You are pressed for time and have one arm full of groceries. You fiddle to slide the key into lock only to hear and feel it snap inside the lock itself. Even worse, maybe you’re about to open your shop or office for the day and customers are waiting eagerly to do business with you. Neither of these are scenarios anyone wants to find themselves in. However they’re more avoidable than people think. Keys are made from soft metals, which makes them easier to cut. However this also makes them more susceptible to bending and breaking over time. Below are 3 key (pardon the pun!) ways to avoid breaking your key in any lock:
Use it only for opening your lock
Most people are guilty of using keys for things other than their intended use. Whether it’s to cut through something, to pry something open, or even worse to be used as a substitute screw driver or bottle opener. Keys are often used for jobs which will damage the teeth or weaken the key overall. So, the next time you pull out your key to use it for something it wasn’t designed for, resist the urge and walk across the room and grab a utensil better suited to the task at hand. The short walk is a lot more convenient than a key broken in a lock down the track!
Replace it before it breaks
While it may not be something that seems a priority, it does make sense to make a copy with a reputable locksmith every now and then and throw away the old key. As time goes on keys can bend slightly and weaken in general which can be contributory factors in them eventually snapping in the lock. If your key is visibly bent it needs to be replaced immediately, this is not a drill!
Keep the lock lubricated
Locks which are poorly lubricated will become stiffer over time increasing the amount of force needed to open them. With the key absorbing the increased force and boosting the likelihood of the key breaking at some point. For this reason, it’s important to lubricate your locks frequently to keep them loose and allow keys to move freely within them. Make sure you use lubricants which are recommended for locks as anything which is too oily or sticky will increase how much dust gathers within the lock causing problems of its own. Once you have found an appropriate lubricant, coat the key entirely and insert it into the lock, jiggling it around a bit to coat the locks interior. Finally slide it back and forth 3 or 4 times – simple!
While carrying out the above steps will minimise the risk of your key breaking in the lock, it can still happen. If it has happened to you at your home or business in South-Western Sydney call Rollout Locksmiths immediately and we will be able to assist you and get your day back on track as soon as possible!