Don’t be a doughnut like me – take out the key!

What you must not do if you have a multi-locking double glazed or triple glazed door with a split spindle. Don’t leave a key on the inside of the door like I did then go out! Because if you do you may well end up doing what I recently did — locking myself out of my house. This is doubly embarrassingly given i) I work for an independent double glazing manufacturer and installer and ii) this is not the first time I have managed to lock myself out!

I achieved this magnificent feat by leaving my front door key in the lock on the inside of the door and proceeded to shut the front door behind. Now stuck outside, I was unable to get back in by using my spare key, as those UK home owners with split spindle multi-locking replacement double glazed doors who have done the same thing will know!

Replacement Double Glazed Aluminium Door
Never Leave a Key in the Inside of a Replacement Double Glazed Front Door

Whether your home has an aluminium, composite or UPVC front door or back door, leaving the key on the inside can be fatal if you have a split spindle, as this effectively means you cannot open the door from the outside without a key or a criminal man made device that goes through the letterbox. Would be burglars can be thwarted by always locking your split spindle doors from the outside when leaving home. Many UK home owners with a split spindle unfortunately assume that no one can get in if they simply close the door. Logically if you don’t have a letterbox near your front door, thieves would need to smash all the panes of toughened glass before they could depress the door handle, which is why having an external letterbox is better for both security and making your front door as thermally efficient as possible.

One sure way to ensure you don’t lock yourself out is to never leave a key in the lock on the inside of a double (or triple) glazed door or to have a lever lever handle which does not have a split spindle, meaning the door is only locked once it has been locked from either the inside or outside. The only downside of lever lever mechanisms is that when unlocked, anyone can open the door and walk into your property. That said, most UK home owners I have dealt with since being at Hazlemere, prefer lever lever handles on double glazed back doors and kitchen doors for ease of access.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that lever lever doors are “safe” in similar circumstances, as if one does lock a multi-locking double glazed door from the inside and exit the property by another means (say a front door off the latch), one will be unable to get in through the locked lever lever door if one has left the key in the inside lock.

The same rules apply to replacement French doors, so when considering replacement French doors or replacement residential front or back doors, do think carefully about which locking mechanisms you would prefer, and whether you want an additional mortice lock or thumb turn as well as the standard door multi-locking systems now required by UK insurance companies.

Replacement double glazed residential doors and triple glazed doors are highly secure, and ironically can be a bit too secure for one’s own good if one does opts for a front door with a split spindle for security reasons and then like me daftly leave a yale type door key in the lock on the inside, forget it’s there and exit the premises, locking oneself out!


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