Most security experts estimate that 58 percent of new homeowners don’t change the locks on their home. Regardless of whatever priorities you might have, switching out the locks matters because you never know who had the property before. Even if they claim to have turned in the keys, they may have had extra copies. You slide down the slippery slope into the territory of liability fast.
Insurance Companies Won’t Cover You
Failure to change the locks could invalidate your insurance policy if a burglar enters the home with a copied key. You never know how many keys of the current lock exist in circulation, and you don’t know who has those keys. Even new homes come with risk because the construction workmen have a key to enter the property. You don’t know what kind of people had those keys before. Changing the locks ensure that no one with a previous key can access the home.
Someone who enters the property with a previously held key won’t count as a forced entry either. With most insurance companies, they will request proof of forced entry before they acknowledge a claim.
Lock Changes: What You Need to Know
Maybe you have never had to do this before. At A1 Locksmith Philadelphia, we will show you further reasons for why it matters. First, you most likely don’t have all the answers about who previously owned the property. Did they rent it out? You might have an angry tenant who decides to return with his copied key to damage the property. Also, you don’t know how many occupants lived on the property. Several people with a spare key to your home become a security risk. You also have no idea if the keys from the previous owners were collected at the end of ownership.
What Does It Cost to Install a Lock?
You can expect a new lock to cost anywhere from $100 up to $250. The price depends on the type of lock that you want to install. Expect that as the average, but the cost ranges even among the locksmith companies. Some locksmiths charge more than others. Several factors can impact the cost as well, such as:
- Change the locks
- Standard of the lock
- Distance the locksmith travels
- Location of the lock
- The time needed to change the lock
Reducing the Potential for Criminal Activity
We should first emphasize how changing the locks on a property won’t stop a burglary. If someone sees the property and wants in, they will find a way inside. However, changing the locks prevents someone from walking in through the front door without resistance. It proves forced entry.
Do You Need to Replace the Lock Entirely?
You don’t necessarily have to replace the entire lock. Some locksmiths might even recommend that you rekey the lock instead. Many apartment complexes will rekey the lock, rather than replace the whole lock. In many cases, rekeying the lock makes more financial sense because it gets expensive to change the locks.
To rekey the lock, you will replace the pins inside the lock to align it with a new key. The biggest disadvantage of choosing to rekey comes from how it doesn’t offer any updated security features. Rekeying will stop someone from getting in, but if you feel that the current lock looks weak, switch the lock altogether. Usually, it will cost anywhere from $40 to $100 to rekey a lock, which costs much less. Because of the low cost of key pins, it will almost always make more sense to buy the key pins unless you want upgraded security.
Changing The Lock
Changing the lock altogether has its advantages as well. For example, changing the lock will take an entirely new lock body. That hands you more control over the lock and what it provides you with. You lose the chance to upgrade to a much higher security lock if you only rekey the lock. In some cases, that can justify the extra cost over rekeying it.
How to Consider Rekeying or Lock Replace
First, ask yourself, “Am I happy with the lock brand I have on my door now?” Some brands offer more protection and have a better reputation than others. Next, ask yourself if you want to upgrade the smart key security. You might find it worth the extra cost to change the locks because you install a respected lock brand.
How to Save Money
If you want to save money on a lock change or a rekeying, schedule the appointment with the locksmith a week or a few days ahead of time. This prevents you from paying an emergency locksmith charge that you don’t need. You should prioritize the cost of rekeying at least because you don’t want a stranger to have access to your home.
Beware of Loaning out Your Key
We live in a world where even if you give the key to a repairman or service provider for a few moments, they could use the key to make a copy. You may want to rekey the locks at a minimum. The situation especially becomes dire if you never got the key returned. Be aware even if your child let a friend borrow the key because if you don’t know the child, they could use it to steal from the home. The likelihood might be low, but it can and has happened.
At A1 Locksmith in Philadelphia, we’d recommend that you change the locks every seven years to take advantage of the superior security features. That said, you have a couple of factors that you need to consider like how often you use the lock. Rarely used locks will usually remain fully functional for longer, but in a high-traffic area, the locks will wear out faster.