UPGRADE YOUR DOOR LOCKS: EASY STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR HOME SECURITY HOME SECURITY
Would you like to make your house more secure? but don’t want to spend a fortune doing so?
Then read on and I will give you a great way to upgrade your home security.
Most homes these days have some sort of PVCu door, whether it be the main entrance at the front of the house or the back door or patio entrance.
These plastic doors will invariably have Euro lock and multi-point locking system to keep them closed and locked to protect against intruders.
But are they any good?
With new technology and manufacturing processes, UPVc doors come in a wide verity of styles and colours, they are very strong, easy to keep clean and pretty much maintenance-free, they are also much cheaper than a modern solid wooden door.
PVCu doors are usually secured by a single Euro cylinder lock which stops the multi-point locking mechanism from moving once the door is closed. They are both reliable and easy to use.
This type of lock is useful in that you only need one key to secure the door rather than lots of different ones, they are easy to use maintain and not overly expensive.
The downside is they can be easily destroyed by a determined criminal wanting to get into your house. But there are ways to make it much harder for someone to break in and I will explain why I chose to change my locks and secure my property.
VICTIMS OF CRIME
Like many people these days I have been a victim of crime. My house was recently attacked by 3 would be intruders looking to make a quick buck by stealing things, rather than earning them.
These scumbags decided to try and gain entry through the back door, which is a fairly new UPVc unit with a multi-point locking system and a standard Euro cylinder lock fitted.
During the middle of the week, very early in the morning, my daughter woke up because she had a bad dream, at her age, it’s a regular occurrence and my wife and I are used to swapping beds to let her sleep with one of us when she is really upset.
After about half an hour of cuddles, we were just settling down to try and get some sleep, my wife having gone into the spare room (it was her turn). I heard a loud bang, and thinking my wife had knocked something over I got up to check that she was OK, and BANG! the noise came a second time, but this was coming from outside, not the front bedroom. I assumed that the next-door neighbour’s gate was banging in the wind.
I opened the side window which looks out over my yard and next door, only to see my gate propped wide open and some scabby oik standing next to my wife’s car!
Shocked and disturbed, I shouted several expletives’ and told him to clear off and 2 more Herbert’s ran from the side of my house, through the open gate, down my drive, closely followed by the third thieving scumbag and off up the road.
I was shocked and realised they were not just going for the car but were attacking the back door.
I immediately went downstairs to check if anyone else was in the house.
Luckily they had not gained entry, we disturbed them in time, they had however broken the handle and lock off the back door to the kitchen.
I then went through the process of checking the rest of the house; the cars, the doors, relocked the gate to the yard and locked and checked the back door, then phoned the police.
They arrived on the scene within minutes with a police dog and were searching for about 45 mins, but as is the way of things, they found nothing.
So back to bed and calm everyone down and try to sleep…… err nope.
In the morning I got up and checked the damage properly, the outer part of the door handle was smashed of at the bottom which surrounds the lock and the lock was broken in half, the outer part was missing.
Fortunately, the door still worked and there was no damage to the door frame or door. They were targeting the lock and there’s a reason…
The Problem with Euro Cylinder locks
With the Euro cylinder broken in half and the outer part missing the door can easily be unlocked, and the multipoint mechanism can be turned.
So what I had thought was a secure door was in fact just seconds away from being open and completely unlocked!!
This is one problem with standard Euro cylinder locks they can be broken in half, allowing the door to be opened, and criminals know this and is the reason I changed mine.
What is a Euro cylinder lock?
Let me explain, a Euro Cylinder is a key lock that uses a pin tumbler mechanism to release and turn a cam, which can operate any number of door locking units.
They are fitted through the lock case and are normally secured by a screw which passes through the face of the lock case.
By turning the key it rotates a cam which then drives the deadbolt in the lock case into the lock keep in the door frame and secures the door in place.
Euro cylinders come in different lengths and can be single-sided or doubled, depending on the requirements of the door, but for most domestic doors they are double-sided with either a key on both sides or a key for the outside and turn knob on the inside.
Why do door manufacturers use them? Well as I said before they are fairly cheap and easy to fit and work very well with a number of different locking mechanisms making them very versatile.
