Security is something that is very important in life, particularly where your home, family and personal belongings are concerned. You may have invested in a fantastic alarm system and other security features, but when you find you cannot lock your front door you have a serious problem. Most burglaries on homes are carried out by burglars who simply walk in through an unlocked door or unprotected window. Leaving a door unlocked is not something that any one of us wants to do.
Why is this happening?
It is worth considering what locks are: they are intricate manual machines, which operate as minute puzzles. The inside of a lock is quite an amazing thing, and features tiny pins that fit into specific channels at a certain height. Only when all these pins are in the correct position can the lock be activated – by turning a key. Sometimes, however, things go wrong, and locks become jammed or broken, resulting in the situation described above.
So, what can you do if your front door will not lock? You have several options, and the first is to try and fix the lock yourself by opening it up. This can be done relatively easily, if you follow these steps:
- The first step is to remove the keyplate – the cover for the lock – and this can be done by undoing the screws that hold it in place. There will usually be two screws securing the plate. Once undone, lift the plate off carefully.
- Once you have removed the plate – and if there is an additional collar it, too, will come away – you can remove the barrel itself from the setting. Do this by inserting a key and pulling gently towards you.
Now you have the barrel from the lock in your hand. What do you do next? Well, you could open it up and look at the inside, but do you really know what you are looking for? As we have said, the interior section of a lock is intricate, and it is not really something that a handyman can deal with. You can by a rekeying kit from a hardware store – these are effective and show you how to change the pins – and they are not expensive, but is very easy to get things wrong when dealing with such minute details.
If you do find that your lock will not move, there is something you can do that might help: bearing in mind that locks do become stiff with age, and that debris may be accumulating in them, you can spray the assembly with a lubricant spray. This can be done whether the lock is intact or after you have removed it, and often it will free the lock in no time at all.
However, if your problem persists and you find the lock repeatedly unable to lock, you should contact a locksmith who will have a look and assess whether it is best to repair or replace the assembly, and will quote you an appropriate price.
Dandlock – U.S. Based locksmith Company