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National Home Security Month – Week 2: Lock It Up

Why your locks are key

Your locks are your first line of defence when it comes to your home’s security, but they are also potentially the weakest link in the chain. All the best security systems in the world will not help you if you fail to give due consideration to your door and window locks. That not only relates to the TYPES of locks you use, it also applies to HOW you use them.

But surely everyone knows how to lock a door? You would think so wouldn’t you but, according to some telling statistics, this doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case:

37% of people leave doors unlocked when in the house

64% sometimes leave doors unlocked when not in the house

‘Insecure burglaries’ (burglaries committed via an unlocked door or window) account for 30% of break-ins

Therefore, as obvious as it sounds, the best starting point for securing your home is to lock your doors and securely close your windows: and not just when you’re out – keep them locked up while at home to prevent a ‘sneak-in’ thief gaining access while you are distracted.

Which locks should you use?

As well as being vigilant with using your locks, you also need to make sure you have the right kind of locks to keep your home safe. One of the most common methods that burglars use to break in – West Yorkshire Police estimates it to be at least 25% – is lock snapping. This statement from the Master Locksmith Association explains what this means:

“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.”

Lock snapping requires no specialist tools and is fairly simple to do if you know how. The good news is it’s a fairly simple problem to solve because of the anti-snap cylinder locks that are now readily available from good locksmiths. A Sold Secure SS312 Diamond lock does not allow for the cylinder to be snapped in this way and is therefore recommended for all domestic properties.

Burglar alarms and CCTV systems are fantastic security measures but without properly making use of the right kind of locks you may as well invite burglars in. Therefore, our best advice, in line with this week’s theme of ‘Lock it Up’ during National Home Security Month, is as follows:

Always keep doors locked, regardless of whether you’re home or not

Don’t leave windows open in rooms that are unoccupied

Don’t leave keys in the locks or close to a door where they could be reached from the outside through a pane of glass, window or letterbox

Have anti-snap Sold Secure locks, conforming to British Kitemark standards fitted by an MLA-approved locksmith

Next week’s theme is Keep it Protected – keeping your valuables safe within your home.

Do you have a question about locks? We’re answering your home security questions throughout October for NHSM so please comment to ask yours or see further details here.