Front door locks can need changing for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you’ve just moved property, or you have an old lock that’s become difficult to use. Either way, if you’ve got a flair for DIY, it can be tempting to take on the project yourself.
But you probably shouldn’t. Nor should you rely on a friend or acquaintance who’s DIB (done it before) but isn’t a trained professional. Here’s why only a trained locksmith should replace your locks.
- You could leave your home vulnerable
If you or someone you know is going to change your door lock, you’re probably not being scammed. However, you could be facing some of the same dire consequences. Writing on how to avoid locksmith scams, Banham point out that amateurs “could potentially cause unnecessary or even irreparable damage to both lock and door”. Rogue locksmiths, after all, are nothing more than DIY locksmiths dressed up to look like professionals. Locksmiths like these, according to Banham, “have been known to replace good locks for unsafe ones.”
Removing an old lock could leave your door fragile and easy to break, creating the perfect opportunity for burglars. Over one third of burglars break into houses through front doors, a shockingly high statistic considering how secure we expect our doors to be. With this in mind, it would be a terrible idea to do anything that might weaken your door even more.
- You could invalidate your home insurance
Nearly all home insurance policies will have some kind of lock-related requirement. For one thing, as Go Compare makes clear, most insurers will only pay out in the event of a claim if your house was locked. It gets more specific than this though. Most insurers look not only at whether a property was locked, but at what kind of lock was used.
Replacing your locks with DIY could violate both of these principles. If your self-installed lock is ineffective, your home insurance policy may not hold up. Similarly, if you install the wrong kind of lock for your front door, your claim may be unsuccessful.
More often than not, a 5-lever mortice deadlock lock which adheres to BSI standards is what’s required to meet an insurance policy’s standards. Policy Expert even suggests insurers could offer you discount if your home has one of these. But simply buying one of these locks is more complicated than it sounds. There’s the matter of checking it measures up to BSI standards, and then that it actually fits into your door. Some doors are more suited to certain kinds of locks than others.
- A professional locksmith will leave nothing to chance
Locksmiths are not just people with pocketfuls of lockpicks; they are trained professionals with abundant expertise, particularly if they are Master Locksmith Association (MLA)-certified. The MLA themselves are quick to point out the versatile capabilities of locksmiths; they’re far more than just people to call when you’re locked out.
The professional rigor required for MLA membership means certified locksmiths will take no risks that may leave your lock exposed, and do all they can to make sure you are as safe as you possibly can be. MLA inspectors regularly inspect jobs carried out by their locksmiths to assess whether each practitioner deserves to stay certified. Because of this, an MLA-certified locksmith will make sure all work is carried out to the highest standard, and therefore that your lock is secure and your home is safe.