Changing the Locks on Your Home

When you buy a new house, changing the locks is a common security practice. Changing locks ensures that former residents, chimney sweep repairmen, real estate agents and other parties who may have had access to the home can no longer access the building. When you purchase a condominium, it's still a good idea to change the locks, even if your condo is brand new. You may also decide to change the locks if you have a break in or if there's been suspicious activity in your neighborhood.

Condo Security

Many new condos are equipped with advanced security systems that can track key usage. In a secured building, the exterior locks may be electronically controlled and protected with a password, reducing the risk of a break in. In spite of these high tech features, it still makes sense to change the locks on a condo after purchasing the unit. Even if key usage is tracked electronically, new owners can be certain that the keys weren't copied by a contractor or agent who had access to the unit.

Installing new locks on a condo may increase your peace of mind and make you feel more secure about your new residence. If you have traditional key locks in place, replacing them with deadbolt locks can increase your security. Some new condos are constructed with inexpensive locks, with the expectation that the new owner will invest in a more secure locking system.

Any precautions that you take to keep your property secure can have a positive affect on your condo insurance rates. You may qualify for a discount on your insurance if you replace standard key locks with deadbolt locks. To qualify for a discount, your insurer may require that you have deadbolt locks on all of your doors. If you have a home security system installed, you may receive an additional discount. Before you invest in new locks or security devices, ask your insurance provider which products will entitle you to a discounted insurance premium.

Re-Keying a Lock

If you own a small condo with only two keyed entries, you can save time and money by changing the locks yourself. If you have basic carpentry skills, you can remove the old locks and replace them with new ones fairly quickly. Re-keying kits are available at local hardware stores or through online merchants. You must have the original lock replaced with the same brand, or the dimensions of the lock cylinder may not match. Check the brand of each lock in your condo before you invest in a re-keying kit.

If you have specialized electronic locks or an advanced keying system in place, you may need help from a professional locksmith to change the locks. Your condo board may be able to recommend a reliable, affordable locksmith with experience in installing or re-keying the type of locks on your property. Look for a locksmith whose business is located in your city rather than a national service. The locksmith you choose should be an insured, established company that hires trained security technicians rather than contracting with untrained individuals throughout the country.

Your residence and your personal belongings are valuable investments that should be protected with a secure locking system. Changing the locks on your home can give you an increased sense of security and may even help you get a discount on your condo insurance. Whether you've just purchased a newly built condo or you've lived in the same condominium for years, making this improvement can give you greater peace of mind about your valuable property.

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