Lock Snapping Information Missing from BBC Watchdog Programme

Screen shot of Watchdog Test House TV Programme

You may have seen the episode of Watchdog Test House that aired on BBC One on Thursday 13th Mar 2014 (it was Episode 4). It dealt with the issue of lock snapping. Unfortunately there was some vital information on the subject of lock snapping that didn’t make the final cut which we believe is vital for the public to know in order to protect themselves against this method some criminals are using for breaking in to homes.

Image of a Snapped Euro Cylinder

What Lock Do I need to Prevent Lock Snapping?

If you’re going for a TS007 approved lock to combat lock snapping then it has to be a 3* approved lock. Whilst there is another way (using a 2*handle or escutcheon and a 1* cylinder, or the preferred option of utilising a Sold Secure Diamond approved cylinder) if you want to go the cylinder only route (which was the route the programme was going) then it has to be a 3*.

No Mention of The Star Rating

There was unfortunately no mention of this star rating on the programme (although there was a picture shown of some alleged 3 star approved cylinders) so we felt it was something that had to be addressed, and have contacted the programme makers to highlight this. We can fully appreciate that when making a TV feature it’s impossible to include everything, especially with something as complex as testing and standards for locks, but as a 1 star cylinder has not been tested to protect against snapping, we felt it vital that this seemingly small, but actually vital, bit of information be highlighted.

Two Anti Snap Lock Cylinders
Essentially TS007 has 3 levels associated with it:-

  • 1 star – for cylinders (basic approval, no testing for snapping)
  • 2 star – for handles and other door furniture (e.g. security escutcheons)
  • 3 star – for cylinders (tested for resistance to snapping)


The minimum criteria for protecting against lock snapping is to achieve at least 3 stars, either through the use of a 3 star cylinder, or through the use of a 1 star cylinder and 2 star handle or escutcheon.

Make Sure The Lock Has a Kitemark

Also, if going for a TS007 approved product then make sure it has the Kitemark. This indicates the product has been tested by a 3rd party and hasn’t simply been approved to the standard by the manufacturer themselves.

Image of Kitemark Logos

Another point on Lock Snapping missed in the programme

The Highest Level of Approval for Cylinders

One further thing to add is that they omitted to mention the Sold Secure Diamond Lock Cylinder option. SS312 Diamond was the first test standard developed to counter lock snapping, and is deemed to be the highest level of approval for cylinders.  Recognised by ACPO Secured by Design, with Sold Secure Cylinders Diamond approval then the size of the cylinder is less important (as tests are performed on cylinders of various sizes), whilst if you go for a TS007 3* cylinder then it’s imperative that you use the correct size of cylinder. In order to do this we’d recommend you engage the services of your local MLA licensed locksmith.


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NOTE:  Screenshots in this article are images from a screenshot of a television programme, movie, video game, web broadcast or DVD feature over which the BBC have some level of ownership. It should therefore be considered the BBC’s intellectual property, likely as administered by BBC Worldwide. Other parties may enjoy intellectual property rights over this image, as well.

Steffan George

Hi there - I'm director of business development here at the Master Locksmiths Association. Feel free to add me to your circles on Google + by visiting my Steffan George profile. I'm also on Twitter @Steffan_MLA
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