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Hero Locksmith Blog

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United Kingdom, Edinburgh

 

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  • February 09, 2021 05:29:58 PM
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A Little About Us

Hero Locksmith is an experienced and trusted locksmith in Edinburgh. His blog provides lots of handy hints and tips and information on how to keep your home safe and secure.

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Simple Guide to British Lock Standard BS3621

As a local Edinburgh locksmith, I find that most people know very little about lock standards, BS3621, in particular. This is a shame because knowing even the basics can be very useful. Lock standards ensure that the locks you have fitted on your doors have been thoroughly tested and meet certain criteria. They make your […] The post Simple Guide to British Lock Standard BS3621 appeared first on Hero...

lock BS3621 fitted by Edinburgh locksmith

As a local Edinburgh locksmith, I find that most people know very little about lock standards, BS3621, in particular. This is a shame because knowing even the basics can be very useful. Lock standards ensure that the locks you have fitted on your doors have been thoroughly tested and meet certain criteria. They make your property much more secure and can deter intruders. Having locks fitted which meet the required standard can also impact your home insurance policy. If your home is broken into and you do not have the correct standard of lock, your policy may be invalid and your insurer may refuse to pay out.

1. What are British Standards (BS)

Standards are the agreed best way of doing something or of meeting specific criteria. Standards are created by a collaboration of experts, academics, users, manufacturers etc. These groups come together and share knowledge and best practice. This is then written into a document known as a Standard. British Standards exist across many technologies and industries. Compliance to any particular BS is an indication that specifically defined criteria have been met.

2. What is BS3621

BS 3621 was introduced in 2007 and is the British Standard for:

 ‘Lock assemblies operated by key from both the inside and outside of the door.’

This standard applies to:

  • Mortice Deadlocks & SashLocks
  • Euro DeadLocks & SashLocks
  • Cylinder locks e.g. Nightlatches and rim cylinders

In order for a lock to comply with BS3621, specific design criteria and functionality must be met e.g. the lock must have 5 levers, be able to withstand a drill attack for up to 5 minutes, have an anti-picking mechanism and have specified minimum bolt length etc.

Locks which conform to this standard are essentially “good thief resistant locks”

3. Do all locks on exterior doors need to be BS3621 standard

It really depends on the type of property. Locks which conform to this standard should be fitted to appropriate external doors e.g. wooden or timber doors. These are typically found in domestic homes. These locks provide optimal security (and peace of mind) at affordable prices.

The exception to this is that they are not suitable for use on common main door exits on flats or apartments. A lock with a key on the outside and a thumbwheel on the inside is more appropriate. This allows emergency exit for all households without the use of a key (this type of lock should conform to BS8621 – see below).

4. How can I tell if my lock is BS3621

The British Standards Institute (BSI) undertakes rigorous standardised testing to assess new locks, including common “attack” methods as well as wear and tear reliability and safety. On successful completion of this testing BSI award a “Kitemark” to the particular lock design and manufactured product.

The BSI Kitemark is one of the most recognised symbols for indicating quality, reliability and trust. If a lock conforms to BS3621 the kitemark and standard reference should be stamped on the face of the lockThis will be visible when the door is open and is also prominent on the packaging material.

BS Kitemark on lock

5. Do insurance companies require locks to be BS3621

All insurance companies have different requirements. However, usually, there is a requirement that relevant locks must comply with BS3621. As mentioned earlier, if you inadvertently indicate that your locks are of this standard and subsequently this is shown not to be the case, your insurance provider may reject any future claims.

6. Are there other lock standards

Yes, there are a number of other standards, which are specific to lock types. Here are some of the more common ones.

  • BS8621 – ‘Lock assemblies operated by a key from the outside of the door and by handle or thumbturn from the inside of the door’

As noted earlier, the BS8621 standard is relevant to locks that need a key for entry but not for exit. These are most often seen on main door exits in blocks of flats. They operate with a key on the outside of the door and a thumb turn on the inside. This type of lock enables emergency escape without the need for a key.

  • BS10621 – ‘Lock assemblies in which the operating mode can be switched between the normal BS8621operating mode and a secure mode in which no egress is possible’

Locks to this standard provide all the security and functionality of BS8621 locks with the additional capability to manipulate the key from the outside to disable the interior escape functions (thumbwheel/thumb turn) e.g. if you were the last person to leave a building you can lock up and disable the escape function, so, if for example, somebody broke in through a window, they could not escape via the door.

