Lock Snapping

What is Lock Snapping? Anti-Snap Locks

Ever heard of the term lock snapping? Maybe you’ve unfortunately had your lock snapped by a burglar and therefore they were able to gain access to your precious home? Take a look at our blog to discover exactly what lock snapping is and how you can prevent it!

What is Lock Snapping?

Lock snapping is the term used when an intruder snaps the door lock in two by using brute force. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence as it requires no skill and often regular things around the home are used to assist this burglar technique allowing access into someone’s home within seconds. Once the intruder has managed to apply enough force to remove the outside of the lock it leaves the mechanism exposed allowing the lock to be tampered with and unlocked.

What Doors are Susceptible to Lock Snapping?

uPVC doors and windows are the most at risk to lock snapping as they more often than not have a euro cylinder lock type. As the most common door type in the UK this leaves approximately 22 million homes at risk to lock snapping techniques which just take around 13 seconds to snap.

 

How to Prevent Lock Snapping

The best way to prevent your locks from being snapped is to upgrade your locks to an anti-snap lock. To upgrade to an anti-snap lock call one of local Locksmiths today on 0808 164 2928 or visit our page to Find a Locksmith near you!

There are many things you can do to help prevent your home being a potential target; we’ve found lots of good home security advice through Keytek® who have a full Home Security Guide (click to see more).

 

What is the Best Anti-Snap Lock?

The only anti-snap lock that has a TS007 3 Star rating, SS312 Sold Secure Diamond Accredited and Secured by Design Accredidation is the ABS High Security Euro Cylinder. So, the ABS High Security Euro Cylinder is the best anti-snap lock currently available on the market.

Our Locksmiths are able to fit this lock for you anytime you like as they carry a fully stocked van to all jobs including this part.

 

How do I know if I have an Anti-Snap Lock?

An anti-snap lock will either have a 3 Star Kitemark or a Sold Secure Diamond located on the lock. if you’re unsure, one of our local Locksmiths will be able to help you.

 

What Should I do if my Lock has been snapped?

If you find that your lock has been snapped or tampered with you should immediately call the police and try not to touch around the lock area as the police will hopefully be able to gather some evidence. Once the police have visited you should then call a Locksmith to come and change your locks to ensure your home security is as secure as it can be.

 

The NGCL

Here at the National Guild of Certified Locksmiths we believe it is our duty of care to ensure all of our customer’s homes are as secure as they can be. To upgrade your locks to anti-snap locks call one of our friendly team members today on 0808 164 2928 or request a call back online here.

Best Locks Money Can Buy

There are thousands of locks on the market, some standard security, some high security and some manual and others electronic. Here at the NGCL we have been looking into the best locks around and found the few below to meet our high standards!

 

Schlage Encode

The Schlage Encode is a smart deadbolt; you can connect to it from anywhere meaning you have total control. One benefit of getting an Encode is that you don’t need to buy a separate hub or bridge to lock it from your phone; it will just connect to your home Wi-Fi. You can specify who has access and you can add up to 100 recurring and temporary lock codes that you can change anytime you like. You can also send virtual keys to any guests via email or text. It’s relatively easy to fit and has a low battery indicator, so you know when it needs changing. There have been some reports that the battery life isn’t great, so you’ll have to change the batteries every couple of months.

By using the free Schlage app you can receive notifications when someone enters the house, you can give every member of the house a personal code. This means you will know when your children enter the house. You can also lock the door from anywhere, so even if you are sat at work and notice someone has left the door open you can lock it there and then.

 

Mul-T-Lock ENTR

Mul-T-Lock have separated themselves from other smart locks on the market by adding the fingerprint access option. The fingerprint wall reader allows you to save up to 20 different fingerprints, meaning you can allow your parents, a dog walker or babysitter to enter your house without the need for a key. You’ll never forget your fingerprint like you could a key or, as can happen these days with smart locks, run out of battery on your phone and be locked out!

Of course like all the smart locks on the market, it offers you control of your lock with a smartphone app. The Mul-T-Lock app works with Bluetooth, so you don’t have to be worried about having no Wi-Fi or phone signal. You can have 20 virtual keys and these can be easily changed or deleted from the app. So you never have to worry that someone unsavoury may have your key.

