Our Blog

Hi Welcome to our blog. This is a place where I share my day to day experiences
and advice as a 24hr mobile locksmith that you may find interesting.

 Working for other businesses   Friday, April 29, 2016

 As locksmiths in Bromley we have carried out work for many other business in Bromley such as

  • Toni and Guy
  • Primark
  • Pizza Hut
  • Subway
  • Doddle
  • Langford Russell
  • Timberland
  • Sevonoaks Sounds and Vision Bromley Branch
  • The British Heart Foudation
  • Focus Beauty
 
 Always nice to be appreciated by other businesses.
shops in bromley
Approved Locks   Thursday, April 28, 2016

What do we mean by "approved door and window locks" fitted?

All accessible windows have key operated locks (a).
The main entrance door, any sliding patio doors or any
 other external doors are fitted with either:
 A wooden door with a five lever mortice deadlock (b)
or
 A wooden door with a lock approved to the British Standard BS3621 (c)
or
A wooden door with a cylinder rim deadlatch with a key-locking handle
on the inside
or
UPVC doors with multi point locking (d).
If any sliding patio doors do not have one of the three options above,
they need to have key operated patio-door lock mounted inside on the
centre railes (e).
    
If any external doors do not have one of the three options above they
need to have key operated security devices fitted to the top and bottom
in addition to existing locks (f).
insurance approved logo
Summer Crime Prevention   Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Keep safe this summer: Summer crime prevention advice from the MPS

During the warm weather people are more likely to leave their doors and windows open to ventilate their properties.
Walk in burglaries do increase during the Summer months, so please don't be complacent - if you cannot see the door or window then it should be shut and locked.

If you are out enjoying your garden, remember to shut and lock all windows on the front of your property. Remember, it only takes a minute to become a victim of a sneak in burglary!
Enjoy your summer holiday but make sure your home looks lived in whilst your away.
Use timer switches on lights to make you’re home look occupied in the evenings.

If possible leave a car in your driveway or ask a neighbour to park there car on your driveway whilst you’re away.
Ask a neighbour to check on your home while you’re away and move any post out of sight.

Cancel any regular delivers such as milk and newspapers.
If you have a lawn cut it before you go away and trim back any bushes or shrubs that burglars could hide behind.

Lock away any valuable items such as pedal cycles – they may be safer in your home than in an outhouse or shed.

Get on your bike and make the most of the warmer weather – but make sure you protect your bike
Mark the frame of you bike with your postcode and house number using a UV pen or tamperproof label.
Keep details of the frame number, make, model and type of bike and also take a photograph.
Register your bike at Immobilise - a free online property database which the police use to check stolen property, see related links for details.
Never leave your bike unlocked – even if you’re just popping into the newsagents for a couple of minutes.
The best kind of lock is a quality solid steel D-shaped shackle lock.
Always lock your bike to something solid like a lamp-post or railings, preferably in a public area.

Enjoy day trips out in the warmer weather – but make sure you secure your car and look after your valuables.
Don’t leave valuables in your car – even if you know that the bag on the front seat is empty, a thief may still try their luck.
Remove your sat nav and its holder from your car, don’t leave it in the glove box as this is the first place a thief will look and make sure you wipe away any suction markers from the holder.
Remember to shut your windows and sunroof when you leave your car.
Use an approved steering lock and gear clamp.
Set your immobiliser and alarm if you have one fitted.
As the weather warms up, if you begin to wear clothing less likely to have pockets, make sure you store your valuables safely.

Don’t let burglars make easy work of your property … keep garden equipment and tools locked away.
Keep your shed securely locked by using strong hasp and close shackle padlocks. Use coach bolts or non-return screws to secure door hinges, hasp and staples.
Always put away gardening equipment, tools and furniture away when you’ve finished using them.
Keep your garden fences in good repair and consider having trellis on the top to discourage anyone climbing over.
Make your valuables less attractive to steal.
Mark garden furniture and DIY equipment with your postcode and house number (or name) by engraving or painting.  For heavier metal items such as lawn mowers, use a hammer and set of punches.
Photograph valuable garden plants and ornaments to help identify them in the event of a theft.
Check your household insurance covers theft from your garden or outbuildings.

If you would like further information or specific advice about crime prevention then please call 101 and ask to speak to a member of your local Neighbourhood Policing team.
police vehicle
british standard label
Insurance Approved Locks   Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Information from crime prevention.

The following security requirements have been copied from two 2010 popular home insurance company’s schedules, not their policy documents or booklets, but the schedule that is sent to you as part of the confirmation letter when you have renewed or taken out cover with a new insurer.  The bit that details security requirements will be found at the back of the letter and is shown under ‘endorsements’.  It is likely that they will all be very similar to the one I have shown below.  You may not know it, but you could be receiving a premium discount for confirming that you have the minimum security requirements.  If the security is not being used at the time of the incident you may not have your claim settled in whole, so do make sure you are conforming. 

