Imagine you had a very long, tiring day and all you can think about is a hot shower and your bed. You come home late at night and reach for your keys in your pocket or purse – but they’re not there.
We believe it goes without saying that losing your home keys and being locked out is not a very comforting thought. In the right conditions, it can be soul-crushing and you might also start to feel a little irresponsible.
But that’s okay! Put aside the self-doubt and know that it can happen to even the best of us.
The main concern that normally arises after losing your home keys is security-related and it can send your brain into a frenzy, thinking of all the terrible things that could happen. Your home keys are a direct pass into your life, let alone your home, and losing them not only restricts you but potentially gives someone else unwanted access as well.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Now that it’s done, what can you do to rectify the situation?
First thing’s first: try to locate your lost keys in a fixed amount of time. Do not panic, you need to set a fixed number of hours until you finally decide to change the locks. There is no magic number, we recommend that you give it half a day or one full day.
Try and remember where you last took out your keys. Retrace your steps to see if you mistakenly dropped them somewhere on your way home. If you still can’t find them, look at other options that might help you.
LOOK FOR SPARE KEYS
Spare keys are called spare for a reason! If you’ve hidden your spare keys in a safe spot, now is the time to retrieve and use them. You can call a family member living with you to come and help you out with their set of keys. Also, if you’re a tenant, you can ask your landlord to provide you with the spare set.
If none of these solutions apply to you, then read on!
LOOK FOR AN ALTERNATE ENTRY
This one’s pretty straightforward. Look for alternate entry points such as the back door or a window to gain access to the inside. A huge factor here is that all the alternate entry points must be unlocked. Normally, you’d be shocked to know how many people in the UK leave their doors and windows unlocked, going against the basic rules of home security.
But in case you’ve been careless with your locks too, it might turn into a blessing in disguise. However, for future reference, always lock all your doors and windows, even when you’re inside the house. It only takes a minute. Lock up or lose out!
CALL THE PROFESSIONALS
When all else fails, it’s time to call in the experts. It is advised to not break any doors and windows since fixing them will be much costlier than getting new keys.
At Calder Security, we offer a wide range of locksmiths services including installing and repairing locks, gaining access for when you’re locked out, and domestic key cutting. We are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA) since 1976 and possess the skills to work on all kinds of locking mechanisms.
SHOULD YOU CHANGE THE LOCKS?
Now for the main question – should you change the locks?
Keys and locks come in pairs, and of course, if one gets compromised, the entire security system gets compromised. Therefore, if you lose your home keys, it is recommended that you change your door locks as a security measure. Failing to do so leaves your security system in a vulnerable state since you will never know who has access to your lost keys. Changing the locks is the most efficient way to ensure your home security remains intact.
Furthermore, deciding on whether or not you should change the locks depends on several factors:
- The situation or way that you lost your keys,
- How much you’re willing to spend,
- And what kind of lock you currently have.
All these factors play a very crucial part in determining whether you need new locks or not.
LOST OR STOLEN?
How you lost your keys is an important factor in making a decision.
Most of the time, there’s confusion and you’re not sure if you misplaced them, dropped them somewhere, or if they were stolen without your knowledge.
Maybe you think you dropped them somewhere when in reality, someone took them out of your pocket.
If your home keys were stolen, it goes without saying that the safety and security of your home should be prioritized and the locks must be changed ASAP. They were probably stolen for the sole intent of entering your home and robbing you.
On the other hand, if you misplaced them, there’s a very slim chance of burglars finding your keys and tracing you to your home to rob you. Even if that’s the case, if security is your main concern (as it should be) and you want peace of mind, just get the locks changed. It’s the best practice and prevention is always better than cure!
WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET?
Your budget always plays a major role in deciding whether or not to make any changes or renovations to your home. Your budget plays a major role in everything! Changing your home locks after you lose your keys is no different. Depending on your budgetary restrictions, you can either have the entire lock changed, part of it changed, or have the lock rekeyed. Leaving the lock as-is would be leaving your safety and security to chance. In the end, you have to consider the cost of changing the lock versus the cost of having a compromised security system. Reach out to us here for a quick quote.
WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT LOCK SITUATION?
Maybe your current locks aren’t up to the standard and pose a threat to your home security. In that case, losing your keys might be a blessing in disguise and a great opportunity to upgrade your home locks to state-of-the-art ones. If you have high-security locks to start with, you might consider changing parts of the lock instead of changing them completely. But if they are not secure, now would be a great time to change your current lock situation.
Another thing to take note of is the quality of your door. A high-security lock can’t keep you safe if your door is of subpar quality. Your door needs to be as solid as your security system to work hand in hand.
The final verdict in the argument of whether you should get your locks changed or not after losing your keys is this: yes, you should! That’s what we as professionals recommend and that’s what should be done, essentially. There are no laws stating that you should do it, but sometimes the pros outweigh the cons. There is nothing as important as your safety and peace of mind. Period.
Watch this video by Calder Security on how changing your locks can keep you and your home secure.
