Having your home broken into is an experience that no one deserves to have to go through. The trauma of having to tidy up your possessions, call the police and make an insurance claim while trying to get on with your life can be devastating. Many home break-ins would have been avoidable had the homeowner taken sensible precautions. Here are three myths about locks that may be preventing you from keeping your home safer.
Myth #1: Most Thieves Break In Through The Windows
Given that glass is so easily shattered, most homeowners assume that the majority of break-ins occur with the window as the main point of entry. This stops them focusing on the security of their doors.
The Reality: Thieves Enter Through Doors
The front, side and rear doors of most homes have woefully inadequate protection. Simple cylinder locks are all that most people rely on to secure their homes. It’s far easier for a criminal to either break door glass and reach inside to undo locks or fish keys out through the letterbox with a piece of wire. Your front door must have a deadbolt (mortise) lock and it’s a wise idea to fit a cage over the inside of any letter box. A reputable locksmith can update your door security in a matter of hours.
Myth #2: Door Locks Need To Be Opened With Keys
Homeowners put faith in flimsy cylinder locks because they believe that they can’t be opened without the correct key. This stops them from thinking about upgrading them.
The Reality: Cylinder Locks Can Be Forced Open
Most cylinder locks and so-called ‘Smart key’ locks can be forced open without a key. Criminals buy opening tools online and simply jam them into the key opening and twist them with a wrench to pop the cylinder open. Quite often the lock still works afterwards but may fail at any moment. As they’re no external damage, your insurance company may refute your claim and state that you simply forgot to lock the door.
Myth #3: Dead Bolt Locks Are Pick Proof
Homeowners who do have dead bolt locks installed commonly believe that these locks are pick-proof. Many companies make exaggerated claims about their locks being bump-proof, pick-resistant or ‘almost pick-proof’.
The Reality: Only Pick Proof Locks Are Pick Proof!
Almost any lock can be picked with the right tools and experience or locksmiths wouldn’t get much business! For door locks, unless you are spending around $100 for lock, it isn’t pick proof, no matter what the packaging says. For total peace of mind you want a lock that is totally pick and bump proof. Here is what to look for;
1. Look for a company that gets design patents on their keys so that they control who makes key blanks; this stops someone ordering a key for your lock via the internet.
2. Look for a company that restricts distribution of the key blanks so that they can control who cuts the keys.
3. All pin tumbler locks can be ‘bumped’ open with a master key. If the lock you buy says its bump proof, check to see whether it is a pin tumbler lock. Only disc-type locks could be said to be totally bump-proof.