What Advice Do Locksmiths Give About Home Security?
When it comes to securing your home, locksmiths are the experts. They’re often on the scene to see the aftermath of a burglary and know many of the tricks to break into a home. Many burglaries could have been easily prevented with a few security measures, and the cost of investing in better security is less than the loss of valuables. That’s why it’s worth taking advice from locksmiths on the best ways to protect your property, and here are some things the experts recommend.
Re-key your locks
When you move into a new home, there’s simply no way of knowing how many people have a copy of the key. Previous owners may still have a copy of the key, and they may have passed out copies to house guests or tradespeople over the years. Locksmiths recommend re-keying your locks, which means the mechanism doesn’t need to be completely replaced, but old keys won’t work in it. It’s a cost-effective, easier way of securing a new home when you move in, and gives you peace of mind.
Install a safe
Burglars will often go for small, valuable items that are easy to sell. Naturally, this means items such as jewellery or electronics are sought after. Cash is also something thieves like to steal, as it’s hard to trace. Consider installing a small wall safe for valuable items. Easy to conceal in a cupboard or hide behind a photo, wall safes are difficult to find, and thieves are unlikely to spend the time trying to break into them.
If you must have a spare key close to your property, perhaps because you have in-home care visits, then consider using a secure key safe. These safes are attached to the house and have a copy of your key, but can only be accessed by entering a PIN on the keypad. If you’re considering installing a key safe, make sure it’s a police-approved model and is properly programmed.
Install better locks
Around two-thirds of burglars access homes through a door or window, and low-quality locks can be easy to pick or break. Some locks that you may want to use for the exterior of your home include:
- Entry lockset – Able to be locked inside or outside, there are doorknobs on both sides, and these locks provide medium security
- Surface mounted deadbolt – Fitted to the inside of your door, this bolt can turn with a knob or key, providing extra security when you are home
- Deadbolts – One of the most secure locks, deadbolts have no springs and can only turn manually with a lock
- Mortise locks – With two faceplates on each side, this lock can be deadbolted by turning the inside knob
- Handlesets – Combining a lockset and a deadbolt, they provide extra security
It’s often best to have more than one lock on your front door. For example, you may have a standard entry lockset, then have a deadbolt for when you go out. You can then add a surface mounted deadbolt to the inside for extra security when you are at home.
Avoid giving out your key
We’ve all had a situation where we’ve needed to hand over our key for the day. Whether it’s a tradesperson, dog walker or cleaner, there are many situations where your key can be out of sight. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for anyone to copy your key, and can cost just a few dollars.
If someone is coming to do work to your home, then it’s better to have someone around to let them in and out. If you can work from home or get a trusted neighbour to let them in, then that’s better than handing over a key. Always use a reputable, established firm who you can trust.
Don’t label your keys
While you might think it’s a good idea to put your name and address on your keys in case they get lost, if your keys get stolen then it’s all too easy to break into your home. Some people carry a USB stick on their keys with personal information, which can also lead burglars to your address.
If you want to increase home security, then the best person to speak to is a locksmith. They will have knowledge of lots of different locks and security systems and can advise on the best choices for your home. Many burglaries are avoidable with a few changes, and having a locksmith visit your home is a great way to spot any security flaws.