A question we are frequently asked is “what is the difference between slamlocks and deadlocks”.  So, we have created this blog to answer the question, but also to explain the pros and cons of each product.


How do slamlocks work?

Slam locks are fitted into the face of the door, usually near to the manufacturer’s door handle, and they cause the door to lock as soon as it closes, requiring the slam lock key to open the door.




The slamlocks we fit integrate with the vehicle manufacturer’s OE locking system. This is usually done by disconnecting the internal cable linkage that goes to the door handle and connecting it to the slamlock, so that the slamlock releases the manufacturer’s door latch mechanism instead of the door handle. Because the door handle no longer opens the door, the only way to open the door from the outside is to use the keys supplied with the slamlock/s. With our slamlocks fitted to the door it can still be released from inside of the vehicle to prevent the operator from becoming locked in.

On most vans, when the electronic key is used to lock the van, it will prevent the slamlock from opening the door, in the same way that it would have prevented the handles from opening the door once locked. This gives the van additional security, since as well as the slamlock, the central locking system would need to be bypassed to break into the van. 


On some vans there is the option of slam handles. These work in the same way as slamlocks, but they completely replace the OE door handle. This keeps the van’s original appearance, and in some cases, it does not require any additional drilling for it to be fitted to the van.

The slam handles also come with internal shielding, which protects the slam lock by making it drill and spike resistant. 


The Benefits of slamlocks

As the slamlock causes the door to lock automatically upon closing , the van is immediately secure and protected from the opportunist thief.

They are particularly useful when the van operator needs to leave and return to the van frequently and doesn’t want to have to remember to lock the door every time they leave the vehicle. This is particularly applicable to businesses involving couriers and high-frequency delivery services. You can imagine that if your hands are full with parcels or other goods, when making multiple deliveries you don’t want to be manually locking your van door on each occasion . 

The slamlock also removes the human error of forgetting to lock the van each time you leave it. It is obvious that if the van is not locked, the contents of the vehicle are vulnerable to theft. 

Slamlocks are also beneficial to fleet operators who can’t guarantee that their engineers/van operators will lock a deadlock or the central locking system on each instance, which would render the contents of the van vulnerable to theft.


The disadvantages of slamlocks

One of the main reasons most customers opt for other security products other than slamlocks, is the worry that the keys would be locked in the van. As the door locks as soon as it closes, it can be very easy to leave the keys in the van and close the door, leaving the keys locked inside. It is advisable to keep a spare key somewhere safe, in case this happens. 

We can also offer a master keying service, which means that every van on a fleet could be supplied with slamlocks that have their own individual set of keys, but a master key can be supplied that allows the fleet manager to open every slam lock on the fleet. The keys supplied to the van operator would not open the slamlocks of any other van on the fleet.


Slamlocks do not fully protect the doors from forced entry such as being peeled or bent down from the top or corner of the door by brute force.


A recent form of attack that has seriously reduced the security of slamlocks is door spiking/punching and drilling. This type of forced-entry releases the vehicle manufacturer’s OE locking system, bypassing the slamlock altogether. This can also be done to target the internal release handles. 

Most vans can be fitted with drill-resistant, anti-spike shields. These can be fitted internally and/or externally to protect the manufacturer’s OE locking system (depending on the make and model of your van). 




How do deadlocks work?

As an additional mechanical lock, van deadlocks are installed and work independently to the OE (original equipment) manufacturer locks. Once engaged, van deadlocks work by shooting a deadbolt or hook bolt across into the internal receiving bracket, preventing the door from opening. They are used in conjunction with an additional key that is provided with the lock.





The benefits of deadlocks

The deadlock can be fitted in a high position on the doors, to protect the doors from being peeled or bent down.

Even if the manufacturer’s OE locking system were compromised by being drilled or spiked, the deadlock would still remain locked.

Deadlocks can be left locked or unlocked, depending on whether the van needs to be secure or whether it needs to be opened without using a key. The keys cannot be accidentally locked in the van, as they need to be used to lock the deadlock. 


Individual doors can be left locked or unlocked, allowing the operator to leave certain doors unlocked whilst working from the van, without compromising the security of the other doors.


The disadvantages of deadlocks?

If the deadlocks are not locked, the contents of the vehicle are vulnerable to theft.


What is the difference between deadlocks and slamlocks?

A deadlock is an additional lock that is fitted to the door to provide an additional locking point. This can be locked and unlocked with a key, allowing the driver/owner to leave each door locked or unlocked. 

The slamlock locks the door as soon as it closes. Once the door is shut it locks automatically and can only be opened with the key or the internal release handle.


Which is more secure, deadlocks or slamlocks

Slamlocks are great for use during the working day, but since they are usually only as effective as the vehicle’s OE locking system, we would recommend additional security for your van doors when leaving the vehicle overnight and when parked in vulnerable areas. The deadlock fulfils this requirement because it is much more difficult to overcome


A combination of slamlocks and deadlocks can be fitted to your van/s, which would provide an excellent level of security for your vehicle. 




Whether you choose slamlocks or deadlocks for your private vehicle or for your fleet of vans, you couldn’t do better than to choose Lockwell Security for your protection.

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