Wednesday, 30 November 2011

August / September 2010 @ Ipswich Locksmiths Neighbourhood Locks

August / September saw a marked increase in the amount of Clients requesting that Ipswich Locksmiths Neighbourhood Locks visit, to see if their home security would meet general Insurance Requirements, and would prove effective.

In a few cases, we were pleased to see front doors fitted with British-Standard 5-lever locks, which their Insurers would approve of, and would be likely to make a payment for, in the event of a 'Break-in'. We also noted in these cases, that ground floor windows were fitted with locks too, again compliant with Insurance requirements. In situations where a British-Standard Mortice lock could not be fitted, we noted that a British-Standard Auto-deadlocksng Nightlatch had been fitted.

In some of the homes Neighbourhood Locks were called to though, we saw that several front doors relied on nothing more than a non-British-Standard, non-Insurance-Approved 2, or 3 lever low-security lock, that is intended for a Bedroom, or Bathroom. We have been called to break-ins where these types of locks have been simply opened, and being non-Insurance Standard, the Insurers refused to pay out. It is worrying that the general public consider the security of their home as low priority, - only asking us to fit our 'best' and 'most secure' locks after a Break-in has occurred. We have also seen a rise in Clients asking us to install 'Pickbuster', anti-lock bumping treatment to their existing locks. At only £10 per lock, it is a quick and effective way to help protect against 'Lock Bumping'.

Many of our Clients were also surprised to learn that if their garage joins onto their home, and has a door leading from the inside of the garage to the home, then, for insurance purposes, the outer garage door also requires a 5-lever British-Standard Mortice, or BS Nightlatch, Insurance approved Lock.

Neighbourhood Locks, the local Ipswich Locksmith would recommend you to check the 'faceplate' on the visible edge of the lock, and if it states '2 lever', or '3 lever', to give us a call for a free, no obligation security check.

These last few weeks, we have covered all manner of call-outs in Ipswich, Woodbridge, Kesgrave, Martlesham, Rushmere and further afield, fitting 'secondary security' (such as door 'chains' and 'restrictors'), to opening a locked garage door that had remained unopened for several years (and then replacing the lock), to dealing with the usual 'Lockout' situations.

I was slightly amused by one comment from a Client, that seemed somewhat surprised that I was using Professional 'Picks' to gain entry to his property, and stated 'you're not going to use a piece of bent paperclip then, - like they do in the films?'

I was also asked to resolve a problem lock, that turned out to be about 45 years old if it was a day! It was a well-known brand, and just goes to show that some of the 'big names' in locks are much better value, and can last for years. As the lock was rather special, and not something we see too often, I offered to repair/rebuild it, much to the Clients relief, as I believe the lock had some sentimental value.

It was also with mixed feelings, that Neighbourhood Locks fitted one of the very last Chubb Branded  'Chubb 114' Mortice Locks to be made, to a Client local to me. After almost 200 years, due to
brand licensing agreements, the 'Chubb' name will be no more, but will be superseded by the name 'Chubb-at-Heart'. Since 2000, Chubb locks have been manufactured by 'Assa Abloy', which will now be migrated to Yale, and Union. For the Customer though, nothing but the name will change, because the Chubb name we have all known and trusted for years, will live on as 'Chubb-at-Heart'.

With the colder weather upon us, we will now see a rise in failed Mechanisms on UPVc doors, as the door itself contracts in the cold. UPVc doors (and windows) suffer from expansion and contraction in extreme temperatures, with the handle/lock becoming harder to operate. Sometimes it is simply a matter of making some adjustments, - especially if caught early enough. If neglected however, the constant forcing of the handle/lock will eventually break something, which will cost more in the long run. We change a considerable number of these mechnisms each week, which would not have needed replacing if they had been adjusted sooner. Check out Neighbourhood Locks UPVc page for more details.

Until next time.. take care and Stay Safe!

Simon, ~ your local Locksmith

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