A standard Euro cylinder locks costs around £10- £20 depending on the size, they come in different lengths and have different locations for the cam but I will explain more on that later.
How do you upgrade your door locks?
The fix is to replace the standard unit with an upgrade, which is exactly what I did.
I went to my local locksmiths and purchased a much better Euro cylinder lock, there are several versions available, and the main features to look for are:
These versions are far better at stopping an attack on your door, than the standard units.
The anti-snap feature stops the door from being vulnerable once the lock has been attacked with a hammer, as was the case for me.
The Anti-drill feature stops thieves from drilling out the lock and the Anti bump eliminates the option to bump the pins inside the lock.
The Anti Snap lock is made in 3 sections, the outer section is designed to break off leaving the main parts of the lock intact and the door locked and secure, this means thieving gits cannot get access to the lock from outside and would mean trying another method, which will take longer and increase the risk of being caught and work as a much better deterrent.
So how do you upgrade your door security?
In the second part of this post, I am going to show you and by following the steps below you will be able to quickly improve your door locks and help prevent thieves from entering your home.
What Tools do I need?
Fitting the lock is pretty simple and can be done in a few minutes;
The only tools required are:
- A cross-head (pozi-drive) screwdriver,
- A pair of pliers
- Some gloves.
Measuring a Euro lock
The first step is to measure the current lock and purchase a replacement. You will need to measure the overall length and the distance to the cam from one end.
First measure from the inside face to the centre of the cam (dimension ‘A”) then do the same for the outer face (dimension ‘B’).
Please note that section ‘B’ is the part that goes to the outside of the door.
You can also work out the length of lock you need by measuring the door itself, this means you don’t need to take the lock out of the door first, however, this is not as accurate.
Take a look at our resource page to find links to good tools and quality locks, which you can get delivered to your door.
Removing a Euro lock
To remove the handles from the door, there are two screws holding the inner and outer parts together, the screws are accessed from the inside and are unscrewed using the screwdriver.
Turning anti-clockwise to loosen them.
Remove the covers and make sure the return springs clips are not lost or drop on the floor.
Unscrew the euro cylinder retaining screw from the front edge of the door and lock case (this releases the lock from the door)
Slide the lock out from the door, note you will need to use the key to align the cam properly to allow the lock to pass through the hole in the door. It can take a bit of jiggling.
Put all the parts safely to one side, as you will need to reuse some of them to refit the handles in a few minutes
How to fit the Euro cylinder lock
Take the new high-security anti-snap lock and check you have the right orientation with the outer side facing toward the outside face of the door.
This type of lock has to be fitted correctly to work but you can’t get this wrong as the lock stops you from fitting it the wrong way round.
With a little bit of jiggling fit the new euro cylinder into the locking mechanism in the door again, you will need the key to turn the cam so that it fits through the hole.
Align the ends equally so that the same amount of lock sticks out of the door on both sides, this helps align the fixing hole in the lock case to allow the securing screw to be refitted.
Once the securing screw is almost home, but not tight refit the door handle return springs to the handles.
Starting with the outside first, slide the handles over the square key, and replace the fixing screws, you may need to adjust the alignment a little which is why we left the screws loose.
With everything in the right place, tighten all the screws.
Check the handles operate without issue, check for sticking or any fouling as you turn the handle.
Then check the door shuts properly and the multipoint system works (usually by lifting the handle upwards, but check your door manufactures manual to be sure).
When you are confident the door works, open the door and try turning the key in the lock a few times.
Adding a quick squirt of lubricant such as GT85 is a good idea.
Then close the door and lock it, check it is secure.
Try opening, closing, locking and unlocking it a few times
Once you are happy that everything works, give the door a good wipe with a clean rag.
Job done, CONGRATULATIONS
you now have an upgraded and more secure door, now repeat the process on all of your exterior doors with Euro locks and this should help make your home safer and deter criminals from breaking in.
Please bear mind that event he most well-defended home may not stop a really determined criminal, but this should help to slow them down, giving you a much better chance of calling the police.
For all the parts and tools used check out the
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