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Category : CHICAGO, IL

  • E-key Technology: The Lockitron

    Posted on March 13th, 2014 0 Comments


    E-keys are unique because they improve upon the faults that traditional keys have. You cannot lose them and permanently compromise your security. If you’re late to come home to meet someone like a family member or a friend, you can send them an e-key and tell them to make themselves at home before your arrive. You can’t do that with a traditional key. Oh, and you can retract the e-key if you change your mind. Traditional keys cannot offer these options. E-keys significantly improve on these points. We’ve seen a number of keyless locks let’s see how this compares.


    What does the Lockitron boast?

    • Send an e-key to anyone, wherever they are and at any time.
    • Temporarily disable or permanently delete a user from the system.
    • E-keys have no expiration.
    • Traditional keys, and keyfobs are available
    • Access is as simple as walking up to the door.


    Usage Tracking

    • See who sent or accepted an e-key
    • See who was enabled or disabled access
    • See who was deleted from the system
    • See real-time push notifications when someone knocks on the door.
    • Check to see if you door was locked or not for peace of mind.


    The Lockitron is compatible with all phones and doesn’t need WiFi access to be used. The great thing about the Lockitron is that it has 24/7 support, so that if a phone is lost your locks won’t be vulnerable once you’re able to get into contact with a technician. We really like this lock. It’s one of the first big competitors we’ve seen take aim at the Kēvo by Kwikset. This lock hits the e-lock security market at the right time. Products like the Danalock by Poly-Control and The Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt, have drawn wide interest. All are different in appearance; all apply the functionality at the sake of being user-friendly, reliable and most importantly safe. 

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  • The Future of Key Copying

    Posted on March 6th, 2014 0 Comments


    KeyMe copies keys. That’s it. But they do it through advanced scanning technology and robotics. According to them, although we have no actual science to back this claim, their keys are more accurately cut then at locksmith and hardware stores. Right now KeyMe has 24/7 kiosks around the city, five or so. At the kiosk you can print a key within minutes. If you need a key for delivery they can do that. And it doesn’t take too long. It costs about $20.00 to complete the order. Shipping and same day is also available. You can do all of this by adding their phone app and scanning your key into the cloud. Once it’s there, you’ll never have to fear throwing money into a locksmith’s pocket for a lockout again. The kiosk key costs $2-$5. That’s possibly a 100% price difference upon a locked out scenario. 


    How does it work?

    The first thing one does is download the KeyMe app. Once that’s downloaded, scan your key into the system. A small grid comes up. Your key should be about 4 inches away and under a white piece of paper for the required scan. From your phone you can request immediate keys or use a kiosk near you. It’s that easy. You can even go to a locksmith and have them duplicate the key if you don’t have the original on hand.


    Here are the benefits so far

    • Backup your keys
    • Share and duplicate keys 24/7
    • Request immediate delivery or planned delivery of keys
    • Never again get triumphantly ripped off by a locked out service.



    What are the security issues? Well, KeyMe has thought about that too: They promote that they store as little information about you as possible. They do not store information which links you to a residence. Well, that’s good. They also require verification of transaction. You need mobile registration and email certification for digital completion. At a Kiosk you need to finger print and credit card. Additionally, scanning of a key cannot be done in a “flyby” way. Meaning, someone can not just take a quick picture of your keys and get them duplicated. Email notifications are sent when any transactions are made to ensure your safety. The only issue we have is concerning how safe your information is on the cloud. They say it’s safe, but that would be the only thing to be weary of.


    The Wrap Up

    In reality, locksmiths are facing a lot of changes coming to their industry. Recently KeyMe teamed up with Shapeways and are working on how to scan and print keys on 3D printers. Overall, these scanning apps, and kiosks are only the beginning. Check out the current KeyMe locations. There are few, but they are coming to battle the E-key for the time being.

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  • Inexpensive Ways to Increase Your Home Security

    Posted on February 27th, 2014 0 Comments

    inexpensive home security

    Unfortunately there’s no massive yearly sale for home security systems. But we wish there was. It’s hard to upgrade security and at the same time ensure that you’re on the best end of the purchase. Here’s what we’d do in your shoes to capture the best sale when you’re in the market for an upgrade.

    15 Inexpensive Ways to Increase Your Home Security

    1. Fake Video Camera

    Some people don’t want CCTV camera systems, but would like others to think that they have that advanced security. Whether you can or cannot pay for the service, or just don’t want the actual security system, installing faux cameras can deter burglars. Just make certain that they appear real enough to deter.


