Whether you’re coming home from work or just returned from a trip, it can feel quite unnerving to find that your lock has been tampered with. If you don’t fix the issue right away, the intruder may try to break in again. Here are a few signs you should call a trusted locksmith right away.
How to Tell If Your Lock Has Been Tampered With
1. Small Marks
If the area surrounding the key hole has small nicks, someone may have tried to pick or bump the lock. For the former, a criminal uses delicate tools to open the lock through the keyhole. For the latter, they use a specially designed key called a bump key. This key is a standard one cut with all the valleys at maximum depth so it will fit into any lock. When inserted with force, the bump key breaks all of the lock’s tumblers to gain access.
2. The Lock Suddenly Doesn’t Work
If your lock was working fine yesterday but suddenly feels jammed or blocked, someone may have tried breaking in. If the key doesn’t turn easily, they may have bumped it. Also, look for shiny metal edges that appear battered.
3. Obvious Door Damage
If you notice damage like bent latches or deadbolts, debris scattered on the floor at the base of the door, or any new damage around the locking fixture itself, an intruder may have tried to use brute force to gain access. To prevent burglars from physically forcing their way in, make sure your exterior doors are solid metal instead of hollowed wood. Also, have a locksmith include a Grade-1 deadbolt on your lock and a high-quality strike plate attached with 3-inch screws.
Top-quality locks make it nearly impossible for intruders to break into your home. Whether you’ve noticed signs of damage or just want an upgrade, contact the expert locksmiths at Cohen’s Key Shop in New Haven County, CT. For more than a century, they’ve been replacing, repairing, and rekeying locks. To schedule an appointment with a locksmith, call (203) 397-3528. Visit their website to learn more.