Know Your Locks

Are you the kind of person who likes to be prepared and who doesn’t like surprises and emergencies? Then you might like to check what locks are fitted to your front door. And if it turns out to be exotic or high security, you might want to recall or discover who fitted it or manufactured it. Then if, heaven forbid, you find you’ve been locked out one day — actually it’s never day it’s always night and a cold, wet and windy one at that — you’ll have a start on who might be able to get you back inside again. You might also want to ensure that a trusted friend who never takes holidays has a spare key.

If you have a Chubb, Yale, Union, ERA, Legge, Securefast, Walsall, Willenhall or Imperial, for example, then you have a regular lock. If you have a Banham, a MulTlock, a Gerda, a Bramah, for example, then you have a high-security or exotic lock. (If you have a Bramah lock you are in good and ancient company. Mr Pickwick had a Bramah.)

The local authority here has been fitting front doors with an imported lock system that would do the front door of a desirable castle proud: a lock that’s completely unique driving huge medieval bolts. However, lock yourself out and try calling said local authority and you will be told to call a locksmith. Call a locksmith and you will be told that they have no idea how to get you in.

If you have a local authority front door with a completely circular keyhole right in the middle of the door and some impressive boltwork on the inside, contact your local authority and get a definitive answer on how you a) get a spare key, and b) gain entry should you ever find yourself locked out.

If you’re not sure, and you’re living in the UK, leave a comment and I’ll venture an opinion on your lock’s surprise-quotient.

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