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  • Keeping Restaurants Secure

    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 Security

    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.

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  • How Locksmiths Can Help With Key Fob Replacement

    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.

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  • Stuck Car Locks

    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.

    Broken Connections

    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

    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.

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  • Professional Guide To Rekeying Locks

    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.

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  • Benefits Of Keypad Locks / Keyless Entry

    Posted on November 29th, 2019 | 0 Comments

     If you’re thinking of replacing your traditional door locks and keys, a keypad door lock is an excellent option for you. After years of being used by commercial locations, keypad door locks are being used in more and more residential homes - and have become a fast favorite due to all their convenient benefits. Here's a brief guide to some of the great benefits of using keyless entry locks at your property, as prepared by the experts here at Chicago Locksmiths!

    Heightened Home Security

    Keyless entry locks use advanced technology which make it impossible for intruders to break into a home. Customers can stop having to worry about illegal break-ins when they’re out of the house - the only people that can ever enter the home need to know the specific access number of the code before they can open the door.

    Zero Keys Needed

    Different from the traditional door locking mechanisms, keyless door locks are not used with keys. They work similar to a bank machine - simply punch in your secret combination code in order to lock or unlock the doors. With this kind of entry system, there’s no need to worry about lost or stolen keys - no less needing to remember your keys everywhere you go!

    Durability and Simplicity

    Keypad door locks are made with an extremely high level of durability. You can be assured that you can count on your lock while away from your home for an extended period of time. The long-term durability of these locks make them a top choice for any homeowner looking for a simple security solution. Keypad door locks are incredibly easy to install - by following simple, clear instructions, any individual can easily affix them to their doors.

    Wide variety of Designs

    There’s a massive selection of keypad door lock types that you can choose to suit your specific needs and aesthetic wishes. Brand designs range from looking more subdued and traditional, to more minimal and futuristic.Due to their unique nature, the controls of these sorts of locks are much more difficult to copy than traditional locks - there’s simply no duplicating machine that can copy them.

    Customizable Entry Codes

    The secret code you use to unlock your keypad door can easily be changed into a different combination. If one feels that their current combination might have been given to unauthorized people, they can change the code to another unique number at any time. Additionally, if a homeowner moves, they can simply notify the new tenants of the access codes to the keyless locks- there’s no need to change locks.

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  • Building The Best Retail Security

    Posted on October 31st, 2019 | 0 Comments

    As with home security, the best practices for retail security involve placing multiple security layers on top of one another. Here’s a great guide as prepared by the experts at Chicago Locksmith to building an ideal security infrastructure and maintaining ideal security practices at your retail location.

    Assess the Retail Layout

    First analyze the layout of your location to help you figure out what security solutions should be implemented that won’t interfere with your existing security layers. Note access points, areas where items of value are stored, cash, and all exits. You want to structure your retail security according to a framework that works best with the type of business that you are maintaining.

    Re Enforcing Access Points

    Fortify your entrances and exits - maintaining and improving door locks, and considering their durability and longevity. Make sure to invest in high grade commercial door locks - we recommend mortise locks in commercial settings. Additionally, install window and door grilles on your property alongside with high security padlocks, and window security film.

    Cameras

    Surveillance cameras are an absolute must, allowing you to monitor customers and employees, minimizing loss of property. Install surveillance cameras on the entrances and exits of your store, near your Point of Sale systems, cash areas, and really any areas that anything could go wrong. Make sure to install them close enough to get a clear picture, but far away enough so that random people cannot tamper with them.

    Alarms

    Install alarms and sensors at all access points to prevent unauthorized access. You can also choose to install RFID alarm tags onto your products (ideal for clothing) that can alert you if anybody tries to grab a product and simply walk outside. This is an ideal use of security layering, as it provides protection from actions that a security camera might not catch.

    Bright Lighting

    Ensure that your lighting allows your security camera maximum capture coverage, as well as that all points of entrance, exit, and egress are well lit (for both security and safety purposes.) Motion sensor lights are a great way to cut your energy bill.

    POS Security

    Ensure that your Point of Sale systems are protected on both a physical and data based level. Physically bolt down your POS systems so they can’t be picked up and taken away, and lock all your cash drawers so that someone can’t just open them up. Cybersecurity is essential for preventing hacking and ensuring that all credit card information remains secure.

