Robbery, burglary, and theft are all about losing valuable items. They are often crimes of opportunity. The criminal isn’t usually planning on taking YOUR valuables. The criminal is looking for easy to acquire things.

In Austin, there are around 3,458 crimes against property per 100,000 residents reported every year. In many cases, simply making your place more challenging to enter means a thief chooses a different home to rob. So how tough do you have to make your locks?

If your lock jiggles or sticks, it may be time to Google the phrase “lock repair near me” for a replacement or fix. Read on to learn how to decide which.

Why Bother With Updated Locks?

Good home security is essential. Burglaries in Austin are at an all-time high.  Face it, if you were going to rob a house, which one do you choose? The one with the open door or the one locked up like Fort Knox?

The most basic form of security for your property is a sturdy door with a lock. Your home can have all the cameras and alarms in the world, but nothing stops a thief faster than a good lock. It’s your first line of defense!

Maintenance and upkeep of your locks are not only about good looks. They can mean the difference between a thief attempting to open your door or moving on to an easier target. Door lock technology is greatly advanced from a few years ago; there are keyless locks, wi-fi enabled locks, and more.

On top of that, advanced door locks are resistant to bumping, picking, and other unauthorized entry tricks.

When Should You Change Your Door Locks?

There isn’t a set time schedule to maintain your door locks like you would change the filters on your air conditioner or test your smoke alarm batteries. (You do those twice a year, right?)

You might have a different problem if you need to change your door locks as often as you change the oil in your car. Certain things should have you looking up the closest lock repair near me, pronto!

Loose Locks

Does your lock feel solid when engaged?  Or is there a noticeable wiggle when you remove the key? The inner workings of your locking mechanism might be loose or damaged. Sometimes this is simple wear and tear over time.

The more sinister version is that someone used a tool to punch out or pick your lock. If you suspect that your lock has been tampered with or intentionally damaged, seek out law enforcement, first! You don’t want to surprise a burglar inside.

Call for a replacement door lock as soon as possible. A broken door lock isn’t doing its job of protecting your valuables.

Jammed Locks

Like everything else in your home, a little bit of maintenance goes a long way.  Regular cleaning and lubrication keep your locks in top condition. Locks that jam due to rust or worn tumblers are no longer the best defense for your home.

Expect mechanisms to wear out, especially if exposed to the elements. The other culprit is a warped door or frame. The lock may not properly clear the strike plate.

Whether a lock sticks closed or open, it’s an indication that your door is not well protected.

Space Between the Door and Jamb

If there is adequate space between the door and jamb to slide something through (like a credit card), your door may be easy to open. Just as appealing to a burglar is a lock that extends only a little into the door jamb. A little push and your thief is inside.

Time to speed search for the nearest lock repair to me! It would be a shame to be the victim of a crime simply because your home was the easiest to enter.

Other Reasons to Find the Nearest Lock Repair to Me

The most popular reason is when you move. When you take possession of a new place, you get keys. The question is: Who else has keys?

There’s no telling how many other copies of the key are out there. The cleaning crew? They have a key. The real estate listing agent? The contractor who does repairs? The painter?

It’s much better to be safe than sorry. Change the locks! If you are in a place where there are a limited number of locks, like a new subdivision, there might only be three or four types of keys that open all the homes in your area!

Did You Lose Your Keys?

Lost or stolen keys are trouble. Even if a Good Samaritan returns them to you, you don’t know who else had the opportunity to make a copy. Beyond that, you probably lost some identifying information.  A would-be thief has your keys, your address, AND an idea that you aren’t at home.

Find the nearest and closest lock repair to let you into your home. Then change out your locks.

Did You Lose a Housemate?

A relationship breakup or a simple roommate swap warrants a lock change. Most people strive for a civilized and amicable end to co-habitation.  However, sometimes emotions run high. Imagine coming home and finding your possessions ransacked because an ex felt the need to reclaim some items.

A solid wood or metal door and a strong lock can make it clear that your home is no longer theirs.

Did You Make a Major Life Change?

You may want to change out the locks after a major life event or purchase. New possessions or the appearance of wealth can make your home a target.

If you know you have vulnerable windows or doors, a life change is a good excuse to replace old hardware. After all, its to protect “the baby”. (Even if the baby is actually your new computer.)

Which Doors Need Locks?

You never know when thieves are taking inventory of your home’s prized possessions. You just want to keep them on the outside of your home.

That said, all doors that connect to the outside (and windows too!) need secure locks. This includes the door between your garage and your home. Don’t rely on your automatic garage door to provide adequate security.

