When Should You Replace Your Locks?

Between the number of secure buildings that are part of your life and the multiple doors they have, there are a number of reasons for getting locks replaced, some of which are more obvious than others. In this post we’ll go over replacing locks vs. rekeying, as well as some common scenarios for when you may want to get your locks replaced.

Replacing Locks vs. Rekeying

First, you need to identify whether you want your locks replaced or rekeyed. Replacing a lock requires a full replacement of the locking mechanism and any accompanying knob or handle. Rekeying involves removing the pins and springs in the lock cylinder and replacing them with new ones that operate with a new and different key. 

When to Get Your Locks Replaced

So how often and when should you replace your locks? Let’s look at some scenarios where changing your locks is best for your security and peace of mind.

Misplaced Keys 

Misplacing keys is a common occurrence and one that warrants replacing your locks. You can’t be certain that someone else hasn’t found your key, so changing your locks in this situation is inconvenient. However, it will put your mind at ease.

Stolen Keys

Stolen keys mean that one (or more) people have access to your property. Don’t wait to see if your keys resurface. Move quickly to get your locks replaced.

Worn Out or Rusted Locks

Even the best of locks suffer from wear and tear over time due to heavy and repeated use. Lock stressors can range from stiffness and looseness to rust and tarnish. Old, well-worn locks are easy for criminals to pick while newer, tighter locks are impossible to open without the right key. Replace your old locks and secure your home.

Renting out space or adding a new roommate

Subletting a room or an apartment, or sharing your living space with a roommate, are common reasons for changing out your locks. The tenant receives keys to the property upon rental and returns them upon termination of the lease. Replacing the locks is necessary if this process does not go smoothly or if the tenant distributed copies of keys to other people.

Moving into a new home

Because you can’t be certain who has duplicate keys to your new home, even if it’s a brand-new build, it’s smart to replace your locks. The former owner may have distributed copies to other people, or the home may have had a realtor lockbox, and that key has passed through many pairs of hands. Never assume that the locks on your new residence are tamper proof; replace them and rest easy in your new home.

Home invasion and burglary

Burglary is a horrible invasion of your sense of security. In this scenario, you need to expect the worst: the criminals have your keys and access to your home. Don’t take the chance that your keys haven’t fallen into the wrong hands. Replace your locks after a home invasion and restore your sense of privacy.

House sitting

Consider changing your locks if you’ve had someone watch your house while you’re on vacation. Even if you trust that person, you can’t be sure that someone didn’t get access to a key without the house sitter knowing.

Regardless of your particular scenario, it’s a best practice to upgrade your security by replacing your locks every few years for both better performance and greater security. 

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