About 1 in every 15 unlawful entries happen with a key, which means that if you change your locks, it can be the difference in avoiding home invasion.
The first goal of home security is to convince would-be burglars to by-pass your house completely. This is done through effective lighting, and other signs that you've taken precautions that will make a break-in difficult. These precautions need to be paired with a second layer of security, however, that's specifically designed to make it hard to physically enter your home.
That includes a strong, solid door at each entry point and adequate locks in place. Even the strongest locks can be neutralized if you're not careful with your keys, however. Here are four of the most important situations when a lock change is necessary.
Moving; change your locks at new house
It's easy to forget during the stress of moving, but the new home you move into has an unknown number of keys around that can unlock your doors. The previous tenants likely have a few sets and their friends and relatives do too.
There may even be some hidden on your property or others that were loaned out to contractors. The point is, you can't know who has keys to your new locks, so your best option is to change them immediately. This way, you can start fresh and rest assured only those you specifically give keys to can unlock your doors. This is also true for renters and landlords. Even if the previous renters turned in keys when they moved out, you can't be sure they haven't made additional copies. Your best bet is to change the locks.
‘Personnel change’; change your locks
Your living situation can change for a number of reasons. You may have just broken up with someone you lived with, or that had a key to your place. Or your roommate may have moved out. Or you may have given a key to someone you shouldn't have.
In any case, changing your locks is recommended in order to keep unwanted guests out. While you may still be friends with a former roommate, you still probably don't want them to have keys to your place. And that former roommate is probably not going to take care of your key and ensure it doesn't fall into the wrong hand. So, in any situation where someone that doesn't need your key has your key, it's a good idea to change the locks and move on.
In any of these situations, it's important to stay ahead of anyone who may have access to your home and have ill intentions. In situations where your keys have been misplaced, you may not know immediately that they're gone.
But, when you discover that a specific set of keys is missing, your choices are to try to find them, or replace your locks and start over. Most of us would prefer to hunt for our keys, but be aware that if you don't know where you might have lost them, it's usually more likely that a stranger has them than it is that you'll be able to find them.
Obviously, this doesn't apply to a typical rushed morning where your keys are in your home somewhere. Truly lost keys occur when you're out somewhere and find that your keys have fallen out of your pocket, or are no longer on the table you left them on. Since there's a possibility they were stolen, it's a better idea to change your locks before the thief makes it to your door.
Wear and tear
Just like anything else, locks also wear out over time. In some cases, this may make your door's lock a minor annoyance that's harder to work than usual.
In more extreme cases, your lock could fail completely making it impossible to unlock your door, or making your lock ineffective and leaving your home vulnerable. At the first signs of wear and tear, it's best to replace the lock with a new one. This minor hassle will save you from a serious problem later if you allow your lock to degrade to the point of failure.
Whatever the reason, when it's time to replace the locks in your home, stop by and see us at Holder's Security. We offer a variety of high-quality locks, including an inventory of Medeco locks, to help protect you and your family.