How To Use Your Lock Snib To Avoid Getting Locked Out

yale lock with snib

People getting locked out because they have left the snib on is a common problem I come across regularly in my job as a out of hours emergency locksmith in North London. It is very annoying if this happens to you.

If you need general front door security tips from a locksmith read this post. If you do you need a locksmith specialising in door lock repair and maintenance services call us. If you are concerned about being locked out because you have left your snib on read on…

Locked Out Because The Snib is Dropped – A Common Problem

We are certified London Locksmiths and this is a lock out problem we see quite regularly. At least once a week we will receive a call where someone is locked out of their property because their key will not open their lock. A lot of the time it’s because the snib is on. Sometimes someone has pressed the button in and forgotten and then left the property or in other cases it may have been pressed by mistake.

What is a Lock Snib?

The snib is the little round button on a night latch (Yale lock). People talk about leaving the door on the snib. The official description for a snib can be found here.


The snib is normally used to leave a door open (‘on the latch’) and on some night latch locks the snib can be used to deadlock the door at night time to prevent anyone ‘slipping’ the lock with plastic.

How to Correctly Use Your Lock Snib

We advise not to use the snib at night time unless it is the only lock that is on your door.

Ideally use one of the following;

  • Mortice Deadlock
  • Thumb Turn Lock
  • Tower bolt

It is very common that problems do occur with the budget variety of rim night latches with age.

What to Do When Your Locked Out Because Your Snib Is On

With this type of scenario there are limits to the number of ways to open a lock. It is possible you may need a locksmith to change home locks and on many occasions the lock has to be drilled and destroyed.

Ensure you call an MLA approved locksmith to achieve the best possible outcome.

You can read about the implications of fitting a new lock here.

The Solution to Avoid Getting Locked Out Because the Snib Has Dropped

If you have been locked out and had to have your lock destroyed to access your property you will need a replacement lock. Obviously you won’t want this to happen to you again! There are options for future proofing against this annoying lock problem.

We would recommend using an auto deadlocking night latch lock as a replacement as this will offer both security and the ability to snib a door open without fear of getting locked out! With an auto deadlocking night latch you will always be able to open the lock from the outside if you have a key.

auto deadlocking nightlatch

How Much Does an Automatic Deadlocking Night latch Cost?

An auto deadlocking Night latch door lock can cost from as little as £50.00 and are well worth the investment from a convenience and a security point of view. Here you can read our advice on the best locks.

An MLA approved experienced locksmith will be able to recommend a number of auto deadlocking nightlatch options from basic models to higher security ones. Not all auto deadlocking night latches comply with BS3621 (British Standard Insurance approved locks) but there are some on the market.

In this post you can read more about night time security advice.

If you are based in the London area and require advice on security call us now for a free no obligation quote.

How can we help you?

For professional security advice and information call to speak directly to Martin, our Master Locksmith and security specialist.


Master Locksmiths Association

Master Locksmiths Association



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