Locksmith Answers Best Home Security Questions
We often take our home’s locks for granted, but the deadbolts that keep us safe have their own vulnerabilities. We’ve compiled professional locksmiths’ answers to some common home security questions.
How often & when should you change your locks?
Door locks are the first line of defense of your home. Regardless of the security system inside, a door is the most likely point of entry into a home. If someone has a copy of your key, they can come and go without the obvious signs of a forced entry.
Always change your locks when you move into a new home. Additionally locks should be changed if you suspect that someone you do not trust has access to your home.
You can change your locks by either replacing the locks entirely or having your locks re-keyed. To re-key a lock, a professional locksmith will change the inside pinning so that the old key no longer works and a new key will.
There are a lot of options on the market today. Talk to a locksmith you trust about what you want in your home and ask about your options.
What factors should I consider when shopping for a Smart Lock?
Many door locks will advertise the benefits - convenience of letting guests in, having packages placed indoors, etc. - but neglect the most important aspects to consider when thinking about security. Always pay attention to battery life, wireless connectivity, and manufacturing quality.
If you are out of the house and you get a phone notification saying that the dog walker has entered the home, how can you be certain? A smart lock should always be used in conjunction with video (a video doorbell, perhaps?). This way you can be sure that the person you know is using their assigned Pin code, otherwise you’re monitoring your home blind.
If your smart lock is not Internet-connected through Zigbee, Z-Wave, or WiFi, you should get rid of it. The manufacturer will not be able to send your device important software and firmware updates. Additionally, you may not be able to connect your Smart lock with your home security system.
How to spot locksmith fraud?
A locksmith will learn your personal information - where you live, how to enter your home, etc. - when you hire them. You want to make sure to do your research to find a reputable and trustworthy locksmith because unfortunately, there are locksmith scams.
You should call around in your area, consult reviews, check their business and locksmith licenses, and insurance information.
Get a quote upfront! If any changes occur on site, agree on the cost and then allow them to continue servicing your home.
If you ever feel uncomfortable, do not be afraid to call the police.
Make sure to get a receipt when the job is done.
You should find a new locksmith if:
- there is no upfront pricing or super low pricing upfront.
- the locksmith shows up in a non-work vehicle.
- there is no business name on invoices.
- the locksmith does not have insurance.
- the locksmith shows up without a uniform.
- the locksmith hands you a larger-than-advertised bill once the job is done.
- the locksmith immediately starts drilling your lock.
Should you change the locks after buying a house?
Absolutely! It should be the first thing you do when moving into a new home. You want to make sure you are in control of your new home from day one.
Some people want a one-size-fits-all security procedure when moving into a new home, but every home is different. Be sure to replace the locks and go through all of the security systems in the home to make sure you are the only one with the codes.
How do I prevent Lock Bumping?
Lock bumping is a specific method of lockpicking. It is when a burglar uses a specially made “bump key” to unlock and break a door. Unfortunately, almost every tumbler lock on the market today is vulnerable to Lock Bumping.
The hardest locks to pick are high-security locks and commercial grade locks. Many companies will market their locks as ‘high-security’ but only a locks with a high security rating are considered high-security locks. The goal with high-security locks is not to make lockpicking impossible, but rather make lockpicking too time consuming or expensive.
Commercial grade locks are difficult to compromise due to the 6-pin tumbler cylinders. However, they may not be the most practical solutions for residential homeowners.