Good locksmithing is about more than just locks and keys. If you’re hoping to improve the safety and security of your home, you can do a lot better than simply putting a chain on the door and hoping for the best – and the person most qualified to help you do it is your local trained and accredited locksmith. Read on to find out a bit more about them and about what they will be able to do for you, and you might find that you have reason to make an appointment with your local locksmith right away. Before you begin, though, there’s one thing that it’s really important for you to bear in mind: not all locksmiths London are created equal, and anyone you hire should be accredited by the MLA (the Master Locksmith’s Association) at the very least. This way, you can rest assured that your safety is in good hands.
Changed Or Re-Keyed Locks
Let’s face it: almost anyone could have a key to your home. You’ll have given one to a few people, probably, and even if you trust all of them entirely the same is true of all previous occupiers of the property – and any one of those people could have copied a key, or had it stolen, or simply mislaid it somewhere. The only way to be sure that you know exactly who can get in and out of your home is to have the locks either changed or re-keyed (which has the same effect, but is quicker and cheaper as the whole lock is not replaced) as soon as possible after you move in, and for that you’re going to need to get in touch with a professional locksmith. Don’t be tempted to try and do this yourself – it might seem like a good idea at the time but it rarely is in reality, and who wants to leave the security of everything they hold dear to chance?
It’s not an urban myth: good exterior security lighting really does deter intruders, not least because it makes them feel so much more exposed. Locksmiths might not be electricians but they are home security experts, so they can always advise you on the placement and usage of motion-activated security lighting. This kind of installation is good for you in other ways, as well; it might make it easier to find your keys at night, to navigate your garden after dark, or simply to feel secure as you leave and approach your home. What’s more, this is just the kind of advice that most locksmiths are happy to give for free if they are already carrying out some kind of paid service for you. Take advantage of their expertise while you can, and make certain that you’re looking after your safety and that of your friends, family, housemates or tenants as well as you possibly can.
Patented Locking Systems
For a little extra security, consider getting your new key design patented while you’re having the exterior locks changed or re-keyed. This means that only participating locksmiths will cut the key, and that nobody will be able to cut a copy of one of the keys to your home without at the very least an official signed note from you telling the locksmith that they’re allowed to do it. This gives you added control over who has access to your home, and makes it far easier to know for certain how many keys to your front door are out there and who has them. It’s not infallible, though – there’s always the chance of a stolen key or an unscrupulous locksmiths Clapham – so make sure you only do this after you’ve had the locks changed yourself, and exercise good practice with your keys nonetheless.
It’s a good idea to keep valuable inside a safe. It protects them from fire, flood and theft, and makes them a great deal harder to lose or misplace. That said, an incorrectly used safe is as bad as no safe at all – a thief will simply pick the whole thing up and take it with them, hoping to find a way into it later. Locksmiths can install safes in such a way that this cannot be done, or is at least a great deal more difficult. What’s more, the safes installed by locksmiths are always of a higher quality than those bought from a DIY chain – even if they’re made by the same manufacturer.
Master Key Systems
Imagine for a moment that you’re a student landlord trying to comply with the sometimes rather complex regulations about multi-occupancy properties. Every person living in the house needs a key to the front door, obviously, but their individual bedroom doors also need to lock – and all of those locks much be different. Nevertheless, you still need to have a key for all of them, and there might be a back door too. So assuming your property has six bedrooms that means that every individual tenant needs to have three keys each and you’ll have to carry eight! Keeping all those keys organised is hard; you might lose them, and you’re never going to remember which is which off the top of your head. This is where a master key system is great. If you employ a skilled locksmith to install one, you’ll be able to arrange things so that everyone – you and all six tenants – just have one key each. Theirs can open the front door, the back door, and only their own bedroom – while yours will open both exterior doors as well as every single bedroom in the house. Perfect.
There are other times that a master key could come in handy, too. Imagine, for example, that you’d like to employ a cleaner to come in while you’re all out but you don’t really want a stranger to have access to your home whenever they like. The best way round this is to have two front door locks, one that you lock all the time and one that you lock most of the time but leave unlocked whenever the cleaner is going to come round. With a master key, you can conveniently open both of those locks yourself without needing an extra front door key – while your cleaner can still only open one of them with theirs.
Bolts And Chains
Something as simple as a few extra bolts and chains on the insides of your exterior doors can make a huge difference to the level of security you’re able to enjoy when you’re inside your home – and by extension can actually help you reduce your home insurance premiums. To make sure that these all work as well as they should, it’s important that you have them installed by a professional locksmith. There certainly are some kinds that you can easily enough install yourself, but this is something to be extremely careful with; after all, it could well be that you do it wrongly and so are taking an unnecessary risk, or that you’ve inadvertently bought something that doesn’t fit properly, or that the kind of bolt or chain you’re using isn’t up to the task.
Electronic House Alarms
The mere sight of a house alarm speaker flashing on the outside of your home can be enough to deter a potential intruder. Even if it doesn’t, they make you a great deal more secure should the worst happen: if you’re in and perhaps asleep you’ll be alerted immediately by the incredibly loud noise, and if you’re out then the intruder is almost certainly going to give up and leave your home anyway, as they have no way of knowing if you’re in or not. In addition to that, of course, your neighbours and any passers-by will instantly know and with some modern alarm systems the police will be automatically notified and will turn up ASAP. Not all locksmiths Islington can carry out the entire installation process – they’re not electricians, after all – but even so they can advise on brands, usage and companies who can get them put in for you. Remember always that a good locksmith is also a home security expert.
Shed And Passage Locks
People sometimes forget that their front door is often not the only way into their home. If you have a back door, you need to think about how easy it is to get to it from the street – and whether or not those entryways are adequately protected, not to mention the quality of the lock on the back door itself. If you have a shed or another place outside where you keep tools like ladders, drills and hammers, make sure they’re hidden away and kept securely – otherwise you might find that someone attempts to break into your home using your own equipment, especially if they’re something of an opportunist. Look after the security of your back door, your garden and your outside storage with just as much care as you take over the rest of your home and thing things inside it.