The advantages and security of upvc doors are obvious and are installed on millions of properties throughout the country. The sense of security we get when we lift the handle up to lock and all those multiple locking points come into play. We feel secure. But just how secure are they really?
Every locksmith will tell you that the weakest point of every upvc door is the cylinder. The locking mechanism can throw out a hundred locking points such as hooks and deadbolts, but if the cylinder gets compromised then the handle goes down and the door opens. These upvc doors have been around for a few decades now and many still have the same original euro cylinders fitted. Many home owners pay little attention to security especially if they have never been broken into before. Criminals however are always looking for ways to defeat locks and break into properties quickly. And so lock snapping is on the rise as a preferred method of entry. The most basic of tools are required and is a fairly quiet method of gaining entry. Here is a picture of a burglary we saw yesterday where such a method was used…
As you can see the burglar destroyed the handle and cylinder in order to remove it and access the internals of the locking mechanism to unlock the door. The burglar then moved through the conservatory and onto the upvc sliding door. If you think they are more secure think again…
Full entry gained to house in probably less than 5 minutes.
So what can the home owner do to prevent this? Well the answer is simple. There are higher standards these days for cylinders which mean they can be tested against many forms of attack, such as drilling, snapping, plug pulling and simple lock picking. Most euro cylinders on most homes are standard 5 or 6 pin cylinders not meeting any specific testing criteria (mainly because these tests came out many years after their original installation). More recent cylinders have appeared which carry the British Standard BS kitemark logo. And now they also carry a ‘star’ rating.
In general terms there are three ‘classes’ of euro cylinders. The countless thousands fitted to thousands of doors, some 10 or 20+ years old which carry no specific standard, or a basic level one. Then there are the more recent, more tested, more secure ones. Ones which carry the BS kitemark logo and also show a single star, or the higher class of 3 stars. Guess which is the best, most secure version!
When choosing a cylinder why compromise just to save a few quid? Think how much more you could lose to a burglar. When choosing to replace your cylinders there are two main criteria to look for:-
The SS312 rated locks are the highest possible standard you can currently get and these locks have been tested using all known burglar techniques, also employing the very tools the burglars use.
The TS007:2012 3 star cylinder is also a very high rating one and has passed anti snapping tests.
Be aware that there are kitemark TS007 cylinders with only 1 star on them. This doesn’t mean they are poor locks, but just that they have not necessarily been tested for their anti-snap capability. So what brands carry the top SS312 rating? Here are a few to look for…
- ABS Mk3
- ERA Fortress
- UAP Kinetica 3 Star
- Avocet ATK
- Ultion (Brisant)
Many brands offer the TS007 3 star and are also very good…
- Asec Kite
and many others.
In truth there is no real point in fitting a 1 star euro cylinder when for a few pounds extra you can get a 3 star one and have that important peace of mind. Cost wise each 3 star cylinder is around £45 but surely that is worth spending when it comes to protecting your home, valuables and family. Increase your security and reduce risk.
Ask Linacre Locksmiths for advice and recommendations, and we can order and fit them for you.