Q. I just moved into a new house, do I really need to change all the locks?
A. It is highly recommended. When a house is for sale, keys are usually made available for all the different real estate agents who might be showing it. Also any work done on the house prior to the sale usually entails giving keys to workmen and contractors. Lastly, you never know who keys were given to by the previous owner, neighbors, relatives and friends. The safest thing to do is to have all keys changed when you move in so that you can be sure who may have key a to your house.
Q. What kind of information does my locksmith need to do a proper job?
A. As much information as you can give to the locksmith will ensure the job will be done properly. Know what type of locks you have that need work, example would be deadbolts, door knob locks, sliding door locks, storm door locks and also knowing the brand will help considerably, brand names can usually be found on the edge plate of the door on many locks, another way is to have the key to the lock handy to read any names or even numbers on it which will give your locksmith a good idea of what you have.
Q. What can I do to make my home safer?
A. The first thing after changing all your locks when you move in is to be sure you have good quality deadbolts on all exterior doors. This will make your home unattractive to thieves when they see deadbolts and know they will have to work hard to break in. Be sure the exterior of your home is well lit. Lights at entrances will ensure no one can hide and surprise you as you enter your home. Be sure that you have a door viewer in the main entrance to your home. This way you can see who is out there without opening the door. Alarm systems are also highly recommended for burglary as well as fire safety. Alarms are a good second line of defense after the locks on a house. While Finch's Lock Service does not install or service alarm systems, there are many reliable alarm companies to be found here in Fairfield County.
Q. I want one key to fit all the doors to my house, is this possible? is it safe to do this?
A. Your locks need to be compatible in order to "key them alike". Take the key from one of the doors and try inserting it into the other locks. Any lock that the key slides into (remember it will not turn unless it is set to that lock) can be changed to match the others. If the key does not slide in then you will need to replace the lock with one that is compatible.
In our opinion, it is much easier and more convenient to have one key that fits all doors. Since you would probably carry all the keys on one ring, losing one you would lose them all and have to change all the locks anyways.
Q. Can I install my own locks?
A. Many types of locks are fairly easy to install yourself. If you are just replacing a lock, then buying a new one of similar style or the same brand may just entail unscrewing the old one and screwing in the new one. Installing a lock into a door that does not already have one is a bit more difficult. To drill the door you need special hole saws, and need to be comfortable using hand and power tools. On many locks, the holes and alignment of the parts of the lock is critical to their working properly. If you have any doubts as to your ability to do the installation, it is recommended you call your locksmith to be sure the job is done right.