APECS AP anti-snap cylinder: preventing burglary

23 December 2016 13:17
APECS AP anti-snap cylinder: preventing burglary

At APECS, we’re always aiming to improve our products as well as develop new high-security access control solutions.

With in-house testing facilities and an internal R&D team, we are able to thoroughly monitor all stages of the development process, from the initial sketch to the finished product. By utilising shared resources and the expertise of a multidisciplinary team, we are in a great position to continuously cross-examine and market-test our products to ensure that they adhere to customers’ expectations and industry requirements.

Rigorous in-house testing


To ensure that APECS AP’s features allow it to perform tests in accordance with industry standards, we first subject all cylinders to our own stringent testing in-house:

·      Human intervention test: We challenge the lock’s defensive features by replicating and applying the various methods of force used by burglars to gain access to the cylinder’s mechanism. That way we are always evaluating and improving the cylinder’s design.

·      Machine cylinder snapping: We apply the lock snapping technique used by burglars to all cylinders during testing. This is achieved by subjecting the cylinder to force and removing its external part to expose the locking mechanism.

·      Durability test: This advanced method tests the rotational efficiency of the cylinders, guaranteeing its functioning capacity after thousands of opening attempts. The locks are tested to 100,000 cycles, which resemble the process of a key being inserted into the barrel and turned – the activity performed when you open the door.

·      Corrosion test: We use a highly-effective method of corrosion testing by salt-spraying cylinders, which is known to speed up rusting.

Watch our video for a detailed look at the internal defence mechanism of the APECS AP

The dangers of lock snapping and how we prevent it

According to recent police reports, one in four burglaries in the UK are being performed by criminals using "lock snapping". This is a very common method used to break into a property which fits a euro cylinder in its door. Most uPVC doors, but also a high number of composite and aluminium doors, use cylinder locks. They’re used in commercial as well as residential buildings. There has been a rise in the technique, which involves applying force and snapping the cylinder in two as former burglars admit that it’s often easier and quicker than lock picking or bumping.

 In recent years, crime reduction charities together with the Master Locksmiths Association and industry testing houses have been working with manufacturers to introduce new standards to maximise security and minimise the risk of falling victim to burglary. We designed and manufactured our APECS AP to new industry guidelines in an effort to reduce the opportunity for crime. The APECS AP is one of the few lock cylinders on the market to be awarded both the BSI TS007 3-star Kitemark and the Sold Secure Diamond Standard. Both accreditations mean that you are not required to fit additional security handles, which significantly reduces the cost and inconvenience of fitting a new cylinder lock. The APECS AP is also ‘Secured by Design’, which means that it has been thoroughly tested and approved by the police through a series of robust quality tests.

Our anti-snap cylinder is, in fact, possible to snap. But it is engineered with a special sacrificial cut which is designed to snap in a way that doesn’t allow for further damage of the lock inside. The snapping occurs at a strategic distance from the cylinder’s vulnerable central section. The snap triggers the interlocking pin mechanism and pushes the inner clutch into the cam locking it in place. Once the locking mechanism is engaged, it prevents further external damage and manipulation of the cam, while simultaneously allowing the lock to be operated from the inside by the victim in case of an emergency.

With many options on the market, it can be confusing to decide which option is the best for you. If you’re not sure how safe your locks are, the best solution is to talk to a local Crime Prevention Officer.