LOCK SNAPPING ON THE RISE
Now that you’ve decided on changing the locks on your door, you need to decide on which lock to choose. With so many options in the market, it can sometimes become difficult to make a sound decision. But don’t worry. We’re here to help!
Before we discuss this further, you need to understand how intruders gain access through your front door.
As mentioned earlier, most of the population in the UK does not practice locking their doors and windows, because of which 21% of the burglars don’t even have to “break-in”. The doors are unlocked and they just walk in. Read these astonishing burglary key facts and statistics throughout the UK, we bet it will leave your jaw on the ground.
For the cases where the doors are locked, burglars use a technique called lock snapping to break in.
Lock snapping is a very simple, easy, and quiet method where burglars use to “snap” open doors fitted with standard euro-cylinder locks. All it takes is a few seconds, some DIY tools, and a bit of strength. No special skills are required and what’s terrifying is that there are lock snapping tutorials available on YouTube!
These locks are used on the majority of UPVC doors and are unfortunately very easy to bypass. Burglars using the lock snapping technique break, or snap, the standard Euro lock cylinder into two by applying a specific amount of force at the weakest part of the cylinder. The West Yorkshire Police has reported an increase in the number of burglaries in homes using the standard Euro cylinder lock.
If the standard Euro cylinder locks are that easy to break, what’s the solution? What is the most secure lock?
The best way to avoid burglars from snapping your locks is by using anti-snap locks.
The main difference between a standard and anti-snap lock is that when a standard lock is snapped, the entire body of the lock breaks-off, giving the burglar access to your home. On the other hand, an anti-snap cylinder lock stays intact even when it is snapped. Because the lock is in two parts, the door remains locked even when part of the barrel is broken.
The best anti-snap locks must have a:
SS312 Diamond Standard rating: Sold Secure, an independent, non-profit organization based in the UK, tests a variety of door locks to see if they can withstand the lock snapping technique used by burglars. They work closely with the law-enforcement agencies such as the police and insurers, and only 100% satisfactory/compliant products bear their mark. The SS312 Diamond is one of the highest levels of security standards for door lock cylinders and is trusted by many.
TS007 3-star rating: This is another security standard that ensures the door locks are snap resistant and 100% reliable. A TS007 BSI kitemark and a 3-star rating on the lock indicate that it has been tested against snapping by a third party, not just the manufacturer.
We, at Calder Security, are specialists in wooden, UPVC, and aluminium doors, and can advise you on the best types of door locks for your needs. We are also the official suppliers for leading lock brands including Chubb, Yale, Securikey, and Garrison.
In addition to the front door of your home, anti-snap locks can be installed on all other types of doors such as the back and side doors, garage doors, wooden and composite doors, and aluminium doors.
The good news is that there has been a steady decline in lock snapping burglaries since 2012 mainly since more and more people are upgrading to the SS312 Diamond approved cylinder locks. It’s time you make the necessary upgrades to your security system too, regardless of losing your keys or not. Contact Yorkshire’s leading independent security company now for a consultation.
The charges for our locksmith to come out to change a lock on a domestic property is £62.40 (including VAT). Anti-snap locks start at around £54 (including VAT). The charges for opening a lock for when you’re locked out start from £70 and can go up depending on the lock.
The reason for the price difference is that some locks are easier to open while others are not. If you have a standard Euro cylinder lock, it can easily be snapped open, as discussed above. But if it is the high-security anti-snap kind, it would take a professional a bit of time and expertise to open it.
Other factors that determine the charges include the brand of the lock and the number of locks to open. There might be more than one lock on the door and that would require more skill, expertise, and time.
Other home security measures
A good, sturdy door and a reliable anti-snap lock is the first step to good home security. You must also pair these with other preventive security measures such as burglar alarms, CCTV, and access controls to give your home complete security.
Burglar alarm: An effective burglar alarm system gives you peace of mind that an intruder would not be able to access your home undetected, and it also serves as a very effective deterrent against trying to break in at all. Since most burglars closely monitor the area they choose to break into, they make sure there aren’t any deterrents that get in the way of their burglary.
CCTV: Not only does a CCTV provide evidence of a crime and helps catch the perpetrators, but it is also a very effective deterrent. CCTV is the perfect method of capturing evidence of a crime. We provide CCTV installation, maintenance, repair, as well as monitoring services.
Access Control Systems: This is a great way to beef up your security system and also go keyless! We offer all types of access control systems including intercom, proximity fob, card swipe, and keypad. We can even offer biometric systems that work with fingerprints or retina scans. Nowadays, opening a door is not limited to a simple key. Thanks to technological advancement, there are many ways that you can open your door. You wouldn’t have to worry about losing your keys if you install access control systems in your home.
Properties with security alarms, cameras, and security locks lose most of their charm to burglars since they know that such places would be difficult to break into and because the chances of getting caught would be way higher. This is enough reason to upgrade your current security system to a more effective one and keep all those pesky thieves away! Get in touch with us now!