It’s a fact of life that nothing lasts forever. Locks need replacing just like everything else, but unless you are a professional locksmith, how are you supposed to know whether you should replace your locks or not?
What should you look out for to determine whether your locks need replacing? And are there some times that you should replace your locks whatever condition they are in? We spoke to home security expert Steve at Locksmith Nottingham to find out.
The lock is difficult to use
This seems obvious, but it’s often tempting to leave a lock that is a bit ‘tricky’. How many times have you heard someone say that “there is a knack” to locking or unlocking a particular door or you “just need to give it a jiggle”? If you’re struggling with any lock you should replace it as soon as possible.
Faulty locks can mean that your home isn’t very secure, and you could even find that you are locked out. It’s much less trouble just to change a lock that is past it’s best.
You’ve lost your keys
You’ve searched everywhere and you can’t find your keys. It doesn’t matter though because you have a spare set, right? Wrong! If you don’t know where you’ve lost your keys you don’t know whether someone else has found them, and if they have, they may now have access to your home.
If you lose a key or a set of keys, you should always get the matching locks changed.
There’s been a break-in
Having your property broken into can be very distressing. Immediately following any burglary you are probably going to be more concerned with repairing any damage, making your home safe and sorting out any insurance claim, but don’t make the mistake of neglecting your locks.
There are a few reasons why you should replace locks after a break-in. Firstly, the fact that a break-in has happened indicates that your locks may not have been that reliable in the first place, so an upgraded is a good idea. Secondly, it may not be clear which locks a burglar has tried and whether they have caused any damage. Damaged locks are weaker and could be exploited by potential intruders in the future. It’s better to replace them.
Finally, it’s possible that keys were stolen during the break in. In which case the burglars could return and gain access. All in all, replacing your locks should be one of the first things you do after a burglary.
You’ve moved house
When you buy and move into a new property it is advisable to change the locks. This is because you won’t know whether the previous owner has a set of keys or how well they looked after their home security. Replacing the locks will give you peace of mind.
If you are moving into a rental property, you probably won’t have the authority to change the locks yourself, but you should discuss new locks with your landlord. A lot of landlords are happy to at least change the main front door lock, as this ensures that previous tenants can’t gain access.
Someone has moved out
Whether a flatmate has moved out or a relationship has broken down, if someone moves out of your home it’s worth changing the locks. Even if they have given you back their keys, you may not be sure whether they have had a copy made. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Your locks are more than 10 years old
Even if your locks seem to be working properly, they will degrade over time. The combination of daily use and weathering means that they will become less secure, and more prone to malfunctioning. In addition, technology moves on.
So if it’s 10 years or more since you replaced the locks on your property, the chances are there are more efficient locks on the market. There are specific high security lock types, known as anti-snap and Ultion locks, which resist brute force attacks on the door handle and lock itself.
Speak to your local locksmith to discover the best options for you.