Making A Safe Choice For Your Home

Should You Replace Your Locks After a Break In?

by Kristen Roberts

Feeling uneasy after your home has been broken into is a perfectly natural reaction. You might wish to do something proactive about your unease, and beefing up your home security is a way to achieve this. You might wish to examine all aspects of your home's security, starting with your first line of defence — your door locks. Is it going to be necessary to replace all your door locks after someone has broken in?

The Point of Entry

How exactly did the intruders break into your home? This is not always entirely clear, but when it was through an unsecured window or, indeed, anywhere that was not an external door, then your locks might not have been compromised and so will not require replacement. Consider adding locks to your windows and implementing additional checks at home to ensure that windows and all points of entry are closed and secured.

Attempted Forced Entry

Just because the intruders ultimately did not enter your home via a door doesn't mean that they didn't try to do so before finding an alternative way inside. Inspect your doors for signs of attempted forced entry. You're looking for scratches and scrapes around the keyhole, as well as the escutcheon (the outward-facing metal plate that covers the lock's housing). Although they were unsuccessful in breaking the lock, the lock could easily have become compromised during their efforts. This means it might not offer the same level of resistance if there was to be a subsequent attempted break-in. In this instance, contact a locksmith to have the lock replaced.

Obvious Forced Entry

When it's obvious that the intruders were able to bypass a door lock to gain entry, then that lock will clearly need to be replaced with a superior version. Although it's not a difficult task for a locksmith to immediately replace a damaged lock, you need to be sure what you want. Discuss the matter with the locksmith and ask them to make a recommendation based upon your needs. You're looking for a lock that has been rated to withstand both drilling and brute force, perhaps with a longer deadbolt that reaches further into the doorjamb (the hole in the door frame that houses the deadbolt when extended).

Sure, it's unsettling to think that someone has entered your home and robbed you, but being proactive in preventing it from happening again can be a helpful step forward.

To learn more, contact a locksmith.