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  • Brief School Safety Statistics

    Posted on January 6th, 2017 | 0 Comments

    School safety has become a hot button issue in the news media. Here’s Chicago Locksmith’s brief guide to some of the safety statistics that define security in our nation’s schools, as reported through data gathered by the Journal of School Health, and the National Center for Education Statistics.

     

    • Metal detectors reduce the chances of weapons being carried within the school by 5.8 percent, and one being carried while heading to or leaving school by 7.5 percent.

    • When asked if security officers should search student with metal detectors, 40 percent of boys and 57 percent of girls said yes - in total, 49 percent of children surveyed.

    • Administrators estimated that violent crime was reduced by 32 percent, drug crime by 14 percent, with an overall crime reduction of 32 percent.

    • 3 percent of students between 12 and 18 said they were scared of being attacked inside or on their way in and out of school during the school year, with the same amount of children mentioning having the same fear when school is out.

    • Between 85 and 89 percent of public schools reported crimes, with about 65 percent of those cases being reported to the police.

    • Vandalism was recorded as occurring between 46 and 49 percent of the time.

    • 9 percent of teachers reported being threatened with violence by students.

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  • Building Exit Devices

    Posted on January 4th, 2017 | 0 Comments

    In order for commercial buildings to stick to official fire prevention and building codes, it’s essential that you have proper exit devices in place in order to keep all building occupants safe.

    These rules change based on how many occupants are inside the building. Door exit devices are usually installed on the side of the door that swings out to open, in order to prevent any sort of unauthorized access while allowing for full free egress.

     

    These systems were first implemented  in the USA after a slew of deadly building fires, notably the terrible Uroquois theatre fire of 1903. Exit devices were made to open outwardly, to accommodate the rapid flow of people who may be rushing to leave a building.

     

    Correctly Installed Exit Devices

    There’s 3 commonly used varieties of exit devices that get used today: mortise lock exit devices, vertical rod exit devices, and rim lock exit devices. Rim locks are the most commonly used variety, and are named after the rim lock latches commonly sold in the early 1900s in the East Coast and in the Midwest. These locks get mounted on top of the secured area of the door frame, and have a latch that is positioned over the surface strike.

     

    Mortise lock exit devices are made of a mortise lock sans deadbolt, which are usually attached within the door’s pocket. As the push bars get pushed in, the tail shaft (otherwise known as a spindle) turns which releases the latch bolt and lets the door open.

     

    Bolt type exit devices are fairly new mechanisms; when they are locked, they cause the deadbolt latch to move to touch the strike, minimizing the space between the bolt and the strike.

     

    Panic bars

    All exit devices are either non fire rated (panic bars) or fire rated exits. Panic bars are made up of a door latching mechanism, and an activation mechanism that causes the door to unlatch, opening up in the direction of the egress opening whenever a force is placed on it. The panic latch has to have an unlatching force which is a maximum of 15 pounds, and it has to be able to get operated by any regular person, as opposed to someone with specialized training.

     

    Fire Rated Exit Bars

    These door latches can get fitted onto fire proof doors, and help provide a barrier for smoke or flames. These doors are self-closing and automatically latching, but they can’t ever get locked from opening to the outside while anybody is inside the building.

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  • When Keys Get Stuck In Car Ignition

    Posted on January 30th, 2017 | 0 Comments

    There’s many reasons that car keys sometimes get stuck inside the ignition of the vehicle. If it occurs constantly, it’s most likely a structural issue with the ignition switch itself. There’s a large chance that there’s some sort of wire or button inside the structure that houses the ignition mechanism that’s misaligned, preventing the key from turning to the fully disengaged position where it can be removed. This counts as a full jam in the device - but if you jiggle the key around or lightly hit the steering column, the key can be released.  Here's Chicago Locksmith's automobile expert's guide to stuck car keys.

    Locked Steering Wheels

    There’s other situations where there’s no inner structural malfunctions, but the steering wheel itself is locked in a closed position. In these situations, you just need to slightly rotate it left or right to help release the key. Another tactic to implement is to check to see which direction the car’s wheels are turned to, and turning the steering wheel in the other direction. When cars get parked with their wheels facing opposite directions, it can put great pressure on the steering wheel making it jam. When you release it with this method, there’s a loud click, signaling that the ignition is freed up.

    Manual Removal

     

    You might be trying to move your key when it breaks off inside the car ignition. Try to use pliers to manually yank out the part of the key that you have access to. If you don’t see it, try applying a small amount of superglue to the head of the key that broke off, stick it inside so it can touch the part that broke it off, wait a few minutes, and pull it out. REMEMBER: only use a small amount of superglue, as if it get’s into the mechanism it can break it.

    If the key is STILL stuck, it’s probably due to a shifter mechanism malfunction. In this situation you will need the help of a professional. Call a licensed car repair service as soon as possible, as these malfunctions can cause airbags to suddenly be deployed, which can be quite dangerous.