    2. Pull the Flyers

    Flyers, coupon books, and the yellow pages, when not cleaned away, show you’re not home, often. Clean up. Appear like you’re home.


    3. Keep the yard clean

    Keeping the yard clean is an effective way to deter burglars. If they see that you’re not clipping the hedges and mowing the lawn, chances are you’re on holiday. Make sure you have someone keep the yard clean regularly, especially if you’re going to be away for an extended amount of time.


    4. Electronics

    Try not to leave your new computer, tablet, or plasma television boxes outside and in plain view. The best way to show a burglar that you have valuable items is to advertise them. Next time you get an electronic item, break down the box and fold the cardboard inside out. While protecting your belongings you’ll also be helping out with recycling.


    5. Put the Ladder Away

    Often times that second story window only seems scalable by spiderman. But, if you leave that ladder out any old man can climb on through the hatch and start to ransack.


    6. Social Media

    Internet hacking has been around for a while… For all you people that take those big fancy vacations, don’t post that you’re in Asia having an exceedingly swell three week vacation. Unless you wanted a home cleansing experience, don’t post this stuff to the worldwide web.


    7. Snow Tracks

    If there was a time to not cover your tracks this is it. Burglars can easily see if someone has been in and out of a home by the amount of footfall or tire marks set in the snow. Ask your neighbors to make a few tracks while your away. Even snow angles deter the burglars.


    8. Quick luggage loading

    Suitcases mean your going somewhere for an extended amount of time. If you load your baggage slowly into your vehicle, this gives time to someone who may be passing by to observe if you’re leaving town for a while. Load quickly.


    9. Hold the mail

    If you’re mail box gets full, or packages are sitting on your doorstep it indicates you’re not home. Have the post office put a hold on your mail until you return.


    10. Upgrade or Quick Fix Windows

    Upgrading your windows isn’t that expensive, but if you can’t do it, place a dowel or a broom handle on the window or sliding glass door so that if the door or window is pried it will not open.


    11. Speakeasy

    Hiding your belongings may be a useful tactic. If you have decent hiding places in your home use them to put your valuables away. Most burglaries occur within 8 minutes. The more difficult your valuables are to find, the less likely they are to be stolen.


    12. Light Sensors

    Light sensors or motion sensors which activate lighting can be significant deterrents to home invaders. They are cheap and easy to install. Plus, new technologies can send real-time updates to mobile devices to ensure you’re up-to-date with what’s going on at home.


    13. Alarm Viewing

    Keep security systems out of sight from windows and doors. If for some reason you’ve forgotten to turn the alarm on, you won’t alert a burglar that they should enter unconcerned.


    14. Security Decals

    Security decals, although maybe not representative of an actual system, can sometimes be effective. Security companies like to show that their product is being used by community advertising efforts. Buy some false advertising. It may actually benefit you this time.


    15. Reinforce Your Locks and Doors

    Reinforcing your locks and doors is not that expensive. Plus, lock-rekeying is an effective way to promote your safety without having to replace an entire locking system. 

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  • Keyless Technology is Here to Stay

    Posted on February 5th, 2014 0 Comments


    keyless hotel

    Smart Phones

    How many times have you lost a hotel room key? Most likely, a couple times in your life but help is on the way. As keyless entry technologies roar, hotels are beginning to adopt their use. Aloft Hotels in New York City and Silicon Valley are the latest guinea pigs adopting these technologies. Proposed technologies are said to gift one with a “virtual room key” while hoping that the check-in process is easier and that room key loss becomes extinct in itself.


    I dont want to wait in line

    Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen believes that check-in lines are too easy to get swallowed in. So, with an Android 4.3 or higher and iPhone 4s or higher, smartphone goers will be able to skip the lines and the human interaction almost entirely. Although momentarily unclear, his vision seems to extend itself to all hotel management being tasked through smartphone use. He mentions, “… It will become table stakes for managing a hotel.” Whatever that means, we have yet to find out.


    Not Exclusive

    This feature isn’t going to be the exclusive access system. As far as we know, traditional losable keys will still be available for some time. The pilot program seems to favor persons who frequent these hotels and know the routine. Therefore they will favor an expedited entry, exit and payment option with their mobile wallet by clicking just a few buttons.


    How does it work?

    The technology at use is Bluetooth. What happens is this: your phone connects to a sensor in the door, (much like Kēvo by Kwikset), the technology renders your proximity and by using the app and like- binary codes allows you access to the room. The locks on the doors are battery operated, so in the event of a power outage they will still work in some way, but are possibly subject to Wi-Fi connection failure.



