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Category : Commercial Locksmith Chicago

  • 3 Fixes to Common Front Door Issues

    Posted on September 28th, 2019 0 Comments

    First impressions definitely matter as it relates to the appearance of your home. Any issues with your front door will surely be noticed by visitors to your home – or even passersby. If the front door isn’t functioning well or looking food, you may even have structural issues that extend far beyond cosmetic appearances. The good news, is that the majority of front door issues that affect homes can be easily remedied. Here’s some of the most common fixes for front door issues that may affect your home as prepared by the locksmith experts here at Chicago Locksmiths.

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  • Office Lockout Tips

    Posted on April 28th, 2019 0 Comments

    Getting locked out of your office is not just frustrating, it can also throw a major wrench in the practical operation of your business, and even pose security risks in the event of a fire or criminal activity occurring in your business while you are locked out of. Here’s a guide on what to do if you get locked outside of your office, as prepared by the 24/7 lockout service experts here at Chicago Locksmiths.

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  • Digital Commercial Safes

    Posted on September 28th, 2018 0 Comments

    If you use commercial safes at your Chicago business, you may be considering upgrading them to digital models. This consideration can be chalked up to many factors, from a reassessment of security protocol following a break-in, to commercial expansion. Here’s some quick tips about digital commercial safes that you should know before purchasing one, as prepared by the commercial security experts at Chicago Locksmiths.

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  • Why it’s Best to Hire a Certified Locksmith

    Posted on June 29th, 2018 0 Comments

    It’s always a good idea to hire a certified locksmith to carry out all of your lock installation, lock repair, and lock maintenance needs. Not only are amateur attempts much more time consuming and less effective than professional service, but they can affect the safety and security of your household and business. Here’s a guide to why it’s best to hire a certified locksmith, as prepared by the lock and security experts at Chicago Locksmiths.

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  • Post Burgalry Office Security

    Posted on April 23rd, 2018 0 Comments

    When an office suffers a break in or burglary, business owners have to deal with the ramifications. Besides dealing with potential property loss, one of the important measures that have to be taken after an office break in is reinforcement of office security plans in order to correct the vulnerabilities that allowed for the break in in the first place, as well as other security layer strengthening in order to minimize the potential for future break ins. In this blog post, the commercial security experts at Chicago Locksmiths will detail the steps that have to be taken in a commercial setting after a break in.

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  • Mailbox Locks

    Posted on December 18th, 2017 0 Comments

    Mailbox burglary is more common than publically estimated – and it can be quite serious, as if valuable information is stolen from your mail, you can experience identity theft and a whole slew of stressful theft related situations. Here’s a guide to the important facts that you absolutely need to know before you install a lock on your mailbox – or ask a licensed  commercial locksmith expert at Chicago Locksmiths to help you do so.

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  • Building Exit Devices

    Posted on January 4th, 2017 0 Comments

    In order for commercial buildings to stick to official fire prevention and building codes, it’s essential that you have proper exit devices in place in order to keep all building occupants safe.

    These rules change based on how many occupants are inside the building. Door exit devices are usually installed on the side of the door that swings out to open, in order to prevent any sort of unauthorized access while allowing for full free egress.

     

    These systems were first implemented  in the USA after a slew of deadly building fires, notably the terrible Uroquois theatre fire of 1903. Exit devices were made to open outwardly, to accommodate the rapid flow of people who may be rushing to leave a building.

     

    Correctly Installed Exit Devices

    There’s 3 commonly used varieties of exit devices that get used today: mortise lock exit devices, vertical rod exit devices, and rim lock exit devices. Rim locks are the most commonly used variety, and are named after the rim lock latches commonly sold in the early 1900s in the East Coast and in the Midwest. These locks get mounted on top of the secured area of the door frame, and have a latch that is positioned over the surface strike.

     

    Mortise lock exit devices are made of a mortise lock sans deadbolt, which are usually attached within the door’s pocket. As the push bars get pushed in, the tail shaft (otherwise known as a spindle) turns which releases the latch bolt and lets the door open.

     

    Bolt type exit devices are fairly new mechanisms; when they are locked, they cause the deadbolt latch to move to touch the strike, minimizing the space between the bolt and the strike.

     

    Panic bars

    All exit devices are either non fire rated (panic bars) or fire rated exits. Panic bars are made up of a door latching mechanism, and an activation mechanism that causes the door to unlatch, opening up in the direction of the egress opening whenever a force is placed on it. The panic latch has to have an unlatching force which is a maximum of 15 pounds, and it has to be able to get operated by any regular person, as opposed to someone with specialized training.

     

    Fire Rated Exit Bars

    These door latches can get fitted onto fire proof doors, and help provide a barrier for smoke or flames. These doors are self-closing and automatically latching, but they can’t ever get locked from opening to the outside while anybody is inside the building.

