property

When and Why You Should Change The Locks To Your Property

There are a number of reasons why you should consider changing the locks on your property.

  • Just moved in to a new property
  • Lost/misplaced a key
  • Recent break in attempt
  • House mate/ex-partner moving out

It is always advisable that when you move into a new property, whether it be rented or owned that you change the locks. It is quite possible that the locks on your new property have been there for several years and there could be numerous keys out there that will operate your locks. Not to say that this will always lead to unauthorised use of your locks but countless contractors could have been in possession of keys to your property whilst it has been brought up to a standard to rent out or sell. It is also possible that old cleaners or babysitters for the old occupiers may have keys in their possession. On several occasions as a locksmith in Sheffield I have had to attend numerous properties where access has been made and the main suspect has been shady previous tenants.

If you have lost or misplaced a key it is also advisable to change your locks. Lost keys could easily fall into the hands of someone dishonest. You are especially at risk if you have lost them outside but within your property boundary, for example dropped when getting into the car on your drive. It is quite common for people to leave keys in the lock after locking up and leaving home for the day and it may surprise you to realise how many sets if these keys are no longer in the lock upon your return, resulting in a break in later down the line.

Even when keys are misplaced it would always be advisable to have your locks changed. Were they misplaced or has someone taken them temporarily to have copies made? Several brands of high security locks now offer key protection which will prohibit unauthorised keys cutting, so this issue could  be avoided in future if you upgrade your locks.

If you have had a recent break in or break in attempt the would be burglar will now know exactly what locks you have and could return with the required tools that they know will get them entry. If a burglar has unfortunately succeeded in breaking in to your home are you certain that they haven’t found and taken any spare keys to your home (possibly even ones you forgot you had). A burglar will assume you have insurance and will be expecting that everything they have previously stolen will be replaced with brand new things making it easy pickings for them to return and gain entry with a stolen key.

One of the most common reasons I get called out to change locks is breakdown of relationships. Ex partners may feel that they have a right to enter their old home but as long as you are the sole rightful owner or legal tenant of the property then this is not the case and to prevent unlawful entry and give peace of mind locks should be changed. The same issue can also arise from ex roommates.

Whatever the need or reason to change your locks at home, doing so will give you the peace of mind that you and persons authorised by you will be the only people able to access your property by way of discreet and non-destructive entry. If you feel that you should be changing your locks get in touch with Precision Locksmiths Sheffield today.

Home Insurance

Everyone wants to make sure their home is safe and secure, so it definitely pays to give plenty of thought as to whether your house locks provide adequate protection and you are covered by your insurance in the event of a burglary.

There are lots different types of house locks available, and some can help you save money on your insurance premiums.

Here, we look at the various kinds of locks on offer so that you can ensure your home is as safe as it can be when you are out and about.

There are four main types of lock available:

Five-lever mortice deadlock

A mortice deadlock is one that is recessed into the door, known as the mortice, to be cut into the door or wall into which the lock is to be fitted. The more levers a mortice lock has, the more secure it is.

As a result, insurers often insist that you must have a five-lever mortice lock conforming to BS3621 on all exit doors and key-operated locks on all ground floor and accessible windows to qualify for cover, although often the wording may vary slightly depending on the insurer. The BS3621 indicates that the lock conforms to current British Standards.

Some insurers will offer you offer you a discount of up to 5% off your home contents insurance premiums if you have this kind of lock installed. Remember however, that the locks must have been in use if you want to make a successful claim.

For example, insurers are likely to refuse to pay out if burglars break in through a window that has been left open, regardless of whether you have the correct lock in place.

It is also worth noting that some insurers have turned down claims if keys have been left in locks.

Multi-point locking system

A multi-point locking system has a minimum of three locking points that all lock simultaneously by the turn of a key.

Multi-point locks are most common on uPVC doors and composite doors and, if they are a main entrance, then for insurance purposes you will need a lock cylinder with at least five pins.

Having effective security measures in place will be a major deterrent to burglars
The Master Locksmiths Association recommends the use of SS312 Diamond approved cylinders as these have been tested fully against all known methods burglars use to disable locks and break in.

Nightlatches

Rather than being morticed into a door, a nightlatch is actually mounted onto the door.

These are much less secure than mortice locks, but can be used as an additional security measure. Double-locking nightlatches are the most secure type of nightlatch as they have a keyhole on the handle inside the door so that the latch can be deadlocked from inside.

Always look for a nightlatch which conforms to British Standards to ensure a high level of security.

Key operated window locks

Ideally you should have key-operated window locks on all downstairs windows. These are either fitted to the top or bottom of a window, or on the handle that closes the window.

