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tafnaj in austinhomeowner


So, I consider myself to be a tech/customer service professional, who has recently went to work for a local locksmith here in Austin. Over the last 3 months I have learned more about the security (or lack thereof) that todays standard deadbolts/doorknobs provide than I thought I ever would. View this video on bump keys if you need proof.

Really, I had always known that standard locks should really only be your first line of defense, but what do you guys think? Do you think it is worth about $90 per cylinder to have the "unpickable" locks that are on the market, or just go with the mainstream and get a security system?


I think you have to look at what type of criminal you need your locks/system to stop.

First you have your common buglar. These are the guys who will most often break out a window in the back to gain entry. Sure there is the slight chance they'll try to pick the lock, but it's a very slim chance. Most often this type of criminal can be encouraged to look elsewhere by just keeping your home well lit, as they prefer to creep in the shadows to avoid detection. Security system signs certainly drive them away.

Second you have your determined burglar. These are the guys who already have a good idea what is in your home, and they have targeted your home in particular. You aren't just another house on the block. For this type of criminal, a high end lock is no help, as they'll either break out a window, or kick in a door. (lock attaches door to doorjam, it's just wood) Since they know what you have, they don't care much about alarm systems, as they'll be in and out before anyone can respond. So signs won't help, having an actual system with a loud audible alarm MIGHT. It will serve to limit the time they spend in your home, and if you happen to be there, this would be a very good thing.

Lastly you have the professional burglar. For these guys, there is no such thing as an un-pickable lock. The security system isn't of much concern either, as they know how to take them out. The only real defense against the pro is to not look like a target. Don't put pictures of your $20k theater room on the internet for example.

So....$90 a lock is only a good idea for the locksmith selling you the lock.

July 2009

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