Category : Local Chicago 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.
Posted on February 23rd, 2018 0 Comments
Picture this scenario if you will: you’ve just finished a long day of work or grocery shopping, and find that you’ve accidentally locked yourself out of your car. This is a stressful situation made even more aggravating if you’ve had a long day or happen to be parked in the middle of nowhere – and if you find yourself in it, you might be finding yourself stressed over figuring out a way to get yourself into your car as soon as possible. This is never a good approach. The automotive lockout experts at Chicago Locksmiths have prepared a short list on the top reasons NOT to attempt to break into your own car during a lockout; instead, contact our team to get instant, safe assistance with your car lockout problem.
Posted on May 23rd, 2016 0 Comments
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.
Posted on March 23rd, 2016 0 Comments
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.
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.
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.
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.
These safes are made to be waterproof – they can withstand extended underwater submersion for extended amounts of time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted on March 3rd, 2016 0 Comments
If you’re at all concerned about the likelihood of a burglar breaking into your home, this article is for you. The fact is that the United States is the world’s leader in burglaries – a burglary happens every 15 seconds, meaning 4 do every minute. While you’re working on your home security, it’s smart to think about these statistics – you might be surprised.
Front Door Vulnerability
Almost thirty-three percent of burglars illegally enter a home through it’s front door. If your home has an old wood door – a hollow door of any type, you must replace it with a solid wood or metal reinforced door. Hollow doors are notoriously flimsy – any burglar with slight leg strength could kick one in. Additionally, activate your home security system each time that you enter or leave your home – and consider getting genuine, or deterrent security cameras, as well as outdoor motion lighting.
Burglars sometimes try entering homes more than one time – think about it, they’ve been inside already, so they know the layout, and might have spotted areas with expensive belongings that they didn’t have the time to access the first time they broke in. If you find yourself the victim of a burglary or break-in, make sure to contact a home security service as soon as possible.
Almost sixty percent of home invasions are accomplished through forced entry – thirty percent of them are accomplished through simply entering an unlocked door or window, with no need for force.
It Doesn’t Matter if Someone is Home
28% of burglaries occur when someone is inside the house – and unfortunately, household members experience personal violence in 7% of burglaries.
Alarm Systems are Great Deterrents
The majority of burglars attempt to figure out if a home has an attached alarm system before trying to break in – and the majority of convicted home-invaders admit to avoiding homes with visible security systems. The majority of burglars will leave the home immediately if an alarm sounds.
Almost twenty-five percent of home invasions involve the cutting of alarm or telephone wires before the break-in is enacted. Wireless home security systems are more secure, because there’s no wires that can be cut. This service is offered by many of the leading home security agencies, and won’t burn a hole in your wallet.
Not many Burglaries are Solved
Only around 13% of burglaries are solved by police – with an even smaller chance of the stolen belongings being recovered or returned.
Significant Losses aren’t Uncommon
In a study conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the average monetary loss suffered by households or businesses in burglaries is around 2,185 dollars – and if you factor in the police/investigation costs, it can be almost 20,000.. This amount is much more than the average cost of a home security system – which of course, also doesn’t come with the emotional expense associated with a break-in. Additionally, most home insurance companies offer discounts if a home security system is installed.
Posted on February 23rd, 2016 0 Comments
Buying a good safe is practical and wise investment to make. If you have valuables that merit protection, it’s important to find the best possible safe for your budget. If you need to buy a safe, you need a good safe, not a shoddily constructed one. If you’re simply trying to keep your kids out of your property, a cabinet with a lock will do. But if you’re looking for an incredibly secure area to protect essential valuables, it’s important to find the best one possible – this doesn’t mean that you have to completely break the bank. All safe companies will have a range of options at different price points. Here’s some factors to consider when you’re shopping around. Make sure to know what details to look out for and what questions to ask the manufacturer.
The safest, most sturdy and secure safes are made with continuous welding. This basically means that the weld fuses two metal pieces together perfectly, as opposed to a spot weld, in which multiple pieces are welded at multiple binding points. Vulnerable points in spot welded safes can be broken open with a sledge hammer, drill, torch – or even a specific tool made for that particular purpose. This means, not a safe safe. The best option to invest in is the solid, continuous metal provided in continuously welded safes.
Fire Resistance Ratings
Look into the official tests that the safe was subjected to – make sure to pay attention to the level of heat applied, and how long the test ran for. A safe that was only tested for a short time at a high temperature could technically be just as weak as a safe that was tested for a long time, at a low temperature. If the company cannot provide the details of the testing that the safe underwent in order to merit its rating, you shouldn’t buy from that company. Don’t you want your secure property to be protected?
The complex design of these internal security mechanisms should be able to provide resistance against the most expert of attacks. If the bolt work is shoddily designed so that the locking bolts are linked to the cam of the safe, simply sticking the bolts might open the entire safe. Look at the steel in the locking bolts – the longer that the bolts move into the door frame, the more security the safe will provide against attack. You want as thick and sturdy bolts as possible – as well as rotating lock bolts which will resist any sort of cutting attempt.
If a company provides a lifetime warranty for their product, it’s indicative of high quality products. Warranties differ based on the components of a safe – elements of electronic locks for example, are sometimes bought from outside parties by the manufacturer and integrated into their design. A safe’s dial might have a separate warranty from the safe’s door – this doesn’t usually mean that the safe is poorly designed, unless it’s already cheaply made. You should also pay heed to the country that the safe was manufactured in – safes in China might be able to provide lifetime warranties, as replacement is cheap. The best option is to buy an American made safe, as American factories provide a higher level of quality control than the factories in China.