  • TS007 three star – this is an updated and improved version of the Kitemark standard for cylinder locks. It was developed by the Door and Hardware Federation and the Glass and Glazing Federation. This update was developed specifically in response to criminals using bespoke methods to specifically attack lock cylinders. It provides several layers of protection.

Hero Locksmith is a trusted local Edinburgh locksmith. We always fit branded, accredited locks to ensure your property is fully protected. If you need help with your locks, please get in touch or give Richard a call on 0131 603 7329

The post Simple Guide to British Lock Standard BS3621 appeared first on Hero Locksmith.


Housebreaking and the Coronavirus Pandemic

2020 has been a very difficult year. With the death toll still rising, the social impact has been huge on the whole country. Businesses have suffered too with many people out of work, forced into reduced working hours or furloughed.  As an Edinburgh locksmith, this year has been a tough one, but I thought it […] The post Housebreaking and the Coronavirus Pandemic appeared first on Hero...

housebreaking in Edinburgh

2020 has been a very difficult year. With the death toll still rising, the social impact has been huge on the whole country. Businesses have suffered too with many people out of work, forced into reduced working hours or furloughed.  As an Edinburgh locksmith, this year has been a tough one, but I thought it would try and share a small glimmer of good news amongst all the bad.

Some good news

All reported crimes are bad news however, the most recent Scottish Crime Statistics for 2019-2020, published at the end of September 2020, shared some good news. It reported a 3% reduction in crimes of dishonesty compared to 2018-2019. This is the lowest number recorded since 1971

Crimes of dishonesty include such things as theft, robbery, burglary, money laundering, handling stolen goods etc.  The top 3 categories for crimes of dishonesty for the period 2019-2020 were

  1. Other
  2. Shoplifting
  3. Housebreaking

In total there were 111,409 crimes of dishonesty recorded. This accounted for 45% of all crime recorded in Scotland. Housebreaking accounted for roughly 12% of all crimes of dishonesty (12903 instances).

Reason for fall in housebreaking

It would be lovely to think that burglars have moved on or found different employment and that’s why this type of crime has fallen. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be the case. The reason is probably much more straight forward.

Contrary to popular belief, most burglaries do not occur at night. Most intruders don’t want to bump into anyone when they are searching for valuables in a house. The most common time for a burglary to take place is estimated to be between 10am and 3pm. This is when the likelihood of the property being empty is highest because people are at work etc.

This year was of course very different due to the coronavirus pandemic. We had 12 weeks of full lockdown, followed by an easing of restrictions over the summer, followed by a move to a tiered system. Everyone was and still is encouraged to work from home where possible. This has meant that homes are “not as empty” during peak burglary hours. This has without a doubt been the main factor in the reduction in burglaries in Edinburgh (and indeed Scotland as a whole).

What next as we exit the pandemic

Unfortunately, pre-pandemic, Edinburgh had the unenviable reputation as the capital of burglaries. With changing social and economic factors playing a big part, many commentators are predicting a significant upsurge in crimes of dishonesty as we move back towards a more normal life. Sadly Edinburgh will not be immune to this.

Given the possibility of increased burglary and opportunity theft, now would be a good time to review your home security. Are all your locks in good condition? Should you consider upgrading to approved high-security locks (BS 3621)? Finding areas of weakness in your home security and getting them fixed, is essential to ensure that your home is not a number recorded in next year’s crime statistics.

 

Hero Locksmith is a trusted local Edinburgh locksmith. If you need help with your locks, please get in touch or give Richard a call on 0131 603 7329

The post Housebreaking and the Coronavirus Pandemic appeared first on Hero Locksmith.


Is It Easy to Change A Lock – Slideshow

If you have a problem with one of your locks it can be tempting to try and fix it yourself rather than call a locksmith. This short presentation explains why this is usually not a good idea. The post Is It Easy to Change A Lock – Slideshow appeared first on Hero...

If you have a problem with one of your locks it can be tempting to try and fix it yourself rather than call a locksmith. This short presentation explains why this is usually not a good idea.

The post Is It Easy to Change A Lock – Slideshow appeared first on Hero Locksmith.


3 Common Myths About Locksmiths

If you lose your keys, lock yourself out or have a broken lock, finding a good locksmith quickly is essential. Unfortunately, it’s in emergency situations like this that rash decisions are made. This is because the need to get it sorted as quickly as possible overrides everything else. You may think that is not really […] The post 3 Common Myths About Locksmiths appeared first on Hero...

