How & When to Replace a Door Lock
A properly locked door is your first line of defense against unwanted intruders in your home. When arranging for reliable home security, it is best to be proactive in replacing locks. Replacing a door lock is a small cost which can cost a lot more if it is not done before the lock malfunctions. To avoid expensive late-night calls to professionals, keep an eye open for signs that your locks need to be replaced.
- Wear and Tear
Worn or rusted locks are a serious weakness in home security. Old, worn out locks are easier to pick and break, and they are more difficult to open legitimately with a key as time goes on. If your door lock has severe tarnish, rust, or other visible signs of wear, it may be time to replace your lock. If your lock is becoming increasingly difficult to open with the key, especially on cold nights, you need to replace or service the lock immediately to avoid an inconvenient malfunction that may leave you locked out.
If you have had a break-in or robbery, you must replace your door locks. The force involved in a robbery or break-in can compromise the integrity of the mechanics of the lock. A damaged lock will put you at a higher risk of another robbery, and mechanical failures as a result of the damage can cause a lock malfunction that could leave you locked out in the cold. After a break-in, it is safest to assume that your keys might have fallen into the wrong hands, and replace all door locks at which the old keys might give someone access to your home.
- Lost or Stolen Keys
For better security in your home, you must replace or re-key your locks if your keys are lost or stolen. Figure out which keys you have lost, and replace the locks in order of security priority. Outdoor locks which would give an intruder access to your home should be replaced immediately. After your outdoor area is secured, you can replace inner locks in order of your personal security priorities.
If you frequently lose your keys, you might benefit from a combination door lock such as the SmartCode. Combination door locks can be opened by inputting a code into the lock. Most combination locks also have a keyed lock for backup in case the combination input malfunctions, or to gain entry if the code is lost. You should change the combination whenever you feel that its access may have been compromised, just like you would replace keyed locks if you had lost your keys.
- New Roommate
If you rent out space in your home, protect yourself by replacing locks or re-key every time you change tenants. You will gain peace of mind knowing that your locks are secure and protected, and you won't have to suspect your past tenants in the event of a break-in. Even if the last tenant turned in their key, you can't be sure they didn't make a backup copy. They may not even remember having given a copy of their key to a neighbor or friend in the past.