Tag Archive for: Locksmiths

Britain’s Oldest Door

07 Feb
February 7, 2013

We’ve been serving London for more than 30 years and we always looked towards the future. It’s only natural to keep up with these fast paced times, especially when you’re taking responsibility for the safety of others. And let’s face it, crime rates have been going up and burglar tools have evolved a lot. So we did our best to stay one step ahead and that was possible only by thinking things in perspective.

But today we decided to look back and we’ll be sharing a piece of history, because it’s somewhat a part of our history.

As the title suggests, we’re talking about Britain’s oldest door and we’d be curious to find out what your first estimate could be. How old do you think this door is? 300 years? 500? 600?

Well, it’s almost 1000 years old, since it was assembled in 1050. This lovely piece of archaeology, the
 of the Chapter House, was found in Westminster Abbey and it seems that it was put in place in the time of Edward the Confessor, the actual founder of the Abbey.

The door was made of oak, one oak to be precise and it is composed of 5 panels. However, it is thought that it used to be arched, and that would mean that now it’s significantly shorter. Tests showed that the tree used in the making grew in eastern England (probably Essex), somewhere between 924 and 1030 AD.

The truly remarkable thing about this door is that it has been in constant use. Furthermore, it seems that this particular aspect is the secret to its longevity (this and the fact that it was indoors).

Another thing that is worth mentioning is the possibility to have been covered in human skin at some point. Yes, that sounds creepy, but it was supposed to be a strong message, since the skin was of a man who committed a sacrilege on the Abbey grounds. It’s hard to say whether this legend is true or not, but thinking about the specifics of the Middle Age it’s not even that far fetched.

All in all, this is one wooden door that deserves our admiration. It sure passed the test of time and it’s still in great shape, even though only one of its original iron straps is in place today. Nostalgics might comment that that’s how they did things in “the old days” (to be honest, the really old days), but we’re proud of every piece of work we do today!

Door Symbolism

17 Dec
December 17, 2012

Ever since their invention, doors have been more than doors. Do you think we’re kidding? For now let’s just say that the ancient Romans actual had a God, Janus, that was the protector of doors.

Sure, if you’ll ask Wikipedia, you’ll get a standard, lifeless answer – “a door is a movable structure used to open and close an entrance, typically consisting of a panel that swings on hinges or that slides or spins inside a space”. And even though this pretty much sums it up on a physical level, there’s more to doors than meets the eye.

Looking back in time and looking at different cultures, the door has always been first of all an entrance. On a very metaphorical level, it was an entrance into another world or dimension. And this makes sense even if we stay more grounded. Your door is the entrance to your own world. Going through your front door should be equivalent to focusing on yourself and letting out all the troubles at work and so on.

Then, the door has often been associated with new beginnings and again you’ll probably relate to this with great ease, since you know that your day can basically start all over again once you get home and surround yourself with your personal items and hobbies.

But there’s more to it than just the beginning. It’s also about the transition. That gentle buffer between the outside world and your own personal haven. The border between peace and harm, silence and noise, harmony and chaos.

Of course, just as the door can be a symbol of beginning, it’s also a symbol of the end. You’re probably experiencing this the most on Monday mornings when you know for a fact that locking that door and going to work means the week-end’s over. Or if you’ve ever experienced moving out of a place or leaving a job, you can surely remember that special feeling you had when you last closed that specific door. It was also the act of closing a chapter in your life, wasn’t it?

Last, but surely not least, your front door is a symbol of your home and it’s also saying something about you, too. The colour you chose, the design, the door knocker, the peep-hole and every element in its structure can say something about you. And if you decided to get a door from us, know that you’ll be more than able to express yourself, since our models can be very flexible.

For us, the symbolism of doors is first and foremost connected to the idea of your home’s security. With that thought comes great responsibility and that’s why we’re so committed to offering our clients the strongest alternatives available. Be sure you make a wise choice about your front door, or else some random burglar might show up some day and break down your entrance, shatter the border between your haven and the rest of the world and damage your personal space.

 

Locksmiths Who Changed History

11 Dec
December 11, 2012

We are perfectly aware that no matter how strong a door’s structure is one of the most important security aspects is the locking mechanism. And it is this awareness that made us develop a sophisticated system with a special security cylinder, a special lock, a unique key registered system, the possibility to turn the key in the lock 3 times (thus managing to take our bolts inside the frame deeper than any other model) and the 18 hard-steel bolts around the edges of the steel doors which simultaneously engage into the solid steel door frame.

But these things didn’t happen overnight. The locking systems have been evolving for a couple of hundred years and we decided it’s important to look back and remember the great men who worked hard for our security today.

The pioneer of modern locking systems is considered by most to be one of our own Englishmen – Robert Barron. In 1778 he invented the double tumbler lock. His impressive skills that originated both in his mind and hands helped him achieve this major breakthrough – the first big step after the classic pin lock.

