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Lock and load

There was a letter through the door last week from the police and the council, offering free home security improvements. They have a scheme to upgrade locks etc for victims of burglary. Apparently there was a break-in in the neighbourhood recently, so the scheme was being extended to other households in the area.
  As the lock on the front door has been somewhat inadequate for ages, I phoned them and booked for someone to fit a new lock (then remembered to tell the landlord about it). Today the locksmith came, with two young apprentices. More like 1 and 1/2 apprentices really, as one lad was rather dozy and lacking in initiative. He generally just sat around while the other lad made himself useful by bracing the door and having tools and screws to hand.
  We now have a snazzy new lock on the front door of the house. It's designed to be opened from the inside without the need for a key, in case of emergency. The keys are fancy affairs that work whichever way up you stick them in the lock. If you want to get a duplicate key cut, you have to present a special card to the shop, and it costs far more than for a regular key.  And all provided and fitted for free (no thanks to the landlord)
   The front door looks a little sad. It's the original, late Victorian door, and this must be the fourth lock fitted to it. There's other old keyholes and patches, plus the screw holes of the metal handles just removed, and the mark of the original doorknob.

Shortly after the locksmith left, I had a visit from a nice woman in the council's housing department. About five years ago, the council had served some notices on the landlord, ordering him to make some improvements to the property. I looked at these again recently, and realized that one was an order for providing adequate heating for this flat, which was never done. So the council lady came around today, looked at the rooms and the heating I have. It's a bit of a shame that it's been a mild day, as the flat wasn't anything like as cold as it can be this time of year. Still, she noticed the drop in temperature when we went down to the bathroom. 
   They'll be doing assessments on whether the heating provided is adequate, or if it's likely to endanger health. So with any luck, the landlord will have the council breathing down his neck soon, issuing him with legal requitements to fit some proper heating. Oh, and possibly also to have the oven properly installed by a professional.



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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
miss_next
6th Dec, 2007 20:43 (UTC)
Good! Time the landlord was made to do what he was supposed to.
vilakins
6th Dec, 2007 21:17 (UTC)
Is the new key a round one with four identical flanges on the sides and a matching round keyhole? We have one of those at work; the first I'd seen.
san_valentine
7th Dec, 2007 00:01 (UTC)
The keys are flat, rather like a yale key, only instead of having the pattern cut along one edge, there's a shallower pattern cut into one side of the shank. The key pattern appears on the right hand edge of the shank, whichever side of the shank is facing you.
So if you hold the key flat on your hand, there will be a pattern cut into the right-hand-side of the surface you can see, and the left-hand-side of the surface that's underneath. Turn the key over and it will look just the same.

I hope that makes sense.
longhairedhippy
7th Dec, 2007 12:31 (UTC)
Sounds like my car keys - the same no matter which way up it is.

Yes, I still have actual keys, none of this fancy-schmancy radio buttons or central locking for me.
san_valentine
7th Dec, 2007 13:57 (UTC)
I'm glad I managed to make sense to somebody. Though no doubt it helps if you've already seen something similar.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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