Is It Normal to Be Unable to Unlock a Security Screen Door from The inside if It Has Been Locked with a Key on The outside?

Last year we had some Crimsafe Security Screen doors installed and this is the first time I have run into this scenario. My husband has left for the day and locked the screen door with a key (Usually we leave together so have not come across this issue). I have then tried to open the security door to get the mail by flicking the lock toggle on the inside and have been unable to do so. I have had to get my own key to unlock the door from the inside.

I rang the installers and they said this is standard. I know the easy resolution for this is to always keep a key by the front door but in my head I wondered if this is actually standard? Surely it's a safety/fire hazard to literally be locked inside your home if for whatever reason the key goes walk about?

Wanted to know what you all thought and if the installers were lying basically.

Comments

  • +31 votes

    Usual.

    If locked by key, can only be unlocked by key .

    If locked by thumb switch, can be unlocked by switch or key.

  • +5 votes

    yeah i always imagine a house fire, and someone trying to leave.

    • +3 votes

      You need to stop imagining burning bodies…..

      Maybe try calm blue oceans or puppies (not burning puppies)

      • +7 votes

        I'm imagining puppies in calm blue oceans. OH NO, THEY CAN'T SWIM!

    •  

      that was my first thought. Guess we'll burn

  • +8 votes

    It's normal. Meant to make burglaring a bit harder (i.e. if someone gets in by smashing a window, they can't simply walk your TV out the front door).

    Surely it's a safety/fire hazard to literally be locked inside your home if for whatever reason the key goes walk about?

    In theory you wouldn't use the key lock if anyone is at home, hence why there's a latch on the inside (to encourage using that method when people are at home) but only a key lock on the outside.

    •  

      Ours has a key hole inside and outside

      • +2 votes

        Yes sorry I meant to say that. The keyhole inside is most likely used to unlock your door if it gets locked from the outside accidentally (like in OP's situation), but a latch is also provided to encourage use of that method instead when indoors (as it's the easiest method of locking and also doesn't result in your untimely demise in a fire).

    •  

      In theory you wouldn't use the key lock if anyone is at home, hence why there's a latch on the inside (to encourage using that method when people are at home) but only a key lock on the outside.

      On our screen door (not Crimsafe - take note burglars…) if you turn the key a certain amount it will lock but still be unlockable with the internal switch; if you keep turning, it will only be unlockable by key.

      •  

        Yeah I have the same. A lock I installed a few months ago said half turn is locked and three quarter is deadlock which is key only to open.

  •  

    We only use the security screen lock if someone is home and we keep the front door open to get some ventilation through the house. Usually, the person who leaves the house doesn't lock the security door, we have a door lock and deadbolt on the front door already!

    Also, your security lock is probably a standard one that is also used on a diamond grille type security door. On those doors, it is easy to poke through the flyscreen and unlatch the thumb latch on the inside. Locking the latch from inside/outside using the key prevents that. Your crimsafe door doesn't have this vulnerability, but I am sure customers will complain also if crimsafe puts in their own custom lock and customers have to pay through the nose when they need to get a replacement.

    • +1 vote

      That's interesting about not locking the screen door, we lock everything, deadbolted door and deadbolted screen door, otherwise it feels insecure. (Maybe that's just because we were robbed years ago, albeit in a different house with entry via different means.)

      • +1 vote

        You need to think about getting out of the house/unit in an emergency! Most of those locks are great if you aren't home. . Think about if you have everything keylocked and have an intruder and need to get out.

      •  

        do you have roof tiles too or unbarred windows?

        •  

          Easy to get out, not to get in.

          Worked in bank fraud and security so got to know fire regs etc with regards to security, locks etc.

          • -1 vote

            @sam-1966: Just peel off the tiles and you can get in and out with ease. Maybe need a ladder to poke through the ceiling down onto the floor so you got a way back up and out through the roof. Of course if your trying to steal a TV or something big and bulky, going through the roof may not be very practical…

            As for unbarred windows, depending on what you're stealing and how big the window is, is also relatively easy to smash (and go through and out) unless they have those smash proof glass windows….

