Until the middle of the last decade, cylinder security was probably very low down on the list of priorities when it came to buying a new door, or revamping the security at home. It was just that thing you put a key into to unlock a door.

Then, somewhere in West Yorkshire, burglars decided to start snapping door cylinders. A type of locking well over a hundred years old, that had quietly gone about it’s job locking doors, was now quickly being unraveled by a bunch of scummy lowlifes making life misery for the occupants of the owners of the homes they were breaking into.

However it wasn’t long before lock makers knew of the growing problem and started to bring out new cylinders which aimed to combat lock snapping and other break-in methods.

A modern day gold rush

Out of adversity comes opportunity, or something like that, according to the saying. So although the growing lock snapping problem was becoming a problem for the whole country, rather than a localised area, there was a silver lining.

Lock makers were tripping over themselves to bring to market cylinders that could combat lock snapping and other break-in methods. The potential market was absolutely massive.

There was two main markets to hit. There was the retro-fit market. Lock snapping was becoming a very well known problem with home owners, and they were going to locksmiths and other companies selling cylinders looking to upgrade.

Then there was the new door market. Fabricators and installers were also looking to improve their offering, using high security door cylinders as a USP where their competitors were slow on the uptake themselves. At our place we were quick to offer high security door cylinders as standard and we really did reap the rewards. It took our competition a long time to catch up.

The end result was a jolted cylinder industry that was going through rapid growth due to consumer demand for a better product.

An estimated £100m industry

The high security door cylinders market is a difficult one to try and estimate the value of. There are varying degrees of security, and it’s debatable what one person would call a high security door cylinder and one that isn’t.

But if we remove the £3 non-secure garbage that really shouldn’t be being sold anymore anyway, I have been told by a friend who works in the industry that this is a £100m+ market now. That’s not an insignificant amount. Remember that the high security door cylinder market plays a vital role in the wider entrance door market and fenestration sector.

I don’t think that we’ve actually reached any sort of peak either. On my travels to home owners throughout the week I am still stunned by the number of doors that still have the old vulnerable cylinders fitted. There is still a massive retrofit market out there and if lock makers like Brisant and others could tap into that and take advantage of the easy business to be had, that £100m figure could be easily double, if not more.

A marketing dream

The best bet to try to grow the value of this sector is for lock makers to get themselves in front of home owners and explain to them the risks. The relatively cheap cost of new high security door cylinders is very much worth it for the sake of peace of mind and safe belongings.

There has to be a balance though. We don’t need to be scaring the living daylights out of home owners. Especially the elderly and vulnerable. The security message needs to get out there to home owners, but in a responsible, informative way. Not one that creates panic.

For marketing departments, this is a dream scenario. A product that is easy to sell, to a public that needs to buy the product. Could not be easier. It’s not like windows and doors, where in some cases it’s an aspirational purchase rather than a necessity.

So really, in a perverted way, we have to owe some thanks to the burglars who discovered the Europrofile cylinder weakness. Without their discovery, we wouldn’t have a new multi-million pound industry which has created many jobs, helped the economy, with the ultimate end result in it being now very difficult for burglars to gain entry to a home via the door cylinder!

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