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How to Detect Lock Tampering: Signs You Should Look For

Lock tampering is a serious threat to any business owner. Signs of a tampered lock can be difficult to detect and often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Signs vary from visible dents and scuff marks around the keyhole, scratches around the door handle, or even missing hardware from inside the door frame. In this post, we will discuss signs you should look for that indicate your lock has been tampered with and measures you can take to help prevent unauthorized entry into your business!

How can you tell if someone tried to pick a lock?

Signs of lock picking include marks on the keyhole, scratches around the door handle, and even missing hardware from inside your door frame. Signs your lock has been tampered with can be difficult to detect if you don’t know what to look for. Sometimes the best resource is common sense, if something on your door lock doesn’t seem right or the keyhole seems to lose or tight chances are your locks have been tampered with.

If someone tried to pick the lock or use brute force how would it look?

Bent deadbolts and/or door frames may indicate tampering. Scratch marks around the keyhole or small dents on hardware could also be signs of entry attempts. If something seems out of place, you may want to consider contacting a locksmith as soon as possible.

What is lock bumping and how it could affect you?

Lock bumping is a technique that uses a lockpick gun to quickly open most pin and tumbler locks. It only takes seconds for someone using this technique to gain access to your property, which makes it an attractive option for burglars if they believe the area has been compromised by somebody else or if their primary method of entry may have failed.

Possible signs of bumping

  • Some fresh nicks around the keyhole’s edges from pounding the key a little too strongly.
  • Metal edges that look as if they’ve just been struck.
  • Tiny scratch marks around the keyhole.

This technique if done correctly by a burglar may leave no obvious signs. More info about bumping can be found in this Wikipedia article.

What to Do If You Suspect Your Locks Have Been tampered With

If you suspect an attempt at forced entry, contact your local police department and then call a locksmith for help assessing the situation and preventing future break-ins.

Upgrade Your Locks

If you recently purchased your property or had an attempted break in, you should re-key your locks as soon as possible. Rekeying locks reduces the chances of a burglar coming back and trying to break in again. A locksmith should always be your first call when you suspect lock tampering has taken place.

Consider Reinforcing Your Doors and Windows

Examine your home’s doors for security flaws. Sliding glass doors or those constructed of flimsy wood are easy targets for would-be intruders. Make sure your outside doors and windows are made of robust wood or metal, as well as that they’re securely locked and bolted when you depart.

You’ll need stronger locks or additional security features to minimize the risk.

  • If you don’t already have them, install chain latches on your outside doors. This doesn’t affect the lock’s bump resistance, but it does add an extra barrier for a thief to overcome in order to get inside.
  • Have a locksmith add extra pins to your current locks and deadbolts. Lock bumping is not prevented by this, but it makes the process more time-consuming. This is generally a more cost-effective option than replacing locks.
  • Hire a professional locksmith to replace the locks on your doors with bump-resistant versions. The locks are typically more expensive, but bumping them won’t work but when it comes to your family’s safety every penny is well invested.
  • In our current times having a home security system is very affordable there are options for all budgets. When a door is opened, regardless of how it happens, most security systems will detect it. Depending on your settings if the alarm sets off an alarm and alerts your provider or directly a 911 dispatcher once the lock has been compromised.
  • Install Security Cameras. Security cameras can be an effective deterrent against burglars, as it is difficult for them to know when they are being watched or if the footage has been recorded on your device. It’s easier than ever now with IP security cameras that can be viewed remotely.

You can’t always prevent someone from trying to access your home but you are in control of the work they have to do to get inside.

These preventive steps will help ensure that if somebody does try to break into your home, their efforts won’t be successful. If it turns out that somebody has tried and failed again then this is not a sign to relax your guard, there could be something else they are trying. They could also appear when you least expect them like when the kids are home alone or in the middle of a party!

Some burglars will give up if it looks like their attempt has failed but others may come back with more determination and aggression. The best thing you can do is arm yourself with the knowledge of what to look for and how to prevent it.

Lock tampering or a brute force entry is a serious threat. If you suspect that your lock has been tampered with, don’t wait until it’s too late! Signs vary from visible dents and scuff marks around the keyhole, scratches around the door handle, or even missing hardware from inside the door frame. For more information on how Armstrong Locksmith can help protect your property today call us at 615-625-8000