Only 6 years later, in 1784, Joseph Bramah, also an Englishman, invented the Bramah lock, which remained un-pickable for 67 years. In 1851, Alfred Charles Hobbs spent about 50 hours to break the Bramah lock and he succeeded. But as for every aspect of evolution, vulnerability meant an opportunity for progress.

So in 1848, Linus Yale Senior invented a pin-tumbler lock, and his son, Linus Yale Junior, kept improving the system, creating the basis of what we know today as pin-tumbler locks by using a small, flat key with serrated edges. This happened in 1861 and by 1862 he also invented the modern combination lock.

In 1857 James Sargent invented the first customizable lock, specifically the first key-changeable combination lock (well, at least the first successful one). And he kept perfecting his system and even managed to create a time lock mechanism in 1873.

In 1916 Samuel Segal invented the first locks that were crowbar-resistant, so he too played an important role in this story.

As time went by, systems became more and more complex, according to the new threats. And basically that’s how history goes – innovation, problem, solution. That’s the circle of evolution and in modern times this circle is closing and opening again faster and faster. The future is probably in bio metric security solutions, but we’re not quite there yet. And while great minds still work on perfecting that, right now we’re proud to be offering one of the most effective home security systems on the market today.

Famous Door Knockers in London

10 Dec
December 10, 2012

Modern people don’t care as much about door knockers as they used to. We have intercoms and electric buzzers so the classic door knockers aren’t really useful anymore. But in their golden years they were not only about utility. They could have been a pure form of art and actually London had quite a few famous door knockers.

Probably the most beautiful door knocker in London is Duke’s of Devonshire at No. 80, Piccadilly  It is said that it was made at his command and based on his own designs and many of his guests liked it so much that they wanted a duplicate. Although there’s no certainty towards the existence of these duplicates, the beautiful detailed face and the lovely border locked in a circle complete each other into one truly special piece of door knocker.

Although simpler in design, the door knocker at No. 17, Doughty Street is also a very well known one. It was the property of Charles Dickens and it was a symbol of his happy early years of marriage, because this was the place where he and his young bride moved from Furnival’s Inn. Naturally, it was also a witness of Charles Dickens the younger’s birth and it was also there during the times when the author made his first contacts with the great men of his time.

And since we’re talking about Charles Dickens, know that another famous door knocker is at No. 8, Craven Street. However, unlike most of the other well known objects in his category, this one is not famous because it was owned by a celebrity. No, not at all. Instead, this one is said to have inspired the famous character Scrooge in Christmas Carol.

But wait, there’s another one that’s somewhat related to Dickens. It’s actually one that was touched quite often by the author in his early years, when he was not yet famous and visited Thomas Carlyle a lot. The author of “Sartor Resartus” resided in Cheyne Row, Chelsea and lived there for five decades. Throughout all this time, the faithful lion head held the knocker and, at least for the first decade, it announced the visits of Forster, Serjeant Talfourd, Maclise, Macready, Landor, Leigh Hunt, and Thackeray.

Our door knockers are not as complex and the truth is that there is no special demand on the market for them today. Just as almost every other element in design, it tends towards minimalism. However, they’re a beautiful reminiscent of the past and deserve to be remembered as such. Of course, if you want to, we can put a door knocker on your custom design, but these days it’s easier to stand out through a great variety of door models and colors  combined with your own personal touches. And by the way, you can see our gallery here.

What Signals Are You Sending?

24 Nov
November 24, 2012

 

We’re proud to have helped so many people avoid getting robbed and we’re proud to tell anyone that it’s practically impossible to break down one of our doors thanks to: the 2 mm Galvanized frame, the 3 mm steel tube that composes the wing frame, the 1,5 mm of steel that compose the wing skeleton, the central lock cylinder that provides a 14 steel bolt locking system which acts in 3 directions, the drill proof barrel, the registered key system, the security mechanism on the frame that prevents any widening attempts and the steel hinges.

Unfortunately, the front door is not the only important aspect that you should consider when thinking about your home’s security. But we want you to be safe, and that’s why we’re sharing with you a couple of useful tips, based on the confessions of professional burglars.

First of all, it’s good to know your neighborhood and keep an eye out for any new suspicious faces. A burglar once said that he does his best to never look like a crook, so he can be walking around dressed like any other person or disguised as a handy man. It’s also likely that under his disguise he’ll knock at your door and if you’ll answer he’ll ask for directions or offer his services as a handy man for cover. And by the way, you should also choose wisely the handy men that actually enter your home, since a person who’s already seen the inside of your house has a better idea on your assets and exit/entry points.

