At Banham, we are often contacted by new customers looking for the most effective front door locks. A strong, solid door at each entry point with high security locks in place is, for many homeowners, their most effective layer of security.
In 2014, 6,000 burglars in the UK gained access to homes not through force, but with a key. This means that changing your locks can make a real difference between suffering the damages and turmoil of a home burglary or avoiding a home invasion altogether.
When should you change your door locks?
Here are four important reasons that may indicate a need to change your door locks.
You’ve recently moved home
According to a survey by mortgage broker Ocean Finance, only 30% of new homeowners change external door locks when they move into a new property. It’s easily forgotten in the stress of moving, but it should always be a consideration for new homeowners as you can never be sure how many of the previous residents’ friends or relatives have keys to your home. In order to start afresh and rest assured only those you have given permission to have access, the best practice is always to change the front door locks or cylinders when you move in.
Even if you’re a tenant of rented accommodation, you can usually arrange for your locks to be changed if you are worried about previous tenants having access to your home. If anything, the higher turnover of tenants in rented property makes it even more pertinent to change front door locks. Despite this, research from Direct Line shows that 90% of landlords fail to change the locks on properties between tenancies. Discuss your options with your landlord and review your tenancy agreement to determine if you have permission to change your door locks.
You’ve lost a set of keys
If you lose your set of keys to your home or have them stolen from you, anyone who may be in possession of your keys now is a potential threat to your home security.
Losing a set of keys doesn’t necessarily mean that they have fallen into the wrong hands, but it’s certainly a risk to be aware of. You should always stay ahead of anyone who may have access to your home and have ill intentions, so arrange to have your door locks or cylinders changed at the earliest convenience. Not only will this be beneficial for your home security, it will provide you with some much-needed peace of mind.
There’s been a change to your living situation
You may not be new to your home, but that’s not to say there aren’t potential security threats to be made aware of. Perhaps your housemate has recently moved out, or you’d given a key to a partner you’ve since broken up with. You might even have given a set of keys to a contractor or service provider you’re no longer in contact with. You wouldn’t want just anyone letting themselves into your home unannounced.
No matter how trustworthy the people you’ve given keys to are, they’re just another person at risk of losing or mislaying the keys to your property, making it harder to know if your keys have fallen into the wrong hands. Whenever someone who no longer needs a key to your home has one, it’s a good idea to change your door locks.
General wear and tear
Door locks wear out over time. In some cases, this may be a minor inconvenience that makes your door lock trickier to operate than usual. In other cases, it could mean your lock fails completely, either making it impossible to unlock your door and leaving you trapped in or out, or making your lock ineffective which leaves your home vulnerable.
At the first instance you notice a problem with your door lock, immediately contact a professional locksmith for their advice. In some cases, a simple repair might solve the problem quickly and easily. It’s also important to note that some insurers will refuse to cover a property with a front door lock that is damaged or that doesn’t conform to British Standard 3621.