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French Doors/Double Doors
The large opening provided by french/double doors provides a desirable exit, should a burglar wish to remove larger items from your house. The fact that the two opening doors are required to lock together, rather than into a fixed frame, also increases their vulnerability.
Wooden French Doors
Sashlocks And Deadlocks
A huge number of wooden double/french doors are fitted with simple, 2 lever sashlocks. These are woefully inadequate. They offer virtually no resistance to lock picking techniques or drill attacks, and, if forced, the bolts often simply bend allowing the doors to be prised open. Any 2 lever sashlock should be replaced or supplemented with 5 lever locks as soon as possible.
5 lever sashlocks, or deadlocks, for double doors are exactly the same types of lock fitted to normal timber doors. The difference is, that they must be used with special packing pieces, to accommodate the “step” or rebate where the two doors meet.
Multipoint Locking Mechanisms
Doors of this type often use exactly the same style of mechanism used on upvc type doors. The main opening leaf will have the mechanism fitted, whereas the second opening leaf will usually be secured with flush bolts, mounted on the edge of the door, top and bottom. Flush bolts are non-locking, but can only be operated when the main door is open.
It is always wise to supplement your door locks with locking bolts fitted to both the top and bottom of both doors. This is especially important if your doors just use sashlocks or deadlocks, but can be useful too, on doors fitted with multipoint mechanisms.
Because the doors will almost always open outwards, the exposed hinges are more at risk of attack than they would be on inward opening doors. This is not a hard problem to rectify though.
Fitting hinge bolts to the frame side of both doors will prevent someone from damaging the hinges and simply lifting the doors out.
UPVC French Doors
Multipoint Locking Mechanisms
Most upvc french doors have two multipoint locks, a “master” lock on the door that opens first, and a “slave” lock, on the door that closes first. Some doors just have concealed bolts on the slave door however.
The main consideration here, is that, both doors close and lock properly and firmly. Any part that doesn’t lock as it should should be seen to as soon as possible, as a burglar may be able to use any hjuv to force the doors apart.
Hinges should incorporate protection against any attack whereby the doors can be simply removed, but it is often the case that no protection exists.
Hinge protection products can usually be simply retro-fitted though, and these will help to prevent door removal.
Caring For Your French Doors
Being outward opening doors, the locks are often subject to more exposure to the elements, (extremes of temperature, rain, and airborne particles), and as such, don’t always fare as well as locks on other doors do.
If you have upvc french doors for example. Take a moment and run your finger along the channel on top of the open door. You may be surprised to find all manner of nasty stuff in there, dust, dirt, even brick and cement particles! Unfortunately, sometimes these particles can migrate down into the lock mechanisms themselves, causing serious damage.
Regular maintenance is well advised, with the application of WD40 or similar lubricants on a frequent basis.
Keeping the doors closed as much as possible during wet weather will also help to prevent damage.
Another reason that double doors sometimes suffer from more problems than single types, is the fact that both doors, being able to move independently of each other, may easily