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Is Your uPVC door Secure?

Is My uPVC Door Really That Secure?

When at a customer’s house I often hear that when they had uPVC doors fitted they were told that they were the most secure type of security but that they have recently heard that they may be more vulnerable than first told.

Multi point locks on uPVC doors do offer great security, however what is often over looked is the cylinder in the door. This is a mistake you do not want to make. In order to utilise your multi point locks full security potential you must ensure that you have a high security cylinder in it.

High security locks will have the following features :

Anti snap

Anti bump

Anti pick

Anti drill

To help identify if a lock has one or more of these features there are various logos or standards to look out for, either on the locks or on the packaging.

British Standard kitemark KiteMark

Kitemarked locks will usually have at least one high security feature and many insurance companies now require all cylinders on final exit doors to bear this mark.

Secured By Design     secure_by_design

Secured by design is owned by the association of chief police officers and focuses on crime prevention of homes and commercial premises. Their logo and approval can be given to domestic locks meeting  British Standard 3621:1998.

TS 007***

This is a security standard developed by Door and Hardware Federation and Glass and Glazing Federation. This standard is achieved by gaining a 3* rating system.

There are cylinders available that immediately give you a maximum security 3* rating. However, this maximum security rating can also be achieved by combining locks and door hardware. This is done by combining a 1* cylinder lock with a 2* security handle.

Locks and hardware that are able to comply with the TS 007 standard should be marked with the relevant amount of stars.

Achieving a 3* rating will mean that your door can withstand attack from snapping, drilling, bumping and picking.

PAS 23/24

PAS 23/24, or Publicly Available Security, must achieve a kitemarked standard and also be snap resistant to mole grips and screws. PAS 23/24 door handles are also available and will usually carry a 2* rating, protecting from drilling and lock snapping.

The average time a burglar will spend trying to break into your home is 3 minutes and a PAS 23/24 cylinder lock must be able to withstand attack for at least this amount of time.

Burglary Prevention

Homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures. Good window locks strong deadlocks and high security cylinder locks can make a big difference.

Many burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves, the most recent burglary I attended was possible because although the window was closed the handle had not been pulled down and the keys for the house and car were in reach of the insecure window.

An open window or unlocked door is the only invitation a thief needs and in a couple of minutes they can be walking off with your valuable possessions, even the keys to your car. Burglars will always pick the easiest target with the best chance of getting away undetected. There is however simple measures you can take to greatly reduce being the next victim of crime.

One thing that I always tell my customers is that a lock is only as good as the door it is fitted to. External wooden doors should be at least 1 inch thick and solid, try to avoid having a panelled door or one with single glazed glass. Soft and rotten door frames need to be replaced and all locking devices should be attached with screws of a suitable length. Also ensure that locks are to British Standard and Secured by Design, 5 lever mortise on wooden doors and anti-snap 3 star cylinders on uPVC doors, this will ensure that your locks are able to withstand common attack methods and not be compromised by the elements, this is also a requirement of insurance companies.

One of the most vulnerable points of access is patio doors as they can easily be removed from their tracks. Additional security bolts can be fitted at minimal cost. An even more cost effective security measure is to place something like a cut down broom handle on the sliding tracks, reaching from the edge of the frame to the back end of the door, this will prevent the door from been forced open from the outside.

Apart from having adequate locking points careful consideration should be given to the outside of your property. Avoid having over grown hedges or other plants around windows and doors as these provide perfect hiding places for thieves. Also ensure that sheds and other out buildings are locked and any tools and ladders aren’t on show. Security lighting also proves an excellent deterrent.

 

Taking just a few steps can make a big difference in keeping your home safe from burglary.

Here are a few tips:

  • Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’re just out in the garden, remembering to double-lock UPVC doors (lift handle and turn key)
  • Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)
  • Install a visual burglar alarm (as part of a suite of prevention measures – a burglar alarm on its own will not prevent entry to your home)
  • Install good outside lighting
  • Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property
  • Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied
  • Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition
  • Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immoveable object inside a locked shed or garage
  • Keep ladders and tools stored away; don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
  • Ensure rear fencing is in good repair
    Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property i.e. trim high hedges
  • Mark your property with postcode and house number and register your property for free with Immobilise (opens in a new window)
  • Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
  • Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows

Going Away

With the summer months approaching and warmer weather on its way it is important to remember home security as we venture away from home for longer periods of time. With the excitement of holidays and weekends away this is easily over looked.

Statistics show that 30% of burglaries happen through open windows and when the temperature rises a refreshing breeze through the house is an easy way to keep cool. However a thief only needs a brief window of opportunity to burglarize  you, so even if you are just popping to the shops close and lock your windows.

It is also important to keep all out buildings secure after been out in the garden. Apart from sheds holding valuable equipment they also provide tools for breaking into your home. So, always remember to lock up when left unattended.

Where possible it is also advisable to get a neighbour to pop round and collect any post, a mountain of unopened post is a sure sign that you are away.

Key Fishing

Key fishing burglaries on the rise. Over the last couple of months I have noticed an increase in key fishing through letterboxes. Thieves are retrieving keys from inside locks or nearby work surfaces or tables using fishing rods, sticks or canes. Once the keys are obtained a thief can silently break in and take any valuables, including cars. It is advisable to never leave your house keys in the door lock or anywhere they can be seen through a letterbox or window ( this includes car keys).

