Preventing lock snapping and other common forms of attack

Lock snapping is an increasing problem as burglars have become aware of a vulnerability in the cylinders that are found in the majority of doors installed in the last 15 years. With no specialist tools or knowledge, they can gain access to your home in a matter of seconds.

What is lock snapping?

Lock snapping involves snapping the lock cylinder in two by applying force and removing the outside component of the cylinder. This then provides access to the lock mechanism, allowing the door to be unlocked. Thieves use very basic tools like hammers and screwdrivers to snap the cylinder. The most worrying thing is that it can take just seconds to gain access. The technique requires no experience or skill, merely brute force. There are many alarming videos that you can easily access online that graphically illustrate the shocking speed and ease of the technique that burglars are using. Unfortunately, they are also serving to spread the word far and wide that this vulnerability exists! Other security measures that are in place on your door such as dead-bolts are also rendered useless. Once the lock cylinder is snapped and removed from your door, the burglar can access the locking mechanism using a screwdriver or similar tools. The locking mechanism is bypassed, and your door will be unlocked to provide easy access. With the speed and ease of entry, it’s not hard to imagine even when you have an alarm fitted, thieves become bold enough to break-in to your home.

Other common forms of attack

Although the problem of lock snapping is on the rise, other types of attack are still widely used by criminals to gain access to your property.

Lock picking

This is the method of opening a door without a key. Simple tools are used to manipulate the inner workings of the lock in order to unlock it. In skilled hands basic locks can be opened in seconds.

Lock bumping

To bump a lock, a burglar inserts a specially cut key into the lock, and then gently ‘bumps’ it with a mallet or a screwdriver. This forces the pins in the lock to the shear line as the key turns and so the door opens. The ‘bump key’ required to accomplish this is simple to acquire and can even be ordered online. The technique requires no special skill, allowing thieves to access your home without any sign of forced entry.

Lock drilling

Sometimes a burglar may use a strong, High Speed Steel (HSS) drill bit to drill out the lock. This is a less subtle and destructive method that involves drilling on the Sheer Line to the depth of the key and then turning the Plug with a screw driver.

How do you know your doors are at risk?

Doors are commonly equipped with a standard cylinder with no added protection. Most people believe that having a multipoint lock is what makes your home secure. In reality, the cylinder is the central element of any door to protect against break-ins and burglaries. Meaning, if the cylinder is compromised in any way, deadbolts etc. are rendered ineffective. If the cylinders in your door are old, damaged or fitted poorly, you may be compromising the door’s security.

How to prevent lock snapping and other types of attack?

The fastest way to upgrade your door security is to replace the cylinder in your door. It’s easy and you can do it yourself without the assistance of a locksmith. When fitted correctly, quality modern cylinders are designed to counter all the methods of attack described above.

Anti-snap cylinders

This cylinder has a line cut into the cylinder body, known as a ‘sacrificial snap line’. When force is applied, the cylinder snaps at this ‘weak point’ but the actual mechanism stays intact.

Anti-drill cylinders

Anti-drill cylinders feature ceramic plates and hardened steel pins. With these levels of protection, it becomes virtually impossible to drill the lock without seriously heavy duty equipment.

Anti-bump & anti-pick cylinder

The more pins a lock has, the stronger the security. Cylinders can even feature specially designed pins that prevent even the most skilled burglars from picking or bumping the lock.

It’s time to upgrade your security

The number of lock snapping incidents is becoming increasingly frequent and there are a vast number of doors that are vulnerable to this type of attack. The good news is that the problem can easily be remedied by replacing your existing cylinder with a Yale Anti-Snap cylinder. Click here to discover more about maximum security Anti-Snap cylinders, high and standard security cylinders in our latest range. (insert link to page).

Yale’s products

Since 1843 Yale have been at the forefront of security solutions. We are trusted globally, providing locks of every design and function in over 125 countries. As one of the oldest international brands, Yale is among the best-known and most respected names in the lock industry, with millions of Yale locks in use worldwide. Designed to protect the things that matter most, you can trust Yale to deliver security and peace of mind.

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