At least one block of apartments near here have seemingly been rendered near lethal, apparently by the local authority. Each of the apartments’ front doors has been protected by a steel security gate. That’s good. However, possibly by way of incompetent, time serving officialdom, via Botchit, Cheaply & Run contractors, perhaps mediated by insane tendering regulations, these gates are doomed to fail.
They have made mortice lock boxes much larger than the mortice locks they now contain. They have deployed a cheap lock where only two or three turns of thread of two screws hold the lock together and where they hadn’t heard of, or didn’t want to pay for, thread lock compound.
If the cap comes off a mortice lock in a wooden door, chances are that it won’t go very far as even the very worst of botchers won’t make the mortice hole a great deal bigger than the mortice lock.
When the cap comes off these locks, however, they can wander several millimetres in several directions. Of course the locks weren’t designed to function correctly when in several pieces, so they don’t. So they lock you out. Or lock you in.
If you unfortunately get locked in behind a wooden door, a locksmith or the fire brigade can get you out fairly quickly. If you disastrously get locked in behind a substantial metal gate (they didn’t skimp on the heftiness of the steel) then we hope that the attending fire brigade engine has the “jaws of life” or cutting gear.
And — get this — if you want to check out or remedy this, you can’t. Instead of drilling and tapping a couple of screw holes to secure the lock into the lock box, they’ve welded them in.
So I’m going to put a page up on the web site making a special offer to check out, grind off, make safe and refit with screws any similar gates in my area.