The locks that we use on our homes provide us with a degree of security, and the peace of mind of knowing that even if a burglar tries to get in, the chances are they will be thwarted.
But worryingly, some of the most secure-looking locks can be bypassed in a matter of minutes – or less – by using one simple technique: lock snapping.
We take a closer look at the practice of lock snapping and how you can protect your premises against it.
What is lock snapping?
If you have a door with multi-entry locks you may feel as if your security is the best possible and couldn't be compromised, but you still have a weak point: the cylinder.
All of the locking systems within a door are activated by one single point, the cylinder where the key enters into the door lock. And it's this vulnerable area which is targeted by thieves in order to neutralise the rest of the security on a door.
Lock snapping works by breaking the cylinder on the door, which then allows burglars to manipulate the lock to gain entry into the property. The method only requires basic tools such as a hammer or screwdriver, and involves snapping the lock in two by applying excessive force. This allows the outer part of the mechanism to be easily removed, thus providing access to the inner workings which can then be simply unlocked.
Some police forces have estimated that around a quarter of all burglaries are carried out with the involvement of a lock snapping technique.
Am I at risk?
As mentioned above, you may have a snazzy locking system on your door; it's the cylinder which is the problem, not the security of the locks within the framework.
Lock snapping isn't a method of entry which can only be used on older doors; it's typically used on any door with a Euro cylinder lock. This type of lock is used on many uPVC doors as well as aluminium and composite doors too. Euro cylinders are extremely popular and have been used in a large number of commercial doors as well as domestic and residential locks too.
If you have a uPVC or composite door which has been installed within the last 15 years, and also operated in tandem with a multi-point locking system, the chances are your door could be at risk of lock snapping.
What can I do?
It's a relatively simple matter to protect against lock snapping; you just need a good locksmith to install the right kind of cylinder into your door.
There are a number of different standards which have been issued to help consumers identify which locks are sufficient to resist the dangers of lock snapping.
The Sold Secure Diamond Standard Anti Snap Lock Cylinder, known as SS312, is one way to ensure the lock can't be snapped by would-be burglars.
If you aren't using a lock which complies with SS312, equally as effective is any lock which bears the kitemark 3 star logo. This type of cylinder which meets the TS007 3 star standard is approved by the police as providing the maximum level of security and is resistant to lock snapping.
Another alternative could be a one star TS007 kitemark cylinder combined with a 2 star TS007 kitemark for security hardware.
Never rely on word of mouth to prove that a lock is anti-snap, always make sure it bears one of the three marks listed above to be certain you are properly protected.
As local locksmiths we are very familiar with the dangers of lock snapping and will be able to help you choose a cylinder which provides the best security, as well as being able to fit it on your behalf. Contact us today for advice.