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24 Hour Newcastle Locksmith
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UPVC Locksmith Services

UPVC doors and windows are widely installed and believed to be one of the safest options for keeping out burglars and other unwanted visitors.

However, although with the right types of locks, UPVC windows and doors can be extremely safe, some of the locks which are provided at installation are anything but secure.

Here’s a closer look at UPVC windows and doors and the right locks that you should have installed for the maximum security.

Cylinder snapping

Although UPVC doors and windows may appear to be very well constructed, the locks and handles that they come fitted with by default are rarely a robust security solution.

A new technique known as cylinder snapping, or lock snapping, means that many thieves could enter your home in no more than a couple of minutes.

Cylinder snapping is a very real threat and is estimated by some police forces to be the cause of at least a quarter of all burglaries which occur in their area.

Most UPVC doors come fitted with a Euro profile lock, a simple mechanism which operates the multiple locking points on the door. Although you might feel safe because of the multiple locks, there’s just one point which controls the entire set. If this is compromised, all the locking points on the door are rendered useless.,

The method of cylinder snapping is worryingly easy and involves using a key to break the cylinder of the lock. Once the cylinder breaks, the lock on your door is no longer secure and thieves can open your UPVC door without any resistance.

Combatting the issue

The Master Locksmith’s Association has been working on a type of UPVC lock which would combat the problem of cylinder snapping, thwarting thieves looking to break into your home.

The Sold Secure SS312 - Diamond Approved cylinder is the most protective type of lock you can purchase for your UPVC door, and will provide the most secure protection against cylinder snapping.

Alternatively, any lock kitemarked to at least the three star standard will provide excellent resistance to cylinder snapping. As a minimum, look for a one star kite marked cylinder with two star security hardware, such as an armoured handle and cylinder guard.

These types of locks are specially designed that if attacked by a burglar using the same techniques, only the front part of the barrel will snap, leaving the lock intact and secure. You’ll still be able to use your key to gain entry but you’ll need to get the lock replaced pronto. The most important factor is that the thieves will not be able to use the effective cylinder snapping techniques that they could have done with the standard Euro profile lock.

UPVC windows

UPVC windows are often already fitted with locks when they are manufactured and installed but in many cases it’s not possible to change the types of lock retrospectively. This is because the UPVC frame is not sufficiently strong to support a separate metal lock and steel screws.

However, UPVC windows are normally fitted with good locking systems, either espagnolette or deadlock shoot bolts. Both of these systems work well but can benefit from the extra security of having either galvanised steel or hardened aluminium added to the hollow body as a means of reinforcement. This would need to be done at the point of manufacture and not added at a later date.

Internal beading is another security essential as it prevents the glass from being lifted out of the frame from the outside.

New windows should conform to the British Standard 7950 kite mark which has been introduced as a means of setting a minimum level of security for windows.

UPVC windows and doors are infinitely more secure than the old-fashioned wooden doors which were only held with a simple Yale lock. As thieves become more sophisticated so security must improve too, and the above systems are amongst the best security measures currently not he market. If you need a locksmith for your home, car or business get in touch today.

Contact us for information on Door and Window Locks

What Is Locksnapping?

You may well have heard of “cylinder snapping” or “lock snapping”. It’s a method used by burglars to break into property that is secured using a euro cylinder (e.g. almost all properties that have UPVC doors, although a significant number of composite and aluminium doors use them too, and they’re often used in commercial as well as domestic environments).

The method of lock snapping involves breaking the cylinder to then manipulate the lock to open. Whilst you may think that all the multi locking points on your door make it secure, it’s important to realise they are all operated by the cylinder – this is the weakest point and if compromised all the locking points are rendered useless.