3 common Edinburgh locksmith myths

If you lose your keys, lock yourself out or have a broken lock, finding a good locksmith quickly is essential. Unfortunately, it’s in emergency situations like this that rash decisions are made. This is because the need to get it sorted as quickly as possible overrides everything else. You may think that is not really a problem because all locksmiths are pretty much the same. This is definitely one myth that needs debunking. The services and skills that a locksmith can provide, varies enormously. Prices can also vary widely with some locksmiths charging up to 3 times the price that others charge for exactly the same job!

Misinformation surrounding locksmiths is often based on these common myths

1. Picking a lock is easy for a locksmith

Yes, some locks are relatively easy to pick and any half-decent locksmith should have no problem opening them. However, other locks can be extremely difficult to pick and many locksmiths just don’t have the right skills. There are lots of different locking mechanisms already out there and on top of that manufacturers are continually producing even more secure locks for doors. Learning how to pick each type of lock has to be mastered and this can take hours and hours of practice.

Unfortunately, some rogue locksmiths do not want to put the time and effort into this and will reach for the drill straight away, removing the old lock and replacing it with a brand new one. This will cost you substantially more than the cost of a skilled locksmith picking the original lock. It may also damage your door. Looking for a locksmith with non-destructive entry skills is usually well worth the time and effort.

 

2. Locksmith charges are roughly the same

Unfortunately, this couldn’t be more wrong! Many of the larger national locksmiths charge several times the amount that a small local locksmith will charge. Charging structures also vary widely with some locksmiths charging by the hour. This can be deliberately misleading because you will not know how much you are going to be charged for a job until it is finished.  Any experienced locksmith should be able to provide a pretty accurate quote for the whole job just from discussing the problem with you over the phone. In addition, many locksmiths add sneaky extra charges for ‘call out’ or for working at the weekend.

 

3. All locksmiths guarantee their work

You may think that all locksmiths will fit good quality parts that are right for the job and have passed strict testing. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some locksmiths (to save money) will fit very poor quality locks bought cheaply from places like e-bay. When locks like these fail, good luck trying to get the original locksmith to come back and replace them. On the other hand, a good locksmith will always fit branded locks that meet the required security standards. These locks will usually have the British Standard Kite Mark displayed on the packaging and on the lock itself. Locks like this will usually come with a one year guarantee although, of course, are likely to be good for considerably longer.

 

It is not hard to see that falling for any of the 3 myths above could cost you. If you are looking for a locksmith in a hurry, make sure you ask about their charges including any ‘extras’ and always get more than one quote. It is also worth taking the time to quickly check out their reviews on sites such as Google, Yell and Facebook.

Hero Locksmith is a trusted local Edinburgh locksmith. If you need help with your locks, please get in touch or give Richard a call on 0131 603 7329

The post 3 Common Myths About Locksmiths appeared first on Hero Locksmith.


Common UPVC Doors Problems and What to Do

As an Edinburgh locksmith, I have lots of experience dealing with UPVC door repairs. This type of door is very popular, particularly in more modern homes. There are many good reasons why people love UPVC doors. They are durable and very low maintenance. They can be kept clean with a simple wipe down and don’t […] The post Common UPVC Doors Problems and What to Do appeared first on Hero...

UPVC door repairs Edinburgh

As an Edinburgh locksmith, I have lots of experience dealing with UPVC door repairs. This type of door is very popular, particularly in more modern homes. There are many good reasons why people love UPVC doors.

  1. They are durable and very low maintenance. They can be kept clean with a simple wipe down and don’t need to be painted or varnished every few years in order to protect them
  2. They provide a high level of heat and noise insulation
  3. They are easy to install and remove
  4. They are relatively inexpensive to buy and install
  5. They are robust and offer a good level of security

Unfortunately, UPVC doors can also suffer from a number of common problems.

