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Is it possible to disable the snib on a cylinder lock as a safety feature for someone with dementia?
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Before you do take this type of action please make certain it is legal in your area as this constitutes an unlawful seizure in many. It most certainly would violate health and safety codes.
You must be speaking in a local dialect. What exactly are you referring to as a "snip."
Can you snip it off with some scissors to disable the snip?
Are you referring to the inside thumb-turn on a single deadbolt? Shorten the tailpiece on the outer cylinder so it does not enter the thumb-turn.
Are you referring to the inside thumb-turn on a Euro style profile cylinder? Probably depends on which brand for the proper method.
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Guessing you are in the UK hence the terminology.
Assuming it's a rim cylinder with the latch mechanism screwed to the other side of the door, the snib can be disabled by removing the innards that the snib uses to block the latch. This would require it to be removed from the door however, which is likely going to be noticed. The snib could be prevented from being moved by use of adhesive although this is going to be noticed straight away.
This said, I would be cautious about doing this. Older people live in fear that they will be robbed and the snib gives them a sense that they can still control their lives by controlling who can come in. By stopping the snib from working you are taking this independence away from them and they will eventually notice it has been done, increasing their paranoia.
I have a fair bit of insight into older people with dementia and during periods of mania they can become very confused. The scenario of visitors being locked out of their house in a time of need is one to rightly fear. Assuming they have a care plan issued through an agency, it would be worth informing them of this so they can decide the way they wish to move forwards. There is a fine line to be trod here. Should the occupant be a relative and no third party is involved you should discuss it with them and see if it's possible to reach an agreement that is stuck to; this is often possible.
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More detail would be helpful here, as exactly which door the lock is fitted to, and whether the individual lives alone is of possible importance.
The snib can be disabled, but you must consider that doing so also removes the option to put the door on the snib when putting out the bins, or getting the post. You may reduce the chance of lock-ins, whilst increasing the risk of lock-outs.
I would suggest replacing the lock with a roller latch. This can (and in fact *must*) be locked from inside with the handle, but cannot be deadlocked so that the key will not open it from outside.
I have always though the option to deadlock a yale from inside is moronic, and it would be so simple to remove this function, whilst retaining the option to lock the latch back.
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With a basic understand of mechanical systems you should be able to see what needs to come out to stop it deadlocking.
What a load of old BiLocks!!!!
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i recently installed a master keyed nightlatch system at a care home where they asked for the snibs to be disabled, the nightlatches were traditional style and all that was required was to pop the snib and blocking element out of the back.
10 second job and does not affect the rest of the lock
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Im often asked to remove the snibs on nightlatches, usually on old folks homes and communal doors. I some times also make the deadlock function un-useable on deadlocking nightlatches. Ive never had a problem.
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Alternatively, you can buy the locks with the snib not working or without one , Yale 88 or 85, Union also make them can't remember the code, as do many of the other imported makes in the UK,
As said before ,used mainly in Care Homes or Sheltered Housing.
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