The lock plate is an important part of the lock on your door. This is the plate that is attached to the frame rather than the door. Although it also helps to keep the jamb from being worn by the friction froth the bolt, perhaps its most important contribution is to security.

On most doors, jambs are made from relatively weak materials such as wood or plastic. If a force was to be applied to such a door and it didn't have the strike/lock plate, it would break through with little effort. The lock plate isn't infallible though. A burglary attempt or just an accidental knock can damage it. There are a few things you should do in such cases.

Carry Out a Damage Assessment

If your lock plate is relatively strong, even a burglary attempt may only leave it slightly damaged. For example, some part of the plate may be bent. In some cases, this kind of damage can interfere with the locking mechanism. The door may lock with difficulty or not lock at all.

The lock plate might also be broken. This can happen even if the jamb is in good shape. A broken lock plate won't offer much protection in case someone tries to break through the door.

Additionally, an assessment will tell you if the damage is limited to the lock plate or whether it has affected the door frame as well.

Fix the Damage

What can and cannot be done will depend on the extent of the damage to the lock plate. A simple case is where the screws holding the lock plate to the jamb have become loosened. These can be easily tightened. However, if the threads in the screw holes are damaged, you should call a residential locksmith. A bent lock plate can also be straightened but only using the right tools to avoid damaging it.

Anything involving a broken plate will mean a complete replacement is needed. Before any repairs are done, any problems with the door frame will need to be fixed first.

Do You Need to Call in an Expert?

Depending on the kind of tools you have and how handy you are with them, there are issues with the lock plate that you can fix on your own. However, when a lock plate has suffered any kind of damage, it's important to have an expert residential or commercial locksmith assess whether or not it has been compromised, even if it looks okay.