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  • Intercom System Installation Considerations

    Posted on September 7th, 2021 | 0 Comments

    Intercoms provide a massive array of practical and security benefits to properties of all types - especially busy apartment complexes. There’s a wide variety of intercom types and functionalities commonly available on market today - with each variation providing it’s own benefits, whether they be functional, security based, or economic. In this blog entry, the residential access control and security experts here at Chicago Locksmith will provide some detail as to the main considerations that should be maintained when installing an intercom system.

    What form of intercom system is ideal for the property in question?

    There’s many different forms of intercom systems commonly utilized on the market today - which we’ve discussed in previous blogs. It’s best to consider, and ask your licensed intercom installation expert, about what form of intercom will suit your property best - a wired system, or a wireless system? Wireless systems are much easier to install, but due to their housing of radio waves for their communication, they can experience periodic connection issues in larger properties. Wired properties provide better connections at a wider distance, however they risk the issues that occur when wires get damaged due to weather or construction.


    What features are provided by the chosen intercom system?

    Different types of intercom systems boast different sets of features. Some have only audio calling functionality, while others have functionality with both audio and video. Some other higher end intercoms have capabilities for group calls and internet connection - and of course, the newest intercoms can even be controlled with your smartphone!


    Can you remotely monitor the intercom system?

    If you want remote monitoring capabilities for your intercom, make sure to ask that it’s provided by your chosen intercom model. Smart intercom systems, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectable intercom systems, and some hardwired / remote combination systems have these capabilities.


    How is the video output quality?

    You will want to make sure that the video output quality of your chosen intercom is up to par. While not everyone will require high end, high resolution video, at the very least you will want the quality to be good enough so that you can identify the faces of visitors clearly.


    Intercom Warranties

    To be safe, we recommend asking your intercom installation service provider about whether the intercom that you are installing is covered by a warranty policy that can possibly cover accidental damages, or periodic repairs.

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  • Securing Rental Properties

    Posted on September 7th, 2021 | 0 Comments

    Landlords, real estate agents, and other agents that maintain residential or commercial residential properties all have unique sets of concerns when it comes to maintaining security. In this blog entry, the expert high security lock and security hardware installation team here at Chicago Locksmith will detail some tactics that can be utilized in order to keep your rental property secure.

    Securing Entrances

    We recommend securing all entrance doors with a high security double cylinder deadbolt - especially in doors that have windows nearby, as the double cylinder deadbolt can prevent the door from being opened if a thief reaches their hands in. We also recommend installing solid wood or metal doors on all entrances - hollow wood doors or doors with windows are especially vulnerable. Solid doors are the best choice for property protection. We additionally advise you to recommend to your tenants to use door jammers for an extra layer of security - and, of course, rekey your locks after a tenant is evicted.


    Property Managers

    Property managers help assist with not only ensuring the security of your property, but in handling any security matters as they pop up. If you live far from your property or are otherwise busy, hiring a property manager on-site can help ensure that security issues can be noticed and handled as soon as possible - as well as functioning as a sort of deterrent to any potential burglars considering ransacking a unit on your property. Property managers can screen out potential tenants, and function as an on-site security system that can notice any strange goings-on that might slip through a CCTV or alarm based system.


    Window Security

    While most windows are fitted with locks that prevent them from being able to be opened from outside, it's usually pretty easy for burglars to break a window to unlock it and then climb through it. Mitigate this risk by installing visible locks on your windows - which will in turn deter burglars from even attempting to enter your property through windows. Additionally, install window sensors that will set off an alarm when windows are messed with from outside.


    Security Systems

    Security systems come in all sizes, scales, and prices - so you can be sure to find one that fits the needs of your property while fitting into your budget. We recommend an all-in-one security system with centralized or mobiel control options that boast features like door / window sensors, motion sensor lights, alarms, smoke alarms, and even CCTV cameras.


    Outdoor Lighting

    We highly recommend installation of motion sensor external lighting to deter burglars from entering your property at night. This lighting should be placed at all main entrances of your property. You wont need more than a few of these, as they have strong sensors that can detect motion from even 20 feet away! Most of these lights are solar powered, making them fantastically energy efficient and economically efficient! 

