Because they are your front line of defence against home intrusion, you should consider investing in high-quality locks . . . and using them.

Locks and latches

Most burglars enter a home through a door or window: it takes them less than 60 seconds to gain access so i
nstalling more secure locks on doors and windows is the first thing to do to improve your defence against burglary.

The following is a list of the variety of locks and latches available on the market.


Window Locks

  • Sliding door locks or patio bolts - These consist of a bolt that slides into the frame and stops the sliding door or window from sliding along. The main part of the lock is fixed to the sliding part of the window or door and the bolt pushes into the frame. A key is required to release the bolt. They are common on sliding patio doors.
  • The sash window screw lock - These are steel bolts that fit into a hole in the top rail of the inner sash through to the bottom rail of the outer sash. This prevents the inner and lower window from sliding up and down.
  • Two part locks for sash windows - This type of lock fits on the two horizontal rails (i.e. one on each rail) and when in line, lock together with a key bolt.  These can be seen, as they are surface mounted.
  • The casement lock - These are surface mounted locks for casement windows. They are visible and can be obtrusive. The lock comes in two parts, one fastened to the casement and the other to the frame.
  • The concealed casement lock - Similar to the one described above except it has the benefit of being hidden. It is similar to a barrel bolt, called a mortise rack bolt. The barrel slots into a hole drilled in the edge of the casement and turning a key moves the bolt into a hole drilled in the frame.


Door Locks

  • The cylinder latch - This is the most common type of door lock. It is a spring-loaded lock that is opened from the outside via a key and with a lever on the inside.
  • The mortise sash lock - This is similar to the mortise lock but has the advantage of a latch and handles.
  • The profile mortise lock - This is very similar to the mortise lock but the locking mechanism is smaller and has an easier-to-use key.
  • The deadlock - This is the similar to the cylinder latch with the difference that it can be key locked from both the inside and the outside. The deadlock (if locked) stops the latch from being manually operated from the inside and helps prevent thieves leaving with bulky items.
  • The mortise lock - This type of lock is very secure because it is built into the door i.e. it sits in a slot cut into the door and is a variety of deadlock. There are also no handles or latch system and it therefore relies on the use of a key.

But remember, no matter how strong, secure and expensive your locks are, if you don't lock-up when you leave the house you may as well leave the door open.