Rim Night Latches whats the different between the different types ?
Lets dig into a little detail as to what options are available when choosing a Rim Night Latch for your front door.
Standard Rim Latches
These Latches are in their simple form and as standard, every time you close your door the night latch engages into the keep and the door is locked. you need to either use the turn on the inside or the key from outside in which to open the door. This is the lowest grade of security that these type of latches come in, and can be circumvented quite easily, most, if not all can be deadlocked on the inside by pushing a snip up or down and will hold the bolt/latch in the un-locked or locked position. From outside if the snib has been used to dead lock the latch you will not be able to use the key to get in. and this in itself becomes a problem with the snips gets old and loose and sometimes the slamming of the door would be enough for this feature to operate and the next time you go to unlock the door the key will only turn a little. There is no quick exit to bypassing this feature unless force is used on the door or total distruction of the lock.
Deadlocking Rim Night Latches
This is the next version up from the simple night latch version.
It works exactly the same inside and there is know way of knowing from its visual features if it can dead lock. They call it deadlocking even though the standard ones listed above can be deadlocked to a lesser extent. The difference with these is that they can be deadlocked from the outside and this operation is achieved, by inserting the key into the lock after the door has closed and rotate the key one complete revolution and withdraw the key, this has know deadlocked the latch into its keep from both inside and outside. This in effect stops someone smashing the glass in the door and putting their hand in to open the latch. To be honest this lock version should be the minimum standard you should be looking on having on your front door.
The next version above the deadlocking is the Auto Deadlocking Night Latch.
Now, dont think that auto deadlocking means that every time you close the door the lock automatically deadlocks the bolt/latch and the inside handle. In most cases this does not happen. what actually happens in the bolt/latch ONLY becomes deadlocked. the idea is that if someone tried to use a credit card to slip the bolt that you may have seen in the movies (harder in real life) then at least the bolt is deadlocked, the same as the versions above. However, this does not mean that the handle on the inside is automatically locked as in most cases it is not.
Some versions of automatic deadlocking Night Latches will have a little cylinder in the handle and this, when on the way out needs to have the key inserted and rotated to lock the handle. Then close the door behind you. The handle is now locked, so if someone smashed the glass in the door or tied to jemmy up from the letter box the handle will not turn and likewise the bolt/latch is deadlocked in the frame.
There are many variations of the theme with the above and in some cases you can get British Standard 3601 rated locks. But remember the BS rating is only when the lock is used completely. If you have this type of lock fitted you MUST use all its features to have the BS rating if not by having it on your door may not be enough to cover you with your insurance policy.
Finally there are variations on the theme from the above,
Firstly there are dead bolt versions, that dont automatically lock. These require the rotation of the handle on the inside or the key from the outside to lock and unlock the door.
Then there are Roller Bolt Rim Locks.
These are in effect a variation of the deadbolt version in as much that the door can be held in the frame via a roller bolt, the bolt puts tension on the keep when the door is closed, applying a little force to the door allows you to push the door open and vice versa. When you want security you need to them turn the key or turn the handle on the inside.
Well, I hope the above has help if only in a small part for you to understand the different versions of Rim Night Latch Locks that are available on the market. Perhaps if and when you are considering updating or replacing you have a little better understanding as to what options are available.
Many Thanks for reading
Head of the Tech Department
TRUST Security - Trust Locksonline