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Tag Archives: UPVC

Readers may have seen reports on the television news or in the newspapers of a weakness in the Locks on UPVC doors. The weakness is being exploited by burglars in the UK.  Judging by the news feeds coming out our police forces attacks appear to be getting more common.

This problem is growing around the country; various methods are used by the burglars using simple everyday tools, allowing them to exploit an inherent flaw in the design of the Euro Profile Cylinder used in the UPVC locking systems. The cylinders can be overcome in a matter of seconds and although we know the methods used we will not disclose them in any detail, as a precaution against more  “copy-cat” burglaries.

The lock in question is not of any particular make, but is the type of lock fitted to the majority of UPVC and some wooden doors throughout the world and is commonly known as a Euro Profile Cylinder. It is the part of the locking system that provides the key operation to the system fitted to the door. No matter how secure or elaborate the multi-point locking mechanism is, if the cylinder is compromised the multi-point lock can be opened in seconds without difficulty.

All major Lock Manufacturers have been working hard to find solutions to the problem, and new burglar resistant cylinders are available.  

There are some very good albeit limited products on the market to combat this form of attack. some of the major  lock have produced newly designed cylinders which ensures that if the cylinder is attacked the door is still secured and still requires the use of the correct key to unlock the door.

Although this design of cylinder is still not 100% guaranteed to prevent all the methods of attack used on uPVC doors. It will prevent the most common methods slowing down the burglars attempts and making it considerably more difficult, therefore increasing the chance of him giving up.

In addition to these cylinders some manufacturers notably Squire and ERA are producing cylinder enhancers or cylinder security devices. Various designs are available to suit UPVC and composite doors these consist of a metal surround which is secured to the existing cylinder underneath the door handle. ERA’s range is possibly the most secure, with the designs securing through the door to sandwich the cylinder in place making it virtually impossible to remove the ’snapped’ cylinder. These devices used in conjunction with a Break Secure or SnapSafe? cylinder will ensure the methods currently being used are ineffective.

The risk of forced entry via the methods used is reduced if the cylinder fitted is of the correct size and properly fitted. However often when cylinders have been replaced in the past it is found that an incorrect size has been used leaving the door vulnerable. It is recommended that the euro profile cylinder should not protrude outside of the door furniture any more than 2-3mm.

Remember burglars always choose the easy option!

In order to ensure you do not become one of the many victims of this type of forced entry review your current door cylinders now and consider upgrading your cylinders to the newly available ‘Break Secure’ or SnapSafe? ranges currently available or fit an additional Cylinder Security Device or Enhancer to your existing cylinder.

In the meantime, ensure you DEADLOCK your doors whenever your home is unattended. We also advise that a door chain be fitted and used on the main entrance door when the house is occupied and if UPVC doors are fitted to other areas consider fitting additional internal secondary bolts as an alternative to replacing the cylinders.

Other sensible precautions include ensuring that any keys (particularly car keys) are not left where they can be found by burglars. (The most common method of car theft is by breaking into homes and stealing the keys). Other portable valuables should also be removed from vulnerable areas.

A safe will compliment any form of security to the property by reducing the risk of sentimental and valuable items being taken should a burglar gain entry. Securing small valuables can save a great deal of inconvenience and upset and it is recommended that you keep spare keys, passports, jewellery, cameras etc. locked in a safe.

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