Security In Thailand – Locks

| August 8, 2011 | 31 Comments | 12,843 views

In the U.S., security for your home, condo, and apartment primarily occurs outside your domicile and is provided by the local police.

In Los Angeles, professional thieves working your neighborhood, breaking into homes, and stealing things are actively tracked down and caught by the police.  In the U.S., burglar alarms, fancy locks, high security steel doors, safes, security cameras, etc. are generally not needed and most people don’t bother with them. Home burglary is not a much of a problem and insurance is widely available and affordable (because break ins are rare).

In Thailand, security is mostly a private affair with the police contributing little to protecting your home from break in. After the fact, Thai police generally don’t do anything when there is a break in and, once the break in has occurred, calling the police is mostly an exercise in futility. Before the fact, relying on the police to track down and jail crews of professionals working the area is a pipe dream in Thailand. In Thailand, you take care of the physical security of your home and personal belongings.

In most large condos, apartments, and housing complexes, the first line of defense are what amounts to private police — the private guards and/or a security company hired by the owners through the association. Many expats will tell you the security guards are worthless because they are the ones who will be breaking into your home but, like much expat “wisdom”, its just not true.

In the small apartments many expats of modest means live in, the security guards may be untrustworthy because they are not directly employed and monitored by the residents. In the larger primarily Thai owned condos and developments, the guards prevent 99.9% of the theft by keeping track of people entering and exiting and, more importantly, people leaving with large heavy items like large screen TV’s, major appliances, etc. The guards get to know the residents and strangers leaving with large expensive items are stopped.

When a theft does occur in one of these complexes there are repercussions for the guards and it is not uncommon for the security company to lose their contract and the guards becoming unemployed en masse after a major theft.

What you find in the Thai owned condos and developments is that the Thai owners are very concerned about break ins and theft and closely monitor and supervise the guards entrusted with watching the property.

The second line of defense is provided by resident’s themselves.

Walk through any large primarily Thai housing development or condo complex and you will see higher grade locks and security hardware than you typically see even in a major city such as Los Angeles. The houses in many L.A. neighborhoods, even the more upscale ones, are secured with inexpensive locks and are easily entered. Visit the local home improvement stores, Home Depot and Lowes, and the door locks for sale are pretty low grade.

Visit the Bangkok home improvement stores, like Boonthavorn and Homepro, and the door locks for sale include some expensive and high grade options. This is more surprising than it looks given the income disparity between middle class Thais and middle class Angeleans. Several thousand baht for a high quality door lock is a major expenditure for most middle class Thais that own houses and upscale condos and you can be sure they aren’t spending the money neutralizing imaginary threats.

Pictured below is a high grade security lock frequently seen in the more upscale developments and condos that is for sale at Homepro in Bangkok.

This is a picture of the lock cylinder.

The quality is evident. The bolts have two locking positions- halfway extended and fully extended and there are three bolts that engage a large deep slot cut into the jamb.

A large slot needs to be routered into the door so that the lock mechanism can be inserted and a corresponding large slot needs to be routered into the jamb. Although this can be down with a hammer and chisel, a router with a special jig is typically used by dedicated lock installers. When its finished, the bolts extend very deep into the jamb and the bolt mechanism is also embedded deep into the door.

The mechanism, machining, and fit and finish are all first rate and if you are into expensive tools and machinery, the whole device is a cool piece of kit that has the feel of an expensive Swiss watch.

DSC_2747

Special key blanks are used to prevent unauthorized key duplication with a normal key cutting machine.

Availability of the blanks is supposed to be restricted to authorized outlets and special machinery is needed to duplicate them.

When you want copies, you take out the cylinder or take a plastic card with the lock code on it to the locksmith who has access to the blanks. The cylinder is designed to be easily removable and the lock can be re-keyed if necessary, e.g. you lose control of one of the keys when a maid or girlfriend leaves under unhappy circumstances.

The removable cylinder also allows the lock to be re-keyed without a visit from the locksmith. By removing one screw the cylinder can be taken out and taken down to the local lock shop for re-keying.

This lock costs about 4000THB plus 500 THB for installation.

Extra keys from Homepro are 450 baht each.

DSC_2745

This is the other end of the lock spectrum – a cheap 500 THB lock. The lock housing is made of cheap stamped steel and the key is an old style easily duplicated skeleton key. Everything is made of cheap pot metal stampings with rough corners and jagged edges. The locking bolts extend less than an inch into the jamb and can be easily forced as a result. A good kick and this lock is likely to give way.