    If all goes well, Aloft and W hotels will be equipped with these keyless entry, check-in and check-out technologies by 2015. That’s around the corner! Keep an eye on our posts to see what happens next. 

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  • Bicycle Locks

    Posted on January 29th, 2014 0 Comments


    Today many people own bikes that are worth much more than vehicles in price and value. Especially, those who inhabit cities. Bicyclists use their legs to expedite journeys to work, activities and overall life events. Commodious apartments, a post right in front of the cafe, or the space by your desk are prime places to park your two-wheeler. But, when these spots are taken or inaccessible riders are susceptible to penny-farthing theft or velocipede larceny. Ouch.



    Danierl Zajarias-Fainsod and Franz Sazmann have come up with a solution gaining traction on Kickstarter. Having both had college bicycles stolen, Sazmann and Zajarias-Fainsod decided to make a move for the bicyclist well-being in 2012. The two have designed a keyless bicycle lock that has garnered publicity from news mountains like BBC and Bloomberg Buisnessweek. The commotion was about a new bicycle lock that posed a nightmare to bicycle thieves. Their lock is called the Lock8 and it’s the super device of bicycle locks.


    The Features


    • Keyless – Smartphone operable. The e-key is on the rise; but, if the smartphone dies a key fob will grant users access to their bicycles. So, you can eliminate having a heavy bicycle lock and carrying a physical key with you again! You don’t have to worry about losing your keys and not having an extra copy because it’s right on your phone!


    • Integrated GPS -If your bicycle was misplaced or stolen, you’ll be able to track the device at all times. The GSM chip connects your bicycle to the internet for real-time relocation information.


    • Alarm – Lock8 has a variety of protection utilities. The device sports a motion sensor and gyro-accelerometer, but also a temperature sensor which trigger a “painfully loud” alarm when tampered with. All send you push notifications to alert you of this activity.


    • Induction Charged – Lock8 has no batteries that need to be replaced. Induction is harvested while cycling. Each time the bicycle is put in motion the charge begins accumulating life.


    • Rent and Share – Lock8 is making a push to be the Uber of bicycle use. With the Lock8 one can share their bicycle with anyone they desire by mobile touch, and profit from the transaction if they want to. Brilliant.


    The Rise of Bike Share

    The rise of bike share has spread from city to city. But let us be frank, their bikes are hideous, clunky and feel like a government permission. Not to mention the bicycle docks are always in cruddy areas. In 2014 Danierl Zajarias-Fainsod and Franz Sazmann plan to launch their brand in Great Britain and the United States. If you want a smartphone bicycle application that sends you push notifications when your bike is being tampered with, invest in one of these locks. Another incentive to invest is that there is no bicycle subscription! If you decide to rent your bicycle out the cost is a paltry $2 a month. That means that in time your bicycle will pay for the lemon. Until then keep tabs on your two-wheeler.

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  • The Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt

    Posted on January 27th, 2014 0 Comments

    Yale Real Living Deadbolt


    Reviews are in on the Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt. The lock has a malleable design interface that adjusts to almost any door type and its sleek body adds a fashionable aesthetic. It comes in three different finishes. This hot locking device offers a number of great specs for users, but check out the good, the bad and the ugly before your go with the Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt.


    The Good

    Privacy Mode – Lock out all key codes and allow access to entry when you want.

    Auto re-lock function – Easily enable or disable auto re-locking functions.

    Parlez-vous…? – The Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt speaks to you in three languages: French English and Spanish.

    Durable acrylic touchscreen – Screen illuminates for nighttime access and is durable and tamper resistant.

    Use on all doors – The Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt can be installed to any interior or exterior door.


    The Bad

    No current extreme weather testing – Unfortunately there are no reviews to see how people deal with this product in bitter cold climates. That’s a chilly risk.

    Bulky – You may need a large inside door space to use this locking apparatus. It looks nice, but it does take up some real estate.

    Temporary access is unavailable – Temporary entry access is unavailable, although you can manually sign in to grant someone access. The downfall is that you must delete their access number afterwards. If you forget, they may have your number stored until you delete it

    Access to online service – Is not available unless paid for and installed with various service providers. This requires you to purchase more apps or devices to fully use the product. That’s a bit of a pain and raises costs.


    The Ugly

    Batteries – Even though this lock has a lot of great features, the ugliest feature is the battery crutch. Be it that this thing runs out, you may be locked out of your home at the wrong time… However, one of the Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt models comes with a key lock option. So the ugly is gets can be allayed.



    The best thing about the Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt is that there are no basic system access fees. The bad side is that upfront the device costs a pretty penny and that you will only benefit from the entire design by spending even more money. Though, overall the device takes great strides in becoming one of the most tech heavy locks to hit the big consumer market.





