Keys snapping off in the door is a surprisingly common occurrence. Here at Apex Mobile Locksmiths we are frequently called out for broken key extraction. It can be a very frustrating experience as a key breaking off in the lock can leave you either locked out or locked in your property.
Why do keys break off in locks?
There are many reasons that can cause a key to break in the lock but some of the main culprits include:
- Damaged key.
- Key made from soft metal such as nickel or brass.
- Lock is jammed
What To Do When A Key Breaks In The Lock?
It should be a priority to get the broken key out of the lock as soon as possible as it can cause quite a few problems:
- Locked out or in your property.
- May not be able to lock your property leaving it unsecure and vulnerable to intruders.
- Can damage the lock.
To get a broken key out of a lock it is best to call out a professional locksmith to come and extract the key for you. However, if enough of the key is showing it may be possible for you to remove the key yourself with a pair of pin nosed plyers or even a magnet if you have them handy. If you do attempt this yourself, you must be very carful as you could end up causing further damage to the lock and leaving in need of completely replacing. The best thing to do is call out your local locksmith who will be able to safely extract the broken key without causing any damage to the existing lock.
How to Prevent Broken Keys?
There are a couple of preventative measures you can take to try and avoid falling victim to a key snapping in your lock:
Replace Keys – If you have old or worn out keys, or if any of your keys are showing signs of damage then you should make a copy and replace them as soon as possible. Dispose of any old keys so you don’t use them by mistake.
Lubricate locks – Keys often break in locks when they become stiff, this is often a maintenance issue. If you lubricate your locks at least once a year it should help prevent this problem. When lubricating locks you should avoid oil based lubricants such as WD-40 as this can cause damage to a lock in the long run causing it to clogg.