Door locks are simple devices that do not need much maintenance and repair. That is why most people don’t think much about replacing locks or upgrading them.
However, locks are our first line of defence against intruders and those who mean harm. Having outdated, weak, or broken locks can put our lives and our family’s lives in danger.
The question is, how often should you change your door locks? In this article, we’re going to take a deeper look at the general rule for changing locks as well as a cheaper alternative called rekeying.
When to Change Locks
Most sources agree that you should replace your locks every seven years. However, there are several factors that could make you change your locks sooner or later.
Losing your keys – When you lose your keys, you put your home’s security at risk because someone else might have your keys, therefore, access to your home.
If you lose your keys, you should immediately contact a locksmith to avoid intrusion.
You had an intrusion – If you had an intrusion, it’s a sign that your home security isn’t secure enough. This puts your and your family’s safety in grave danger.
Therefore, changing your locks immediately after is your best option.
Your locks are outdated – Like all things, locks improve in function and safety over time. But so do the skills of intruders. If you’re still using outdated locks, it’s a good idea to upgrade and replace your locks with modern ones.
A person you don’t trust has access to your home – Maybe you’ve rented a room in your place to a stranger who has moved out. Or maybe you want to keep your abusive ex-partner out of your house.
Either way, when someone you don’t trust has access to your home, you should change your locks sooner
Your locks aren’t installed properly – If you are able to open your door using a card or any other trick, then in most cases, your locks aren’t installed properly (or you might just be a skilled lock picker yourself).
It is recommended that you have a professional locksmith assess your home security so they can recommend a better option and/or provide an upgrade.
Your locks aren’t outdated and are still in good condition – Although locks are evolving, old locks that are installed properly and are in good condition still provide great security and don’t need to be changed (provided you don’t lose the keys).
In such cases, you can keep your locks longer than 7 years.
Since changing locks aren’t cheap, it’s a good idea to have a professional locksmith install them for you. They’ll make sure that the locks used are of high quality and that the installation adheres to the correct security standards.
Rekeying: A Cheaper Option
Changing locks isn’t the only option if you lost your keys or want to deny access to someone. Rekeying is another option professional locksmiths offer to prevent intrusion.
Unlike replacing the locks, locksmiths simply change the mechanical calibration of the locks so it would require a new set of keys.
The great thing is, it’s a lot cheaper than changing the locks themselves since you don’t need to buy new ones. However, if your reason for changing locks is that your locks are outdated, then rekeying is not an option for you.
The need to change locks is situational. Although most locksmiths require changing locks every 7 years, it isn’t a magic number that guarantees your security.
In general, it’s best to consult professionals by having them assess the security of your home. They will be able to check your current locks and recommend ways to make your home safer.