How to Prevent Lock Picking and Improve Your Lock’s Resistance to Break-ins

July 14, 2023 5:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

How to Prevent Lock Picking and Improve Your Lock’s Resistance to Break-ins

When it comes to home security, one of the most important elements is the quality of your locks. A weak or poorly installed lock can make your home an easy target for burglars. Lock picking is one method that criminals use to gain unauthorized access to homes. However, there are steps you can take to prevent lock picking and improve your lock’s resistance to break-ins. In this blog post, we will explore some effective strategies to enhance your home’s security.

1. Choose High-Quality Locks

The first line of defense against lock picking is to invest in high-quality locks. Look for locks that have been tested and approved by reputable security organizations, such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the British Standards Institution (BSI). These organizations independently assess the resistance of locks to different methods of attack, including lock picking.

Consider using deadbolt locks, as they provide an added level of security. Look for deadbolts with at least a one-inch throw (the part that goes into the door frame) and hardened steel construction. The bolt should extend deep into the door frame to resist kicking or prying attacks.

2. Install Locks Properly

No matter how high-quality your locks are, they won’t provide optimal security if they’re installed incorrectly. Improper installation can weaken the effectiveness of the lock and make it easier to pick. Make sure your locks are installed by professionals who have experience in proper lock installation procedures.

Ensure that the strike plates for your locks are securely fastened to the door frame with long screws (at least 3 inches). This will help reinforce the strike plate and prevent it from being easily kicked in.

3. Upgrade to Anti-Pick Locks

Consider upgrading to locks that are specifically designed to resist lock picking techniques. Anti-pick locks have features that make it difficult for lock pickers to manipulate the pins and tumblers inside the lock mechanism. These locks often have additional security pins, mushroom pins, or spool pins that make picking more challenging.

Look for locks that meet the UL 437 standard, which is a performance standard for high-security locks. These locks have undergone rigorous testing, including resistance to picking, drilling, and other forms of attack.

4. Use Key Control Systems

Key control is an important aspect of home security. Ensuring that only authorized individuals have access to your keys reduces the risk of unauthorized duplication or use. High-security locks often come with key control systems that make it challenging for keys to be copied without proper authorization.

Consider using restricted keyways, which limit the availability of key blanks and protect against unauthorized duplication. Keep track of who has your keys and consider rekeying your locks if any keys are lost or unaccounted for.

5. Install Security Pins or Discs

For an added layer of security, you can install security pins or discs in your locks. These pins or discs are designed to make lock picking more difficult by introducing additional obstacles or requiring more precise manipulation of the lock’s mechanism.

Security pins, such as spool pins or serrated pins, are irregularly shaped and make it harder for lock pickers to set the pins correctly. Disc detainer locks have rotating discs instead of pin tumblers, which require specific rotational angles to align and open the lock.

6. Consider Electronic Locks

Electronic locks offer an alternative to traditional key-operated locks and can provide enhanced security features. These locks use electronic mechanisms, such as keypads, fingerprint readers, or smartphone connectivity, to control access to your home. Electronic locks often have built-in anti-picking features and can offer additional benefits, such as remote access control and activity monitoring.

Electronic locks can be a suitable option for those who want to avoid the risk of lock picking altogether. However, ensure that you choose a trusted and reputable brand and consider backup power options in case of a power outage.


Preventing lock picking and improving the resistance of your locks to break-ins requires proactive steps. Choosing high-quality locks, proper installation, and the use of anti-pick locks can significantly enhance your home’s security. Key control systems and security pins or discs provide additional layers of protection. If you’re open to new technology, electronic locks offer advanced features to safeguard your home against intrusions. By implementing these strategies, you can take important steps towards enhancing your home’s security and peace of mind.

Got Questions? Let Us Help!

Welcome to Toledo Lock & Key LLC! Toledo Lock & Key LLC has been servicing Toledo and the surrounding areas since 1980. We are a locally owned company whose services include automotive, residential, commercial, and anything in between. We have an excellent staff that is very fast and reliable. We are experts in automotive work and key cutting, so give us a call today!

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