Householders concerned about the security of their homes are calling in locksmiths, installers and security professionals for advice following a BBC TV Watchdog Test House exposé on the vulnerability of locks on most domestic PVC-u and composite entrance doors.
The BBC TV consumer programme revealed that many burglaries that occur in the UK each year are carried out by criminals snapping the Eurocylinder within the door lock, a process that can take just seconds.
However, there is help at hand. The programme informed householders that there are now cylinders that resist snapping, such as those tested to Kitemark TS 007 standard. This standard has been developed by the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) and the Glass & Glazing Federation (GGF), in consultation with Secured by Design (the Association of Chief Police Officers’ crime prevention initiative), the British Standards Institution (BSI), and other leading industry organisations.
According to the DHF, which represents the UK’s leading lock manufacturers, there are 45 million residential entrance doors in the UK. Almost 70 per cent of these are vulnerable to snapping and other methods of lock attack which have been revealed extensively on the internet.
The TS 007 standard incorporates the use of a Kitemark symbol and star ratings that range from one to three stars. TS 007 is designed as a three star solution. Security can be achieved by either a combination of a cylinder (marked with one star) and security door furniture such as a strengthened door handle (marked with two stars); or a “super cylinder” (marked with three stars) that successfully resists snap attack. In both cases, a similar degree of resistance against attack will be provided.
In the Watchdog programme, viewers watched tests being carried out at the BSI on TS 007 three star cylinders which successfully repelled lock snapping attempts. The programme also showed tests being carried out on PAS 24 Kitemark-rated doors. These are replacement doorsets incorporating high security locks to TS 007 standard along with other security features such as strong hinges and handles.
Said Michael Skelding, DHF general manager and secretary:
“BBC’s Watchdog programme has drawn attention to the huge risks being run by so many households that have insecure PVC-u and composite entrance doors. We are encouraged that the solution put forward in the programme is that worried householders should consider either retrofitting a Kitemark TS 007 three star rated system in their existing door, or replacing the entire door with a PAS 24 rated product. There is a wide range of these cylinders and doors available from DHF and GGF member companies.”
The Watchdog programme can be watched on BBC TV iPlayer.