You can also choose to have a touchpad wall reader; this means that every member of your family can have their own code to enter the house. Again, these can easily be changed or revoked if you feel your security is threatened, or someone may have told people the codes. You can even request to have remote control of your lock; this was made for people with limited mobility in mind. Think of a car key, it’s like that but for your door!

 

Medeco Locks

Medeco Locks are the only non-smart locks on our list. It is a fact that smart locks are considered safer than manual locks; however Medeco locks are used in the White House. Any lock that is used to keep the president safe is worth being on this list. They offer deadbolt, rim and mortice cylinders, key cabinets, key in knob and key in lever cylinders, padlocks, cam locks and many more security solutions.

They are fairly pricey considering they aren’t smart locks, but the company is incredibly reputable and the locks have a reputation of being the best there is.

 

Yale Assure Lock SL

Yale boasts that this is the ‘slimmest’ electronic lock around, so if you’re looking for something stylish, this might be your best bet. The Assure Lock is a touchscreen deadbolt which allows you to have keyless entry. You won’t have to search around your bag for your keys or phone, simply put in the 4-8 digit code and you’re in and to lock the door you just have to tap the keypad.

This particular model won’t connect to your Wi-Fi or give you access with an app, you’d have to upgrade for that, you can connect it to a smart device, but it’s more complicated than the others. But you can program in up to 250 codes, which is way more than most other smart locks.

The Most Expensive Home Door Locks On the Planet

Schlage Encode Smart Wifi Deadbolt

Best Smart Locks of 2022

The NGCL Guide to Locks

When it comes to locks there are so many different styles and variations on the market that it can be hard to identify which is which and what the best one is for you. Whether you are looking for a front door, back door or even bathroom lock it’s always best practise to make sure you are getting a lock that is effective and right for you. This guide sets out which lock type is which, along with features and their individual advantages.

What is a Mortice Lock?

Mortice locks are commonly used on wooden doors, with a key being required to operate. This type of lock sits flush within the door and the construction allows for it to be easily taken apart and service should there be a need. This lock can often be found at waist height on a door.

 

Advantages of Mortice Locks

Security: As they are fitted to the door themselves they are harder to be forced open than their cylindrical counter parts. This means that with more force needed to open the lock you could be less of a target to any potential ill-wishers.

Adaptability: Another benefit of mortice locks is that they come in a variety of different sizes, meaning that they can easily be fitted to larger or smaller doors.

 

What is a Night Latch?

Referred to more commonly as ‘Yale Locks’, this type of lock is often a secondary lock to accompany a mortice lock on a wooden door. The mechanism inside the lock allows for automatic locking when the door is closed. A feature of this lock is that it is operated externally by a key and internally by a snib or lever that can also be used to deadlock the mechanism in either the locked or unlock position. This lock can often be found at shoulder height on a door.

 

Types of Nightlatches

Standard Night Latch

Standard Night Latches are operated externally by a key and internally by a small handle which is pulled down to operate the door.

Advantages of Nightlatches

Security: The lever mechanism automatically locks the door when it is shut, ensure that unless the latch is holding the lock in the open position the door is always locked when closed.

Deadlocking: When the door is closed the mechanism is automatically locked, however using the latch you can ‘deadlock’ the mechanism in the locked position immobilising the keyway of the external side of the door. This is an extra security measure that is useful when wanting another layer of security.

 

What is a Rim Cylinder?

A rim cylinder is a pin and tumbler type lock that utilises a variety of pins in different lengths to secure the door in partnership with a key that can match the pin set up and thus opening the lock. The rim cylinder is commonly used as the external operating system of the Night Latch.

Advantages of a Rim Cylinder

Easy replacement: If you should need to change your lock a rim cylinder can easily be replaced without the need to also replace the Night Latch. This will save you time, money and hassle if you need to replace your lock.

Variety:  Rim cylinders come in different finishes to ensure that you can match it with other door hardware for a more cohesive appearance.

 

What is a Multi-Point Locking System?

