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Slam Lock vs. Dead Lock Security Gates – What’s the Difference?

With a crowbar or hammer in hand, home invaders probably think they have a good chance of breaking the lock on your security gate and getting inside your home.  And this may be true if it’s a poor quality gate with a flimsy lock. Most of us aren’t lock experts, so here are some tips on what to look out for when you buy a security gate.

Steel or aluminium sliding security gates are usually fitted with either a slam lock or a dead lock. These are two different lock types, each with their own features and benefits. Take a look at the differences explained here so that you can decide which is best for your needs.

What is a slam lock security gate?

A slam lock gate is a security gate that locks automatically when you slam it shut. The concept of a security door that locks by closing it with some force is not new. It has been around since the original Yale lock that was invented in the late 1800’s in America, so it is a relatively old system.

What is a dead lock security gate?

A dead lock gate is a secure gate that requires a key to open and close it. These locks were also invented in the 1800’s, this time by Jeremiah Chubb in England, who together with his brother founded the Chubb company, well known for their safes and locks.

Difference between slam lock & dead lock

A slam lock can be slammed shut and locks automatically.  You’ll find this type of lock fitted to steel and aluminium security gates that slide open and closed. Some slide inside a top and bottom track and some have no tracks supporting them at all.  A deadlock is locked by turning a key in the lock and can be fitted to a similar type of security gate.

Trellidor manufactures steel and aluminium security gates with a full, four-sided frame to increase the strength of the gates. The frame also helps to make the security gate open and close smoothly and easily.

There is a misconception in the marketplace that slam locks are always the best for steel and aluminium security gates.  But realistically, it is highly unlikely that you’ll ever need to slam a lock in an emergency. 

Trellidor receives regular break-in reports from their franchises in communities around the country. These show that home invaders are more likely to get into your home through a door that’s left unlocked, or they try to break in through an unsecured door or window.

For this reason, it is better to have a strong dead lock. Be vigilant about locking security gates at all times, especially if you leave windows and doors open for fresh air.

If customers prefer to specify a slam lock, they can rest assured that the Trellidor slam lock has a dead lock action to securely lock the gate too.

Slam lock security gates benefits

Although not generally as strong as dead locks, slam locks do have some useful features.

  • Slam locks are quick to lock.
  • They can be primed and made ready for locking at any time.
  • You don’t need a key to lock the security gate.
  • The Trellidor slam lock is patented and very strong. 

Dead lock security gates benefits

Some sliding security gates are fitted with two locks and two different keys, which is slightly inconvenient when you’re in a hurry. The better option is a dead lock that only need one key in one keyhole, making it quick and easy to use, like the Trellidor patented deadlock.

The dead lock fitted to Trellidor Retractable sliding security gates has the following benefits:

  • It locks securely with a single throw or turn of the key.
  • It locks in several places in the lock stile, not just in one place, adding to its strength.
  • It is a stronger design than a slam lock.
  • No activation is needed to lock the gate.
  • There is no danger of locking yourself out or of children accidently locking themselves in a room or outside the home.

Which is better between slam lock & dead lock

 At first glance the slam lock seems ideal, but it also has its problems. For example, it’s so easy to lock yourself out accidentally, leaving you stranded on the wrong side of the gate.  Besides, 99% of the time you’ll be locking the gate just as a security precaution, not in an emergency.

With slam locks, it is also far too easy for a child to lock themselves in or out by mistake, with you on the other side of the gate wondering how to get it open to rescue the child.

Design tests carried out by the Trellidor Research and Development team have proven that the dead lock is the best defence against a determined attack on the lock by home invaders. The slam lock designed locks are traditionally weaker and more vulnerable under attack than the deadlock systems.

Trellidor does install a patented slam lock on sliding security gates at the client’s request but recommends the dead lock as the preferred system.  The Trellidor slam-lock option incorporates a dead-lock system, which is activated by using the key after the gate has been slammed shut. This ensures that the gate is securely locked. 

Sliding security gates with slam lock or dead lock

Retractable or sliding security gates with either a slam lock or dead lock are an excellent choice in terms of home safety. They can be fitted to windows as well as doors and here’s why they’re a good option for your home:

  • Steel or aluminium sliding gates are cost-effective security. Balance the cost of installing them against the many years they’ll keep you safe and you’ll see why.
  • Custom-made sliding gates provide a high level of protection when they’re closed and locked, even when windows and doors are open.
  • The level of protection does, of course, depend to some extent on the strength of the lock, either slam lock or dead lock.
  • When fitted to windows, sliding security gates can be unlocked and opened for easy window cleaning.
  • As window protection, sliding security gates provide an escape route in an emergency when doors can’t be used to get out.
  • Sliding gates do not require electricity, like automated security, so they’re always there to protect you even during power outages.

Find out more about the Trellidor deadlock system by contacting your nearest Trellidor outlet.

Take a look at sliding security gates fitted with dead locks

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