13+ Things Your Locksmith Won’t Tell You
A good front door lock is your home’s first line of defense. Save money while keeping your house safe with these expert locksmith tips.
1. Many of Us do Undercover Work for the Cops
We make keys for them and get them into places at 3 a.m. so they can set up surveillance equipment or put the bugs in place. It's part of the thrill of doing what we do.
2. Contractors Stink at Installing Dead Bolts
I can't tell you how many times I go out to rekey one or let someone in, and I find problems. If it isn't correctly installed, it won't protect you.
A properly installed dead bolt should have at least a one-inch "throw," and on the "strike side," there should be a security plate with screws at least three inches long that go all the way into the door's wood frame.
3. Have a Housekeeper Who Needs a Key?
Ask me to key your door so that your master key works on both the dead bolt and the doorknob, but hers works just on the knob. On the day she comes, lock only the knob.
4. Windows Can be a Liability
If you have a window on or near your door, a thumb-turn dead bolt won't do much good. They knock out the glass, stick a hand in, and turn. Get a double cylinder lock that needs a key on the inside.
6. A New House Should Mean New Keys
When you buy a new house, always have your locks rekeyed. Otherwise there's probably a master key out there that can easily open your home.
(Photo: Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock)
7. Keys Stamped "Do Not Duplicate" Get Duplicated All the Time
Ask me about high-security locks with keys that can't be replicated at the hardware store.
9. The Biggest Mistakes People Make with their Safe?
Spinning the dial too fast, trying to open it before it's unlocked, and forcing it closed when there's obviously a problem.
10. I've Seen My Share of Dead Bodies
It's never a good sign when the landlord calls to get into an apartment, and nobody's seen the tenant for ten days.
(Photo: David De Lossy/Photodisc/Thinkstock)
12. If You're Locked Out, Only Call One of Us
More than once, I arrived at a lock-out to find two competitors' trucks already there. At that point, we all agreed to leave and abandon the inconsiderate victim.
13. Never Tell Me, "Don't Worry, It's an Easy Lock"
Every time someone says that, it takes an extra ten minutes to get it open. It's the kiss of death.
15. WD-40 Can Help
If your key won't turn, try WD-40 or silicone spray. Sometimes the pins get jammed up, and 25 to 40 per cent of the time, that solves the problem.
(Photo courtesy of FHKE/Creative Commons Flickr)