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What is Lock Snapping? – Find Out How To Prevent it

Lock Snapping - What Lock Snapping Is and How to Prevent Lock Snapping

Find out what lock snapping is & how you can prevent lock snapping by fitting anti-snap locks to your uPVC door. Learn if you have anti snap locks fitted and the best standard of euro-cylinder lock to fit to make your locks anti-snap.

Lock snapping topics we will cover on this page are:

  1. 1. The Method Of Lock Snapping – How burglars snap the lock
  2. 2. How an Anti-Snap Lock can prevent a Burglary
  3. 3. What Locks are at Risk to Lock Snapping?
  4. 4. How to tell you have a Euro Cylinder Lock Fitted
  5. 5. How Do I Know If I Have Anti-Snap Locks?
  6. 6. What Standard Euro Cylinder Lock Should I Fit
  7. 7. Incorrect & Correct Ways of fitting a Euro Cylinder Lock

What is Lock Snapping?

You may well have heard of “cylinder snapping” or “lock snapping“.  Lock snapping is a very common method used by burglars to break into a property that has a euro cylinder lock, lock snapping requires ZERO skill by the thief to snap the lock. 

Euro lock cylinders prone to lock snapping are found on almost all domestic houses that have UPVC doors, although a significant number of composite & aluminium doors use them too, and they’re often used in commercial as well as domestic environments.

Prevent Lock Snapping

Best way to prevent lock snapping

1. The Method of Lock Snapping

The method of lock snapping involves breaking the cylinder to then manipulate the lock to open.

Whilst you may think that all the multi-locking points on your door make it secure, it’s important to realise they are all operated by the cylinder – this is the weakest point and if compromised all the locking points are rendered useless.

A euro lock cylnder

What your typical euro cylinder looks like

How long does lock snapping take?

It can take just 5-10 seconds for a thief to snap the lock.

  • Requires no specialist tools or knowledge – Various Police Forces are warning residents that lock snapping is a method of attack which requires no specialist tools or knowledge.
  • 10% of burglaries – West Yorkshire Police Force has found that 10% of burglaries use this method of entry.

How common is lock snapping?

Lock Snapping is Spreading over the UK

Whilst lock snapping previously been restricted mainly to the Yorkshire area we are now seeing Police giving warnings in other parts of the country.

Lock Snapping Burglary Statistics

In 2011 Lock snapping burglaries were at a record high, 15.87% of break-ins, used to lock snapping to gain access.

Shortly after in 2011, SS312 diamond standar for lock cylinders was introduced. Following this, in 2012, the TTS07 standard was developed.

“Anti-snap cylinders have helped to reduce lock snapping by 7% since 2011”

In 2019 only 8.32% of burglaries involved lock snapping.

Lock snapping burglary statistics

2. How an Anti Snap Lock can prevent a Burglary!

From the below image you can see how fitting by an anti-snap euro cylinder lock to these UPVC doors a burglary attempt has been stopped.

Anti Snap Lock fitted to uPVC doors

How an anti-snap lock can prevent a burglary

What lock is used to stop lock snapping?

The lock on the above door protecting it from snapping is a euro cylinder lock that is tested and approved to SS312 diamond standard, which makes the lock Anti Snap.

How a lock will protect against lock snapping:

  • Lock must be tested against lock snapping
    – SS312 Diamond approved lock cylinders have been tested to resist this particular type of attack
    – Changing your euro profile cylinders will protect your door, providing you with an anti-snap lock on your door.
  • Fit the lock correctly – a locksmith will also make sure the lock is fitted correctly, not fitting in the correct way will lead it prone to snapping.
  • There are different sizes of euro locks – Cylinders are available in various sizes, so fitting the correct size is vital.

To get one of these fitted we recommend contacting your local MLA approved locksmith who can advise you on getting one installed to your front and back doors.

Anti Snap Euro Lock Cylinder - ABS Chrome MK3 Cylinder

Anti Snap Euro Cylinder Lock

What lock standard you should be looking to fit is covered below in the What Standard Cylinder Should I Fit? section further on.

Contact a local locksmith to upgrade your locks

3. What Locks are at Risk to Lock Snapping?

The only type of euro cylinder lock at risk to lock snapping is a euro cylinder that is not tested and approved to either SS312 Diamond or TS007 3*.

We will cover what standard lock you should fit further on in this article.

Types of Euro Cylinder Lock at Risk to Lock Snapping 

The following types of euro cylinders are prone to lock snapping:

  1. 1. Single Lock Cylinder – only gain access from one side
  2. 2. Double Lock Cylinder – gain access from both sides
  3. 3. Thumbturn Lock Cylinder – can lock & unlock from the inside without a key

There are advantages and disadvantages of euro cylinder locks which range from security features to keying options.

Door Lock Types Guide – Pros and Cons of Cylinder Locks

4. How to tell you have a Euro Cylinder Lock Fitted

If you have a uPVC/composite or wooden door, the chances are you have a euro cylinder lock.

To help you easily identify your type of lock, look at the shape of the lock or our pictures below.

The Shape of the lock – look out for a long cylindrical shape, with keyhole in middle
Keyhole Shape – the keyhole will be straight

What a Euro Cylinder Lock Looks Like –
Pictures of Euro Cylinder Locks

Below are some images of what euro cylinders fitted to doors look like, which should help you identify if you have a euro cylinder lock.

