What is lock snapping and how can I prevent it?

How would you feel if you found out that burglars could break into your house through your front door in a matter of seconds? For the thousands of Brits across the country with Euro cylinder locks on their property, this is a reality.

An increasing number of burglars are learning about lock snapping – a technique which involves breaking the cylinder at its fixing point and adjusting the internal locking mechanism so the door opens. With basic DIY tools, this process can be completed in under 15 seconds.

All doors with Euro cylinder locks are vulnerable to lock snapping. These locks are usually found on UPVC doors, but some aluminium and wooden doors also use them. All homeowners with these locks on their doors would be advised by police to upgrade them as soon as possible.

Is lock snapping a new technique?

Locksmiths have known about this technique for years, but the information was only made public in 2006 following a spate of burglaries in West Yorkshire.

It was almost as if burglars were suddenly made aware about the vulnerability of the locks. Euro cylinders are held in place with just one screw; plus, there’s very little metal at the point where the lock and the screw fixing hole meet. That’s why it’s so easy to literally snap these locks in half.

Lock snapping incidents quickly started to increase. After all, it’s a much simpler technique than lock-picking. At one point, it was estimated that more than a quarter of burglaries in some areas utilised this technique. It was then that police issued a public warning urging Brits to replace their vulnerable Euro cylinder locks.

How can it be prevented?

Homeowners with Euro cylinder locks are still vulnerable if their locks don’t stick out past the face of your door handles. They are also still vulnerable if they have multiple locks on their door. The cylinder operates all of them, including deadlocks.

Thankfully, there are higher-quality locks which have been tested against this type of attack. Many lock suppliers market these as ‘anti-snap’ locks. It is arguably essential for the security of your home to ensure that you have anti-snap locks fitted to your front and back doors.

Those who aren’t sure whether their door is well protected are encouraged to contact their local crime reduction officer, who will be only too happy to advise them on a free of charge basis.

It’s not worth the risk..

Burglar alarms are a great security investment, as is security lighting, but the fact remains that it only takes burglars a couple of minutes to locate and make off your most valuable possessions once they gain entry into your home.

The best way to protect your home against a burglary is to ensure that they can’t waltz through your front door. It’s better to replace your locks now than being forced to call a locksmith after your home has been broken into.

With this in mind, perhaps it would be an idea to get on the phone to contact a lock supplier as soon as possible.

Author: George Mitchell