There are some anomalies that you may need to sort out with your insurer, which are listed at the end of this sub-section.
WARNING: The following example of Insurance Security Requirements is just that; it's just an example.  Yours may be different in the detail or may have additional requirements to cover higher risks.  CHECK YOUR OWN DOCUMENT BEFORE DECIDING ON YOUR SECURITY NEEDS!
Example of Insurance Security Requirements
Endorsements
The following endorsements apply to this policy
Locks Premium Discount
A discount is allowed off the contents premium on the understanding that your home is protected by locks to our required standard.
Security Requirements
Loss by theft or attempted theft from the home is not covered unless the following security measures are in operation when the property is left unattended.  All external doors and windows must be closed and locked and keys must not be visible from outside.  
[ I’ve added the underlining ]

The final exit door....
  1. is fitted with a mortice deadlock with at least 5 levers; or
  2. is fitted with a lock conforming to BS3621: 1998 or to a higher specification
In addition, where the final exit door is double-leaf, the first closing leaf must be fitted with top and bottom key-operated security bolts.  Bolts must be positioned vertically so as to enter the framework of the door, not the opposing leaf.

All other single external doors....  
  1. are fitted with key-operated security bolts at the top and bottom; or
  2. iare fitted with a mortice deadlock with at least 5 levers; or
  3. are fitted with a lock conforming to BS3621: 1998 or to a higher specification

All French or double doors (other than final exit doors)....
Are fitted with two key operated security bolts at the top and bottom of the final closing door or,
if not rebated, to both doors.  The bolts must be positioned vertically, so as to enter the top and bottom of the door frame, not the opposing leaf

Sliding patio doors....
Are fitted with an anti-lift device to prevent the doors from being lifted off their running tracks when closed and are either:
  1. are fitted with two key-operated patio door locks on the inside of the doors at the top and bottom of the frame; or
  2. are fitted with a key-operated multiple locking system having at least two locking points

Windows
All opening ground floor and basement windows, and all windows which are accessible from roofs, walls, fences, balconies, landings, porches, soil pipes, drainpipes, trees or shrubs must be fitted with at least one key-operated metal lock
Alternatively, these windows are permanently fixed shut by means of non-return or defaced head screws angled through the window frame into the timber or metal surround.

Louvre windows
All ground floor, basement and other louvre windows accessible by the means described in [Windows] have their panes secured to the frames by epoxy or glass bonding adhesive to prevent their easy removal.

Double-glazed PVC-U, Metal or timber doors
Key-operated multiple-point locking devices on double glazed PVC-U, metal or timber doors are an acceptable alternative for the security measures detailed for doors above.
What you need to check with your insurer
It is fair to say that the insurance companies are very generous when it comes to their security requirements, the lowest of which, in my view, would barely protect you from a minimum security threat.  That being said, these are requirements to acquire insurance cover, NOT to prevent you from having a burglary; two completely different matters.
There are nevertheless one or two things you’ll need to clarify with your insurer:
How do they define ‘the final exit door’?
If you live in a flat do they mean the final exit door from the main building onto the street or the private flat entrance door?  I suspect the latter, but it is not clear.
Non British Standard door locks
The use of non British Standard 5 lever mortice deadlocks, whilst not the best choice to prevent burglary, is the minimum required by some insurers on the final exit door and other single leaf external doors.  You can check if yours conforms by looking at the lock’s face plate.  You should see the words ‘5 Lever’ and sometimes these additional words ‘insurance’ or ‘insurance approved’.  I still recommend that you replace them for the BS 3621 version.

Cylinder operated mortice deadlocks
Your single mortice lock might incorporate a cylinder to operate the lock instead of levers, but how will you know if this lock will be approved by your insurer?  I suggest you contact your insurer by phone and in writing and give them a description of the lock to see if it acceptable.  Make sure their response is in writing.  Also see next paragraphs. 

Non visible forced entry by lock manipulation
If you have a cylinder operated lock on your final exit door or other external doors, which is either a single lock or a multi-point locking device it may be susceptible to ‘bumping’.  This is where a special cut-down key is used by a skilled person to unlock your door.  If a thief enters your property in this way you may not be covered for your entire losses, since there is no evidence of a forced entry and it will be difficult to argue that your door was locked at the time of the incident.

Before you speak to your insurer about this potential problem I  strongly  recommend that you upgrade the cylinders to ‘anti-bump’ ones straightaway. (See  More things to improve door security ,  Replacing lock cylinders)  There are two other common ways of overcoming cylinders, but these leave visible damage and so will not affect your insurance cover. 

Thumb turns on the inside of door locks
Your final exit door lock may a have a thumb turn on the inside, instead of a keyway, to assist your means of escape in an emergency. Following the guidance in  Private flat entrance door – timber   will help you understand this dilemma.
I suggest you discuss this matter with your insurers to ensure they are satisfied with your additional security measures, because insurers usually specify a 5-lever key operated lock or a BS 3621 lock, which, by definition, has key operation on both sides.  