Euro Cylinders Locks on doors

What a Euro Cylinder lock looks like | Images from Mul-T-Lock ERA & APECS

If you are unsure what type of lock or standard of lock you have fitted, contact a MLA approved locksmith local to you, our locksmiths fit anti snap locks everyday.

Contact a mla locksmith near you for advice

5. How do I know if I have anti-snap locks?

The first thing to know is you may see anti-snap locks referred to as snap-proof, snap resistant or snap secure.

Is your euro cylinder lock old? – If the euro lock cylinder on your door was fitted before 2011 it almost certainly has not been tested for lock snapping so is not anti-snap.

Have a new lock cylinder fitted to your door?  A new euro lock cylinder could be anti snap, we will discuss this below.

Anti-Snap Locks Introduced in 2011

The test standard for Anti-Snap locks was first introduced in 2011 with the Sold Secure SS312 diamond standard.

2 Ways to Find Out Your Door Lock is Anti-Snap

Essentially there are two ways you can ensure the euro cylinder lock on your doors is anti-snap, the first is:

1. The lock is an SS312 Diamond Approved Cylinder

One way of identifying if a lock is anti-snap is by making sure your lock is an SS312 Diamond Approved Cylinder.

SS312 Diamond is the highest level of approval for a euro cylinder lock.

Find a list of all SS312 diamond approved lock cylinders click here that have achieved this highest level of approval by visiting the Sold Secure website.

Brisant Ultion Anti Snap Euro Lock Cylinder

The Brisant Ultion is SS312 Diamond Approved

Sold Secure Diamond Lock Cylinder 2013 Logo

A diamond standard cylinder protects against lock snapping

About SS312 Diamond Standard

SS312 Diamond was launched in 2011 by Sold Secure, other standards have been launched to stop lock snapping but the Sold Secure standard is seen by most as the leader and therefore the approval to have.

Guide to SS312 diamond standard
Find a SS312 diamond standard lock

2. Lock has the 3 Star Kitemark Logo

If your lock has the 3-Star Kitemark Logo on it, this indicates the lock is tested against lock snapping.

kitemark 3 star logo

3-Star Kitemark Logo = Anti-Snap lock protection

The Kitemark logo can be found anywhere on the lock; it is usually found on either, the front or side of the euro cylinder.

Best Lock Cylinder to Stop Lock Snapping

6. What Standard Euro Cylinder Lock Should I Fit?

To protect your door locks from lock snapping there are three ways to go.

OPTION 1 – Sold Secure 312 Diamond Approved Cylinder

Anti Snap Euro Lock Cylinder ABS Chrome MK3 Cylinder

SS312 Diamond Standard Anti Snap Lock Cylinder – Image from Avocet Hardware Ltd

Fitting a Sold Secure Diamond approved cylinder ( SS312 ) will help prevent being burgled as this standard of euro cylinder is tested against lock snapping methods used by criminals.

West Yorkshire Police recommend SS312 Diamond Locks

OPTION 2 – TS007 3 Star Kitemark

If an SS312 Diamond cylinder is not used, your euro cylinder lock should at least reach the TS007 3 star Kitemark standard to provide true resistance to snapping.

TS007 Kitemark 3 star logo

If it’s not Sold Secure diamond make sure a cylinder at least has a 3-star kitemark

West Yorkshire Police recommend TS007 3-Star

OPTION 3 – 1 Star Kitemark Cylinder with 2 Star Door Furniture

lock cylinder and door furniture image

1-star lock cylinder + 2-star door furniture – image provided by Avocet Hardware Ltd

A 1-star kitemark cylinder fitted with a 2-star kite mark door furniture ( door handle, cylinder guard ).

Our most secure uPVC door handle page will tell you the cost and advantages of high-security door handles.


Don’t rely on the manufacturer stating a lock’s snap resistance; you should always look for 3rd Party approval to confirm a product’s performance

7. How should a Euro Cylinder Lock be fitted?

Euro Cylinder Locks - Correctly and Incorrectly Fitted to UPVC door

It is vital the euro cylinder lock on your door is fitted correctly, as lock cylinders vary depending on the door and handle thickness.

The below images show the correct and incorrect ways a lock should be fitted.

Incorrectly Fitted Euro Cylinder Locks – Prone to Lock Snapping

The pictures below are of euro cylinder locks not fitted properly:

Overlong Euro Door Cylinder

The cylinder is sticking out by a large amount

Why these euro cylinder locks are fitted incorrect

  • The more exposed/sticking out a lock cylinder is, the more prone it is to lock snapping
A euro cylinder incorrectly fitted on a front door

The lock cylinder is exposed by a large distance.

Correctly Fitted Euro Cylinder Lock

This is how a correct size and properly fitted lock cylinder should look:

A Correctly fitted euro cylinder

This cylinder, however, is the correct size and has been expertly specified and fitted

How to fit a Euro Cylinder Lock correctly

  • The euro lock cylinder should not protrude more than 3mm from the handle
  • Ideally, the lock cylinder should be completely flush with no external overhang.
  • The correct size of the lock cylinder is vital.

More reasons why changing & fitting new locks isn’t a do-it-yourself job!  A vetted licensed locksmith will be able to select the correct size lock with proper installation.

Summary on Lock Snapping

The quickest way to protect yourself against this burglary method on the rise is simple, contact your local MLA locksmith to fit a Sold Secure Diamond approved cylinder.

For extra door security you could fit some high-security door furniture too, such as 2-star kitemarked security handles.

Get a Quote to fit Anti Snap Locks

Contact your nearest mla licensed locksmith to fit anti snap locks to your doors.

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Further Reading

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