Then, it’s very important to think about what you’re leaving around your yard. Regarding this, mail should be on the top of your list, even if you’re going away for a while. Cancel subscriptions or ask a neighbor to pick them up. Burglars might even leave a flyer in your mail just to see how long it takes for it to disappear. Next on this list should be toys left behind by your children – if there’s an abundance lying around, a burglar might get the impression that they have plenty of choices inside, including expensive electronic games, and furthermore it’s probably a sign that you’re not actually on a tight budget, so there are plenty of valuables inside.

As for other things that can be seen and shouldn’t  your alarm code – if your front door has an ornamental glass section, make sure your code is not visible through that section from the outside; your assets – make sure there’s not a lot that can be seen from the outside looking in and it’s always a good idea to draw your curtains as soon as it’s time to turn the lights on; any sign of recklessness – for example, if you’re leaving in a hurry and forget to lock your door, there’s a possibility that a burglar’s on the job and notices this.

So think about the signals you’re sending. We guarantee that our doors are burglar-proof, but if you make it worth their while, burglars will be very motivated to get in and they’ll find other ways – breaking a window is not hard at all, using the chimney is not uncommon and they keep getting more and more creative.

 

The Evolution of Keys

12 Nov
November 12, 2012

Keys are a part of our everyday life and we, as modern people, have quite a bundle on us almost at any given time: car keys, house keys, locker keys, office keys and so on. They’re definitely a necessity and it’s very likely that in reality not even the Americans in their white picket fences suburbs can’t leave their houses anymore without locking their doors.

But it seems that keys have been around since the ancient times, written proof of their existence going back as far as 4000 years ago, in the Babylonian Empire. After that, it seems that the ancient Greeks actually invented the keyhole and the Romans refined it. In those times the need for protecting assets was more of a privilege to those with a higher social status. Actually, the only things that needed locking were temples and jewellery boxes.

The keys as we know them today, in the shape of flat metal keys began to spread only in the 20th century, when mechanical key duplicators were invented, making them easier to be duplicated.

The first modern key was the skeleton key and it was nothing more than a cylindrical shaft and a single rectangular tooth. Its usefulness was relative, since a lot of keys could have fit the same lock and quite frankly any similar object might have done the job just as good. So what’s the point of locking something if it’s easy for anyone to unlock it?

Then came the tubular key, a hollow cylindrical shaft designed to open a tubular pin tumbler lock. To be honest, in their early days they were just as much use as the skeleton keys, but later developments made them more complex.

The Zeiss key or the Cruciform key is a mix of a house key and a tubular key. Although easy to replicate its three sets of teeth at 90 degrees to each other and the fourth flattened tooth, their complementary locks are harder to pick.

Luckily, times have changed and the solution we’re providing is a key that can’t be duplicated without your knowledge. We require a form containing your original signature in order to send another copy of the original key, so you have full control over how many keys you have and who gets them. And we’re not stopping here – we also took special care of the locks by making high security cylinders that are very highly pick and drill resistant.

And if you’re looking for a system for your business, know that we can use these registered keys as the basis of a “Master Key System”, which gives you control over your employees’ access, and you can even set different access authorizations to open all relevant doors with only one key.

We just had to think about the locks too, because no matter how strong the door, if the wrong person gets the key, there’s nothing stopping them from getting in, and unlike ancient times, now we all have valuable to protect.

 

 

 

Front Door Designs

07 Nov
November 7, 2012

Just like your choice for the colour, the design of your front door should say something about you, while enhancing the overall architecture. However, there are no strict rules about what goes with what, but when you’ll see the options you’ll know what feels right or not.

The most common door design is the single door, whether it’s opening to the left or to the right or it’s swinging in or out of your home.

The double door is basically a unit formed by the combination of two doors, and it’s usually available in a French door design, or a patio door design. The French door is the most frequent choice of the two and it’s made so that the doors open from the center  However, it’s not necessary for both doors to open, one side being stationary in a lot of cases. This design is usually enriched with glass. The patio door is a lot like the French door, but it has a mull strip (a stationary part) where the two doors meet. The “ center mull” is useful for security reasons, but a pain when moving furniture.

Center hinge doors also look a lot like French doors, but must have a stationary side, and this makes the door open from the left/right rather than the center.

Triple or Quad doors are a combination of 3 or 4 mobile and stationary doors, and according to your desired pattern they can become a lot like French doors and open from the center, or not.

Sliding doors are not an option for a front door, but always a good idea for a back door to the garden, since it allows the most glass space.

Clear glass can be available with any grid configuration you can think of. The grids can be placed between two layers of glass for easy cleaning, outside or you can forget about them altogether. However, clear glass may not be the best security choice, since outsiders can see in.

Obscure glass is available nowadays in a great variety of types and it’s basically a textured glass that provides you with privacy, while still letting the sunlight in.

