When you lock your keys in your car or lock yourself out of your house, chances are you're going to pick up the phone to call the local locksmith. However, what you may not realize is that there are a few facts about their job, your home's locks and even your overall security that they aren't willing to share. Learning a bit more about the lock and key profession will help you know what to do to increase your own personal safety, as well as some of the industry, trade secrets that the typical locksmith doesn't want to share.
Don't Rely on Contractors for Dead Bolt Installation
One of the most insecure places in most homes is their front (or other) exterior door. If the deadbolt on the door was installed by the contractor who built the home, it likely was not done properly. This leaves your home "prime for the picking" when it comes to a break-in. If you are unsure if your deadbolts were installed properly, call a reliable locksmith to inspect it.
A Properly Installed Dead Bolt is the Best Lock Available
In order to achieve maximum security with your deadbolt lock, it should have at a minimum a one-inch "throw" and a "strike side." There should also be a security plate that is secured with three-inch screws. This will ensure they go all the way into the door's frame.
Windows On Doors Present Real Security Issues
If you have a thumb-turn deadbolt lock installed on a door that has a window on it, or nearby, it is not offering much in terms of protection. A would-be robber could knock out the glass pretty easily, reach in the window and simply turn the lock. In order to provide superior protection in this scenario, install a double cylinder lock that requires a key on the interior.
Don't Call Automatically for a Jammed Key
In most cases, if a key becomes jammed in a lock, silicone spray or WD-40 will loosen it and allow it to move freely. In some situations, the pins will become jammed and a little lubrication will solve the issue. If this is all it takes to fix it, the locksmith you call is still going to charge you the entire service fee.
As you can see, lock and key situations are not always black and white. Taking note of some of the tips and information here will help you know when to call a locksmith and what services you may not need them for.