There’s a couple of questions you should consider if you lose your keys:
Q1. Does it affect your household contents insurance policy?
Q2. Could your family home and contents be at risk?
A1. In all cases, you should check with your insurers to find out how you stand. In our experience, it makes a difference to them how the keys were lost or stolen. Some of the situations we come across are: the keys were left in the door and stolen from the door; a handbag or bag was stolen with keys in it, with or without information about where you live; or the general loss of keys and you’re not sure where.
A2. The answer to this is honestly…possibly. But are you willing to take the risk with the safety of your family home and contents?
The best and easiest solution is to call a reliable, recommended, trusted, trained, and insured locksmith who will carry all the right locks, in the right sizes, the right finishes and colours to suit your needs. They will be able to come to your property, usually within an hour of your call if not before. Make sure you do your due diligence before calling one, check reviews, and ask them the questions above.
The cheapest option is to go to your local shop and try to find a lock that you think might fit, in the finish/colour you want, find your tools (hopefully you’ve got the right ones and haven’t lost any!). Then use the skills you may or might not have, all to save a couple of pounds. What if you mess it up or can’t do it? What will the wife/partner/friend say???
There’s only one real solution. Even though everyone is good at something, you need to know your boundaries. So what will happen next?
After you’ve called a decent locksmith with all the right credentials—as explained above—what is the process?
You should be thinking about changing your lock(s) or fitting an additional lock to your door. If you don’t do this, there’s a chance that the people who find the keys might come to your property, try the keys and see if you’re in, or maybe they will wait until you’re out.
This might be a chance, when the locksmith does come out, to possibly upgrade your locks. Speak to him. They should be able to give you some advice on that. A lot of the locks on people’s doors have been on there for a while, so obviously over time locks become better and are upgraded to meet higher standards. This might be a great opportunity to get your locks upgraded. Obviously, over the years, security on people’s doors has been and needed to be upgraded, with burglars knowing how to get into the less secure ones.
We always advise getting an auto-deadlocking night latch, with at least one British standard deadlock on the door, to conform to contents insurance standards. Then, if you wanted to go one step further, we always advise a London Bar, which is a strip of metal that fits down the frame side and makes the frame a lot more secure. We advise it, and the Met Police advise it.
British Standard Night latch (available in different colours)
London Bar, Lock Guards, Birmingham Bar
Also, lock guards are a good security device that we tend to fit. They fit round a mortice deadlock and help strengthen the door and lock. They are decorative metal plates that are screwed through from one side of the door to the other. They come in various finishes/colours: Brass, Chrome, White, and Nickel plated.
Lock Guards (other sizes and colours are available)
Hinge bolts secure the hinge side from attack. One part is a cylindrical piece of metal and is fitted in the door and locks in to a keep part on the frame side.
Hinge Bolts (come in various designs and colours)
A Birmingham Bar goes on the hinge side. This is also a strip of metal like a London Bar but it protects the hinge side. It is straight piece of metal and screws into various places. These also come in various finishes/colours.
All of these things will make your door a lot more secure, and make it a lot harder for a burglar to break in through the door.
If you want to find out more information about securing your properties, follow the link to the Met Police’s website where you can read a full breakdown of what they advise. We obviously follow what they advise and would suggest you do to.
The other thing you should consider is what your insurers say that you need for compliance with the contents insurance on your property.
Another thing to consider is, if it ever came to light that you didn’t change your locks and there was a spare key or a lost set of keys out there, they could possibly invalidate any future claim. So you should speak to them and see exactly what they would advise.
In some circumstances, your insurer, household, or car could cover the cost of replacing your locks. They’ll usually say just forward us the bill, or they’ve got an engineer that does it for you. But definitely speak to them, see what they say and see what your policy says.
Most of all, you want to keep your family and your property secure. Obviously, if you need any more help and advice, we’re here. We can help. Just give us a call. We can help and advise you any step of the way.