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Changing Locks After A Store Robbery

Your store's been robbed. Someone jimmied the lock and gained entrance through the back door. Now the lock needs to be replaced. What kind of lock is better than the cylindrical lock that was broken? A mortise lock just might be the ticket.

What's the difference? Cylindrical locks are the most common type of door lock. You can buy them in two different grades — heavy duty and standard duty. They are more durable than a tubular residential lock and can be fire rated. A mortise or "pocket" lock is more expensive than a cylindrical lock but can withstand decades of high-traffic use and are more secure.

The Advantages of a Mortise Lock

Besides being more secure than your standard cylindrical lock, mortise locks come in various trims with a wide variety of features. One reason that they are so durable is that they have stainless steel components and deadbolts that retract in unison with the latch bolt. Expect to pay extra for added security features.

Disadvantages of a Mortise Lock

There aren't many disadvantages with these locks except that you cannot mix manufacturers if you need to replace a component. In other words, you can't swap one mortise lock for another and use the old hardware.

Another disadvantage is the price. One could argue that you get what you pay for. Mortise locks run around $300 for the lock itself and a couple hundred more for the trim.

How Do You Install a Mortise Lock?

It's not hard to replace a mortise lock as the mortise is already cut into the door. But if you're installing a new one for the first time, you will have to cut the pocket into the door. Just follow the instructions that came with the new lock. If you're not handy with tools, this is the time to call a commercial locksmith for installation as the measurements need to be exact.

Whether you need a building inspector to come inspect the door depends on your local code. If it's not required, you may still want an inspection, if anything for peace of mind.

A Matter of Security

Once your new mortise lock is installed, you might want to keep a key log to document which employee has a key to the lock and any other locks in the store. It's also a good idea to keep a locked cabinet to house extra keys to your store. Keep it in a secure area such as a private office. The aftermath of a store robbery can make employees anxious, so make sure to reassure them by showing them how the lock works and how secure they now are.

For more information, reach out to a company like Bilco Safe & Lock, Inc.