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Category : Locks

  • 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    Some theories imply that the prefix ‘pad’ means gate, with the implication that padlocks were originally made for locking gates.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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  • National Burglary Statistics

    Posted on March 3rd, 2016 0 Comments

    What to do in a burglary

    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.

     

    Repeat Offenses

    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.

     

    Brute Strength

    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.

     

    Wireless Benefits

    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.

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  • How to find the best safe

    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.

    Welding

    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?

    Bolt Work

    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.

    Warranty

    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.

    Steel Content

    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.

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  • Biometric Scanning Technology

    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.

    Facial Recognition

    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,

    Iris Scanning

    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.

    Voice Recognition

    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.

    Fingerprint Reading

    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.

    Veins

    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.

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  • Questions to Ask your Locksmith

    Posted on February 3rd, 2016 0 Comments

    Picture this. It’s closing time, the last customer is out of the door, everything has been cleaned, swept, and mopped, and you’re ready to lock up and head out. You feel the relief of leaving, and then realize that your key is broken in the lock – now you have to find a locksmith, and quick. Before you employ the services of a locksmith though, it’s important to ask them these specific questions.

    Are you insured and Licensed?

    Why it’s a must-ask: In certain states, locksmiths are required to carry a license, some states don’t have that requirement. However, all locksmiths should be insured. Any reputable locksmith will let you know if their state doesn’t require licensing – but if they’re not insured, you should find another provider.

    What kind of work do you do?

    You should ask this before telling them the project that you need to get done – many technicians will automatically say yes even if they’ve never accomplished that sort of work before. It’s not worth getting mediocre work done.  For slightly more complicated operations, like fixing safe locks or electric hardware, it’s best to verify in advance if the locksmith has experience.

    What is your warranty period?

    Any trustworthy locksmith will offer a warranty period of 30 days – at minimum – in order to cover any unintentional installation or problems with hardware. If they don’t offer this, find another provider.

    What are your rates?

    You want this information up-front. Some technicians will charge a set amount of cash per task – for example, they will charge by the lock, rather than by the hour. Some other locksmiths charge by the hour, with a standard one-hour minimum despite how quick the job takes. Some technicians will even charge according to 30 or 15 minute increments. Many technicians also charge travel fees – make sure to ask what the trip fee will be to your location (these include gas mileage and any applicable tolls.)

    Do you have any applicable certification?

    A professional locksmith will carry themselves according to the top of the industries updates and innovations by completing continual education courses in locksmithing, gathering certificates that verify their experience in specialty locksmith services.

    Do you perform employee background checks?

    Think about it this way. You’re trusting this locksmith with the safety and integrity of your home or business. They will have complete access to your entire property – and it’s essential for your, your family, your employees, or co-worker’s safety that the person that’s being granted access to your space is a trustworthy person and not a criminal. Any technician that works on your location should have undergone an extensive background check – verify this with their parent company to know for sure.

    Do you have an ID / Business Card?

    Before the locksmith comes to your door, ask them to show you ID. This could be a state ID or driver’s license. This is important – any reputable locksmith will be happy to show an identification card to prove their trustworthiness – if they refuse, don’t let them in your home.

    Do you have a physical location / how long have you been in business?

    These sorts of questions help you ensure the professional viability of a locksmith business. Having a physical location, and years of experience will tell you that the locksmith is trustworthy, as well as reliable and skilled through experience.

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  • Security Tips for the Recently Moved

    Posted on January 25th, 2016 0 Comments

    new home

    Moving into a new home can be a scattered time, where there’s a seemingly endless list of things to take care of. One of the most important things that you can do is make sure that your property is secure and safe for everyone inside. Here are some essential home security tips for those who have recently moved.

     

    Test your Alarm System

    Your new home should have already had an alarm system set up inside it at some point – which the realtor likely pointed out to you before you bought it. If the preexisting system is still functioning well, you should change the access code so only you or other members of your family can arm or disarm it’s functions. Once you did that, you should contact a local security alarm service, and have them send an expert over to verify if the system is working correctly. This entails testing every sensor (including fire, carbon monoxide, and smoke detection,) and making sure that the automatic notification systems in the alarm are working well. We suggest discussing your expectations and needs for a security system honestly with a professional technician, so you can potentially receive helpful professional tips about how you can enhance or utilize your existing system to meet your specific needs.

    If you’re moving into a home that was just built, ask your real estate agent if it’s already been pre-wired for a security alarm system. Most new houses are – meaning all you’d have to do is contact a local burglar alarm company and have them install the control panel and sensors, so that your home security can be monitored. If the home is so new or so old that it doesn’t have any existing wiring at all, there’s many options for easily-installed wireless alarm systems that can provide your family with the security they deserve. It’s worth keeping in mind that many insurance companies provide discounts on homeowner’s insurance if you have a monitored security alarm system installed in your home. Determine if your home qualifies, and your alarm company will willingly send all applicable information to your security company whenever you ask.

