Experts recommend that you change your front door lock approximately every five years, but how do you do it? Many thefts occur at home because the intruder has somehow obtained the key to your home. While cost may always be a factor when you are purchasing an object, it is a wise idea to not be frugal in so far as your locks are concerned. The costs of securing your home by changing your locks is not as expensive as you think it is, and it will be worth it given the substantial risks that you may face if you don’t change the locks to your house.
When you are changing your locks, keep in mind that replacing the cylinder rather than the lock itself may change the lock. Changing your cylinder means that you will only be replacing the entryway of your keys. Replacing your cylinder is a quicker and a more cost effective way of changing your entry way into your home. If you absolutely have to change your lock, you should keep in mind that most residences have either a latch bolt or a dead bolt. If you want to make your home more secure, then you should use a dead bolt or a multi-point lock because they are usually the most effective means of keeping your place secure. Otherwise, there are a few things to keep in mind when either replacing or putting in a new key lock:
First, you should know that it is important for your locks to meet the standard. In the United States, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Builders Hardware Manufacturer Association (BHMA) developed standards to guarantee that locks meet certain standards and features. They focus particularly on grade levels and set standards for different items. The grades are 1, 2, or 3, and 1 is the highest. Progressive levels of performance define each of the applicable ANS/BHMA standard levels. The product number may sometimes help you determine what grade your product falls under. The numbering system is helpful for allowing you to identify what type of material is predominantly used in your lock, the category your product belongs to, and the specific function of your hardware system.
Identifying the type and content of your lock is the next important step in so far as the standards are concerned. ANSI and BHMA created standards for Mortise locks and latches, Master Keying Systems, and high security cylinders. The product codes aforementioned will allow you to identify the types of standard that you will need to look for when you purchase your lock. Usually the type of product you will buy needs to be matched with the type of door that you have. External timber doors can be secured using a night latch with a rim cylinder, which locks itself automatically when the door is shut. The cylinder night latch can be opened with a key from the outside, but can be closed and locked from the inside using a locking button. Should you decide to install this, be aware that a cylinder night latch is not amongst the most secure, because it is one of the most easily broken into. If you have a PVCu or composite door, which usually has a wooden interior, then you will need to upgrade the euro profile cylinder in the multi-point lock. After you identify the type of specific product that you will need for your door, understand the content type. Knowing your content will help you learn about the types of resistance your type of lock might encounter. If you need a Mortise lock, which require a rectangular hole in the door edge for installation, you will deal with twisting and forced entry. This is why you will have to know how many blows your lock will have to withstand. High security lock cylinders, which have a key control system which prevents unauthorized copies to be made is available with these types, and they must meet pick-resistance and drill-resistance standards.
After you figure out the type, content, and size of your lock, remember that it is important to have the necessary tools handy. Have a measuring tape handy, and measure the backset of your doorknob or deadbolt by measuring the door to the center of the doorknob, measurements are usually a little bit more than 2 ½ inches. Thereafter have a screwdriver handy to back out the old screws and secure the other half. Watch out! If you let the door close, a blade will be needed to unlatch your door. Once you’re done with that, remove the doorknob, latch or deadbolt by removing the two screws in the edge of the door that secures it. If your brand is the same as the old one, you may skip this step. A small splinter of wood may be helpful if you can’t match up the old and new screws. Alternatively, longer screws with identical heads may be used to seat the screws properly and hold the door. The removal process is the reverse of the installation process, and you may find the best instructions on the manual provided by your product, if one is included at the time of purchase.
Lastly, remember other circumstances when you buy your locks. If you are a tenant remember that there are some rules and regulations that you may abide by. If you fail to thoroughly investigate what is not acceptable, you may be subjected to penalties and violations set forth by your landlord. This is why it is important to get in touch with your landlord in writing before you make a decision to alter the locks to your apartment. If your landlord does not oblige with your concerns after a written request is sent out, then your landlord may be held liable if there is a forced entry in at your place of residence. Otherwise, you may go ahead and replace your locks so old tenants do not have access to your new residence. Another rule of thumb is to buy your locks to suit your personal circumstances, so if you are securing locks for the elderly then you should buy locks that will be easier for them to unlock when they need to; likewise, if you have children, you should buy locks that are not easily unlocked by children. Good luck and get going to secure your home!