IF YOU EVER FIND YOURSELF IN TROUBLE WITH LOCKS AND KEYS, HERE’S WHAT TO DO!
We hardly ever think about our keys and locks. . .until something goes wrong. The fact is, whether automotive, residential, or commercial, they play a big part in our personal and business lives. If an emergency occurs, it’s upsetting, especially after hours, but you don’t have to let it drive you into a panic. There are numerous steps you can take to make yourself more safe and secure. You can avoid most typical lock and key issues.
Make your locks last longer. Here’s what you can do to prolong the life of your locks:
- If your key won't turn, don’t fret. Sometimes the pins bind up. Spray the lock mechanism with WD-40 or silicone spray, which usually solves the problem so that you won’t need to hire a locksmith.
- Replace keys periodically. Our keys suffer a great deal of abuse, because we use them many times per day, throw them all over the place, and store them who knows where. If you see that your keys are starting to wear down, or if they’re somehow damaged, then you should get a new key. Remember to responsibly discard your old keys; a recycling center is your best bet.
- Lubrication. If you ever observe any grinding or excess friction in the lock mechanism ~ or, least two times per year regardless ~ apply a silicone-based lubricant to the keyhole.
Do you have a stuck or broken key? Don’t ever rush putting your key in the lock. Haste makes waste. You don't want to find yourself in a tight spot, because your key could actually break off in the lock mechanism! Take the few extra seconds to be patient, and you'll save yourself grief.
If you’re unlucky enough to have your key break off in the lock mechanism, if this should happen before you shut the door, then you will not be able to lock it, obviously making you vulnerable to theft. If your key breaks off after you’ve shut the door, you probably won't be able to open the door again. A broken key can damage the lock itself. What to do:
- If any part of the key is stuck in the lock, and there's any part of it showing, you may be able to pull it out. If there’s enough of the key visible, you might be able to get it out using your fingers or needle-nose pliers. If there's any damage, call a locksmith.
- If you can't see any part of the key coming out of the lock, it will be risky to try extracting it, since you could easily damage it, but if you decide it's worth a try: Use a flathead screwdriver ~ one small enough to fit into the keyhole. Pry the key, very slightly, to the point where it comes out just a tiny bit. If you do it right, you should be able to get it out using needle-nose pliers or just with your fingers. If there’s any damage, it’s time to hire a locksmith.
More Security Measures You Can Take
If you’re concerned about any doubtful circumstances at your residence or at your commercial building, there are many ways to give yourself peace of mind.
Know when it’s time to change your locks.
- After a break-in happens. If you've had a burglary, replace all exterior locks right away. Replace any indoor locks in the order of your personal security preferences after that.
- New roommates or tenants. If you rent out space in your apartment or home, or if you have any rental properties, replace the locks each time you change occupants. Even if the previous residents gave you their keys back, you can’t be totally certain that there aren’t some spare keys still out there somewhere.
- A new home. When you move into a new place, immediately change your locks. You never know which former residents could still be in possession of old keys.
- Lost keys. If you realize for sure that your keys are lost for good, then change the locks as soon as you can, since you don’t want to risk a thief entering your property.
Locksmith experts recommend deadbolts as the most effective way to improve your security. Make sure they’re correctly installed. A deadbolt should have at least a 1" throw. On the strike side, there should be a security plate with screws at least 3" long, going all the way into the door's wooden frame. Do you have a window on your door or nearby? If so, a thumbturn deadbolt won’t really do you much good, because a burglar can shatter the glass, and reach in, and turn. To stop this from happening, put in a double-cylinder deadbolt, which requires an inside key.
Make preventive maintenance a habit. You’ll avoid most lockouts. Do your part to always keep your locks well maintained, and you may never have to hire a locksmith. Always be on the lookout for:
- wear and tear
- trouble getting the key in the lock mechanism
- difficulties turning your key in the lock mechanism
If you observe any of these problems, it’s wise to change out the locks, because worn-out locks will undeniably eventually get stuck or break, meaning it’s more likely that you are going to find yourself locked out in the future. Bad locks will also make you more susceptible to robbery.
Additional ways you can feel safe and secure:
- alarm systems
- magnetic locks
- keyless remote entries
- combination locks
- safes for home and business
- use only reputable top-quality brands, at least grade 2
- keypad systems
Know When It's Time to Call a Locksmith
If you definitely know that you must track down a locksmith professional, and you’re located any place in Castle Rock, Colorado, then consider hiring a trustworthy company such as 24/7 Castle Rock Locksmith, where free consultations are available.