Turning the lock or closing the padlock when leaving for work gives most of us complete assurance that we’ve left our homes safe and secure.
No one’s going through that door without the key. Right?
Well, don’t be so sure. Most locks are surprisingly easy to pick. Seriously, even you can learn to pick a lock in less than 10 minutes.
Find a good YouTube video and you’ll be a master lock picker in no time.
Perhaps you are thinking that only cheap locks can be picked. If you invest in a good quality weatherproof padlock, surely no burglar can pick it.
Even expensive locks are not pick-proof
The thing is, most locks work pretty much the same way. It’s just a series of pins that need to be turned and raised the right way to open the lock.
Sure, there are some pick-resistant locks that use a different configuration of pins and special anti-picking measures.
But even these are not pick-proof.
And anyway, these high-security locks tend to be too expensive for most people. A majority of the homes burglars break into use basic locks and padlocks that take no more than a few seconds to pick open.
If most locks are easy to pick, why bother having one on your door? You might as well leave the door unlocked, right?
Not at all.
Locks are effective deterrents
While most padlocks are easy to pick, they are still an important part of home security.
They are very effective deterrents, keeping many burglars away. Even a simple lock can discourage a burglar from breaking in.
That’s because the 10-30 seconds they spend fiddling with the lock increases chances of being caught.
A high-security anti-pick lock is going to be even more effective in deterring potential burglars because it requires more time to pick.
So don’t leave your door unlocked. If anything, you should add secondary locks to your doors and windows to give potential burglars second thoughts about attempting to break in.
Don’t rely on the lock alone
Most burglars don’t actually bother to pick the lock. They know it would take more time than they can afford and most of them are young people with no serious lock-picking skills.
They instead use other techniques such as disengaging the lock by force, using a bump key or cutting the padlock’s shackle.
If that fails, they can break the door itself, get in through a window or force open the garage door.
So even if you get a good quality anti-pick lock, it’s not enough to keep your home safe.
The best home security is one that combines different methods that make your home less of an attractive target.
Here are a few security measures you can use in addition to a padlock.
- Don’t give the burglar any privacy: Get rid of any shrubbery that blocks the view to the front of the house or any windows. This ensures a potential burglar can be seen from the street. For night security, use motion-activated security lights around possible entry points.
- Install a deadbolt on your door: A deadbolt lock is just as easy to pick as a normal padlock but it provides extra deterrence to a burglar. Now they have to pick two locks instead of one. It also makes the door harder to kick down.
- Have a home security system: Cameras, alarms, motion sensors…the works. These provide extra security and deterrence against would-be burglars.
- Secure your garage door: Get an extra lock for your garage door. I personally love those heavy-duty ones that you secure in the concrete, making the garage door virtually impossible to force open.
- Keep a dog: If it’s possible, get a guard dog. Most burglars will not dare get into a home with a dog barking and barring its teeth. Some of the best guard dogs breed include Kuvasz, German Shepherd and Rottweiler.
Use at least three different security measures in your home. For example, you can have the deadbolt, set up a couple of cameras and install motion sensor lights.
Also make sure you are not actively tempting burglars by leaving your blinds open, making it obvious you are not home or leaving empty boxes outside advertising the newest electronics you’ve bought.
But whatever you do, do not put too much faith in a padlock.
It is a good deterrence. But if you don’t have any other form of security, you might as well leave the door open and put down a ‘Welcome’ mat for burglars.