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Tag Archives: lock installation

  • Why Price doesn’t always determine a quality lock

    Posted on March 13th, 2017 0 Comments

    Here at Chicago Locksmith, we are often asked what kinds of locks are the best for home contexts. However, we tend not to favor one manufacturer or company over another one. The quality of a lock system is not determined by its packability – however this factor SHOULD be taken into consideration. Yes, some of the most expensive locks are impossible to pick, however the true security amounts from not only the lock’s strength, but how strong the door is, and how well it’s bolted into it’s frame. A high quality lock paired with a cheap door or doorframe won’t do that much to prevent a break in.

     

    Picking

    Sometimes cheap locks can be easy to pick, and expensive ones can be easy to pick. It’s easier to pick locks with short pins. It’s harder to pick locks that have a mixture of long and short pins. In order to determine what kind of pins your lock as, look at your key – if it has both deep and shallow cuts in it, it’s harder to pick your lock.

     

    Another aspect of packability is what quality the lock’s metal is made of, and how well it was installed. Good locks are both solid and heavy, and are mounted steadily within the door. All deadbolts should fit cleanly inside their drilled space – and often locksmiths won’t make a deadbolt hole large enough for it to sit properly inside, which increases the vulnerability to crowbar attacks. All bolts should be durable and solid, and should slide fully into the door frame when activated.

     

    Keyways and Home Security

    There’s four main popular residential keyway designs in the United States. These include Kwikset, Schlage, Yale, and Weiser. While many other key patterns are made, the majority of them are made for business security applications. Many outside companies make their locks according to the key designs of the big four companies mentioned above. Lowes ‘Carriage House’ lock design uses the Kwikset Keyway, as well as Home Depot’s ‘Defiant’ locks. Yale utilizes Kwikset keys in its residential lock systems, however it has it’s own type of lock for it’s commercial systems. Schlage makes its own keys for it’s own locks. Sergeant is a particularly high quality lock, that does have some residential offerings, but mostly focuses on making commercial locks.

     

    Again, we want to stress that the true quality of a lock lies in how well it’s installed. The most ineffective lock, is a poorly installed one – so even if your lock is expensive, you need to make sure it’s installed perfectly in order to really get the most out of it.

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  • Child Home Security Tips

    Posted on May 5th, 2016 0 Comments

    homesecurritychicago

    The center of every family is their home; it’s the space for togetherness that adds a sense of safety, regularity, and stability. Not only is the home a financial liability, it’s also a sentimental zone that you want to keep as safe as possible. There’s many options for homeowners that want to beef up their home security; all these upgrades are fantastic choices to increase the safety of your home, but many families overlook a simple risk to home security than can jeopardize all your important preparation – children.

     

    Children can be incredibly volatile and energetic, and might not remember everything that you tell them regarding home security. The majority of children don’t even think about their own safety, much less the structural safety of their home. Teaching children to mind one’s home security system is an important task, that requires a bit of a tactical approach. Here’s some ways that children can compromise home security plans, and how you can address these risks early in order to keep your home and family safe.

     

    Doors

    Teach children about the security significance of doors and windows (taking mind not to scare them, but to firmly illustrate the lesson.) One major lesson is to teach children how to respond to a knock on the door – never to open right away, to ask who it is, how to behave when you’re home and need to be fetched, and how to respond when they are home alone. Children should be taught not to give any information to strangers who knock on the door – simply ask for a name and a purpose of visit, then get in touch with a parent.

    Curtains

    Teach your children about closing the curtains of your home, especially in rooms where there are large, attractive, and expensive looking devices around. I’m not saying that you should become a crazy shut-in, keeping your home swathed in darkness; I’m simply saying to teach your children the value of discretion – by advertising luxury to strangers, you are in some ways inviting a burglary.

     

    Garages

    Children should be taught to keep garage doorways clear of toys, bicycles, or other objects – especially nowadays, when many garage doors are outfit with motion sensors that keep the door open if an obstruction is sensed. If a child leaves objects in the garage doorway, it will keep the door open and make your property more susceptible to burglary or theft.

