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Monthly Archives: April 2014

  • 20 Ways Locksmiths in Chicago Can Help Prevent Burglaries

    Posted on April 30th, 2014 0 Comments


    A locksmith is an ideal source of help and information when it comes to securing your home. Here are 20 ways an experienced locksmith can help you reduce the risk of burglary.

    1. Change your locks as soon you realize your key has been lost or stolen.
    2. Rekey the locks when you move into a new home in case the previous owner handed out copies that were never returned.
    3. Install locks on your garage, shed and other outbuildings that may have been overlooked.
    4. If your door has glass panels or windows, ask your locksmith to install a double key deadbolt rather than one with a thumb switch. 
    5. Check deadbolts for proper size and installation. The bolt should be at least one inch long and the strike plate installed with three inch screws that go well into the door frame.
    6. Remove and replace chain locks. They provide no real security.
    7. Place multiple locks on doors where a higher level of security is desired.
    8. Ask your locksmith to help you select a lockset with a key that is difficult to duplicate. Stamping “do not duplicate” on a key is ineffective.
    9. Have your locksmith recommend a quality lock, even if you install it yourself. Mass produced locksets sold in hardware and department stores are easy to bypass. Verify that your new lock is at least a grade 2.
    10. Key your doors with a master key that works on the doorknob and deadbolt. Then have keys made that work only on the knob. Give these keys to housekeepers, pet sitters, contractors and others who need access to your home at times but do not need unlimited access.
    11. Examine and replace the locks on your windows if necessary.
    12. Your locksmith can alter sliding glass doors, making it harder to remove them from the track. He can also add safety bars that prevent the door from being slid open from the outside.
    13. Verify that double doors have the proper locks; they require securely mounted flush lever bolts at the top and bottom of the doors.
    14. Have any button locks replaced or supplemented with a deadbolt.
    15. Talk to your locksmith about alarm systems. Many have expanded their services to include alarm installation.
    16. Ask your locksmith to recommend a good safe. Get one and store important documents, valuables and cash in it. This minimizes the damage if a burglar does gain access to your home.
    17. When using padlocks on sheds or garages, choose sturdy locks that cannot be easily cut with bolt cutters.
    18.  If burglaries are frequent in your area, consult a locksmith about installing locking security bars on your windows.
    19. Have a locksmith, contractor or handyman move your door hinges if they were improperly installed on the outside of the door.
    20. Talk to a locksmith or other security professional about other safety tips, such as trimming your hedges and installing adequate lighting around your home.
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  • 30 Things You Didn’t Know About Chicago

    Posted on April 28th, 2014 0 Comments

    30 things about Chicago

    Everyone knows Chicago is called ‘the windy city.’ But here are 30 things you didn’t know about Chicago:

    1. The nickname “windy city” came from politicians known to talk a lot, not the weather. The weather is in fact windy, so the name stuck.
    2. One of the world’s last free zoos, the Lincoln Park Zoo, is in Chicago and is located in- you guess it- the area known as Lincoln Park.
    3. The first gay rights group was formed in Chicago in 1924.
    4. In 1937, the first blood bank to open in the United States was in Chicago.
    5. Chicago was the birthplace of spray paint. Spray paint is now used liberally by graffiti artists throughout the city; for this reason it is illegal for some hardware and paint stores to sell spray paint in certain parts of the city. 
    6. The Chicago River flows backward; it is the only river in the world to do so.
    7. The world’s longest contiguous street, Western Avenue, is in Chicago and measures more than 23 miles. Chicago Parks are managed in segments divided along the Western Avenue boundary line.
    8. Chicago’s own “Taste of Chicago,” full of food vendors, is the world’s largest free outdoor food festival. The food isn’t free but the admission ticket is.
    9. After the great Chicago Fire in 1971, the Chicago Public Library was built directly out of its ashes.
    10. As part of the world fair held in Chicago, the Ferris wheel was invented in Chicago.
    11. Playboy magazine started in Chicago, which was also the home of the first playboy bunny club.
    12. In 1851, the zipper was invented in Chicago; the clothing device, not the ride.
    13. Twinkies, the famous Hostess snack, came from Chicago.
    14. Chicago’s own Shedd Aquarium hosts the oldest aquatic animal known to live in a public aquarium, an 85 year old Australian lungfish named Granddad.
    15. The first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Chicagoan Jane Addams, founder of the Hull House.
    16. I-Robot was filmed in Chicago.
    17.  The first television station with all color started in Chicago in 1956. 
    18.  The deep dish pizza, also called the Chicago slice, was invented in the city.
    19.  Batman and Robin stores were based on Chicago life and buildings.
    20. President Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States, is from Chicago. 
    21. There are 552 parks in Chicago. 
    22. There are 11 Fortune 500 companies located in Chicago. 
    23. During the 1893 Chicago fair, Cracker Jacks were introduced to the market. 
    24. The first car race ever seen in the country was held in Chicago in 1895. 
    25. Chicago is the “home of baton twirling,’ because it held the first baton-twirling contest in 1935.
    26. The first air-conditioned building was built in Chicago. It was called the Wrigley Building after the inventor of chewing gum, and is still called that today.
    27. The original McDonald’s restaurant was opened in Des Plaines, a Chicago suburb, in 1955.
    28. Chicago inventor Martin Cooper invented the cell phone.
    29. The first open heart surgery ever performed was in Chicago in 1893.
    30. The first Rotary Club in America was formed in Chicago. 
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  • High Security Locks For Property Management