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  • Common Forms Of Intercom Technology

    Posted on July 26th, 2021 | 0 Comments

    Intercom technology is a massive security assistance to commercial - and even residential - properties. When paired with high quality deadbolt locks and a solid CCTV surveillance system (or even bolstered by smart home or Wi-Fi / Bluetooth enabled lock technology,) intercoms function as an integral form of access control that verifies authorized entry, and deters attempts at unlawful entry. In this blog post, the intercom installation experts here at Chicago Locksmith will detail the different types of intercom technology which we regularly install at properties throughout the Chicago area.

    Wireless Intercoms

    Wireless intercoms utilize different radio frequencies from hard-wired intercoms, and are more affordable. They can usually be operated straight out of the box with zero installation. Ensure that the intercom has an up-to-date battery and that it has the proper range to work for your property. Be aware of the risks that unauthorized individuals may be able to tune into its frequency.


    Hard-wired Intercoms

    Hard-wired intercoms are mounted directly into your house and allow for communication between the interior and the front door of a property with the simple push of a button - through wired connection to intercom speakers. These units are slightly more expensive, but avoid interference better, and are more durable. This is an ideal choice for properties that are still undergoing construction, as they can easily be installed during the construction process.


    Video Intercoms

    Video intercoms, obviously, allow for property-owners to see visitors on the other side of the door before opening it. These are usually wired systems - but another option is simply a smart home system with an integrated camera added to your intercom. This allows for the convenience of control through smartphones or tablets that allow you to change lighting or temperature. 


    Carrier-Current Intercoms

    These intercoms are fully integrated into your home’s electric systems. They are affordable and super low-maintenance - with easy installation - but have somewhat less of a quality level of sound than other systems.


    Automatic Gate Intercoms

    If your property has a front gate that you normally need to manually unlock, an automatic gate intercom is an ideal solution. You can open your front gates with the push of a button - of course, after verifying your visitor’s identity with a built-in camera and audio system.


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  • Wi-Fi Enabled Door Locks

    Posted on August 26th, 2021 | 0 Comments

    Wi-Fi enabled door locks are some of the most popular examples of modern door technology on the market today - and for good reason. The versatility and security offered by Wi-Fi enabled door locks offer home and business owners an unparalleled level of convenience and control - from both an access control / security and even comfort standpoint. In this blog entry, the smart lock installation experts here at Chicago Locksmith will detail the top reasons to install a Wi-Fi enabled door lock at your Chicago area property today.


    Wi-Fi controlled smart systems can control a range of home functions - from heating and cooling, to televisions, lighting, gates, security systems - and, of course, door locks. Chicago Locksmiths recommends the installation of Wi-Fi enabled door locks, which offer a massive range of benefits that aren’t provided by traditional locks.


    Unique Benefits of Wi-Fi Door Locks

    Wi-Fi door locks provide the benefits of being able to be controlled with smartphones. Smartphones can be set to automatically unlock your locks as you walk towards them. Some Wi-Fi door locks keep a detailed archived registry of all of it’s uses and use times - and other models can even automatically send photos to your mobile phone so you can verify who is standing at your door.


    Eliminate the Need for Keys!

    Wi-Fi deadbolt locks make your life easier by eliminating the need for physical keys! They are ideal for AirBnBs, as they allow guests to automatically access your property without the need to meet them in person, or having to leave a key insecure under your doormat. These Wi-Fi lock codes can be revoked on command, as soon as your guests check out.


    Use your Phone as a Key!

    Wi-Fi door locks allow you to use your phone as a remote key. You can lock or unlock your door from anywhere in the world - allowing guests or workers in, or securing your home if you rushed out and forgot to lock it. You can create time-sensitive codes that only work at certain hours of day and night, or even automatically expiring single-use codes. Contact Chicago Locksmith today for more information about the benefits of installing a Wi-Fi enabled door lock at your property.


