Home is where we should feel safest. It's where we retreat after a long day, gather with loved ones, and store our most precious belongings. That's why home security is a priority, and it all starts with a secure lock. But we are frequently asked how often you should change your locks. And another layer, how do you choose the right one? DML Locksmith, a family-owned and operated company, has served Dallas and surrounding areas like Allen, McKinney, Plano, Wylie, Frisco, and Carrollton for over ten years. With our time in the industry, this guide aims to help homeowners navigate residential lock changes.
Understanding Your Home Lock Needs
When considering home security, we often overlook one of the most basic yet crucial elements: our locks. However, the importance of lock changes becomes starkly apparent when you look at the numbers.
In Dallas alone, according to the latest data from NeighborhoodScout, there were nearly 47,000 property crimes, including burglaries and thefts, in 2023. This sobering statistic underscores the importance of staying vigilant when it comes to our home security1.
Now, you may wonder, "How often should I change my locks?" While there's no hard-and-fast rule, we recommend changing your locks every 3-5 years. Regularly changing locks ensures you have control over who has keys to your property.
For example, you might have given spare keys to pet sitters, maintenance workers, or old friends over the years. Even if you trust these individuals, you can't control where those keys end up. They could be lost, stolen, or even copied. By changing your locks regularly, you eliminate the risk of unauthorized access to your home with an old key.
But regular lock changes aren't just about preventing burglaries. If your locks are outdated or damaged, they may not protect you effectively, even if nobody else has a key. Newer lock models offer improved security features and are often more resistant to picking, drilling, and other forms of forced entry.
Changing your locks is also a relatively inexpensive and quick process, especially compared to the potential losses from a burglary. And the peace of mind it offers? Priceless.
Remember, home security isn't just about protecting your belongings—it's about ensuring the safety and comfort of your family. And the team at DML Locksmith is here to help you with lock changes every step of the way.
Evaluating Different Types of Residential Locks
When choosing a lock for your home, take the time to pick the right lock because it is not a decision to take lightly. Different locks offer different levels of security as well as convenience. Here's a closer look at three common types of residential locks: Deadbolt locks, keyless entry systems, and smart locks.
A deadbolt lock is a standard in residential security for a reason. Unlike spring bolt locks, which easily open with a credit card or another thin piece of plastic, deadbolts can only unlock by rotating the lock cylinder with the correct key. This design offers a much higher level of security against break-ins.
Deadbolts come in three types: single, double, and lockable thumbturn. The single cylinder is the most common type, requiring a key to unlock from the outside and a thumbturn to unlock from the inside. A double-cylinder deadbolt does need a key to open from both the outside and the inside, providing an extra level of security. However, this can pose a safety risk in case of emergencies, such as a fire, when a quick exit from the house is necessary. A lockable thumbturn deadbolt combines both advantages, with a thumbturn that can be locked using a key so it can't be unlocked from the inside.
Keyless Entry Systems
Keyless entry systems offer a modern, convenient solution for homeowners who want to say goodbye to physical keys. These keyless systems allow you to lock and unlock your door by entering a secret code into a numerical keypad, presenting a key card, or sometimes using biometric data like a fingerprint.
One of the main advantages and reasons someone is likely to choose a keyless entry system is that you can't lock yourself out of your home because you forgot your keys. If you have a guest or a service provider coming to your house when you're not there, you can give them the code to let themselves in. Some systems even allow you to use temporary codes that expire after a certain period.
However, keyless entry systems are vulnerable to power failures and technical glitches like any electronic system. They also require regular updates and maintenance to remain secure.
Smart locks represent the next generation of home security. These locks connect to your home Wi-Fi network, allowing you to control and monitor your locks using a smartphone app. While it does depend on the model, a smart lock can offer various features, including remote locking and unlocking, activity logs, and integration with other smart home devices.
A great advantage of smart locks is that they grant temporary access to guests or service providers. You can send a digital key to their smartphone, which they can use to unlock your door. You can even specify the times when the digital key is valid and revoke it at any time. (If you have an Airbnb, this may benefit you!) Smart locks also provide alerts when your door is locked or unlocked and by whom. Need to know that your kids got home safely from school? This is an excellent lock for that instance.
However, smart locks are more expensive than traditional ones, requiring a compatible smartphone and a stable internet connection to use all their features. Like keyless entry systems, they can also be vulnerable to power failures and technical glitches.
When to Consider a Lock Change
Lock changes aren't just about maintaining your security — they're about adapting to changes in your life and reacting to immediate threats to your home's safety. We want to cover some situations when you should seriously consider a lock change:
Moving into a New Home
When changing your locks should be a top priority. Remember, the previous residents may still have keys, and you don't know who else — family members, friends, or maintenance workers — might have been given a copy. We've heard of neighbors having house keys and not mentioning it until years after the previous owner left. That's not a surprise when want you to have. By changing the locks, you ensure you know who exactly has access to your home.
Lost or Stolen Keys
Have you lost your keys? Or they've been stolen. It would be best to change your locks as soon as possible. Even if you think they're just lost and will turn up eventually, you can't be sure they won't fall into the wrong hands. An immediate lock change will prevent unauthorized entry and give you peace of mind.
After a Break-In or Attempted Break-In
If you have had a home break-in or someone has attempted to break in, changing your locks is critical. Your current locks may have been damaged or compromised during the break-in, and the intruder could have found a way to access your home in the future.
When choosing new locks after a break-in, consider upgrading to high-security locks. Deadbolt locks, for instance, provide excellent resistance against forced entry. On the other hand, keyless entry systems and smart locks offer improved access control. Keyless entry systems eliminate the risk of lost or stolen keys, while smart locks let you control your locks remotely.
Regularly Over Time
Even if you have yet to face these situations, changing your locks every few years is still a good idea. Lock technology continues to improve, and newer models are typically more secure and durable than older ones. Regularly updating your locks ensures you take advantage of the latest security features.
Remember, changing your locks is essential to maintaining your home's security. The team at DML Locksmith is always ready to provide expert advice and assistance to help you choose and install the best locks for your needs.
Choosing DML Locksmith's Residential Services in Dallas
Choosing a locksmith service should be easy. DML Locksmith is a fully licensed and insured company ensuring homeowners deal with professionals who handle their property responsibly.
We offer Lock Installation, providing expert recommendations and installing high-quality locks based on your specific needs.
Lock Replacement services are also available, ideal for upgrading your existing lock or replacing damaged ones.
Locked out? Our Emergency Lockout Assistance is prompt and reliable, with round-the-clock mobile locksmith services. We're here to help, whether it's midnight or midday.
Beyond homes, we also offer Car Key Replacement & Programming and specialize in key replacements for luxury vehicles, including BMW, Mercedes, and Land Rover. Our Auto Lockouts service is available 24/7 to help you feel safe and get back on the road quickly.
In the bustling city of Dallas, enhancing your home security should be a top priority. Regular lock changes, choosing the right type of lock, and relying on a trustworthy locksmith residential service like DML can significantly improve your home's security.
Just take it from Virginia Mitchell, a satisfied customer, who said: "I had an emergency with a jammed front door lock at my home and DML Locksmith Services was there to help. Their technician arrived quickly and diagnosed the problem immediately. He replaced the faulty lock with a high-quality replacement that he had on hand, and I was back inside my home in no time. Their prompt service and professionalism exceeded my expectations, and I would definitely use their services again."
Be sure to consider your home's security before an emergency with a residential locksmith. Give DML Locksmith a call today and discover how we can enhance your home's safety and give you peace of mind.