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Lock Snapping – Everything you need to know

AS Locksmiths Worcester Blog

Lock Snapping is a technique used by many burglars to gain entry to a property. It is very easy to perform and a thief will have access to your property and possessions in a matter of seconds.

It may also be referred to as cylinder snapping.

Lock snapping involves using fairly common tools and a certain amount of force to snap the lock cylinder in two to expose the lock mechanism. Once the lock mechanism is exposed it can be further manipulated using simple, everyday household tools to unlock the door.

The good news is that not all locks are susceptible to lock snapping. There are now anti-snap locks available and they are affordable, easy to fit and can also be retro-fitted to an existing door.

Statistics show that the majority of break-ins are through the front door and a large percentage of these are achieved using the lock snapping technique. If your locks are not anti-snap then you are making your property an easy target for burglars.
Lock Snapping - Everything you need to know
Generally, the type of locks that are vulnerable to lock snapping are euro cylinder locks and these are usually fitted to UPVC doors though they can also be fitted to composite doors, wooden doors and even aluminum doors. Remember to consider all of your doors and points of entry when risk assessing your property. Fitting anti-snap locks to the front door is well and good but you also need to make sure the back door is snap-safe too. Also, crime is not limited to domestic properties, lock snapping and break-ins occur at commercial properties and businesses too.

There are many misconceptions about lock snapping and you may think that your current lock system is safe from lock snapping but it is always worth checking with a professional locksmith when you first acquire a property and this is a sensible time to consider changing the locks anyway.

If you haven’t moved house but you are having a new door fitted you should always clarify the security features of the locking system with your installer to ensure the lock mechanism for the new door is a good quality, approved anti-snap lock. Again, if you are unsure please take advice from a professional locksmith.

If your lock has a kitemark, unfortunately, this does not guarantee that it is anti-snap. Another common mistake is the assumption that a lock is snap safe providing the cylinder does not protrude beyond the door handle face. In most cases, the door handle will be ripped off first before the burglar begins to tackle the lock so the projection is irrelevant.

If your door has a multi-locking system this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s protected from lock snapping. All of the locking points are operated by the cylinder and if the cylinder is attacked and compromised then all of the locking points will fail.

Choose a snap-proof lock

Check your existing locks to see if they are snap-proof by making sure your lock is either a British Standard 3 star TS007 and BS Kitemark 3 Star cylinder or lookout for the 3 Star Kitemark Logo. A British Standard 3 star TS007 has the highest level of approval for euro cylinder locks and are therefore considered snap secure. A lock with the 3 Star Kitemark logo on it has been tested against lock snapping. Other locks may show the Kitemark but the 3 Stars indicate that the lock has been tested for lock snapping resistance. The other option is a 1 Star Kitemarked Cylinder combined with 2 Star Door Furniture by which we mean the door handle and cylinder guard. Always look for the Kitemark and Stars or confirm that a lock has SS312 Diamond Approval. Do not rely on the manufacturing simply stating that their lock system is snap resistant. Good quality products will have had their performance tested and approved by a reputable 3rd Party and if they have this approval the manufacturer will be proud and willing to provide you with proof of this.

Anti-Snap Locks we use:

  • High Security – Resists, picking, snapping, drilling and bumping
  • TS007: KM553031
  • Secured by Design – Police preferred specification
  • Diamond Grade – Lock Cylinders

Fit the correct size anti-snap lock cylinder

As well as choosing an approved anti-snap lock it’s vital that you choose the correct size lock cylinder. Anti-snap lock cylinders are available in different sizes and it is vital that you fit the right size. Even if you purchase an approved anti-snap lock if you fit the wrong size it will be ineffective and could actually be prone to lock snapping. Use an experienced locksmith. They will help you choose the right lock cylinder in the correct size.

Correctly fitted anti-snap locks

Get your new snap-resistant locks fitted correctly by a professional. A poorly fitted lock will not offer the protection you need against lock snapping.

Keep your locks well maintained

Monitor the performance of your door handles and locks and keep them well maintained. If over time your door lock or door handle becomes difficult to operate, even intermittently, it may need some attention or be a symptom of an imminent problem. If there is a fault with your door it may not be providing you the security you believe it is. If there appears to be a problem or something is not quite right, call in a locksmith. Better to be safe than sorry!

To summarise: Here are the steps you need to take to make your property safe from lock snapping.

1. Identify whether or not your current locks are snap-proof. It may be advisable to call a locksmith for help and advice.

2. Source good quality, approved snap-proof locks. We recommend an SS312 Diamond Approved Cylinder or a lock cylinder with the 3 Star Kitemark Logo. Also, consider the quality of the door furniture you choose.

3. Choose the correct size lock cylinder. Get help from your locksmith.

4. Get your snap-safe locks fitted correctly by a professional locksmith.

5. Keep your locks and security well maintained. If there’s a problem, get it fixed!