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How to Improve the Security of your Front Door

As the saying goes, your home is your castle. It’s where you keep your possessions and belongings, it’s where you relax at the end of the day and where you rest each evening. But sometimes the worst happens and someone tries, and sadly in many cases, succeeds in breaking into your home, bringing disruption and anxiety to what should be a place where you feel safe and secure.

At Latham’s, we stock the UK’s most extensive range of steel security doors. This includes residential doors such as security front doors  and steel personnel doors which have a variety of uses such as the entrance to an outbuilding, garage side door or the door between your garage and kitchen.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales 2017 (CSEW) show that ‘in incidents of domestic burglary in a dwelling where the offender entered the dwelling”, 70% of reported cases showed the point of access was through a door, of which 39% was accessed via a forced lock.

Door Locks and Cylinders

Key Terms

Here at Latham’s we understand that not everyone knows the terminology. Those working in the industry have a great deal of knowledge but if you’re looking at security upgrades for your home, here are some of the key terms to help you understand:

Cylinder: Quite simply, the cylinder is the unit you insert the key into to work the locking system.

Lock Case: The lock case is the equipment used to house the cylinder and the lock bolts that keep the door closed.

Lock Snapping: Another term you may hear often is Lock Snapping, also known as ‘cylinder snapping’ or ‘lock bumping’. Lock snapping is widely regarded as one of the oldest techniques when it comes to breaking in to a property and it involves snapping the cylinder to then allow manipulation of the of the lock cam to open the door.

If you’ve recently bought, or are thinking of purchasing a Steel Personnel Door  or Security Front Door, you could consider some of the security upgrades available. Here we’ll run through some of the options:

Door Security Upgrades:

Security Hooply Lock Case / Sash Lock

Fitted as standard in the majority of our steel personnel doors is the Hooply Lock Gearbox. A compatible security upgrade is the Security Hooply Lock Case / Sash Lock.

This sash lock is superior in strength by replacing the 3 individual shoot bolts, with 1 hardened steel rectangular bolt that engages when the key is turned.

Panic Escape Hooply Lock Case & Handle Set

The Panic Escape Hooply Lock & Case Handle Set is dual purpose. Protecting your home but also allowing quick escape. The handle can be lifted up (similar to a traditional uPVC mechanism) to allow the door to be locked without the need for a key. From the inside, the handle included in the set will unlock the door once it is pulled down.

Cylinders

A very quick and cost-effective way to upgrade the security in your door is to upgrade the cylinder, but in what way do these cylinders help:

 

1* Kitemark Security Euro Cylinder  Image explaining the key upgrades in this cylinder

The 1* Security Euro Cylinder has a number of important extra features increasing the security of the lock in your front door. These features include:

Off set cam: The internal cam on the cylinder is offset meaning it cannot be pushed or pulled out of the cylinder.

Anti Snap:  this cylinder is manufactured with sacrificial cuts away from the weakest point in the centre where the screw hole is located. This means if the cylinder is subject to an attack, it will snap at those cuts so the internal cam cannot be accessed to easily unlock the door.

Anti Bump: lock bumping is a lock picking technique. By using a special ‘bump key’ would-be burglars insert it into the keyhole and then tap it with a screwdriver or similar object causing the pins to move and trigger the door to unlock. By using hardened steel key pins and driver pins in this cylinder, the timing of the pins is interrupted making the attack ineffective.

Anti Drill: Toughened steel anti drill pins are located in each side of the cylinder which means a drill will be ineffective as a means to attempt to access the cylinder.

Anti Pick: There are also a minimum of 3 anti-pick pins making it extremely difficult for a common burglar to pick the cylinder.

 

3* Security Euro Cylinder Image with defintiions of key upgrades on the 3 star euro cylinder

The 3* Security Euro Cylinder has a number of extra security features in addition to the 1* cylinder. These include:

Anti-Snap: This cylinder benefits from the sacrificial cuts being closer to the cam and a toughened steel plate under the cam.

Anti-tilt ring: When snapped at the outside end, the inside section will tilt which can allow access to the bolt. The anti-tilt ring stops this from happening as it means to section cannot tilt.

Installation: This cylinder is designed to be specifically installed in one direction only which means the additional security features are on the external facing side of the door making it harder to attack.

Both of these cylinders are accredited by Secured by Design, meaning they have been tested to demonstrate their effectiveness in preventing or reducing crime.

Upgrading the cylinder is a great way to improve the security of your front door, but it’s also worth noting that these cylinders can also be compatible with uPVC and composite doors.

 

Additional Accessories:

Toughened Steel High Security Euro Lock Escutcheon 

A lock escutcheon is basically a keyhole cover and acts as shield to your door cylinder, helping to protect it from attack by a variety of means such as ‘mole-grips’ or locking pliers, bumping and pulling. It’s a simple method of adding an additional layer of protection to your door for a low cost of £9.99+VAT.

We have an extensive help centre on our website where you can find frequently asked questions and ordering and installation information to help answer any questions you might have. Alternatively, we have a friendly team here at Latham’s who will be happy to help. There are several ways to contact us so get in touch