     

    Internet Safety

    Make sure that your child does not publicize or advertise any information about your schedule over the internet. Many children don’t have a filter over their thoughts, and don’t’ cast a doubt on publicizing information like what they got for Christmas, or their excitement about leaving for a two week vacation. To children, this might seem like a completely harmless sharing of information with friends, but in reality any stranger with access to this information could use it as inspiration or strategy for a burglary or home invasion. Make sure that your kids know now to place your home in the public eye – even anonymously over the internet.

     

    Home Security Technology

    Teach your children how to operate all your home security devices. This includes teaching them to arm and disarm alarms before they leave the house and when they arrive home – you want this knowledge to become instinctual muscle memory for them. Remember, all it takes is one slip up and some bad luck to instigate a burglary. Children should be taught that alarms – regardless of how fun they look to play with – are not toys, and should never be fiddled with.

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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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  • 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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  • Types of Safes

    Posted on October 15th, 2015 0 Comments

    safes

    Safes are the standard security measure for protecting valuable assets. Whether inside your private home or business, a safe can give you the insurance that your precious items are secure. There are a wide variety of types and categories of safes that consumers can choose from – in varying degrees of structural integrity, and specific qualities. Below, I will describe the few different types of safes available for consumers, so you can figure out which category of safe suits your needs best.

    Deposit or Drop Safes

    These types of safes are especially popular in retail or restaurant environments. They provide the ability for any employee to deposit cash or important documents without allowing access to the main safe compartment. In almost all drop safes there is a door located at the top of the safe that can be opened to allow the deposit of precious items into the secure body of the safe – only accessible by key to authorized individuals.

    Fire Rated Safes

    These freestanding safes are designed to protect their contents in the case of a fire. They provide the security of knowing that your assets are safely protected, while in the unfortunate case of a fire, you can concentrate on the physical health and safety of your employees, patrons, or family. They are rated to last for a specific period of time determined by their manufacturer.

    Office safes

    These safes are common in retail and restaurant sectors – they can be bolted to the floor or left freestanding, and are often fire rated as well. They are drop tested to ensure that nobody can access the safe’s contents through repeated dropping.

    Data or Media Safes

    Information stored in any electronic device can be deleted by temperature increases. Paper inside safes can withstand temperatures up to 350 degrees, while electronic data can only withstand temperatures less than 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Data safes are made to be heat proof to protect the important and priceless information from any sort of high temperature or environmental damage.

    In Floor Safes

    These safes can be concealed in the ground under a protective/hiding layer of concrete. This is a popular choice in industrial or commercial fields due to the added security feature of it’s protective layering under a false floor.

    High Security Safes

    These robustly secure commercial safes are the highest security that you can find. These include the TL or TR categories of safes. These safes include multiple barrier levels to prevent drilling, and have additional locking mechanisms that are deployed upon detection of attempted forced entry. The additional security of these safes are often reflected in their steep prices – however for people with assets of the utmost importance, the investment could be worth the peace of mind.

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  • Preventive Steps in Home Security

    Posted on February 20th, 2015 0 Comments

    Chicago Locksmiths security blog

    Your home is supposed to be a place of safety and refuge. Yet an alarming rise in home invasion robberies around the country is leading many homeowners to believe safety and security is an illusion. It doesn’t have to be, if you’re willing to come to terms with reality and do something about it.

    It’s difficult to say for certain how prevalent home invasion robberies are as compared to residential burglaries. This is primarily due to the fact that FBI crime statistics don’t differentiate between the two. Nonetheless, a home invasion is inherently more dangerous because of the tendency of the perpetrators to use violent force.

     

    Understand the Enemy

    The power behind the home invasion is intimidation. In other words, home invaders act quickly and violently in order to instill fear in the hearts and minds of their victims. This fear enables them to do as they please once inside. Often times occupants are tied up or otherwise incapacitated, allowing the perpetrators to take their time going through the home. They can steal jewelry, electronics, credit cards, cash and anything else they believe is valuable.

    The first step in preventing home invasion is understanding the intimidation factor. Never open your door to anyone who might pose a potential threat. This gives you the upper hand and prevents potential invaders from assuming you are already frightened. If you decide to speak to a potential intruder, be firm and confident.

