Repairs after Break-in?

Emergency Break In Repairs in Melbourne

At 24h Melbourne Locksmith, we absolutely reject the popular notion that says: “If they really want to get in, then you can’t stop them”. We offer a range of effective solutions to improve the security of your property, including lock changes, re-keying and burglary lock repairs in Melbourne.

We understand that a break in can be a very stressful experience for many, and it can be hard to know what to do in the immediate aftermath, but it’s important to take the necessary steps to secure your property and report the crime if your house has been broken into.

In this order, you need to:

  1. Call the Police to report it. Call 000 and report it. This is what they’re there for.
  2. Clear the property of any possibly remaining intruders. Ladies, elderly, or vulnerable people, we advise you to wait for the police to do this. Fighting age men, get stuck right in, and don’t forget the “reasonable force” legal doctrine, although it may be different in your jurisdiction.
  3. Secure the property

Securing the Property

The 1st 2 steps are yours to complete, but we take care of the the third. The average break-in job for us could involve the temporary repair of a door, the fitting of a metal door wrap plate, new lock installation, a frame patch up, and a change of any keys that have been stolen. We conduct emergency break in repairs quickly, efficiently and without fuss. Our on-site service locksmiths can also advise further as to what will absolutely prevent break-ins from happening again in the future. We believe that careful application and installation of proper security measures and hardware can eliminate the risk of burglary to virtually zero. Our results support this statement.

We can assist with:

  • Emergency lock repair in Melbourne
  • Door repairs
  • Frame repairs
  • New locks installed
  • Blocker plates
  • Door and frame re-enforcing
  • Locks changed
  • Remote reprogramming

Common Methods of Break-In

Force

This is by far the most common method of break-in that we see here in Victoria, Australia. In 9 out of 10 break-ins that we see, the door has been kicked or forced open with a pry bar or SWAT universal key.

Here are some typical results of break-ins of this nature:

You can see in the above photo that the door has split in the middle after force has been applied from the outside.

There is a commonality running thru these pictures. It’s the fact that the doors or the frame have broken. Once the door or the frame is broken, it allows force and flex to be applied on the locking mechanisms with huge amounts of leverage. If your door or frame is weak, then the best locks in the world will not save it from being smashed in.

Preventing Your Door from Being Forced

We recommend the re-enforcing of frames and doors as part of any security upgrade or deadlock installation. This is not as complicated or as costly as you might think.

Door Re-Enforcement

A metal shroud that squeezes the door around the lock will help prevent the door from coming apart. Here are some examples of metal door wraps for doors with deadbolt type arrangements, although they’re available for nearly all doors and lock configurations:

Frame Re-Enforcement

We also recommend the installation of a door sized steel strip with deep penetrating screws along the length of your frame. This will prevent the striker plate from coming off and stop the frame from splitting. This is known as a London bar door reinforcer, or a Kick Stop on the lock’s side, and a Birmingham bar should be installed on the hinge side also.

Hinges Re-Enforcement

Hinges can be the weak point in any door system, especially on outward opening doors that have their hinge pins exposed. The theory is that if the hinge pins are removed, then there’s nothing holding the door closed on the frame side.

Installation of hinge pins provides a solution:

Hinge pins are cheap and effective. For a more professional solution, security hinges can also be installed:

While a lot of people purport that it’s easy to open a door via removal of the hinge pins, it’s actually incredibly hard to do. Even on “easy” doors with cheap hinges, big gaps and sub-standard locks, it’s difficult.

The Use of Old or Stolen Keys

Old Keys

Use of old keys is another very common method of break-in. For a property that is or was a rental property, just stop to imagine for a second how many people have had the keys in their possession, such as former tenants, former flatmates, contractors and real estate agents. Do you know who has or had the keys to your property at any given moment in time? Don’t wait until it’s too late. To prevent us from having to come out to conduct burglary lock repairs in Melbourne, make sure you change your locks or get them re-keyed.

Stolen Keys

If your keys are stolen with an address tag on them, then obviously this makes it easy for the crooks to find the booty. When this happens, you need to change the locks immediately. If your keys are stolen with no identification on them, then it should be hard for the thieves to find the property where the keys work. But remember, the keys don’t need to be stolen with an address tag on them for the crooks to find your house. If they’ve also stolen your wallet or purse, then there’s usually something else with your address on it that can lead them to your property.

Car Jacking and Stolen Keys

What about the carjacking burglary 1-2 combination? This is where the thief car jacks you with your keys still in the ignition. They then hit the home button on your GPS and drive to your house. If a remote for your garage was in the car, they can drive straight into the garage where the neighbours can’t see them loading up the loot into your car.

