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Facts You Should Know About Lock Snapping and How to Prevent It

One of the most common ways of breaking into homes is through the front door. Surprisingly, many people forget to lock their door or tend to leave their key under the doormat, which makes it extremely easy for burglars to get inside someone’s house.

Even if you lock your door and don’t leave any keys under the doormat, you may still be susceptible to lock snapping.

What Is Lock Snapping?

It’s one of the most common methods used by home invaders and it involves snapping the cylinder lock in two by applying a certain amount of force.

When the cylinder snaps, it exposes the lock mechanism and so the intruder can tamper with it and unlock the door within seconds.

This technique is commonly used by burglars because it does not require experience or skills, only mere brute force and a tool such as a hammer or a screwdriver.

lock snapping

Is Your Lock at Risk of Being Snapped?

The key locks which can be easily snapped are those which have a euro cylinder profile and extend beyond 3mm of the handle.

If you’re not quite sure what type of locks you have, you can use our guide to identify them.

Euro cylinders are commonly found in the majority of uPVC doors and they come in different sizes and profiles to suit various door sizes.

Among all the profiles available, the Euro profile is the one which is more vulnerable to lock snapping.

According to West Yorkshire Police, this technique is on the rise as it was used by a quarter of burglars during break-ins.

How to Prevent Lock Snapping and Protect Your Home

Lock manufacturers have developed anti-snap cylinders, so there are many options you can choose from today to upgrade your door lock.

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The anti-snap cylinders can have a ‘snap-off’ section integrated which will come off if a burglar was to try and snap the lock, making the cylinder shorter. As a result, it will be more difficult for the intruder to gain entry.

Here are our recommendations when it comes to upgrading your lock:

  • Choose a cylinder lock which has a 3-star rating under TS007 and/or the Sold Secure Diamond Standard (SS312). These two are nationally recognised standards for cylinders. According to West Yorkshire Police, you can also achieve the 3-star rating by combining a 1-star cylinder with a 2-star handle. Euro cylinders can be rated from one to three stars. This star rating system defines a lock’s level of protection.
  • The cylinder lock needs to be measured properly to ensure it is the right size for your door. It should never be fitted so the lock is protruding from the door or handle.
  • Consider upgrading your door handle as well by one that has a 2-star rating under TS007.
  • Hire a professional locksmith when installing the new door lock. By doing this yourself, you risk not installing it properly, which will make it easy for intruders to tamper with the lock.

Protect Your Home Against Lock Snapping

Even though lock snapping is one of the most common methods used by burglars to break into houses, now it’s easier than ever to keep your home and family safe.

Our locksmiths can repair or replace broken, old or failing locks including anti-snap locks, mortice locks, Euro Cylinders, combination locks and more.

If you don’t have an anti-snap lock yet, then feel free to give us a call at 0800 0612 677 for a free, no-obligation quote.

Top Reasons Why Homeowners Need to Invest in an Alarm System

As a homeowner, whether you’re spending time with your family at home or away on a holiday, the security of your residence remains a top concern.

If you’re the type of person who likes to take all precautions to fully protect their home, then you should consider buying an alarm system.

Here are the top reasons why it’s worth the investment.

1. Creates Piece of Mind

The best thing about getting a home alarm security system is the fact your home will be protected 24/7, which will make you more relaxed, especially when going on longer trips.

You won’t be counting only on your neighbours to watch your house while you’re gone.

At the same time, most of today’s alarm systems are connected to smartphones through their dedicated applications.

For example, the EasyFit SmartPhone Alarm from Yale will send you an email and a push notification (iOS only) if the system detects motion in your home.

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Moreover, when the PIR (passive infrared) sensors will detect movement in the rooms they are installed in, the PIR camera will take a photo of the room from that moment and send it to your phone.

A PIR sensor is an electronic sensor which measures the infrared radiation emitted by someone.

All of this means you’ll know right away if someone breached the security of your home so you can take immediate action.

2. Ward off Intruders

An extensive study showed the majority of intruders are first trying to determine if a house has an alarm system before they decide to break in.

Simply put, if your home doesn’t have a security system, it’s up to three times more likely to be broken into then a home which does have such a system.

It’s important you use a yard sign or a window sticker to alert potential intruders about the fact you have an alarm system. The signs should be visible from the street preferably, not just from the front door.

3. Lower Your Home Insurance Costs

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The cost of your home insurance will vary based on the coverage you choose, location, insurance company, the age of the home, insurance score and other factors.

Every policy is designed to cover losses or damages which may occur due to several types of events.

By installing an alarm system, you maximize the security of your home, which makes it less likely for someone to break into. As a result, there are smaller chances the insurance company will have to cover any losses which occur due to a burglary.

This means you will represent less of a risk to your insurer. Many insurance companies are willing to give discounts to homeowners who installed security systems, so we recommend contacting your insurer to find out how much you can save.

Improve Your Home Security with an Alarm System

You can’t put a price on your home and family’s safety, which is why investing in a high-quality alarm system is the best decision you can make to upgrade your home’s security.

If you need help figuring out which system would be fitted for your home, you can give us a call at 0800 0612 677 to ask more details and receive a free, no-obligation quote.

