Lock Snapping – Why Anti Snap Locks are a Must for UPVC Doors 

As emergency locksmiths providing a 24/7 door lock replacement service we see a lot of cases of UPVC lock snapping. It is usually as a result of the below standard UPVC locks and poor lock fitting.

What is lock snapping?

There are many terms for this burglary method responsible for 25% of burglaries. It can also be reffered to as;

  • Lock snapping
  • Euro snapping
  • Cylinder snapping

Lock snapping requires no skill and is probably the quickest and easiest way for a burglar to gain access. This is why is is such a common method of burglary.

snapped lock

Many people are unaware of the dangers of lock snapping and how to prevent it.

How Does Lock Snapping Work?

Lock snapping is when an intruder uses force to snap the front half of the lock off the door to reveal the internal lock mechanism. On many occasions a pair of mole grips or a hammer and a screwdriver are used. The lock can then be easily opened with something like a knife.

It’s a destructive way to open a lock which requires very little time or skill.

lock snapped

How Common is Lock Snapping?

Lock snapping is a relatively new burglary method. It has become increasingly popular with intruders across the UK over the last decade.

IKS are a North London based locksmith covering the Finchley area. Recently we have noticed a rise in incidences of lock snapping in the Finchley area. A large percentage of the burglaries in Finchley are as a result of lock snapping. It is most often because the wrong type of locks are on the door!

This BBC article suggests that cylinder lock snapping originated in Bradford in the last decade. It has steadily increased in popularity with intruders because it is quick and easy and the opportunities are plentiful.

Are UPVC doors easy to break into?

As a UPVC locksmith specialist I see first hand that UPVC doors are less secure. You can read about choosing the most secure door here. If you are choosing a new door I would recommend choosing a wooden door for security.

If you have a UPVC door it is vital to ask a professional locksmith to check your lock. You should have the latest high security anti snap euro cylinder lock.

We are increasingly seeing lock snapping as an issue across all London areas. It is a particular problem in areas where PVC doors are popular.

The increase in lock snapping coincides with the growing popularity of composite and UPVC doors. Intruders know that old style upvc door locks offer them easy access!

Many homeowners are unaware that they need to update their locks to the new anti snap cylinders.

3 star sold secure diamond anti snap locks

How do I Know if I Have Anti Snap Locks?

I see many substandard euro cylinders on a daily basis. The reason is a lack of awareness and knowledge about lock snapping issues.

Euro cylinder locks used in UPVC and double glazed doors are the lock type at risk of cylinder lock snapping. Basic euro locks are not up to the job of protecting your property.

In most cases the lock needs to be removed to check if it is anti snap. It is not usually something you can check from the external lock. If you can’t see 1 or 3 stars on the lock you need to call a locksmith.

If you have a UPVC door arrange a free security survey with a professional locksmith. A reliable locksmith will check your locks to make sure they are good quality anti snap locks. You can read here about choosing a reliable locksmith.

MLA approved locksmith and police CRB checked company

Can Burglars Break Anti Snap Locks?

Anti snap cylinders are made to prevent the ability to remove the front of the lock.

Anti snap locks can be snapped. However, there is a sacrificial point inside the lock. This means they can only be snapped to a point where the remaining lock is still intact. If snapped any further a locking pin is released which would prevent the cam being manipulated to open the door.

What is the Best Anti Snap Lock?

The best anti snap locks are 3 star rated, Diamond Sold Secure locks. Look out for the BSI 3 star logo.

3 star rated, Diamond Sold Secure locks

Good Anti Snap Lock Brands

yale locks

Anti snap lock brands to look out for are;

  • Era
  • Brisant
  • Avocet ABS
  • Yale

How Much Does an Anti Snap Lock Cost?

Anti-snap euro cylinders may cost about £20 more than the basic. You can expect to pay £50+ for a high quality 3 star, anti snap lock.

It is well worth the investment to secure your home and your belongings and prevent euro lock snapping.

You can read about the best locks for different doors here.

UPVC Lock Installation

Correct anti snap lock installation is as important as the lock used. Make sure the locksmith you choose knows how to fit an anti snap lock correctly. A poorly fitted anti snap cylinder will not be secure.

An approved Master Locksmith will be up to date with the latest industry developments and installation methods. I often repair work carried out by unqualified locksmiths. Choosing the wrong fitter could end up costing you more. You can read about choosing a cheap locksmith here.

It is not advisable to fit your own anti snap lock or to have a builder fit the lock. You can read about builders fitting locks here.

The image below is an example of an incorrectly fitted lock. The cylinder should not protrude more than 3mm to prevent lock snapping.

incorrectly fitted lock
An Incorrectly Installed Cylinder

Check out this article about lock snapping by the Master Locksmith Association which shows images of;

  • An incorrectly fitted euro cylinder
  • A correctly fitted euro cylinder
  • How a correctly fitted anti snap euro cylinder can prevent access
  • Recommended locks

It is important that the job is done precisely. Having your lock fitted correctly will protect your property and ensure that your insurance policy is valid. This article explains the importance of insurance approved locks.

Lock Snapping Prevention Summary

  1. If you have a PVC door arrange a free security survey with your local MLA approved locksmith http://www.locksmiths.co.uk/
  2. Invest in a good quality anti-snap euro cylinder lock.
  3. Choose an experienced locksmith to fit the lock correctly.

For further information on how to protect your home from intruders read our Ultimate Burglary Prevention Guide.

If you need lock installation in London or Hertfordshire call us.

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Master Locksmiths Association

Master Locksmiths Association



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  • IKS Locksmiths Ltd
    Unit E2,
    Queens Rd,
    Barnet EN5 4DJ
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    IKS Locksmiths Ltd
    44 Greenway
    North London
    N20 8ED
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