Tag Archives: Shrewsbury

Lock Snapping Fact or Hype?

LOCK SNAPPING, is it Fact or Hype?

We are aware that lock cylinder snapping has become an issue within the areas we cover over the last couple of months when it never used to be a real issue locally so we have reviewed this blog for anyone that may be concerned.

Please be assured that we never seek to scaremonger for the sake of making sales, this blog is intended to just present the facts to enable you to make better informed decisions.

There has been lots of media attention about lock snapping over recent months, is it fact or mere hype?  I have decided to try and set out the facts and give some advice to those who may be vulnerable.

Typical euro profile cylinder
Typical euro profile cylinder

 

This in the main applies to euro profile cylinders as shown.  These are usually found on UPVC and composite doors although can be used in mortice locks on timber doors.

 

SO WHAT IS THE ISSUE AND HOW VULNERABLE ARE YOU?

The original design of these cylinders means that most of them have an inherent weakness enabling the possibility of them being quickly snapped and pulled out of your door. This enables enables a burglar to open the door in very short time.  In my experience,  the vast majority of doors locally are fitted with the most basic types of cylinder which can be vulnerable.

In order to snap a cylinder, a potential burglar has to be able to grip the cylinder end with an implement or tool, so if your cylinder is protruding beyond a few millimeters,  it could be vulnerable,  the best fitted cylinder will always be flush (or within a couple of mm) with the external handle face plate.

If your cylinder is flush or as near as damn it to the face plate that is a good start and makes life a little more difficult for the potential burglar, however you are not out of the woods because many handle sets can be easily broken of the door, exposing your cylinder and making it easy to snap.

ANTI-SNAP CYLINDERS

We stock, a range of  anti-snap cylinders.  If anyone attempts to snap these cylinders they will snap at a sacrificial  point making unauthorised entry extremely difficult for anyone other than a trained locksmith.

When you return to the property with a key however, you will be still be able to open the door easily with your key.

HOW CAN YOU MAKE YOUR DOOR MORE SECURE

As I have highlighted there are two potential areas of weakness, the cylinder itself and the handle set.  I would always advise that to get the best advice you ought to consult your local locksmith as this is a developing area with many new products coming onto the market.

A good locksmith can also offer other services that you cannot achieve elsewhere for example if you are going to upgrade your lock cylinders anyway wouldn’t it be good to have just 1 key to fit all of your locks rather than a big bunch? If you are a landlord, bed and breakfast or other establishment that temporarily give out keys, you could have patented restricted profile cylinders and padlocks that prevent the person to whom you have issued a key from getting a copy cut meaning you have much better security control.

Fell free to visit our Safe and Secure 24/7 Website for more information and see what our customers say

 

Ten Simple Tips To Make your Shed or Outbuilding More Secure

Shed and Outbuilding burglary is a continuing to be a problem in the areas we cover on the whole, they tend to make easy targets and it needn’t cost the earth to make them more secure.

Below are ten simple tips to make your shed or outbuilding more secure. There are a couple of issues with sheds and outdoor buildings that many people may not realise; the total value of everything they contain is likely to be far higher than you might at first think and secondly, it is likely to contain many tools and implements that an opportunist burglar could use to enter your home.

1. Consider the approach to your shed or outbuilding, do you shut/lock access gates?

2. Preventing unwanted visitors entering your property is what you need to achieve, but nobody wants their home looking like a prison surrounded by high walls and barbed wire, and that is not necessary. Mother nature provides an environmentally friendly, attractive and particularly effective alternative – the prickly bush, these can be extremely effective when planted around perimeter areas. Don’t go for height particularly at the front as this could hide unwanted visitors on your property from sight. A high hedge can be great for an opportunist theft as they are confident of not being seen while they are up to no good.

3. There are many forms of driveway alert that sound in the house when someone enters your drive these start from as little as £30.

4. Consider motion sensitive outdoor lighting. During the hours of darkness lighting can not only be a comfort factor for the occupant, it is an excellent deterrent for would be opportunist burglars who clearly do not want to be seen. Be sure to fit them out of reach so they cannot be tampered with and if they are bright halogen lights, not pointing directly at neighbours houses so as to cause a nuisance.

5. Starting with the outside of each shed or building, ensure the walls are as secure as they can be, mend any holes that someone could crawl through or make bigger etc.

6. Install the best security locking devices possible, ensure that padlocks and fittings are sturdy and function properly, and if an outbuilding leads directly into your home make sure that the connecting door is especially secure. Replace and properly secure any cracked windows, and consider adding wire mesh or grilles.

7. Secure any particularly valuable items with padlocks and chains to ground or wall anchors. If you use high quality security it would necessitate a thief having to use a noisy angle grinder rather than relatively silent bolt croppers.