Why security pays

Although installing locks can be expensive, over a long-term period you should be able to recoup some of the costs through lower insurance premiums. Remember too that having effective security measures in place will be a major deterrent to burglars, therefore making your home a safer place to live.

Know Your Cylinder Lock Security

Lock Snapping is a growing security concern, as experts in door and lock security the Master Locksmiths Association recommend 3 different ways to prevent lock snapping. There are many different types of lock cylinder on the market, most people are now asking which cylinder for their front or back door is the most secure and ultimately will help protect them against lock snapping.

If you are looking to replace your door lock and protect against lock snapping then using one of the below three methods will help protect against this method of attack.

What rating should my lock cylinders have?
1. SS312 Diamond Approved Standard
We believe that you can minimise your risk of being a victim of lock snapping by ensuring the lock you purchase has the Sold Secure ( SS312 ) Diamond Standard Approval. We recommend viewing Sold Secure’s Approved Diamond Cylinder list (external link to the Sold Secure Approved Products Website).

 

Brisant Ultion Anti Snap Lock Cylinder
The Brisant Ultion is SS312 Diamond Approved

2. TS007 3star cylinder
An alternative specification to look out for is the TS007. BSI Kitemark to this specification however it is important to note that there is a star rating associated with this.

In order to protect against lock snapping a 3 star rating needs to be reached. In order to achieve this you can use a 3 star cylinder. We recommend that a 3rd party approval of this standard is sought.

For example look for the 3 star kite mark logo. kitemark 3 star logo
Look for the 3 star Kitemark standard to prevent lock snapping

Ultion Locks Sheffield

3. 1 star Kitemarked Cylinder in conjunction with 2 star Kitemarked door furniture ( e.g. door handles, escutcheons )


An alternative to the simple 3 star cylinder option is to have a 1 star cylinder protected by 2 star approved door furniture, for example security handles or a cylinder guard.
1 star kitemark lock cylinder
A 1 star kitemark lock cylinder with 2 star kitemark door furniture will prevent against Lock Snapping

2 Star Door Handle


2 star kitemark door furniture with 1 star kitemark lock cylinder will prevent against Lock Snapping

The complexity of these standards is why you should seek specialist advice from your local vetted, inspected and qualified locksmith.

Precision Locksmiths Sheffield – Beauchief and Greenhill

Sheffield City Locksmiths

 

Precision Locksmiths Sheffield – Beauchief and Greenhill No.1 Locksmiths

  • Free estimate and helpful advice
  • No callout charge
  • All our work is fully guaranteed
  • Friendly family run
  • References available
  • Locked Out / Lost Keys
  • Response within 30 mins
  • Lowest price guaranteed
  • 24 Hour Emergency Services
  • We replace and install locks of all types
  • Lock supply, fitting and repairs and are Upvc repair specialists

When you need quick, affordable locksmith services Precision Locksmiths Sheffield in Beauchief and Greenhill are here to help so give us a call. We cover the whole of Beauchief and Greenhill  and surrounding areas of Sheffield. Whether you have lost your house keys, had a break in or need any kind of lock repair Precision locksmiths Sheffield in Beauchief and Greenhill are on hand 24 hours a day,

We understand that many security issues occur during the night or small hours and we’ll always ensure that we are available to assist with whatever your need from Precision Locksmiths Sheffield in  Beauchief and Greenhill, so keep our number somewhere safe so that you can always call us if you find yourself in need of a Beauchief and Greenhill based emergency locksmith in Sheffield.

From break-ins to lost keys, we are on hand to help! Professional and Affordable Locksmiths in Beauchief and Greenhill, Sheffield. We are fully insured locksmiths and always complete work to the highest standard at the best price in and around Beauchief and Greenhill,Sheffield. We take immense pride in our quality of service and high quality workmanship.

Call Precision Locksmiths Sheffield in Beauchief and Greenhill now – 07577138335

Precision Locksmiths Sheffield – Hillsborough

Sheffield City Locksmiths

 

Precision Locksmiths Sheffield – Hillsborough No.1 Locksmiths

  • Free estimate and helpful advice
  • No callout charge
  • All our work is fully guaranteed
  • Friendly family run
  • References available
  • Locked Out / Lost Keys
  • Response within 30 mins
  • Lowest price guaranteed
  • 24 Hour Emergency Services
  • We replace and install locks of all types
  • Lock supply, fitting and repairs and are Upvc repair specialists

When you need quick, affordable locksmith services in Hillsborough, Precision Locksmiths Sheffield in Hillsborough are here to help so give us a call. We cover the whole of Hillsborough and surrounding areas of Sheffield. Whether you have lost your house keys, had a break in or need any kind of lock repair Precision locksmiths Sheffield in Hillsborough are on hand 24 hours a day,

We understand that many security issues occur during the night or small hours and we’ll always ensure that we are available to assist with whatever your need from Precision Locksmiths Sheffield in Hillsborough. Keep our number somewhere safe so that you can always call us if you find yourself in need of a Hillsborough based emergency locksmith in Sheffield.

