Lock Snapping – what is it?

Lock snapping is a method used to break locks and gain access to property by exploiting a weakness in the lock cylinder itself. The lock in question is the ‘euro cylinder’ type, fitted to almost all UPVC doors and many other places (including commercial properties).

Burglars are using this technique as it requires no specialist tools or any training of any kind. The tools required can be purchased at any DIY store and would raise no suspicion whatsoever. With a minimum of research (made even easier with materials available online) or talking to others, any burglar can try their luck on your door. A cylinder/lock can be snapped in around 30 seconds and some have been snapped in as little as 13.

Many homeowners believe that the multipoint locking bolts on the door will keep their homes secure. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The locking mechanism is secured via the cylinder – once the cylinder is compromised, the burglar only has to manipulate it to disengage all the door bolts and use the handle to gain entry. Police statistics indicate that forced lock entries are a common method of entry in burglaries in England and Wales.

How can I prevent Lock Snapping?

Inspect your current locks – do they stick out past the handle? A lock protruding by even a few millimetres can be gripped and snapped, and is a security risk and should be tackled as soon as possible. Even though it is safer to have your locks sit flush within the handle, you are unfortunately still at risk. An attack against the handle can quickly expose the lock, which can then be broken in seconds.

Although it seems difficult to protect against, there are some measures you can take to prevent yourself from becoming a victim. Look for locks with the ‘Sold Secure’ logo. Sold Secure is a company which assesses locks against attacks and accredits those which pass its vigorous testing. Products which pass their testing may gain the ‘Sold Secure Approved Quality Mark’.

If you have the traditional euro cylinder lock you should consider replacing it with a Sold Secure Diamond Approved cylinder. It is important that the cylinder is tested by an approved testing house, so always looks for this to back up any claims from the lock manufacturer. As well as replacing your locks, you can also replace the handles to prevent access to the lock cylinder. In some cases, a burglar has torn the lock out of its housing by grabbing hold of a weak handle with a pair of grips and pulling it off.

The Mila Pro Secure handle is a good example of a handle which protects the lock cylinder and is resistant against a manual attack. The handle protects against four different types of attack:

  • Handle Snapping – a backplate reinforced with steel and chamfered helps to provide resistance against gripping and brute force.
  • Cylinder Snapping – A cylinder guard integrated within the handle encases the cylinder to protect it from attack.
  • Cylinder De-Plugging – An anti-plug disc within the backplate locates over the cylinder face to protect it from attack.
  • Cylinder Drilling – An anti-drill disc spins if it is attacked with a drill.

The handle has been tested to TS007:2012 and achieved BSI’s two star Kitemark accreditation.

For a full range of Sold Secure locks and their respective ratings, you can visit:
Sold Secure Locks

I’m not sure if my locks are secure

If you aren’t sure how secure your locks are, we can provide a home assessment and make recommendations. We can supply and fit the locks for your peace of mind. Please call us on 0208 886 6546 to make an appointment.

*Within 25 miles of our shop