August 6, 2021 | HFerris | Blog

Lock Snapping and How to Prevent It

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silver handles on a upvc patio door

 

With uPVC and composite doors quickly becoming the most popular front doors in the UK, lock snapping is now on the rise. But what is lock snapping you might ask; and how could I prevent it from happening to me? Well not to worry, with our extensive expertise as some of the industry’s top experts we discuss what lock snapping is and how to prevent it.

 

What is Lock Snapping?

Lock snapping is a forced entry technique used by burglars to break into door that has a euro cylinder lock. A standard euro cylinder lock is weaker in centre and burglars exploit this to gain access to a home. To gain access, a burglar will snap off the outside component of a euro cylinder lock which gives them access to the inner workings of the lock, which they can then quickly unlock the door.

On a upvc door, there is a multi-point locking system which locks the door into the frame, this leaves people thinking that the doors are safe, however the locking points are controlled by the internal locking system in the cylinder, which is the weakest point. So by gaining access to this internal locking through lock snapping, an intruder has access to all of the security points on the door.

 

How Common is Lock Snapping?

Lock snapping is one of the most common forms of forced entry and occurs in about 27% of all burglaries. That is just under 1 in 3.

This technique to force entry is a popular choice for intruders as it gives them access to a property quickly and without too much noise that would alert other people. It can take only 2 minutes to snap a lock and gain access to a property.

 

How Can I Prevent Lock Snapping?

The most effective way to prevent lock snapping is to install anti snap locks. When a lock is snapped, it is done so that the internal mechanism is bared, allowing the intruder control to then open the lock. Anti-snap locks are designed to protect the inner mechanism so that even if the locks are snapped, your home says secured.

 

Anti-Snap Locks

Anti-snap locks are designed so that if someone were to try and snap the lock, the cylinder snaps at the designed snap line so that the internal mechanism stays protected. On a regular euro cylinder the lock would snap down to the internal mechanism, allowing access to the internal mechanism to open the door. However, on an anti-snap lock there are snap lines engraved onto the lock which will cause the lock to snap in a specific place when force is applied. These lines lie either side of the internal locking mechanism and when broken ensure that the internal locking is secured.

 

diagram of anti snap lock

 

How Do I Know If My Locks are Anti-Snap?

One way to know if you have anti-snap locks is to check for the British Standard Kitemark engraved into the face of the lock. Most of the time, if your lock carries the BS Kitemark then your locks will be anti-snap, however this is not always the case.

The best way to check if your locks are anti-snap is to remove the cylinder out of the door and look for the anti-snap lines. Unless you have Locksmith or equivalent training, we would advise against taking out the lock yourself, so we would suggest that you call out a Locksmith who will be able to tell you if your locks are anti-snap, and if there not can replace them for you.

 

What Are the Best Anti Snap Locks?

The best anti snap locks that are currently on the market in 2021 is one that is SS312 Diamond Standard approved. Not all locks are the same, some hold better security than others and have better features to secure your home, but the most important thing to consider when upgrading to higher security locks is what level of protection they offer.

 

The Best Anti-Snap Locks for 2021.

Here are our top expert picks for 2021.

 

SS312 Diamond Approved Standard Cylinder

The Sold Secure SS312 Diamond Standard approval ensures that your home has high quality protection against intruders and was the first test standard developed to counter against lock snapping.  As of 2021, it is deemed to be the highest level of approved cylinders with their list of approval holding 20 different cylinders.

 

Locks with SS312 Diamond Approved Status

Lock Manufacturer Name of Cylinder
ABUSX60
APECSAP Cylinder
AvocetABS Attack Series (ATK)
AvocetABS MK3-A
AvocetABS Master Cylinder
BrisantUltion &Ultion WXM
ERAFortress
M&CM&C – Condor 3232,K3232, PK3232
Mul-T-LockBreaksure 3DS
Security HardwareSchlosser Technik Cylinder
UAPKinetica 3 Star
YaleYale Platinum Cylinder

 

TS007 3 Star Euro Lock Cylinder

Another rating that holds a higher level of security is the TS007. The TS007 has 3 different security levels which are measured by stars.

 

1 Star

For lock cylinders with basic approval but aren’t tested against snapping.

2 Stars

For handles and other door furniture like security escutcheons.

3 Stars

For lock cylinders that have been tested to resist snapping.

 

In this rating, the minimum star count needed for protection again lock snapping is 3 stars, which is why we recommend a TS007 3 Star Euro Cylinder. This cylinder can be further paired with 2 Star door furniture to give an overall rating of 5 Stars.

 

Identifying TS007

You can identify what rating a cylinder or door furniture holds by looking for the kitemark and the star rating. On the lock you should be able to identify the star rating on the top with the British Standard kitemark on the bottom (see diagram below).

 

Ts007 identification

 

TS007 1 Star Kitemarked Cylinder with a 2 Star Kitemarked Door

Another option is to combine a cylinder of a lower security and pair it with a higher security handle. For example, within TS007 we suggest no lower security than 3 stars, but this don’t not have to be from a 3 star cylinder. You can pair a TS007 1 Star cylinder with a 2 star handle to gain a combined 3 star protection.

Although a 1 star cylinder is not anti-snap, when combined with a 2 star handle the overall combination hold anti-snap protection.

 

What’s the Difference Between a TS007 3 Star Cylinder and SS312 Diamond?

The main difference between the two different cylinder ratings, TS007 3 star and SS312 Diamond, is the intensity of the tests carried out on them.

SS312 Diamond uses a heavier and more varied tool kit to test the durance of the lock and general industry consensus is that SS312 Diamond is a more difficult test standard for locks to pass.

 

How Much Do Anti Snap Locks Cost?

The cost of an anti-snap lock is on average £50, but can be higher or lower depending on size, make and model. Anti-snap locks are more expensive than general locks due to their higher security, so don’t expect to pay the same amount.