Lock Snapping – Is Your Home at Risk?

Statistics show that in 72% of burglaries, the intruder will enter through a door. This could be because it was unlocked, or they had a spare key, or they have broken down the door itself. However, the most common method of entry via door is for the burglar to force the lock open (27% of cases), and one of the most popular methods of breaking locks is called ‘lock snapping’.

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Here the door handle has been bent and snapped to gain better access to the lock cylinder.

Lock snapping is so widely practiced because it involves no particular expertise, using common tools such as a hammer or mole grips to physically grab and snap the locking cylinder on a door. If the lock is protruding from the handle then this will provide very easy access for the burglar, otherwise it is common practice to use force to bend or rip the handle from the door gain a better grip on the cylinder.

The types of locks that are at risk from this form of burglary are called Euro Cylinders and are usually found in most uPVC doors. There are several different varieties of this lock: The Single Cylinder, which provides key access from one side only; The Double Cylinder, which provides key access from both sides; and The Double Cylinder with a Thumb-turn which has key access one side and a thumb-turn on the other. If you have any of the locks described here why not take two minutes to go and check if it sticks out from the handle, the further the cylinder protrudes the easier it is to snap the lock.

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Profile view of a Yale AS Platinum Series Euro Profile cylinder. Photo via Yale.co.uk

Because this is one of the most widely used methods of breaking and entering, lock manufactures have been working hard to create locks that will not be vulnerable. For example Yale have produced a lock, a ‘TS007 3 star Kitemarked Anti-Snap’ which they describe as a “security product to provide maximum security against known cylinder attack methods”. It’s impressive features include a breakaway section in its cylinder which will snap off “sacrificially” if attacked, and make it much harder for the intruder snap the remaining parts of the cylinder to gain entry. Combine this with its “hardened grip-deflectors”, which will make gripping the rest of the cylinder difficult, and a “hardened reinforced bar” which is designed to ‘flex’ under force instead of snapping, and this will hopefully leave most intruders with no choice but to give up.

If you’re worried about your locks, we can provide home security surveys as well as fitting anti-snap locks to your doors. Give us a call on 0800 0612 677 for a free, no obligation quote.