We spoke with two people who know a bit about London doors and their security; a front door fitter and a locksmith. We asked them if they had any tips. Here is some of what they had to say:
“Are Banham locks any good? Well, I haven’t seen a break in yet through a door with Banham locks” – Conclusion? Banham locks are an effective deterrent.
“Never open your door on a chain. In doing so you disengage all of your locks and rely on a couple of screws that anchor the chain. Burglars can then kick the door to gain entry.” – Tip: use your chain as extra security last thing at night, or to keep toddlers from opening a door on to a busy street.
“Always double lock. It is possible, by pressing the lower part of a door with your foot, to find out if a deadlock is engaged. I can usually get in through a front door when it is only locked on the nightlatch by using a stick I find in the street, no tools required! I just put it through through the letterbox and push the nightlatch (Yale) handle. Hey presto!” – Therefore, fit a security hood behind the letterbox to prevent an opportunist doing the same. Some Victorian front doors and also 1930s front doors have their nightlatch near to the letterbox, this would be particularly useful for them.
“Three locks may seem over the top, but they are a better deterrent than two” – a third lock isn’t a huge expense, if you were a burglar would you choose the door with two locks or the door with three? Even an old Victorian door would seem less of a target with an extra deadlock.