WHEN TO REPLACE LOCKS

If you ask homeowners who have owned their homes for a long period of time how often they replace their locks, you will surely find some who have never changed the locks at all.  Many of these homeowners are influenced by the era’s they grew up in. Unfortunately, the world is rapidly changing and new dangers arise daily. Personal security has become a growing concern for everyone. When thinking about security measures you can undertake to keep your family safe, the first line of defense is a sturdy door locking mechanism. So how do you know when it is a good time to replace your current door locks? Keep reading for some tips.

Home Lockouts

Wear and Tear

It happens and it is unavoidable. Your items will deteriorate over time through normal wear and tear. Worn out locks can be a serious issue as they pertain to home security. Older, worn out or rusted locks are easier to pick. You may even find that your key no longer works correctly in your older locks. If your lock has serious rust, tarnish or other clear indications of wear, it is likely necessary to look for a brand new lock so that you have one that will remain fully functional. If you find that your lock is becoming more and more of a challenge to open, and the difficulty becomes worse on colder nights, it may be time to change the locks. You don’t want to wait until the lock malfunctions altogether, leaving you and your family locked out of your home.

Lost or stolen keys

To maintain the security of your home, you should replace or rekey your locks if the keys have been lost or stolen. Once you determine which locks have been stolen, you can replace them in order of security priority. Locks that grant outside access need to be replaced right away. You don’t want potential intruders to have easy access to your home, family and valuables. Once outside access locks have been replaced, you can replace any interior locks that may be affected (such as basement locks, office locks, etc.).

If you find that you are losing your keys frequently, you may want to consider installing a combination or keypad lock. This way, you can simply remember your code to gain access to your home. The code can be reprogrammed from time to time to increase security. Many of these types of locks can also come with a lock and key backup system.

Break Ins

If you are the victim of a break in, it can leave you feeling very shaken and anxious. To restore your peace of mind, and increase the security of your home you should replace your locks immediately. The force that is used in a robbery or break in could have been enough to compromise the mechanics of the lock itself. A damaged lock can put you at higher risk for another break in. After a robbery, it is best to assume that all your household locks have been compromised. As a safety precaution, replace all household locks so that if your keys have fallen into the wrong hands, the intruders will no longer have easy access to your home.

Roommate/Renters

If you rent out a room inside of your residence, whether it be shared accommodation between you and your roommates, or you rent out your basement and the renter has their own separate entrance, it is a good practice to change the locks each time the tenants change. Even if the tenants return your keys, you do not know if they have made copies, or given copies to friends and family. For your own peace of mind, and the security of your home, you should change the locks upon your tenant moving out.

Divorce/Separation/Break-Up

Going through a divorce or break-up can be a challenging time. There are a laundry list of items that you have to take care of. One thing that people don’t think of is changing their locks. However, it is best to change your locks so that you can ensure you are the only one with free access to your home. Especially in the case of a contentious divorce, where there may be issues in regards to property – you should change the locks. You don’t want to return home to find out that half of your property is missing. As much as you may trust the other person, and even if your divorce is amicable – personal property can become an area of contention. To protect yourself you should change your locks so that you can manage who has access to your home.

New Home Purchase

When you purchase a new home from a previous owner – you are on top of the world when you get your keys. However, please bear in mind that you do not know who also has keys to your home. The previous owner could have a spare key. Even neighbors could have a copy. Not to mention any friends/family of the previous owner that were given a spare key at some time. When you purchase a new home, you should make changing the locks a priority.  You don’t want to inherit any security risks from the previous owners. In this scenario, your locks should be replaced or rekeyed for better security.

Key gets jammed/stuck easily

I remember growing up my parents door lock was what they called “temperamental”. You had to jiggle it a certain way to get the door to open. The key would often get stuck, and I would be fearful that the key would break off in the lock. While my parents decided this was a normal way to live, I now know that this was a sign that the lock needed to be replaced. My parents eventually ended up changing the lock (my mom’s key broke off in the door), but they definitely shouldn’t have waited that long to address the issue. If you find that your lock is stuck, the key doesn’t turn smoothly and you have problems opening your lock with your key, this is a sign that the lock should be replaced.

If you’d like help changing the locks on your home, and increasing the security of your home call Hemet Locksmith. We proudly serve the Hemet, CA area and can assist you in replacing the locks in your home.

