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Category : Chicago Locksmith

  • What does it mean to have a bonded locksmith?

    Posted on March 22nd, 2017 0 Comments

    Many of our customers inquire about what terms such as ‘Licensed, Insured, Accredited, and Bonded’ mean. Here, courtesy of the expert locksmiths at Chicago Locksmith, is some information about exactly what bonding means, and why it’s important.

     

    Types of Bonds

    Surety Bonds

    There’s two main types of bonds. Surety bonds ensures that you will get quality performance out of a locksmith. For example, if a small locksmith company is hired to provide and install locks for large construction projects, they will issue a surety bond in order to guarantee the building owners that they will start and complete the job in a quality fashion. If the locksmith ends up ditching the job, the paid for bond will allow the construction company to use that money to pay someone else to complete the work. Surety bonds help to guarantee successful work outcomes, and demonstrates a locksmith’s serious dedication to their service.

     

    Guaranty Bonds

    Guaranty bonds promises clients that the individual person – ie: the specific locksmith working for the locksmith company – is trustworthy. The bond promises that if somehow the customer is hurt or stolen from, that they will be fully reimbursed. This is often seen as a cross-over aspect of liability insurance – however it covers purposeful neglectful or damaging acts, rather than a sheer focus on accidents.

     

    Why Bonding Matters

    Locksmiths have a great deal of influence over their client’s safety and security. They need to ensure that all information pertaining to their client’s security – notably, their key codes – remains fully confidential. Bonding helps promise our customers that the locksmiths they work with are trustworthy, and that they can have peace of mind in knowing that if anything does happen, they will be fully reimbursed according to the stipulations of the bond. Always ask locksmiths to see the bond itself before they work to make sure they are serious. Chicago Locksmith is proud to provide our customers the dedication for quality work completed – a dedication reflected in our full licensing and bonding.

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  • Locksmith Hiring Advice

    Posted on December 18th, 2016 0 Comments

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    It happens to everyone. Sometimes you really can’t prevent getting locked outside of your car, home, or workplace. Everyone at one point needs to consider the installation of high security locks or a home security system. Regardless of your specific lock related needs, there’s a few important factors to  keep in mind while you’re hiring a locksmith. Here’s a few tips to help you pick the best possible locksmith for whatever project that you need completed.

     

    Choose a Local Provider

    It’s the smartest choice to work with a local locksmith to make sure that you get the best balance of reliability and fair pricing. If you’re working with a non local locksmith you might get service delays, and it’s much easier to check up on any references or reviews of local locksmiths. Additionally, any locksmith that will have to commute far to your area will likely charge somewhat higher of a rate. If you don’t know a local locksmith, ask your friends or neighbors for their recommendations.

     

    24/7 Service

    If you need to get high security locks installed at your business, or a CCTV or deadbolt installed at your home, it’s smartest to maintain relations with a locksmith that can provide you service at any time of day or night; this is especially valuable if you ever require lockout service – which most commonly happens in the very middle of the night.

     

    Insurance

    Make sure to ask any locksmith whether they have insurance before they perform any services that you hire them for. If you hire a locksmith with insurance then you won’t have to worry about the repercussions of anything potentially going wrong during the job. Insured locksmiths usually have more experience and skills than those who don’t have any.

     

    Personal Needs

    Locksmiths provide a plethora of services, from CCTV systems to high security deadlocks. It’s the smartest approach to isolate exactly which service you need most, and working with a locksmith who specializes, or has particular experience in that area. That way you can rest assured that your job will be completed by someone who knows how to do it right.

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  • Why car lockouts are the absolute worst

    Posted on October 23rd, 2016 0 Comments

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    What’s your vote on the worst possible car problems to find yourself with? Many people probably imagine that any sort of engine trouble would be incredibly aggravating – since, depending on your vehicle model, repairing engines might be an expensive operation. Other people might think transmission problems, since they’re also known to be quite expensive. Others might immediately think of common issues like blown out tires or broken mirrors, but there’s one incredibly commonplace issue that many people don’t even consider – being locked outside of your car.

     Perhaps you lost your keys, or locked them inside your car – in any case, you need your keys back. Vehicle lockouts should be considered serious issues, since:

     

    Car Locks are Unpickable

    Car locks differ from most manual door locks. With doors, you might have had experience using a bobby pin or other skinny tool to open an accidentally locked door, but this can’t be doen with cars. Besides the truth that car locks are much more materially complicated than door locks, all vehicles from the last 20 years have an internal chip that works along with the lock and key mechanism to unlock your car. It’s not worth trying to pick a car lock, you can waste over an hour doing so, and all you’re going to probably accomplish is damaging your car- which will lead to the need for another extensive repair operation. It’s best to trust an experienced professional to unlock your car.