  •  

    I rang the installers and they said this is standard

    Yes your door is operating as designed. If locked by a key, it can only be unlocked by a key. If locked by the latch, it can be unlocked by the latch or a key.

    Surely it's a safety/fire hazard to literally be locked inside your home if for whatever reason the key goes walk about?

    Yes it is. But that applies to anything that is 'locked' from the outside with people inside. Security doors, dead bolts etc. You main door will have the same issue too.

    Why? If its 'locked' from the outside there shouldn't be people inside, and if someone breaks into your house via a window, it makes it harder for them to just 'walk out' the door with your goods etc.

    Either make it a habit to unlock the door once you get up after your hubby leaves, or leave a key just inside the door incase if you are worried.

    • -1 vote

      Why? If its 'locked' from the outside there shouldn't be people inside, and if someone breaks into your house via a window, it makes it harder for them to just 'walk out' the door with your goods etc.

      wouldnt they just come out the smashed window they came in with?

      •  

        wouldnt they just come out the smashed window they came in with?

        Its easier to carry goods out a door than a window ;)

        • -2 votes

          Well I suppose, but if the door is locked, then you're gonna have a busted door down too now on top of your already smashed window! Or another smashed window to get that TV out or lounge chair or whatever…

          • +1 vote

            @Zachary: So using that viewpoint, why bother locking the door in the first place? Let them walk straight in. Save having a broken window!

  • +1 vote

    As those security doors are cheaper locks they don't have the function of a proper dead lock.

    Good deadlocks will have following function.

    • Deadlocked- locked with key from inside and outside.
    • Safety mode- locked from outside, free to open without a key from inside.
    • and of course open.

    We don't deadlock our door while we are home for emergency.

    FYI- as my wise carpenter has said- locks only keep honest people out.

    •  

      Safety mode- locked from outside, free to open without a key from inside.

      Never seen a 'deadlock' offer this….. If it did, then it wouldn't be a ummm deadlock.

  • +2 votes

    2 rules of these locks:

    1) Never key lock if someone is inside. Unless - leave a key in the inside lock for emergency egress. Not next to or near the lock, put key IN the lock.

    2) Obey Rule #1

    •  

      What if there's a serial killer in the house?

      •  

        she's probably been there since you married her and you're still alive

  • +5 votes

    my security door behaves like yours but has this feature;
    1. If you lock it with a key on the outside the 1st click (about a quarter turn) it is locked but you can unlock from the inside with the finger switch.
    2. If you lock it with a key on the outside 2 clicks (about a 180 turn) it is fully locked and you cannot unlock it from the inside with a finger switch, must use a key.

    maybe you might have this 2 click option and never noticed?

    • +1 vote

      I have this 2 click version. Works great.

    •  

      mine doesn't have two clicks ( at least not that I can hear ) but a slow turn about 1/2 way stopping before the loud click services to still allow the catch to unlock from the inside

  • +1 vote

    Also good for keeping your kidnapping victims in your house when you go for a maccas run

    •  

      Fair as long as you bring back enough nuggies for each victim

  •  

    Yes normal, mine are like this but not crimsafe, also 2 click version

  •  

    It's the same principle as a a 2 sided deadlock. These are worse because the key barrel is only on the outside.

    I had this in my place but you can get an inside barrel/lock for the key installed so that you can un-deadlock from the inside. Obviously, for safety reasons, you only deadlock when everyone has left the house. It's ridiculous the 2 sided key lock is not present in the first place. Somebody has saved a few dollars somewhere…

  • -1 vote

    NO… and potentially dangerous. You should be able to unlock the screen door from the inside at ALL times.
    If not… ask whether this complies to Australian Standards

  •  

    OzhunterNSW's comment is so valid - fire regulations for business include being able to get out with a 'single sweep lock' - as in, you don't need to find a key if there is a fire!

    You need to think about getting out of the house/unit in an emergency! Most of those locks are great if you aren't home. . Think about if you have everything keylocked and have an intruder and need to get out.

  •  

    When locking the door with the key, turn it gently so it JUST goes 'click'. Do not turn it the whole way to the end of its travel. You should find that you can operate the inside lever.