People often don’t think too much about their locks – if the key works smoothly and it locks the door, then that’s enough for most people. What many people don’t realise though is that all locks are different and offer different security benefits and very different levels of protection.
I must admit that before beginning work in the industry, I hadn’t paid too much attention to what locks were on my door and just presumed that if they were on there and installed correctly, they must be secure. It's always worth checking what type of locks you have on your doors and what level of security they offer though.
If you have a uPVC or aluminium door, then you likely have a euro cylinder lock installed. If it doesn’t have any stars shown on the end of the lock, or only has 1 star, then you’re leaving yourself open to some of the most common methods burglars have to enter properties. It’s worth investing the money to upgrade to a 3 star lock, such as the APECS AP euro cylinder.
If you have a wooden door with a 5 lever deadlock installed, then you want to be checking whether it is BS3621 certified. For more information on this certification and why it's important, check out of our handy article.
There’s a Master Key That Will Open All Locks
A lot of people have the misconception that there are master or skeleton keys out there which will open almost all locks in existence. However, this is simply not possible with the way locks are manufactured nowadays.
In the past, when locks were a lot simpler and all you needed to do was bypass the wards to engage the cam at the end of the barrel and turn it, skeleton keys did exist. They were keys that were ground down to the bare bones, hence the name skeleton, featuring just the part needed to bypass the wards. The reason these skeleton keys worked is that these locks were technically never locked, they just had the wards providing an obstruction.
With the creation of pin locks, lever locks, disc locks and others, turning of the lock is blocked unless the obstructions are removed using a key which features the correct combination of depths cut into it. Fortunately, there is no way that a skeleton key can exist that is able to bypass these combinations of pins and gates and open every lock.
Whilst master key and keyed alike systems are available for people and companies to have a key which opens all of their doors, these are made to order for each system and they will only work on that combination of locks.
So when someone gets a "key to the city", they're not getting a key which opens everything!
TV and films would have you believe that burglars are out there at night picking the locks on doors to gain entry. This is almost entirely never true – the majority of burglars use destructive means to gain entry into properties such as lock snapping, drilling, or simply through brute force.
Lock picking is a skill and takes a level of mastery that burglars don’t have in their arsenal. This is another reason why it’s important to protect your home with the best quality locks you can afford. Lock snapping has become increasingly popular amongst thieves and you need a lock that will protect you from this.
People often think that getting the locks changed on their house is too much work and a lot of hassle with a lengthy install and new keys. This doesn’t have to be the case though, if you get a good quality locksmith (we recommend an MLA approved one), then getting your locks changed doesn’t have to be a chore.
If your door has a euro cylinder lock, then these can be changed very quickly with just a screwdriver. If you’re unsure about how much protection your current locks are giving, but you think it’ll be a lot of hassle to upgrade, think again!
"Working with APECS has been great. They are both friendly and professional to deal with and all of the products we have used have been of the highest quality."