TV exposé highlights lock ‘vulnerability’

dhfHouseholders concerned about the security of their homes are calling in locksmiths, installers and security professionals for advice following a televised exposé on the vulnerability of locks on most domestic PVC-U and composite entrance doors.

A recent episode of the BBC consumer programme, Watchdog Test House, revealed that many burglaries that occur in the UK each year are carried out by criminals snapping the euro cylinder within the door lock, a process that can take just seconds.

The programme informed householders however, that there are now cylinders that resist snapping, such as those tested to the Kitemarked TS 007 standard, developed by the Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) and the Glass and 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 industry organisations.

According to the DHF, which represents UK lock manufacturers, there are 45 million residential entrance doors in the UK. Almost 70% of these are vulnerable to snapping and other methods of lock attack, which have been revealed extensively on the Internet.

The Kitemarked TS 007 standard incorporates a star rating system, ranging from one to three stars. Three-star security can be achieved by a combination of products (for example a cylinder marked with one star and a strengthened door handle, marked with two stars) or a ‘super cylinder’ marked with three stars. 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 Kitemarked doors. These are replacement door sets incorporating high security locks to TS 007 standard, along with other security features such as strong hinges and handles.

Michael Skelding, DHF general manager and secretary, said: “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. 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.”

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