One of the great plights plaguing the name of lock picking and locksport is that the craft itself is born from malicious roots. That lock picking is a skill based upon criminal intent and anyone wishing to learn of it beyond the scope of locksmithing must have some mischievous underlying purpose.
However, this criticism could not be further from the truth and is in some respects unfounded as only 4% of reported home burglary entries are due to some degree of lock manipulation.
Criminals share a singular mentality in regards to burglarizing — get in and out as fast as possible. The average burglar spends less than 10 minutes ransacking a home and knows that the longer they take, the more likely they are to get caught.
Lock picking is a skill of finesse and one of which nobody will take the time to learn and utilize when much simpler and quicker means of forcible entry are available.
Upon picking your first lock you experience a paradigm shift in how you interpret the very definition of security. You no longer look at those simple metal devices on your doors and windows as a means of absolute protection, but instead as an illusion that grants only the naive a sense of false safety.
It is within the scope of our mission to not only teach the skills of lock picking, but to help individuals truly understand what security is. Furthermore, it is often only with this understanding that one can truly gauge and further their own personal security to better protect themselves and the things — or people — that they value most.
It is with this goal in mind that we bring you the most recent burglary statistics relative to homeowners and our top five actionable steps to prevent becoming one of these statistics.
Avoid Becoming a Burglary Statistic
So what proactive actions can we take to avoid becoming one of these statistics? The ideal security situation for any home is one that has multiple layers and considerations. So let us take a look at what we consider to be the top five actionable steps that anyone can take to ensure the security of their home.
1. Enter the Mind of the Criminal
To defeat the criminal, you must first become the criminal. Get into the mind of the person trying to break into your home by attempting to do so yourself. Survey every inch of your home with unfaltering criticism.
- Take note of any poorly lit areas in which someone may easily hide or gain access to your home without being seen.
- Walk down your street and take notice of any valuables that can be easily seen. Furthermore, can these valuables be easily accessed through a window? Sometimes all a burglar needs for a payday is grab something valuable through a broken window.
- Consider learning the basics of lock picking. You should never make it a habit of picking locks that you rely on, such as the lock on your front door. However, attempting to pick these locks will give you a better insight into how resilient they are against such attacks. You will more than likely find that these basic locks put up little defense against even the most novice of pickers. Consider upgrading your primary locks to something that even the most seasoned lock picker would deem a challenge, such as products by Medeco or Mul-T-Lock.
2. Use Your Locks
Even the most complex and secure locks will only provide you with as much protection as you allow them to. An astonishing 30% of all home burglaries are the simple result of a criminal walking right through an unlocked door. So when you are not using a door or window, lock it up.
3. Fortify Your Doors
Statistically, 34% of burglars enter through the front door and 22% through the back door. This brings to attention the necessity of fortifying these access points.
- Consider reinforcing the strike plate of each door or replace them entirely if they are old, worn, or wobbly. This simple modification can significantly strengthen the resilience your door to forceful attacks.
- Ensure that your door fits snug within its frame. If a door has too much of gap it could easily fall victim to well-placed pry bar.
- If your home has any sliding doors consider using security bars while these doors are not in use. These can be bought or just as easily made by cutting wooden dowels to the appropriate length. Consider adding these to your windows as well for additional security.
4. Security Film
Consider adding security film to your windows. This special polyester film holds a window together even if broken and increases the amount of time and effort required for a criminal to get through. It is also highly recommended that you add this to any sliding glass doors or glass panels.
5. Get a Security Alarm
About 74% of uncompleted burglaries can be attributed to the use of a security alarm. They also contribute to the majority of arrests made. While “top of the line” security systems can be expensive, there are cheaper options such as audible devices that sound when a door or window have been opened. These more affordable options can be obtained and installed fairly easily and offer a substantial increase in your home security.