    Access Control

    Make sure that you implement key control as well as a security hierarchy in your business, in order to help restrict access to sensitive areas, or foster an environment where you will be more likely to notice any strange goings on. For example, only cashiers and managers should be able to log into a POS terminal giving them access to the cash. And only people approved to shut down the business at night or open it up during the morning should be given a key to provide entrance to the business when nobody is there.

    Cash Handling Protocols

    Set an official system of rules and process for handling all cash during the day, and at the day’s end, to ensure that no money goes missing before it ends up in your safe. As a general rule, it’s always best to implement as simple a series of rules among as few people as possible in order to guarantee compliance

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  • Underrated Home Security Tips

    Posted on October 31st, 2019 | 0 Comments

    Home security isn’t a clear cut and simple procedure for everybody - rather, it’s a selection of custom approaches to your home that’s unique based on everyone’s individual home. Here’s a guide for some essential and underrated home security tips that every homeowner should keep in their mind, as prepared by the locksmith experts here at Chicago Locksmith.

    Teaching Household Members

    We advise you to teach all members of your household a series of ground rules for keeping your property safe. Set rules for what people should do when they are the last person to leave the house. Make sure locks are always secured. Make sure to be aware of how many keys you have, and who has them. Make sure that everybody knows the proper steps to take if your keys are lost.

     

    Bluetooth Key Trackers

    Attach Bluetooth trackers to keys to make sure that you can always recover them even when they are lost. These trackers are connected to a smartphone application that allows you to track the location of an object in real time.

     

    Keyless Entry

    Consider upgrading your home’s locks to keyless entry system - this can be an addition to your existing locks, rather than warranting a total lock replacement. These systems allow you to change access credentials for different staff, visitors and household members.

     

    Security Materials

    Make sure entrance points to your home are solid wood or steel wrapped wood core doors. These are more resistant to blunt for century attacks, rather than hollow core or wood panel doors that can be easily kicked in.

     

    Security Signs

    Make sure to have signs out in front of your home to advertise your security system. THis functions as a deterrent. Also make sure to regularly cut the grass in front of your home so as not to make your home appear unoccupied.

     

    Active Lighting

    Make sure that there’s a motion sensor connected light on the outside of your home that can startle intruders and let those inside understand that somebody is approaching in the middle of the night. If you have as security camera, make sure to have a light positioned that illuminates the camera’s field of recording for easier viewing.

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  • Specialty Utility Locks

    Posted on September 28th, 2019 | 0 Comments

    Utility locks are basically auxiliary locks, and can be pin tumbler, tubular, disk tumbler, wafer tumbler, electromechanical, and magnetic locks. They usually are made of a smaller cylinder lock that can be implemented in many different kinds of functions or considerations. Here's a guide to all the different types of Specialty Utility Locks, as prepared by the experts here at Chicago Locksmiths.

    Pin Tumbler Locks

    Pin tumbler locks were first patented in 1965 by Linus Yale Jr. Wafer tumblers were first patented in 1868 by Filo Felter. This kind of lock uses a flat steel key blade in order to operate a flat wafer. Double bitted wafer tumbler locks were first invented in 1913, and were incorporated into automotive locks in 1915.

    As pin tumbler locks evolved and eventually replaced warded locks, wafer tumblers started to replace many of the earliest high end pin tumblers made by the first lock manufacturers. Nowadays, many different kinds of utility locks exist, including electromechanical, mechanical, magnetic, and high security types. Utility locks can be used with commercial keyways and interchangeable cores, getting rid of the requirement to carry extra keys or fit the key into a master key interface.

    High Security Utility Locks

    There’s many kinds of keying choices available to consumers. From commonly keyed locks like the 54kg keyway (which allows for prefabricated, key-ready keyways) to specialty configurations like cabinet, drawer, gate, switch, trailer, switch, or showcase locks. These can be made up out of metal or even wood!! These locks are available from a wide range of manufacturers including  ASSA, Abloy, Medeco, Mul-T-Lock, and Illinois - brand that make high security security locks out of key blanks, or high security utility key blanks. The ASSA CLIQ lock provides all user access schedules, audit trails, and the ability to quickly add or remove keys.

