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Category : Residential Locksmith Chicago

  • How To Find A Legitimate Locksmith in Chicago

    Posted on July 25th, 2013 0 Comments

    Locksmiths are a dime a dozen in Chicago. So how exactly are you to know who is running a legitimate and who is just trying to make some money? It can be hard, especially if you don’t know what questions to ask or the company is being uncooperative. Still, there are hints and clues you can find to know whether or not the locksmith you are choosing is doing honest business.

    What’s Your Name?

    Be wary when locksmiths don’t have names. Illegitimate locksmiths might work under a number of different names to avoid getting caught. If you call the number and they answer with the generic “locksmith services”, ask the company for their legal name. Also look for their name on their advertisements. Notice if the ad looks similar to another with a different name. This could be indication that it is the same company operating under different titles. Also, when they arrive, study their car. While some locksmiths do use their own cars for small and quick project, it usually doesn’t happen. Instead, locksmiths drive vehicles with their business clearly marked on it. It might just be lettering on the side of the car or it might be an the entire van. Either way there is usually something that identifies them.

    Licensed?

    Ask them for their license and identification. In the city of Chicago, the government requires all locksmiths to be licensed with the state. This makes it easier for you as a customer. A legitimate company will provide you with their license number when you ask. Just plug the number into the state site and you can find out if the company is above board in a matter of seconds. Also, when the locksmiths arrives to help you, they should ask you for identification to make sure you have the authority to request the door open.

    Estimate

    Always get an estimate. A real locksmith will give a price range and he won’t stray from it. Ask for an invoice as well. Make sure any additional fee is itemized on the invoice including surcharges and mileage charges, etc. This invoice should include the name and address of the business. It’s easier to dispute the charge when you have physical evidence of the exchange.

    Insurance

    Insurance is important. Legitimate locksmiths are all insured just in case. That way, if they damage your property the insurance will cover your losses.

    Paying

    If possible, you should pay for your service by credit card. Nowadays, almost all cards have built-in fraud protection. This means if the company is not legitimate and the card senses it will halt the transaction and you won’t lose the money.

    Keep Them

    Once you manage to find a legitimate locksmith, keep their number in your phone or their card in your wallet. You never know when you need them again. It’s better to have locksmith you can trust in an emergency rather than fumbling on your phone trying to determine which website is trustworthy while you’re locked out in the freezing cold.

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  • Re-Key A Lock

    Posted on July 12th, 2013 0 Comments

    Locksmiths always say that they can a re-key lock, but who knows what that actually means? It’s easy enough to assume. They do something to the lock so that the old key no longer works. There are a number of reasons one might want a lock re-keyed. Maybe there was a break in. Or maybe you just lost your key and don’t want to risk someone trying to enter your home uninvited. Either way, the idea is simple enough. However, how exactly do locksmiths re-key locks?

    Well, if you are adventurous or think of yourself as a regular handyman, then you should know that they sell DIY re-keying kits at hardware stores. Each brand has their own kit so before you head out to the store, make sure to check out the locks you want to re-key.

    Now each kit is able to rekey six locks. It comes with pins, tools, and two keys. If extra pins are needed, those can be bought separate. The overall idea to re-keying each lock is the same. However, it is always best to read over the instructions anyway.

    Step 1

    Insert the key and make sure the lock is unlocked. Then, use the wire tool in the kit and use it to remove the doorknob by inserting it into the knob hole.

    Step 2

    Push the cylinder and pop it out of the knob sleeve.

    Step 3

    Using the retainer ring tool, push it against the retainer ring to remove it from the cylinder. Keep the ring because it will be needed later.

    Step 4

    You need to remove the cylinder plug. To do this, insert the key back into the cylinder and turn either right or left depending on the lock. Then, use the plug follower supplied in the kit and remove the plug. Make sure to keep a constant pressure. The plug contains the springs and pins in the lock. Though nothing will happen if these things fall out, it will be tedious to collect them all later.

    Step 5

    Dump out all the old pins and insert the new key into the cylinder plug. Following the instruction sheet, insert the new pins. They are color coded so it shouldn’t be too hard.

    Step 6

    Just as you took the lock apart, put it back together again. Stick the knob back into the door and voila! You have just re-keyed you lock!!

