Understanding What A Locksmith Does

Buying a New Home? Get Those Locks Replaced!

by Maëly Richard

Holding the keys to your new home in the palm of your hand for the first time can be a proud and exciting moment, but before you get moved in and settled, consider who else might be holding a copy of those keys. Even if the previous owners say they've turned over all the keys, you can't be 100 percent sure that there aren't others floating around. Hiring a locksmith to replace the locks can give you peace of mind and let you return your focus to the fun aspects of moving into a new home. Here's what you can expect from a professional locksmith and tips on how to find a reputable one.

Performing a Security Analysis and Selecting Locks

Though you can usually install a replacement lock yourself if the lock has the same sizing and specifications as the old one, hiring a reputable locksmith means you'll be able to get a new lock that matches your security needs. Security is particularly important when you're buying a new home with locks you didn't have installed yourself. The locksmith will check your doors and current locks to see if a different size or type of lock would provide better security.

If you don't have a deadbolt, your locksmith might suggest installing one. And it's certainly worth the expense -- in 2013, the FBI reported nearly 2 million burglaries, 59.2 percent of which involved forced entry. It's extremely difficult for an intruder to get past a solid, professionally-installed deadbolt lock, making them an excellent choice when moving into a new home. Locksmiths are knowledgeable about home security, and they'll be able to point out other potential risks and advise you on how to resolve them, such as breakable glass in a door or close proximity to a window an intruder could break and reach the door to unlock the deadbolt.

Tips on Finding a Locksmith

The majority of states don't require a locksmith to hold a license, so it's important to do your research before hiring one. Ask friends or family members for referrals or look up reviews online. Ask for the company's legal business name when hiring a locksmith so you can check the Better Business Bureau's website for any complaints. Look for a locksmith like Fox Chase Lock & Key who will give you a thorough quote and allow you to pay with a credit card or check. Fraudulent locksmiths often insist on cash. Ask your locksmith about any extra charges when you get a quote, and get the quote in writing.