10 Scenarios That Should Result In You Changing Your Locks

rsz_fotolia_53123770_xs-300x218 As much as we’d love to believe that our home is a fortress, extra precautions can always be taken to better ensure our safety. In the case of unique circumstances, however, being reactive is just as important as being proactive. Here are ten scenarios that should prompt a change in locks to safeguard your home from intrusion.

Wear and Tear

An old lock protects no one, and can actually hinder your ability to enter your home. Worn down mechanisms are easier to break and pick due to their frailty. In addition, compromised locks can malfunction, especially on a cold night, leaving you outside at the worst possible moment. If rust appears or you’re having trouble turning the key in the lock, consider a switch.

Lost Keys

Many of us have lost our keys before. Generally, we find them and, if we don’t, we assume that they’re either gone for good, or in the possession of those who don’t know what they unlock. The safe route, however, is to assume that your security is compromised, and opt for a new lock. The odds may be low, but safety is paramount.


Even in the case of amicable divorces, a change of locks is a prudent step. While we may trust the other person, divorces commonly see possessions wielded as leverage. Protect your home and what’s left of your relationship with your former spouse by switching out the locks.

New Roommate

An old roommate or tenant, if you rent space in your home, provides new opportunities for uncontrolled intrusion. Even after they return the keys, there’s no guarantee that they aren’t holding on to copies. Furthermore, regardless of your policy, former housemates may have distributed keys to other individuals, leaving you powerless to control access. When switching out residents, make the right call and update your security.

Moving Into a New Home

Just as with old tenants, old residents present the same potential for intrusion. Those retaining keys or having distributed copies to neighbors, friends, and family, create avenues for entry into your home beyond your control. In either case, it’s not that unsavory characters exist in ubiquity, it’s simply that avoiding the danger is better than taking the risk.

News of Break-Ins Locally

On the topic of risk, local crime waves can motivate a change, especially those in close proximity. Burglars hitting the same neighborhood may have spent time “casing” your home for entry points and valuable possessions, so heading them off before they have a chance to invade is a prudent step. Furthermore, if you’ve provided copies of keys to any neighbors, criminals may have collected them, giving them easy access to you and yours.

Experience of Break-In

Should a break in happen at your residence, you have no choice but to switch locks. The force required to enter a home will undoubtedly compromise the locking mechanisms, allowing future entry and leaving the potential for failure when an actual key is used.

Repairman Didn’t Give Keys Back

It’s not uncommon to leave a key under the mat for the cable repairman when we can’t be around to let them in. For this reason, keeping track of who returned keys and who held onto them is essential. In addition to the fact that such individuals know your house and what lock the key applies to, they’ve had time to see your home and identify targets. Change the locks before the temptation overtakes them.

Purchase of an Expensive Item

If you’re putting the investment into a beautiful LCD TV or expensive engagement ring, it’s worth the small, additional investment to keep them safe. Criminals don’t need an intimate knowledge of your home; it only takes a glance through the window from a passing car to see that you have something they want. Don’t take chances. Protect your newfound possession and your peace of mind with a new lock.

Passage of Time

Sometimes, it’s simply time for an update. Developing technologies offer new solutions that can better secure your safety and your valuables. If it’s been a few years, invest the money and make a change. Changing your locks is not difficult, and the security benefit of doing so is enormous. From rotating residents, to misplaced keys, to expensive investments, switching out your locks is not just smart, it’s effective. Consider if any of the above have happened to you and determine whether your safety and peace of mind are worth a small cost and a little handiwork.