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  • Benefits Of Access Control For Commercial Properties

    Posted on June 5th, 2021 | 0 Comments

    Access control provides integral benefits for commercial properties of all types, centralizing both manual and automatic functions of user entry, time-based security protocols, and distanced surveillance. The expert access control hardware installation technicians here at Chicago Locksmiths are skilled at the rapid, custom-tailored installation of a wide range of access control systems at commercial properties of all types throughout Chicago. In this blog entry, we will describe the basics of the benefits that access control systems offer contemporary office security frameworks.

    Why is Access Control Important

    Access control is a system that can help your locks discern who's entering a specific location at your property. Normal deadbolt locks, being simply mechanical devices, cannot do this. Access control systems help prevent security breaches within your commercial property. Not all of your employees, even, should be able to access all areas of your property without the proper credentials and clearance! Access control systems protect from situations in which doors are accidentally left unlocked, keys are copied without permission, or employees - or guests - attempt to steal from you. With access control systems in place, you can totally prevent access in particular rooms, grant temporary access to specific people, and even audit entrance history.

    Definition of Access Credentials

    Credentials are the information that you provide the access control system to get access to a particular door. When your access control system is being installed, you can control the credential type based on your preferences and needs. You can choose from a range of options including keycards, key fobs, PIN codes, and even biometric credentials like fingerprints or codes stored on your cell phone.

    Access Code Functionality

    The three main functions of access control are scheduling, grouping, and auditing. Scheduling is deciding the times certain people can access certain areas. You can make sure maintenance workers or custodians can access your property when they are supposed to, or grant a department access to their offices at particular times of day. Grouping involves granting permissions to collections of individuals, rather than one individual at a time. You can sort and organize groups based on your needs - which is a fantastic solution for keeping your company security organized. Auditing allows you to fully track who opens certain doors and when. When the door opens, it will create a timestamp record with the user’s credentials. You can view and even print auditing reports to make sure you have full access to the access control records whenever you need it. Remember, all these access control features can be fully customized to your needs. 

    Forms of Access Control Systems

    The two main choices to make when deciding an access control system is choosing between integrated and standalone systems, and a cloud or non-cloud based system. Integrated systems are total access control systems with auditing ability as well as the ability to be paired with CCTV camera systems or alarm systems. Integrated access control systems are ideal for those who like all aspects of their access control systems to be housed in a single place. Standalone access control systems are ideal for people who want the benefits of PIN or badged based access, but don’t need auditing or scheduling capabilities. These systems are known as stand alone as they aren’t managed with software. They are also much cheaper! The main difference between cloud based and non-cloud based systems is that cloud-based systems let you manage your permissions and account from anywhere in the world, and automatically back up all your data in the cloud. It allows you to lock and unlock doors remotely when needed, and even provide temporary, time-sensitive access codes. Non-cloud systems are different based on the model - some need to be loaded on a computer, while some others work with web portals. The drawback of non-cloud systems is that your data will be lost in the event of a crashing computer, which is why we advise people to generally opt for cloud-based access control systems.

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  • Improving Home Security On A Budget

    Posted on June 5th, 2021 | 0 Comments

    There’s no reason that implementing high quality and strong security at your residential property needs to break the bank or burn a hole in your wallet!  There’s a wide range of security tactics and protocols that can be installed at your property that will bolster the safety of you, your family, and your property with various degrees of success. In this blog entry, the residential security hardware installation experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will detail some ways you can improve your home security while on a budget.

    Analyze and Upgrade Locks

    Has it been a while since you’ve looked at the locks on your external doors? Inspect for any degrading conditions or damage. If you find any, this can leave your property vulnerable to crime. You can easily upgrade your locks to stronger models, even on a budget! Chicago Locksmiths can help you find the right locks for your property’s practical and security needs.

    Alarms on Doors and Windows

    Alarms are fantastic deterrents to burglars, as it’s necessary for successful burglaries to be incredibly quiet. Door and window alarms are made with magnetic contact strips which, when seperated, sound an alarm which notifies you, or anyone in the vicinity of your property, that a break-in is happening. These alarms can work on all windows and doors, and are made with delay options which give you time to deactivate the alarm when arriving home.

