‘Knowledge is key’ and this saying couldn’t be more applicable to the security of our homes. Thousands of burglaries occur each year that are unnecessary. Mainly because we do not lock our doors properly. The multi-point lock operations built into exterior doors are one of the best systems available for securing our homes from the outside world. The two main types are split spindles and solid spindles. Understanding how they both work will help you to decide which mechanism is the ‘best fit’ for your requirements and circumstances.
- Split spindle.
A split spindle means that the outside handle is used to engage the hook bolts only and is detached from the latching bolt. This locking mechanism means that you can walk out of your door and close it behind you but will need your key to get back in again.
- Solid spindle.
When a solid spindle lock exists on the outside handle it means that the handle will operate both the hook and latching bolts on the door. Therefore the door needs to be locked with a key when it is closed. These door mechanisms are often used on doors in blocks of flats so the occupants can’t accidently shut themselves out.
Check that your lock cylinder is kite marked too. The kite mark means that the device has been independently certified against various forms of attack, such as lock bumping.
What is the correct way to lock a door?
The correct way to lock a multi-point system is to lift the handle and turn the key. If the handle is not lifted upwards and the key turned, then the door is not locked. This is because when the handle is lifted the hook bolts are thrown into their keeps in the door frame. If you can press the handle all the way down, then the door is not secure and anyone could walk in.
When the key is turned in the cylinder the hook bolts are locked into position and the door handle cannot be pushed up or down. The process is exactly the same for locking the door from the inside.
So how do these door locks prevent burglaries?
The locks on our doors can generally be opened with any old key that can be copied at a local dry cleaners or shoe repairers. Even when door limiters and chains are fitted, they do not offer the security that a solid or split spindle would. This is why purchasing a multi-point system that uses a restricted key can improve the overall security of your home.
A master locksmith will help you to upgrade your locks so that only restricted keys can be used. These keys can only be cut by an authorised locksmith who has a letter of authority and proof of identification. Because of their special features they cannot be duplicated by just anyone. If you lose these keys then you will need to call a professional to change the whole system – so keep them safe!
By Harry Price
Harry Price is a freelance writer and artist, who loves to live life to the full! He loves the great outdoors and you will always find him doing some sort of adrenalin fuelled activity!