Most locksmiths spend a large proportion of their working hours replacing locks. People need lock replacements for all kinds of reasons; for example, if the lock has been damaged beyond repair, or if keys have been lost or stolen. When moving house it is a good idea to have locks replaced on the property for complete peace of mind. But, as every burglar knows how to pick a lock, you should also consider extra security fittings such as chains and bolts.
Not all lock replacements are carried out as emergencies. Check your home insurance policy to see if your locks meet their requirements. Home insurers require a minimum level of security for properties both inhabited and unattended. For example, if you have a wooden frame external door with a rim latch cylinder lock, this would not be considered sufficient for insurance purposes. According to Home Office recommendations, external doors should be fitted with a five lever mortice deadlock, which conforms to British Standard BS3621 for Thief Resistant locks. Mortice locks need to be opened with a key from both the inside and outside. This means that intruders cannot reach in through a window and open the door, or escape via the door if they have broken in another way.
If you're used to DIY around the home, you may be tempted to replace locks yourself. However, this is not advisable, as it's not always as straightforward as it may seem and you may end up doing damage to your door or the new lock. As with all matters of home security, it's just not worth taking a risk. So always call in an expert to do this important work. To find out more about lock replacement in Barnet, take a look at this site.
When replacing a lock, the locksmith will check the brand of your existing lock by looking at the lock hatch. If the replacement is the same brand, this will mean that the door won't have to be altered to accommodate a different style. If the new lock differs from the existing one, the door knob may have to be removed, too, before the lock can be replaced.
Back doors in particular are a security concern if they are not adequately protected. If the door is glass panelled, locksmiths would advise replacing an unsuitable lock with a five lever, two bolt mortice sash lock operated with a handle.
If you are not sure about the security of the locks around your home, a certified locksmith would be able to advise you. Locksmiths carry tools to pick a lock in their tool kits, so they will be able to demonstrate how easy it is for an intruder to gain access. You may be advised to fit mortice bolts on the top and bottom of doors, or padlocks on outbuildings. Digital locks are another option. Cylinder locks on internal doors can be replaced with better quality, more secure models. For extra security, you could replace them with restricted cylinders. These can only be opened using keys cut with the owner's authorisation.
Don't forget windows! Many intruders enter properties through windows, so make sure that any faulty or flimsy locks are replaced.