When moving into a new home, it’s very important to have the locks changed or rekeyed—after all, any number of people may have been given keys to the existing locks by previous owners. Locksmiths are capable of installing new locks and changing existing ones, and they can give homeowners valuable advice about which kind of lock would best suit their needs. In addition, locksmiths can help homeowners gain access to their cars or homes in the event that they find themselves locked out, and because of their professional standards, locksmiths are the best resource for making copies of keys.
Locks are graded according to their level of security, from grade 1 to grade 3. Grade 1 locks offer the highest level of security, and because they’re generally more expensive than other types of locks, they are mostly used by businesses. Grade 2 locks, which are usually more affordable than grade 1 and more secure than grade 3, are used by many homeowners to secure exterior doors. The most affordable locks available are grade 3, but these are generally not the most secure. Locking mechanisms come in a range of design styles as well. Deadbolt locks, which are often used to lock front doors, use a single- or double-cylinder mechanism. Double-cylinder deadbolts are more secure than single-cylinder ones, but because they require unlocking from the inside and outside, they make it harder to leave your house in case of an emergency. In knob-levered and handle-levered locks, the locking mechanism is inside the handle or knob. Because these types of locks can be forced open if the knob or handle is removed, they’re typically not suitable for exterior doors.
In addition to working with locks, many locksmiths perform additional security work, including the installation and maintenance of electronic alarms, access control systems, surveillance cameras, and closed-circuit televisions.