     

    Check all locks and window latches

    This might seem obvious, but it’s not that hard to forget to re-key all of the locks in your new home. This is something that should be done as soon as possible after moving in. Not only should you re-key your front door, but also your side doors, back doors, and gates. It’s particularly important to re-key these entrances, because they’re likely somewhat covered and shielded, making them ideal spots for a potential burglar. It’s also important to check all of the window latches and locks in your home, as they can often wear down over time.

     

    Pay mind to what’s around your home

    Not only should you be mindful of your security system and functioning locks, but you should also be mindful of the area directly surrounding your home. If you put yourself in the mindset of a burglar, it’s easy to imagine not wanting to be seen – to get inside and outside of a house as quickly and quietly as possible. It’s important to keep your property well landscaped – meaning burglars wouldn’t be able to hide behind trees or unkempt shrubs or bushes. By trimming obstructing plant life, and displaying visible signage that announces that your home is protected with an alarm system, you can manage to both prevent and deter potential burglars at the same time. Follow these rules as soon as you move in, and relax knowing that your home is well protected.

     

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  • Analyze the Locks On Your Home

    Posted on January 6th, 2016 0 Comments

    home locks

    The entire purpose of locks are to impede the attempts of someone who’s attempting to get into your home for enough time that they will be detected. First of all, it’s essential to have deadbolts installed on your home or business. While many regular lever and knob locks offer an element of security, the denser, stronger deadbolts will effectively deter or delay break-ins completely. One major issue that can occur when deadbolts are incorrectly installed is that the hole on the door frame where the bolt goes isn’t drilled deep enough to allow the bolt to fully deploy, and work effectively. If the bolt of the lock can’t extend completely, the deadbolt is just as ineffective as any shoddily installed lock – meaning it can’t do much.

     

    Leave no Windows for Doubt

    Ensure that your windows are checked. If they can slide open, and can be opened from the outside you need to ask yourself if you have another kind of lock on them than the one that was initially present. Many window locks are simply latches that hold windows close; they can’t truly lock them in an emergency, and can be opened with not too much effort. Reinforce the security of your home by adding functional locks to all windows.

    Make sure no burglar is sliding through those patio doors

    Look into any sliding glass doors present in your home. Traditionally, patio doors are the most vulnerable entry point for houses as they’re usually located in the back of the house, hidden from the view of any watchful neighbors. These doors are usually only secured by the same kind of ineffective latch that holds windows closed, and many can even be lifted completely out of it’s frame from outside – even when locked. Similarly as to your windows, you’re going to want to make sure that there’s an additional form of lock installed on any sliding glass patio door. This can be anything from a deadbolt, to a simple door pin, a tool that secures the moving door to the stationary door – making it much more difficult to lift the door out of it’s frame.

    Keep your gates guarded

    If your home has a back gate, make sure to secure it with a lock additional to the one that was given when you moved in. Depending on the type of locks you utilize inside your home, you can even purchase a gate lock that can be keyed to the same key as all your home locks – simply to minimize the amount of keys you have to carry around. Lots of bright outdoor lighting couldn’t hurt either.

    Update and Upkeep of Locks

    Make sure to update all locks in your home, as well as adding deadbolts. Similar to clothing and consumer electronics, you can apply the logic of “you get what you pay for” to locks as well. If you buy a super cheap lock, essentially all you have is a super cheap lock. It’s worth investing in a functional lock – you don’t have to go overboard, but keep in mind that the locks are an essential protector for the safety and integrity of your household. Once you have a good lock correctly installed, make sure to keep up it’s maintenance, keeping it oiled and held tightly by the door.

     

    As a rule of thumb, all keys and locks should be changed the moment you move into a new apartment, house, or office, regardless of any information about recent rekeying the landlord or real estate agent gives you. You never know who may hold copies of the keys provided to you – for safety purposes it’s best to ensure that the only one holding the entry tool to your home is you and your trusted loved ones.

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  • Video Intercoms

    Posted on October 30th, 2015 0 Comments

    videoUsing a video intercom provides your home or business advantages in both safety and convenience. These seemingly futuristic utilities are now widely employed in business or residential settings – being a major improvement on existing buzzer systems.

    Home Security   

    First of all, the security of your place of living or employment is of paramount importance. A video intercom provides you with the ability to visually inspect whoever is outside your door, so you can determine whether they are the correct identity, or a scammer. The voice chat feature allows you to communicate with them from inside the house to help verify their reason for being at your property – it can’t hurt to be extra careful, especially when it’s regarding the safety and integrity of your home or business.

    Practical Home or Office Use   

    Video intercoms provide practical benefits to your home or office space that maximize efficiency, time management, and comfort. You have the option of installing multiple intercoms throughout your home or commercial space – this strategy makes it incredibly easy to communicate to people from another location in the space remotely – you will be able to avoid going down stairs, or leaving your room. You’re totally connected, so no more searching throughout the entire house for someone to give them a quick message.

       

    Home/Business Safety Monitoring

    Video intercoms also help provide an invaluable way to ensure the level of safety inside your home. You can use intercoms to monitor sleeping children, ongoing construction or renovation projects, as well as kitchen and fire safety.

    The handy aspects of video intercoms, combined with their practical use as safety and security measures for homes and businesses, make them an incredibly useful and essential tool for those who want to maximize the efficiency and integrity of their space.

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