Posted on July 3rd, 2020 | 0 Comments
Maintaining a secure selection of locks at your residential property - or even residential management complex - is an absolute must for safety and security. Rekeying locks periodically is one of the best ways to enforce and ensure that your property is secure. In this blog post, the residential security experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will detail some of the most important aspects of lock rekeying that managers or landlords of residential property should focus on to maintain safety and security.
Pool Gate Locks
Pool gates must be secured in order to protect children and animals in your building complex - especially when pools are not in use. Pool locks will gradually wear down so the gate won’t close properly. Pool gates must also always be closed even when the pool is being used. We recommend re-keying your pool gate locks for safety.
Individual Apartment Locks
Apartment locks need to be rekeyed when tenants switch over. This even applies to situations in which former tenants returned their apartment keys, as they may have made copies that they gave out to friends or family - and those key copies could fall into the wrong hands.
Storage Closet Locks
Storage closets can be accessed by any staff members, maintenance workers, or delivery people. Another risk is former employees accessing storage closets, especially when disgruntled. We recommend rekeying storage closet locks after employee turnover - it’s affordable, and helps keep your property secure.
We recommend periodically rekeying office locks - especially those within larger apartment buildings. By rekeying your basic lock mechanism, you ensure that your business records and property will stay secure. We additionally recommend investing in quality access control systems that marry key cards or digital keypads with high security deadbolts in order to ensure that your property is as strongly protected as possible - and Chicago Locksmiths can easily provide you this full infrastructure for a fair and competitive rate.
Posted on July 3rd, 2020 | 0 Comments
Different locks are measured according to different Grades. These Grades help residential and commercial property owners determine what the general security level a lock provides. In this brief blog post, the lock installation experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will provide some detail as to the different types of lock grades.
How to Determine the Quality Level of your Lock
The main qualities that help determine what the quality of a lock is are, specifically: cycle count, security, functional strength, dimensions, and finishing requirement. Cycle count - in a nutshell - is how many times a lock can be used before it fully breaks and must be replaced.
Builders Hardware Manufacturer Association Rating
This group tests locks for quality together with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop a lock grading system. Grade 1 locks are heavy-duty commercial locks, Grade 2 are light-duty commercial locks, and Grade 3 are residential locks. Grade 1 locks are definitely the strongest.
Finding the Proper Lock for your Residential Needs
Different lock grade types fulfill a wide variety of needs. Grade 3 locks can easily be found at most hardware stores - but for residential needs, honestly, Grade 2 locks are a MUCH safer bet. Grade 3 locks can work well for doors inside your home that don’t require large levels of security. Grade 3 locks have been demonstrated to work well with bathrooms, closets, laundry rooms, mudrooms, and pantries.
Posted on May 3rd, 2020 | 0 Comments
In this era of COVID-19, many home and business owners are looking for ways to increase the safety around their own property, helping themselves, their family/staff/ and/or visitors to help avoid spreading germs. In this blog post, the door hardware installation experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will detail some fantastic ways you can implement hands free entry at your property!
Not only are automated doors handicap accessible, but they help prevent people from having to touch doors in order to open them. Automated doors allow for efficient traffic flow and touch-free entrances. This is ideal for busy environments like stores or offices - where many people would otherwise have to touch the door, or precious A/C cooled air would flow out if the door is left open. Automated doors are a fantastic option for hands free entrances.
Electric strikes are ideal for hands free security- they’re basically the metal plates on a door that blocks or allows it to be opened when unlocked with a key. Electric strikes allow the door to be remotely unlocked - they’re available in either fail-safe or fail secure iterations. Fail secure locks will keep doors locked in the event of a power failure, while fail-safe electric strikes will unlock the doors. If your property has emergency exit options, fail-secure locks are the best choice.
Keyless entry technology like key fob locking systems or smart locks that use Bluetooth or WiFi are a great way to open doors without touching them. Key fobs simply require a token to be scanned, and they are much more hygienic and secure due to their inability to be easily copied by a layperson. Key fobs can be easily replaced and reprogrammed - and require much less touching than keypad based systems. Key cares are another great option, and Bluetooth or WiFi based keyless locks can be unlocked through your smartphone for ultimate convenience!
