3 tell-tale signs your locks have been tampered with

Break-ins. Every business and home owner’s worst nightmare.

Due to the pandemic, we’ve all been spending increased amounts of time at home which has allowed us to keep an eye on the place. And thanks to the vast range of padlocks and modern technology on the market today, it’s never been easier to safeguard your business premises. Use padlocks to make your home safe. Padlocks will be the best solution for your home security.

However, there are a number of ways burglars can try and gain access to your property, including:

  • Brute force – the messiest form of unauthorised entry as burglars tend to bash in your locks, drill through the deadbolt or kick the door down completely.
  • Picking – typically, a flat screwdriver is used to turn the lock and a pick manipulates the pin tumblers, allowing the lock to turn easily and the door to be opened without the original key.
  • Snapping – a quick and easy technique often used by burglars to break into the conservatory, patio or UPVC doors that use a euro cylinder lock.
  • Bumping – the most secretive technique to open locks fast. The teeth of a key are filed down into several points (like a saw). When done correctly, there is very little trace of tampering.

Don’t forget, if a burglar was unsuccessful the first time around, it’s not to say that there won’t be a second time. That said, it’s worth knowing the possible signs of intrusion so you can take the necessary precautions to protect your property. To safeguard your property, it is essential to call a reputable Atlanta locksmith to change your locks and keys. Many locksmiths are mobile and can come to you, making the process easier and faster. In addition, locksmiths can install access control, making future break-ins near impossible.

Here are just 3 things that indicate your locks have been tampered with:

1. Scratches

Locks don’t last forever and wear and tear is to be expected with regular usage. Although you will need to replace them with new ones at some point, scratches and scrapes around the edge of the lock may be a reason for suspicion.

Be sure to inspect your locks frequently. If the deadbolt seems to be out of place or you spot scratches along the keyhole, this suggests that your locks have been tampered with (picked, to be specific).

To pick locks, thieves use a range of tools with sharp points including picks and screwdrivers. These can leave tiny scratch marks on the shiny metal surface around the keyhole – too fine to be from your key.

The solution? Consider swapping conventional locks for smart locks. These eliminate the need for keys and, in most cases, there is an app that allows you to monitor and control access and set new codes for family and friends.

2. The lock doesn’t function properly

No visible signs of an attempted break-in? Whilst this can be reassuring, it’s not to say that your locks haven’t been tampered with. Even though your lock might look perfectly fine, you may notice that the key isn’t turning like it usually does. And a faulty key can often be the result of bumping and snapping.

Snapping is the simplest method of the two and involves the use of a hammer and any other tool that can hold the protruding part of the lock. This essentially breaks the lock and renders its security useless.

Bumping, on the other hand, is where an improvised key is fitted into the lock. It’s struck with a blunt object – forcing the tumblers to release and the door to open.

The best thing to do to prevent lock bumping and snapping is to upgrade to high-security locks, like anti-snap cylinders, and make sure they are fitted by a professional locksmith.

3. The lock is damaged

Debris, scratches, splinters and dents are the most obvious signs of attempted burglary.

Brute force is the tried and tested option for any amateur that doesn’t know how to pick, snap or bump locks. Usually, a crowbar or similar will be used to damage the body of the lock – in the hope of unhinging it.

A damaged lock isn’t easy to repair, so you’ll want to invest in new locks as soon as possible. Of course, it depends on your budget, but you want to opt for locks that will protect your property for as long as possible.

For additional peace of mind, you could have CCTV and other burglary deterrents installed at your premises to put opportunists off breaking in. And don’t forget, any valuable items – be it cash, jewellery, expensive equipment or heirlooms – must be stored in a secure place, ideally a safe or cupboard with a reliable padlock on the outside.

Whether it be new door locks or padlocks, be sure to visit LockShop Direct. They stock an extensive range of security hardware from leading brands, such as Yale, Igloohome, Abus, Master and more.