Are Your Locks up to Scratch?

There are many novel ways in which intruders can gain access to your home. While locks have come on in leaps and bounds, criminals are still managing to stay up to date. By looking for a new set of locks with certain defensive qualities, you can help resist the most common methods of breaking in.

Snapping

There are many technical and intricate ways to beat a lock but the fastest growing method in the UK, however, is brute force. A standard euro cylinder lock, the type fitted into most modern multi point locking systems, can offer a great deal in convenience and usability, but has one fatal flaw.

The cylinder itself can be easily removed and replaced, ideal for when you need to change the locks, but this is what makes it vulnerable. They are fastened into place with a single bolt which sits underneath the mechanism, this creates a weak point which can be easily broken.

By striking the lock in the place, a thief can snap the lock in two, baring the mechanism that releases the bolt. This can be done in less than 10 seconds and is one of the fastest growing crimes. To avoid this, look for an anti-snap cylinder, this has some deliberate weak points incorporated into the design which allow it to break without exposing the mechanism.

Bumping

Yale type locks, which include cylinders, comprise a series of pins which the key lifts up to release the bolt. Lock bumping is the practice of inserting an adapted key into the lock and hitting it until it turns. The percussive action of the key makes the pins jump into position and can open the door in a matter of seconds.

To combat this, look for a lock with a ‘zero lift’ or ‘anti bump’ label.  These are designed with pins that either do not sit flush with each other, or do not move freely.

Picking

The classic way of beating a lock, picking is the act of using a fine implement to do the job of a key. The art of lock picking has evolved as locks have become more sophisticated, but current designs mean the current popular method is raking. By dragging a tool similar to a dentists probe over the pins, a burglar can line them up to release the bolt. This however, takes many years of practice to get right, making bumping a more popular option.

Drilling

This is the incredibly unsubtle act of using a drill the punch through the lock. While few locks can resist this for long, a top quality cylinder should hold out for at least 5 minutes. Enough time for a passer-by to interject.

In the UK, cylinders which are best equipped to withstand these assaults are branded with the Kitemark. While most secure composite doors are fitted with these as standard, older and cheaper models are still vulnerable. Criminals are always looking for new ways to get into our homes, by investing in the right locks you are helping to stay one step ahead.

Author Bio: Joe is a blogger for Force8 doors and windows who writes about property, home improvement, interior design and green living.

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