    Understanding your enemy also means knowing why you might be targeted. Most home invasions are not random; criminals come to your home because they’re looking for something. This means you need to be diligent about protecting your privacy. Be aware that the car you drive, the clothes you wear, the way you carry yourself and the way you communicate tells criminals a lot about you. Be private and carry yourself with confidence.

     

    Preventing Entry

    Home invaders use intimidation to subdue their victims; they use violent force to enter a home. To prevent such entries, you should start by installing double key, deadbolt locks in all first-floor doors. Also be sure to use four-screw strike plates as they make it more difficult for intruders to kick your door in. Solid core and steel doors are another good line of defense against home invasion.

    The reality of home invasion is an unfortunate part of the modern world. Learn how to protect yourself and your family.

     

    Key Preventive Steps in Home Security

        Install solid core doors, heavy duty locks, and window security devices
        Lock all doors, windows, and garages at all times
        Use the door peephole BEFORE opening the door
        Use four three-inch screws to secure heavy duty lock strike plates in the door frame
        Use your porch light to help you to see clearly outside
        Never rely on a chain-latch as a barrier to partially open the door
        Never open the door to strangers or solicitors
        Call the police if the stranger acts suspicious
        Alert your neighbors to suspicious solicitors
        Hold a family meeting to discuss home security plans
        Set the home perimeter alarm at night, if you have one

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  • ENTR Smart Lock by Mul-T-Lock

    Posted on February 16th, 2015 0 Comments

    Entr Blog Chicago Locksmihs

     

    New on the market is the Mul-T-Lock’s ENTR smart lock. It has the versatility to please every security conscious homeowner. We have put together a few tips for Chicago residents to get the most out of the Entr Smart Lock.

     

     

    Biometrics for the entire Family

    Everyone who actually lives in the home should be able to take advantage of the biometric entry system to allow access, regardless of whether they have a key or code. The biometric feature can be considered a replacement for a spare key hidden nearby – one without the risk of an intruder discovering the key and using it to access the home. Also, as a convenience mechanism, this feature frees other family members from the need to rush home in the event that someone is stranded outside. Upon installation, one of the first priorities should be ensuring that every family member who needs access is programmed into the lock and able to use the biometric scanner to gain access.

     

     

    Let Traditionalists Be Traditional

    Some people are simply adverse to technology. Most of us have met people who refuse to use common electronics like cell phones because the very idea of being in close contact with something they don’t understand makes them uncomfortable. For these people, the key or remote control key fob is probably the best option. While the lock should still be programmed into the biometric system for emergencies, having an actual key for everyday use can go a long way toward making them happy with the entry system.

     

    Use Temporary Codes for Temporary Access

    In situations where someone will have authorization to enter the home temporarily, like a cleaning person or contractor, being able to give them a code to do so is a terrific convenience. The temptation is to create a generic code to give to any such persons. This is a mistake that defeats the purpose of having a programmable lock. The danger when handing over a physical key is that someone could keep a copy after no longer being authorized to enter the home. Having an active code is no different from having a copy of the key. Unless you would feel comfortable handing over a key to someone and letting them keep it forever, delete access codes for these people as soon as they have no further business using it.

     

    Someone Needs a Real Key

    Even in a situation where everyone prefers to use the electronic entry methods to enter the home, at least one person in the family should keep an actual key handy. Things over which we have no control sometimes occur. Suppose a vandal targets the home and takes his primitive pleasure in bashing the lock with a stone – the most likely part of the lock to survive this mistreatment is probably the mechanical locking mechanism.

    By following these tips, the ENTR Smart Lock can be a boon to both the security and convenience of any family.

