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Euro Cylinder Threats Burglars can use many methods to break a lock.

Standard euro cylinders -
like an open door to a thief.

There are many techniques that can be used to compromise the standard euro cylinder locks that are fitted to most uPVC and composite doors. Lock manufacturers like Yale are constantly developing features within their locks that will combat such threats, like Lock-Snapping and Lock-Bumping.

For your benefit, we describe these and other vulnerabilities below. We hope that it provides you with a better understanding of the seriousness of the threat and how a quiality product can offer your home protection.

Snapped standard and Anti-Snap euro cylinders

What is Lock-Snapping?

This method involves simply snapping the cylinder in two and removing the outside part. Doing so would provide access to the mechanism and allow the door to be unlocked.

The euro cylinder has an inherent weak point in it's design; the cutout area near the centre of the cylinder that provides space for the revolving cam to engage with the doors locking mechanism. The area of cylinder under the cutout if further weakened by a threaded hole through which the fixing bolt is screwed.

Vulnerable Standard Euro Cylinder

View of euro cylinder weak point that makes snapping possible

High Security Euro Cylinder with Anti-Snap Cuts

View of euro cylinder with Anti-Snap cuts with protection against lock snapping

If enough lateral, or vertical, force is applied to the euro cylinder, it will snap at the weak point and make it possible to remove the front part of the lock. Special tools have been engineered to snap cylinders but thieves also use readily available tools like mole grips, a hammer or a screw driver to execute this attack. Worryingly it can take just seconds to gain access using this technique and there is very little experience needed, just a bit of brute force - as the following clip demonstrates.

Protect against Euro Cylinder Lock-Snapping

The range of Yale Platinum Anti-Snap Euro Cylinders protect against this threat by featuring Anti-Snap cuts that sacrifice just a small part of the cylinder and leaves the cam intact and lock mechanism safe. Amazingly the cylinder can still be opened with the correct key.

What is Lock-Bumping

The term Lock-Bumping describes the process in which an adapted key is inserted into the euro cylinder and through application of torque and strikes to the key, the door can be opened in seconds. Such attacks are increasing across the UK and leave little or no visable signs of damage, which can hamper any subsequent insurance claim. The following video clips describes the threat in more detail.

Protect against Euro Cylinder Lock-Bumping

The Yale Platinum Anti-Snap Euro Cylinder, Yale Superior Euro Cylinder and Yale Anti-Bump Euro Cylinder feature advanced technology to combat the threat of lock bumping. There are a number of mechanisms that can be used, including setting pins at different levels along the sheer line to create overlift and prevent barrel rotation, aligning pins at different angles and combining dimples and grooves on the key.

What is Lock-Drilling

Sometimes a burglar may use a strong, HSS drill bit to drill out the lock. This is a less subtle and destructive method that involves drilling on the Sheer Line to the depth of the key and then turning the Plug with a screw driver.

Protect against Euro Cylinder Lock-Drilling

High security euro cylinders that have been awarded BS EN 1303:2005 protect against Lock-Drilling and often use hardened steel Anti-Drill Pins in the barrel and the Plug as a defence. The Yale Platinum Anti-Snap Euro Cylinder, Yale Superior Euro Cylinder and Yale Anti-Bump Euro Cylinder all demonstrate resistance of at least 5 minutes to be awarded Grade 2 for Attack Resistance.

What is Lock-Picking

This technique invloves manipulating the pins within the euro cylinder so that they all align on the shear line and allow the Plug to be turned and the lock opened.

The essential tools for manually picking a lock are a tension tool and pick, which is available in different forms like Jiggler, Hook, King, Snake Rake and Sawtooth Rake. The choice of pick depends on the technique being used. There are even electric lock picking guns that can be used to speed up the process of picking a lock. Lock-Picking takes practice, so many thieves will prefer the often quicker force techniques like Lock-Snapping and Lock-Bumping.

Protect against Euro Cylinder Lock-Picking

The Yale Platinum Anti-Snap Euro Cylinder, Yale Superior Euro Cylinder and Yale Anti-Bump Euro Cylinder each protect against lock picking with the use of special Anti-Pick Spool Pins.

What is Plug-Pulling/Lock-Extraction

The Plug is the cylindrical part that houses the Keyway and turns within the cylinder body, known as the Barrel. There is one Plug on each end of a cylinder that is controlled by a key and they run from the external face of the cylinder to the central area where the Cam is located. The Plug can be pulled from standard euro cylinders by simply tightening a screw into the Keyway and then levering or pulling the screw with a claw hammer. Once the Plug has been removed a thief can easily turn the lock mechanism to unlock the door.

More sophisticated thieves may use special Lock Puller Screws with a Cover Plate and Lock Puller tool to carry out the same attack. A small diameter hole would be drilled in the Plug and the Lock Puller Screw fitted. The Cover Plate would then be placed over the cylinder to expose only the Plug. The Lock Puller is then attached and a ratchet used to slowly apply tension, which results in the Plug being pulled. Alternatively, using the same method without the Cover Plate, the cylinder will be snapped at the weak point.

Protect against Euro Cylinder Plug-Pulling and Euro Cylinder Lock-Extraction

The high security Yale Platinum Anti-Snap Euro Cylinder protects against plug-pulling and also features extraction nodes that are designed to stop the force of a cylinder being struck from the outside snapping the cam.

Upgrade to an insurance approved, High Security Euro Cylinder lock to protect your home against such threats.

Did you know?

Most insurers have a minimum security requirement and may offer a discount for well secured homes. Yale manufacture Insurance Approved euro cylinders.

Yale High Security Euro Cylinder logo

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