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What to know about security and locks

August 17, 2021
What to know about security and locks

There are three common fears that homeowners are often concerned about before choosing their new home in a new area:

  • The location: Is the neighbourhood safe? Is the home located in a noisy area? How much will the rail/road/airport noise affect me? Does the suburb have that community spirit?
  • The future neighbours: What are the neighbours like? Are they friendly and considerate? How often does their dog bark?
  • The home's overall condition: Is it safe enough? Will the home need renovations? Will we be happy here? Are the door and window secure enough?

While owning a home is something many people dream of, it's also a big responsibility to maintain, with upgrades and renovations required every few years to keep it looking great. Because of this, it's important to ensure that you find a home in a secure area. Even though the look of the neighbourhood and the feel of the community appears as being safe, it still pays to do some research. For example, get a few home and car insurance quotes from various companies and review crime theft trends for your area for the last few years.

In fact, between 2018-2019, an estimated 2.4% of Australian households experienced a break-in, totalling 231,000. With that amount of break-ins, it's no surprise that it takes 75% of burglars less than 5 minutes to enter a property.

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How to improve your door security

Many burglars break into homes using the front door. Back doors are also common entry points, given that none of your neighbours can witness the crime. So it's not surprising that 34% of burglars break in through the front door, and 22% gain entry using the back door.

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How to improve your window security

Windows are particularly vulnerable because they're easy to smash. Burglars can also hide in the trees or amongst the bushes located near these windows and get an uninterrupted look into the inside and layout of your home.

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How to improve your garage security

9% get in via the garage. If left unprotected, the thief can gain access to your vehicle and into your home.

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Types of door locks

Doorknob lock and handle lever locks

These door locks are most commonly found on internal doors, such as bathrooms and bedrooms. Where one handle or doorknob has a keyhole, and the other often has a thumb-turn. Here's our simple guide to find out more about internal door security.

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Deadlock, deadbolt or deadlatch

The majority of residential homes will have a deadlock, deadbolt or deadlatch. A deadlock can only unlock with a key when it is in deadlock mode (aka locked initially with a key). This also means that the knob cannot operate the lock whilst it is in this deadlock mode. The external plate or the side facing out of the home consists of a keyhole. The internal plate or the side within the home has a thumb turn or knob, which may also have another keyhole. A deadbolt is similar to the deadlock but requires the key to lock and unlock from both sides of the door. The deadbolt lock is often used when the door already has a doorknob to open the door. A deadlatch automatically locks itself once the door closes. Thereby providing convenience and assurance knowing that once the door closes, it's locked. Get to know more about external door security with our simple guide on external door security.

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Barrel bolt

A barrel bolt is a simple mechanism that secures the door to the frame. The sliding metal bar plate is fixed to the door, whilst the catch plate mounts on the door frame. The bolt must retract to open the door. The barrel bolt locks provide the door with additional security and strength. Check out the full range of barrel bolts available here.

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Door chains

A door chain or a security chain consists of a small chain that has two components. The first is a metal plate with a track that mounts to the door. The second smaller plate is mounted to the door frame bolting one end of the chain, stopping the chain from being removed. The other end of the chain goes into the track to secure the door. The door chain then allows the door to open as far as the length of the chain. To fully open the door, remove the chain out of the track. Door chains provide additional security and strength to the door and door lock.

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Cam locks

Cam locks are often found on letterboxes and other cabinetry items such as desk drawers and kitchen cabinets. A cam lock is great to secure any cabinet doors or drawers from prying eyes. It consists of a small metal plate attached to a locking device. When the key is inserted and turned, the metal plate rotates to lock or unlock. Find the right cam lock for your cabinet with this link.

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Padlocks

Padlocks are often found on gates, sheds, garages, lockers and more. Padlocks are a portable locking device that consists of a metal block with a U-shaped bar or shackle. Either a key, push pad PIN or rotating combination PIN is required to unlock the shackle and rotate to operate. The shackle is then passed through an opening and locked to prevent unwanted use.