    Read more information about Re-keying locks

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  • How To Avoid Lockout Scams

    Posted on July 7th, 2013 0 Comments

    Being locked out is a horrible experience. During the day, it’s not too bad. The sun is out and there are people around or it’s rainy and no one in their right mind would be outside. Middle of the night though, it’s a scary moment especially if you are female, alone, and live in a shady part of Chicago.

    So what do you do? Well, you take out your phone, look for locksmiths in the Chicago area, and call the first one that comes up. You don’t want to wait in the dark. Ah, but is that the smart thing to do?

    There are a lot of shoddy locksmiths out there. They get business by flooding the internet and making sure they are the first names you see. They claim they are a local company and that they charge low rates when the opposite is true. They count on their clients to be scared and desperate, thus willing to pay the price for their inferior work. So what do you do to make sure you’re not getting scammed?

    Find Your Own Locksmith

    This is a preventative measure. On a day when you’re not busy, check out the locksmith listings around town. There are many that list false addresses on their sites because clients hardly visit their location. Find one that actually exists and go in to meet the people who might end up working on your lock in the middle of the night. Keep their number on your phone. That way, if there is ever an emergency, you know you’ll be getting professional service.

    Credentials

    In the state of Illinois you must be licensed in order to be a real locksmith. If you’re searching on your phone for a locksmith in the middle of the night, do a quick check to make sure they are licensed. You don’t want an amateur trying to break into your door. They might break the lock or the door which equates to damages out of your pocket on top of the emergency service cost.

    Picking

    A true professional will always try to pick your lock first (unless it’s some sort of electronic or access control lock). Most front door locks are not exceedingly complicated. Give the locksmith a couple of minutes and you should be back into your home with no damage. Of course, if you have more complicated locks guarding your home, locksmiths have a variety of tools available for them to use such as drills and airbag pumps. However, if your locksmith breaks out these tools before attempting to pick your lock, it is a sign of their incompetence.

    Quotes

    A true locksmith will quote you a price as close as possible to what they will eventually change you and it will never exceed $100. The fakes not only end up damaging your door, but they will inevitable double, or even triple, the original price. Forgetting you’re keys has just become a third of your monthly paycheck.

    Chicago Locksmith

    At Chicago Locksmith, we provide 24/7 emergency locksmith services and we guarantee we are the real deal. You can call us or come down to our location to check us out. We promise we are a legitimate business that treats you, the customer, fairly. Ask us about our license and our experience. Whatever you want to know, we will answer and ease your worries. That way, the next time you have an emergency lockout, you know exactly who to call.

    Don’t fall in the hands of locksmith scam artist see video

     

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  • Lock Picking

    Posted on June 26th, 2013 0 Comments

    Locksmiths like ours all offer emergency lockout services. What does that mean? It means no matter the day or the time, we will be there when you lock yourself out of your hose, car, office, etc. But what exactly is it that we do? You must be curious and it’s always good to be informed, not matter the topic. Let’s look at some of the more popular ways professionals work on your locks


    Lock Picking

    A classic. You see it on all the shows and they make it seem so effortless. Insert the tool, jiggling it a bit, and voila! An open door. Is it really that easy? Well, that depends on how much practice you’ve had and your knowledge of the locks you’re picking. Most professional lock pickers have a lock picking set to assist them. While youtube videos can show you have to do it with paper clips and bobby pins during an emergency, you got to admit it would be pretty cool pulling out your own tool set.

    The basic idea with picking locks is that you insert the tools and mess with the pins until they slot into place and the lock is released. This may sound easy, but trust me; it’s really not if you’ve never done it before. Of course, professionals can get you into the door in a few minutes, but if you decide to give it a try, it’ll probably take a bit longer.


    Lock Bumping

    Lock bumping is another method locksmiths may use when you have an emergency lockout. They have something known as a “bump key” which they insert into the lock. This key is cut with even ridges. Once the key is inside, it is hit or “bumped”. The idea is that the force of the key being hit will cause the pins to jump. Knock it a few times and in theory the pins all jump into place and open the lock.


    Air Bags

    Inflatable airbags are occasionally used, depending on the situation. Armed with an air pump, you slip them between the crack of the door and the door frame near the lock. Inflate it and it should push the door away from the frame, creating a space that should be enough for the door to swing open.


