Every homeowner faces the nightmare of a potential burglary in their home, so it's important to do everything in your power to fortify your security as much as possible with the help of security alarms and your local locksmith. But despite your best efforts, some relentless burglars will try a myriad of methods to gain access to your home, including compromising your locking systems. This guide is designed to help you identify warning signs that your home's locks have been compromised.
Visible Abrasions And Dents Around Keyholes
An obvious sign that your front door or backdoor lock has been tampered with are noticeable abrasions and dents around keyholes. This could be a sign that the burglar has used several forceful methods to get into your home. If you notice that your home's key is abruptly tougher to turn than usual, then it could indicate that the internal key pin has been manipulated because of lock picking and bumping. If the burglar is successful, you'll probably notice a few items missing and will need to report the burglary to the cops. You may need to report an attempted break-in. You should also get your locksmith to change this door lock immediately –– especially if the intruder was successful.
Bashed In Locks
Bashed in locks are possibly the most obvious signs of a forced break in because of their messy nature. Many intruders attempt to bash in locks or drill through deadbolts, leaving evident signs of forced entry around the front or back door. Some less obvious signs include paint scratches because of movement of lock fixtures, bent latches and distorted doorframes. You will need to report a forced entry or attempted forced entry into your home to your local police station before getting the locksmith to change your locks at home.
Small, Fresh Scratch Marks Around Key Opening
This is perhaps the least obvious sign and perhaps the most evident, because it indicates a more sophisticated break-in effort, which is likely successful. This means that an intruder uses small tools like pins, dental toothpicks and flat screwdrivers to turn and hook the pin tumblers within the locking system. Once the pin tumblers are hooked, the intruder will be able to pry open the lock. This effort requires both expertise and time, but is less likely to leave obvious indications, so you'll have to look out for signs of small and fresh scratch marks around key openings.
If you notice any of these signs of forced entry, be sure to inform the local authorities and get your locksmith to replace your existing locking systems with more sophisticated and modern models for better home security.