Keys to hiring a locksmith.

If you’ve ever locked yourself out of your car or home, you know what a hassle it can be. Your first thought is to get someone to help you out of your situation. If a family member or friend can’t deliver a spare set of keys, your next call might be to a locksmith. But before you make that call, consider this: According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, some locksmiths advertising in your local telephone book may not be local at all. They may not have professional training.

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The Dead-Bolt!

The deadbolt lock work by effectively bolting the door into its frame. The bolt is “dead” in that it has to be manually moved in and out of place by means of a key or knob. There are three basic parts of deadbolt lock: a key-accessible outside cylinder, the “throw” (or bolt) which slides in and out of the door jamb, and the thumb-turn, which allows for manual control of the bolt from the inside of the home. A standard horizontal throw extends one inch beyond the edge of the door and into the jamb. All deadbolt locks should be made of solid steel, bronze, or brass; die-cast materials are not fashioned for great impact and could break apart.

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Should I change my lock or Re-key?

What is re-keying?

Re-keying, or re-pinning, is when a locksmith adjusts the tumblers and pins in a lock’s cylinder so it no longer works for the original key.  The locksmith will give you a new key for a re-keyed lock.  Re-keying is useful because it is usually cheaper and easier than completely changing locks.

Should I re-key my locks or change them?

If an authorized person has a key to your lock (such as a previous tenant), then you may want to re-key or change your locks.  Re-keying is usually cheaper because you only adjust the tumblers and pins in the lock but don’t need a completely new locking mechanism.  Not all locks can be re-keyed though and they must be re-keyed by a skilled locksmith.  If you know how to change locks yourself, then it may be cheaper to change the locks instead of re-keying.  Putting in new locks is also better in cases where the lock is worn out.

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