While many homes have moved on to electronic security systems, it is still important to understand safety and security tips for manual locks. Here are three tips than can help keep you safe and give you peace of mind at home.

Replace or Rekey Locks on New Homes

The first thing you should establish when you buy a new home is whether or not anyone else may possibly have access. It is not uncommon for previous residents to have given spare keys to neighbors, or even to have kept one of the spare keys themselves. If you have any suspicions that you are not the only person with a key to your home, you should have your locks replaced or rekeyed.

Rekeying the locks on your home is typically a less complicated process because the locksmith doesn't have to remove the entire lock assembly. Instead, the locksmith will provide you with a new key and adjust the tumblers inside your locks so that the old key no longer fits. If you need to use a new key for several locks in your home, rekeying is more convenient because the tumblers can be adjusted so that your new key unlocks every lock.

Don't Install Deadbolts Near Windows

Deadbolts are one of the most reliable types of residential locks and should be installed on every entryway door in your home. However, the usefulness of deadbolts diminishes quickly the closer they are to your a window. If your home has a deadbolted door within an arm's length of a window, there is a risk that an intruder could smash your window and reach in to unlock the deadbolt.

If you want to continue using deadbolts on your entryway doors with nearby windows, you should consider improving the security of the windows. One option is to install shatter-resistant films on the interior of your windows. These films are designed to hold your window glass together if an intruder attempts to break a window. Alternatively, you may consider installing a double-cylinder deadbolt on your door that requires a key on both the inside and outside, although this is less convenient than a standard deadbolt.

Hide Your Spare Key Carefully

Almost every homeowner eventually needs to let a family member or friend access their home while they are away. In these situations, you will probably consider leaving a spare key outside. Be wary, though, as there are both good and very bad ways to do this.

The first places you would think to leave your spare key outside are also the first places a burglar would look. This means no hiding your key under your welcome mat or under a flowerpot near the door. In general, it is a good idea to leave your key as far away from the vicinity of your door as you safely can. While many intruders will quickly check the usual hiding spots around your door, many will not think to look for a spare key under an unmarked stone in your garden twenty feet away from your door (unless, perhaps, it is the only stone in your garden).

If you want to avoid leaving a key outside altogether, a smart lock might be the best solution for you. A smart lock allows you to use a security code and your smartphone to unlock your door remotely and grant access to visitors and family members. Smart locks are safer than leaving a key outside no matter where you hide it, as intruders will have no chance to access your security code without your device.

Home invasions are terrifying and sometimes financially devastating, but there are several things you can do to minimize your risk. Keep these tips in mind so that your family and your belongings will always be protected from intruders. For additional info, contact a locksmith.