Locks are genius: knowing how to defeat, bypass, and manipulate them – priceless for bad guys – expensive for you!
I think its important for all of us to take a little more ownership of our security posture. We often rely on first responders, law enforcement, and military to look after us, protect us, and push us to out of the way of moving vehicles due to our incredible addiction to technology (symptoms of sheep). Unfortunately, citizens in the US and abroad become dependent on these luxuries, weak, and sometimes down right lazy. So if you don’t mind, I would like to share some tips from time to time to increase your security at home and abroad (become more of a sheepdog). If you DO mind – click here.
Locks are actually pretty cool micro-mechanical engineered pieces of art. All parts and pieces work in unison to deliver that unconsciously sought after “click” sound when the cam engages the bolt, and the bolt slides back, passing the strike plate, ultimately, allowing entry. All moving parts engaged with a properly cut key will allow you to enter your home, your hotel room, your safe, your car, start your car, and so on.
We take our keys and locks for granted. Sometimes we feel they are a pain in the ass or an uncomfortable bulge in our pockets. We misplace them, loose them – that’s really the only time we realize their power – only because they make us late for work. We ignore them when they work, we tell them to go to hell when they don’t work. Locks and keys deserve more respect. So lets cover the “not so common sense” ways to insure your keys and locks are doing their job…
Locks are only as good as the installation, the door, and the door frame.
Insure the bolt completely extends into the door frame. Some builders don’t drill out the door frame enough, so when you lock the door, the bolt hits wood before the cam can fully engage, leaving the bolt (the exposed part of the lock between the door and door frame) vulnerable to outside attack. This allows the bolt to be slid back with a knife, ice pick, or credit card. A way to test this, is to lock your locks with the door open. You will note the bolt fully extends with no resistance while turning the key. Then do the same with the door closed. If the key doesn’t rotate smoothly or as far as it did when the door was open, then the bolt is most likely hitting the door frame and never fully seated, which means the door is never really locked.
Reinforce your door frames with 3 inch wood screws! The more the better. Most of your adversaries will simply kick the door in, but if you have your door frame reinforced with 12 or so wood screws from top to bottom, it will take multiple very hard donkey kicks to break the door frame. Obviously, prolonging entry allows you to wake up, call 911 and sit on the couch with your shotgun – clothes are optional.
Don’t forget about the hinges! Some doors are installed with hinges on the outside. Adversaries can remove the pins from each hinge and remove the entire door very quietly. I recommend changing the door to accommodate internal hinges. Never let hinges be exposed.
Doors with windows or decorative glass should not have thumb turners! All an adversary has to do is break the glass and unlock the door using the thumb turner. Replace your locks with double cylinder locks that will require you to use a key on both sides of the door. You can lock your door at night and remove the key. Yes, its a fire hazard but the odds of a break-in outweigh a fire.
Locks are only a part of the security equation.
I give you this little bit to think about, discuss, and comment on. Please share your tips!
Be the sheepdog,
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