Night Latches and Yale Locks

Night latches and rim cylinders, which are generally referred to as Yale locks, come in a wide variety of styles and in two sizes 40mm and 60mm.

Rim night latches are sometimes referred to as Yale locks, these are fitted mainly to timber entrance doors or an older aluminium door will have one located about a third of the way down the door on the inner surface and you’ll use it to open and shut the door.

Rim night latches – non deadlocking

The main live bolt (or latch) in one of these has a rounded leading edge and is spring loaded. The latch is withdrawn into the casing as you turn the inside knob to allow you to open the door, but you can close the door by simply pushing the door into its frame – slam shut. These locks always need a key to unlock them from the outside. The latch can be deadlocked in an open or closed position by sliding the snib on the inner face. For security these can be supplemented with mortice deadlocks. If your door has a multi-point lock then there will be a latching bolt in the middle of the door that is operated by the handle. On back doors fitted with sash-locks, the sort with the handle and the key hole underneath, you’ll find that this too has a latch operated by the handle.

These locks are the same as the night latches above except you can deadlock the latch from the outside with a turn of the key. This means that the latch cannot be slipped with a piece of plastic (James Bond style). Some of them also allow you to lock the turn knob on the inside with the same key (instead of the snib) and this will prevent slipping from outside and the knob being turned by sticks, cables and so on through the letterbox.

Rim nightlatches – automatic deadlocking

These differ from the first two in having a deadlocking pin just above or below the latch. When you close the door the pin is depressed into the mechanism and it deadlocks the latch, which will prevent slipping. Most of them also allow you to key lock the inside turn knob as well.

Roller bolt night latches

These have a spring loaded rolling catch, which is designed to simply hold the door in its frame without locking. The catch is released by either pulling or pushing the door; no key is required. These night latches are sometimes seen fitted to private flat entrance doors which have door closers. This means that if you walk out of your flat and the door closes behind you won’t lock yourself out. The roller bolt doubles up as a deadbolt by turning the inside handle or by turning the key in the lock when you go out. Most are unlocked from the inside without the use of a key, which is important for your means of escape. These locks may not be suitable for fire resistant doors as they may not operate efficiently enough to allow the door to fully engage into its frame against the closer and door seals.