3 Important Lock Maintenance Tips To Increase Your Security
There are many things you can do to keep your place of business secure. But no matter how many alarm systems you install or how many security guards you hire, the fact remains that security starts with one simple object – the lock on the door. A good lock on the front door can often foil a criminal all by itself. A lock on an office door can protect the private information of your clients or contacts. A lock on a supply cabinet can prevent internal theft or loss.
Basically, good locks can save you a lot of money. But in order for your locks to do their job, you will need to keep those locks in good working order, and lock maintenance is often overlooked. Here are a few tips that will help your locks continue protecting your business.
Adjust the Hinges
Every single time the door opens and closes, the hinges are moving. In a busy shop or office, they move far more than the average hinge on a residential door. Every swing of the door as a worker or customer enters or exits moves the hinge hardware. This loosens the screws over time, which can affect the way the door hangs. If the door isn't aligned correctly, the lock is also not aligned correctly and isn't as secure as it could be. If the door gets too far out of alignment, the lock might not work at all, and the door may not open or close correctly.
Luckily, this is an easy fix. Hinge screws can usually be tightened with just a Phillips head screwdriver. Just be sure you tighten the side of the hinge attached to the frame and the side attached to the door. That should bring the door back into proper alignment.
Change the Door Closer Pressure
A door closer is a good idea for a commercial door – it can prevent people from slamming it, which can be damaging to your door and your lock. However, this only works if the pressure on the door closer is set correctly, and sometimes it may need to be changed. For example, on a stormy day with lots of wind, you should set the door to close a bit more quickly, to prevent the wind from catching it and causing it to slam hard.
The pressure can also slip over time, just as a result of using the door closer every day. You can adjust the door closer by locating the adjustment screws. They may be located near where the arm of closer attaches to the door, either at the end of the tube, if it's a tubular model, or on the bottom if it's not a tubular model. The screws should be marked "L", "S" and "BC". A clockwise turn on the L or S screw increases the speed of the door on different parts of the swing, and a counter clockwise turn decreases the speed. A clockwise turn of the BC screw increases the amount of pressure needed to open the door.
Lubricate Your Locks
Anytime you notice a lock is beginning to stick, lubrication is called for. Don't waste time struggling with a key that sticks – pulling and yanking on the key can damage the lock, but no amount of lubrication will hurt the lock, so you really can't lose by applying lubricant.
Use a water-based lubricant and try to get as much of it inside of the key entrance as possible. A needle-nosed applicator can help. Moving the key in and out of the key entrance can help spread the lubricant around. Lubricating the bolt on the side of the door is a good idea as well.
You should also consider scheduling periodic professional maintenance for your locks. Your locksmith has the tools to tighten loose screws and clean hidden components of the lock that require partial dismantling to reach. This can help prolong the life of your expensive commercial locks. The commercial locksmith who installed your locks or the lock manufacturer should have information about how often professional maintenance is needed.