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  • Running with Keys

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 0 Comments

    The runner must prepare. He must eat strategically; he must stretch and warm-up; he must hydrate and know the distance of his route. Along the way he must know how to avoid certain obstacles and perceive his next steps. Before beginning he will inspect his shoes, the fit, and dote briefly on their milage. And, before taking the first stride of his 8.7 miler, he will be befuddled as to where to securely place his house key…

    Losing your key on the trail could at the least mean walking home after that 8.7 miler or in the worst case scenario end up in a stolen vehicle or a home robbery. If you’ve gone the distance to get your locks replaced, keeping that key safe is up to you. Here are a few tips to not loose that key next time your feet begin to take you places. 


    Out of sight, out of mind

    Runners often times enter a running “zone”. This zone has been described as meditative and for some spiritual. The comfort of this zone could mean the world to your mental and physical endurance, so if you tend to keep your key(s) tucked in your shoe or in a risky pocket, make sure they are secured very well. ALWAYS have them tied to something. If your bottoms don’t have sufficient internal pockets, secure them with ties to anything you can. 
    Some runners keep a single ring with one loop to retain its static-ness. By having it on their middle finger it’s a place that’s secure, hardly bothersome and sort of feel-able. 

    Applicable clothing or devices

    Athletic clothing companies are atoning for lost keys. Some shorts have internal secure pockets, most outer layers have them as well; some shoes even have pockets to keep a key. When looking for athletic gear, don’t forget to see if their is key storage on the product. Lot’s of products are equipped with this feature, many are not. Don’t forget to check!

    Lock Gear

    Companies have wonderful locking devices for this purpose. Wherever you may set out on your athletic endeavors, Master Lock and a few other options have quality key lock boxes. The idea is simple. Put your key in the lock box, secure the box to the tow of your vehicle or another legal source, shuffle the combination and you are done. Your key is secure at the point of return from your activity. 

    Hidden treasure

    Although we feign our enthusiasm with this option, it’s best to note on it anyway. Runners like to hide their keys. It’s like all the animals that hide and save their food. Some people put their entire key chains above their car tires. Others magnetize them to the bottom of the floor pans. Some runners even tie a string to the key, swallow it and lure it out after they’ve completed their trek. No. Not really. Hiding your keys is a risky, risky thing to do, so if you do do it, be sure to get creative, above all else, make certain that nobody is watching your key cache and that you yourself remember the place you hid the key. Good luck and happy trails.
    No one like to loose their keys, at Chicago Locksmiths we cut any type of keys for home, office and car.Visit our locksmith store at 2602 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL ‎60647
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  • Unfreezing Car Lock

    Posted on January 6th, 2014 0 Comments

    Chicagoland weather has the bravado to freeze hell over. At some time, you’ll wake up inches from an alarm clock that didn’t sound, you’ll skip breakfast, lace one boot, forget your wallet and hobble out the door. All of a sudden you see an ice-mobile. You’re panicky. You want to reach for the chainsaw, or the pickax. But this may do little more for your cause if you discover that your locks are frozen. What do you do? Have these solutions in your head the next time your auto locks freeze up.  Here are some tips from Chicago Locksmith to unfreezing car lock:


    Frozen locks can be unfrozen and by heat. If so inclined, boil your key in water, or place it in a toaster oven. If there is a BPA issue- say you’re key is incased in plastic- just hold the key tip in a pot of boiling water. BE CAREFUL NOT TO SCOLD YOURSELF. Dry the key before inserting it into its frozen housing. Use a towel to grip the key, or an oven mitt if needed. This may seem crazy, the squirrels and neighbors will probably take notice, but keep at it, it does work.


    It’s likely that the grocery store or the bodega on the corner carries lock deicer. If there’s weather for it, there’s a market for it. It’s not a bad idea to keep a few cans on hand for the winter months. Applying the deicer is simple: poke the straw into the nozzle, insert the straw into the applicable lock and give it a good drink. Attempt to use your key, if the key doesn’t work, wait a minute, reapply the deicer and try again. This may take a few minutes, but you’ll be glad you didn’t wait for the sun to open its eyes and deice the locks for you. 
    Mean, Mean Vaseline
    The chemical compounds in vaseline are able to melt ice. Dip the key in Vaseline and insert it into the lock. Wiggle the key in the lock, but try not to force it. If that key breaks you’re not getting anywhere. Be patient. Wait until the ice has sufficiently melted and the key gives rather easily to motion. If the first application doesn’t work, attempt these steps two or three times and give the process up to five minutes before the key performs its intended use and the locks deice. 

