HomeownerEducational: A-M



Changing or Re-Keying Locks

One of the first things that should be done upon moving into a new home is a change or rekeying of the locks, as it is impossible to be sure who has been given keys to the property in the past. Locksmiths can install new locks as well as service existing locks. Locksmiths are usually well versed in a variety of security techniques, and they can educate you on the best type of lock for optimal security.

Security Grades of Locks

Locks are classified by a security grade. Grade 1 locks are mostly used commercially because they are generally more expensive than other types of locks. However, they offer the highest level of lock security. The most common residential locks are grade 2 because they still offer a high level of security but are more affordable. Anything rated a grade 3 is usually the least costly but is probably not secure enough to risk installing in any area that can be easily accessed, such as an exterior door.

Types of Locks

Dead bolts. Dead bolts are the most popular type of residential lock because they are not too costly but still offer superior protection. Single-cylinder dead bolts are locked by a key only from the outside, while double-cylinder designs can be locked with a key from the inside and outside. Using a key to lock from the inside and outside provides a higher level of protection, but having to unlock the door with a key from the inside makes it harder to leave your house quickly during an emergency. In most jurisdictions, double-cylinder locks are not deemed fire safe.

Knob and lever-handled locks. The locking cylinder in knob and lever-handled locks is located within the handle. They provide less protection because the door can be opened if the handle is removed or broken, so they are mostly used on interior doors. They are typically not suitable for exterior doors or other high-security areas unless they are combined with other security measures.

Keyless entry pads. Usually opened with a security code or by a sensor that reads a card, keyless entry pads are most popular at hotels and offices but are becoming more popular with homeowners because they can easily be reset if a card is stolen or misplaced. Computerized locks, which save records of entry, are also very easy to monitor.

Key Services

If you get locked out of your home or vehicle, locksmiths can help you regain access. They can also make copies of keys, and their professional standards should ensure that the duplicated key has no imperfections and will not damage the lock.

Additional Security

Many locksmiths now offer various security services in addition to traditional locks. Electronic alarms, surveillance cameras, and access control systems as well as closed circuit television (CCTV) and safes can often be installed and serviced by a professional locksmith.