Cheap locks can spoil the security of your home and office.

November 1st, 2017

As strong locks and quality keys are of great importance for the security of residential and commercial buildings it pays to avoid buying low price locks. Remember purchasing cheap locks helps to make entry to your premises easy for thieves and thugs.

A main door lock should be a minimum of four levers and the higher the lever count, the greater security of a lock. Keys should be of a type that is difficult to copy which will help to avoid unauthorized duplication. When you are buying a new lock you should choose one with keys with high security features.

Special care should be taken when you buy a house, or became a tenant because you will not know who has duplicate keys. For example copies may have been made by the servants of the previous occupants and the staff of building contractors. Moving can be an expensive exercise and if you are unable to buy new locks immediately you should rotate the locks from inner doors to the outer doors as a minimal precaution.

Always take great care of your keys and spares. Keys should be given only to trustworthy employees and it is worth having them sign for the keys to create accountability.

There is a trend to fit biometric (finger print) locks on important doors which give superior security compared with conventional locks. In recent years locks have became available for linking with your mobile phone by Bluetooth to provide a PIN code for access control.

If you do fit padlocks, buy high quality items and not the spring closing type which can be defeated in seconds by using a simple lock pick. It is worth protecting the padlocks fitted to entrance doors with a steel housing to prevent breakage by saws, or grinders. Deadlocks, or rim bolt locks are recommended for the main door of flats and houses because they cannot be pushed open.

While thinking about your choice of locks make sure your door is safe. In many cases break ins and robberies are made easy by weak doors and poor installation. This can enable thieves to remove the door and the frame so it is important to make sure your door is strong and the frame is heavily bolted to the wall

Although strong doors, quality locks and keys are important for the protection of your home, or office you should also have a modern fully automatic intruder alarm system. This protects your property and assets around the clock even if you are asleep, or absent.

About SGA

SGA Security is the region's leading Security Services firm with fixed base operations in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania servicing security contracts throughout the continent. SGA has 32 branches and more than 17,000 employees spread through East Africa. The Group provides manned guarding services, cash in transit (CIT) and cash management, electronic security including alarms, access control and CCTV, event security and VIP services, cargo tracking and escort, consultancy and investigation as well as specialized services in the cyber security field.

For more information contact: 0735 550 099

This advisory on security was contributed by Jeremy Van Tongeren, a deputy chairman of SGA who specializes in security equipment.

Illustrated Summary of common locks


Conventional Padlock

This should be a minimum of four levers and the higher the lever count the greater security of the lock.

If a padlock is used for an entrance door, or gate it should be fitted with a steel cover.

Modern Padlock

This is a strong and is difficult to break with a small crow bar which  is uaually called a “Jimmy”.


As they cannot be pushed open deadlocks are recommended for the main door of flats and houses.

Mortice Deadlock

This type of lock is mounted in the door. The bolt (locking part) can only be moved with the key and is more resistant to being forced. A good choice for security.

Rim Bolt Lock

A recommended choice for main doors.

Rim Latch

This type of lock is mounted on the rim of the door and is proof against breaking with a small crow bar which is usually called a “Jimmy”.

Biometric Locks

There is a trend fit biometric (finger print) locks on important doors to give better security than conventional locks.