Date : 2019-05-07
Fully functioning locks are essential for protecting our homes and businesses. When there is a problem with a lock, it usually needs to be dealt with straight away. Some lock problems are serious and require the skills of a fully trained local locksmith but others can be solved by following the simple guide below. Here are 5 common lock problems and what you should do if they occur.
1. Key breaks in the lock
This is one of the most frustrating lock problems and usually occurs out of the blue without warning. There are some dos and don’ts if this happens to you. Don’t try to lock or unlock the door further with the broken piece of key. By doing this, there is a good chance you will insert the broken key further into the locking mechanism making it more difficult to retrieve. If there is enough of the broken key visible, you can try inserting the tip of needle-nosed pliers into the keyhole to grab the broken key and pull it straight out. If the key doesn’t come out easily, don’t force it or you could make things much worse. At this stage, you should call for the help of a trained locksmith. They will have the tools and skills to remove the key without causing further damage to the lock.
2. The lock is stiff and difficult to open
Dirt and dust can sometimes find its way into a lock and build up over time. This can clog up the locking mechanism making it difficult to turn. You can apply some graphite spay or silicone based lubricant in the lock, put the key back in and turn it a few times. Never use oil-based products such as WD-40 to lubricate locks because although they may help initially, they tend to cause problems with clogging later on.
3. UPVC door is difficult to lock or open
If the door can be locked /unlocked easily while in the open position, but not when the door is closed, this usually indicates a problem with the alignment of the locking points. UPVC doors are designed to be adjustable but can sometimes slip or drop out of position. This is something that most people will find tricky to correct but is usually a quick fix by a trained locksmith. Unfortunately, if you discover that the locking mechanism has problems when the door is open this may indicate that the lock is faulty in which case new parts might be required. Again a quick call to a locksmith will have this sorted in no time.
4. Key is difficult to insert
First of all, confirm that the right key is being used in the lock! The next thing to rule out is that the problem is not caused by a poorly cut key. Poorly cut keys will always be a problem in locks, which is why it is important to use a reputable locksmith when you get new keys cut. If you have another key for the lock, use it to work out if the problem lies with the key or with the lock. If the lock is at fault this will need investigated by a locksmith and may require a new one to be fitted.
5. Key won’t turn in the lock
This problem can be caused by a few things. First of all, it is important that you never try and force the key to turn in the lock as this could cause the key to break. You can try lubricating the lock with graphite spray or silicone based lubricant as mentioned above. If this doesn’t help it could be that there is a misalignment of the lock and door (similar to UPVC problem above) or there could be a problem with the lock cylinder. Unfortunately, both of these problems will usually require the skills and expertise of a locksmith to diagnose and correct.
Most of us don’t give a moment’s thought to our locks when they are working correctly, however as soon as we discover a problem we usually need to act quickly. If you find yourself in this position get in touch with a fully trained, local locksmith straight away and they will have the problem sorted in next to no time.
Date : 2019-07-10
You have just moved into your new home and can’t wait to get everything organised just the way you like. However, before you get carried away with decorating and buying new furniture you need to make sure that your new home is completely secure. Here is my guide to what I think you should do as soon as possible to ensure you and your new home are fully protected.
1. Change your locks
When you are given the keys to your new property you have no idea how many other sets of keys are still in circulation. The old owner could have given a set to a tradesman and not got them back or perhaps to friends or neighbours as a backup. If this is the case there is always the possibility that someone could let themselves straight into your home completely uninvited – not a nice thought! In addition, if you are burgled but there has been no ‘forced entry’, your insurance company may refuse to pay out. To avoid this happening to you get in touch with a good local locksmith who will quickly change your locks to good quality British Standard ones.
2. Make sure outbuildings are securely locked
Garages, sheds, summer houses etc. usually contain items that are expensive to replace e.g. gardening equipment, power tools, bikes, garden furniture etc. They are usually easier for a burglar to target so it is essential that they are protected with the correct type of secure lock. Again a good locksmith will be able to help with any lock repairs or lock replacements
3. Check burglary history
It is a good idea to find out if your new home has been recently burgled. This is because if it has, you are unfortunately statistically more likely to be broken into again. It is not nice to find out your lovely new home is vulnerable in this way, but it is much better to know so that you can take precautions by beefing up your security. Fitting a visible alarm system or CCTV system is a good way to let potential burglars know that your security has been upgraded.
4. Secure WiFi connection
Many of us use ipads, laptops, pcs smartphones etc. to pay bills, bank and shop etc. To protect all your financial information, it is essential that you do this via a secure wifi connection. This means setting up your wifi with a password to ensure your neighbours or eavesdropping criminals cannot gain access to it.
The people who live next to you can be your biggest help at keeping your home secure. They can spot dodgy looking callers when you are not at home and get in touch with you if there are any problems. Neighbours who are about during the day e.g. older people or people with young children also act as a good deterrent for burglars who do not want to be spotted lurking in the vicinity. Getting to know your neighbours and being a good neighbour is good socially and can help keep your home safe too.
6. Choose reputable tradesmen
Now that you have a new home you will probably have a number of jobs that will need doing in order to get it looking the way you want. New homes are often targeted with flyers through the door offering the services you are likely to need. Most will be genuine but some won’t. Always take the time to check out any tradesmen you are going to employ. It is better to ask family and friends for recommendations or look tradesmen up on Google and check out their most recent reviews.