     

    Being stuck in the Great Outdoors isn’t much fun

    While we all wish that all car problems occurred during sunny and perfect weather, it just doesn’t. Outdoor weather doesn’t just affect you when you’re driving, but it can when you’re trying to get inside your car in the first place. Imagine being locked outside your car during frigid windy weather, or during a gigantic rainstorm. Or imagine being stuck outside your car in the heat of the summer, with 100% humidity. Not fun at all.

     

    You’re going to be a Sitting Duck in the City

    Chicagoans love their native city, but they understand that you don’t want to be stranded in an unfamiliar neighborhood outside your car. Being along by it isn’t a good idea when you can’t sit inside it, you’re going to look like a potential target for criminals, as well as suspicious to police officers who might interrogate you. It’s best just to avoid being stuck outside your car – or to find a way to get back inside as quickly as possible.

     

    If you want to ensure that you can get back into your vehicle as quickly and safely as possible, Chicago Locksmiths can be a fantastic ally – we maintain a 24/7 emergency lockout service, with an approximately 15 minute response time, so you’ll never have to wait around for that long.

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  • Locksmith Myths

    Posted on October 13th, 2016 0 Comments

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    There’s tons of myths out there regarding locksmiths. For the most part, locksmiths are there to provide you with honest service that really helps you when you need assistance. That being said, let’s debunk some of the most common rumors about locksmiths, so that you can feel prepared next time you may need one.

     

    Locksmiths Never keep Key Copies

    Many people assume that locksmiths keep copies of keys so that whenever you ask them to make you a spare, they can make it quickly from the copy on hand. This is simply untrue, since most locksmiths agenda is simply to provide you with service as you request it – they have to reason to maintain continued access to your home, business, or vehicle. When you give a locksmith your key to make a copy, they trace it’s pattern onto a blank key, and give them both back to you when they are done. You can watch the entire process as it’s happening, so you know that they’re not making another copy at the exact same time.

     

    They don’t only do house calls

    Most locksmiths offer a whole panoply of instant solutions that include residential locksmith services, as well as automotive and commercial services. They don’t just perform house calls. They come to any home ready with an entire arsenal of equipment, ready to install commercial locks at an office, or even ready to repair a vehicle’s ignition.

     

    24/7 Availability

    Depending on which locksmith company you decide to work with, you can certainly find one that works on a 24/7 basis, around the lock. Locksmith emergencies can happen at any time of day or night, so the right locksmith will be available exactly when you need them.

     

    Grades of Tools Vary

    If all locksmiths used the exact same kinds of tools, none of them would be very distinct. In order for locksmiths to maintain a competitive edge amongst their other competition, they have to use the best tools available on the market coupled with the absolute best customer service. A truly great locksmith will use a broad arsenal of professional grade tools to work on deadbolts, electronic locking systems, personal safes, garage doors, and almost any kind of locking mechanism.

     

    Telephone Estimates

    There’s a stereotype that locksmiths don’t provide accurate over the phone estimates for their services, but they absolutely do. Only professional locksmiths, like Chicago Locksmiths, will give you a price estimate over the phone – and scam locksmiths out to gouge prices almost never will.

     Remember these rebuttals of locksmith related myths next time you’re searching for a truly professional service!

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  • Benefits of having both manual and electronic locks

    Posted on July 23rd, 2016 0 Comments

    Benefits of having both manual and electronic locks

    People are often polarized to one or the other side of the lock spectrum, arguing for the sole benefits of maintaining manual or electrical security systems in their homes or businesses. These arguments often follow alongside the conversational progression of dogma – in that they are single minded in their argumentative approach. The benefits of maintaining an electric lock system doesn’t cancel out the benefits of a mechanical system, and the benefits of a mechanical system doesn’t cancel out the benefits of an electronic system. In fact, both these systems have unique benefits that when combined can highly strengthen the security infrastructure of homes or businesses. In this blog entry I’ll detail the benefits of both.

     

    Benefits of Electronic Locks

    This is a matter of convenience. Instead of having to dig through your bag or pockets for your keys when you’re arriving home tired, or leaving home in a rush, you can simply input a code (or in some cases simply shut the door) and rest easy knowing that your home is being adequately protected. These systems often work according to fail safe principles – they have backup batteries that will keep the doors protected even in the case of power outages that take other electronic systems off the grid of operation.