    Posted on April 23rd, 2014 0 Comments


    Integrated technology for property management helps your residents and units to remain safe while keep the entire facility locked down tight. You have to use locks that allow the right access at the right times. Also, you must use locks that eliminate lost key concerns for your tenants. There is no need to invest in traditional locks when a high security locking system helps to keep tenants safe without the normal problems.


    Improvement #1: Lost Keys


    High security locks for apartments and condos are armored against drilling and torches. Also, these locks are designed to resist picking by even the most skilled lock pick. Tenants will use a specialized key that fits only their door, or the tenant can be given a keyless entry card for their use.

    Lost keys become less of a problem because these specialized locks can be changed without being replaced. A tenant who loses their can have their lock reprogrammed the same minute they realize their key is gone. 


    Improvement #2: Keyless Entry

    As mentioned above, keyless entry cards and remotes help tenants get into their apartments and condos more easily. This remote can unlock the door when the tenant is carrying a handful of bags. Also, the remote can be used from inside the apartment to let in guests when the tenant cannot get to the door.


    Improvement #3: Keys For Everything


    The doors in the facility can be managed by this key system, but you may also use these locks for the offices and maintenance facilities. Securing your property management office, storage shed, filing cabinet, pool house and boiler room is easy with this same system. Plus, the system allows you to create a key that gets you as the manager into every door.


    Improvement #4: Time Access Protocols

    You can set up timed access for guests that come on the property. A tenant who wants to give a key to their cousin who is visiting can give that cousin a time access key. You can go into the user-friendly software that allows you to create keycard for the cousin that only lets them into the building at certain hours.

    These same keys can be issued to contracted maintenance workers. These workers will not be able to enter the building unless you have cleared their card for access. Therefore, you are giving these workers real access to the building, but you are giving them access under your terms.

    The high security locks used in your apartment or condo building help to keep every unit secure. You can change the locks very quickly is keys are ever lost. You get to keep tabs on maintenance workers and you may create new keys for guests who need them. 

    The traditional keys and locks used in the industry are sensitive to being picked or broken, but these new locks cannot be picked or drilled. Every unit is rendered totally secure when you choose to use these new locks.


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  • Top 5 Household Locks for Chicago Home

    Posted on April 21st, 2014 0 Comments

    top 5 locks

    To keep you and your family safe, it is imperative that you choose a lock that can withstand a break in attempt. Durability, functionality and strength are characteristics that any homeowner should look for in a door lock. Below are a list of top five locks in Chicago home that consistently get solid reviews from homeowners and police officers. They are a smart investment for the health and well-being of any family. 


    1. Schlage Plymouth Keypad Entry with Flex-Lock

    A great combination of beauty and functionality, this lock offers homeowners with all of the protection that comes with key less entry. Smudge resistant keys ensure that would-be villains cannot easily get into your home. The Plymouth offers you the flexibility of automatic re-locking. This is perfect for families with children who otherwise have a hard time getting out of their door with the house secured. The lock is ANSI grade 2 certified, and it is strong enough to withstand a break in attempt. If you want flexibility, performance and safety, then the Schlage Plymouth Keypad Entry with Flex-Lock is a solid choice for you. 


    2. Kwikset Kevo Single Cylinder Bluetooth Enabled Deadbolt

    This lock offers you the ability to control the lock to your house with the touch of a button on your iPhone. eKeys are a smart way to ensure the safety of your family since they cannot be replicated, and they can never get lost. This Kwikset deadbolt is made of heavy-duty materials that can withstand tough blows. The product is a good choice for those who want to blend safety with technology. 


