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  • Home Security Tips For Households With Children

    Posted on September 23rd, 2020 | 0 Comments

    Children sometimes have the potential to affect the general security of the homes they live in. This isn’t purposeful, but simply a risk - when it comes to security, there’s so many loose variables that need to be tightly watched and controlled in order to maximize safety. Since children can be spontaneous and mischievous, they can compromise home security without ever intending to do so. Here’s some ways that your children can mess with security plans, and how you can best mitigate these risks to make your household safe for children and adults alike.

    Strangers

    One of the most essential things that parents and homeowners need to teach children is about the risk of strangers. Children need to be taught that telling personal information regarding themselves, their families, or their household creates a dangerous risk for them and the whole family. Many burglars know that children can be a potential weak link in home’s security, and they will try to exploit this in order to gain access into your home. It’s 100% necessary to tell your children that you understand how important it is to protect themselves and their families from stranger danger.

    Keeping a Safety Plan

    Ensuring a safety plan is a fantastic way to enforce the security of your home, but it only works when you children fully understand the plan. This allows you to have the advantage of knowing that everyone in the household is prepared in the event of any security risk. This is the only way to ensure that your plan is successful. It’s smart to regularly review these plans, and even practice them just so you know that your children understand exactly what to do. Even if children are somewhat prone to being scared of things, it’s wise to educate them of the real dangers involved in understanding this home security plan to the dot - of course in a way that’s respectful of their position as children.


    Security Technology

    All homes should be outfit with alarms and security devices that implement measurements reacting to any burglary or forced entry, as well as functioning to prevent or deter any forms of burglary. As a homeowner, you need to make sure that your children understand the value of home security drives, and know how to operate them. Children should be taught on how to arm and disarm security devices, so that they house is never left vulnerable (and the police aren’t accidentally called when a kid comes home early by themselves.) These practices should become second nature for children - and they’re not too complicated for even young children to master. That being said, children need to be taught that these simple-to-operate - yet technically complex devices are not toys, and shouldn’t be played around with.

    Proper Door Behavior

    Teach children that doors need to be closed behind them, and how to properly answer the door when they are the only person home. Children should be taught not to give the impression that they are home alone when answering the door, and not to let any information that could imply this casually slip. Children have somewhat of a propensity for betraying sensitive information without knowing, so they should be taught not to do this, all the while still being taught the value of honesty towards family, friends, and non-strangers.

    Garages

    Many modern homes are fit with motion sensor operated garage doors that can be mistakenly activated if children leave bicycles or toys in the driveway in front of the door. If your garage is attached to your home directly, this can severely increase the chances of somebody breaking into your home. It’s important for your children to be aware of this risk, and check themselves, self monitoring their actions in order to prevent it from happening.

    Curtains

    Most burglars case out properties before deciding to attempt a break-in. They do this by sneaking peeks into your home through windows, figuring out where you keep things and if there’s any particularly valuable items that they would want to steal. This is why it’s always wise to keep your home’s visibility close in mind when you’re figuring out your home security plan. Children should be taught that curtains and shutters should be closed, or at least semi-obscured so that your home has a security-safe level of privacy. This is as simple as teaching your children a lesson in the value of privacy.

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  • How To Know If Your Garage Is Vulnerable To Burgalry

    Posted on August 17th, 2020 | 0 Comments

    Garages, while not commonly seeming to be the most crime-vulnerable parts of a home, actually constitute a security risk to the rest of the home, as well as just on their own for burglary of valuable equipment. In this blog entry, the residential security experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will detail ways to determine whether your garage is vulnerable to a break-in.

    Lights

    Make sure that the exterior of your garage is brightly lit. If your garage door - or any side doors to your garage- are in dimly lit areas, burglars could easily find a way to enter your home undetected.

    Aging Garage Doors

    Older garage doors can easily lose their tight seal over time and use - any gaps in the seal of your garage door can quickly become a security liability. Service doors are another area you should focus on preventing vulnerabilities in.

    Forgetting to Close the Door

    If you leave your garage door open - whether accidentally or on purpose - you’re giving thieves a chance to easily break in. We recommend installing a smart garage door opener system so that you can more easily verify whether a garage door is open or not.

    Covering Windows

    Make sure that your garage windows are covered so that you don’t advertise your belongings to any passing criminals. Try to cover your windows with curtains and/or blinds to make your garage a more private place.

    Deadbolt Installation

    Make sure to install a high quality, durable deadbolt on your garage service door in order to prevent any thieves from gaining access to your garage - or by extension, your home or business. Consider installing a reinforced strike plate to keep the deadbolt in place. 

    Motion Activated Lights

    Install motion activated lights outside your garage doors that can suddenly illuminate anyone sneaking around the garage exterior - functioning as a deterrent that can quickly frighten thieves away.

    Home Security Systems 

    Install a high quality home security system that will trigger an immediate alert to law enforcement authorities as soon as a suspicious and forced entry is attempted in your garage. By having a home security system installed at your garage - as well as the above security measure - you can rest easy in knowing that you did your best to ensure the security of your garage and all connected properties.

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  • Door Lock And Deadbolt Anatomy

    Posted on August 17th, 2020 | 0 Comments

    In this brief and informative blog entry, the lock and security mechanism experts here at Chicago Locksmiths will detail some of the complicated mechanical anatomy of door locks and deadbolt locks.

    Door Lock Parts

    1. Cylinder - This body area of the lock is where the key is placed into. When the lock is activated, spring loaded pins are activated, keeping the cylinder from turning.
    2. Bolt - This device, also known as the latch, holds the door closed through an extending piece of metal moving between the door and straight into the door frame.
    3. Box - The bolt moves from the cylinder into a dedicated hole known as the box. The box holds the bolt in a single placement when the door is locked, preventing one from being able to pull the door open.

     

    Deadbolt Parts

    1. Bolt - the Deadbolt is a piece of metal that moves from the door straight into the frame, locking inside the frame to stop someone from being able to open the door from outside.
    2. Thumb Latch - This part of the deadbolt moves from the surface of the door, allowing you to rotate and deactivate the deadbolt from the inside.
    3. Turnpiece - This part of the lock moves through the door from the cylinder, it’s connected through a thumb latch. This allows users to lock and unlock the lock.
    4. Keyhole - This is the area in which the key is inserted, allowing you to operate the lock.

    Strike Plate and Rosette Definitions

    The strike plate helps keep the door’s bolt in place when it’s locked. When the door closes, the latch strikes on the plate, holding it close. Another type of plate that is often held behind door knobs are what’s called the rosette. This plate is held behind the door knobs, it holds the doorknob in place and stops it from rattling when you turn the door knob. The rosette helps to add a different level of security and helps the doorknob last longer.

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  • Lock Rekeying For Residential Property Management

    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.

     

    Office Locks

    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.

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  • Different Type Of Lock Grades

    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.

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  • How To Implement Hands Free Entry In This Era Of COVID-19

    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!

    Automated Doors

    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

    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.

    Key-Free Entrances

    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!

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  • Benefits Of Apartment Complex Locksmith Service

    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

    • Key Duplication

    • 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!

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  • Questions To Ask Before Buying A Safe

    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.

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  • The Effect Of Door Hardware On Curb Appeal

    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.

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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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