     

    Benefits of Manual Locks

    Manual locks are fantastic not only because of their classic visual appeal, but for their sturdiness and resilience. While many electronic lock systems are designed with fail safe principles nowadays, it wouldn’t hurt to have a strong manual lock system bolstering the solid protection of the door in the event of a power outage or any major security risk situation. With manual locks, making sure that the whole family or business has access to your space is super simple; it’s as easy as making a copy of the key to give them.

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  • What is a VIN number?

    Posted on May 23rd, 2016 0 Comments

    What is a VIN number

    Vehicle Identification Numbers are unique code combinations given to vehicles when they are manufactured. This code contains the most important identifying details about the car  This code cannot be changed, and remains active throughout the car’s life. Consider it as your car’s DNA.

     

    VIN numbers are made up of a serial code of 17 characters. They started being used in 1954, and different manufacturers used different formats of the code until 1981, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States standardized the use of these codes. This standard excludes the use of letters like: “Q, w, o, O, i, and I” from being used as they can all be easily confused with being the numbers 0 or 1.

    World Manufacturer Identifier Numbers

    The first three symbols of the VIN number determine the WMI (world manufacturer identifier,) showing which manufacturer made your car. The first character of the WMI identifies the area where the vehicle was made. The next 4 characters provide information about the vehicle type, the model, and the body style.

     

    Uses of VIN Numbers

    VIN numbers are incredibly helpful if you want to buy a used car. You can use the car’s VIN number to check its history report, and whether it has sustained any damage in accidents or has insurance that covers it. VIN numbers also help identify stolen cars, or specific parts if you need to have your car repaired, or your car keys copied.

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  • Going Out Partying Lock Risks

    Posted on May 17th, 2016 0 Comments

    Name Brand Safes

    Drinking alcohol is one of the global pastimes of working (and indolent) people everywhere. For some people it’s a hobby; for others it’s a lifestyle. Casting an eye away from concern for your professional well being, in this blog post I’ll detail some of the ways that having a night out on the town drinking might affect your ability to enter your home – and lead to your need for a locksmith.

    Losing Keys

    When drinking, you might want to consider giving a friend your keys to hold on to. This prevents the potential of you getting behind the wheel of your car while intoxicated. However, if you’re giving your friend your keys, pay mind to whether they are drunk or responsible to make sure that they in turn don’t lose them. It’s also a risk to potentially forget the fact you gave your keys to your friend, or exactly which friend you gave them to. Fortunately to the alcohol consuming public, emergency locksmiths exist for a reason.

     

    Breaking Keys

    Alcohol can seriously affect anybody’s ability to maintain successful hand-eye coordination. Even simple actions like inserting a key into a lock become oppressively difficult; to use a clumsy metaphor about clumsiness, imagine if every time you wanted to touch your nose, you touched your foot.  Now translate that metaphor to trying to place your key into key slot. If you’re insanely drunk and the only thing you can think about is how badly you want to collapse into your bed, you might shove the key in the keyhole the wrong way, repeatedly, breaking or grinding off it’s details, or even worse, snapping it off inside the key slot.

     

    Breaking the Lock

    Alcohol can give people extra-human strength. Let’s say you forget your keys at the bar, or inside a taxi, and then get home, drunk, and all you want to do is get back inside. Some of the more confident among us might try to pick the lock – never a good idea for an amateur to attempt, especially when drunk. This could cause irreparable damage to the lock – damage that can be equalled or surpassed by manual attempts to force the door open – especially with the utilization of alcohol induced super strength. We’ve seen doors physically pried off their hinges by desperate intoxicated people – if you’re reading this you probably don’t want to even try anything like this, but just for the sake of safety, let us remind you – don’t even try it.

     

    Forgetfully Compromising your Security

    Even if you did remember your keys, you very well might forget to lock the door once you stumble inside and crash on the couch. It’s no surprise that the majority of crime happens between the hours of 2-5 in the morning; it’s when criminals expect people to be drunk and vulnerable, leaving themselves exposed to the dastardly machinations of others. In certain areas heavily populated by young people, criminals have been known to try opening street level doors, knowing the chances that one might have been mistakenly unlocked. Don’t leave yourself exposed to this threat.