Simple Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Home Security This Spring

Home security should be a priority all year long.

However, spring is a particularly good time to start thinking about new projects meant to increase safety and give you additional peace of mind. In this article, you will find a few useful tips and ideas to inspire your efforts, so keep on reading.

Reinforce Windows and Doors

The exterior of the home tends to be somehow neglected during the colder season. When the snow melts and the weather starts to clear off, it’s essential to do a quick check-up of your exterior doors and windows and see if there is any damage, such as broken glass or wood decay.

Your doors and windows represent the first line of defence against a potential burglary, so any type of damages should be fixed. Don’t forget to check if the locks are in tip-top condition, as well. Our recommendation is to resort to a professional for this.

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Also, you can further bolster the main access points in your home by having the following installed:

  • Depending on your property and design choice, consider adding security grills or window bars. Security grills are an excellent solution to protect the glass in your doors, making it far more difficult for an intruder to break it. On the other hand, window bars are highly visual security measures which convey an impression of strong security meant to discourage burglars from targeting a property.
  • Deadbolts and bars – which can be used to increase the security of your household doors, gates, as well as shed and patio doors.
  • Window locks and handles.

Our trained locksmiths can help with the installation process, so all you have to worry about this spring is enjoying the rising temperatures and spending quality time with your loved ones.

Improve Home Security with Strategic Landscaping

When we think about spring, we think about nature coming alive, flowers blooming and everything turning green again. However, what many homeowners don’t think about is what potential nature has as an additional layer of security.

Here are a few tips to maximise your landscaping’s security capacity:

  • Plant thorny plants, such as a rose bush, in front of your home’s windows. It will make it more challenging for potential burglars to gain entry via this access point.
  • Use rigid plants for the front of your house to discourage any burglars from creeping into the perimeter of your property. Plants which are covered in prickles and spikes – such as firethorns are great for this purpose. 
  • Take advantage of the longer hours of sunlight and do a spring cleaning of your garden. See if there are any overgrown plants or tall hedges which make it hard to see out the windows. Also, consider trimming the trees which have branches burglars may climb to gain access to your home through the roof.

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Do a Spring Home Security Sweep

As you start preparing your house for the changing weather, make sure not to leave out those apparently trifling details which have to do with your home security. For instance:

  • If you have a security camera already installed, double check to see if the view isn’t blocked and that the sensors won’t be randomly triggered.
  • Check the batteries in all of your devices to assure they work.
  • Make sure all home security-related electronics are plugged in properly.
  • Replace any cords which look damaged.

We hope you found these tips to be useful and that you will consider applying some of them this spring to better protect your family and your belongings.

If you like to be the first to know whenever we post a new article about home security, then make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

How to Prevent Being Locked out of Your Home

There is not a single scenario in which getting locked out of your home is in any way remotely fun. If anything, it’s a source of frustration and stress.

However, know that lockouts are more common than you think. They happen to the best of us. Your hands are not entirely tied, though, and taking few preventive steps can go a long way when it comes to avoiding a home lockout. So let’s dive right in:

Get Duplicate Keys

One of the easiest ways to prepare for the eventuality of being locked out of your home is to have a couple of spare keys. Still, you would be surprised by how many people underestimate the value of duplicate keys.

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In addition to your family members, consider giving a spare key to a neighbour you fully trust or a relative who lives nearby. Another suggestion would be to keep a duplicate in a safe place at your office.

This will help save a lot of time and frustration in case you do get locked out, as you won’t have to ask for professional assistance.

These days, you can get spare keys at many hardware stores. Better yet, you can always resort to professional locksmithing key-cutting services.

Make Maintenance on the Locks a Priority

Like anything else, locks will wear down with time and continued use. So it’s essential to have your locks regularly inspected by a professional to ensure everything works as it should.

Although it is less frequent to get locked out due to a lock unexpectedly breaking, small issues can quickly turn into more significant problems. For instance, not lubricating your door locks frequently to help remove dirt and debris can potentially jam a lock.

It’s always better to be proactive and an experienced locksmith can advise you on how to take good care of your locks.

As an added benefit, regularly inspecting your locks will help you build a relationship with a trustworthy and qualified locksmith in your area.

This way, in case an emergency such as getting locked out occurs, you’ll already have a reliable local locksmith in your contact list to get in touch with for assistance. As a result, you won’t have to waste time trying to find a reputable locksmith on the spot.

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Consider Upgrading to Smart Locks

Smart locks eliminate the need for keys entirely, so you’ll never have to worry about forgetting your keys on the wrong side of the door ever again. Here are a few others notable benefits of going keyless:

  • With Yale’s smart lock security range, you can lock your doors with the tap of a button (via the dedicated Yale Security app, dedicated key fob or by typing in a unique code).
  • Set a temporary code to let friends, relatives or service providers in while you’re not home.

Locked out? An Emergency Solution

These preventive measures can help you avoid that unpleasant feeling which comes with standing outside of your door, with no way to get in and no one to blame but yourself.

However, if you ever find yourself in the situation of a lockout, there is no need to panic. Just contact us online or give us a call at 0800 0612 677 for 24/7 locksmith response.