Sometimes the best security is the simplest: the locks on your doors.
Burglars are inherently lazy. That’s why they strike when no one’s home. The more roadblocks you can put in their way, the less likely they are to keep trying. If all the doors are locked and secured with deadbolts, they’ll have to resort to more extreme measures (like breaking a window) to get in. That increases the chances of somebody noticing the break-in and calling the police, which would make the burglar’s life a lot less pleasant. If the door is unlocked (which happens 36% of the time in unlawful home entries), you might as well have put on a sign on the front yard announcing to the world that you’re easy pickings.
Besides the fact that having good, solid locks on all your doors will help discourage would-be intruders, there’s another to consider: changing your locks. A little over 6% of unlawful home entries happen because somebody already has a key. If that’s the case, the best lock in the world couldn’t protect you.
Here are a few ideas for when you should seriously consider buying new locks:
If you’re moving into a new place (apartment, condo, house), this is the perfect time to change the locks. You don’t want the previous tenants sneaking in to grab that one shirt they forgot without running it by you first. On the more paranoid side, you don’t want any of their personal drama (ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends) barging on you either. Is it likely to happen? Probably not. But it never hurts to play it safe.
Whether it’s a falling out with a roommate (who quickly becomes your ex-roommate) or a bad breakup, it’s a good idea to play it safe and change the locks. The last thing you need is for them to decide a little payback is in order while you’re gone.
Changing the locks when you’ve lost your keys (or had them stolen!) should be the first order of business. Can be a pain if they show up a few days later? Of course. But the last thing you need is to wait around for a few weeks hoping they’ll reappear.
This is one you’ll have to call yourself. Depending on how much wear and tear the lock sees, you may be able to get away with going years between replacing them. If you start noticing that it’s getting harder to lock or unlock your door (or both), it’s time to replace it.
We hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions about when you should replace your locks or even suggestions, let us know in the comments below.