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Do you know who’s behind your front door?

peep hole

They may have gone out of fashion 10 to 15 years ago, with remote access systems at front gates, but peepholes are still in use in freehold houses. This also applies to wishbones or chains. Installing a peephole costs R30 to R40, but the call-out fee is around R550.

Do you know what security measures are appropriate for your front door? Rosebank Locksmiths’ Andrew Schneeberger says there are no guidelines, particularly in sectional title complexes, as there it depends on what the architect or builder has installed, but security gates are a must

On the locks front, Cisa cylinder locks may be the most popular, according to Schneeberger, but are not high security. They cost between R200 to R220 and builders generally use the less expensive Cisa mortis locks.

Higher security locks on front doors come in the form of a cylinder deadlock or cylinder lock. The most advanced of the cylinder-lock type are the Abloy and Mul-t-lock, which both cost approximately R1,600 each, depending on the application, excluding the installation cost. The Abloy is a registered and patented lock such that a key cannot be duplicated without a letter from the owner or a copy of the ID is provided to the Locksmith. Mul-t-locks work on the same principle as the Abloy, but come with a card. If the card is lost, the internal configuration of the lock has to be changed, as with the Abloy. Abloy is the more popular of the two.

Security gates or non-expanding “Butler gates” as they are referred to in local jargon, are as popular in the north-eastern suburbs of Johannesburg as they are in Tembisa or Meadowlands, Soweto.

A security gate costs upwards of R800.


Alison Goldberg is the former property editor of Business Day (1985) and the Financial Mail (1991-99). In 1995 she won the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year Award. She has edited such titles as National Constructor and The Miner in Australia and has freelanced for The Star, The South African Jewish Report and The Jerusalem Post.

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