Foot and Arm Pulls
Arm and foot pulls allow people to open doors with no need to touch door knobs or handles - it’s a simple and effective way to create hands free entrance options without spending money on more expensive technology. Push plates are another great option, as they can be opened with an elbow or your hip!
Posted on May 3rd, 2020 | 0 Comments
There’s myriad benefits that apartment complex management can reap from hiring a certified professional Chicago locksmith company to handle their security, lock, and access needs. In this blog post, the residential and commercial locksmith experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will detail some of the fantastic benefits residential complexes can receive from our professional lock and access control services.
Protecting your Residents from Strangers
Security and entrance features that locksmiths can provide you including programmed gates, entrance code based access control, key fobs, intercoms - and of course, a properly installed high quality deadbolt lock - can all help to protect the residents of your apartment complex from unlawful access and potential criminals.
Simple Lockout Solutions
Lockouts are a common occurrence in the life of every apartment manager - they often receive calls from tenants who have been locked outside of their property. Sometimes keys are lost, sometimes they are stolen, sometimes they are just temporarily misplaced However, when you enlist the assistance of a professional locksmith team like those here at Chicago Locksmith, lockouts become no big deal at all, and the solutions come as quickly as it takes to dial our number on the phone!
Rekeying and Key Management
Locksmiths can help apartment managers with a range of fantastic key based services including, but not limited to:
Replacing lost or stolen keys
Rekeying locks post-burglaries
Rekeying after moving
Master key creation
Key replacement after personnel changes
And much more!
Lock Installation and Repair Services
Licensed locksmiths can help provide excellent lock installation and repair services including, but not limited to:
Making sure that gate locks are well functioning
Ensuring that door closers are functioning properly
Replacement of door locks
Door hinge and door knob replacement
Window lock upgrades
Keyless entry system installation
Deadbolt lock repair
Broken key extraction
And much more!
Posted on May 18th, 2020 | 0 Comments
Safes are essential pieces of equipment that help to protect valuable property in your home or business. However, to the average layperson, safes represent complicated and intricate pieces of machinery that might prove confusing. In this blog entry, the security experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will detail some of the important questions to ask yourself before purchasing a safe.
What will I be storing Inside the Safe?
Items that should be stored inside safes are tax records, estate plans, death/birth certificates, insurance documents, or any other documents you may need to access or revise. Additionally, guns or other weapons should be stored inside safes. Items like jewelry, rare coins, or other expensive items that you will NOT need to access regularly should be stored inside safety deposit boxes.
How much protection do you need?
Consider what types of potential attacks, disasters, or mitigations that your valued possessions might face, and buy the type of safe that protects them from these things. Fire-resistant safes, for example, help prevent documents, cash, or computer hardware/software from being destroyed - in fact, they protect items from temperatures of up to 1,500 degrees for a half an hour. However, electronic items need to be stored inside fire safes that boast an ability to maintain an internal temperature of under 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
What type of lock is necessary?
Choose between a combination lock, a biometric lock, and an electronic lock. Combination locks utilize mechanical components - usually a numbered wheel that is turned left/right in the proper sequence in order to open the safe. This is a reliable technology, but properly unlocking the safe may take some time.
Biometric locks read preprogrammed thumbprints (or even retina scans) of authorized individuals in order to grant access. Simply put your finger against the reader where it will be scanned, and it will be unlocked. These locks usually run on batteries and can accept a mechanical backup key in the event of a drained battery.
Electronic safes utilize light-up keypads to make entering the necessary code easier in dark light. It’s much faster to open electronic safes than mechanical safes - but it’s important to remember that they might be difficult to open in the event of drained batteries.
