How to secure your home from burglars

lockpick

We don’t need to emphasize the importance of safety. Nowadays there are many ways to secure your home against burglary like alarms, safety cams etc. However, all those devices can be easily hacked and it seems that the burglars are much faster in cracking existing devices than the industry is in developing new types. Whether you decide to install an alarm or camera you will still need a sturdy lock that can not be picked easily. If it takes to long to a burglar to pick your lock he will probably quit and find an easier lock to pick.

First we will explain some of the most common burglar tehniques so you will get the basic idea what are the most important things in locking mechanisms.

Breaking of cylindrical cartridge is a posibility when cartridge isn’t properly installed and it juts out from the shield of the lock. In that case the burglar brakes the cartridge in its weakest spot between the outer and inner core of the cartridge.

Sweeping the mechanism is a tehnique in which the burglar goes into the mechanism of the cartridge with lockpicking tools and tries to move the pins in order to unlock the mechanism.

Bumping is tehnique which consist of bumping on a special tool or a special key inserted in the keyhole.

Drilling the cylinder cartridge is basically destroying the cartridge with a special drill.

Extracting the cylinder is a tehnique of pulling the cylinder cartridge out with the special tool.

Those are most common burglar tehniques but don’t worry, with choosing the proper lock and with proper installation you can neutralize all of the above tehniques. Now we will focus on the most important things which make the lock secure and burglar proof.

The first thing is to acquire the cylindrical cartridge of proper dimensions. The cylindrical cartridge consist of two key elements, the outer and the inner part. To learn what are the best dimensions of the cartridge for your door consult the picture below.

cylinder measuring

Simply put the measurements for A1, A2, B1 an B2 into the table and A+B represents the lenght of the cartridge. If you follow these rules your cilynder will not jut from the shield of the lock and it can’t be broken.




When you calculated the lenght of the cylinder it is time to buy one and the confusing part is that there are hundrends of them on the market, from very cheap ones to very expensive ones. The most important thing is that the price is not the guarantee for safety. The basic things that a safe cylinder must have is a drilling resisant capability (inner pins made of alloyed steel) and “bumping” resistance (antibumping pins in the cylinder mechanism). Also it is best that the keyhole slot is complex because most of the burglar tools are made for simplier slots. The picture below shows the most common key cylinder on the market.

key cylinder
After you acquired the best key cylinder it is time to pick the best outer rose or outer shield. This is in most cases the weakest part of the locking system and you don’t want to buy the most common shield. Most models of roses or shields have the hole on the outer rose where you put the screw which secures the rose. This is ideal for burglars because they can easily dismount the shield and then they have required 3mm of jut for braking the key cylinder cartridge.

When buying the shield make sure that there are no screws on the outer side and make sure that they are made of metal at least 9mm thick. With the proper shield your key cylinder is secured and with that being said your lock is safe.
safety shield

The door lock may be secure but in order to ensure that your door is burglar proof you must take a look at the strike. That is a metal plate bolted on the door post with holes for the latch bolt and deadbolt. In most cases that is the flat metal plate secured with two screws but that model of the strike is one of the weakest parts in the whole locking system. If you have ordinary strike best replace it with the “L” shaped strike like in the picture below which is secured to the doorpost on at least four places.

strike
After the proper strike is installed the weak point may be the hinges that holds the door. Some of the burglars apply the “lifting” tehnique which is basicly lifting the side of the door with lever until the door falls off the hinges. This can be prevented with instaling the safety pins which prevents the door from rising. There are few models of safety pins but the best solution is the two pair of pins like in the picture below  which are mounted on the door and the door frame.

safety pins

After safety pins are installed we can say that your door are safe from burglars now. Of course, you can always boost the level of security with extra locks. From a technical point of view extra lock boost the security level but when you are already secure boosting the level is practicly wasting of money. We advise you to install a door chain instead. Door chain doesn’t affect the security level when the door is closed and locked but are good barrier between you and the unwanted visitor. We hope that you will take the time to read the article an inspect your front and back door because you can never be too safe!

Thank you for sharing, Handyman tips team!
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