The ultimate reason why we have locks everywhere is that they give us a sense of security. In movies and television shows, we see burglars, spies and detectives opening a lock quite easily. Sometimes all they need are a couple of paper clips. It poses a critical yet bothering question: is it really that easy for a person to open a lock in someone’s property?
There are two methods burglars use to break into your home: lock picking and lock bumping. Understanding how they exactly work will help you to determine the best way to protect your home.
Lock picking is a classic way that burglars use to break-in. It does not require any special tool. You can use household items. The burglars try to manipulate the pins in your lock so that the lock will turn in the open position without causing damage to the lock or door frame.
Lock bumping is somewhat similar to lock picking, only that it utilises a “bump key”. It is a specialised key that provides access to almost any type of lock it is used on. These keys can be produced at home with just a few tools and are commonly used in locks with a pin and tumbler design. This technique also does not leave any trace of intrusion or forced entry.
Knowing that these intruder techniques do not leave any trace when done is quite a scare. You need to ask yourself these questions to know if your home is at risk:
A burglar was once interviewed and asked how he decides on which property he wants to break into. According to the burglar, they usually look for a property where he is sure that he can get something, and if the resident is away. They look for signs such as curtains are drawn during the day, junk mail is piling up, and a well-kept house. Sometimes burglars try to break into your car first to see documents that give clues on what valuables you own like chequebooks and insurance cards.
Criminals prefer targeting town homes, houses in a cul-de-sac or those situated in the middle of the block. They also like homes that back up to a forest or another unguarded area. They tend to move on to another victim if a house is hard to access from different sides.
They also look out for houses that do not have a lot of neighbours. Having neighbours means there are more sets of eyes that may witness the crime that they are about to commit.
Locks are available in different shapes and sizes. They also have varying designs in terms of the locking mechanism. The most common type is the standard deadbolt lock found in the front door of many homes. Other types include the cylinder lock and locks with a pin and tumbler design.
Locks with a pin and tumbler design are most susceptible to lock bumping and lock picking. Old and cheap locks are more resistant to lock bumping since they are not cut precisely. They are clunkier. The internal pins do not move smoothly as compared to more expensive locks.
As for lock-picking, the cylinder lock has a set of pins inside. Only a key designed to perfectly fit the pins’ pattern can open it. Lock picking utilises tools to move the pins into the right pattern to unlock the deadbolt.
The internet has an abundant source of information where anyone can learn how to bump or pick a lock. Note also that in Australia, owning lock picking equipment is considered legal as long as the owner can provide a reasonable explanation. Therefore, you need to check if you have additional measures in place aside from getting more durable locks:
Install chain latches to your doors if you do not have them yet. It does not have any effect on your lock’s risk to bumping or picking. However, it gives an extra barrier that a burglar will need to go through to enter your home.
A good security system can detect every time your door opens, regardless of why it happens. Once triggered, the security system will set off an alarm or alert the authorities when the lock is compromised.
While lock bumping and lock picking pose a serious concern, the first priority should always be making sure that your doors and windows are securely locked at night. These points of entry pose a considerable security risk every time you are not in your home. When you know you have already secured your house in the most basic way, you can move on to getting other modes of defence stronger.
Good lighting is also helpful. It will prevent the bad guys from doing their dirty work in the dark. Pets, particularly dogs, serve as an excellent early warning system. Some burglars prefer to move on to another target instead of facing an unknown canine that may tear their limbs apart.
Once you have assessed if your home is at high risk for lock picking or bumping, it is time to step it up in terms of security measures. Our team in Ambassador Locksmiths Newcastle offer a wide range of products and services to help you out.
We have tried and tested electronic access control locking systems that give additional features that surpass mechanical key control. It is easy to operate using biometric readers, RFID swipe cards, proximity ikeys or pin password codes. It can deny entry to any unauthorised person. Interested to find out more? Contact us today, and let’s discuss your options for a safer and more secure house!