     

    Reducing your Chances of Drunk Lockouts

    • If you know in advance that you will be drinking a lot, make sure to get good rest the night before, eat well during the previous day (and throughout your evening of drinking,) and most importantly, stay hydrated. It’s going to help your body deal with the effects of alcohol in a much more comfortable and healthy fashion, so that you can have your mental bearings when you arrive home.
    • Make sure to be drinking with people that you trust. This makes it easy for you to leave keys with them in case you need them to hold them for safekeeping. Never leave your keys or phones with strangers that you don’t know.
    • If one of your friend is the designated driver, make sure they carry everyone’s keys as well just to be safe. Since they (hopefully!) won’t be drinking, they will be able to keep tight track on the keys.
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  • Child Home Security Tips

    Posted on May 5th, 2016 0 Comments

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    The center of every family is their home; it’s the space for togetherness that adds a sense of safety, regularity, and stability. Not only is the home a financial liability, it’s also a sentimental zone that you want to keep as safe as possible. There’s many options for homeowners that want to beef up their home security; all these upgrades are fantastic choices to increase the safety of your home, but many families overlook a simple risk to home security than can jeopardize all your important preparation – children.

     

    Children can be incredibly volatile and energetic, and might not remember everything that you tell them regarding home security. The majority of children don’t even think about their own safety, much less the structural safety of their home. Teaching children to mind one’s home security system is an important task, that requires a bit of a tactical approach. Here’s some ways that children can compromise home security plans, and how you can address these risks early in order to keep your home and family safe.

     

    Doors

    Teach children about the security significance of doors and windows (taking mind not to scare them, but to firmly illustrate the lesson.) One major lesson is to teach children how to respond to a knock on the door – never to open right away, to ask who it is, how to behave when you’re home and need to be fetched, and how to respond when they are home alone. Children should be taught not to give any information to strangers who knock on the door – simply ask for a name and a purpose of visit, then get in touch with a parent.

    Curtains

    Teach your children about closing the curtains of your home, especially in rooms where there are large, attractive, and expensive looking devices around. I’m not saying that you should become a crazy shut-in, keeping your home swathed in darkness; I’m simply saying to teach your children the value of discretion – by advertising luxury to strangers, you are in some ways inviting a burglary.

     

    Garages

    Children should be taught to keep garage doorways clear of toys, bicycles, or other objects – especially nowadays, when many garage doors are outfit with motion sensors that keep the door open if an obstruction is sensed. If a child leaves objects in the garage doorway, it will keep the door open and make your property more susceptible to burglary or theft.

     

    Internet Safety

    Make sure that your child does not publicize or advertise any information about your schedule over the internet. Many children don’t have a filter over their thoughts, and don’t’ cast a doubt on publicizing information like what they got for Christmas, or their excitement about leaving for a two week vacation. To children, this might seem like a completely harmless sharing of information with friends, but in reality any stranger with access to this information could use it as inspiration or strategy for a burglary or home invasion. Make sure that your kids know now to place your home in the public eye – even anonymously over the internet.

     

    Home Security Technology

    Teach your children how to operate all your home security devices. This includes teaching them to arm and disarm alarms before they leave the house and when they arrive home – you want this knowledge to become instinctual muscle memory for them. Remember, all it takes is one slip up and some bad luck to instigate a burglary. Children should be taught that alarms – regardless of how fun they look to play with – are not toys, and should never be fiddled with.

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  • Keep this information in mind while buying a safe.

    Posted on April 3rd, 2016 0 Comments

    How to Evaluate if a Safe is Right for You

    Here at Chicago Locksmiths, we make our primary objective the long-lasting safety and security of your household or business. The safety and integrity of your household also includes material objects – family heirlooms, important documents with vulnerable information, jewelry, and electronics are all of primary importance to be protected. Even when the perimeter of your home or business can be made secure with door and window locks, it’s wise to stay aware of the exposed and vulnerable nature of any valuables that may be left out in the open inside the home. If any of these objects are truly cherished and important to you, it’s important that you get a safe for the inside of your home or business. Due to the extensive variety in brands, sizes, and constructions of safes, Chicago Locksmiths provides you with a critical range of tips in order to help you understand exactly what your needs are, and what kind of safes can help you meet these needs.

