If you’re looking to choose the right locks for your home, you need to take the time to research your options. Locks provide the first line of safety for your family and for all the stuff you have inside.
The first step is to find a professional locksmith, as they can help you in evaluating your lock’s security. These guys have seen firsthand what works and what doesn’t, so consider spending a few dollars to make sure that you get this right. Their expertise is worth it’s weight in gold when you’re talking about the safety of your family.
Most locks have grades on them according to the ANSI (American National Standards Institute). They grade these on a scale from one to three, with one being the highest grade available. A big thing to look for is a lock that includes a strike plate with extra long screws of three inches. Without the strike plate, there are easy ways around your locks.
Secondly, look into doorjamb replacement. Sometimes you can find a kit available, and they can be installed into your existing doorjamb to reinforce the points that are of most importance. Whether to reinforce your old one or look into replacing your doorjamb in whole is a job for a professional locksmith.
Deadbolts are the most effective locks, because they bolt the door into the frame. The bold must be manually moved by a key or knob, and is generally one of the best ways to secure your door. The main weakness here is that an intruder could pry the door away from the doorjamb in order to separate the lock from the frame.
How do you know when to replace your lock? Kwikset offers some really good tips on their website around this. The main areas of focus are the following:
Wear and tear: If the locks are rusted or just look worn, they show a gigantic flaw in your home’s security. If the lock has visible tarnish, rush, or other visible signs of wear, or even if it’s becoming difficult to open, they should be replaced, as opposed to repaired.
Break-ins: If your home has been broken into, replace your locks immediately. The force involved in this severely compromises the integrity of your lock, and you’ll want to replace the entire home with a matching set.
Lost or Stolen Keys: If you lose your keys, you can choose to either rekey or replace your locks. If you hire a professional locksmith, he or she will be able to completely change the internal components of the lock, making the old keys useless. However, you’ll want to re-evaluate your lock’s security at this time and decide if it’s worth it to just get a new set of locks in your home.
New Roommate: If you’ve gotten a new roommate, you should replace or rekey your locks. The old roommate could still have a copy of the key laying around, and you’ll want to make sure that the temptation isn’t there.