Most safes have a body which compares only a half or a third to the metal in the door. You want as high a gauge of steel as possible, 12 gauge steel is the absolute lowest level that can be legally defined as a safe – it can be easily broken with a crowbar or fire ax. The way the gauge measurement system works is that the lower the number, the stronger the steel. Having as many layers of stainless steel as possible will help dispel any heat made by torches, not to mention the physical durability that this steel is known for. Definitely don’t trust composite doors, as although they are thick, they have a low steel content, and are vulnerable.
Great safes should last forever, and be passed down throughout generations. While prices vary wildly, it shouldn’t determine what safe you buy, as the quality of safes differ rapidly as well. Ideally, you should be purchasing a safe that perfectly fits your needs, as a long-term essential, not a temporary buy. Think of it as an investment.
Posted on February 4th, 2016 0 Comments
Biometrics identifies unique physical criteria to verify personal identities. Small differences usually undetectable to the human eye, like retinal and iris patterns, finger and palm prints, and DNA is collected and stored by biometric technology to match people’s identity. By combining biometrics recognition systems and security technology, manufacturers have invented a futuristic way of securing one’s personal belongings – their body is the only way that it can be accessed. There’s a number of novel biometric scanning methods; in this blog entry I’ll detail them.
This technology identifies users by the structure of their face. This method doesn’t require any physical contact between the user and the scanning device – cameras simply scan the user’s face and run it through a database of information to verify if they are the proper user. This technology doesn’t usually require expensive hardware, however it provides less security than other biometric methods. It collects measurements of a face’s structure, proportion, and shape, taking factors like jaw, ears, eye size and distance, nose, and facial expressions such as laughing or smiling to determine a specific identity. As a user ages and their face changes, they will need to update their profile information. This is one of the disadvantages of facial recognition,
The iris is a thin circular part of the eye that monitors the size of one’s pupils for purposes of protecting the eye’s retina from light. Iris color varies based on genetic information, from individual to individual. Irises have unique patterns and colors for every person – and iris scanning technology can analyze over 200 areas of the iris, saving the information in a database to compare it against other information in the future. This biometric system is incredibly accurate, expensive, and requires proper installation. However it always works – and can work even if the user has contact lenses or glasses.
There’s two criteria that render one’s voice unique – a behavioral factor known as accent, and a physiological factor of voice tract. The combination of both these factors make it virtually impossible for one to completely imitate someone else’s voice accurately. Biometric vocal recognition technology analyzes vocal tract by asking users to repeat a passphrase or group of numbers into a microphone so that the system can analyze their voice. It is relatively easy to install without the need for expensive hardware. However, it is somewhat vulnerable as unapproved users can record the voice of the verified user and use it to gain control to the system. This method of entry has been protected against by newer voice recognition systems, by utilizing a fail safe which asks users to repeat randomly generated phrases.
Fingerprints are composed of a unique pattern of convex ridges and concave valleys on the surface of the human finger – completely unique for every individual. The ridges are collected in two points- bifurcations, where they split, and endings, where they, well, end. By analyzing the patterns of valleys, ridges, and minutiae points, ultrasound and visual technology can verify the identification of users. This is known as pattern matching which compares all the finger’s surfaces at one time. Minutiae matching compares highlighted specific areas of the fingerprint. This system is easy to use, relatively cheap, and has been widely used by law enforcement for generations. This technology is widely used by consumers, and is integrated with cell phones, laptops, flash drives, or other access systems. The only drawback is that if the fingerprint is damaged by a cut or scar, the machine will not be able to read it.
This technology is relatively new – it identifies the unique system of veins in user’s hands that carry blood to their heart. Every human has veins with unique physical characteristics – vein recognition biotechnology captures an image of the unique vein patterns inside a user’s fingers with infrared light. This system has a higher level of reliability and accuracy than any of the older methods of biometric scanning – and, luckily, is somewhat less expensive than other methods. As an added bonus, the scanning process takes less time than in other methods as well.
DNA Biometric Scanning
Every individual carries their own completely unique DNA. It’s impossible to fake or camouflage one’s own DNA – you simply have your own, a combination of that of your parents. Every cell in the human body has a readable copy of this DNA – and biometric scanning systems can verify one’s DNA by collecting it from a few samples – usually blood, saliva, semen, hair, or tissue. The samples are broken down into small samples into a code known as VNTR (variable number tandem repeat) which repeats at specific intervals – this code essentially makes up the unique DNA profile of an individual. Each DNA fragment is measured, sorted, and captured. This equipment is incredibly expensive and complicated (it’s relatively new) and thus is only used in the most advanced industrial/governmental settings.
Although relatively new, biometrics technology is quickly gaining a reputation for being one of the best methods of verifying user information for security purposes. It’s being increasingly utilized in consumer settings – as well as by airports, law enforcement, hospitals, militaries, and governments. It eliminates the risk of copied ID cards being used by unscrupulous individuals to gain illegal access to property or data, and reduces the risk of identify theft, which is a growing issue in our culture. As biometrics technology becomes more widely used, it will greatly reduce the amount of thefts in professional, governmental, commercial, and civilian properties.