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First Things First

When you move into your first house, you might be tempted to order new furniture or carpets for your place instead of attending to more important matters. Unfortunately, if you overlook home security, you might be left wondering if your family is safe while you are away. As a lock enthusiast, I always tell new homeowners that the first thing they should do is to rekey their entire house. Believe it or not, the process is relatively inexpensive and easy, so you won't have to worry about breaking the bank to protect your new investment. Read my website to find out more.

First Things First

Why Your Locksmith Should Re-Key Your New Deadbolt

by Katie Davis

You've just purchased a new lockset or deadbolt from your favorite big hardware retailer. It seems relatively easy to install in your home's front door. Why do you need to get a locksmith involved?

The answer is that major lock manufacturers sell locksets in lots, which may all use the same key. If the store where you purchased your lockset got a box of several sets from a major lock manufacturer, odds are good that they are keyed alike. The benefit to doing this is that the manufacturer doesn't have to set so many options and the consumer can buy several locksets that all use one key, then install them on multiple doors. But this also means that your neighbor may be buying and using a lock with the same key set that your home uses.

To see if several locksets on the shelf of your local store use the same keys, just look for the serial number on the label. If other boxes share the same serial number, they are likely to be keyed alike.

Normally this wouldn't be a problem, because it would be hard for a criminal to track who purchased which lockset and where each one was installed. But often the keys that accompany the locksets are marked with a number. This tells anyone in the know what combination your home is keyed to, and a duplicate key could be made just from that number.

What can you do to avoid this problem?

  • You can purchase your lockset from your local locksmith instead of a big hardware and home goods store.
  • You can buy a lockset from a smaller manufacturer that doesn't key multiple sets alike.
  • You can take the lockset you buy directly to a locksmith and have the combination in the lock reset.
  • You can have a locksmith make new keys made that are not marked.

For the most peace of mind, work with your locksmith from the start to have the most secure lockset installed in your home. You can also ask your locksmith to conduct a home audit and let you know where there may be security issues that can be fixed.

Another benefit of having a locksmith key all your locks is that they can be easily set to open with the same key, without buying them all that way. Don't worry about having a different key for the front door, deadbolt, side door and back door -- one key on your ring can open all the locks if they are properly set to the same combination.