When Do You Need a Professional Locksmith?

Barry Campbell
Written by Barry Campbell
Updated February 3, 2016
A knowledgeable locksmith can make sure your home’s locks are doing their job. (Photo by James Holk)

Have you lost track of who has copies of your keys? Do you want to improve your home security? A professional locksmith can help.

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Locks may well be both the most commonly used and the most neglected mechanical device in the average home.

While most of us do nothing to maintain our locks, we expect them to work every time. After all, they protect our possessions and keep our homes secure.

Installing a lock isn’t terribly difficult. In fact, most locks are not installed by knowledgeable locksmiths.

But there are a few critical issues that must be addressed to ensure that the lock will function properly. Here’s how a knowledgeable locksmith can make sure your home’s locks are doing their job.

Troubleshooting door locks

A locksmith can assess the condition of your locks to ensure they are operating correctly and providing all the protection the manufacturer intended. If you haven't had them serviced, doing so can prevent some of the usual causes of lock failures.

Problems with locks aren’t always readily apparent. Some of the most common glitches that can lead to lock failure frequently go unnoticed, including:

● Broken deadlatches.

● Improper strike alignment.

● Deadbolts that cannot extend completely.

These common problems can lead to lock failures.

Rekey locks as part of home security

A locksmith can improve your home's security while also increasing convenience. Having your locks rekeyed re-establishes some level of key control.

If you can't account for all copies of the keys to your home, it's relatively simple to have the locks rekeyed. This eliminates any concern that an unauthorized person may have a key to your home. Typically, all locks are keyed alike so that you only have to carry one key to operate them.

Locksmiths can install quality door locks

Your locks are the only physical barrier between your possessions and those who would take them from you. A locksmith can provide higher quality locks than those found at hardware or home improvement stores.

Alarms are helpful, and a necessary part of any complete security program; but they are reactive, not preventative. Alarms can be used to notify you or the authorities when there has been an unauthorized entry, but they don't stop intruders.

Unfortunately, the continuing monitoring costs of an alarm system have led some to suggest that alarm systems are most often found where they are least needed. Residents of high-crime neighborhoods are often the least able to afford the costs of a monitored alarm system. The good news: Upgrading the locks on your home can be done at reasonable expense and without incurring any monthly fees.

Door locks protect against burglars

A locksmith can make your home less vulnerable to break-in attempts. Besides superior quality locks, a professional can install additional hardware that will enhance the security of your home.

● When you are home, it is important that you can see what is happening outside your door before you open it. An optical door viewer will allow you to see what is happening outside without compromising your security. Electronic viewers that incorporate an intercom let you converse safely without opening your door.

● A locksmith can strengthen your doors and make them more resistant to physical attack. Most break-ins are the result of simple forced entry. The most vulnerable areas are:

• The door jamb where the strikes are mounted.

• The door edge where the locks are installed.

• The hinges.

A locksmith can install reinforcement for any or all of these areas. Quality door reinforcement hardware kits are available that will protect all of the vulnerable areas of the door.

Don't get locked in

Lives have been lost when occupants of a home have been unable to operate or unlock a door to escape a fire. A professional locksmith will recommend the correct types of locks to use.

Additionally, levers or oversize knobs can be provided for customers that are elderly, handicapped or otherwise may have difficulties operating standard knob locks or deadbolts.

Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article originally posted Feb. 24, 2015

As of February 03, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angi. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angi for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angi.

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