[Default] On Mon, 30 Jan 2012 19:40:03 +0000 (UTC), a certain
chimpanzee, email@example.com (Andrew Gabriel), randomly hit
the keyboard and wrote:
They would have to fail to open in a power failure or an alarm (and
would therefore require automatic fire detection in the common areas -
an aditional expense), and have a manual release mechanism (to cut all
the power) from inside in a break-glass. The problem with some
magnetic locks is that the bolt becomes magnetised and stays in
position even when de-energised.
"If no-one on the internet wants a piece of this,
Those locks are supposed to be strong.. however I have forced one open in
I would expect the door to break before the magnet releases on most doors.
You can slip a piece of sticky tape onto the magnet while they are open and
reduce the force required to open them to a few tens of pounds.
You can get PVC door locks that self lock when the door is closed. The
inside "lock" is just a dial that you turn to unlock/open the door.
I know as I managed to lock myself out of a job a few months ago:-)
For multiple occupancy buildings durability is at least as important as
security and I think a solid wooden door is best for that. Beading can
be added to the exterior to make it look like a panel door and a kick
plate will cut down on wear.
If it doesn't need to be glazed then life is a lot easier. An exterior
grade wooden 30min or 1hr rated fire door will be chunky enough to stand
a lot of (general) abuse.
The norm on security (unless in a really dodgy area) is to concentrate
the on the individual flat doors (solid construction, low mortice plus
high BS rated cylinder) and go for just moderate security on the
For only 3 flats, there is obviously a budget issue so a decent heavy
duty cylinder based mortice latch mounted at waist height and combined
with an electric strike (google) is probably best. Yes it will pop with
sustained attack but surviving that is not really its purpose. Put a
(sprung) lever operated handle on the inside (not thumbturn) to ease
Union mortice latches with oval cylinders are commonly used for this,
they seem to have reasonable durability. Yale surface mounted stuff just
isn't up to it. Don't waste money on secure cylinders as the place is
more likely to be accessed by failure of the door to close properly due
to negligence or oversight.
A flush mounted stainless panel fronted intercom with heavy buttons will
make things look a lot classier and wont cost that much.
A heavy duty door closer is equally important to ensure that the door
closes securely each time a visitor is admitted.
If the door must be glazed then again uses a fire rated one for weight
with just 2 upper glazed panels and use wired opaque glass as a visual
Dunno about the door, but any decent locksmith could supply either a
eurolock or a yale type where any of the three keys would open the front
door, but the same key would only open an individual flat.
Sounds weird I know, but it can be done. That way each tenant only has
the one key.
Dave - The Medway Handyman www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
Its OK as long as you realise that it makes the security weaker.
The first door may only be the equivalent of a three pin lock.
The second that of a four pin lock.
The third a five pin lock.
All bets are off if someone has two or more of the keys as they can workout
which pins are common and cut a few keys to fit the rest.
If security is a real issue then you need to adopt a mechanism where you
need something physical and know a secret.
This could be a key and a code lock, a keypad and a fob electronic lock,
After 26 years of managing a house converted to four flats:
Intercoms tend to not work after a while.
Intercoms mean visitors tend to enter and leave unescorted, and they
tend not to close the door after them.
So you need a door closer.
Door closers encourage even residents to be lazy and assume the door
will close itself.
Door closers only close properly if adjusted. They need re adjusting
with changes of temperature etc.
Door closers that slam too hard, damage the door --and the noise gets
Door closers that don't slam hard enough mean the door is left open (see
above re encouraging laziness)
I like locks with registered sections that are expensive to duplicate
keys: it reduces the number in uncontrolled circulation.
Assume that the common entrance door will always be relatively insecure.
Which means doors to individual flats need to be stonger. Once someone
has got through the common entrance they wont be visible to passers by
as the break down other doors.
No, when the noise or the non-closing gets annoying I do some DIY!
I would also add that an alternative to using expensive registered keys
to stop too many circulating is to just use cheap Yale or Euro
cylinders and change them regularly. But even with just four flats
changing locks and issuing a new set of keys can be a logistical problem.
Up thread someone mentioned Master Key systems which can be useful but I
would always prefer to have at least one independent lock on my own door.
I once fitted a door closer to the front door of a house converted into
3 flats. Tenant A complained that tenant B never closed the front door.
Tenant B then complained that the door slammed & the noise annoyed him...
I also had to fit 3 x mailboxes because tenant C complained that A & B
were stealing his mail...
On that subject - all the Argos mail boxes are keyed alike....
Dave - The Medway Handyman www.medwayhandyman.co.uk
A few years ago, staying in a hostel in Prague, our room was next
to a heavy internal door, which slammed through the night. A
quick tweak to the two adjusters, with my Swiss Army screwdriver,
soon achieved silent but secure closure. Simples :-)
Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
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