A sure fire way to prevent would be burglars from attempting key fishing is to install a letterbox guard to the interior side of your letterbox. they are affordable and an easy DIY job. They simply attach to the existing screw holes and prevent the inside flap from opening wide enough to put hands or ‘fishing tools’ through.

Latest Offer

You do your best to protect your home and your family. Now there’s something better, the new UAP+ Zero Lift Cylinder Lock.

And now for a limited time only upgrade your cylinder locks  to UAP+ Zero Lift, anti snap locks, for the amazing price of £40.00 each including free measuring and fitting.

To take advantage of this unbeatable offer or for more information or to book an appointment,

call us on: 07577138335 or 0114 4180227

Rise In Lock Snapping In Yorkshire

A quarter of all burglaries in Yorkshire are being committed by criminals using a technique called “lock snapping”.

Since 2009, there has been a rise in the technique, which involves applying force and snapping the cylinder in two.

The technique first emerged in Bradford a couple of years ago and now accounted for more than a quarter of all burglaries across the force area.

Figures for December show that 27% of all burglaries across the county involved lock snapping on euro cylinders.

Euro cylinder locks are fitted to millions of properties, usually UPVC and other double glazed doors.

These locks are vulnerable to this type of attack and it can take between 50 seconds and two minutes to force the lock.

If you’re unsure about the standard and quality of your locks, please contact us at Precision Locksmiths for friendly, honest and free advice.

UAP+ Zero Lift Cylinders

For some time now the official Police approved scheme ‘Secured by Design’ and British Standards institute have been working to improve door security- specifically against ‘lock snapping’. New standards have recently been introduced to overcome this problem by using anti snap cylinders like UAP+ Zero Lift.

The quickest and most cost effective solution to this problem is to upgrade basic euro cylinder locks to security enhanced Anti – snap Cylinder locks – these have anti snap cuts on both sides of the cylinder. If unreasonable force is applied to one end of an Anti – Snap Cylinder it only breaks away to the snap line, but leaves the locking mechanism still inside the door. Anyone familiar with lock snapping can recognize an anti snap lock and of course this is a big deterrent to any would be burglars before they even attempt to break in.

For more information on UAP+ Zero Lift Cylinders or to upgrade yours locks to UAP+ Zero Lift Cylinders please contact us at Precision Locksmiths.

Insurance

Listed below are the minimal security requirements of most insurers but it is always advisable to contact your insurer to confirm theirs.

Security Requirements:
Loss by theft or attempted theft from the home is not covered unless the following security measures are in operation when the property is left unattended. All external doors and windows must be closed and locked and keys must not be visible from outside. [ I’ve added the underlining ]
The final exit door….
i is fitted with a mortice deadlock with at least 5 levers; or
ii is fitted with a lock conforming to BS3621: 1998 or to a higher specification
In addition, where the final exit door is double-leaf, the first closing leaf must be fitted with top and bottom key-operated security bolts. Bolts must be positioned vertically so as to enter the framework of the door, not the opposing leaf.
Double-glazed PVC-U, Metal or timber doors
Key-operated multiple-point locking devices on double glazed PVC-U, metal or timber doors with an insurance approved cylinder lock are an acceptable alternative for the security measures detailed for doors above.
All other single external doors….
i are fitted with key-operated security bolts at the top and bottom; or
ii are fitted with a mortice deadlock with at least 5 levers; or
iii are fitted with a lock conforming to BS3621: 1998 or to a higher specification
Sliding patio doors….
i fitted with two key-operated patio door locks on the inside of the doors at the top and bottom of the frame; or
ii are fitted with a key-operated multiple locking system having at least two locking points
Windows
All opening ground floor and basement windows, and all windows which are accessible from roofs, walls, fences, balconies, landings, porches, soil pipes, drainpipes, trees or shrubs must be fitted with at least one key-operated metal lock
Alternatively, these windows are permanently fixed shut by means of non-return or defaced head screws angled through the window frame into the timber or metal surround.

Staying Secure

If you have just moved house it is always advisable to get all the locks changed, you never know who has a spare key.theif-breakingin

If you have lost a key, change your locks, even if you have a spare you never know where the lost one is or who has it.

If you want to be certain your house is as safe as you can make it, here are 10 tips you should follow.

1. Fit strong locks to external doors and windows, and make sure they are locked at all times.

2. Always remove all keys from inside locks, and keep them out of sight and in a safe place.

3. Fit sturdy deadlocks (British Standard BS3621) to all doors.

4. Make sure your doors and frames are strong and in good condition – wood doors should be at least 44mm thick.

5. Use high security, anti snap, anti pick and anti bump cylinder locks on UPVC doors.

6. Fit a door chain or bar and door viewer (spy-hole), and use them.

7. Never leave a spare key in a convenient hiding place such as under the doormat, in a flowerpot or behind a loose brick – thieves know to look there first.

8. When you are out in the evening, leave your lights on and shut the curtains.

9. Install outside security lighting; if other people can see your property a burglar may think twice.

10. Keep your tools and ladders securely locked up – a burglar could use them to get into your house.