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3 Telling Signs Which Indicate Your Lock Has Been Tampered with

Break-in attempts are never good news for homes or businesses. That is why it is a good idea to be watchful for possible signs of intrusion.

One of the first things you should take notice of is to see if the lock has been tampered with.

Keep in mind that if the break-in was unsuccessful during the first attempt, there might be a second time where the burglars will be better prepared.

That is why knowing a few signs of a possible break-in can help you better deal with these situations in the future.

Here are 3 red flags you should be on the lookout for.

1. Scratches

Wear and tear are commonplace for locks which see frequent usage. However, scrapes and deep cuts near the edges of the lock may be a reason for suspicion.

Say, for example, if your deadbolt lock appears to be slightly out-of-place or there are scratches along the keyhole, then you may be dealing with a case of lock picking.

Scratches may be a sign that the lock has been tampered with

The purpose of lock picking is to manipulate the tumblers of the lock device to get to open the door without the original key. This is done by using a wide array of tools.

Among these tools, picks and screwdrivers with sharp points can often press along the edges of the lock. This can lead to the appearance of shiny metal scratches on its surface. That’s why they may indicate the lock has been tampered with.

A great solution for problems as this one is to discard the use of conventional locks and opt for installing smart locks. They offer an increased layer of protection by eliminating the need for a key.

2. The Lock Doesn’t Function Properly

If there aren’t any noticeable signs of damage, you may notice something may be odd about how the key turns. This could be an indicator the lock has been tampered with.

A faulty key is a symptom of bumping and snapping, which are common tactics used by burglars.

Bumping involves using an improvised key which fits within the target lock and then striking it with a blunt object in order to force the tumblers to release.

Snapping is an even simpler method, where it involves the use of a hammer in tandem with any tool which can hold the protruding part of the lock. This is done so as to get the lock to break, rendering its security useless.

Lock snapping predominantly occurs in locks which match the Euro Cylinder profile, typically found in uPVC doors.

3. Damaged Lock

Brute forcing is a hasty method of breaking-in and one which leaves visible signs of attempted burglary.

It is the tried and tested option for many amateur housebreakers. Due to their inexperience in picking or “snapping”, many will resort to physically damaging the lock in order to get it to turn.


This generally involves drilling through the lock, using a crowbar to damage the body of the lock or kicking the door itself, with the intent to unhinge it. As a result, signs of debris, scratches, splinters or a dented lock are giveaways for this type of break-in attempt.

Situations as this one cause a lot of distress – obtain peace of mind by installing Yale’s smart HD CCTV cameras. They are ideal for maintaining surveillance of the premises and do an excellent job at deterring burglars from attempting a break-in.

Lock Has Been Tampered with? Here’s a Solution.

If you take notice of any of these signs, then there is a chance you may be dealing with a burglar. Are you willing to risk a second round?

For further information, contact us online or give us a call at 0800 0612 677, our locksmiths are at your disposal 24/7.

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