    3. Schlage Camelot Keypad Entry

    This lock gives you ANSI grade 2 protection with the convenience of key less entry. It is durable enough to deter thieves yet stylish enough to showcase on your front door. It’s lighted keypad also makes it easy to use at night. 


    4. Medeco Maxum

    With a 2 3/4″ backset, this deadbolt is one of the beefiest on the market today. The Maxum will keep you and your family safe, and it offers superior physical protection for the home. Medeco’s pick resistant technology make this a good investment. 


    5. Millennium Lock Ultimate Lock System

    This deadbolt is as strong as they come. The unique sliding design of this lock make it popular among today’s homeowners. The lock is ten times stronger than other deadbolts, and its shock absorbers prevent metal fatigue and break in. 


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  • Common Door Lock Problems

    Posted on April 10th, 2014 0 Comments

    Common Door Lock Problems

    The lock on your home or apartment door can suddenly stop working at the most inopportune moment. Take a second to figure out what’s not working and follow the steps listed below for each common door lock problems.


    Key Won’t Fit

    If the key won’t fit in the lock, check that you have the correct key and then spray the keyhole with lubricant. If the temperature’s below freezing, warm up the key and insert it in the lock slowly several times to melt the ice. If the key goes into the lock and won’t turn, try applying pressure up or down on the door handle.

    Key Broken Off

    Use pliers to grip and pull the broken key straight out. If you can’t get a good grip, slide a coping saw blade into the keyhole teeth out to grab the key and pull it out. If the key is still stuck, remove the entire lock cylinder and insert a stiff wire into the slot at the back to push the key out.

    Misaligned Strike Plate

    If the latch won’t catch, check that the vertical strike plate on the door frame is lined up with the latch. If the strike plate is misaligned, you may have to create a new mortise into which to place the plate or you may have to shim out the door’s hinges.

    Dead-latch Malfunction

    The dead latch is that part of the sliding latch that does not extend into the hole of the strike plate and thereby prevents manipulation of the latch by a knife, credit card or other pointed object. If the dead latch is not working correctly, re-align the strike plate. 

    Deadbolt Not Extended

    A deadbolt should fully extend into the hole in the door frame. If it doesn’t, you may have to increase the depth of the hole. If the deadbolt binds on the edge of the hole, you may have to re-align the entire door by shimming the hinges. Be sure the strike plate for the deadbolt is firmly attached to the door frame with screws that are at least 3 inches long.

    Master Pins

    If your home is newly constructed along with many others nearby, your door lock may contain extra master pins that allow the building contractor to use the same master key for several houses at once. These master pins are useless once you move in and can become a problem. Replace the entire lock. Choose a professional locksmith company like Chicago Locksmiths to get the job done right.
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  • Keyless Entry: Unlocking a Car Door

    Posted on April 1st, 2014 0 Comments


    Keyless entry systems rely on a small transmitter to unlock the car. The transmitter is located in the key fob. When the transmitter triggers the receiver, the door is unlocked. The receiver inside the car is programmed to respond to a certain frequency and code combination.


    How does the keyless entry system work?

    When a button is pushed on the key fob, a radio transmitted issues a signal containing a code. If the receiver recognizes the code, it acknowledges it by opening the door. Every system for each car with a remote keyless entry system has a set of rolling codes. Every time the remote is used, the codes are changed. The code is transmitted to the receiver every time the person makes an attempt to unlock or lock the car door. A 40-bit code enables for the use of over a trillion combinations. The code is encrypted, making it difficult to access. 


    Why is the keyless entry system secure?

    The system relies on codes and the latest encryption technologies to keep the car secure at all times. It is difficult to gain access to a car with this technology enabled. Incidents involving a car being stolen using a keyless entry system is rare. It is quite difficult to crack the code.


    Can the signal to a vehicle be intercepted?

    The process of grabbing an encrypted code to unlock another vehicle is possible. All that is needed to accomplish is temporary access to the code. While the person unlocks the vehicle, someone could intercept it and clone the signal. This makes it possible to gain access to the vehicle in your absence.


    Unlocking the car door

    When exiting a car, there are several ways to lock the door. Doing this from within the car using the lock button inside the vehicle or locking the car manually with a key is the safest way to lock the vehicle. If walking away from a vehicle, you can use the remote keyless system via your keychain. This secondary method transmits the code and makes it possible for a third party to gain access to your vehicle. 


    The most important thing to remember is that it is still quite rare for one to gain access to your vehicle using the keyless remote entry system but it isn’t impossible. Minimizing the use of your key remote chain reduces the number of times the signal is transmitted. 

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