Most of the time we don’t give our locks and keys a second thought, but the fact is ~ whether residential, automotive, or commercial ~ they play a major part in our personal and business lives, day in and day out. There will be times when an emergency arises, whether it’s a lockout emergency or something more complicated ~ at your home, with your car, or at your place of business. It can certainly be infuriating, but you don’t have to let it stress you out. There are many good ways to keep yourself secure. It’s important to keep your locks well maintained so you can prevent most of the issues that could arise when it comes to locks and keys.
Preventive maintenance will help you avoid future lockouts. If you make the effort to maintain your locks, you might never need to call a locksmith. Watch for:
- wear & tear
- difficulty turning the key in the lock mechanism
- trouble sticking your key in the lock mechanism
Should you encounter any of these problems, it’s often best to change your locks, because worn-out locks usually get stuck or break, meaning it’s more likely you’ll get locked out. Old and failing locks also make you more vulnerable to robbery.
Take extra security measures. Depending upon your living situation, if you’re feeling at risk at your home or at your commercial property, there are numerous ways to give yourself peace of mind.
Lengthen the life of your locks.
- General lubrication. At least twice a year, or anytime you observe excess grinding or friction in the lock mechanism, apply a silicone-based lubricant spray to the keyhole.
- If the key won’t turn, don’t fret. Sometimes the pins jam up. Spray the lock mechanism with WD-40 or silicone spray, and this will typically solve the problem.
- Periodically replace your keys. Keys take a lot of abuse. We use them day and night, many times per day, we store them who knows where, and we throw them anywhere. So if you notice your keys are beginning to wear down, or if your key is bent or otherwise damaged, then make a new key. Throw out any old keys or take them to a recycling center.
Additional ways to feel more secure and safe:
- keypad systems
- safes for home & business
- magnetic locks
- choose a local, dependable professional locksmith who’s bonded, licensed, insured, certified, and background-checked.
- keyless remote entries
- use only reputable top-quality brand locks, at least a grade 2
- combination locks
- alarm systems
Most professional locksmiths recommend deadbolts. Deadbolts are a very effective way to augment your security and safety. Make sure your deadbolts are installed correctly. A deadbolt should have at least a one-inch throw. On the strike side, there must be a security plate with screws at least three inches long, going all the way into the wood frame of the door. If you have a window nearby, or glass as part of your door, a thumbturn deadbolt won’t be totally secure, since an intruder could break the glass, reach a hand in, and turn. To stop this from happening, install a double-cylinder type of deadbolt lock, because it requires a key on the inside to open.
When should you change your locks?
- Lost keys. If you really know you’ve lost your keys, then it’s time to change your locks. You don’t want to risk the possibility of a stranger gaining access to your property.
- A new home. When you move into a new place, change the locks immediately. You never know, there might be former residents out there who still have their old keys.
- New roommates or tenants. The same rules that apply to your home apply to your rentals. If you rent out space in your house or your apartment, then replace your locks every time you change tenants. Even if the previous occupants turned in their keys, you can’t be sure that there aren’t still extra spare keys floating around.
- After a robbery. If there’s been a break-in, replace all exterior locks. Also replace any interior locks in order of your personal security priorities.
Do you have a stuck or broken key? Haste makes waste. If you rush with your key, you may find yourself in a tight spot, because your key could break off in the lock mechanism! If you take an extra few seconds to be patient with your key, you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.
If you are unlucky enough to have your key break inside the lock before you shut the door, then you won’t be able to lock it, which of course leaves your place susceptible to theft. If you break the key off in the lock after you’ve closed the door, then you likely won’t be able to open the door again. A broken key can cause damage to a lock.
Is part of the key stuck in the lock? If there’s a tiny amount of the key sticking out, you may be able to get it out by yourself. If there’s enough of the key showing, you might be able to pull it out with your fingers or with needle-nose pliers. You’re risking doing damage, but if you decide that it’s worth a try, use a flathead screwdriver ~ one that’s small enough to fit inside the keyhole. Pry the key inside, to the point where it slightly comes out of the lock. If there’s any lock damage, call a professional locksmith.
Yes indeed, there will still be instances when you really will have to hire a professional locksmith. If you’re located any place in Avondale, Arizona, then you ought to call a legitimate locksmith company, such as Avondale Locksmith Stars, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The staff mobile locksmith technicians there are perpetually prepared to get you out of trouble.