     

    What belongings need protection:

    Not only do you have to consider the monetary value of all your items, but also what their size is and what kind of material they are made of. Documents with pertinent personal information, jewlery, photos, and small and expensive electronics are all items that are commonly put into storage inside safes. Some safes are heat resistant, which is an excellent option when you’re dealing with paper. This is a wise option for any digital hardware or software that you’re storing as well, as digital information is vulnerable to heat. If you have a particularly priceless object or heirloom, it may be wise to store it in a floor safe that obscures even the safe from view. Whatever kind of item you need to store will help provide you some sort of guidelines as to what safe to invest in.

     

    Compare the price of the safe to the value of the objects that you’re storing.

    Even if you’re certain that you need to purchase a safe, the solution isn’t to simply go outside and purchase just any safe. You’re going to need to consider the full monetary and sentimental value of what objects you want to store. If the value on either end is very high, you should consider getting a high security safe, which are often somewhat more expensive. If the objects are more valuable along the sentimental end of things, rather than monetary, a regular safe will suffice.

     

    How big is the inside of the safe?

    This might be somewhat implicit, but on a sheerly practical level you want to make sure that you can buy a safe that fits all of the objects that you want to store; in fact, Chicago Locksmiths recommends that you purchase a safe that’s larger than you originally estimate for your needs; it’s likely that once you have a safe you’re going to acquire more items that you’re going to want to store in the future. By anticipating future needs, you will always stay ahead of the curve.

     

    Where will you place your new safe?

    The area in which you plan to keep your safe will help determine what the style, material, and size of the safe needs to be. First, if you have an idea of where you want to keep the safe, measure the area precisely – and use those exact measurements to purchase a safe that’s the exact right size. Additionally, figure out what sort of environmental mitigating factors are present in the space you’ll be keeping the safe; is there excessive heat (or the risk of heat) present? Is there excessive moisture (or the risk of moisture, like a wet basement in a flood prone area) present? Answering these questions will help you determine exactly what kind of material the safe should be made of – whether you want it to be heat proof (and at what level), water-proof, or both.

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  • Safe Glossary

    Posted on March 23rd, 2016 0 Comments

    Name Brand Safes

    The majority of people’s conception of security extends to only door and window locks, but it’s a fact that protecting your valuables inside interior safes add an essential additional level of protection. For the peace of mind knowing that your valuables are being adequately protected, there’s no better bet than a safe. Whether you need to protect heirlooms, jewelry, or documents like birth certificates or business records, security safes will protect your assets like no other hardware can. There’s a number of different categories of safes; in this blog post I’ll detail the various types, and what they’re best for.

     

    Fire Resistant

    These safes protect their inner contents from high temperatures, and are given ratings according to the amount of time that they can survive fire temperatures while not letting the internal temperature rise above a certain amount. These safes range in fire safety duration from a half hour to four hours – safes installed within concrete floors are the safest, however since these safes are not watertight, they may fill with water from hoses or sprinklers in case there’s a fire. To be safe, place all items within fire resistant safes inside plastic bags.

     

    Diversion Safes

    This ultra basic safe is hidden within a normal household object like a book, a can, or even a wall outlet. These safes are meant to blend in among the rest of household items, and should be left among real versions of their corresponding objects.

     

    Jewelry Safes

    These – usually small – safes are specifically meant to store the eponymous jewelry or other small valuables – they are both burglary and fire proof, and usually have well appointed interiors made with fine wood or fabric – and sometimes with internal drawers or cabinets.

     

    Environmentally Resistant

    These safes are made to be waterproof – they can withstand extended underwater submersion for extended amounts of time.

     

    Burglar Resistant

    These safes are rated based on their ability to withstand the typical variety of tools that burglars use during break ins – they are rated based on the amount of time that they can withstand aggressive attack. These safes, while structurally resistant to forced entry, are not primed for water or fire resistance.

     

    Smart Safes

    These safes are designed to automatically give out or validate cash – think ATM machines or change makers. All customers or civilians can use them at their convenience – making things much smoother and cost effective for banking or business operations, and creating a controlled and surveilled transaction area.

     

    Fire Resistant Record Protectors

    This equipment has large insulated areas (containers, doors, drawers, or doors) that can house individually fire/environment/burglar rated containers with room for storing important records. The design of the compartments are organized based on class ratings for impact/attack resistance and safe fall tests.

     

    Room Sized Fireproof Vault

    This special equipment is meant to contain larger materials susceptible to heat ro fire, and can be a somewhat more practical choice over multiple fire rated safes, especially if you’re storing a large amount of items. These vaults are usually employed by larger business or government agencies, and carry some of the highest security class ratings for paper documents or data storage.

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