Common Problems with UPVC Doors

  1. UPVC doors fitted with a standard euro cylinder lock barrel can be at risk of lock snapping. This is now a very common way for burglars to break-in. This type of lock will take a burglar just a few seconds to ‘snap’ and remove, allowing them full access to your home within minutes. Changing the barrel to an anti-snap euro lock is a quick and easy job for a locksmith. I sell both a budget anti-snap euro lock and 3 Star TS007 anti-snap euro lock. This is the very highest rating for a euro cylinder lock. Both locks will greatly increase the security of your UPVC door. The other good news is that these locks are not particularly expensive so it is definitely worth fitting them on any external UPVC doors.
  2. Another common problem that I regularly encounter is when the UPVC door becomes misaligned with the locking points in the door frame. UPVC doors are very heavy and over time can slip or ‘drop’. This problem becomes evident when it becomes difficult to lock or unlock the door. Fortunately, this is also a quick and easy fix for a locksmith who specialises in UPVC door repairs. In fact, it is usually a lot cheaper to get a locksmith to fix this type of problem rather than a double glazing company.
  3. Most people panic when suddenly they can’t unlock or lock their UPVC door. This is sometimes caused by wear and tear on the actual locking mechanism. Luckily it is usually just the multipoint locking gearbox that needs to be replaced and not the whole mechanism.  A good locksmith will carry a wide range of gearboxes in their van and will usually be able to fix this problem on the spot. Sometimes, on older UPVC doors, the new gearbox will have to be specially ordered. In this case, the locksmith will arrange a time to return and fit the new part when it arrives in stock.

In conclusion, although there are some common problems associated with UPVC doors, they are still a great option for many homes as long as

  • They are fitted with a secure anti-snap euro cylinder lock
  • Problems are dealt with sooner rather than leaving till later

If you need help with any locks in your property Hero Locksmith can help. I am a Trusted Trader locksmith in Edinburgh and carry a wide range of affordable, high security (BS3621) insurance approved locks. Give me a call on 0131 603 7329 or get in touch via my website.

The post Common UPVC Doors Problems and What to Do appeared first on Hero Locksmith.


5 Easy Ways to Prevent Letterbox Burglary

We all know that it is vital that your front door is secured properly as this is the way that many burglars will attempt to enter your property. Most people will also know that the best way to do this is to employ a local locksmith to fit strong, reliable British Standard locks. However, fewer […] The post 5 Easy Ways to Prevent Letterbox Burglary appeared first on Hero...

letterbox locksmith Edinburgh

We all know that it is vital that your front door is secured properly as this is the way that many burglars will attempt to enter your property. Most people will also know that the best way to do this is to employ a local locksmith to fit strong, reliable British Standard locks. However, fewer people will be aware of the potential security problems that can be caused by their innocent-looking letterbox.

What is letterbox burglary?

Letterbox burglary is when a burglar uses a letterbox on the front door to either break into a property or steal keys for a car that is parked outside the property. They will either push their hand through the letterbox and reach up to try and unlock the door from the inside or they will insert a fishing rod gadget with a hook on the end to ‘fish’ for keys left lying around. Both of these methods can be very effective ways of quickly and quietly gaining access to your property or stealing your car. This type of burglar doesn’t even require the skills necessary to pick or break a lock.

Ways to prevent letterbox burglary

  1. Never leave house keys or car keys in plain sight. This is particularly important if you have a front door with glazed panels. However, even if your door is completely solid you should look through your letterbox from the outside to see what a potential burglar will be able to see. Any keys or wallets that are visible from this vantage point should be moved and stored elsewhere.
  2. Replace your current letterbox for one which comes with a draught excluder. The rows of soft nylon bristles round the edge of the gap help in two ways. Firstly they keep the warmth in and cold out and secondly they prevent potential burglars from being able to see through the gap and into your home.
  3. Buy and fit a proper anti-burglar letterbox. The latest models of anti-vandal, anti-snap letterboxes have gone through very rigorous testing to ensure that they comply with the latest security standards.
  4. Install a letterbox restrictor. These simple but effective devices are easy to install and work by restricting how much the inner flap can open. This prevents hands or rods being pushed or manoeuvred through your letterbox.
  5. Remove your letterbox altogether and install an external mailbox instead. This will not be practical for most people due to the cost but may be worth considering if you are planning on replacing your front door sometime soon.

Unfortunately, burglars are always looking for new and easy ways to get access to your property.  It is essential to keep on top of all areas of your home security to ensure that you don’t suffer as a result of their latest dodgy technique.

Hero Locksmith is a trusted local locksmith in Edinburgh. If you have any lock issues or problems please get in touch, or give me a call on 0131 603 7329

The post 5 Easy Ways to Prevent Letterbox Burglary appeared first on Hero Locksmith.


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