Posted on May 17th, 2020 | 0 Comments
According to a research study conducted at Princeton University, it takes only 1/10th of a minute for people to set impressions of other people; and this same fact applies to how your home, and it’s curb appeal, is judged by strangers. Lock hardware can actually make a big impression on the curb appeal of your property - and, of course, the myriad of factors that curb appeal in turn effects. In this blog entry, the lock and door hardware installation experts here at Chicago Locksmith will detail the way that lock hardware has a strong effect on curb appeal.
Definition of Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is basically the first impression that the appearance of your home gives visitors. It’s a term that was invented by realtors who would drive potential home buyers to a home and see the way their first impressions were formed at the curb. Curb appeal can be magnified by making the exterior of a home seem attractive and enticing to potential buyers - hence improving the estimated value of the home.
How does door hardware affect curb value?
Door locks and handles can be considered the first point of the home that’s touched by residents and guests of a home. According to the National Association of Realtors, new doors complete with new locks and handles can eventually provide you with a three quarters return on your investment.
You should choose high-quality door hardware that matches the appearance of your home. Many door knob and handle finishes are available on the market today. These range from satin and nickel, brass and pewter, chrome, and black, to bronze. Some door hardware websites - as well as a skilled door hardware installation expert - can help you determine the best quality of door hardware to match your home’s external appearance, as well as hardware structures like bars, levers, or knobs. Regardless of the style or appearance of your door hardware, you can rest assured that installing new and well-made hardware on your door will count as a major investment for the transformative curb appeal of your property.
Posted on April 21st, 2020 | 0 Comments
Restaurants, like all businesses, have unique security concerns that need to be paid close attention to. All people involved in the operation of restaurants, from the management to the regular staff, need to understand how to protect restaurants from potential crimes. In this blog entry, the commercial locksmith experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will detail some of the ways you can keep your restaurant space safe and secure.
Keeping an Eye on Cash
Make sure to always protect cash. Registers should only be counted in a secure room with a security camera, lock, an dcamera. The best type of security will allow only managerial staff to enter these rooms.
Cash should ONLY and ALWAYS be stored in commercial grade safes with a full set of security / fireproofing protections. We recommend putting your cash in the bank as often as possible, so as little cash as possible is ever kept inside the restaurant.
Internal employee theft is a risk at restaurants, like all businesses. Make sure employees don’t close or switch restaurants by themselves. Place security cameras in areas where cash is kept or where cash registers can be brought, in order to make it clear to employees that there’s a ton of security measures in place.
Internal theft can also occur electronically. For example, credit card scanners are often used to steal credit card information. This can usually only be prevented by paying close attention to hires, ensuring that employees are trustworthy, and creating a list of specific measures to make sure credit cards can only be scanned in certain ways.
Restaurant Security Analysis
We recommend hiring a professional locksmith team, like those here at Chicago Locksmith, who can easily analyze your commercial security infrastructure. Then, you can have your current security devices analyzed, all potential access points of your property analyzed, and even your current security protocol analyzed. This can help you assess any potential weak spots; and our team of fully licensed and trained commercial security professionals can then recommend a custom tailored security infrastructure that will allow you to rest easy in the knowledge that your property is truly being protected.
Posted on April 23rd, 2020 | 0 Comments
Transponder / key fob based car keys are somewhat temperamental pieces of equipment, but are totally crucial for the operation of cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles today in 2020. When key fob/ transponder keys have issues, it can be deeply frustrating for drivers - not to mention dangerous! In this blog post, the expert automotive locksmith team here at Chicago Locksmiths will detail some of the ways that locksmiths can provide important assistance through key fob replacement services.
Automotive Locksmith Key Fob Replacement
Automotive locksmiths can easily handle all the necessary steps of key fob replacements. They can provide you a brand new physical key fob, fully program it, and provide any other assistance you need. It’s recommended to receive key fob replacement service from a locksmith rather than from an automotive dealership - they can provide all the same services, with the additional advantages of the experience of an automotive security expert, and will always work harder to ensure your satisfaction.
Benefits of Locksmith Key Fob Replacement
Professional locksmiths understand how to work with all sorts of keys, including electronic keys, transponder keys, and car keys. They can program and REPROGRAM them, delete codes for existing lost or broken keys from your car’s computer, and even duplicate car keys so that you can have spares on hands. One fantastic benefit of receiving automotive service or transponder key replacement service from a locksmith rather than an automotive dealership is that our technicians come directly to your location, arriving in a swift and efficient manner.