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Importance of Securing Your Sliding Glass Door

It doesn’t take long for a burglar to break into your home. Usually, all it takes is about 60 seconds. When someone’s home is broken into, it usually occurs in the back of the house or side. Breaking into a home from the front leaves an intruder too exposed. It isn’t unusual for everyone to lock their doors and windows but what we notice at Hemet Locksmith in Hemet, CA is that people often forget to lock their sliding doors that lead to their patios.

This is something that a burglar is banking on your doing. If you have a sliding door, you may be a prime target in your neighborhood. Every window and door of your home should be locked up but especially those areas that are not in clear sight of the public. Since your sliding glass door is so easy to compromise, it helps to always make sure the door is looked before you leave. Don’t overlook this door because it is likely that if someone breaks into your home, this will be one of the areas they will target.

Smart Keys

There is a reason why so many burglars will try to break into your home through the sliding glass door. If you want to know why this is the case, take a look at the reasons we have listed for you below:

Easy Entry

Most sliding doors only have one lock to keep them shut. This is why it is easy for a burglar to get the inside with just a screwdriver. Anyone, even an inexperienced burglar, can get through a sliding door if there isn’t another look on the door. The doors themselves are not always the sturdiest and this is why it is sometimes difficult to even add another lock. However, when you seek the services of an expert locksmith, they will be able to determine which type of locks will be most effective for sliding doors.

No Privacy

One of the appeals of having sliding glass doors is that you can let natural light into your home. While this may be an appealing feature to many homeowners, it can also be one of the things that leaves you susceptible to a home invasion. Since this is what makes this type of door appealing to some people, it stands to reason that they wouldn’t want to put any window coverings over it. However, without a tinted sliding door or some type of window coverings over the door, you lack the privacy needed in order to keep thieves from seeing what you have in your home.

You are putting yourself in danger of a home intrusion without concealing the things in your home from others. A burglar will be more prone to breaking into a home when they know what is inside. If they don’t know what’s inside, they may not take the chance of being caught. Expensive electronics make it worth it for many burglars. Don’t give them the advantage of knowing what’s in your home. If you have a sliding door, we encourage you to tint it or put something over it to keep others from peering inside.

They Are Quiet

It is often possible to hear a door when it is opening and closing, however, not when you have sliding doors. You might have hinges that need to be oiled that can be heard when the door is opened and closed. The door may slam shut and this can quickly alert you of an intrusion. A sliding door just glides easily over the track of the door and doesn’t make much noise, if any. Since the sliding door doesn’t make such noise, it is no reason why someone would target it as a point of entry into your home.

Solutions for Securing Your Sliding Door

Add reinforced lock

The first and most logical thing to do is add reinforced locks to your door. The latch and hook lock just doesn’t do much to keep out an intruder, if they are determined to get inside. It is simple to open a sliding door and this is why we recommend that you add another lock. Reinforce the lock with an auxiliary lock that can be opened from inside. This is one of the most effective solutions for securing your sliding door.

Install Home Alarm

If you have an existing home alarm, you should simply ask that the locksmith company add the sliding door to your home alarm system. This means that even when someone attempts to break into your home through the sliding door, you will quickly be alerted via your alarm system. Although this is a practical way to avoid a break-in through your sliding door, many homeowners fail to have the door connected to their security system. If you do not have a home security system, we strongly encourage you to invest in one. When you do, it goes without saying that you should make sure your sliding glass door is included in the systems access point alerts.

Commercial Grade Locks

You don’t only have to use commercial locks on a commercial business. You can also use commercial locks in your home. Using a commercial lock simply means that you are afforded a better lock. They are usually more durable than the standard locks used on home doors. There are a variety of commercial locks that can be used on your sliding glass door. Consult with your local locksmith in Hemet to find out which commercial locks are available to you.

These are just a few adjustments that can be made to increase your chances of avoiding a break-in through your sliding door. There are some other practical and inexpensive solutions that you can employ to help you avoid a break-in. Do something to make sure you’re able to keep your loved ones safe by contacting a reputable locksmith today. You’ will have peace-of-mind and keep by knowing that you’ve done all that you could to improve your homes level of security.