From break-ins to lost keys, we are on hand to help! Professional and Affordable Locksmiths in Hillsborough Sheffield. We are fully insured locksmiths and always complete work to the highest standard at the best price in and around Hillsborough Sheffield. We take immense pride in our quality of service and high quality workmanship.

Call Precision Locksmiths Sheffield in Hillsborough now – 07577138335

Precision Locksmiths Sheffield – Walkley

Sheffield City Locksmiths

 

Precision Locksmiths Sheffield – Walkley’s No.1 Locksmiths

  • Free estimate and helpful advice
  • No callout charge
  • All our work is fully guaranteed
  • Friendly family run
  • References available
  • Locked Out / Lost Keys
  • Response within 30 mins
  • Lowest price guaranteed
  • 24 Hour Emergency Services
  • We replace and install locks of all types
  • Lock supply, fitting and repairs and are Upvc repair specialists

When you need quick, affordable locksmith services in Walkley, Precision Locksmiths Sheffield in Walkley are here to help so give us a call. We cover the whole of Walkley and surrounding areas of Sheffield. Whether you have lost your house keys, had a break in or need any kind of lock repair Precision locksmiths Sheffield in Walkley are on hand 24 hours a day,

We understand that many security issues occur during the night or small hours and we’ll always ensure that we are available to assist with whatever your need from Precision Locksmiths Sheffield in Walkley. Keep our number somewhere safe so that you can always call us if you find yourself in need of a Walkley based emergency locksmith in Sheffield.

From break-ins to lost keys, we are on hand to help! Professional and Affordable Locksmiths in Walkley, Sheffield. We are fully insured locksmiths and always complete work to the highest standard at the best price in and around Walkley, Sheffield. We take immense pride in our quality of service and high quality workmanship.

Call Precision Locksmiths Sheffield in Walkley now – 07577138335

Precision Locksmiths Sheffield – Crookes

Sheffield City Locksmiths

Precision Locksmiths Sheffield – Crookes No.1 Locksmiths

  • Free estimate and helpful advice
  • No callout charge
  • All our work is fully guaranteed
  • Friendly family run
  • References available
  • Locked Out / Lost Keys
  • Response within 30 mins
  • Lowest price guaranteed
  • 24 Hour Emergency Services
  • We replace and install locks of all types
  • Lock supply, fitting and repairs and are Upvc repair specialists

 

When you need quick, affordable locksmith services in Crookes, Precision Locksmiths Sheffield in Crookes are here to help so give us a call.  We cover the whole of Crookes and surrounding areas of Sheffield. Whether you have lost your house keys, had a break in or need any kind of lock repair Precision locksmiths Sheffield in Crookes are on hand 24 hours a day,

We understand that many security issues occur during the night or small hours and we’ll always ensure that we are available to assist with whatever your need from Precision Locksmiths Sheffield in Crookes.  Keep our number somewhere safe so that you can always call us if you find yourself in need of a Crookes based emergency locksmith in Sheffield.

From break-ins to lost keys, we are on hand to help! Professional and Affordable Locksmiths in Crookes, Sheffield. We are fully insured locksmiths and always complete work to the highest standard at the best price in and around Crookes, Sheffield. We take immense pride in our quality of service

high quality workmanship.

Call Precision Locksmiths Sheffield in Crookes now – 07577138335

Landlord and Letting Services

Are you a landlord or letting agent? Have your old tenants left your property? How do you know how many keys spare keys have been cut and distributed whilst your property was under occupation? Have your old tenants lost the only key to a door and not reported it to you or damaged locks to the property?

At Precision Locksmiths Sheffield we are always happy to help a landlord are letting agent. We can offer a rapid response 24 hours a day to open and replace and lock, giving you and your new tenants total peace of mind knowing exactly who has access to your property.

All too often tenants can leave a property in a state of poor disrepair and this can include your doors and locks. If you find your tenant has broken a lock or the doors have dropped and won’t close or lock properly anymore, Precision Locksmiths Sheffield can help here too making sure your property is fully secure and the locks operating correctly ready for your new tenants.

Precision Locksmiths Sheffield will also offer a discounted rates to any regular landlords or letting agency. We are fully insured and offer only the best quality locks, all conforming to British Standards and insurance requirements.

If you’re in need of a professional and reliable locksmith company to take care of your rental premises and tenants requests , our fully vetted, qualified and experienced technicians are here to help 24 hours a day 7 days a week.