An automatic garage door can be defeated by a wire coat hanger and a practiced hand. A simple tug on the emergency release of the door will open it. On top of that, once thieves are in your garage, they can close the door and work on your door lock unobserved.

Don’t make theft too easy!

Security Tips to Protect Your Home

All door locks are vulnerable to picking, drilling or kick-ins. The key is to make them as tough as you can. Make a thief think twice about spending extra time to get your door open.

1. Always Lock Up Your Home

Be diligent about locking up. Even if you are just headed down the driveway to pick up the paper. It only takes a moment for someone to slip in behind you.

If you don’t want to carry your keys in your bathrobe, consider a fingerprint or code-activated lock.

2. Use a Good Quality Deadbolt

You need a high-quality deadbolt to thwart criminals. A door out of sight of passersby is most vulnerable. A simple kick-in takes seconds if the strike plate and screws are vulnerable.

Look for a reinforced strike plate and extra-long screws. Use a double cylinder lock where possible, especially if there is a vulnerable glass where a thief could just break-in and turn the lock.

Beware of the fire danger of double-key locks. Make sure your family knows where to find the key in an emergency. Double cylinder deadbolts are not permitted in some areas.

3. Secure Patio Doors and Windows

The simple thumb latch locks are insufficient for home security. On many windows and patio doors, a quick pass with a flat head screwdriver is all it takes to open them.

Additionally, many patio doors can simply be lifted out of their tracks. A locksmith can help you secure your patio doors and windows with key locks. A few well-placed screws or pins will secure your patio door from lift out.

4. Enlist Your Neighbors

You watch my house, I’ll watch yours is a good policy. Simply keeping an eye open for people or vehicles that don’t belong goes a long way. If you have high tech solutions like an alarm system or camera system, a neighbor can respond much more quickly than the police.

5. Locks Are Just the First Line of Defense

Beyond locking your doors and windows, there are several social media tips to follow. For example, never advertise your schedule.

Facebook and social media exist to connect us to others. However, you have no control over who is using that knowledge.

Don’t advertise new possessions or your vacation schedule. You may come home to an empty house. Consider an alarm system, a camera system or a large dog.

How to Find a Lock Repair Near Me

Google, NextDoor, Yelp, and other services can help you pinpoint locksmith or lock repair service, but how do you choose a good company or person for your security needs?

Sure, most home improvement centers sell locks meant to be installed by a handyman or DIY. However, there can be many problems. For example, a typical box of locks at the local DIY store might have as few as two different code numbers. That means that anyone who buys a lock from that store has a good chance of sharing the same key with several others in the neighborhood.

Another problem is user error. Entry locks that aren’t properly aligned with the strike plate aren’t secure. Failing to reinforce the door or jamb might result in an easy to open door.

Go With Local References

Watch out for companies and individuals who operate nationally. Often they are no more than calling services that draw consumers away from legitimate locksmiths. Typically, they act as a labor broker, advertising low prices and speedy service. They then send out the next person on their list– earning a commission from both you and the person providing the service.

In general, they tend to prey on people who need emergency services. Instead, look for a locksmith locally. Use your neighbor’s recommendations and local referrals. Feel free to check credentials.

Most lock manufacturers offer product-specific training. There are also two trade organizations: ALOA Security Professionals Association and the Society of Professional Locksmiths. Both organizations offer membership directories.

Speak to Former Customers

Trusting someone with the security of your home can be a little nerve-racking. Don’t be afraid to ask for professional references. Call up former customers and ask about the installation, the quality of the equipment, etc.

A legitimate company should not be afraid to offer references. Even if you can’t call prior customers, check out online reviews for an overall picture.

Choose an Expert

Look for a lock repair person with experience and training in your type of locks. For example, a person who specializes in electronic locks for businesses might not be the best person for advice to secure your home.

Consider using a company that handles a full security plan. A combination of secured doors, locks, and CCTV is often necessary for large homes. Look for a company that can coordinate it all.

Need to Talk to a Qualified Lock Repair?

There’s no strict timetable when it comes to improving your home security. Certain situations and incidents can speed you to the decision. You can boost your home security with just a simple lock upgrade.

If your locks are flimsy, broken or unreliable, you are vulnerable to a thief stealing from you. After all, by leaving such an easy entry give a burglar a perfect opportunity. Make sure to check all of your outdoor windows and doors.

A qualified locksmith can help you choose the right hardware to keep your stuff inside safe and the bad guys outside. To find the best lock repair near me, contact us today. You can also call anytime at (737) 222-7022.

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