This system is most commonly used on uPVC doors where the mechanism deploys multiple locking mechanisms into the frame of the door working in conjunction with a cylinder lock. These mechanisms come with 3, 4 or 5 locking points that attach to the main body of the door immobilising the door. The levers are engaged when the handle is lifted with the door being fully secured when the cylinder is locked with a key.

Advantages of a Multi-Point Locking System

Easy replacement: Should you need to change the locking cylinder, this can be easily done with the need to replace the whole mechanism. However, replacing the whole mechanism can be a little more complex and pricey.

Security:  The added locking points connecting the door to the main frame means that it is harder to force the door open.

Ease: Only one cylinder is needed to secure and lock the entire mechanism and this can be key aligned to other cylinder locks meaning fewer keys are needed for one property.

 

What is a Euro Cylinder?

This cylinder utilises the pin and tumbler system to operate the door. These locks are often found in conjunction with a Multi-Point Locking system as the cylinder to operate the mechanism.

Advantages of a Euro Cylinder

Security: British Standard and Star Rated Cylinder models have a high level of security and are endurance tested.

Ease: The cylinder is separate to the locking mechanism so that you can change the without having to change the whole locking system.

Adaptability: Euro cylinders can be adapted to be key aligned so that multiple cylinders will work with the same key, euro cylinder keys can also be restricted meaning that only the owner can have a key cut and they can also be adapted to have a thumb turn internally instead of a key.

 

What is a Key in Knob Cylinder?

This type of cylinder is where the cylinder lock is situated within the handle rather than under or above it. These are mostly found on internal doors.

Advantages of a Key in Knob Cylinder

Price: A Key in Knob cylinder is the cheapest option for internal door security.

 

What is a Cam Lock?

A cam lock is a type of fastener that is used to secure furniture without affecting the outward appearance. They are often found on cabinets, draws and pieces of furniture, and can be used in both a commercial and domestic settings.

Advantages of a Cam Locks

Security: Allows valuables be secured whether at home or in the office.

Ease: Easy access to valuables whilst still having a level of security.

 

What is a Padlock?

Padlocks are smaller, portable locks that secure into place through an opening to prevent use. Padlocks most commonly utilise a cylinder or pin combination to open the lock but there are some high end models that use your fingerprint!

Advantages of Padlocks

Size: The variety of different sizes you can get for a padlock means that they can be used for multiple situations and are also portable, making security an object easier than ever.

Key-aligned: You can key-align a padlock, which means that you can use the same key for multiple padlocks.

Variety: You can get different variations of padlocks with different opening methods (Pin, key, combination, fingerprint etc) to suit your needs and security level required.

 

What is a Mechanical Digital Lock?

This type of lock is one that does not have a cylinder or keyway but instead is operated through a combination code that is entered into a numbered keypad to unlock.

Advantages of Mechanical Digital Locks

Easy Access: No keys are required for access, and codes can easily be changed at any time.

Security: They are self-locking and you don’t need to worry about losing keys.

Commercially Friendly: They are ideal for internal doors in offices that may need to be locked at all times or allow for selective entry to employees.

Pick Proof Locks – Are They Worth It?

We all want to know what we can do to minimize the risk of a burglary. An option that has emerged is the rise of pick proof locks, which promise resistance to lock picking and bumping. It can all be a bit confusing, so we’ve done all the research for you to make it easier for you to choose the best lock possible.

 

How could someone enter my home?

There are many different ways that an intruder could enter your home; through an open window, an unlocked door etc. However, there are 2 main techniques that are used to bypass a door lock. These are:

 

Lock Picking

This technique is often used by Locksmiths to help give homeowners access to their home in many different circumstances. So what is lock picking? Effectively it is when the lock is manipulated with a tool that mimics the same position the key would be in when it is inserted. It can be a very fiddly practise which can be risky for an intruder as the longer it takes, the bigger risk that they might get caught.

Essentially, every lock that has key cylinder is susceptible to lock picking. But the most common locks that you will find on domestic doors are a mortice and/or Yale (night latch) for a wooden door and a euro cylinder lock for a uPVC (plastic) door.