    Electric Lock Deicer 

    There are a bunch of mediocre to poor electric deicers on the market. Most of them are in the form of little key chains that appear very simple and efficient. That’s usually not the case; they’re most often terribly made and can’t get hotter than lukewarm ham. But, if you get lucky and find an electric lock deicer that has a few positive reviews, give it a shot. We’re not enthused by the heated toothpicks that they are, but they supposedly try to help your cause. Beware of these products and good luck. 

    Magnet trick

    Some claim that putting a magnet over the lock prevents water from letting itself into the lock. Magnets that will fit the size of the lock can be found at any hardware store. Give it a try. 
    By now you and your key might have shared some new experiences together: Did you boil or toast its shiny figure? Did you coat it in Vaseline? Whatever the event, these tips should have worked or prepared you for the next time your vehicle becomes an ice-mobile and your locks need to be unfrozen. 
    Need a Professionals Help from a Locksmith call Chicago Locksmiths 312.878.2715
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  • How to Get Your Locksmith License in Chicago

    Posted on December 24th, 2013 0 Comments

    Chicago Licensed Locksmith

    Because of the nature of the work and the size of the city, locksmiths in Chicago can make a very good living. Similar to other cities, the laws of Chicago are strict when it comes to handing out licenses to potential contractors. Below is how to Get Your Locksmith License in Chicago.

    The Initial Examination

    Before any locksmith can apply for a license in the city of Chicago, they must pass a rigorous test. This examination tests the applicant’s knowledge of current laws, procedures and ethics. Once the applicant passes the initial exam, he or she can move forward in the application process. The applicant must receive a passing score of 70. The Board will notify the exam taker of whether or not they passed.

    The Application

    After the test has been completed, the individual is invited to submit a formal application. The application includes a fingerprint scan, proof of business liability insurance with coverage of at least one million dollars, and the application fee.

    The fingerprint scan can be performed by a licensed individual of a local law enforcement agency in Chicago or by a certified organization in another state, if necessary.

    The liability insurance must be maintained at all times. If the insurance lapses, the license may be revoked.

    The Background Investigation

    A thorough background investigation will be conducted by the Licensing Board during the application process. This investigation is conducted immediately after live scan results have been submitted by the applicant.

    Licensed locksmiths must not have been convicted of any felony within the last ten years. Ten years should pass between the time of the application and the dismissal of the charge, if any. Every applicant must be without mental ailments that may cause him or her to violate any ethical procedures that relate to the locksmith profession. If, at any time during the application process an individual is found to have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, they will be removed from the licensing list.

    After the written test has been passed and the license becomes effective, the test scores and application on file is good for six years. The locksmith must then reapply for the license before their current one expires.

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  • Installing a Deadbolt Lock

    Posted on December 17th, 2013 0 Comments

    A deadbolt lock is one of the most effective and easy ways to add more security to your home and achieve peace of mind. Installing a deadbolt for the first time can seem difficult and even a bit confusing. Once you get the hang of it, you will find that it truly is the easiest way to enhance your home security. Follow these simple installation steps to install your new deadbolt.

    Determine the Setback of the Deadbolt

    A setback is the location of a deadbolt on a door frame, in relation to the standard door lock. Most people place deadbolts roughly six inches above the standard lock. Measure and mark where you will place your new deadbolt.

    Drill Holes for the Deadbolt

    Drill a hole that is roughly 1 1/2 inches wide over the area that you marked. A hole saw may be used to do this. After you have drilled the hole, check and see if it reached the other side of the door. If not, you will need to use a bit to drill through the other side of the door.

    After drilling the hole through the door, you will need to drill another hole into the center of the door’s edge. Use a 7/8 inch spade bit to do this. Drill an additional 3/8 inch space near the backside of it.

    Secure the Deadbolt

    Before attaching the deadbolt, secure the bolt inside the hole located in the edge of the door. Mount the plate with two screws. Carefully insert the deadbolt cylinders, ensuring that they are correctly placed. Secure the driver bars with screws. Drill two 7/8 inch holes that are roughly 1 inch deep on the doorjamb. Make sure it is flush with the center of the bolt location. Attach the deadbolt plate in place using screws.

    Attaching a deadbolt properly is not difficult, but does require a few tools. Make sure that you have the proper equipment prior to attempting to install a new deadbolt. Take your time with the installation, and make sure that the holes are even and chiseled. This will ensure that your new deadbolt has the best possible fit and will work properly.

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