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Nightlatch – Secure front doors or other external entrance!

A nightlatch is used to secure front doors or other external entrance doors. Mounted on the inside of the door, the latch is spring loaded and withdraws into the casing as you turn the knob to allow you to open the door. And you close the door by pushing it into the frame and that action secures the lock with a slamming sound. There are many types of nightlatches available and if you are securing an external door, having a British Standard trademark ensures a high level of security.

Here we lock horns with three of the leading brands, Era Night Latch 1930/1830, Yale PBS1 and Ingersoll SC71 NightLatch.

Era Night Latch 1930/1830

Kitemarked to BS 3621:2007, this solid lock is Era’s top of the range night latch, this BS 3621 insurance approved lock comes in 40mm and 60mm sizes and boasts a matching cylinder and lock body in a satin chrome, polished chrome and polished brass, and three keys. Priced at £86.53 (inc VAT) this lock is approved by Secured by Design and automatically deadlocks when the door is in the closed position preventing the lock from being slipped open. The door can lock from inside and out and if there is a key in the lock inside the house another keyholder cannot open the door from the outside.

One of the disadvantages of this lock is that its standard key profile means the keys can be duplicated at any shop. And there have been reports from buyers that occasionally the lock is difficult to open from the outside (although Era has a ready solution to this problem).

Yale PBS1

When you have been making locks for 200 years, you can be classed as a trusted brand and this PBS1 insurance and Secured by Design recognised boasts the highest level of security for external doors. Key-operated from the outside and key and lever-handle- operated from the inside with the internal handle being lockable for increased security.

The latch automatically deadlocks on closing the door and with a 20 mm bolt which prevents card entry and a 15-year guarantee it merits maximum respect for its maximum security.

But it also has the problem of the Era in that the standard keys can be duplicated and some loyal Yale purchasers have complained about the quality of the newer handle model. But priced at around £116 inc VAT, this lock is worth a serious look.

Ingersoll SC71 Nightlatch

Launched nearly 50 years ago and modestly described by Ingersoll as its world-famous brand, the SC71 comes with a hefty price tag of around £160 inc VAT. Yes, you get what you pay for with some customers reporting that they have had a new one fitted just shy of 40 years after buying the original (that’s a long time to live in the same place). Designed as a high security lock for solid doors, the Ingersoll is commonly used in apartments and with a 10-lever key mechanism making it almost impossible to break in, as well as being cut double sided on a security key blank that is only available at the best key centres. The bolt is a deadbolt and cannot be forced with a credit card, plastic, and it is also reinforced to resist hacksaw attack.

But for a high-spec, high-cost lock, there are still some flaws. You can double lock the SC71 on exit, but people still inside will not be able to get out. And although the lock is not insurance approved that does not take anything away from its many positive features which, despite the higher cost, gets our approval.

More of our recommended nightlatches

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