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Ways Intruders Bypass Residential Locks

April 14, 2019


Burglary is generally a crime of opportunity rather than premeditation. There is no such thing as an unpickable lock, so your best bet for protecting your home is to make it as unattractive as possible to burglars. A combination of security features is generally recommended, from strong locks to security systems. Here are some common ways that intruders bypass residential locks, and how to guard against them.

Ways Intruders Bypass Residential Locks

Unlocked Doors or Windows

Burglars like it best when they can simply enter through an unlocked door or window, and this is more common than you might imagine. You can dramatically beef up your home security by taking a few moments to check all the door and window locks before going to bed or leaving home. Even the best lock in the world is useless if it isn’t locked.

No Alarm

Burglars hate alarm systems for the same reason property owners love them: they draw attention to the home invasion. Without an alarm system, the burglar has time to work on picking or bumping your lock. With an alarm, the burglar is likely to bypass your home rather than risk trying to disable it. The best option is a monitored system that will send the police to your door, but even a basic, low-cost system is better than nothing.

No Deadbolts

More than 30% of burglars enter through the front door, and more than 22% go through the back door. Any lock short of a deadbolt does little to slow them down. While it is important to secure all entry points, just adding high-quality deadbolts to your front and back doors can make a dramatic impact on your home security.

Sliding Doors

Sliding door locks are a joke to professional burglars. Install a safety bar, or at least wedge a cheap dowel rod into the track frame, to discourage intruders from entering through your sliding door.

Open Garage Doors

The door between your home and your garage is rarely secure. Many contractors install hollow interior doors with cheap locks, on the premise that your garage door will provide security. Yet it is all too easy to accidentally leave your garage door open. Not only is it easy for a burglar to walk in through the garage and get through the door to the house, but the garage provides great cover to avoid being seen by the neighbors. Invest $50 or less in a garage door timer that will automatically close the door after a set time period.

Cover of Darkness, or Landscaping

Burglars hate working out in the open, where they might be seen. Large bushes and trees around your windows and doors allow them to hide out for as long as it takes to bypass your locks. Either cut back landscaping that obscures your home’s entry points, or opt for natural deterrents such as sharp, thorny, or spiky plants.

Likewise, make sure your home isn’t inviting burglars to hide in the dark. Install motion sensor lights around all entry points. A sudden flood of light will send all but the most determined burglar fleeing for an easier target.

No lock is truly unpickable, and no home security system is 100% reliable. Since burglars are opportunistic, though, taking a few simple steps to thwart them is often enough to make them think twice about invading your home.

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