Most of us know the importance of providing a high quality cylinder with any new door purchase to a home owner. Doesn’t matter if it’s a £500 door or a £2000 door. There are enough options out there to provide at the very least anti-snap cylinders. Obviously the higher rated and more anti-everything the better.
That’s the retro-fit market. But what about areas like new build homes? What about new commercial buildings or offices? How much thought has been given to these areas?
£500k house, few quid cylinder
I am in the process of buying a new house at the moment. When I mean new, I mean new-build, so literally out of the ground brand new. Naturally, when we began this process we looked at a variety of builders at a variety of sites being built close to where we wanted to live. The houses were nice of course, show homes always are. There are varying qualities of builder out there. Some more budget, some higher end, some really higher end. We chose our builder and site and we’re looking forward to completing and moving in.
However, on every single site I said I would do one thing no matter what we bought and that is we would change the cylinders in the doors. Without fail every single one was fitted with a bog standard Europrofile door cylinder. With such a focus on security now with products like Ring, smart door locks, security lights etc, door cylinders to new-build homes is an area that has clearly been overlooked to me.
Consider it this way. Someone could be buying a £500,000 new home, or even more, and they’re getting a cylinder worth a couple of quid and could be snapped in a matter of seconds. Does that not sound ludicrous to you? For the sake of a few pounds more per house, builders could easily up the spec of their doors to include a high quality door cylinder as standard. It would hardly eat into their profit margins and would be yet another USP for their new customers to ponder over. All that money spent on a new home, just to be left vulnerable by one of the smallest yet most important components of their new house.
What it means is that these new-build estates are a burglars dream right now. They know the police don’t have the resources to go after them. They know that most doors on new homes are likely to be fitted with a cylinder that can fail. They could easily hit a number of houses very quickly in a single night. Unfortunately, I know that’s what has been happening as I was told some shocking figures from a friend of mine earlier on today which is what drove me to write this post.
Time to change the rules
Why is it that house builders can get away with putting cylinders in that can be bypassed by burglars? Because they can. We know that Doc Q was updated in 2015, but the reality is a lot of cylinders out there can still be attacked in various ways and be forced to fail. How do I know? Because we have tested a whole bunch of them at our place in a dummy door where we physically go at them and try to make them fail. The sad fact is that we’re able to bypass many far quicker than we should. So, even if a new-build house has a Kitemark on it which has allowed it to be installed in the door, that doesn’t actually mean it will keep a burglar out.
To that end, the rules need to be updated to reflect this reality and demand that only cylinders that achieve the highest ratings possible be fitted. If we’re going to build new homes for families, we might as well do it right from the outset.
And lets be honest, this won’t be a huge cost to the builders. They buy all their materials in bulk and can command big discounts from suppliers. So for them to go to the market and buy thousands of Sold Secure Diamond rates cylinders isn’t going to dent their margins.
But, rather than change the rules and force builders to do it, the better thing would be for builders to recognise the scale of the problem and act now to change their specifications. They won’t need to be educated as to the levels of burglary right now, it’s been very high both before and after Christmas and is unlikely to drop off any time soon. Would this not be a positive step both in terms of home quality as well as public reputation? Home owners wouldn’t have to go change their locks for the purposes of security if they can move into a home with the best cylinders already installed.
I know that when we move in we shall be upgrading the door cylinders. Though when we’re going to be paying what we are, it seems baffling as to why we have to.
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