When to Receive Key Fob Replacement
Key fobs should be replaced - obviously when the keys are lost - but also in situations involving reduced key fob signal strength, worn down key fob batteries, inconsistent working operation of your key fob, or other key fob issues. A common issue is when you have to push the button on your key fob multiple times in order to unlock the car. If you’re not noticing the car’s locks clicking (or the car’s lights light up) when you lock or unlock it with the key fob, it’s likely its battery or signal is wearing down and needs to be replaced. Any issues with your key fob should be handled by a licensed automotive locksmith ASAP in order to prevent the risk of being stranded outside of a suddenly inoperable vehicle.
Posted on March 28th, 2020 | 0 Comments
Being locked outside of your car is incredibly frustrating - not to mention dangerous. This is often a much worse situation when you’re not home, on the road, or on a big rush to get somewhere. Here’s a guide to the causes of automotive lockouts as prepared by the experts here at Chicago Locksmiths.
The connections inside the car’s lock may have been broken. This is indicated by being stuck in the lock condition - which in many cases is actually a worse situation than the lock not being able to close! Mechanics like the door’s handle, post, and cylinder all work together - as they are meant to, due to child proofing. When these connections are broken, it’s imperative that they are fixed ASAP.
Rust damage is likely to occur when there’s been many rainy days, and rust and dirt can quickly jam locks. This will prevent you from opening the door no matter if you use a key fob or not. Rust can cause physical keys to get stuck, or snap while you are applying pressure to work the car. Inspect the keyway using a flashlight for rust.
Physical Damage Associated with Accidents
Perhaps a driver banged your car, or you accidentally scraped a wall while making a turn. This can cause the breaking of car door locks. Latches can be hurt during car accidents - though in this situation, it’s more likely you’d have the car inspected for damage after. After any accident, bang, or noticed scrape, we recommend assessing the working condition of all of your car’s features.
If you’re noticing that your car door locks are stuck, contact the automotive locksmith experts here at Chicago Locksmith ASAP. Our team of professional, fully experienced technicians will be deployed directly to your location in a swift and efficient manner, providing you custom solutions to your car lock issue.
Posted on January 27th, 2020 | 0 Comments
Re-keying is a unique, convenient, and special service that saves our clients much time, money, and stress. In this blog post, the rekeying and lock repair experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will provide you with a basic guide to the basics of rekeying, and why exactly it can be so useful to home and business owners throughout Chicago.
What’s a Rekey?
Rekeying at it’s most essential core is the process of changing a lock so a different key can work it. The process was first invented by Solomon Andrews of the State of New Jersey in 1836 - and involves the modification of the tumbler configuration of a lock that allows a brand new key to work with it, while rendering the older key non-working. Tumbler configurations are made up of a steady line of pins that only allow for a lock to open when the correct key is inserted, and the slots align properly.
Reasons to Rekey
- If you lose your keys you should get your locks rekeyed. It puts your home security at risk, and someone can potentially find your keys and enter your home when you're not there.
- When buying or renting a new apartment it's a safe practice to rekey your locks just in case the previous occupant of the space still retains ownership of the keys. You don't want a stranger rifling through your things. If you have your home for a long amount of time, you're risking lot's of people having access to your personal property.
- If you have antique locks you should rekey them as they often have malfunctions, and increase the risk of home break-ins.
Benefits of Rekeying
Rekeying offers fantastic advantages over full lock replacements. First of all, rekeying doesn’t require the time and cost intensive process of fully replacing an entire lock piece - it only changes the interior pins within the lock, so a brand new key can operate it. This is a much cheaper and simler option than a full lock replacement, and it’s also a fantastic safety and security strategy for homeowners, business owners, and even realtors who want a sense of security in knowing that no previous tenants of their property (or anyone who has a previous key) can access their property, and potentially steal from them.