Your locks are one of the major lines in your home's security defense. Locks only work if you use them correctly, which means both remembering to lock them and managing who has access to the keys. Read on to determine if you should change your locks and what method you should use to do so.
When Should You Change Your Locks?
There are many situations when a new key is a good idea. Although you likely know to change your locks on a new house, or if you lose a key, there are other situations that may warrant new locks. If your locks are sticking or working poorly, it's likely time to upgrade. Old, worn locks are easier for a thief to force open, which compromises your home's security. Another reason to consider new locks is if each lock on your home's exterior doors uses a different key. It can be difficult to juggle and find the right key, especially when your hands are full.
What Are the Options?
You have two main options when it comes to changing your locks, whether you are doing it for security or for convenience. The first is a true changing of the locks--your locksmith will remove the deadbolts and locks on your door and replace them with new ones. The second option is re-keying. You keep the same locks, but the locksmith sets them to accept a different key, so the old keys won't work anymore. Most home locks can be re-keyed. Exceptions are some older locks and some brands of high security locks.
Which Option Is Best?
The best option greatly depends on the locks that need changed. Generally, if your locks are old or worn, it is usually a good idea to change them out completely. You may also want to simply change out the locks if you only have one or two that need changed.
Re-keying is the best option if your locks are in otherwise good condition. The process is much less expensive than lock replacement, so you can have several locks re-keyed for the cost of a single replacement lock. As an added benefit, you can have all the locks on your home set to take the same key.
Do You Need a Locksmith?
Although you can change out and install new locks on your own, re-keying requires a professional locksmith to get the job done. You may want to call in a locksmith even for a lock replacement, though. Since locks are vital to your home's security, having new ones installed by a professional can provide peace of mind that the job was done correctly. With deadbolts, for example, the bolt must enter the door frame correctly or the lock isn't fully secure. Another benefit of hiring a locksmith to install new locks is that they can even re-key your new locks so they all use the same key, or they can re-key a new lock to match the remaining existing locks if you are only changing out one lock. This means less hassle and fewer keys on your keychain.
For professional locksmithing help, contact a company such as ARC Locksmith Service.