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Important notes about using this advice
The following information is for securing existing doors that are not certificated to PAS 24:2012 Enhanced security performance requirements for doorsets and windows in the UK. External doorsets and windows intended to offer a level of security suitable for dwellings and other buildings exposed to comparable risk (Previously PAS 24: 2007 +A2: 2011 Enhanced security performance requirements for door assemblies). If you want to know more about enhanced security doorsets or if you are intending to replace your doors please see Enhanced security doorsets
This section deals mainly with existing timber doors, with some guidance for doors made from other materials towards the end. Unless you are going to buy a new timber door then it is not always possible to follow this guidance to the letter. For example, whilst it would be best practice to locate a rim nightlatch about one third down from the top of the entrance door and a mortice deadlock about one third up from the bottom, the locks on your existing door that you want to upgrade may be in less than ideal positions. (A common lock arrangement seen by the Crime Prevention Officer all the time has the mortice lock in the centre of the door with the nightlatch just above it.)
Sometimes the locks have been installed in ‘non standard’ positions for practical reasons. This can happen if the door is at the top of some steps with little or no landing where the locks have been deliberately set lower down so it is easier to use them. In addition to this, the door’s construction can determine the position of the door locks. For example, the joint between the latch stile and a mid or locking rail is often avoided so that the lock fitting doesn’t disturb the joint and weaken the door. So sometimes it’s a case of applying commonsense and doing what you can to achieve the best outcome and this may mean simply replacing the existing locks (if you need to) and not necessarily fitting new ones in different positions. If you are in any doubt contact a member of the Master Locksmiths Association. All of the locks and door hardware discussed here are listed in the next section, Door locks, hardware and fittings
All the way through this chapter are references to your fire safety and means of escape. Please heed the advice.