Leaded patterned glass consists of different combinations of obscure glass, beveled clear glass and caming (a metal available in different colors like black, bronze, silver or copper). It can be a compromising solution between privacy and lighting, since you can opt for a small portion of clear glass for your visibility, and multiple textured glass sections for more lighting and a creative design.

Except for sliding doors which, to be honest, can’t provide you with an appropriate level of security, we can make any kind of design. You can choose from the most popular ones here, you can opt for keeping your current design, or you can come with a completely innovative idea. We’ll make it look good, and we’ll maximize your home’s security while doing this.

This Is Why Our Doors Can’t Be Put Down

30 Oct
October 30, 2012

We know that our doors are very strong and that they’re one of the best anti-burglary systems on the market, but are you convinced? Let’s talk about the most frequent “breaking an entry” methods and show you for each of them why our doors can’t be put down.

First of all, there’s the classic bobby pin (or a hanger, or anything slim enough to fit, but somewhat strong and flexible). How does this work? Actually it’s easier if you also use a tension wrench in addition to the bobby pin, but be sure that a professional burglar will have it on him or at least he’ll be able to replace it with something just as good. Basically, the tension wrench goes into the lock, in that special place where the toothless side of the key would enter. The bobby pin, with a piece at the end bent at 90 degrees is used to move the pins that the wavy part of the key would unlock. The whole procedure takes a bit of practice and a bit of patience. Nothing more! Luckily, this is definitely a technique that can’t be used against our doors, since our keys have a registered system, for extra security. They’re much more than the keys you’re used to – you know, the ones with a straight edge and a jagged one.

Then there’s the card trick. Some doors actually require very little effort, and all you have to do is push a card into the door frame at the same height as the handle, but most doors require a series of bending and tilting movements. It’s also a very simple procedure and the main point is managing to push the lock into the door with the help of a flexible credit card. This can’t be done to one of our Titan Steel doors for 2 reasons: first, there’s more than one cylinder that keeps the door locked (there are 4 near the handle, and a total of 18 locking points, on the side, top and bottom), and if you respect our recommendation to lock the door three times, the steel deadbolt bars go into the frame deeper than for any other door. There’s absolutely no way of inserting a card between the lock and the frame! Obviously, not even the crowbar method (the credit card’s more aggressive cousin) could do the trick.

Also an effective classic is drilling the lock itself, but for that we have an anti-drilling rosette.

And then there’s the almighty brute force. But you don’t have to worry about this either, because it would take about 1000 kgf to take down one of our doors, and there’s no way a human could do that, even if he’d try to use an additional tool such as a sledgehammer. Be assured that kicking it is more likely to break the burglar’s leg, but certainly not the door.

So thanks to the power of pure Steel, the unique structure of our doors and their extra-safe locking mechanism, there’s no way a burglar could bring them down!

Burglary, New Road, Brentwood,Essex,CM14

17 Dec
December 17, 2010

More misery to come  home to for one home owner, don’t let this happen to you. Replace your wooden door and door frame now with our superior Titan steel door call us on 08448 04 04 04.

Your local burglar does not need A key to open your wooden door

Your local burglar does not need A key to open your wooden door

This was a quality wooden door with quality locks.  The burglar definitely found it more difficult than normally I suspect
You can see he drilled holes to get the hinges, in fact there’s holds every where.  The temptation with wooden doors is that sooner or later no matter what quality locks are fitted the door will open.
Just imagine if this was a Titan steel door the outside would look exactly the same, we would match the wooden facial to look the same as the other doors in the building, but that is as far as it goes if a burglar strikes.
There’s no way he could be drilling holes in a steel door the best he could achieve would be damaging the wood facing at the front of the door,  and no doubt at that point he would have just given up,  and more than likely Just broken into a different door in the building.

This burglary is a classic example of why you should get a Titan steel door.
Please visit our website for more information regarding this remarkable door:  www.steelsecuritydoors.co.uk.
If you have been broken into and want to share your experience in this blog, you are more than welcome to do so.

Take care,

Amanda

www.SteelSecuritydoors.co.uk

 

Burglary Colinbourne road W12

16 Dec
December 16, 2010

Hello everybody,
Yet another family coming back home after an honest day’s work to find their apartment door smashed to pieces.

We have now secure the apartment door and our customer is seriously considering getting a Titan steel door fitted. My biggest fear for 2011 with the cut backs there could be many many more burglaries. Why not invest now in a door that is so strong, looks really good, and has proven to keep burglars out.

For more information on this remarkable door go to www.SteelSecuritydoors.co.uk.

And once again if you’re going away for Christmas make sure you lock up properly.

Take care,

Amanda

www.24hrlocksmiths.co.uk
London locksmiths, locksmith London 24 hour emergency locksmiths for London

08448 04 04 04