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Locks, chains and keysafes

This section includes equipment to lock and secure doors.

Touch bar and touch pad release locks open a door in a modified way, for example by reversing a wheelchair against a touch bar. Once open, the door automatically re-locks when shut. For security reasons, the locks are more suited to internal doors. If used on an external door, the device can be positioned on the interior, however, a key locking system would have to be used on the external side.

Coded, programmable and automatic locks are operated by remote control. These may be suitable substitutes for traditional locks for people who have reduced power or dexterity for key operation. 

Bolts, locks and catches are available for exterior and interior doors, toilets and windows. Some locks have an emergency release mechanism. For bathroom and toilet locks it is useful to have an external sign indicating when the room is occupied.

Key safes are secure metal boxes which can be secured next to the door. A single copy of the key/s are placed inside but can only be retrieved by someone who knows the correct code to open the box. It is up to the person who they give the code to and they can change the code as often as they like. Units can be wall-mounted, have a locking shackle or be or attached to the top of a door and kept in place by closing the door.

Safety chains which offer an alternative to conventional safety chains are also included.

Big Box Key Safe
Key storage system operated by combination of push-buttons. Comprises: storage for multiple keys; wall-mounted; neoprene cover for protection from the...
Burton Police Approved Xl Keysafe
Keysafe. Comprises: weather resistant cover; numbers and close and open indicators are displayed in a bright colour; internal key hook; designed to st...
Clutch Thumbturn Door Lock
Range of thumbturn locks for interior doors. Comprises: satin chrome finish; permits user to lock the door for privacy, while allowing authorised staf...
Code Locking Steel Key Cabinets With Touch Point
Keysafe available in a range of sizes. Comprises: heavy duty steel cabinet; push-button lock; numbered key tags, key rings and lock location chart.
Cooperbolt Door Access Systems
Secure lock for emergency doors with push-button release for quick exit when required. Lock can only be reset by key holder. Range of models available...
Door Codelock Keypad
Keypads connected to environmental control unit with up to 50 different codes. Can be used as emergency door opener when fire alarm sounds. Not suitab...
Era Child Safety Window Locking Restrictor
Child safety window locking restrictor. Designed to prevent a door or window from being fully opened. Comprises: lock, cable and key; ergonomic desig...
J5 Over The Door Keysafe
Keysafe which attaches to the top of the door and is kept in place by closing the door. Comprises: zinc alloy construction; storage for up to five Yal...
Key Safe
Keysafe which is police approved through the Secured by Design (LPS) 1175 initiative. Comprises: storage for five keys; heavy gauge steel double wall ...
Large Key Safe
Key storage system operated by combination of push-buttons. Comprises: key box stores Yale keys; weather proof cover; wall-mounted.
Master Lock 540 Key Safe
Wall mounted weather-proof key safe. Comprises: four digit combination lock; wall mounted; supplied with fixings.
Master Lock 5404 Illuminated Key Safe
Illuminated key safe. Comprises: designed to hold one key; sliding cover; resettable four digit combination; the digit keys illuminate when in use; wa...
Portable Keysafe
Key storage system operated by combination of push-buttons with locking shackle. Comprises: hardened steel shackle; black rubber cover; holds two Yale...
Radar Rimlock Lockset
Lock for fitting to public WCs on the nationwide National Key Scheme enabling access to designated public WCs by people with disabilities.
S6 Slimline Keysafe
Key storage system operated by combination of push-buttons. Comprises: key box stores two to three Yale keys or one Chubb key (up to 8cm long); wall-m...
Supra Permanent Keysafe
Key storage system operated by a combination of push-buttons. Comprises: storage for four to five Yale keys or one to two Chubb keys; wall-mounted. Op...
Von Duprin Exit Devices
Emergency exit door lock with touch bar release that opens, for example, when wheelchair reverses to touch bar. Doors automatically re-lock when door ...
Wall Mounted Key Safe
Key storage system operated by combination of push-buttons. Comprises: outdoor key safe; wall mounted; ten-digit lock; push button keys; internal keyr...
Buying equipment

There are several factors to consider when purchasing equipment.

Making complaints and reporting unsafe products

In most instances a complaint should initially be made to the supplier who provided you with the item. CAB has a range of guidelines on their website on making a complaint about poor service or faulty goods. These include complaining by phone, complaining in writing and template letters. CAB advice about making a complaint.
If you are not satisfied with the supplier's response then you may choose to complain to:

  • an ombudsman scheme
  • a regulator
  • an independent mediator
  • a trade association (if the supplier is a member of one)


Safety incidents involving medical devices can be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on the GOV UK website www.mhra.gov.uk or their Adverse incident centre hotline 020 3080 7080. The MHRA is the government agency responsible for ensuring that medical devices and medicines work and are acceptably safe. Their definition of 'Medical devices' includes devices used for assisting patients and users, thus many daily living aids such as bath lifts, commodes and walking sticks are medical devices. Any incident involving the safety of a medical device (including safety issues with its instructions for use) should be reported to the MHRA, especially if the incident contributed to, or could have caused injury, life-threatening illness or death.

