To curb unauthorized access to your house, your first line of defense is locking your entry points. Most of us consider the front door lock to be of most importance, which is usually the case.
But as they say, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Therefore, you should not neglect the back door, windows, and any other access points where someone can enter your property.
But just having locks in place on all your entry points is not enough. If the locks are not working due to age, a fault or because they are of low quality, this makes your home vulnerable to intruders and burglary.
So as a homeowner you should always be aware of when to change your locks. Refer to the top 5 tell-tale signs below to check if your locks need replacing.
#1 – The Grade of Lock is Cheap
There are different grades of locks and for the security of your home, you should consider using only the best.
If a lock is of low-quality your home will be vulnerable to burglars, as it will be easier for them to break it and gain access. Inferior locks are easy to compromise with lock picking tools such as bump keys.
#2 – The Lock Has Been Broken Into Before
If you have experienced a break-in whether through a door or the window, do not hesitate to change all your locks.
If the intruder picked or broke the lock, that means it is compromised. Also, if they used another entry point such as the window, they could have made a copy of a spare key you had left inside.
You do not want to take chances with your home security. Thus, you should have the locks changed.
#3 – The Lock Is Worn Out, Aged or Faulty
It is easy to break a worn-out lock. The wear and tear usually come in the form of rust or tarnish, which makes it susceptible to compromise.
If your locks are worn out, show the signs of age or are at all faulty, know that they can be targeted easily. Therefore, it is time to have them changed.
#4 – You Cannot Trace A Copy Of Your Keys
If you cannot trace a copy of your keys, you should really consider changing your locks.
The problem with losing keys is that anyone could find and access them, and this means they can gain access to your home.
It is even worse if there is any information that identifies you or the address of your home attached to the key.
#5 – You Have Moved Into A New Property
Whether the home you are moving into is new or had a previous owner, you should always change the locks. Even if you are the first owner, someone could have made a spare key.
It is better to be safe than sorry, thus change the locks, especially for the front and the back door.
When Lock Rekeying Is An Option
You may have heard people talk about lock rekeying as an alternative to changing the locks. This process changes the internals of the lock pins so that all previous keys will no longer operate the lock.
Lock rekeying is often a great alternative to lock replacement as the process is quicker and cheaper to achieve a similar outcome. That is, only the newly cut key will lock and unlock it.
However lock rekeying is not always an option. To benefit from this alternative, the lock must be in good working order and be able to be rekeyed.
There is no point trying to rekey a lock that is already faulty or worn out as it will still have security issues once the job is done, so replacing or upgrading the lock is the best option.
Is it Time to Change Your Locks?
As you can see there are many scenarios when you should change your locks.
Whether you are moving into a new home, you have experienced a break-in before, you have misplaced a key, or your grade of locks is cheap, it is time to change the locks.
All these cases make your home vulnerable to burglary and intruders, but by changing your locks you will regain your security.
When it is time to change your locks you may also have the option or lock rekeying but this is only available if the lock itself is of high quality and is not damaged.