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As a locksmith, it still amazes me how many people don’t get their new home or business location re-keyed.  This is an incredibly important part of moving into a new property; making sure that no one has the ability to gain access without you knowing.
kwikset plug

 So how does re-keying work?

We take the lock off your door, and on our workbench, remove the lock’s cylinder plug.  This is the round barrel shaped part where the keyhole is.  This gives us access to “rekey” the lock–to change the pins that directly contact your key inside the cylinder plug itself.

 

kwikset titan pins line up with key

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This prevents your old key from working since the key combination is now changed.  This is more cost effective than having to replace the entire lock itself.  Additionally, in most hardware stores, you can buy DIY rekeying kits but we recommend you hire a professional if you’re not properly trained to do so (don’t mess around with security).  Contractors are horrible at installing locks.  We can’t tell you how many times we go out to a property and find problems.  When it’s not installed right, it won’t protect you.  A properly installed dead bolt will provide you maximum security. It should have at least a one-inch bolt that extends into the door’s frame and on the door frame, there should be a security “strike plate” installed.  This plate needs to be installed with screws at least three inches long into the door’s wood frame.

Why should you re-key?

There are two main reasons, security and convenience:

Security

Locksmiths are usually called out after a burglary where the homeowner/police finds there was no forced entry.  It’s a lot more common than you’d think.  Homes and Businesses are often broken into by people who knew the previous owners.  We generally get these calls at least once or twice a month in a given area.

Is your home safe? Break ins occur every day in Arizona

Either home or businesses, there could be many key copies given out to friends, coworkers, neighbors, and contractors.  Until you rekey, you cannot ensure that you know who has access to your home or business.  Also, there is a chance you’ve given a key to at least one person since the last time the locks were rekeyed, and the as the more time passes, there are more chances someone has had access to your keys to make copies without your permission.  Getting a set of keys from previous owners or occupants means the chance they’ve been duplicated is exponentially higher.  Technology allows someone especially motivated to make a duplicate without you even being aware it happened.

If you give your locks a fresh start with your new property you’ll have full control over who has keys.  Changing the locks when you move into a new place will provide you with security from the possibility that there are keys floating around out there.  Most insurance companies do not cover losses without signs of forcible entry, which could be extremely costly if someone uses a key to get in!

Convenience

At Arizona Key Guys, we recommend you unify your locks to as least keys as possible.  Our motto is,“one key works all.”  This saves the confusion by having too many keys on a key ring, causing you to fumble just to get inside. It is also handy for rental property owners, business owners or property management companies that need to have a master key for access to multiple locks within a building or buildings.  Master key systems can be created and organized to meet the needs of these complex needs buildings.

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Next topic: The Top 10 Things Other Locksmiths Will Never Tell You. Click here!
 
If you’re away from home and need a locksmith, you can always find an honest locksmith on www.findalocksmith.com, the official website of the Associated Locksmiths of America.