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Know The Difference With Your Cylinder Locks

25th November 2018

You’re probably seen the John Lewis advert by now and, even if not, you can’t have escaped at least knowing about it. It features Elton John and travels back in time to see how all his success can, at least in part, be traced back to when he was given a gift of a piano as a child. Now you may not know, but this wasn’t the first draft of this advert because originally it was an advert created by myself, and this is how it unfolded.

We fade in to a scene of a ransacked house and a distressed family mournfully inspecting displaced furniture and an upturned Christmas tree. We’re then whisked back several years to happier times where we see them having substandard locks fitted on their doors. The advert shows them fitting these locks themselves, shrugging “That’ll do”, and then finishes by cutting back to the present day with them still visibly upset at the loss of all their valuables and their Christmas ruined. 

Now I can’t imagine why this advert was rejected and why John Lewis decided to take the route they did in the end. I can only think my commercial was just too festive for them and that the lack of an Elton John ballad counted against me. Perhaps the accompanying Napalm Death soundtrack was just a step too far.

But anyway, what both adverts portray is how decisions made at one point can very much affect how life turns out in the future. From the chance purchase of a piano, to a decision to cut costs when purchasing locks, each decision has its own repercussions. Think of the butterfly effect, or less scientifically, Sliding Doors – I’m all about the high and low culture references today.  

All this unnecessary preamble is really just an introduction to a few paragraphs about which locks you should consider to prevent you being the victim of the modern scourge of lock-snapping. Lock-snapping is where burglars gain access to a property by simply snapping off the cylinder lock fitted to a door. This can take just a few seconds, the aftermath of which I’ve seen countless times in the course of my job. 

Fortunately, there is a solution. Lock manufacturers have upped their game and created more secure “anti-snappable” locks which are resistant to the snapping method favoured by burglars over the last decade. There are now many locks on the market offering greater security but the question is, which should you choose? And although I’m not going to give you an exact answer, I can certainly narrow it down with a couple of criteria you should be judging them against.

Most locks are rated to show which standards they meet, and cylinder locks are no exception. For starters, there is something called SS312 approval. Here, the SS is not as sinister as it sounds – it is short for Solid Secure, and this particular rating assures you of quality and you can rest assured that the lock is about as anti-snappable as they come. To find locks that meet this standard, I’d suggest having a browse at the following site - all these options will meet the  appropriate SS312 Diamond Approved Standard. 

A second option would be the TS007 BSI Kitemark standard. You know that you’re on safe ground with a BSI kitemark, and they will hold up well to any attempts at a break in. The kitemarks themselves do come with different star ratings from 1 to 3 stars. For the greatest security I’d recommend a 3 star cylinder if you can push the boat out that far – it’s an investment that’s well worthwhile. 

The TS007 standards can also be attained through a combination of protection, as long as the combined star ratings add up to 3 stars. For instance, although a one star cylinder does not offer as much protection as a 3 star model, you can up this security by combining it with a 2 star door or security handle. Alternatively a 2 star cylinder lock combined with a 1 star security handle will also meet the TS007 standards. Although this can sound quite complicated, in reality it’s fairly straightforward, and more guidance around the TS007 standards can be found at the following website -

As ever, I’d say the best port of call for information and guidance is, well, me. Or if push comes to shove, any other qualified locksmith. Whilst I may not be successful at pitching Christmas adverts to major department stores, I do know my stuff when it comes to locks. I know this hasn’t been the most glamorous subject for this time of year, so you’ll have to imagine this blog surrounded by tinsel and with Noddy Holder warbling away in the background, but don’t risk your Christmas festivities being ruined by a lack of attention when it comes to home security. 

Any other queries, please contact me on 01302 378067, and good luck in the December madness! 

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