DSC_2748

The preferred way of securing your home or condo is a two lock setup (on the right).

The typical one lock setup (on the left)  is problematical because once you’ve given away the key, there is no way to exclude access to the recipient.

Notice that two lock door has been pried open in the past. This wouldn’t have been possible with a top quality lock where the lock and the bolts are deeply embedded in the door but was possible with the cheap doorknob lock.

With a two lock setup, one set of keys is for the maid and girlfriends and the second set yours exclusively.

DSC_2945When you want others to have access, you give them a key to one lock  and leave the second lock unlocked.

This allows the maid and girlfriends who have a key to the first lock to get in when you want them to be able to get in.

When you want to restrict access, you lock the second lock preventing anyone but yourself from opening the door.

When the maid is scheduled to visit but you are not going to be home, you can leave your lock unlocked and the maid can get in by herself and secure the door when she leaves.

If your girlfriend is coming over and you won’t be home when she arrives, leave your lock unlocked and she can get in.

When you don’t want anyone gaining access, lock your lock and their key is rendered effectively useless.

The two lock setup also allows you to immediately deny access in an emergency, e.g. dealing with a spurned Thai girl on the warpath.

If you break up with your girlfriend and are worried about her coming back to your place and trashing it in a jealous rage, you can lock the second lock effectively disarming her key.

You don’t have to ask for the return of her key and you can immediately lock her out for as long as necessary.

BigBabyKenny

Comments (31)

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  1. Mochalover says:

    Do you think any mongers who read this blog care about a good lock on their door? Most are English teachers who can’t afford to run their aircon and bithc about rising beer prices and greedy bargirls who won’t fuck them for 1000. They don’t need locks on their doors because there is nothing inside their hovels to steal.

  2. Former Locksmith says:

    Yes, I do care about this article.  Good read.
     
    It’s worthwhile noting the 3 lock cylinders in the bottom-most pictures are installed wrong.  If a spring breaks in the cylinder even the right keys won’t work. It turns an easy fix into a hard fix.

  3. Raider says:

    The part I didn’t understand was the bit about giving a Thai girl a key to your apartment so she can let herself in when you’re not there….

  4. END OF STORY says:

    What does this story and BBK’s story about Smartphones have in common?

    Neither the phone he bought or the locks are capable of 3G reception in Thailand.

    END OF STORY

  5. Mochalover says:

    Raider. Believe it or not some of us date Thai girls that dont work in bars and arent prostitutes. We can let our girlfriend be in our condo alone and not have to worry that she will steal things. Believe it or not some of us have jobs and we want to let out girlfriends into the house when we are not home. Believe it or not some farang are not mongers and like real girlfriends instead of a girl friend experience. Try it you might like sex with a girl who cares about you instead of your money.

  6. Ronru says:

    What this story has in common is that you fucking Mangoshits are still obsessed with Kenny.
     
    Your fucking leaders have fled the country leaving a crowd of investors holding their dicks in their hands hoping to get their money back and you are still here everyday posting under your dumbshit fake screen names.
     
    You Mangoshits would rather believe Daffuduckshit the cyberstalking homo instead of Kenny?
     
    Pleaaaaaaase! Get a life and crawl back over to your empty bar and lame blog.
     
    END OF STORY

  7. Daffy Duck says:

    For you newbies, all the comments on this thread are Kenny posting under different names to make it look like this blog has readers.
     
    This blog died and went dark a long time ago.
     
    Don’t be fooled. There is nobody here.
     
    Toodles.

  8. Occasional Laugher says:

    END OF STORY, I laughed.

  9. Occasional Laugher says:

    Hey Mocha, regardless of a Thai girl’s profession, none of your girls would date a pauper English teacher, so money is a factor.

  10. Mochalover says:

    So wrong. Don’t date bargirl prostitutes and you will find Thai girls couldn’t care less how much money you have. Its about someone who is into them and wants them instead of a different girl every night.  Let a Thai girl knows she special and she’ll be yours forever. Take my word. I have actually dated non-bargirl non-prostitutes unlike the mongers here.

  11. Young Penfold aka Steve Green says:

    Don’t date Thai women. Date Thai men. It works for me. 

    Hahahahahaha!

  12. Raider says:

    Mochalover:  You misunderstand me.  My Thai girlfriend is not a bargirl, but I still don’t give her a key to my apartment.  I have a job, and when I’m not home she doesn’t need to be in my place.  I don’t hang out alone in her place when she’s working either.  I’m not worried about her stealing anything; she just doesn’t need to be in my home when I’m not there.  If I wanted to share the space with her, I’d just offer to move in together.  I prefer having my privacy, I guess.