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  • Auto Theft in the US

    Posted on December 10th, 2014 0 Comments

    Chicago Locksmiths Auto Theft Blog

    Theft is obviously an issue and it can occur anywhere. Most often we publicize the nefarious bank heists, jewelry smuggling or the theft of famous artworks in Hollywood films. A national favorite is the famous theft by “D.B. Cooper” who fled, by parachute, from a plane with $200,000 in 1971. But let’s be reasonable here. Auto theft and home thefts are more likely to happen to grounded everyday citizens. That doesn’t make these thefts any less interesting however. Recently the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released their analysis of vehicle thefts from 1960 through 2013 and the results were fascinating to say the least. We took the information and thought about its relation to home security. Here’s our lowdown:

    A Numbers Game

    The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported that last year 699,594 automotive vehicles were stolen. That details a 58% reduction in auto theft since 1991. In 1991 the theft was 1,661,738! To make sense of these numbers a few things must first be recognized. In the 1990s, the idea of a single vehicle for a family home became displaced. For one reason or another everyone in a household needed a car. As cars populated the roads thieves saw a cash crop. The main reason for this was that production offered cheap vehicles to a consumer market. But to some extent these automobiles are valuable and what one puts inside them even more so. But during that process they skipped some steps. They completely mismanaged auto security. But, its not all their fault, since that time we’ve replaced keys with computers, fingerprint technologies and voice-verification systems. These technologies amplify security.

     The decrease in theft percentage from then and now is just wild. That decrease is 437.71%. Some states saw their automotive theft remain the same or change very little, while other states adopted newer security technologies in their vehicles or benefited from other vehicles being safe— becoming something like a Müllerian mimic. So the increase in security helped everyone’s case and auto theft went on the decline.

     Homes Security

     We can draw a parallel to home security here. Since home security has been on the rise in consumer interest, especially in those cities with populations greater than 250,000, we’ve seen a steady decline in home invasion and burglary since 1960 as well. Although it might be emotionally painful to have one’s automotive vehicle stolen, think of how much more emotional it might be to have the most secure place in your life compromised. Valuables looted, generations of history taken from you without the slightest trace and more importantly the risk of your life and those around you. Home invasions do happen and unlike the chameleon auto approach, it’s best to adopt a form of property security that matches your security needs.

     

    Conclusion

     Today there are plenty of great solutions for commercial and residential properties that can keep them, their valuables and their persons safe. High-tech auto locks are leading the way. Personalized easy-to-use interfaces have revolutionized all former conceptions of what it means to be secure in today’s evolving word. If you’re concerned with security. Don’t stockpile yourself in to the negative statistics. Go see how you can protect yourself and the community around you by making upgrades to your home as soon as you can.

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  • Understanding Your Options for Upgrading Mechanical Locks in Chicago

    Posted on November 26th, 2014 0 Comments

     

    push button digital locks Chicago Locksmiths blog
    As criminals become smarter, the various mechanisms used to safeguard buildings must be upgraded from time to time. Furthermore, aging hardware must also be replaced due to the threat that wear and tear poses to the safety of industrial and commercial buildings.

    Understanding the process of replacing your old locks ensures that your business can stay secure while keeping time required for the installation of new locks to an absolute minimum.

    Below is a very brief look at some of the lock replacement options available to you in the Chicago area.

     

    Additional Lock Functions

    While you can generally expedite replacement of your old locks by choosing locks from the same manufacturer, you may want to first consider the variety of features available to you when upgrading your locks.

    Most of the functions available are meant to fulfill special needs of unique situations. Locks that have a heightened degree of vandal resistance and locks designed for use in school environments are just two examples of the extra functions that locks can have.

    These functions tend to conform to ANSI standards, which allows a comparison between the various locks available.

     

    Cylindrical Lock Replacement

    While cylindrical locks are some of the most common types of locks, there are still a number of considerations that must be made when replacing a cylindrical lock.
     
    1. How much door preparation is required?
     
    Most cylindrical locks locate their bolts at the 12 or 6 o’clock position that utilizes a 5/16” to 3/8” diameter cross bore, but different manufacturers may have a different setup. Some even allow more modular design that allows for the bore to be adjusted to match existing door prep work.
     
    2. How do lock cylinder dimensions in the exterior lever compare?
    The diameter of lock cylinders tend to be unique to the manufacturers’ masterkey system. Competitive keyway replacement lock cylinders may be available from certain manufacturers, while other manufactures may provide interchangeable exterior levers for the sole purpose of matching equipment lock cylinders of other manufacturers.
     
