Need a locksmith’s help in opening and changing your letterbox lock? Contrary to popular belief, letterbox lock replacement is done by locksmiths, not the HDB or town councils.
Understanding the needs of our customers, we have two choices for our customers to choose from: the Ocean brand and the REAL brand locks.
IC verification procedure
Before we open and change the letterbox lock, we will first verify that the unit belongs to the customer for security reasons. Only after verification, will we then proceed with the opening and changing of the letterbox lock. During this process, we will not take down your IC details, or retain your IC.
The Ocean brand is a good, affordable choice, and it doesn’t rust easily. The keys are also relatively easy to duplicate. The level of security provided is adequate for everyday usage, but can be picked open by locksmiths. This can be a problem, as it may not be possible to know that someone has accessed your letterbox without your permission. If security is a major concern, this may not be the right letterbox lock replacement for you. Two new keys come with this lock.
We also have the REAL brand letterbox lock, which provides a high level of security. Due to the design of the internal locking mechanism, this is much more durable than other letterbox lock types. Additionally, it is also more secure. The only way to open this is by damaging the lock, which foils attempts at non-visible access. This is because there have been cases of letterbox break-ins. We have been asked on a few occasions to open the letterbox lock without damaging it, or to open and lock it back. This lock will foil such attempts at non destructive methods, since it needs to be damaged before it can be opened. However, the keys for this lock are harder and quite expensive to duplicate.
To add further, the back metal plate of the REAL brand letterbox lock is much harder then the other letterbox lock back plates. This can also foil attempts at letterbox break-ins.
How to identify a letterbox break-in
This is an example of how a damaged letterbox, or an attempt at a letterbox break-in will look like.
Some of our customers opt to change to this lock, as they often purchase things online. As the parcels are delivered to the mailbox, it is possible for others to spy through the flap, and attempt to take the items either by engaging a locksmith, or to break the lock by themselves if there are no CCTVs nearby.
For the REAL brand letterbox lock, we have 2 designs – the normal design, and the flushed design. The main difference is that the normal design has a protruding style, while the flushed design sits almost flat against the letterbox. There is no difference in function. Three new keys come with this REAL brand lock.
When and why do I need to change my letterbox lock?
We’ve finally come to the most important question of all. When, and why, do I need to change my letterbox lock?
Good question there. Here are the five most common reasons cited by our customers:
1) Moving into a new unit
In this case, the owner had just moved in and wanted to replace their letterbox lock, as the previous owners had not given them the full set of keys for the letterbox, which were duplicate keys. Additionally, the new owner revealed that the previous owner still had access to the letterbox, as letters were constantly vanishing from the letterbox. We advised the owner to change the lock, since this was already his unit, and not the previous owner’s.
2) Loss and misplacement of keys
Opening and changing letterbox lock! The customer had misplaced his keys and opted to open and change the letterbox lock. This would provide him with 2 new keys. Additionally, he could also duplicate the amount that was required.
Panels 1 and 2 show the unlocking process, while panel 3 shows the mailbox, bereft of the lock. In the last panel, the newly installed letterbox lock is shown, along with the 2 new keys provided.
3) Harassment issues
Our customer contacted us to change the letterbox lock, as it had been superglued. After conversing with him, we found out that this wasn’t the first time that his lock had been tampered with. This was not casual mischief, but insidious harassment. We immediately advised him to take photos of the superglued lock, and to make a police report instead with these pictures as evidence, so that he could report the harassment effectively.
Thinking that you may be safe if your lock doesn’t come with a keyhole? You might want to think again…
Our customer contacted us as their keyless number lock had been superglued. They had contacted the police before engaging our service. When we arrived, there were telltale signs of dried glue dripping down the lock, and on the lock itself. The gaps in between the scrollable numbers had also been glued, so the numbers would not move.
We broke the lock, and returned it to them, advising that the old lock be kept as evidence. We also suggested making another report if the mischief retuned.
4) Key broke inside the letterbox lock
5) Unauthorized access to letterbox, with items found missing
Recently, there have been cases of letterbox break-ins at Toa Payoh, Choa Chu Kang and Redhill. The latest cases involve the stealing of grocery vouchers. Before these cases happened, we heard from some customers that their letterboxes had been accessed without their permission, as their parcels had disappeared. We realized that there were already break-ins happening.
Addtionally, we also had suspicious requests to open the letterbox lock, specifically without damaging the lock. Some wanted us to open it, and then lock it back again. We found these cases very fishy, so we requested that they produce the IC for verification purposes. In return, they gave excuses (the IC was not updated yet to the latest address). We declined these requests.
If you are worried about your letterbox security, we advise getting the REAL brand letterbox lock. It has a thicker back plate that can resist forced entry, to the extent that the letterbox flap will sustain more damage than the actual lock. In order to open this lock, it will need to be damaged, so signs of unauthorized access can be easily seen (eg, a newly replaced lock which you did not change, or signs of damage on the lock).
Check out the video below for two simple tips on how to secure your letterbox!
We also receive cases in which the key breaks off and gets lodged inside the lock. If this happens, the lock can still be rescued in some instances by extracting the broken part. If this fails and you need to change your letterbox lock, you can contact Vincent Locksmith directly at 8812 7499, or via this page to drop us an email. We can change both HDB and condominium letterbox locks.
However, if you’re able to insert your key, but can’t turn it fully, then you lock may need a little realignment, or clean-up. This post will show you how.
This post first appeared on 1 April 2018, and has been updated on 2 May 2022 to include new content that our customers may find useful for making informed decisions.