If you’re looking for a new lock to add to your home's security, the range of options available today can make things a little confusing, with so many different products to compare. And there are so many factors to consider when you decide to shop for a replacement for your old lock. Do you go for a Euro cylinder or mortice? What are the different types of latches? What finish should you pick: polished, satin, chrome, nickel, platinum? And of course, what price can you expect to pay? With VAT, delivery costs and the price of installation (if you decide to use a professional), the costs can soon add up! But there’s no need to worry, this article will help you compare the range of products available and make sense of it all!
What are the components of a lock?
The cylinder or barrel is the central part of the lock where the key is inserted to lock or unlock the door. The cylinder contains pins and drivers, which are small metal pins of different lengths placed in cavities inside the cylinder, allowing the locking mechanism to move. They can vary considerably in price according to their size, level of security and finish: for instance, Yale cylinder locks can start at around £15 including VAT for a chrome plated metal single rim model, and go up to around £50 including VAT for a platinum brass euro thumbturn lock.
There are several types of cylinders, so you have a few options here:
- Euro cylinder (half cylinder, double cylinder, thumbturn cylinder, etc.).
- Round cylinder (single or double block)
They vary in price accordingly and come in a range of materials, with nickel or chrome plated brass being popular options.
The strike plate is a metal plate located on the door jamb. When you lock the door, the lock’s bolt fits into the strike plate to keep the door locked. The strike plate ensures that the locking mechanisms and the moving parts of the lock interact properly, so it plays a central role in securing your door and keeping your home safe.
The bolt or latch
The bolt is the moving part of the lock that fits into the strike plate to lock the door when it’s closed. It can be operated by key, handle or knob. There are different types of bolts, such as:
- Deadbolt, a fixed part that engages inside the strike plate when you lock the door.
- Quarter-turn latch
- Latch bolt, also known as a spring bolt, a moving part that retracts with the action of a handle or knob, unlike a deadbolt, which is fixed.
The faceplate is the visible side of the mortice lock. It takes the form of a metal plate attached to the edge of the door. It allows the bolts to pass through and the lock and door to be aligned correctly.
The lock case is the unit that contains all the lock components.
The key is the tool that activates the locking mechanism when you turn it. It is inserted into the cylinder and must match the lock’s internal configurations to unlock or lock the door.
Netatmo Smart Keys are based on certified NFC technology and protected by the most reliable cryptographic methods. They offer a high standard of security as they are tamper-proof and impossible to duplicate, and can be instantly deactivated from the Home + Security app in the event of loss or theft. So they're a great anti-burglary product to add to your home security set-up!
The different types of lock
Lock with key
The key lock is a very common model. Its operation is based on two fundamental parts: the plug and the shell. The shell is the fixed part of the lock, while the plug is the moving part in which the key turns from left to right.
As we saw earlier, the bolt is the moving part of a door lock. A deadbolt can only be activated with a key, which is not the case for a latch bolt.
The code lock is a model that closes and opens the door using a combination of numbers set by the occupant. This code is disclosed to authorised users, who enter it into a keypad to gain entry. The door locks automatically when you close it. There are a range of new electronic code locks on the market today, featuring a digital keypad, but manual code locks with a push button keypad are still available, too. These products vary in price according to their features and the level of security they offer.
Key card lock
There are two types of card-operated locks.
- Magnetic card locks: hotels often use this system to open room doors. You just insert the magnetic card into the slot to unlock the door.
- Smart card locks: this technology allows selected individuals to open the door, using radar to detect a chip in the card.
This lock system works with fingerprints, so there’s no need for any keys or cards. This type of product offers a fairly high level of security, as only a registered set of fingerprints will unlock the door.
Reversible locks can be fitted on both right-hand and left-hand doors. In other words, the lock can be reversed to suit the door’s opening direction with no need to add any other components or parts.
How does a smart lock work?
A connected or smart lock can work with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and allows a door to be unlocked or locked remotely using a computer, smartphone or smart watch, for example.
The Netatmo Smart Lock works with smart keys and your smartphone. What’s more, to guarantee maximum security and prevent any hacking attempts, the Netatmo Smart Lock is not connected to the Internet, but works with Bluetooth through encrypted communication. With the Smart Lock you can use your smartphone as an alternative to your keys. You can rest assured that you won’t be locked out of your home.
Different lock fitting options
With this type of installation, the lock is mounted on the outside of the door, usually on the visible surface, which makes installing this type of lock fairly straightforward. The lock is mounted with screws or bolts that secure it to the door. Surface-mounted locks are equally suitable for wooden, metal and PVC doors.
Also known as a deadlock or a sash lock, this type of lock is placed in a special cavity cut into the door. Only the front plate of the lock is visible, for a more aesthetically pleasing look. Mortice locks are commonly used for interior doors, such as bedroom or bathroom doors. They are made from metal and come in different finishes, for example, polished brass, nickel plated, satin chrome and stainless steel. The more levers they contain, the higher the level of security. For instance, a 5 lever lock is more secure than a 3 lever mortice lock. You can also add an extra layer of anti-burglary protection with a night latch.
Aesthetically pleasing and easy to install, a covered lock is similar to surface-mounted one, but the lock is mounted on a plate which covers a large part of the door and protects the lock. Covered locks are often used for main entrance doors, as they are heavy and suitable for thick external doors.
Keep your home secure with the right lock
The multipoint lock option for enhanced security
Multipoint locks generally have three, five or more locking points distributed along the height of the door. These locking points can be located in the door frame, at the top and bottom of the door, and at the handle. You raise the door handle to lock the door.
By locking the door at several points, multipoint locks offers a higher level of security than a standard single-point lock and make it harder for a burglar to break in. Multipoint lock hardware is suited to uPVC, timber, composite and metal doors. There are many different options available: multipoint locks can feature deadbolts, hooks, pins or rollers, and you can opt for a flush-mounted or surface-mounted design.
Choosing the right lock material
Steel is prized for its strength and durability, making it a popular choice for the main components of locks, such as bolts and cylinders. Steel is also corrosion-resistant, which is important to prevent damage to the lock over time due to exposure to the elements. Aluminium, brass and zinc are other hard-wearing options for locks.
Choosing an A2P-certified lock
A2P, which stands for “Assurance Prévention Protection”, is a French certification set up by manufacturers to guarantee that a lock offers a high standard of security. In France, A2P certification is issued by the Centre National de Prévention et de Protection (CNPP) and the Association Française de Normalisation (AFNOR). There are several levels of A2P certification available:
- A2P* locks: A2P*-certified locks are designed to offer basic anti-burglary protection. They are tested to withstand simple attacks, and have a minimum resistance time of 5 minutes.
- A2P** locks: A2P** locks can withstand simple attacks and drilling tools. Their minimum resistance time is 10 minutes.
- A2P*** locks: A2P*** locks are the most advanced in the A2P certification system. They will hold firm when struck or drilled into by heavy tools. Their minimum resistance time is 15 minutes.
The Netatmo Smart Lock is designed to protect you from physical break-in attempts involving lock-picking, drilling, tearing, cutting and hammering.