We have recently done a few jobs on timber doors, which although not normally fitted to new builds are still fairly common in older properties. Here is some advice if you have a timber door on your house. Timber doors are traditionally fitted with two different types of locks: night latches (commonly referred to as Yale locks) and mortice locks (commonly referred to as Chubb locks). Mortice locks come as either deadlock or sash lock variants, sash locks have a latch as well as a deadbolt and therefore require handles where as deadlocks only have an escutcheon for the keyhole. Recently multipoint locks, as fitted to UPVC doors, designed for wooden doors have become available. If your door has a multipoint lock fitted please refer to UPVC door security advice.

  If your door has a night latch and / or a mortice lock fitted is it secure or do the locks need upgrading or do you require additional security measures? All night latches should meet BS 3621 and if you have glass panels within arms reach of the lock it should require a key to open from the inside, to prevent burglars breaking the glass and opening the door using the handle on the lock. Your door should also be fitted with a mortice lock in addition to a night latch or two mortice locks if no night latch fitted. The two locks should be fitted approximately one third and two thirds of the way up the door. Mortice locks should have 5 levers and meet BS 3621 standards, just because it says so on the faceplate does not mean that the lock meets the standards it may have been changed and the old faceplate reused. If your door is too thin to accept a mortice lock you can fit a rim lock which is surface mounted and should meet the sam standards. If your locks do not meet the standers your insurance may not be valid.As fitting mortice locks involves removing timber from the door the door is weakened, it is therefore recommended to fit reinforcing plates to the door around the locks. A metal strip can also be installed behind the staple of a rim lock or night latch.

Extra security measures can be installed to improve security further. Hinge bolts can be fitted to the hinge side of the door to prevent the door being kicked in, or levered open if an outward opening door. Rack bolts can fitted to the top and bottom of the opening side of the door. A door chain or door restrictor should be fitted to prevent the door being forced open by intruders when you answer the door. A door viewer allows you see who is at the door if it has no glazed panels. An identity card slot allows visitors to pass ID cards in to you without you having to open the door if you do not have a letterbox. Letterboxes can have devices fitted to prevent them opening too far to restrict people "fishing" for keys through the letterbox.