    Credit Cards

    The classic Nancy Drew method of picking a lock. What you need is a flexible card. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a credit card or not. Actually, it’s probably best it isn’t considering the potential damage. Membership cards and gift cards work just as well. You insert in between the door and the doorjamb. Your goal is to catch the bolt and force it back into the door. It may take a couple of tries and a broken card, but this is the most simplistic method of picking a lock.


    Drilling

    Drilling a lock is usually the last measure locksmiths employ so if the one you hire goes straight to drilling, something is not right. What happens is that a drill is inserted into the lock and it destroys the pin inside. Once the pins are destroyed, you simply turn the lock and the door is opened. If that doesn’t work, a bigger drill has to be implemented. The problem with this type of lock picking is that it completely destroys the lock. There is no way to fix it so on top of paying to get your door unlocked, you have to pay for a brand new lock.


    Chicago Locksmith

    Chicago Locksmith is the name you want in an emergency. Serving the local Chicago area, we guarantee efficiency during your time of distress. No matter the time or date, we promise fair prices and expert services. All of our professionals are trained to be in and out in a matter of minutes. So save our number to your phone. You never know when you’ll need our services.

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  • Different Types of Safes

    Posted on May 21st, 2013 0 Comments

    You see all these claims about safes: fire safe, data safe, gun safe, but what does it mean?  What makes it different?  Which one do you choose?  Each safe has specific characteristics attributed to it making it compatible for different situations.  Consider you needs, then consider what each safe can provide.

    Fire-Proof Safes

    Fire-proof safes are, as the name would insinuate, meant to protect your valuables from fires.  They are also meant to protect them from high temperatures.  These safes are rated by the amount of time they can maintain a set internal temperature while withstanding an extreme external temperature.  The way fire-proof safes work is by releasing moisture contained in its insulation in order to keep temperatures below the set number.  Document safes and data safes fall under this category and are specifically targets to hold certain items.  The difference is the temperature they can stand.  Document safes maintain an internal temperature of no greater than 177°C to avoid the papers catching on fire.  Data safes go no higher than 55°C so that hard drives, CDs, USBs, etc won’t be damaged by the heat.  While the cheaper safes last for about half an hour, the more expensive and higher the grade, the longer it can withstand extreme heat.

    Burglary Safes

    Burglary safes are meant to hold up against burglars.  While no safe is burglary proof, there are some made to be more resistant.  These safes take another route to deter thieves.  The safeguards on these safes are meant to withstand attacks from the common tools used in burglary.  They are meant to discourage thieves from even trying to break in.  And even if they try, the amount of time and effort it takes will hopefully cause them to give up or to get caught.  The efficiency of a burglar safe is dependent on how long it takes to break into them.  The longer it takes, the more expensive the safe.  Some stand 15 minutes while others can hold up to 30 minutes.

    Gun Safes

    Like it suggests, gun safes are specifically meant to hold guns.  Though you can store other things in this safe, gun safes tend to be bigger so that they can hold rifles and larger types of rifles.  You can choose specific criteria for your gun safe.  Some are fire-proof and water-proof while others are might be burglary proof.  These safes have the option of being more decorative as it is possible to get them with a carved wood exterior so they resemble historical gun cabinets.

    Wall & Floor Safes

    The advantages of a wall or a floor safe is that they are hidden.  They can be fire-proof or burglary resistant or they can have the simplest form of security.  Their main defense is the fact that they are hidden from view.  Floor safes are installed into the ground and then covered.  If done right, you can walk over it without ever knowing it’s there.  Wall safes are often hidden behind paintings or pictures.  They can also be installed in closets and concealed by clothing.  It is another added security measure on top of the ones that come with your safe.

    Different safes cater to specific needs.  For example, jewelry safes are made with a jewelry box like interior including wooden drawers and fabric lining to hold your valuables.  Their security is no different, but they tailor to a particular situation.  It is important to know the advantages of each safe in order to find the right one for you.  Two of the most important features are fire-proofing and burglary resistance as these are the two situations most likely to arise.  Other traits to consider is whether the safe is resistant against water damage and microwaves.  Once you’ve picked the right safe, you can have the peace of mind knowing that your valuables will be protected no matter what emergency arises.

    Buying and Installing a Safes in Chicago

    In Chicago, Il Chicago Locksmiths offer a wide range of safe and the great thing they also do safe installation in Chicago. Stop by our location.

    Chicago, IL 60647


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