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Category : Local Chicago Locksmith

  • 30 Things You Didn’t Know About Chicago

    Posted on April 28th, 2014 0 Comments

    30 things about Chicago

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

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

    Posted on April 23rd, 2014 0 Comments

     highsecuritylockchicago

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

     

    Improvement #1: Lost Keys

     

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

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

     

    Improvement #2: Keyless Entry

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

     

    Improvement #3: Keys For Everything

     

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

     

    Improvement #4: Time Access Protocols

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

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

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

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

     

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  • Top 5 Household Locks for Chicago Home

    Posted on April 21st, 2014 0 Comments

    top 5 locks

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

     

    1. Schlage Plymouth Keypad Entry with Flex-Lock

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

     

    2. Kwikset Kevo Single Cylinder Bluetooth Enabled Deadbolt

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

     

    3. Schlage Camelot Keypad Entry

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

     

    4. Medeco Maxum

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

     

    5. Millennium Lock Ultimate Lock System

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

     

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  • Common Door Lock Problems

    Posted on April 10th, 2014 0 Comments

    Common Door Lock Problems

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

     

    Key Won’t Fit

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

    Key Broken Off

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

    Misaligned Strike Plate

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

    Dead-latch Malfunction

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

    Deadbolt Not Extended

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

    Master Pins

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

    Posted on April 1st, 2014 0 Comments

    keyless-entry-and-ignition-starter

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

     

    How does the keyless entry system work?

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

     

    Why is the keyless entry system secure?

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

     

    Can the signal to a vehicle be intercepted?

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

     

    Unlocking the car door

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

     

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

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  • E-key Technology: The Lockitron

    Posted on March 13th, 2014 0 Comments

     Lockitron

    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

    worryfree-keyme

    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.

     

    Security

    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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  • What is a Rim Lock?

    Posted on February 12th, 2014 0 Comments

     

    rim lock

    A rim lock is essentially a type of locking system that can be attached to the surface of a door. It looks like a box that is located directly beneath the doorknob on a door. The rim lock is usually attached on the side of the door that is facing into the room. Ordinarily, there will be a keyhole on the rim lock as well as the knob that will activate the lock itself.

    Locking System

    This type of locking system has two different ways to lock the door. The first way is to use a key. By inserting a key into a the keyhole that is on the rim lock and turning it to the right, the lock on the door will be moved so that the door cannot be opened without moving it again. This is a more common type of method of locking the door and is merely available on the rim lock for convenience. The second way that a door can be locked using a rim lock is by turning the knob that is on the rim lock. The knob will essentially work the same way as the key. When the knob is turned, the lock is activated and will move so that the door cannot be opened without moving the lock back into place. Some rim locks can be opened again with the appropriate key, while others can only be opened by reactivating the lock from the other side.

     

    Variations

    There are a few different variations on the rim locks, as well as ways that customers can customize them to fit their decorating needs. They can either choose to make their rim locks look antique, or they can choose for them to look modern. Some rim locking systems will have chains attached to provide a second level of security, while others will merely have a deadbolt.

    Rim locks can be purchased both from online retailers and traditional stores. Both retailers will be able to ensure that the customer purchases the most appropriate locking system for his or her door and is fully satisfied with his or her purchase. 

     

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  • Bicycle Locks

    Posted on January 29th, 2014 0 Comments

    lock88

    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.

     

    BUT

    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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