Burglars may try any number of methods to try to gain access to your home, including picking your door lock. The most obvious sign that your lock has been tampered with are visible dents and scuff marks around the keyhole. While these are simple to notice, there are other specific signs of lock tampering that you can look for and actions you can take to help prevent unauthorized entry into your home.
Types of unauthorized entry include:
Strong force – Signs of this include paint circles around the lock fixture are present from movement, as if it was loosened and then re-tightened into place. Also, bent deadbolts or latches and bent doors or door frames. If you notice that your key is suddenly harder to turn than usual, this could be a sign of pin deformation, which is a direct result of other methods of lock manipulation like someone bumping it or picking the lock.
Bumping – This involves the filing of the teeth on a key at several points. The key is then bumped all the way into the keyhole and withdrawn with one click. It is then struck with a heavy-duty object and withdrawn again until the lock is opened. A sign of this would be new little dents around the keyhole where something has just hit it.
Picking – This is the most widely known method used in unauthorized entry, which includes the use of small tools like a screwdriver, tooth pick or hair pin to open a lock.
Prevention strategies include:
One of the best ways to prevent lock tampering is to upgrade to a modern digital bolt or use a sliding bolt, which prevents the turning of a deadbolt. Installing a home security system is also a great way to monitor the safety of your home. Home watch services, to have an actual person visit your property on occasion when you are away, is also a wonderful way to deter burglars and prevent unauthorized entry. A combination of all of the above methods, in addition to ensuring your hedges are cut back and your security systems are regularly tested and upgraded, if necessary, is the most strong combination in preventing any unauthorized entry into your home.