    Door and Window Reinforcement

    We recommend not only replacing damaged or structurally compromised doors and windows, but reinforcing your entryways with deadbolt locks! Deadbolt lock’s solidity make it near impossible to break down doors, and their design makes them resistant to picking, increasing the security of your doors. Sliding doors can be benefited with the installation of auxiliary foot locks.

    Reducing Spots for Burglars to Hide

    Make sure to trim all trees, bushes, and hedges in your front or back yard. Shrubs and large, overgrown plants are excellent places for burglars to hide.  This is a cheap, quick, and effective way to reduce the risk of experiencing a break-in.

    Outdoor Lighting Installation

    Install motion-activated / time-activated lighting in your front or back yard. There’s a wide range of these light types that you can find that fit squarely within budgets of all types. We also recommend placing some of your indoor lights on timers if you’re planning on being away from home overnight or for an extended amount of time. This will create the illusion that your home is occupied, further discouraging burglars from attempting break-ins.

    Garage Security makes sure that your garage - ESPECIALLY if it’s connected to the interior of your home - is fully secure. Garage doors and windows should always be kept locked. We recommend further installing strip alarms and even strike plates to the doors that lead from your garage into your home. This hardware is affordable, yet delivers protection and security in spades.

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  • Top Reasons Garages Need Security Cameras

    Posted on May 16th, 2021 | 0 Comments

    CCTV security cameras are a massive advantage to any residential or commercial establishment, offering fantastic security benefits. Garages, being some of the most secluded areas of any property, are also associated with a higher rate of crime. In this blog entry, the residential security and commercial security experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will detail the top reasons that your garage needs security cameras.

    Parking Lots that Lack Security are Unsafe

    It's estimated by the Bureau of Justice Statistics that 10% of crimes that happen on private properties occur in parking lots. Parking lots with bad lighting and a lack of security cameras are essentially begging for crimes like theft, mugging, carjacking, or even assault to occur. You can mitigate these risks by investing in the installation of CCTV Security Cameras at your parking lots. There’s a wide range of CCTV cameras made and models - from the industry’s leading brands - all of which can provide a range of coverage and data storage options that meet your business’ unique needs.

    Benefits of Parking Lot CCTV and Security Systems

    Even for commercial property owners who don’t want to invest in 24/7 security guard for their property, you can opt to invest in modern security technology that allows you to watch and monitor the goings on at your property without hiring a large staff. Security cameras normally capture footage - and in the event of a crime (although we hope one doesn’t occur) this footage can help police track down the perpetrator of any crime, whether it be theft or a car accident. CCTV security camera systems, when visible, also operate as a deterrent for criminals. CCTV security systems installed in parking lots ensure the safety of visitors to your business, and provide commercial property owners the peace of mind that they can be notified - in real time - of any security threats outside your property, before they gain entrance!

    Custom Tailored Parking Lot Security Systems

    Chicago Locksmith can install a range of monitored CCTV security systems in your parking lot, with camera types ranging from fish-eye cameras, pan-tilt-zoom cameras, bullet cameras, vandal dome cameras, box cameras, and much more! Our team works with the latest and greatest security technology currently in the market today, ensuring satisfaction, and close attention paid to the unique functional and security needs of your property.

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  • Top Reasons To Install An Intercom At Your Chicago Property

    Posted on April 21st, 2021 | 0 Comments

    Intercoms are an integral aspect of any working access control infrastructure, and in 2021, there’s a massive variety of intercom brands, makes, and models available on the market today. This sheer breadth might seem confusing or intimidating at first to the naked eye - in this blog post, the access control hardware installation experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will provide a brief guide to the main reasons that people install intercoms at their property.

    Intercoms Provide the Ability to Inspect Visitors to your Property

    Intercoms allow you to screen visitors to your property through visual or audio capabilities. This way you can make sure you’re only allowing people who are meant to be there inside your home or business.

