Front door only locks when key inserted from inside

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    Front door only locks when key inserted from inside

    Hi Guys,

    Please could l have your advice on this matter.
    We are Regulated tenants. The previous LL just before he sold our building a few yrs back installed a new Main door to our home.
    We are only able to lock the door from the inside by inserting a key.
    My question is: is this a health and safety issue that the LL needs to address? l mean in the case of myself or my elderly parents having to vacate our home quickly and in an emergency, having to have the key to hand to unlock our front door. Our old door we could just open the latch by hand and the door would open without having to use a key from the inside. We assumed all normal doors still operated this way, are we assuming wrongly?

    Thanks Montana.

    final exit door

    should be operable without the use of a key; the reason being is that if the corridor was full of smoke anyone trying to exit shouldnt have to find a key


      Thank you very much Quarteday.
      We shall send an email to the managing agents informing them of this.


        Many doors now have locks that can be locked from the inside to prevent any and everyone getting in. So your old door was accessible from the outside by anybody and everybody with a coat hanger or adapted bar and less secure?

        You can take H & S to an extreme and ask that the door be removed.

        Alternatively, why not ask for a door with a pull or push clasp or some other quick release mechanism that cannot be mechanically operated from the outside by means of an implement.

        Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.


          I think locks that needed a key to open them from the inside were fashionable for a while because they stopped burglers getting anything big out through the front door.

          Actully, thinking about it, my uPVC front door, which is only a few years old, is exactly the same so I think this could be a common issue.

          I knew that HMO rooms had to have keyless opening from the inside, but are we sure this applies to the main front door? HHSRS states (in relation to security)
          Originally posted by HHSRS
          Balance has to be made between security risks from other hazards, e.g. locked doors and windows and means of escape in the case of fire.


            I have a yale lock which can be opened from the inside with a small catch unless someone has used a key (inside or out) to lock it properly by activating the lever mechanism - then it requires a key to open it.

            I do worry about my tenants in the event of a fire as theoretically someone could be locked inside and may not even have a key! I have had an extra key cut which i have instructed that they leave in the inside part of the lock at all times. I might secure this in place next time the tenants change.

            Could you do this?


              Originally posted by sparrow View Post
              which i have instructed that they leave in the inside part of the lock at all times.
              With many - possibly all - locks, if there is a key inside the door, then you can't use a key if you are on the outside because they fit in the same barrel.


                Working on Sparrows idea - I have a small attachment that fits around my house key and contains a light. One of these, attached to a chain, fastened to the inside of the door, might do the trick.


                  Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                  With many - possibly all - locks, if there is a key inside the door, then you can't use a key if you are on the outside because they fit in the same barrel.
                  Actually i think mine has two barrels and thats why it works so some doors must have this.

                  Even with the UPVC doors which have only one barrel, you can still leave a key on the inside, you just have to withdraw it a couple of millimeters so that the door can be locked from the outside. Of course there might be a security risk but the OP has to weigh up whether there is more of a risk eg from fire than burglary.

                  Snorkerz idea may be an acceptable alternative. I don't think there is any need to replace the whole door to be honest.


                    For information, it is perfectly possible to obtain a barrel for a UPVC door in which, if a key is fully inserted on the inside, the lock can still be operated normally with a key inserted from the outside and vice versa. I had this problem when I was double glazed about ten years ago and my local locksmith soon found a suitable barell to replace the one which could not be unlocked from the outside if the key was fully inserted on the inside.

                    Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.


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