How to Protect Your Home from Common Break-In Methods

Having your home burglarized can be an incredibly traumatic experience, even if you’re at least lucky enough to not be home when it happens. Nothing can make a person lose their sense of security more quickly than a break-in. Because of this, it is important that you take the proper steps to secure your home against home invasion or burglary to ensure the safety of your property, and more importantly your family. The easiest way to do so is to learn how to think like a thief, identifying any possible “weak spots” in your home’s security and then taking the simple steps to remedy those weaknesses.

Home invasions and burglaries can happen anywhere and at any time, no matter how safe you think your neighborhood is.  The problem is that much of the advice on preventing break-ins revolves solely around ways to deter thieves from breaking in while you’re on vacation or otherwise away from the house for a few days. Of course, making sure newspapers and mail don’t pile up, setting your lights on a timer or leaving your radio on are all good ideas when going away for even a few days; however, the truth is that burglaries are just as likely to occur while you’re at work, or worse, in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping. 

Burglars are opportunists, and if they want to get into your house badly enough, simply leaving the radio on probably won’t stop them. Therefore, the best thing you can do is to make sure all possible entry points are as secure as possible.


One of the most common ways that thieves get in is through the window, which is why you should make sure to have solid locks on each window to prevent them from being opened from the outside.  Of course, it’s obvious that locks won’t stop someone from simply throwing a rock through your windows, which is why a window alarm would be a good idea; however, reformed burglars mentioned that the main way they entered a house is through an unlocked door or window or a locked door or window with weak locks.


Burglars have a sneaky tactic of literally pushing in on your garage door, reaching a coat hanger through the space and pulling on the garage door opener disengagement cord.  This gives a burglar full access to your garage as well as your home if you don’t lock your interior garage door to the home. There are simple methods of blocking that cord to prevent this from happening or either wrapping or removing the cord altogether. 


Obviously, no thief is going to bother breaking in through a window if the front or back door is unlocked; however, simply locking your doors is often not enough, even if you use a deadbolt.  Have you heard of lock bumping? Lock bumping, which involves using a specially cut ‘bump key’ allowing a thief to open almost any lock in a matter of seconds. 

Unfortunately, the Internet has made the practice increasingly common, as there are thousands of videos and step-by-step instructions available online that can teach anyone the practice in less than an hour. Even worse, would-be thieves can buy an entire set of bump keys for less than $30 or fashion them at home with a file, allowing them to quickly break into most any building.

The majority of locks on the market are keyed in a similar way, as each brand tends to use a similar key profile on all the locks it produces. This makes them incredibly easy to break in to as it is likely that a bump key can open any lock it fits in.

Bump keys work by taking a key that fits a specific brand’s lock profile and then filing down all the valleys on the key. This allows the key to bypass the tumblers so it can fit in any lock. Once the key is inserted, tapping on it with a hammer ‘bumps’ all the tumblers up out of the way for a split second, allowing the thief enough time to turn the key and unlock the door.

Even if you have expensive, so-called high-security locks on your home, there’s a good chance that they are still vulnerable to bumping. In fact, the problem is so widespread that it’s estimated that 90 to 95 percent of locks sold in hardware stores are susceptible to bumping.

The easiest way to prevent this increasingly common problem is to hire a locksmith to outfit all of your exterior doors with bump-resistant locks. Most major lock brands produce their own bump-proof locks, which generally consist of a high-security cylinder that makes them much harder to manipulate or pick. These locks also use a wide range of different key profiles to make them less susceptible to bump keys, as well as a range of other additional methods to make them virtually impossible to bump.

Call Pop-A-Lock Locksmiths Today!

We are a family-owned business with locksmiths who are extremely skilled in break-in prevention.  We take the time to educate you as to where the vulnerable points are in your home and we teach you to remedy them in the simplest way possible.  For all your locksmithing and home security needs, call Pop-A-Lock at 602-274-1432 or contact us online. Our entire team is background-checked, drug-tested and we make sure that you know it’s us by showing up in marked Pop-A-Lock vans and uniforms.  Cheers to making the Valley a safer place to live!