While many people install home security systems to protect their belongings and loved ones, the first line of defense for many homes and businesses is still a door lock. It is very common for people to either lose their keys or even have them stolen if they left them in a public area such as a gym or a coffee shop. The first fear is that by doing so, they will have to buy all-new locks, something that could cost them hundreds of dollars or in the case of businesses well over $1,000. Instead, many lock manufacturers make it easy to re-key the locks, or modify them so that the original access controls remain in place but new keys are required in order to open doors and gates.
Basics of Door Locks and Bolts
The reason that many homeowners want to re-key their locks is because it is less expensive than getting all-new sets for each door or window covered by the same key when they have lost an existing one or think that it may have been stolen. It is important to know how the lock works in order to understand what re-keying does.
Each door lock has a set of tumblers, usually at least six. These are small cylinders that move up and down inside the lock itself when a key or other object is inserted. When you put your key in, it moves each of the tumblers so that all of them reach a certain height. When they are all in place, you can rotate the cylinder in order to unlock the door or entrance way.
However, when you look at your key you will see that there are indentations of various sizes. Each of those little cylinders is of a different height, so that while a key will move them up in order to rotate the lock, each one is of a different height to provide a sense of security in a combination that will open the door. When you call up a lock smith to re-key your system, they are changing the order and the height that each section of the key must be.
Benefits of Re-Keying a Lock
Many homeowners choose a system with the help of a home security company or locksmith that fits their needs in terms of budget as well as the level of security it provides. For example, someone with a lockpick set trying to break into your home or business will find it much more difficult to open as you add tumblers to a lock. At the same time, however, each of those locks can be relatively expensive, and many are set up so that the tumblers fall in a different pattern and thus only open with the new set of keys without installing an entirely new group of locks.
This can save potentially hundreds of dollars if you use a number of locks that are opened with the same set of keys, or even just have one or two that provide a high level of security and are somewhat more expensive. In addition, there is no excessive construction work or handiwork required from a locksmith in Doylestown or the surrounding area. Lock makers provide sets of tumblers that make the process quick for contractors and painless for homeowners or local businesses.
Alternatives to Re-Keying Locks
When families and business owners realize that they have lost one or more keys, the easiest step is to simply re-key their existing locks, but it may also provide an opportunity to re-assess their security needs.
There are two common changes one could make: adding deadbolts and/or using stronger locks as well as using electronic locks. The former enables homeowners and business managers to feel more secure and may make more sense with the help of a security system consultant’s review and advice regarding a building.
Electronic locks may add some cost to a quote, but they also afford more opportunities. For businesses, they can be opened with security tokens or RFID tags that make it easier to access for selected staff members. Homeowners or loved ones who have lost a key can still key in a combination at the door with an electronic lock without having to immediately bring in a locksmith. Afterwards, they can call a consultant in to reset the lock.