As long as there have been locks, there have been burglars trying to break them. The battle continues as lock makers seek to stay one step ahead of the criminals who try to break them. This is the case with cylinder locks.
Currently, one of the most common ways to force entry to a property is by lock snapping – also known as cylinder snapping – where, as the name suggests, burglars snap the lock on a front door to gain entry to the property.
But how do you avoid being a victim of it? Follow the tips below and you can make your home or business premises more secure and avoid being yet another victim of lock snapping.
What is lock snapping?
Lock snapping is a method used to break into doors fitted with cylinder locks. Basically, the cylinder is the weakest point in the locking system and burglars will snap them so they are able to manipulate the locks to open. Obviously, there is slightly more to it but we don’t want to go into the specifics of how it is done in case any would-be burglars are reading.
Worryingly, lock snapping is very easy to do and the burglar requires no expertise or specialist equipment – just domestic tools and brute force – to be able to do it. Another reason it is liked by burglars is that it can be done with little noise, as opposed to something like breaking a window.
How long does it take to snap a lock?
It can take less than 10 seconds to snap a cylinder lock. This is why it is so popular with burglars – it means they can get in, steal what they want and get out again in the minimum amount of time.
Is lock snapping common?
It is. At one point in the early 2010s, lock snapping was said to be used in more than 25% of burglaries in some areas of the UK. However, the numbers have come down in recent years as door manufacturers have reacted to the threat of lock snapping, and home and business owners have acted to put in security measures against this.
Nevertheless, it is still a common method of entry for burglars, with about 8.5% of burglaries involving lock snapping in 2019.
Which locks are vulnerable to being snapped?
Euro or cylinder locks are very common in UK homes and commercial properties today as they have been used in most uPVC doors in the past 15-20 years – that’s front doors, back doors, patio doors and garage doors. They can also be found in composite and aluminium doors too.
There are several types of euro cylinders that are vulnerable to snapping,#: the single cylinder, double cylinder and thumbturn cylinders.
If your cylinder lock was fitted prior to 2011, it has probably not been tested against lock snapping. Newer doors may well have been fitted with anti-snap locks, but it is worth checking whether they have or not.
How to avoid having your lock snapped
Anti-snap locks have been on the market for nearly 10 years and are a large part of the reason why incidences of lock snapping have consistently fallen since.
If you want to know if your lock is anti-snap, look to see if it is an SS312 Diamond Approved Cylinder, which is the highest level of euro cylinder lock.
Also, if the lock has the TS007 3-star kite mark on it, it has been tested for anti-snapping – it is usually found on the front or the side of the lock.
Another type of anti-snap lock is the ULTION lock, which Inta-lock Locksmiths in Leicester stocks. This lock is only available to the security industry and has been exhaustively tested against all known forms of lock snapping attacks on euro cylinders. It also is 3-star sold secure diamond standard. Indeed, the makers are so confident that it cannot be snapped that they offer a £1,000 guarantee.
It is important to look for third-party recognition that a lock is high security, rather than taking the manufacturer’s word for it.
Upgrading your cylinder locks
Your local locksmith will be happy to give you advice on which anti-snap locks are the best to fit in your type of uPVC door if you are unsure.
You can opt to install an anti-snap lock yourself, but it can be a tricky job if you aren’t experienced so it could be worth getting a locksmith to do it and ensure it is done correctly.
If you decide to get the professionals in, then give Inta-lock Locksmiths in Leicester a call. Our locksmiths are experienced in retro-fitting anti-snap locks to existing uPVC doors. For instance, they will ensure it fits flush with the door and has no external overhang – the more overhang it has, the easier it is for a burglar to snap. They will also give it a finish that means nobody can tell that a new lock has been fitted.
In general, insurance companies have no stipulation to upgrade your cylinder locks to anti-snap locks – although its always best to check the small print – but it makes good sense to do so to make your house more secure, especially in areas where burglaries have been reported.
Fitting anti-snap locks can also help to bring peace of mind to you and your family – and that’s something that can’t be valued.
While nothing is ever 100% burglar proof, installing an anti-snap lock on your uPVC door can certainly help to reduce the risk of a break-in.
For more information on ULTION locks, click here [www.locksmithinleicester.co.uk/services/ultion-lock-upgrades]