Tackling Blowtorch Burglars

Published on 6 March, 2019 | Latest News

Blowtorch Burglars

The blowtorch burglary phenomenon is nothing new.  It has been prevalent in areas around West Yorkshire for several years.

As a door hardware specialist, we wanted to understand why and how this method of entry works, and what we can do, as a responsible company, to combat it.

So far, we have only seen this type of attack on uPVC doors, especially those at the back of a house.  However, in order to gain a thorough overview we have also attack tested composite and timber doors using the method, and our results confirm that it only affects uPVC doors.

The idea that the burglar is trying to burn the cylinder out is simply wrong.  We have tested a wide variety of cylinders using the method, and only cheap aluminium cylinders and zinc cylinders have an issue.  These burn away easily.  We have not come across any Kitemarked cylinders that have succumbed to this entry method.

And burglars don’t need to attack the cylinder anyway.  There is a far easier method.  Once the handle is removed then the blow torch is used to burn away the plastic covering the lock case.  And  in cheaper lock systems, the bolt lever above the cylinder case can be simply pushed back with a screwdriver.

Fullex products are future-proofed against this form of attack.  The patent applied for pawl and gate in all Patio, XL, XLC and 220 pro locks and the half shear over the lever on the Fullex Crimebeater multipoint lock are an example of this.

Upgrading the doors in-situ, could be done by improving the handle set, Euro cylinder, multipoint lock, and adding extra security like the European Patent pending Dedlok locking system which works without any cylinder needed at all.

Over the past 10 years, there have been huge leaps in door security but older uPVC doors are vulnerable, and cheap locking systems are a risk.  UAP has technical experience in door security including the respected Fullex brand, and we are always available to give free advice.  UAP Ltd is also the sole global licence holder for Dedlok.