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  • Padlock History

    Posted on April 17th, 2016 0 Comments

    Padlock History

    Locks are a matter of ancient history – they have existed for thousands of years, since the beginning of society. As history has progressed, the structure and construction of locks have changed. The invention of the padlock was one of the most influential changes in the evolution of locks. The important idea at the center of padlocks is the invention of a lock that can be added and removed from a separate device. Padlocks are simply detachable locks that can be secured with a shackle – which is put on a hinge or springed slide. In this brief blog post I’ll underline some of the important history and etymology of padlocks.

     

    The Etymology of the word ‘Padlock’

    Some theories imply that the prefix ‘pad’ means gate, with the implication that padlocks were originally made for locking gates. The prefix ‘pad’ could also imply foot traffic, or walking, implying that these locks were originally crafted to guard gates that led to paths. In the United Kingdom the term ‘Pad’ is also associated with ‘panniers’, baskets used with animals. This implies that perhaps the term padlock originated to describe the locks that merchants would place on bags of their wares that they would attach to animals to carry. The last theory asserts that the term came from Vikings in an English settlement who would use these locks to keep their livestock secure inside containers known as paddocks.

     

    Ancient Rome

    The most ancient padlocks currently on record date to 500 BCE, in the Roman empire. This artifact has around body made of iron, with a bolt that can be moved with a key. Many other Roman padlocks are made of two parts with a rectangle body, with a separate shackle and V shaped spring – the two far corners of the ‘V’ are pinched in order to allow the shackle to move. This construction is rudimentary but effective.

     

    Evolution along the Silk Road

    As trade routes between Europe and Asia were established, the use of locks became much more widespread as they were enlisted by merchants. By the year 25, the Chinese Empire had implemented massive use of padlocks – these often made of bronze. A few hundred years later in the English province of York, Viking settlements used padlocks to protect their livestock. Leading archeologists argue that these locks were made between the years 850 and 1000 – and as I mentioned before, were used on animal paddocks. The viking padlocks are structurally similar to the Roman padlocks however the Viking ones used flat keys, rather than the “L” bent Roman ones.

     

    Mid-Millennium England

    The most drastic changes to the structure of the padlock happened as they became more widely used in England. This evolution was spearheaded, funnily enough, by the use of smokehouses to preserve food. Before refrigerators, citizens needed methods of preserving food for long harsh winters. Smoking meat and fish became a method of rendering food much more impervious to the elements – and as food was in high demand, smokehouses would have to be locked to prevent the food from being stolen. These padlocks were made of wrought iron, and had custom keyways – warded with notches that matched keys. These padlocks however widely disseminated, had structural issues – they could be forced into, and it would be incredibly difficult to figure out if the lock had been picked.

     

    Eastern Europe

    In Eastern Europe – in Slavic areas like Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, etc..) the advent of the screw key padlock provided an alternative to the smokehouse padlock. This cylindrical key has to be twisted into the lock, and if it aligned properly it could be taken out without having to turn it the opposite way, at the same time stretching an internal spring which would retract the bolt. By around 1910 both screw key locks  and smokehouse locks stopped being as popular.

     

    1800s Scandinavia

    Invented by the Swedish inventor Christopher Polhem, the Scandinavian lock consisted of a series of rotating disks with side grooves that would match with a certain key – additionally grooves on the outside of the disks had to align in order to release the shackle. Created in the 1870s, these locks continued to be manufactured until around the 1950s.

    Also invented in Scandinavia, Cast Heart padlocks, made of brass or bronze, were made with a keyway drop, to protect it from being impacted with particulate matter, and could be easily carried. They were widely manufactured due to their usefulness in incredibly cold or icy climates.

     

    Industrial Revolution and Advent of Electricity

    During the 1870s, the Cast Heart lock became widely replicated with cheap materials. Many businesses began using the cheaper locks, even if they were less effective. During this time period, Yale was creating the first padlock that was made of modular components that could be replaced – allowing for rekeying. As electricity came to use, manufacturing of solid metal locks became cheaper and easier – and modular locks became a trend on an industrial level. Shrouds that cover the shackles also came to use.

     

    MasterLock

    In the 1920s the Master Lock company released their tumbler and pin based padlock -and manufactured them in droves. The simplification of cast dieing processes made it a possibility for companies to manufacture locks with ornate molds and designs – however due to this embellishment causing functional issues, this trend has mostly disappeared. However, padlocks have become ubiquitous – to the point of becoming a universal symbol of security. Even if new designs of more useful or efficient locks are made in the future, the impact of the padlock will live on in semiotics.

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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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  • How to Protect your Motorcycle

    Posted on March 17th, 2016 0 Comments

    Unlike the self contained, capsule security of cars, motorcycles’ lack of doors, locks, or hoods makes them especially vulnerable to theft. Anyone can access the engine or internal electronics – especially if you park on the street, and quickly drive off.Like bicycles, motorcycles can easilly be anchored and lfited up. Security creates a need to hybridize the ease-of-access of a motorcycle and the security of a succinct, closed car. In this blog post, I will be detailing some of the realities of motorcycle theft, and providing some detail as how motorcycle owners can prevent their bike from getting stolen.