    Intercoms Increase Convenient Operation

    Intercoms make communication and screening far more convenient. They allow you to let someone into your property without getting up to answer the door - simply push a button!

    Ability to be Integrated with Security Infrastructure

    Intercoms can be easily integrated with security equipment at your property like alarm systems and CCTV systems. You won't need to install a brand new system, your intercom can be installed to work properly with your existing security setup.

    Crime Deterrence

    Intercoms function to deter criminals from even attempting a break-in at your property. Potential criminals can see that you have infrastructure in place that can catch them in the act, so they won't even attempt it!

    Property Value Benefits

    Installing an intercom at your residential or commercial property can increase the property value. Since people want to live in safer environments, the investment of installing an intercom at your property can help you raise its price, as potential buyers won't have to buy intercoms themselves.

    Meetings and Announcements

    Intercoms can allow you to make announcements throughout your commercial or even residential property easily and instantly. This is a great way to get the attention of people spread out throughout a home or office. Furthermore, intercoms allow you to conduct easy meetings without the need for everybody to move into a central conference room, which saves a ton of time and makes your day more efficient.

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  • Top Security Issues Often Overlooked At Commercial Properties

    Posted on April 21st, 2021 | 0 Comments

    While the mainstays of successful commercial security are high-quality deadbolt locks and access control systems, there’s many other factors that affect the security of your business or commercial property. In this brief blog entry, the lock installation and security hardware experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will detail the top three highly important and vital security issues commonly overlooked by businesses.

    Obsolete or Old Access Control Systems

    In recent years, fantastic strides have been made with access control systems. There’s tons of new beneficial features available in today’s access control systems - and older systems simply aren’t up to par, offering limited capabilities and limited ability for integration with other modern security equipment, like cloud based CCTV archive storage. Ensure that your property has a modern and high quality access control system that boasts features like electric strike control, biometric access control, smart locks, or keypads.

    Access Control Rule Leniency

    Make sure to enforce your ID, security, and access control rules evenly across everyone on your commercial property. Every single person in your property ranging from high-ups to temporary delivery people need to follow all ID requirements, with no exceptions made. Ensure that any security personnel (or automatic security technology) are set up to properly analyze credentials and check IDs.

    Improper Training on Security System Operations

    Make sure that your staff is trained to use your access control system, CCTV camera systems, and especially any integrated alarm and security system. While in many respects these systems have capability for automatic operation, they still require an active and talented eye on the part of security personnel. Ensure that all of your staff is trained on how to use this technology.

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  • Functional Benefits Of CCTV Security Camera Systems

    Posted on March 7th, 2021 | 0 Comments

    Here at Chicago Locksmith, we take pride in our ability to deliver custom tailored physical security solutions to our broad range of residential and commercial clients. One fantastic way to implement preventative physical security is the installation of CCTV cameras at your property - in this blog entry, our commercial and residential access control and security experts will provide some more detail as to unique functional benefits of this technology.

    Facial Recognition Options

    Facial recognition is a great option for commercial property owners - or residential property owners - looking to easily verify and/or identify people visiting your property. Facial recognition technology used to be considered expensive, but is now affordable for property owners of all budgets and sizes. The high resolution optics of contemporary security cameras allow you to check out unique details to help you verify proper identity including clothing, license plates, and ID numbers.

    Remote Access Functionality

    Contemporary security cameras allow for remote access on a 24/7 basis, no matter your location. You can review footage and control the camera from a far away area from your laptop, phone, or other mobile device. Security cameras today even have motion sensor notifications that allow you to know when to begin remote viewing in real time.

    Unique Audio Abilities

    Modern security cameras actually boast hybrid features that are usually seen with access control devices - audio functionality! Security camera audio functions allow you to not only listen to visitors by the door in real time - but to work along with your existing (or newly installed) access control devices as a two-way speaker when connected to your intercom. Audio functionality is a major asset as well in video capturing - in case you experience suspicious behavior and want to really review the footage taken of the front of your property at a later date.

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