Warning from your Friendly Watford Locksmith – Don’t Fall Victim to Lock Snapping this Autumn
There’s been lots of publicity about lock snapping over the last decade and yet in our role as trusted Watford locksmiths, we still get called out to such incidents.
We thought it would be a good idea to put the word out in to people living in the Watford area that if they’ve been in their homes for more than ten years and have UPVC doors, there are high chances that their homes aren’t protected from lock snapping.
What is lock snapping?
Lock snapping happens when burglars apply pressure to snap the cylinder of the lock and then gain access to a property using the broken mechanism. Homeowners usually think the fact these doors have multi-locking points make them safe but this is not the case. All these points are operated by the main cylinder so if that gets broken, they are rendered useless.
Lock snapping takes very little skill, no specialist tools and in just 5-10 seconds a thief can break in. It’s most commonly seen with UPVC doors because these are fitted with euro cylinder locks, the type which are prone to this break-in method. It also affects a significant number of composite and aluminium doors.
Lock snapping at its peak
Despite better knowledge about lock snapping within the locksmith industry and improved euro lock cylinders now on the market, there’s still a general lack of public awareness about what it is.
In the past many police forces have not recorded the means of entry precisely and so the method was largely unknown. But with easy access to information via the internet the lock snapping method became more widespread. In 2011 there was a peak, when 15% of break-ins nationally were as a result of lock snapping. Since then we’ve seen a steady decrease and as of mid-2019, the number of burglaries caused by lock snapping stood at 8%
While the reduction is a good thing, those of us in the locksmith trade know this is far from over. The Abbey Locks team is continually surprised that people are still getting their homes broken into through the practice. Plus, we regularly speak to other locksmiths in the North London network and know they also encounter these calls. We reckon overall there are around 50 calls outs to lock snapped doors in the Watford and North London area each month.
New anti-lock snap products
This fall in the number of lock snap burglaries can in large part be explained by the introduction of SS312 Diamond approved cylinders which are specifically designed and tested and protect against lock snapping. In 2013, another lock standard, the TS 007 was also developed to guard against the practice. The TS 007 was designed by the DHF (Door & Hardware Federation) and the GGF (Glass & Glazing Federation).
Awareness is the key for Watford residents
Despite improvements in the products, so many locks in UPVC doors have not been changed in years and therefore are not snap resistant. There remains a widespread lack of awareness and many insurance companies do not require locks to be snap proof to cover a property. Experiencing a house break in is traumatic. Home is the place you should feel safest and that’s especially the case in 2020 with a pandemic and uncertain times ahead.
We’re calling on local residents to review their house locking systems if they have UPVC, composite or aluminium doors. Abbey Locks are professional Watford locksmiths and members of the Master Locksmith Association. We can advise on whether your existing lock is anti-snap and if it’s not, we can fit the best standard of euro-cylinder lock that will ensure you are protected.
In the meantime, if you’ve been unlucky enough to have fallen victim to lock snapping thieves in the Watford area, we will repair the damage and ensure the security of your home. Abbey Locks can also advise on other measures homeowners can take to lessen the risk of a repeat burglary as well as how to improve door and window locks elsewhere in your property.
Abbey Locks top 5 lock snapping tips
- Make sure your euro profile cylinders will protect your door by changing them to those with an anti-snap lock.
- Make sure the lock is fitted correctly – a good Watford locksmith can do this. If it’s not fitted in the right way, it will be prone to snapping.
- There are different sizes of euro locks – cylinders are available in various sizes, so fitting the correct size is important.
- Check your lock has the 3-Star Kitemark Logo – If your lock has the 3-Star Kitemark Logo on it, this indicates the lock is tested against lock snapping.
- Call a professional locksmith in Watford who can advise on installation for front and back doors.
Don’t let the lock snappers make a bad year worse. Call our trusted Watford locksmith service for support and advice on 01923 537 999. We’re here to help.