    Medeco offers cam locks in many different customizable lengths. Electronic utility cam locks can be integrated into door systems without any need to wire them to the doors, and are activated by a rechargeable key.

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  • 3 Fixes To Common Front Door Issues

    Posted on September 28th, 2019 | 0 Comments

    First impressions definitely matter as it relates to the appearance of your home. Any issues with your front door will surely be noticed by visitors to your home - or even passersby. If the front door isn’t functioning well or looking food, you may even have structural issues that extend far beyond cosmetic appearances. The good news, is that the majority of front door issues that affect homes can be easily remedied. Here’s some of the most common fixes for front door issues that may affect your home as prepared by the locksmith experts here at Chicago Locksmiths.

     

    Draft Repair

    If there’s an unwelcome breezy draft coming through your door it can lead to an increased energy bill, as heat or cool air that you generate can escape through your home. Luckily there’s an incredibly easy fix for this - simply install waterproofing on the door. Not only will the door look more polished and complete, but it will be much less of a stress on your air conditioning or heating system.

     

    Preventing Sticking

    If your door sticks when you open or close it, it might not be the correct size for it’s frame. The best fix for this kind of issue requires a professional to adjust the door’s hinges to make sure that the door is sitting at a perfectly level axis. If there’s a more thorough structural issue, you may need to replace the door itself.

     

    Hinge Squeaking

    This might not have a stark visual effect on the first impressions that your home imparts, however it may make a loud audible noise that’s awful to hear. This, however, is one of the more fortunately easy door problems to fix. You can likely remedy any amount of door squeaking with some simple Pam cooking spray or WD-40 sprayed directly on the hinges. If this method doesn’t work, you might need to replace the hinges on your door - a service offered by a professional locksmith, that can get the job done efficiently.

     

    Contact Chicago Locksmiths for quick, professional, easy, and affordable fixes for any door problems today - we can help secure your home or business, with the option for complete security overhauls by one of our mobile security experts.

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  • Summer Home Security Tips

    Posted on August 3rd, 2019 | 0 Comments

    If there’s any sort of downside to Summer, the best season of the year, it’s’ that there's an increase home burglaries. So why don’t you take a minute to read our top Summer security tips, as prepared by the residential locksmith and home security experts here at Chicago Locksmiths- it will greatly help your peace of mind, whether you’re at home, at the beach, or on vacation.

    Put yourself in a burglar's shoes

    Look objectively at your property and try to find a way in. Ladders, tall trees, shrubs, unlocked windows, dog doors, or vents are all likely targets. Think creatively and sneakily - and then remedy any open security doors that you can see.

     

    Get a key chain

    These life saving simple tools can help you keep track of your keys at all times, even when you’re running around from one fun activity to another. Never have your home address on your keys, because it’s basically an invitation to burglars to enter your home.

     

    Keep your home brightly lit

    Burglars will take advantage of long summer nights in order to sneak into your home under the cover of darkness. By getting an automatic or motion-detector light system you can make sure that your home is always well-lit, making much harder for burglars to behave surreptitiously.

     

    Don’t open up for strangers

    Never open your door for any strangers, even salespeople (burglars often pose as salespeople or census takers in order to gain access into homes.) Summer is the most commons reason for distraction burglaries, so be aware of anyone who suddenly shows up at your doorstep with a sudden dramatic and distracting dilemma.

     

    Be friends with your neighbors

    If you’re going away ask your neighbor to keep watch over your home just to make sure that nothing suspicious is happening.

     

    Don’t advertise going away

    Be careful what you post on social media, taking care not to make broad announcements of your summer plans. You never know who can access your information, and you definitely don’t want to be telling any burglars plainly that you’re not going to be home - it’s basically fresh pickings for them.

     

    Have an alarm system

    There’s a burglary in the USA every 15 seconds, so make sure that you have an alarm system that’s broadly advertised, with tons of signs, window decals, and fence signage. You want it clear to anyone on your property that your home is protected, which is a great deterrent for burglars to go find another target. 

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