Five Security Lessons From a Retired Locksmith
When it comes to home security, locksmiths have seen it all. The one simple rule locksmiths go buy is “prevention.” Want to prevent your hose from being broken into? Buy a door lock. Was your home broken into and now you need to replace your door lock to prevent it from happening again? Buy better quality locks. The formula is not exactly rocket science, but locksmiths really know a lot when it comes to protecting your home. Below are a few lessons we learned from a few we have dealt with in the past.
1. Door locks are useless if the door is not secure. Everyone loves big decorative doors with big windows or stained glass inserts. If a criminal can defeat your $400 lock by throwing a rock through your door window and reaching in to unlock the door, they win. Choose a reasonable door that provides security. Steel and fiberglass are strongest, though there are some wood doors out there that are extremely sturdy. Choose wisely.
2. Door frames are just as important as the doors themselves. If the frame is wood, check for splitting wood where the latch is at. Split or damage wood is a good indication the door was forced open at one point. If this type of damage is present, realize your door was once forced open and the frame was not replaced; meaning it can be forced open again. Metal frames are sturdy and offer ample protection.
3. Own a home build in the 1990s or earlier? Those door locks you have on there are probably 20-years old and can be defeated with a simple screwdriver. Building contractors install cheap components that everyone easily overlooks. No one thinks twice about inferior door locks when they are inspecting their new home, so the locks go unnoticed, neglected, and unchanged.
4. Want to guess how many keys exist which will open your door? Previous homeowners often forget to hand over all of the keys to your home. Now, depending on your homes age, how many previous homeowners does your house have? Not to say all, or any, of these individuals are criminals looking to rip you off, but are you comfortable knowing these keys are out there?
5. Lastly, do not put much faith into those “padlocks” you keep your shed locked with. Padlocks are one of the most common, mass produced, types of locks available. Invest in a quality made lock with a shackle made from high quality steel.