Run a DIY Home Security Assessment with These Tips

By Bryan Black

Conducting your own home security assessment to increase your security footprint is crucial in eliminating the one question you don’t want to be left asking yourself after a burglary. “What could I have done to prevent this?”

Fearing Crime

Fear, as Gavin de Becker explains it in his bestselling book, The Gift of Fear, is a survival signal that sounds in the presence of danger. His #1 rule is that the mere fact you fear crime, is evidence that it’s not actually occurring that very moment. Rule #2 is that what you fear is rarely what you think you fear, it’s what you link to fear.

In the case of crime, what we all really fear is being a victim of theft and the feeling it would leave us with to come home and see our sanctum sanctorum ransacked. True fear is a gift. The fear that a pompous neighbor might have told you they don’t have, or gone further in explaining they don’t have anything worth stealing, isn’t the same thing. That’s nothing more than complacency and complacency kills.

It causes people to leave their doors unlocked and garage doors open, sending a postcard to criminals that they’re open for business. A healthy amount of the right kind of fear is critical in thinking like a criminal and doing everything you can to make your home a harder target.

Perhaps you feel there really isn’t anything of value to you in your home, but how about your life? That may sound outlandish, but a burglary can happen just as easily when you’re home, as when you’re gone. I’m willing to bet there’s at least one person out there who would be devastated if you weren’t around any longer.

Let’s get to the real meat of this article, which is conducting your own home security assessment. What exactly is a home security assessment? It’s looking at your home through the eye of a burglar and identifying critical weaknesses that someone could exploit to gain entry into your home. It’s also looking at the interior of your home for what they’d take if they did gain entry; i.e. window shopping.

Home Security Assessment

Below, you’ll find a list that I’ve compiled from my years of researching home security and my lessons learned in applying these items to my own home. They’re tips and tricks that have evolved as I’ve learned more about lock picking and other devices that have helped me know what to select to make my home a harder target. Many of these may leave you with even more questions, so I’ve tried to add information and links to each item where I can for further reading and product research.

One last thing I’ll leave you with is to always remember, any security is just buying time. That statement is so important I’ll say it again. Security is just buying time. The results that will hopefully come from your home security assessment will only serve to slow down a determined criminal.

If a burglar truly wants into your home, there are only obstacles that can be placed in their way that make it more difficult. That, or hopefully cause them to give up and move on to a different house.

This isn’t to say that security measures don’t work, only that you should be realistic in your expectations. Slowing a criminal down is very important, the less time they have, the better the chance they’ll get caught or never make the attempt to begin with. Most burglaries take place in only 8-12 minutes.

Ok, last thing, I promise. Remember to think twice about entering your home if it looks like it’s been broken into, leaving the premises and calling the police might be the best thing to do first.

Know Your Neighborhood

  • Learn your neighborhood by walking the streets. Through this, you’ll start to learn the baseline, or what commonly occurs around you. Changes in the baseline are the first indication that something isn’t right.
  • When you leave your home, be observant and maintain your situational awareness. Look around for anything and anyone moving towards you as you get into your vehicle or drive away from your house.
  • Before leaving your house, or even before pulling back in when returning, look around for anything that’s out of the ordinary or that’s changed in the baseline. If you see something, say something. All Police Departments have a non-emergency number to report suspicious activities. Look it up and put the number into your phone.
  • Meet your neighbors! This may be counter to your thinking and feel that the less people know about you the better, but there’s tremendous value in knowing all your immediate neighbors. They’ll be the first people to notice if something isn’t right at your home, provided they know what to look for.
  • Developing a relationship with your neighbors can be mutually beneficial when you leave town. They can pick up any leaflets on your door, or unscheduled newspapers left in your yard and you can offer the same to them.
  • During snowy season, having a fresh set of tire tracks in your driveway, or footprints on the sidewalk are important to give the appearance of an active home. Enlist the help of a neighbor if you won’t be home to do this.
  • Check to see if your neighborhood uses Nextdoor, a private social network for neighborhoods. It can be a great way to stay in touch with neighbors and keep up with what’s going on around your neighborhood. If your neighborhood doesn’t use it, you can take the lead and start it up!
  • If you go out of town, put a hold on your mail with the USPS. It’s free and you can schedule the date for it to resume and your held mail to be re-delivered all at once.

Read more: Run a DIY Home Security Assessment with These Tips

Related article: Home Security Tips from a Master Thief