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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted on July 18th, 2019 | 0 Comments
There’s many strategies that homeowners are commonly advised to implement in order to help discourage and deter burglars from attempting to commit crimes in their homes. However, a few of these strategies are somewhat overblown, and pale in comparison to the heavy protection offered through strategies like high quality deadbolt lock installation. In this blog post, the home security experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will detail some of the most overrated burglar deterrents out there today.
Hiding Cash Under the Bed
People are often advised to hide their valuables in their bedroom, underneath their mattress. However, this is actually the first place most burglars would look - even the least skilled burglar will likely check the bedroom first. Make sure to choose a less obvious place to hide your cash or jewelry - we recommend installing a high quality safe, but if you can’t do that, consider a shoebox buried in a closet.
Don’t Advertise your Security Company
You might want to advertise what security company monitors your home with a big sign that could deter burglars, but this actually helps give burglars the potential to utilize information about the company’s systems to get past the alarm. Instead of posting a sign letting burglars know exactly the name of the security company, post a generic sign letting people on your property know that your home is being MONITORED to begin with.
Many people say to leave lights on to create the illusion that you are home, however most burglars have caught on to this strategy, and are able to understand a home is empty when a single light is turned on non-stop. Rather, turn lights on sporadic timers (or even better, control smart lights directly) in a non-patterned fashion to create an ACTUAL illusion that somebody is home.
If your mailbox has no mail it may actually draw more attention than a full mailbox. If a burglar has been staking out your home for a while, any distinct change in the pattern of appearance of your property will signal to the burglar that somebody might not be home, and it may be time to strike.
Posted on July 18th, 2019 | 0 Comments
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare; a child getting locked inside a car can prove tragically deadly in a matter of minutes. It’s estimated that over 600 children have lost their lives by getting accidentally locked inside cars in the USA since the year 1990. Here’s a guide on how to prevent this awful occurance from happening, as prepared by the lock, safety, and security experts here at Chicago Locksmiths.
Always know your Car Key’s Location
Never let your car keys out of your sight - as children tend to be curious about car keys (like they are about everything!) and might have noticed you using them. They can potentially unlock a car with the keys, and walk inside with them without understanding the danger they are putting themselves in while doing so - especially if the adult is napping. Always keep your car keys inside a purse, your pockets ,or a tall shelf where children cannot reach them.
Keep Spare Car Keys in the House
Always keep a set of spare car keys in a safe location inside your house - or with a trusted neighbor or family member. Spare car keys can help you prevent a tragedy while saving you energy, time, and cash. Remember - don’t defeat the purpose of spare keys by keeping them with the original keys.
Keeping Watch over Children
- Keep aware of your children’s location even when you are on the phone or running an errand.
- Never let children remain in the car even if you’re going in the store for one second.
- Keep the AC on inside the car at all times a child is inside it.
Inspecting your Car
Make sure you’re staying aware of the condition of your vehicle and its accessories. This includes the lock, the key fobs, and the trunk. The smallest malfunction of a lock or key jamming can potentially result in a child being locked inside the car. Have your car periodically inspected by a trusted automotive locksmith to ensure that it’s running properly, and that you and your family will be safe from potential mishaps that could be caused by a malfunctioning car lock or ignition switch.
Posted on May 28th, 2019 | 0 Comments
Losing your car keys can prove to be stressful, costly, and even dangerous. Usually people misplace their car keys when they are in a big rush to get somewhere. Here’s some fantastic tips from the expert locksmiths here at Chicago Locksmiths on how to prevent losing your car keys.
Simply buy a heavy keychain and attach your car keys to it with a key ring. The idea is to make your keys highly visible and quite a bit heavier, so if they suddenly drop out of your pocket you will feel and hear it. We recommend brightly colored key rings in a fun shape, so you will feel joy every time you look at it.
Create a Dedicated Car Key Spot
Create a designated location in your home where you always place your car keys. This will make it much easier for you to instantly tell if they are missing, and will eliminate all the searching you normally do when you’re in a rush to find your keys and leave your house.
Buy an electronic key finder and attach them to your key - just make sure it’s batteries are filled and charged. Simply press a button on the included remote, and listen for the chirp or beep that the electronic key finder rings out in order to help you instantly locate your keys.
Spare Car Keys
We recommend keeping a spare set of car keys in a secure location in your home or office. This way, you can be sure that even if you lose or break your car keys, that you can get into your car and back on the road instantly without having to wait for a licensed automotive locksmith to replace your keys on the spot. This is especially useful for situations where you are in a rush.
Glowing Car Keys
We recommend getting a glow in the dark key cozy to cover the top of your car key that will make them much more easy to spot at night and/or inside dark environments.
Always check your pockets for your keys whenever you are in a transition mode - this means, whenever you leave your home, office, or car. By making this an established practice cemented in your muscle memory, you will greatly reduce the chances of losing your car keys.