What Houdini Can Teach You About Securing Your Home And Belongings

Harry Houdini was perhaps the most famous magician of all time, and his signature move, escaping and picking locks, was radical and eye-catching at the time. What most people do not know, however, is that many of Houdini's tricks  involved easily reproducible techniques that will work on some old locks around the house.

Unlocking a Door With a Shoelace

The Trick: Tying a slipknot with your shoelace can give you enough leverage to open garden gate doors or even the doors on some old cars. Houdini himself wrote about escaping from handcuffs using this very trick in his book, Handcuff Secrets

The Solution: Overly simple locks or latches are very susceptible to this trick. Thankfully, a modern deadbolt lock is far more reliable, and can be placed almost anywhere an old-fashioned latch can be. 

Straitjacket Escape

The Trick: One of Houdini's favorite illusions was the straitjacket escape, which confounded many of his audience members and local authorities. Even though it seemed he was totally neutralized in the jacket, he still managed to escape time and time again. 

The Solution: Houdini's method for escaping straitjacket after straitjacket was to flex his muscles and hold his arms stiff while he was being tied. Then, Houdini would use this extra space as wiggle room to writhe out of the jacket and escape. The lesson here is that even a small amount of give in your lock system can be enough to allow a screwdriver or other instrument to find a chink in your home's armor. Locks should be solid and tight with no room for undue movement. 

Breaking out of One-of-a-Kind Handcuffs

The Trick: Houdini would often invite audience members to bring their own handcuffs to the show to dispel rumors about him using fake locks. Then, he would only need a matter of minutes to break free. For these feats, Houdini relied only on his extensive lock picking knowledge, which he had studied for years. 

The Solution: You may ask how you can combat something like an expert lock picker with no tricks up his sleeve, but the secret is to stay ahead of the thieves. Super modern locks like something drill proof are bound to keep you far ahead of even the most experienced lock picker. Having modern locks on household safes is especially important. 

Knowing these tricks can give you a better shot at keeping the right people in and the wrong people out, and most of your locks can be Houdini-proofed by your local locksmith, who makes a living at keeping out people like the Great Houdini. For more information about locks, contact a company like Ottawa Key Shop.