     

    Statistics of Theft

    The most commonly stolen motorcycles are Honda, with Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki ,and Harley-Davidson leading. Since 2013, all these brands thefts have somewhat diminished, besides Harley-Davidson, which has increased. California is the top state for motorcycle theft, with Texas and New York leading closely behind. The increased usage, hence, street availability of motorcycles in the Summer, makes it the most common season for motorcycle thefts. The higher demand for motorcycle parts during the summer creates a higher incentive for thieves to steal parts from vehicles, which bumps up the theft rate significantly.

     

    How Motorcycles are Stolen

    One common method of stealing a motorcycle is rolling it into a van or truck, and simply driving it away – a rather quick process, especially if the bike isn’t locked and can easily be rolled up a ramp. Even if this isn’t the case, a small collection of people could easily lift the bike. Once inside the van, the motorcycle will no longer be visible to passersby – making it a much more stealthy and inconspicuous theft than driving away in a stolen car. Once the bike arrives at another location, they are able to disassemble the structure of the bike, taking off any security device.

     

    Another method of motorcycle theft involves, simply, the thief starting up the bike and riding away on it. Many people don’t even lock their motorcycles – making it easy for thieves with double sided wafer pics,Try-Outs, or even a combination of determination and a screwdriver to start the ignition and drive away.

     

    How to Protect your Motorcycle

    One possibility is utilizing a ground anchor to fix your motorcycle to the floor of your property – these devices are usually installed inside home garages to maximize security. For those without home garages, this is not a practical option – so the best route to follow is to purchase a high security lock. Most Motorcycle owners prefer Disk Locks or U-Locks to padlocks because they eliminate the need to purchase a heavy chain. They offer increased convenience, but you’re going to need to purchase a few of them if you want to not use a chain at all. Place the U-Lock through the wheel, so it will stop it from rotating, or use it to lock the wheel onto a metal pole or any sort of anchor point. Make sure to invest in a U-Lock that releases on both sides of the shackle – this will cost any bike thief additional time when attempting to steal your bike.

     

    Dick locks can’t be attached to an anchor – they secure your bike through bolting through a hole in the disk break – stopping the bike’s wheel from being able to spin. It’s best to use two disk locks on both wheels, but if you only have one, attach it to the front wheel as it’s much easier for thieves to remove. Don’t ever forget to take off the disk lock before riding your bike.

     

    As far as padlocks go, you have tons of options – but when you’re making your purchase you should be paying heed to the thickness of the material, it’s weight, and the presence of a shroud that covers the sides of the shackle. Rounded cuts on the shackle indicates the presence of ball bearings in the lock, which upgrades its security level. It’s important to utilize multiple padlocks – as this works as both a deterrent method and a surefire way to upgrade the security level of the bike.

     

    Security Chains

    We recommend buying the strongest and sturdiest security chain as possible – these can be secured from various points to add additional padlocks and chains, as the chain is weaved through the multiple open components of the bike to an anchor point. We recommend getting a strong chain as the stronger the chain is, the more likely it is to resist attack from bolt cutters – spring for a chain with at least a 63 rating on the Rockwell scale.

     

    Alarms

    There’s many varieties of alarms – shock sensors, tilt sensors, GPS tracker, proximity sensors, etc. Shock sensors go off if someone hits or shakes the bike. The tilt sensor goes off if the bike is moved from one side to another. GPS notifications tell you the exact location of the bike which is helpful in the event of a theft. And best of all, a remote kill switch allows users to remotely sever the link between the battery and bike starter, rendering the bike incapable of driving.

     

    Theft Insurance

    If you’re really worried about having your bike stolen – whether you can only park your bike away from view or if you live in a high crime area, theft insurance is a fantastic strategy to implement. Think of it this way – if your bike is an investment, it’s worth investing some additional funds to protect and insure it – if the bike ever gets stolen, you can get fully compensated – simply make sure to call the police before you call the insurance brokers, in order to maximize your chances of relocating your vehicle. It’s also a great idea to put custom markings on the motorcycle to aid in it’s recovery – consider utilizing products like DataDot and SmartWater to mark parts on the bike.

     

    In Advance Security

    Make sure to lock your handlebars and place your bike within view of your property – at the very least this will act as a deterrent for any thieves who want to avoid being seen. Make sure that the various layers of security that you use with your bike are separate – meaning that they can’t all be removed in one fell swoop, or can be controlled with a single key. Consider using a motorcycle tarp as a deterrent – even consider buying a tarp branded with the logo of a less appealing motorcycle brand to make potential thieves simply pass by.

     

    It’s important, in bike security, to understand that every bike needs custom levels of protection – do whatever works specifically for you and your situation. Don’t go crazy or overthink things – as long as you stay practical, your security system will be both convenient and effective.

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