Yale nightlatch – safety without compromising security

Many main entrance doors to a block of flats, for example, have a basic Yale nightlatch or similar fitted. While this is convenient for the tenants it fails to meet two criteria…

Meeting insurance approved security levels

Allowing for easy fire escape in emergencies

A standard Yale type nightlatch arrangement is easy to use but also vulnerable to being picked/slipped or bypassed by people who should not be entering (non-keyholders). If you want to improve the security of the lock a BS3621 nightlatch can be fitted. It features an armoured cylinder escutcheon and automatically deadlocking latchbolt when the door is closed. However these nightlatches also have the ability to have the inner handle deadlocked with the key, stopping it from being operated if someone smashes the glass.

This is fine for a domestic property but totally unsuitable for a communal entrance door.

The reason is that in the event of an emergency the residents need to escape quickly. It can potentially be fatal if someone has locked the inner handle, as without the key it cannot be unlocked and therefore allow the lock/door to be opened and escape made. You cannot have the residents being forced to go back into their smoke filled flat, for example, to find a key in their panic.

So Yale make a version specifically to cater for this requirement. Depending on the size of the lock it is called the PBS3 or PBS4.  The British Standards these locks adhere to is BS8621 (as opposed to BS3621 for the lockable version). Here is a picture of a PBS4 fitted by Linacre locksmiths.

Yale PBS4 nightlatch
yale PBS4 nightlatch fire escape version
Yale PBS4 nightlatch armoured cylinder


The inner handle has no keyway so cannot be deadlocked – fire escape regulations will always override security. The safe evacuation of residents is always the first concern.

So if you are concerned what is fitted to your own communal doorway, or if a landlord looking to check you have the right lock in place, give Linacre Locksmiths a call and we can give the correct advice.   http://www.linacrelocksmiths.com

Linacre Locksmiths can cover most lock scenarios

Although many jobs we locksmiths do are fairly routine and commonplace, occasionally we get to do rare stuff too. It is quite common for many properties, especially those in more rural areas, to have very thin wooden doors.  These are typically at the rear of the property.  The thinness of the doors however means that traditional mortice locks cannot be fitted, of it they can then only very basic 2 lever ones due to the thin width of the lock case itself.  But many insurance companies these days insist on 5 lever locks (and often also conforming to BS3621 insurance standards).  This is the door we were called out to recently…

thin wooden door
thin wooden door

Although the options in the marketplace are limited there is a way of fitting a BS3621 5 lever deadlock to the door.  Not only that but a Chubb one too which is about as good as you can get domestically. A specially made rim lock box is fitted to the back of the door at ‘kick height’ that cannot be removed from outside and the deadlock is fixed into the box. The keep plate/box is added to the frame with reinforcing bolts too for extra strength.  We also added a kickstop (also known as a London Bar) to reinforce the staple box on the frame even further.  Here is a picture of the lock fitted…

20170208_115808 (2)
rim lock box fitted

So if you think your door is too thin to have a decent lock fitted (and also meeting insurance standards) then give Linacre Locksmiths a call on 01603 408528