We are seeing a shorter and shorter time frame between keys being stolen and those keys being used to rob a house, quite often in fact on the same day. The only solution to prevent burglary through use of a stolen key is to change the locks. This is easier and cheaper than you may think. We can usually do it on the same day for standard rates, and if late at night or after hours, we charge only slightly more.  For more information, read our change the locks page.

Known Vulnerabilities in Common Locks and Doors

There are many locks in the Australian market that have known vulnerabilities and can be easily defeated by having some basic items and knowing the right technique. As an example, one of those locks is the Gainsborough Tri Lock:

There are literally thousands of these things installed across Australia. If they’re installed and used correctly, they’re a reasonably secure lock to have on your front door. But if they’re not installed or used correctly, they can be like an open door to even an amateur burglar.

Another example would be cheap sliding doors and locks. It is incredible how many sliding doors and locks are installed incorrectly, allowing relatively easy access to the property. If you have a sliding door and lock, then they need to be installed correctly to work properly and offer the maximum amount of security possible. We can install and advise on the correct usage of all locks and whether or not they’re suitable for the application. You may have the best locks in the world, but you might not be using them to their full extent. For more information, please read our lock repairs and adjustments page.

Picking the Lock

Picking the lock involves using specialised tools to manipulate the tumblers inside the lock cylinder in order to mimic the action of inserting and turning the correct key. It allows surreptitious entry to a locked property, because with lock picking, there will be no apparent damage to the locks or the door. If your locks have been picked to gain entry, then you won’t notice this on the outside of the locks themselves. Only upon forensic examination can a lock be determined to have been picked open, and the results of such tests are quite often inconclusive.

However, having said this, it’s highly unlikely that the average burglar is picking your locks to gain entry to your property. As professional locksmiths with experience in emergency lock repair in Melbourne and helping literally thousands of people who have been locked out,  we know more about locks than any average thief, and the fact is that the process to pick open a lock is usually not as silent, quick or discreet as Hollywood would have you believe. Broadly speaking, the only people that pick locks to gain entry are locksmiths, police and private investigators.

It’s not an inevitable fact that they’ll be able to open your door without you knowing. For a very reasonable price, you can have locks that can’t be picked open. We can supply and install many locks that can’t be picked and have no known vulnerabilities that enable them to be opened surreptitiously. THAT INCLUDES US.  They’re not as expensive or costly to install as you might think, and usually the only required upgrade to your lock is a high security cylinder such as ANZLA or Abloy. You can find out more on our high security & masterkey systems page.

Entry Through Unlocked Doors or Windows

This one is self-explanatory. If you a leave a door or window open and/or unlocked, then all the best locks in the world will not stop burglars from getting in. In 2017, 28% of burglaries in Australia were committed through an unlocked door or window.

Many good locks are self-locking and will secure doors once they’re closed, but that’s still no good if the door isn’t closed. Fortunately, there are door closers made for every application. From heavy glass doors that have closers installed in the floor through to the regular overhead version you see on shop front doors and office buildings, there’s something for every door. We can supply and install the full range of door closers and automatic dead latches to ensure that your doors are closed and locked securely every time.

Garage Remote Reprogramming

If your garage remote has been stolen, then you need to immediately make sure it can’t open your garage. A temporary stop-gap measure is to pull the plug and engage the manual drive. That way, the stolen remote won’t work and the door can’t be manually lifted open. For a more long-term solution, we can supply any replacement remotes that might have been stolen and also reprogram most automatic doors so that any missing remotes are no longer operational.

Police Attendance and Your Break-In

Sometimes there can be a delay between you reporting the break-in and the police actually attending your property to take photographs, dust for fingerprints and do an investigation. We are fully prepared and equipped to operate in a crime scene environment, with minimal contamination. In practice, this means that we carry shoe coverings, gloves and hairnets when for carrying out emergency lock repair in Melbourne for jobs that the police have not yet attended.

Frequently Asked Questions

This depends on the extent of the damage and if there are any locks or replacement parts that are needed. Send us a photo and we can give you an accurate quote for emergency break in repairs over the phone at the time of booking.

Typical prices might be:

  • $90-130, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
  • $130-180, Mon-Fri 5 pm-midnight, all day Saturday
  • $180 -220, Mon-Fri midnight to 9am-5pm, 5 pm-midnight Saturday, all day Sunday

These prices include the labour and the report, excluding parts.

Typical parts used for burglary lock repairs in Melbourne might include:

Brava Double Cylinder Deadlock = $110

Scar Plate = $50

Blocker Plate = $60

Door Wrap Scar Plate = $70

That is up to you. If you want to wait, you can, but many people prefer to get their property secured sooner rather than later.

Yes. You can pay with Visa, AMEX or MasterCard.

Yes. We stand by the quality of our workmanship 100%. Most of the new locks we use for emergency lock repair in Melbourne are also covered by a 10-25 year guarantee by the manufacturer.

Emergency? We Can Help