Apartment doors in Germany lock you out

119 posts in this topic

I don't think there is any special reason for their locks. Somehow they have become accustomed to them just like you have your usual locks in the US. Which is more secure? I think if somebody wants in your house, they are going to find their way in. Break a window if they must.

 

I also don't like the German locks though. I have already locked myself out one time but my friends and neighbours keep a key for me. Another thing is that I could get locked in the stairwell of my house if I lock myself out of my apartment and the front door is also locked. When I locked myself out, it was locked but my landlady was home and let me out so I could go to my friends and get my keys. IMO it is not safe in case of a fire for example that you can lock the front door so that you need a key to open it from the inside.

 

By the way, it seems to me that most Germans do take the extra 5 seconds to lock their doors. That is, they slam them so they lock and then use the key to activate the deadbolt too.

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Which is more secure?

I would have to say that German doors and Canadian/US doors are equally secure, given the deadbolt is engaged. The German doors are just a huge pain in the ass.

 

I can't believe that German doors are like this, because it's just the way it is. These lock systems are unnecessarily complex, and probably more expensive as a result. So why wouldn't a simpler, cheaper, safer lock system be the norm?

 

There has to be some reason, right?

 

Maybe Germans are just crazy.

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It is possible to buy a door lock here that will work both from the inside and the outside when a key is still in it from the other side - we deliberately chose one like that when we replaced the door, in case Shorty ever decided to lock us out - she was a lot smaller at the time, but yes, she did once try it - should have seen her face when we still managed to just walk in!

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I think these doors are there as a test of your powers of concentration. Just before pulling the door shut, I always feel my in pocket for my keys. Perhaps it's an extra way of staving off memory loss - 120 Euros per mistake is a very good incentive. B)

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Annoying as crap, they are! My bf tells me all of the things that Mas2112 does, but I still think they're a major pain. Ours does work when there is a key in the other side, which is a very good thing. I keep my keys in the door, so that I won't go out without them - they are there to remind me. The last thing I want is to be locked out when I run the dog outside for a couple minutes or something.

 

And the other thing with these doors - turning the handle when you close them so that they don't make that click noise. My bf was asking me one day if there was a reason that I let the doors make noise when I close them. I had no idea what he was talking about. Yeah, then he showed me the trick of turning the handle and closing at the same time - but half of the time, it doesn't engage anyway, and I have to give it a big tug.

 

Yes, it is the little things that you really notice in a new place, that is for sure! :lol

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the answer is quite simple.

 

They are designed so that you can let people in... if you so choose...which is a rare occurrence...but it's easier to keep them out...

 

speaks volumes to the German mentality.

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They are a total pain in the ass, especially when you proudly remember to check that you have your key in your pocket before you leave, but forget to remove your significant other's key.

 

I do like the idea that no matter how many copies previous tenants have made and left with weird neighbors, nobody is getting in when I'm home.

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the answer is quite simple.They are designed so that you can let people in... if you so choose...which is a rare occurrence...but it's easier to keep them out...speaks volumes to the German mentality.

 

A GEZtapo door. What an excellent idea.

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I am not too concerned about the auto-lock feature on its own. For me, the bigger issue is that most apartment doors here have a self closing hinge. This makes it even easier to lock yourself out, as you're standing just outside of the threshold, the door is rapidly closing behind you, and you remember you left the key on the kitchen counter...?

 

It has not happened yet but I know it will. Eventually. So in case it wins when I'm on the way out, I just leave an extra key hidden outside.

 

The self closing mechanism is also sucky when my hands are full, I'm trying to push the door open with my knee and it would prefer to slam shut on my foot or something similar.

 

Oh yes, and so far, both apartments I've had here required that I pull the door slightly towards me when I unlock it with the key or it just will not turn. Again, hands full, I have to put down half my bags to get the thing open. Then go into contortionist mode to hold it open while it tries to eat my leg, I'm grappling for the bags...

 

Beuel is exactly right. The doors here *are* mean.