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Digital locks

Digital locks are generally classified as locks that require physical interaction with or be within proximity to the lock to function. This includes administrative functions such as changing or adding new users. PIN, fob cards, Bluetooth and biometrics, are some of the ways to access the lock. Some well-known examples include the Borg Digital Lock range. Where access is with a push-button code that is shared. The Carbine CEL 3 in 1 electronic lock is another example. The RFID cards and PINs are programmed directly onto the Carbine lock itself.

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Smart locks

Smart locks go that one step further than digital locks. These types of locks integrate into a smart home protocol, such as Bluetooth or wifi. Smart locks are often managed via mobile app or desktop web dashboard. In comparison to digital locks, there is easier control and management of user access. This includes creating temporary PINs to revoking access and reviewing access logs. Some examples here include the Igloohome Smart Mortice Lock which connects via Bluetooth and to holiday rental platforms such as Airbnb. Another example is the Danalock v3. This lock can be integrated into the Apple HomeKit ecosystem, Z-Wave, Zigbee and Bluetooth systems.

For an in-depth analysis of digital and smart locks, check out this blog article.

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The different types of window locks

Window latches

The window latch is often found on a single or double hung window. They sit on top of the window sash and lock to keep the window from opening. The window latch consists of a catch and a lever. Turn the lever to lock or unlock the window. Because of their simplicity, use these locks to reinforce other window locks.

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Window winder

A window winder uses a handle mechanism to wind a chain in or out to close or open the window. This type of lock is used on awning or casement windows. There are a variety of window winders available. This includes ones that can partially open to ones that require a key to open fully or unrestricted. It is important to note that certain jurisdictions have limits on how wide a window winder can open up to.

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Window cable restrictor

Similar to window winders, cable restrictors allow the window to open to around 12.5cm. This type of lock fits any window. Most cable restrictors also comply with child safety regulations across Australia, but it's best to check with your local jurisdiction for up to date requirements.

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Window restrictor lock

Window restrictor locks are installed within the track of the window. When locked, it prevents the window from opening. Window restrictor locks can use either a bolt or use a push-button feature, so push to lock and the key to unlock. These locks come in various colours and shapes, so you can find the one to suit your window style.

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The different types of garage locks

T handle and L handle

This is a common sight on many tilting garage doors. The T or L-shaped handle needs to turn to 90 or 180 degrees to lock or unlock and lock securely with a key. The T or L handle can only be installed on the outside of the garage door. Given its ergonomic shape, it also makes lifting the garage door easy.

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Roller door lock

As the name suggests, this type of lock works on roller garage doors. The roller door locks are rectangular in shape and lie flat on the door. Roller door locks do not have handles. Instead, you need to use the door itself to lift it open. A key is required to lock or unlock the door.

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Floor anchors

Floor anchors are great for that added piece of security to a rolling garage door. Floor anchors consist of two plates. The semicircular plate fastens to the concrete floor whilst the rectangular plate mounts to the garage door. A padlock is then required to secure the two together.

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Garage remotes and openers

Having an electric garage door opener provides a lot of conveniences and are easy to use. In combination with a garage door remote, the garage door automatically locks and unlocks. All without you needing to touch the garage door at all. Here is a guide to how you can find the right remote to an existing and operating door opener.

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Smart garage controllers

Smart garage controllers are a great solution to control who can access your garage door. These types of devices require an existing garage door opener to connect to. Depending on your chosen controller, the garage door operates either through wifi or Bluetooth. Some of these smart controllers enable you to check the status of the garage door as well as view who and when users accessed the door. Examples include Garadget Garage door controller and Silca Air 4 Home Universal Remote Solution.

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Your home security system doesn't have to be an overnight transformation. Work out what needs urgent repairs first, and then set yourself a goal and deadline for each. Get what you need to keep your family safe with the best in security from our online store to get the best deals for the best in security.