To start out, I must say that what I say in this blog post is what we have experienced in the years we have been working as locksmiths and looking at and asking our customers what their insurance policies require.
You must check with your insurer, as some policies may vary.
Types of Locks Required on External Wooden Single Doors
What we have found is that most of the insurance policies that we see all stipulate the same thing: For any exterior wooden doors, you need to have a British Standard lock conforming to BS3621 or a standard 5 Lever or a Multipoint Locking System. Check with your insurers or your insurance policy to see what they require.
Most standard wooden doors have a Chubb type lock and or a Yale type lock.
You can get Mortice Deadlocks (Chubb locks that just have a bolt), or Mortice Sash locks (in which the sash lock operates with handles and has a latch) conforming to BS3621.
Mortice Sash Lock
You can also get BS night latches (Yale type locks) conforming to BS3621. They are like your standard Yale-type locks but are a high security Yale-type lock that conform to BS3621.
Both of these types can be fitted on most wooden doors.
We will come to Multi-Point Locking Systems later on in this article.
Wooden French Double Doors/Windows
If you’ve got wooden French double doors, the insurers usually stipulate that you need a 5-Lever/ British Standard 5 Lever rebated lock on there, and they would also need key operated bolts fitted top and bottom on at least the fix leaf door (the second opening door). Some insurers say you need them fitted on the second leaf as well as the fix leaf – in other words, on both doors locking into the top and bottom of the frame. You can get a couple of varieties of these types of key operated bolt locks, and you can have surface mounted ones made by various manufactures including Yale, ERA.
You can also get internally fitted ones where you just see an oval escutcheon with a circular hole where it operates on a star/grooved key. These are also made by different manufacturers, including Yale, ERA.
Mortice Rack Bolt
You can get wooden French doors/windows with Multi-Point Locking Systems on them that conform to standards. Please see the section on Multi-Point Locking Systems.
Wooden Stable Doors
If you have a stable doors (a door that splits in the middle and has a top half and bottom half), your insurers usually class these as two doors so they would require a British Standard lock conforming to BS3621 on both halves — not just the top half and not just the bottom half. You need it on both halves.
You can also get Multi-Point Locking Systems on these doors. Please refer to the section below.
Multi-Point Locking Systems on Wooden Doors
Quite a lot of wooden doors now are coming with what is classed as Multi-Point Locking Systems.
To tell if you have one of these doors: In order to lock it, you would either have to lift the handle up, or turn the key round within the handle two or three times. The other way to tell is to look at the edge of the door where the latch and the bolts come out and see if there is a strip of metal, usually 16mm or 22mm thick,running up the length of the door. As the name describes, a multi-point locking system means that itlocks in multiple places on the frame. To comply with your house content insurance policy, your insurers usually stipulate that it has to lock in five or more places. These locks do not conform to BS3621 but are insurance approved.
A thin door under 44mm thick?
If you’ve got a door that’s under 44mm thick, usually around 35mm thick, these doors are usually used for internal doors. Your household content insurers would usually require what are called Bradley Rose boxes fitted to the door, and then in the box a Union 3g114e. Some insurers do not insure you if yours is not 44mm thick, and we have heard of them saying the door has to be changed to comply.
How to check to see if your locks conform:
To check if you have any of these locks on your doors at the moment, what you should do is open the door and look where the bolt or latch comes out. There should be a strip of metal: brass, silver, or chrome colored, possibly painted over. This strip should have a BS Kite mark, or a full length strip with various locking points in it (multipoint locking system). A British Standard Kite mark is like a heart shaped kite mark. See the picture below.
If you’ve got one of those stamped on it, you’re covered for most insurance policies.
If you need any help, feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to help you and talk you through it. Thank you.