Are You in Trouble with Locks and Keys?
We usually don’t think about our keys and locks…until something goes wrong. The fact is, whether automotive, residential, or commercial, they play a major part in our personal and business lives. If an emergency comes up, it’s certainly unsettling, but you don’t have to let it get you down. There are a good number of measures you can take to stay secure. You can prevent most common issues with locks and keys.
Do you have stuck or broken keys? Haste makes waste, so don’t hurry with your keys. You could find yourself in a tight spot, because your key might break off in the lock mechanism! Take a few extra seconds to be patient with your key, and you’ll save yourself grief.
If you’re unlucky enough to have your key break off inside the lock mechanism, if it happens before you close the door, then you won’t be able to lock it, which of course will leave you vulnerable to theft. If the key breaks off after you’ve shut the door, you probably won’t be able to open the door again. A broken key can also cause damage to the lock itself. Here’s what you can do:
- If you don’t see any bit of your key coming out of the lock, it will be risky to try getting it out, since you could easily damage it, but it’s worth a try: Use a flathead screwdriver - one small enough to fit in the keyhole. Pry the key inside, just slightly to the point where it comes out. If you do it just right, you ought to be able to remove it with your fingers or needle-nose pliers. Hire a locksmith if there’s any damage.
- If any part of your key is stuck in the lock, and there’s any part of it showing, you may be able to get it out more easily. If there’s enough of the key visible, you will more likely be capable of pulling it out with needle-nose pliers or your fingers. If you see any damage, call a locksmith.
Prolong the life of your locks. Here’s what you can do to make your locks last longer:
- General lubrication. If you ever observe any excess grinding or friction in the lock mechanism - or, at least two times a year - apply a silicone-based lubricant to the keyhole.
- If a key doesn’t turn, don’t fret. Sometimes the pins will get jammed. Spray the lock mechanism with WD-40 or silicone spray, which will often solve the problem so you won’t have to call a locksmith.
- Periodically replace your keys. Our keys sustain a great deal of abuse, since we use them many times per day, store them who knows where, and throw them around. If you see your keys beginning to wear down, or if they’re damaged in any way, then you should make a new key. Don’t forget to responsibly discard your old keys; a recycling center is best.
Take Additional Security Measures
If you’re concerned about circumstances at your home or at your commercial building, there are numerous ways to afford yourself peace of mind.
Know when it’s time to change your locks.
- New tenants or roommates. If you have rental properties or rent out space in your home or apartment, replace the locks each time you change occupants. Even if the former residents turned in their keys, you cannot be completely sure that there aren’t some extra spares floating around out there.
- A new home. If you’ve just moved into a new place, of course you must immediately change out your locks. You never know which former residents may still have any of their old keys.
- Lost keys. If you know for sure that you’ve lost your keys, change them as soon as you can, since you surely don’t want to risk the possibility of an intruder gaining access to your property.
- After a break-in occurs. If there has been a robbery, you should replace all exterior locks in an instant. After that, you can replace any interior locks in the order of your personal security preferences.
Expert locksmiths often recommend deadbolts as the most effective way to increase security. Make sure they’re correctly installed. A deadbolt ought to have at least a one-inch throw. On the strike side, there ought to be a security plate with screws that are at least three inches long, going all the way into the door’s wooden frame. Do you have a window on or close to your door? In that case, a thumbturn deadbolt actually won’t do much good, because a professional criminal can break the glass, reach a hand in, and turn. To stop this possibility, install a double-cylinder deadbolt lock, which requires an inside key.
There are more ways to feel secure and safe:
- alarm systems
- use only reputable top-quality brands, at least grade 2
- keyless remote entries
- magnetic locks
- keypad systems
- combination locks
- safes for business and home
Preventive maintenance will help avert most lockouts. Do your part to keep your locks well maintained, and you may never have to hire a locksmith. Keep an eye out for:
- wear and tear
- problems sticking the key in the lock mechanism
- difficulties turning the key in the lock mechanism
If you notice any of these issues, it’s wise to change the locks, because worn-out locks will more easily become stuck or break, meaning you’re more likely to get locked out. Faulty locks also will make you more susceptible to burglary.
Know When It’s Time for You to Hire a Locksmith
If the time comes when you truly do have to call a locksmith expert, and your property is located in Hemet, California, then consider hiring a reliable company such as Hemet Locksmith, which is open 24/7, standing by ready to get you out of a jam.