How Secure Is My UPVC Door? By Alcatraz Edinburgh Locksmiths

As practising Edinburgh Locksmiths we see the results of burglaries on a weekly basis.

Most times we need to upgrade the customers locks, to ensure it won’t happen again. whilst there we offer a free home security check, and advise on burglary prevention methods.


A Burglary usually happens when the thief finds an easy target, such as:

  • homes that are secluded, and out of view from witnesses.
  • homes that have poor door and window security.
  • homes that are occupied by the elderly or vulnerable

Once the thief identifies a target, they will wait for the right time to force entry – either through a door or a window. Usually, they will use a crowbar type tool. They insert the tool into a gap in the door, or window. Then by applying brute force, they will break the locking mechanism.

There’s nothing unusual about this way of entry. It is a method thieves have used, since time begun.

The evolution of the burglar

Through time home security has improved. People are now using more advanced security on their windows and doors. Either by replacing their existing windows and doors fully, or by just upgrading the locks.

Unfortunately, as security measures have advanced in recent times, so has the burglars techniques of gaining entry!

This isn’t helped by the technology available to anyone with access to the internet. A quick search on YouTube these days will show you how to open most kinds of lock on the market.

Not the best information to have flying about cyberspace, especially when it falls into the wrong hands.

Below we will discuss how to properly secure the modern UPVC door.

For tips on securing windows see our previous blog on window security.

From a wooden door to a UPVC door

Upvc door multipoint lock. By Alcatraz Edinburgh locksmiths

Multi point lock

Back in the day almost everyone had a wooden door, usually fitted with 2 locks: a Yale and a mortice. However, nowadays more and more people have UPVC doors. This is due to a variety of reasons such as becoming the norm on new builds, or they come as a package when getting UPVC windows installed.

On the face of it UPVC doors seem to have amazing security as opposed to the wooden door. When locking a UPVC door, most require the handle to be lifted, which in turn shoots out a variety of hooks and bolts from the multi point strip fitted in the door. These hooks \ bolts will then fit into the metal keeps in the door frame effectively creating up to 5 locking points as opposed to the 2 locking points on the average wooden door.

So with these basic figures in mind, surely the UPVC door must be more secure right?

UPVC doors are useless with a cheap barrel!

how secure is my Upvc door. Alcatraz Edinburgh locksmiths

Nearly all UPVC doors are fitted with a euro lock barrel.  This is the lock which is fitted through the UPVC door handle and is locked after lifting the handle. These locks can be a real security risk unless they are fitted with certain type of barrel.

The main reason these locks are so vulnerable is they can be so easily snapped and pulled out of the handle, leaving thieves a free pass to open the locked door. Check out this video: euro lock snapping.

The problem with these locks have become so bad that some countries are trying to ban them.  Further more, most people don’t realise their insurance policies are invalid unless their property is secured with a British standard euro lock – its usually in the policy small print!

British standard anti snap euro lock

As a  result of the poor security features in a ‘standard’ euro lock companies were falling over themselves to create a better lock. Only the best of these new type locks would be awarded the 3 star British standard rating – such as the Avocet lock. Upvc door British standard lock The main security additional on these new locks were they could not be snapped anymore. Therefor stopping an intruder opening the door via the barrel hole.

Most burglars who break into houses via the euro lock know not to tackle a property fitted with a British standard lock. They would see the British standard kite mark and know immediately they would be wasting their time.

So how secure is my UPVC door?

When it comes to home security there is no competition between a wooden door versus a UPVC door – as long as it has a decent euro lock! The UPVC door with all its multi locking points is far more secure.

A standard euro lock can be purchased at most home improvement stores for around £20. However for around £45 you could have a top of the range British standard euro lock. So for the sake of an extra £25 you can improve your home security vastly.

We hope you enjoyed this locksmith blog, and it answered the question of ‘how secure is my UPVC door’. If it prevents 1 house from being burgled it will be considered a success. For any advice on fitting British standard euro locks call Alcatraz – Edinburgh Locksmiths anytime.

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