We attended a property in St Kilda this week to do a general safety and security inspection with some interesting results. The home had a new owner who wanted a general inspection to ensure in case of a burglary their insurance would be valid. As it turns out their insurance certainly would have covered them a burglary but we ended up replacing the deadlocks and the window locks in any case. Two reasons.
When you move into a new home it’s a good idea to change the barrels in the deadlock. This means that anyone who previously resided in the property that still has a key is no longer be able to access your home. In this case whilst changing the barrels of the deadlocks would have secured the property, they were of a style not safe to use because they lack a quick release system.
The key locked deadlock is designed to prevent easy access through the front of the door but additionally in the case where a burglar has broken a window to gain access to the house and now wants door access to remove large items… a key lockable deadlock prevents them simply unlocking the door from the inside.
Now it’s one thing to key lock your deadlocks when you’re out and want to ensure the security of your home and contents but it’s quite another to key lock your deadlocks when you’re in the house at night as this could prevent a speedy exit from your house should there be a fire. There is no point in leaving your keys in the deadlock at night – if you do that you might as well not have the deadlock at all.
It’s far safer to ensure that your deadlock has the option to both key lock and to leave it “locked” from the outside but capable of being quick release opened from the inside. The deadlocks we saw had no such system so for safety reasons we replaced them.
The window locks had related but slightly different problem. The locks themselves were very old and stiff. Whilst they could be opened without a keylock it took quite some effort. In the case of a fire when everyone is panicking and you may not have much time to get out you don’t want to be in the situation where you have to fumble with a sticking window lock in order to exit the premises. Children are irreplaceable, window locks and very affordable so we replaced all of the window locks.
We recommend all our clients… And our non-clients that matter… Inspect all of the potential exit points of their house and ensure that security is such that a burglar will struggle to enter the property…but that locks are not functioning in such a way that will prevent a quick escape from a burning house.
Don’t put it off, do it today. And while you’re at it? Check your smoke alarms too. I highly recommend smoke alarms that are wired into the mains power as opposed to the battery-operated ones. The mains power ones are linked so one goes off they all go off ensuring the whole house is awakened from the noise no matter where the fire is.