8. Consider locking other smaller valuable tools items such as chainsaws etc to the same ground or wall anchors at least locking lots of items together to make them very difficult to move.

9. Consider CCTV or if that is beyond your budget, you could consider a high quality dummy CCTV camera.

10. Consider an alarm, these can range from a simple shed alarm which sell for less than £10 through to a properly installed alarm system either as part of or separate to the house alarm.

 

Just in case the worst does happen despite your best efforts, check that you have sufficient insurance cover for your sheds and outbuildings and that tools and equipment of significant value is covered. Ensure you comply with your insurers minimum requirements, such as locking ATVs to ground anchors as otherwise your insurance may not pay out. Make a note of the serial numbers of valuable tools and equipment, Mark them in some way either with a property marketing solution or by putting your postcode in a way that cannot be easily removed. Always consider asking the advice of your local reputable locksmith who should be able to assist with general security advice as well as product specific advice and will offer an installation service should you require it.

Letterbox Burglary

LETTERBOX BURGLARY

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Letterbox burglary continues to be a problem in many parts of the UK.

If like most people you have a letterbox,  it could make you more vulnerable to burglary.  My advice would be if you can afford it, or when you replace the door,  loose the letterbox altogether and put an external mailbox on the wall outside.

Letterboxes firstly enable a potential burglar to look into your house and also listen to see if you are at home.  If you keep house or car keys anywhere near the door some burglars will use a rod to steal the keys to either gain entry to your house without damage or more likely just steal your car.

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If you have a UPVC  door or other type with multipoint locking, some  might allow a burglar to open the door simply by using an implement to pull the internal handle down or turn your thumb-turn cylinder.

 

You can prevent the handle being pulled down simply by pushing it up and locking with the key. It has been known for insurance companies to question whether a premises was properly secured when doors have been opened through the letterbox.

 

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So what can you do to make your letterbox more secure?

Luckily there are a few simple steps you can take, you could fit a security cowl to make it harder for a burglar to reach your lock, you can also fit a letter cage or fireproof security letterbox. There are many different types to chose from, your local reputable locksmith will happily advise as to what would work best for your type of door and situation.

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Specific Types of Lock

A lot of people are not aware of some specific types of locks that locksmiths can offer to suit certain situations; in this blog I have explained some of the specific types of lock that can be provided by your local reputable locksmith.

KEYED ALIKE

Most locks are keyed to differ which means you need a different key for each lock. Keyed alike means you can have any number of locks that open with a single key. This could include a combination of euro cylinders, rim cylinders (often referred to as Yale cylinders), screw in cylinders and/or padlocks. This option can reduce a huge bunch of keys to just 1 key that fits all.

MASTER KEYED

Master keying basically gives different keys different levels of access. The best way to describe this is to think of a hotel with 5 floors; The cleaner for each floor only requires access to rooms on that floor but no other floor. The cleaning supervisors key will access all rooms on all floors but not the offices. The managers key will open all offices and all rooms on all floors.

RESTRICTED PATENTED PROFILES

These types of locks have keys that cannot legally be copied by local key cutters etc, particularly useful for landlords, clubs, bed & breakfast etc when you hand a key to someone they should not be able to get copies

HOW PATENTED KEYS PROTECT

If keys can be borrowed a duplicate can be cut locally, then the borrower becomes an unauthorised master key holder.

Cylinder systems that rely on copyright protection can no longer be legally protected from others manufacturing and selling ‘pirate’ key blanks. Only cylinder systems that offer Patent protection for their keys can truly protect against illegal key blank duplication.

Patent protection prevents unauthorised duplication of the key
● Manufacturer can impose restrictions on key copying
● Manufacturer can control who has access to key cutting
● Keys cannot be cut at any high street shops without legal implications

CLUTCH RELEASE FUNCTION (euro cylinder with thumb turn)

● When the key is inserted into the cylinder, the thumbturn disengages by use of a clutch mechanism
● This allows the door to be unlocked even if the thumbturn is being held in the locked position from the inside – ideal for situations where a non key holder could hold the thumbturn in the locked position to prevent the door being unlocked

CLASSROOM FUNCTION (euro cylinder with thumb turn)

● Provides the same functionality as clutch release plus
● The thumbturn can be rotated in one direction only via a ratchet mechanism in the turn side of the cylinder
● Person can only unlock the door from inside – ensures that somebody inside the room cannot lock anybody out but can always escape in case of emergency

CONSTRUCTION KEYING

● Construction keying allows the contractor of a project full access during the construction period
● On first operation of the building owner’s key, the construction key will be permanently disabled.