How Old Are Your Locks?
July 7, 2014
We use our locks just about every day, yet only think about them when they go wrong. Okay, so locks might not be as exciting as the latest mobile phone or as jaw dropping as the latest televisual experience, but without our locks to keep our houses and cars secure, we would not have the cool gadgets in the first place. After all, would you intentionally leave your brand new desk top computer in an un-locked house? Of course not!
So have a think now about all the items in your home you have replaced before the old ones wore out, just because the new version does more. Next, think about the last time you changed your locks. Have you ever changed your locks? Can you say with absolute confidence that you know where every copy of the original key is?
There are certain times that locks should be changed. When you move into a new home, for example. Even if the house is a new build, can you trust the seller 100% not to have a spare key floating around somewhere. Even if you are moving into rented accommodation, you should ask your landlord to fit new locks and if he or she won’t, offer to pay for it yourself. After all, it’s your stuff that needs to be secure.
If anyone loses a key to your home, then change the lock. We never know where we lose our keys, so do we know if an opportunist has seen us lose them and followed us home? Of course if you lose a bag with your keys in and home information then it is even more important to get the locks changed.
These are the obvious lock change times.
But would it surprise you to know that it is good advice to change your locks every five years?
Believe it or not, security improves just like the technology in your smart phone. Every week I see at least one property that does not have the bare minimum security to meet insurance standards, and with those insurance standards rapidly changing in light of the new innovations in locks, the numbers of insurance void properties are growing, particularly in UPVC and composite door areas. If you have any type of door that houses a Euro Cylinder type lock then at the very least, make sure the cylinder has a BSI kite mark and better still that it is three star rated. A non-marked cylinder allows a burglar into your home inside of one minute without power tools.
If you have only a latch type lock, make sure it has the kite mark, and even then get a back-up lock if at all possible. Five lever mortice locks also need to display a kite mark and if they start to play up, or they are at a stage where only a few people can open them because they have the “knack,” then change them, because if you don’t, they will seize and you can bet your smart phone they will seize when you really need to get inside your house.
If you have any worries about your locking products, a decent local locksmith in your area will advise you at no cost.