It’s been a while since I delved into the world of locks!

The problem of lock snapping first appeared in early 2005 in the West Yorkshire area. Not something anyone from the county will be that proud of. Since then, it has become a nationwide problem that puts 25 million homes in the UK at risk. Luckily since 2005, there have been a few advancements in the field of Europrofile cylinders.

Still a big threat

Since 2005 lock manufacturers have been racing to make the best and most advanced cylinder to combat lock snapping and all the other methods of cylinder attack that burglars will try. In terms of cylinder technology, it’s probably driven it forward faster than in any other period since the product existed.

So in what way is it a big threat? Well, most of the doors fitted since mid 2005 should have been installed with some form of high security door cylinder. But in terms of a percentage of total doors in the UK, that’s probably going to be a small number. No, the threat lies with the population of doors older than a decade. Anything pre-2005 will most likely be fitted with a standard Europrofile cylinder susceptible to attack.

That’s millions of doors to millions of homes vulnerable to one of the simplest forms of attack. In fact it’s so simple, the idea of breaking glass, door panels or forcing open frames seems a bit old hat to burglars now.

Despite this problem, there does lie an opportunity.

Homeowners, installers and locksmiths

Because of this problem, there is a huge retrofit market for installers. Think about all the thousands of customers with doors that have been installed over the years. There lies an untapped market ideal for replacing thousands of insecure cylinders with secure ones. Homeowners benefit from better security and peace of mind, installers benefit from the extra sales it would bring in.

We have done it ourselves in the past. In fact not long after the problem of lock snapping was discovered we contacted our whole client base to explain the new problem and how serious it was and that there was a new type of cylinder on the market which could combat it. Lots took us up on it.

The same goes for locksmiths. Although perhaps not quite as large as window and door installers, they too will have an existing client base to tap into. Also, any new locks fitted during repairs, upgrades or call outs should of course be the new breed of high security cylinder. I can’t imagine any scenario where fitting a £3 cylinder which can be snapped in seconds is warranted.

Varying qualities

One thing we have found at our place in the ten years we have been fitting high security cylinders is that not every cylinder does what it claims it can.

Before we start using any particular type of cylinder, we always test them. We have our service engineer install the cylinder into a dummy door, then let him at it. Sadly more often than not he got the cylinders to fail far too quickly, when they shouldn’t be failing at all. This is a concern as homeowners will be buying these cylinders thinking they will keep them secure, when in reality they’re not as reliable as they should be. For clarity we use either the ABS cylinder by Avocet or Magnum in our doors right now.

Either way, every new door installed in the UK should be installed with the very best in cylinder security. When lock snapping poses such a massive security threat to every home in the UK, there is no excuse for any installer to not be fitting high security cylinders as standard to their products.

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