  13. The Real Deal says:

    I tell my girlfriend that she can stay in my apartment and share the space but she has to do it naked.
     
    She wants to stay over for a couple of days and enjoy the airconditioning, True TV, and free Wifi she has to do it naked.
     
    Sure she can have a key but when I get home she better be wearing her birthday suit and be ready to suck like a hoover.
     
    She’s not a bar girl either. Goes to university.
     
    And I am 50 years old and not handsome either.

  14. The Real Real Deal says:

    I like my dick to be deep into my girlfriends ass every night.
     
    As long as that happens every night, sure, she can have a key to my apartment and share my space.
     
    🙂

  15. The Real Real Deal says:

    Oh  yeah.
     
    My girlfriend isn’t a bargirl.  She has masters degree in marketing from the international program and Bangkok university and works for a big multi-national.

  16. TURDWORD says:

    “With a two lock setup, one set of keys is for the maid and girlfriends and the second set yours exclusively.”

    Who writes bullshit like that? Only certain dumbasses (we know who you are) would hand out multiple copies so one girlfriend could pop in unannounced whilst you’re popping another girlfriend.

  17. HIV Pill says:

    It’s both you idiots

  18. Quality Spam says:

    I like the quality spam!

  19. crickets says:

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  20. Re Pete says:

    That’s a bunch of crickets right there.

  21. crickey says:

    Lots more crickets
    chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!! chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!!
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  22. Too many crickets.

    chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!! chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!!chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!! chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!!chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!! chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!!chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!! chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!!  

  23. The Professor of Porn says:

    Locks? Really Kenny?

    This sucks gookafuck. Put that SWSM shit back up!

  24. Purple Avenger says:

    Purple lock-up!

  25. Purple Avenger says:

    Purple break-in!

  26. Fuck Sex Whores Kenny BBK says:

    Still sucks
    Whore Monger Kenny

  27. Bangkok Butt Buddy says:

    today did the shit shower and shave 3 times…that was all before noon. talk about a workout. who needs a bike trainer with a schedule like that.

    spoke to thomas jefferson…he called between sss#2 and sss#3. we talk for 50 minutes. we talk about stuff and make a plan. what a guy. this all feels like deja vu.

    it’s about 5pm and not sure what i’ll do tonight. f14 said he wants me to go to the jolly rancher but now i just want to powernap. said if i’m up for it he can meet me at 10pm. missed the free buffet. already looking forward to it next week. yep, that’s what i’ll do. sounds like a plan. yep, that’s the plan.

  28. Viksa says:

     ( 2012.02.11 08:02 ) : This feeder works great as long as you fololw the directions and complete ALL the steps for setting it up. After programming the current time, you set the times you want them to eat, THEN go back to those times and select 1 rotation or 2, depending on how much you want them to have. The default is 0, so that’s why it didn’t work for me at first. Now that I have it programmed correctly it works great, right on schedule. The mounting bracket did not fit on the edge of my tank and it comes with double sided tape just in case that happens. But, I wanted to be able to easily take it down to refill/reprogram/change the batteries, so I used Velcro instead of the tape. The Velcro works great but the unit does lean a little to the side. I put a quarter under that side and it’s level again. Be sure to save the directions for when you want to reprogram, because it can be a little confusing without them.

  29. Hi Nephele,I’m considering adding a summary/sneak peak of my YA novel to my blog (laurenspieller.com). I’ve heard that agents sometimes will read this summaries, and request partials. “Real or not real?”What are the pros and cons of this move? If you think it’s a good idea, how detailed/cryptic should I be?Thanks,Lauren Spieller

  30. I love your fireplace. I like how you have a place built-in to stow your firewood. Very unique. I have never seen anything like it before! I am reading your blog from beginning to end. I just bought a pattern: the women's cape and decided to read your blog. I'm having fun! Thanks for sharing!!!

  31. Estoy muy de acuerdo con mi compañera, al igual que ella conozco a personas (incluso algunas dentro de mi familia) que han comenzado unos estudios, siendo más mayores, por ser materias que les resultaban de gran interés y que hasta día de hoy no han podido cursar.Igual que ella lo veo muy interesante y muy de provecho, tanto para ellos, como para alumnos de menor edad e incluso para profesores

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