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Our landlord recently replaced the handle and deadbolt on our front door, and I realised last night the screws affixing it are visible from the outside:

door with screws on outside

You can see the tip of the screw on the inside of the door here:

inside view of door

I've flagged it to the agency managing our flat, but there's no way this is secure, right?

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    Define "secure". I do not think removing the outside cover/handle will defeat the lock. Ordinary residence locks do not prevent entry by those willing to demolish the lock/door.
    – kreemoweet
    Mar 23, 2023 at 17:41
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    Which picture is the inside? You'd think 'white', as 'white' has the edge of the latch plate visible, but 'red' appears to have the latch bolt backwards, preventing the door from closing, not opening. and btw, unless that is an anti-snap euro lock, they take about 10 seconds to break into. Quicker than undoing the screws. See locksmiths.co.uk/faq/lock-snapping
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 23, 2023 at 19:08
  • White is the inside, @Tetsujin. And thanks, hadn't heard of lock snapping before!
    – aendra
    Mar 23, 2023 at 19:19
  • aendra - is it a trick of the light, or is that latch mounted backwards? btw, anti-snap aren't much more expensive than regular, $£€ 35 vs $£€ 15 or so. Not prohibitive. In the UK they carry a 'kite mark' to prove they're up to standard.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 24, 2023 at 8:32
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    Anyway - the whole lot needs re-doing properly. That wouldn't keep a burglar out for 30 seconds. The lock sticks out, making it even easier to break, the exterior handle is actually an interior one. It's a complete mess & wouldn't pass any building inspection, anywhere.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 24, 2023 at 12:01

4 Answers 4

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If (as seems likely) the screws are just holding the trim plate, it might not be especially insecure. Typically the inner handle can be removed and the outer handle is fixed to the shaft, so if the inner handle is in place the plate is held in place by the outer handle, even if the screws are removed.

The missing screw on the inside is sloppy work.

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  • This is really reassuring, thank you. I noticed it last night and none of our neighbours have exposed screws on their front doors, with some even having bars on their doors to that hallway (indeed, our door is fitted for one but I think those have been disallowed after Grenfell), so I was naturally a bit concerned.
    – aendra
    Mar 23, 2023 at 18:28
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There seem to be 3 different types of screws on the outside (red side) of the door:

  1. Round headed Phillips/slotted on the top right
  2. Flat headed Pozidriv on the top left
  3. Flat headed tan Phillips (deck screws?) on the bottom

I'd say this was installed with a special installation kit called "whatever is handy", and not the hardware that it's supposed to have.

You also appear to be missing a screw on the inside.

I highly doubt this will be particularly secure to any but the most honest of your neighbors.

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    Screw driver or crow bar, does it really matter? This isn't a high security steel door. People worry about this kind of thing then have ground level windows. Mar 23, 2023 at 17:51
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    @FreshCodemonger Like, most of my neighbours have or have had bars on their doors leading from this hallway. Just because the door is poorly maintained doesn't mean there isn't a possible security issue — indeed, this flat is poorly maintained in general.
    – aendra
    Mar 23, 2023 at 18:31
  • To the truly pessimistic, @FreshCodemonger, locks only serve to keep honest people honest and slow down the dishonest.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 23, 2023 at 18:37
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    It won't hurt for the lock to appear more secure. The larger issue is perception, if you are worried about break and enter then a potential thief might look at this door and decide out of all the flats on that level, the one is the least likely to have additional security and choose it as a target. If the area is prone to break and enter then I'd have an additional security mechanism in place. Maybe put up a sticker that says video surveillance in place inside unit with cloud storage. If worried about security while home then installing an interior bar type is a good idea. Mar 23, 2023 at 18:48
  • There are thieves that just go for the easiest targets. I've had my car "broken" into a few times but all times I or my better half left the doors unlocked. There are sometimes teams of people that apparently drive down streets with one person hanging out window trying car door handles while the other person drives to find easy targets. Mar 23, 2023 at 18:51
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Bad news:

It is a low security lock. The cover is an "low security, door inside appartment"-model. enter image description here

The cylinder (green marking) is protruding, therefor easy to remove. I won't go into details, but the means and guides to achieve this are openly available. I (legally) broke several of these locks and it took me just some minutes.

Better models protect the cylinder and don't have visible screws on the outside. Like this:enter image description here.

Possible good news:

The lower lock(?), marked in blue, seems to be more secure. It seems the upper lock is only to keep the door shut, and the lower lock provides the security.

enter image description here

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That looks like a mortice lock, the actual locking mechanism is embedded in the door and the euro cylinder lock is what provides the keyed protection.

Removing the handle is possible with just a small set screw, hopefully on the inside, but removing that should not affect the security of the locking mechanism.

To remove that euro cylinder lock you will need the key (to align the tab that actuates the deadbolt) and the side of the door (only possible when the door is open) to unscrew a bolt that goes from just under the deadbolt through the bottom of the euro cylinder.

To remove the mortice lock you should also need access to the side of the door to unscrew it from the door itself after which it can be removed from the mortice it resides in. This is only possible when the door is open.

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