Multi Point Locks – How secure are they?
Multi point locks are now a common locking device for both Composite Doors and UPVC Doors, these generally comprise of a centrally located DEADBOLT and a live latch with at least two hook type bots top and bottom.
All these bolts are operated by lifting the lever or pad handle from either inside or outside of the door leaf and secured into place by turning a key that has been inserted to the cylinder. Cylinders come as either key / key type or a key / thumb turn type, the thumb turn cylinder is generally fitted where there is normally a worry in terms of escape from a property and will come as standard on FD30 fire doors.
It is important to lift the handle to insert the bolts every time the door is closed this will maintain the alignment of the door leaf in the outer frame and compress against the rubber gasket seals to give maximum air and water seal tightness. Should you wish not to have handles on the door and go for the traditional PULL SHUT type like a pull knob or finger pull then there is what is called a SLAM SHUT multi point lock.
This works as you shut the door there is a pin at the top of the multi-point lock which hits a strike plate that then releases the hook bolts to engage into the keeps, because these multi point locks are more complex they will cost a little more to fit.
Solid and Split Spindle Operation
There are advantages and disadvantages for both solid and split spindle operations for lever handle type locking devices.
Solid spindles commonly known as LEVER / LEVER will mean that when the door is opened and shut from the outside it can be opened again without the use of a key to release the latch and this system is more widely used on back doors or used where the front door is the only form of entry preventing the home owner from getting locked out, for example unloading shopping form the car.
By having the SOLID SPINDLE you must remember to lift the handle to engage the multi point lock and then turn the key in the cylinder to fully. If for example you forget to do this when you go to bed at night you have effectively left the property INSECURE and a burglar could just open the door and walk in.
So locking a door with a SOLID SPINDLE relies heavily on your memory and to remember to lock the door. Police have seen a marked increase in burglaries concerning the elderly as they often are targeted by thieves knowing that they are the most likely to forget to lock their doors.
Having the SPLIT SPINDLE more commonly known as SPLIT LEVER or SPLIT PAD handle has its advantages and disadvantages also.
By having a split spindle this will mean that when you pull the handle down from inside the property it will release the latch to open the door, however once you have gone outside and shut the door and you have forgotten something you will NOT be able to gain entry back into the property by simply pulling the handle down as you will require to insert the key into the cylinder and turn it to release the latch, if you have forgotten your key you are now effectively locked out.
The advantage however of having a SPLIT SPINDLE will mean if you go out and forget to lift the handle and lock the door with a key you can be slightly safe in the knowledge that someone can come along and just open your door as this will require the key to release the latch, likewise going to bed also you will be more safe knowing that nobody can just walk in from the street.
So fundamentally it’s down to memory how the solid spindle and split spindle doors are operated correctly, Insurance companies will take a dim view if your home is burgled and the correct locking procedures have not been adhered to such as door not having ALL the bolts thrown and locked into place so a claim may become invalid through JUST FORGETTING to lock a door properly.
Police again have reported a rise in burglaries simply because homeowners that have spent hundreds of pounds getting a secure multi point locking door and by not remembering to complete the task of locking the door correctly.