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Stay One Step Ahead of the Lock Picks

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Homeowners who pay attention to lock picks can make sure they have the latest in security to thwart most attempts to break into their home. The way to avoid having your house lock picked by a burglar is to understand the technology being used and best alternatives.

Lock Picks and Bump Keys

Lock picks can use a variety of tools, from homemade items to tools manufactured for the very purpose of picking a door lock. The general idea is to arrange the pins inside the lock in the same way that they are situated when the correct key is used on the door. One tool is inserted at one end of the lock to create some tension and a second tool with a curved end is inserted to try to raise the pins in the lock to the point where the plug will turn and the door will open. The tools are used simultaneously and good lock picks can open most doors in a minute or less.

Bump keys have become increasingly popular in the last decade. The idea behind the bump key is similar to lock picking, but the process is completely different. The idea is to get the pins in a cylinder lock aligned so that the lock will open - something that normally only takes place when the correct key is inserted into the lock. In the case of bump keys, there are specially cut keys generally made for every type of key available. A bump key works as quickly and easily as the actual key when opening a lock and leaves behind no evidence that it was used.

Thwart Lock Picks with Digital Locks

Since both of the most common ways to manipulate a door lock during a burglary involve a lock and key, the best way to avoid the risk is to get a keyless lock. Digital lock technology has evolved to the point where keyless locks are now commonly used for homes.

  • Fingerprint locks. Fingerprint scanners are located on the lock pads and can store a number of different fingerprints to open the lock. If you have trouble losing keys, or anything else that you keep in your pocket, this could be the digital lock for you.
  • Pushbutton locks. A combination is required to open the lock, with a keypad located on the lockset. There is no key involved, though some pushbutton locks include keys as a backup entry method. However, there are pushbutton locks available without keys so you eliminate the threat of lock picks and bump keys.
  • Remote-controlled locks. While there is no key, and so no way for lock picks to defeat the lock, you do have a fob with a button that triggers the receiver on the lockset and opens the door. Great for the disabled who may not be able to enter a combination or get their finger in place for a fingerprint lock.

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