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It’s the new year! When was the last time you checked your locks? If you’re like most people, your locks barely cross your mind except for when you accidentally lock yourself out. However, we should all think more about our door locks, because they’re the first bit of home security! Think about your keys — how many do you have, and where do you keep them? Do any of your doors have a “weird lock,” or do you have to get aggressive with the lock. If you’ve got a problem, it might be time to upgrade.

There are a few different styles of locks, but they can generally be broken down into three categories: knob locks, deadbolt locks, and electronic locks. Knob locks are the most common, and are your traditional lock that needs a key. However, they are the most susceptible to home intruders, as many can be easily picked with just a bit of patience. Deadbolt locks are added onto knob locks — the outside is a turnable knob, but the inside is a bolt that must be unlatched. These add extra security, but can be a fire hazard in apartment buildings. Finally, electronic knobs are just as they sound; punch in the code or approach with an authorized device and the door opens itself. Many people use their cell phone as a “key,” so when they come home, the lock recognizes their device and opens for them. While this type of lock could be considered the most secure, it does mean practicing phone security and making sure that the app could be disabled remotely if the phone was ever lost or damaged.

It depends on your living situation, as well. If you have a family with small children, a combination knob and deadbolt lock may work best. If you live alone or with roommates, an electronic lock might do the trick. But remember — you can’t make any of these decisions until you check your locks!

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