Unlocked emergency exit window
Building regulations may have required an emergency exit window from your dwelling onto flat roof/fire escape route.  Such windows should not be fitted with key operated locks for obvious reasons.  You must speak with your insurer about this matter.  You can greatly improve the security of this type of window without resorting to locks.  (See  Window security   Fire safety and Insurance requirements)

Discounts for alarm systems  
Some insurers will offer discounts if your home is fitted with an alarm system. HOWEVER, make sure yours complies with their requirements. If you say you have an alarm they will insist that it is always set when the home is unoccupied. If it wasn't set when you were burgled they may refuse to pay your claim! They may also require the following:
The Alarm must be set at night even when the home is occupied. Alarms can be installed in such a way that you can walk around various parts of the home at night (to visit the bathroom for example) without setting it off.
It must be installed by an alarm company that is a member of the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) or Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB)
It must be a 'Type A' alarm system, i.e. one that will send a signal to an alarm recieving centre (ARC) who can then call the police.  

I have no doubt that insurers come up against these security and fire issues all the time and will make allowances.  But if you have a story to tell please let me know about it on the  Feedback form .

One last thing
If you haven’t got a 5-lever or BS 3621 lock on your front door, don’t say that you do, unless you are absolutely certain that you have!  By making a false statement to your insurers about your security, however honest you thought you were being at the time, could affect your claim should the worse happen.

Updated June 2015
british standard label
british standard label
The Enforcer   Monday, April 25, 2016

Had a call recently saying that a door needed to be secured after it had been broken in.

When I arrived it turned out that it was an elderly gentleman who was a little hard of hearing.

He hadn't been seen for a few days so people started to worry and called the police.

They gained entry using "The Big Key"  (also known as the Enforcer ) to find that the gentleman was quite well and in bed,  he hadn't even heard them enter.

The door had broken away around the mortice lock, so I fitted a new mortice lock lower down below the damaged area untill such time that a repair or replacement could be arranged.

I can't see any lock that would stand up against this equipment as it applies 3 tonnes of impact force when applied.

Lessons to be learnt if you dont want a visit from the Enforcer.

1. behave yourself
2. be kind to,  and show yourself to neighbours often.
forced entry by police
Upgrading your lock   Sunday, April 24, 2016


If you want to upgrade the security of your UPVC door lock, consider a look at this YALE cylinder.

The Yale AS Platinum is a 3 Star TS007 Anti- Snap British Standard certified euro profile
cylinder. This Maximum security cylinder has been approved by Secured by Design, a UK
Police initiative supporting ‘designing out crime’.
With additional features to help deter the most determined criminal the AS Platinum
is the perfect security solution from a brand you can trust.
high security euro cylinder
Door Security   Saturday, April 23, 2016

Most burglaries are carried out by opportunist thieves. In around 20% of all burglaries, they don''t even have to use force. They enter through an open door or window.
Safe and secure
Reduce the risk of your home being burgled by taking these simple (and often inexpensive) precautions:
Fit strong locks to external doors and windows, and make sure they are locked.
Remove the keys and keep them out of sight and in a safe place.
Fit five-lever mortise deadlocks (British Standard BS3621) to all external doors.
If you are replacing or fitting new doors and windows, get ones that are certified to British Standard BS7950 (windows) and PAS 24-1 (doors).
Make sure the doors and frames are strong and in good condition. The doors should be at least 44mm thick.
Consider using laminated glass (for windows) as this is much harder to break.
Consider fitting a letterbox cage or other restrictor to prevent thieves from reaching through to open the door.
Fit a door chain or bar and door viewer (spy-hole). Use them every time someone calls. Don''t leave door chain or bar on all the time in case you need to get out in an emergency.
Never leave a spare key in a convenient hiding place such as under the doormat, in a flowerpot or behind a loose brick - thieves know to look there first.
 
   Free Security check available call
 
                  07976 546 915 - 0208 289 1072
                 Email:  info@locallockbromley.co.uk
security points on door
Supplying a good honest service   Friday, April 22, 2016

Recently I was called to an elderly disabled lady who was locked in her house with her carer due to a faulty nightatch.

When I arrived they told me they had been waiting for 2 hours for a locksmith they had called before me. They had called him several times to find out when he was,  and all he would say is,   he was on his way.

This guy was obviously not local and gave an excuse to buy himself time to get there.

It's always best to do as much research as possible as to the true whereabouts of the locksmith you are calling.

As I mentioned in a previous post I know of one particulat locksmith who's using 12 different addresses to make people think he's local.

We pride ourselves in being a local Bromley business and can generaly can get to anyone in Bromley within about 20 mins, with a 24hr service.
night latch
Secure your home    Friday, April 22, 2016


When a burglar breaks into a home they can take a lot more than just possessions.
A home is supposed to be a safe place where people can feel comfortable, and
in control of who comes and goes, but when a house is broken into it can feel
anything but that…    .

For more information on securing your home call your local installer...

Local Lock (Bromley) 0208 289 1072 / 07976 546 915
security information
Burglary   Thursday, April 21, 2016

Concerned about burglary in your area ? download this app for smartphone to find statistics within a mile of your home for a 1 month period. Also tips for securing your home.
burglary information