 

I don't turn the deadbolt either. Sometimes I even exit by my terrace door when I need to go to the market or something and will be coming back fairly soon. That one doesn't lock at all from the outside. Yep, I like to live dangerously.

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A visiting friend needed to pop out to his car to fetch something. I had to either:

 

  • Ask him to leave the door ajar. Not good in this cold weather. Germany FAIL.
  • Hang around at the door waiting for him to come back and let him in. FAIL. He took ages and I needed to get something finished for him on the PC.
  • Give him my apartment key. Which I did...

 

On his return, with me busy, and not knowing where to put the key, he put it in the lock on the inside for me.

 

Next day after work. Couldn't open the door as something was blocking the key from the inside. FAIL FAIL FAIL.

 

Add these 3 FAILS to your list.

 

Entrepreneurs take note. introduce a "new locking technology"

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Oh yes, and so far, both apartments I've had here required that I pull the door slightly towards me when I unlock it with the key or it just will not turn. Again, hands full, I have to put down half my bags to get the thing open. Then go into contortionist mode to hold it open while it tries to eat my leg, I'm grappling for the bags...

 

Mine does that too, but I have the emotional support of my two children, and usually a couple of their friends, who absolutely have to stand between me and the door while I'm doing the hands-full-contorntionist-pulling-the-door-and-turning-the-key-at-the-same-time-thingy.

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Now i know its off topic and i can understand the door thing but why oh why do the German toilets have that ledge on them? In england you do your business and its gone just have to watch out for the splash back could that be the reason? hmmmm

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Ah the good old poop shelf - for checking the quality of your 'business'. Surprised the VHS doesn't offer evening classes. While I was in hospital recently, apart from the usual 'hatten Sie schon Stuhlgang'? they also intensely examined our daily 'business'****. Normal toilet but with a bowl thing with a handle to put under the seat. It was called a 'Bratpfanne'. Presumably because of the sausages in it. Understandable if I had internal problems, but I was in for a broken ankle!...

 

**** Just learnt a new German word. The technical term is 'Stuhlvisite'.

 

P.S. reminds me of another visit to said hospital (Martin Luther KH in Zeven). I had drunk too much peppermint tea and got what I thought was diarrhoea. After a check in my 'Bratpfanne' for 'Durchfall' the nurse announced to the entire ward that I did not have diarrhoea, but 'Dünnschiss'. I told her sorry I missed that semester where they studied the technicalities.

 

Back to topic...

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Have you thought of simple inertia? There are a lot of things that could be improved here and in our home countries, but they will never improve due to simple inertia. It has just "always been done that way" and it never occurs to people that it could be done differently. I could think of countless things here, from traffic lights that you have to pull a muscle to see, to weddings at a standesamt AND a church, to astronomical Notar costs. You try complaining about these things to locals (apart from the Notar costs, which everyone finds ridiculous) and they just don't know what you are talking about. They just find it hard to imagine that it is possible to do things differently. I am sure that there are plenty of examples of this type of thing from our home countries too.

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Just for comparison, I will describe how a "normal" apartment door in Canada and the US functions:

 

ha ha, the type of door which you despise IS "normal" for not only germany, but also the uk and the netherlands :) (plus, i suspect, other european countries, but i only quote those which i have lived in)

 

At my family home in england, we just got a new door which is "US style" i.e. you have to remember to lock it on your way out, and I hate it. Not because i forget to lock it on the way out, which I don't, but because I forget to lock it on the way *in* which means that anyone can just walk off the street into my house. And when i'm running for the bus, no longer can I just shut the door and run, but I have to waste time fiddling around to lock it with a key.

 

Remembering to take keys out with me is so deeply ingrained into my psyche that I only forgot twice in my life. But there was always someone else with a spare key, so it was ok, I didn't need to break into my own apartment.

 

I guess it's just what you are used to...

 

Whilst we're on the subject of american-versus-european doors can anyone tell me why public toilets in the US have such a whopping great gap around the edges of the door, meaning that anyone can see everything? Why??

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