Six ways to open a door, and the locks that will stop them

It sounds like a riddle: name six ways to open a door. Go! If you said ‘use your key’, you’ve just named the 7th way – and the only legitimate way – to open a door. Unfortunately, there are six other ways people can get inside your home or business when you don’t want them to. The good news is that, with a little knowledge and the right hardware, you can stop even the most determined intruders from gaining unauthorized entry. Here’ll we look at the six ways to open a door, and what you need to protect yourself, your possessions, and your loved ones.

  1. Open door. This is probably way too obvious, but as locksmiths, we know that locks are only useful if you actually use them – and many people don’t! Whether you are rushing out the door and forget, or deliberately leave doors and windows open on the theory that you aren’t going to be gone long or it’s a safe neighbourhood, you’re taking the risk that someone will take advantage of opportunity.

The fix: A deadbolt that you can lock and unlock remotely via any iOS or Android phone, so if you forget when you leave the house, at least you can secure things as quickly as possible. The Bolt by Lockitron works even when the power goes out.

  1. This is the most common way people think about thieves entering a property, partly because it’s quiet and doesn’t damage the lock, partly because it’s fairly easy with practice. Whether you use a hairpin, credit card, or a pick-and-wrench combo, most locks that operate on a simple pin-and-tumbler system are relatively easy to pick, if one has the patience.

The fix: A pick-resistant cylinder lock like Schlage’s Primus high-security lock.

  1. Copied key. As we mentioned, using a key can obviously be a legitimate way to gain entry to a property – but not if a key falls into the wrong hands!

The fix: If you have too many copies of your key floating around, which can happen over time, a Pro Locksmiths specialist can re-key your lock rather than replacing it. This will simply mean that your lock will now only open to one new key: yours. Another ‘key’ thing to remember is to never leave a spare key under a rock, mat or flower pot in your yard; you’re just asking for thieves to make a copy of it and replace it, leaving you none the wiser. Finally, a high-security lock from a reputable company like ASSA can provide key control that eliminates the possibility of unauthorized key duplication.

  1. Drilled lock. Really simple: Take a drill, insert a drill bit to match the size of the hole in the lock cylinder, turn it on, and drill a hole through the pins until they’re all broken. It will destroy the lock, but burglars are not generally concerned about the welfare of your property!

The fix: A high-security lock from a company like Medeco will provide drill resistance thanks to special protective measures such as a hardened metal case, hardened metal pins, and metal shielding that deters intruders from attempting the lengthy procedure altogether.

  1. Kick door in. This one is mostly for SWAT teams and crime movies, but really, doors do get kicked in. It does happen.

The fix: Make sure your doors are metal, repair or replace wooden door frames as soon as you notice weakness or rot, or invest in a wraparound strike plate. A door bar can be used to reinforce the door as well.

  1. Bumping the lock. Bumping is popular with professionals and amateurs alike, who can buy or make a bump key to open virtually any lock.

The fix: A high security Medeco lock can neutralize bumping attacks by dispersing kinetic force. Attributes built into high-security locks, such as bump-proof pins and tumblers, and the key, such as magnetic beads, will be effectively un-bumpable.