You Likely Aren't Replacing Your Door Locks As Often As You Should

When was the last time you changed your door locks? If the answer is, "It's been a while," you may want to get a new lock set and replace what you currently have. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, over the last several years, the U.S. has seen an average of 1.5 million burglaries per year. But installing new locks — especially deadbolts — can work to prevent these burglaries from occurring. You should change your locks whenever you move, if you have a roommate or renter who moves out, you lose your keys, or if your home is broken into, to name a few scenarios. The other reason to change them is if you can't remember the last time you updated them, as most locks only last five to seven years on average. 

Yes, you can do a DIY deadbolt door lock change yourself to make your home safer,  but some people prefer to have professional locksmiths come out for this job. When hiring a locksmith, you can expect to pay between $100 and $250 if you're looking to install a completely brand-new lock, but the peace of mind is well worth the price. Additionally, you might want to put a new deadbolt lock on your door only to find that it doesn't align with your existing hardware. In this case, a professional locksmith is your best bet. 

You've lost your keys

If you've lost your keys, you want to change your locks. You don't know who has them, and you don't want to risk a break-in, so swapping out your locks is ideal. However, price usually factors into how someone goes about this, and although replacing locks in their entirety is ideal, you can also rekey them to save money. Generally, you can expect to pay between $40 and $100 to rekey a lock, adding another $5 to $25 per lock cylinder. 

Another reason to consider swapping out locks is if you recently hired a house sitter. In theory, you hope that the person you hire to care for your home or animals while you're on vacation wouldn't make a copy of your keys, but it's not worth taking any chances. In this instance, you should swap out your locks once you're back home. It's also important to swap out old, broken locks or locks that sustained any type of damage. There's no guarantee that worn-out, damaged locks can protect your home from theft, so contact a locksmith to have them install something with high-quality material that can work to deter a burglary. 

You've recently moved

Always replace your locks if you've recently moved. You don't know who else has a copy of your keys, so why take a chance? The person who previously lived in your home could have given keys out to friends, family, contractors, and more, neglecting to get them back. Quickly swapping out your locks can work to prevent the wrong person from gaining entrance to your home. Don't forget to have a locksmith replace the locks on any sliding doors, as these often go overlooked. Yes, you can purchase burglar bars to secure your sliding doors and add more security to your home, but a simple lock change can add another level of protection.

Additionally, if you recently had home renovations, you may want to change your locks. Maybe your entire kitchen was remodeled, and you gave your contractor access to your house — and keys — while you were away from your home. You can never be too careful. Yes, the assumption is that your contractors are professional, but you never know who might make a copy of your key, and the best way to protect your family — and your home — is by changing out your locks.