Keeping safe and secure in your home is one of the priorities for most owners or occupiers and the locks you have are an essential consideration. Ensuring they are appropriate for your needs may mean that you could be considering a lock and key upgrade, this doesn’t have to be a big expenditure, you can head over to Fastkeys to find the best for you.
Before you head off to the DIY store, we give you the lowdown on all you need to know when changing the locks in your home.
Why you should change the locks in your home
You may be considering changing some or all of the locks in your home for a host of reasons. You may have just moved into a new home and replacing all locks is the prudent thing to do, especially if you don’t know who may have a key to the current locks.
Not changing your locks could lead to your insurance being invalidated should you be burgled, as most insurance companies expect to see evidence of a forced entry before they pay out. Or your old locks may be past their best or you want to change your windows and doors and need to upgrade the locks in the process.
The British Standard
Whatever your reason to change your locks, it is important that your upgraded lock and key hardware conforms with the British Standard 3621:2004. If they don’t, and this is particularly relevant if you live in an older property, it is essential that you change them, the standard is a condition of most home insurance policies.
What to consider before changing your locks
When choosing your locks, there are several key things to consider:
- You need to get the right type of lock for the type of door you are upgrading. For external entries – eg, front and back doors – mortice, cylinder and yale locks are appropriate, whereas for internal doors, where you need less security a simple deadbolt or even a sliding bolt should suffice.
- For PVC doors, you will usually need a multi-point locking system which has three or more internal locking points which lock simultaneously when you turn the key.
- To minimise the need to re-chisel a door to make a new lock fit, you should consider getting the same make and model of the lock you are replacing, if you are just doing a straight like-for-like swap. This way you can ensure the new lock will be the right fit and create a neat look.
DIY or hire a locksmith?
Changing a straightforward lock for a new replacement is a relatively easy task, and if you are confident with your DIY you should be able manage it yourself and save the cost of bringing in a locksmith. However, you should consider a locksmith if:
- Your house is old and are dealing with non-standard locks and fittings
- You are looking to fit a master key system – ie. a lock system where one key fits all doors. A locksmith is trained to install these complex systems so it may be best to hand it over to a professional.
And finally, if you are in any doubt as to what types of locks you need and how to fit them, always seek professional advice.