Whether it's your commercial property or home, a door lock is your first line of defense to keep your valuables and loved ones safe. If your locks have been tampered with, it's critical to get them changed as soon as possible. This will also bring you peace of mind. Below, find out how you can tell if someone has been tampering with your locks.

How Do You Know if a Lock Has Been Tampered With?

1. Brute Force Damages

Some intruders will use brute force to get a door open since this is usually the fastest method. Common techniques include kicking down the door, drilling through a deadbolt, or drilling the lock and then prying the door open with a crowbar. You may notice that the deadbolt has come off, the lock is dented, or the doorframe is splintered or warped.

2. Small Scratch Marks

door lockLock-picking offers a more subtle means of gaining entry to a property. It involves using tiny tools to turn the lock from the inside. Lock-picking may result in scratches and scrapes on the lock's metal plate due to contact with tools. A professional can examine a lock to confirm whether it's been picked, as the lock-picking tools will cause minute wear and tear different from what a key would normally leave behind.

3. Keyhole Damages

Another method of door lock tampering is called bumping. This is done by filing down the "teeth" of a key into sharp points, like a small saw. The key is then inserted into the keyhole, forcefully “bumped,” and then removed.

This is done repeatedly until each of the lock's tumblers—the mechanism that prevents a lock from being opened without the correct key—is compromised. Signs of bumping include small nicks and dents along the edges of the keyhole that come from pounding the key.


If you suspect your door locks have been tampered with, A-Tri-County Lock will help. These professionals provide mobile locksmith services throughout Akron, Cleveland, and Canton, OH, and they are an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau® and the Associated Locksmiths of America®. Visit their website for a list of services. To schedule their services, call (330) 928-6222 for their Akron location, (330) 494-1188 for Canton, (216) 481-2233 for East Cleveland, and (440) 552-1410 for West Cleveland.