    3. How well does the diameter of the rose match?
    If the upgraded rose of a lock is smaller than the rose from the previous lock, then you may need to add paint or a finish ring to your door to make the lock both secure and aesthetically pleasing.

    It’s worth noting that this is not a problem when upgrading from a knob lock to a lever cylindrical lock, as most knob locks have lock roses that are significantly smaller than those used in most current cylindrical locks.

     

    Mechanical Pushbutton Locks

    Pushbutton locks off an alternative way to unlock a door. They offer this advantage while being of about the same difficulty to install as a keyed lock.

    Most pushbutton locks use a 3- to 10-digit code to enable a greater degree of secure keys that can be memorized for use. Many pushbutton locks are ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 or 2 certified, and offer the option to use a key as an override to the code if something goes wrong.

    Cylindrical locks can be upgraded using a solenoid or a motor to make a lock change states when the keypad is used. The option for request-to-exit output is also available with some pushbutton locks.

    Understanding Similar Lock Replacement Options

    Other options that haven’t expressly been covered are available when replacing a lock, but most considerations for these types of replacements are similar to the considerations already mentioned.

    For example, mortise locks carry many considerations similar to cylindrical locks.

    When replacing your locks, it’s wise to have your local Chicago locksmith go over the options for functions and lock replacement that you have available to you. New exit devices, electronic control system integration, and even locks that use standalone electromechanical features to create a stronger security environment exist.

    To this end, it’s vital that you choose a lock replacement that works best with your facility. This will give you the largest degree of security while deterring malicious individuals from trying to vandalize your commercial or industrial business.

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  • LISCIO Electronic Keypad Leverset with Bluetooth Programming

    Posted on August 19th, 2014 0 Comments

    Chicago blog keypad

    Looking for the latest and greatest in home entry systems? Throw away that key and check out the LISCIO Electronic Keypad Leverset with Bluetooth Programming from Emtek. This sleek, simple system will enable you to enter your home conveniently with the simple touch of a few discreet buttons. The LISCIO keypad employs Bluetooth programming from your Smartphone, taking advantage of the latest technological advances to provide you with secure and simple access to your home. Take a look at this era’s keyless entry system.

    Specifications and Features

    The LISCIO keypad leverset features a beautifully sleek design that won’t detract from the curb appeal of your home. The security buttons are smoothly integrated into the handle. This integration provides a discreet system that will prevent you from having to look at an ugly, glaring keypad such as those found on warehouse sets. The leverset is available in a polished chrome finish, an oil rubbed bronze finish and a satin nickel finish in order to match a wide variety of design styles.
    The set has an adjustable latch and can fit doors ranging in thickness from 1.75 inches to 2.25 inches. The leverset can be used on both exterior and interior doors and has been weatherproofed specifically for outdoor conditions. You can install one on each exterior door as well as on any interior doors that require extra safekeeping. A low battery indicator light lets you know when it’s time to replace the batteries on your unit.
    Additional features include a small lever footprint that measures just under three inches by just over four and a half inches on the exterior, with interior measurements of two and a quarter inches by six and a half inches. A standard 9-volt battery system can be found housed on the interior trim of the set. The leverset also comes with an exterior key cylinder for backup entry, just in case, making it a versatile and functional set that works under any circumstance.

    How it Works

    Setting up this leverset is a simple process with the help of your Apple or Android phone. After installing a free app available through the Apple store or Google Play, the app wizard will direct you through the steps of setting up your set. This system allows multiple user codes, which you can add, edit or delete through your Smartphone app.
    The app also enables you to view a log of which user code has been entered at what time of day, allowing you to keep a close eye on the security of your home. Additionally, you can manage multiple locks from one device, and all of your existing information can easily be communicated to a new device should you change or update your phone. Safe, smart security has never been so simple.

    Conclusion

    Your home is your castle. It’s important to safeguard it with the best security system available to you. With the LISCIO Electronic Keypad Leverset with Bluetooth Programming from Emtek, you’ll be able to rest in the knowledge that your home is secure.

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