Lock Bumping

Key bumping is a technique for opening a pin tumbler lock, it has become a trend among burglaries as it requires very little effort and leaves very little trace of a break in. Typically a master key called a ‘bump key’ is used to manipulate the bins inside the lock cylinder; this is often used in tandem with a bump hammer, rubber mallet or screwdriver to force the key into the keyhole.

 

What locks are vulnerable to lock picking and bumping?

Lock picking can be done on most door locks that use a physical key such as a mortice, Yale and a euro cylinder lock. However, key bumping is mostly reserved for a pin tumbler lock which is also known as a euro cylinder lock that are found in uPVC doors. This type of lock contains of a series of spring loaded stacks, often referred to as pins that are made of two parts stacked vertically on top of each other. There are multiple sets of pairs throughout the lock, all differing in length, with a shear line forming at the junction of the two separate pins. This means that when the key is inserted it creates a level shear line across all the pairs, so that when the key is turned it turns the cylinder which separates the key and drive pin thus opening the lock.

 

What can I do to prevent someone picking my lock?

Unfortunately, 100% pick proof locks don’t exist unless you have a keyless lock. Pick proof locks are actually just more resistant to lock picking and bumping as they have an extra set of tumblers which then gives the key effectively two jobs to do. This gives the lock a better resistance to manipulation and so is then more resistant to lock bumping.

 

What are some types of pick resistant lock?

  1. Medeco lock

This type of lock has been designed so that the lock must be raised to a particular level and also turned in a specific direction to allow the key to turn. This means that to bump the lock, the bump key would need several thousand angle variations in order to open the lock. This variation of lock can be used on both wooden and uPVC doors as they provide both lever cylinders for uPVC and mortice locks for wooden doors.

For uPVC doors, find out more here

For wooden doors, find out more here

 

  1. Mul-T-Lock

This lock consists of a pin within a pin design, which makes creating a bump key for this extremely difficult due to the keys being specifically drilled to precise depths in order to engage the pins. It also contains a retaining bearing that prevents the lock from separating from the door frame and there are very few other high security locks that boast this feature. This specific type of lock can only be installed in an uPVC door as they are very similar in design to the euro cylinder lock that is the standard lock to be installed with that type of door. A bonus feature of this lock is that it also resistant to lock snapping, which a method of entry that intruders will often use on uPVC doors.

Check it out on Amazon

 

What are other options?

  1. Get a lock with an uncommon keyway

One way to discourage key bumping would be to have a lock with a keyway that an intruder is less likely to have a bumper key for. A keyway is the part of the lock cylinder where the key is inserted, and to bump a lock the bumper key to work it must be the same keyway as the cylinder lock. With an unusual keyway the chances of them having the key would be slim and if the key bumper was to take a photo of your lock with the intention to come back it has a higher risk of being noticed.

 

  1. Install a Keyless lock

In order to guarantee a bump and pick proof lock, it must be keyless. There are many options of keyless locks that range from deadbolts to smart locks; however, although they might a perfect solution to bumping they can come with challenges of their own.

 

Keyless Deadbolt

A keyless deadbolt such like the Schlage Touch Camelot Deadbolt Bump Proof lock is a perfect example of a more traditional lock which has abandoned the use of keys altogether. To open this lock all you need to do is enter your access code and your door becomes unlocked.

However, the issue is with this type of lock is that there is no back up should anything go wrong it would prove hard to rectify any issues.

Check it out on Amazon

 

Smart locks

When referring to smart locks, it’s a lock that is controlled by your phone, or another device like a fob and often do not have a key cylinder. Although the pricier option these locks are great as with no key cylinder it cannot be bumped, it also gives the option to program in multiple access codes or attach multiple devices for friends and family members. However, an issue to consider is that like all technology these locks can be hacked, and if you also have phones and security systems linked to the smart locks the whole bundle could be compromised.

 

No locks are truly pick proof, or ensure that an intruder cannot pass them, but you can take steps to improve the security of your current external doors. If you are concerned your current lock may be vulnerable, you might want to consult an experienced Locksmith.