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Guest Post: How I Break Into Homes (or How to Keep a Professional Out)

This is a guest post contributed by the owner of a wonderful reThinkSurvival sponsor, Craig actually assesses home security for a living as a professional locksmith and shares some of his knowledge here with you. As a result of his experience, he has developed the bar-ricade to help kick-proof your doors. Check it out as the bar-ricade may be something that you sorely need!

The bottom line is… You cant. But here are some suggestions on how to make it much tougher to break into your home and make it a much more difficult target and therefore less attractive. Most thieves are opportunistic and will choose the easiest target available.

In today’s economic climate, my work (as a professional locksmith) has become more and more for banks. All those foreclosures you hear about have to be entered, re-keyed, and secured.

I spend a lot of each day breaking in to homes which have been abandoned by the former owners and performing the above mentioned chores. So….. how do I get in?

Pick the locks.

This seems to be the most common assumption, but in reality, its # 2 on the list. The first thing I do is to go around the house looking for an unlocked window or an unlocked sliding glass door. It’s truly amazing how often I gain entry by simply looking for easy access. The most common access is gained by lifting the big garage door. If you’re going on vacation, disconnect that automatic door opener and put a bolt through the track on at least one side to block the wheels on roll up doors.

The second most common easy entry is that pet door. Of course they have the solid plastic cover that slides over the inside to keep other animals out when your pet is in, but most normal people of average proportion can simply lift the plastic door guard up and out, lay on their back, reach through the pet door and unlock the knob and frequently the dead bolt as well. Walk in. Pet doors are a bad idea from a security aspect.

Back to lock picking… there isn’t a locksmith anywhere who can guarantee the ability to pick any and every lock. It’s just not realistic. We can pick most, but sometimes you run across that one lock that you just cant beat. Time to break out the drill. The problem here is that if you don’t do it correctly, it still won’t open, and then you’ve got to replace the lock. I won’t go into specifics here as to the correct way to drill a lock.

Now that we’ve resorted to the drill, which lock to attack? The front door is always my last choice. The higher quality locks are usually there while the side garage door or back door are frequently much cheaper (therefore easier) targets. The EASIEST lock to defeat is the sliding glass door. Its easy, quick, and many folks wont even notice its been drilled. I cannot stress enough that you should PUT SOMETHING IN THE TRACK OF THE SLIDING GLASS DOOR. Whether its a dowel or other piece of wood or pipe, or a pin that goes through the track, put SOMEHTING there. With either of these solutions defeating the lock is pointless. The door wont open.

When all else fails, there is a specialty tool which will defeat most home security. Its called a brick or sometimes a rock. Applied correctly to any glass closure one can gain entry to most homes that don’t have burglar bars. This is noisy and usually used as a last resort by someone absolutely determined to get into your home. If you happen to be at home when you hear glass break, I highly recommend another tool made by Remington, Colt, and Smith & Wesson. But that’s another article.

When you’re in for the night, make sure your doors are as kick proof as possible.

7 comments to Guest Post: How I Break Into Homes (or How to Keep a Professional Out)

  • Thanks for the article. It’s always interesting to hear from a thief how they go about doing their business.

  • Bev

    I thought the article was very interesting and I watched the video on the bari-cade.

    Too bad all my doors have big windows in them :) Talk about lack of security!

    • We’ve basically built glass houses and expect that society will behave. It’s only when things go bad (or bad people are around to do bad things) do we find this out and then it’s too late to better secure your home.

  • T.R.

    The reasons they did this were because a lot of those folks had neighbors that were several miles away , any law enforcement around was even farther away in the towns , so they figured that was one of the few ways to at least to maybe get one of them if they came back to a ransacked house .

  • T.R.

    This is HIGHLY illegal , but ever hear of the ” ranchers doorstop ” ? , its not used a lot today but rural folks used to rig up a shotgun with a hair trigger to a chair with a string attached to the front door . The door opening part way sets off the shotgun , anybody standing in front of the doorframe gets shot . It was illegal in the old days as well , but the rural sheriffs of that time didnt ask a lot of questions about it .

    • I think I’ve seen that in movies. I’m sure a little creativity in the area of home defense can go a long way if you’re willing. It would have to get really bad for me to consider anything like this.

    • snb

      Many years ago a man in Oklahoma rigged a shotgun, afterwards he was sued and had to pay the thief for the permanent damage done to the man. Be careful about this, he was quoted as saying he should have had 2 shotguns because dead wouldn’t have cost as much!