Buying from a private person

Buying from a private person gives you fewer rights. You will only be able to claim against the seller if the product doesn't match its description or if the seller did not own it. Consequently, some firms occasionally pretend to be private sellers to avoid their legal responsibilities towards customers. If you suspect this has happened to you find out about your rights and what action to take on the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) website https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/ or call 0345 404 0506 to speak to the Citizen Advice consumer helpline.


The length of the manufacturer's guarantee does not limit any claim you may make to the seller as if a product develops a fault outside the guarantee period you can still claim against the seller if you can show that the fault was unreasonable at that period in the products life.


You may be asked whether you would like to purchase an extended warranty. Remember that your statutory rights exist, under the Sale of Goods Act, whether or not you choose to buy their warranty and whether or not the goods came with any guarantee. Manufacturers' guarantees are separate from the automatic rights you have against the seller, and may be more limited. For more information read the Citizens Advice Bureau guide to guarantees and warranties.

Maintenance and insurance

For large complex items, such as a stairlift, check what kind of maintenance contract the supplier offers.

Membership of trade associations

Some suppliers are members of a trade association. Many of these trade associations have a code of practice that governs their members' customer service, and thus may help to project you from unscrupulous selling practices. For example, some trade associations prohibit their members from contacting people uninvited to try and sell their products. They may also prohibit their members from using high pressure selling tactics such as offering a discount if you order that day, or phoning their manager while demonstrating the equipment to you to agree a 'special discount/deal'. Thus if you have a choice of suppliers for the product you wish to purchase we recommend you consider the suppliers who are members of trade association.

We record suppliers' membership of several trade associations (see a list of these trade associations) and our ratings give greater weighting to trade associations with codes of practice which are approved by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) (e.g. the British Healthcare Trade Association) or governed by an audit scheme which meets the requirements of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

We also record whether suppliers meet the ISO 9000 series of standards. These standards define a Quality System which certifies that formalised business processes are being applied, and thus may be another indicator to look for if you have a choice of suppliers.


You may be able to purchase equipment designed for use by disabled people without paying the VAT if you are 'chronically sick or disabled', and you are buying the item/s for your own personal or domestic use. For VAT purposes, a person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they:

  • Have a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out everyday activities.
  • Have a condition that the medical profession treats as a chronic sickness (e.g. diabetes).
  • Are terminally ill.


So, you won't qualify if you're only temporarily disabled or incapacitated (e.g. if you have a broken leg).

Examples of products which are likely to qualify for VAT relief (if intended for the personal or domestic use of a chronically sick or disabled person) include:


  • wheelchairs
  • stairlifts
  • computer software or hardware designed specifically for disabled individuals
  • kettle tippers, tap turners, button hooks and similar gadgets or devices that are designed solely to make everyday tasks easier for disabled individuals
  • artificial limbs
  • vehicles that have been adapted for use by a wheelchair or stretcher user


Price is important but, if we list more than one supplier, it is important to look for more than just the cheapest price. Check when the prices were last updated (this should be stated under each price). Consider whether:

  • Postage/delivery is included (if shopping by mail order or online)
  • Is the supplier a member of a trade association? (see below)
  • Is one supplier listing the price with VAT and another without VAT?
  • Check the suppliers' returns policies and any guarantees / warranties (see below).
  • For complex equipment that requires maintenance and/or servicing check what's included in the price and what the ongoing costs will be.

Get advice and an assessment

Experienced therapists or trusted assessors know a lot about products and will help you make sure the product is right for you now and will continue to be suitable in the future. 


You may be able to get an assessment and advice from social services. GOV.UK website
Alternatively you may choose to pay for a private occupational therapist. If you wish to request a private appointment with an occupational therapist then you can obtain details of local private occupational therapists from the 'College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section - Independent Practice' (COTSS-IP) website. www.cotss-ip.org.uk or phone their enquiry Line: 0845 129 7699.
You can check whether a therapist is state registered with the Health Care professions Council (HCPC) at www.hcpc-uk.org/audiences/

Try before you buy

You can find out about products and try them out, with independent advice at an Independent Living Centre (ILC). There are about 30 ILCs in the UK. Most do not sell products but they will be able to tell you where to buy them. We recommend you make an appointment before you visit

You could view equipment at an exhibition. They are a good opportunity to see what's available and meet the competing suppliers. The main exhibition of equipment is NAIDEX, held annually at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, and Glasgow. www.naidex.co.uk

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