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  • Process Of Rekeying

    Posted on December 1st, 2016 | 0 Comments

    lock-rekeying

    Re-keying is a unique, convenient, and special service that saves our clients much time, money, and stress. You might be wondering how rekeying is exactly so beneficial. Well. here’s how.

    What’s a Rekey?

    Rekeying at it’s most essential core is the process of changing a lock so a different key can work it. The process was first invented by Solomon Andrews of the State of New Jersey in 1836 - and involves the modification of the tumbler configuration of a lock that allows a brand new key to work with it, while rendering the older key non-working. Tumbler configurations are made up of a steady line of pins that only allow for a lock to open when the correct key is inserted, and the slots align properly.

    Reasons to Rekey

    • If you lose your keys you should get your locks rekeyed. It puts your home security at risk, and someone can potentially find your keys and enter your home when you're not there.
    • When buying or renting a new apartment it's a safe practice to rekey your locks just in case the previous occupant of the space still retains ownership of the keys. You don't want a stranger rifling through your things.  If you have your home for a long amount of time, you're risking lot's of people having access to your personal property.
    • If you have antique locks you should rekey them as they often have malfunctions, and increase the risk of home break-ins.

    Benefits of Rekeying

    Rekeying offers fantastic advantages over full lock replacements. First of all, rekeying doesn’t require the time and cost intensive process of fully replacing an entire lock piece - it only changes the interior pins within the lock, so a brand new key can operate it. This is a much cheaper and simler option than a full lock replacement, and it’s also a fantastic safety and security strategy for homeowners, business owners, and even realtors who want a sense of security in knowing that no previous tenants of their property (or anyone who has a previous key) can access their property, and potentially steal from them.

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  • Locksmith Hiring Advice

    Posted on December 18th, 2016 | 0 Comments

    locksmith-hiring-advice

    It happens to everyone. Sometimes you really can’t prevent getting locked outside of your car, home, or workplace. Everyone at one point needs to consider the installation of high security locks or a home security system. Regardless of your specific lock related needs, there’s a few important factors to  keep in mind while you’re hiring a locksmith. Here’s a few tips to help you pick the best possible locksmith for whatever project that you need completed.

     

    Choose a Local Provider

    It’s the smartest choice to work with a local locksmith to make sure that you get the best balance of reliability and fair pricing. If you’re working with a non local locksmith you might get service delays, and it’s much easier to check up on any references or reviews of local locksmiths. Additionally, any locksmith that will have to commute far to your area will likely charge somewhat higher of a rate. If you don’t know a local locksmith, ask your friends or neighbors for their recommendations.

     

    24/7 Service

    If you need to get high security locks installed at your business, or a CCTV or deadbolt installed at your home, it’s smartest to maintain relations with a locksmith that can provide you service at any time of day or night; this is especially valuable if you ever require lockout service - which most commonly happens in the very middle of the night.

     

    Insurance

    Make sure to ask any locksmith whether they have insurance before they perform any services that you hire them for. If you hire a locksmith with insurance then you won't have to worry about the repercussions of anything potentially going wrong during the job. Insured locksmiths usually have more experience and skills than those who don’t have any.

     

    Personal Needs

    Locksmiths provide a plethora of services, from CCTV systems to high security deadlocks. It’s the smartest approach to isolate exactly which service you need most, and working with a locksmith who specializes, or has particular experience in that area. That way you can rest assured that your job will be completed by someone who knows how to do it right.

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  • Different Kinds Of Locks

    Posted on December 23rd, 2016 | 0 Comments

    typesoflocks

    Locks serve a primary purpose of helping protect valuable possessions. From The ancient locks made of rope knots, to contemporary electronic locks, there’s a plethora of lock types in both history and contemporary society. In this blog entry, I’ll review some of the most widely known and popular types of locks.

     

    Padlocks

    These popular freestanding  locks were first invented in ancient Babylon and Egypt, and are greatly portable. The first modern padlock was patented by Harry Soref in 1924, after founding the Master Lock company.

     

    Combo Padlocks

    These padlocks require a specific sequence of numbers in order to unlock - they may have a single or many dials - however single dial locks are more secure than multi dial locks. This type of lock was invented by James Sargent in 1857, and updated by Linus Yale Jr., of the famous locksmith company. These locks aren’t the most secure, as they can be easily picked or broken into.

     

    Key Padlocks

    These key operated locks vary wildly - some can be rekeyed, others cannot - so if you have the non rekeyable variety, and you lose the key, the shackle will have to be broken.

     

    TSA Locks

    These locks are approved by the Transportation Security Administration for luggage securing - they can only be opened by TSA employees to inspect luggage. Unfortunately, these locks are notoriously easy to pick.

     

    Deadbolts

    These ultra secure locks are often used in homes or outside doors along with a somewhat less secure lock. They are widely based off the jimmy proof lock invented to deter and prevent burglars from entering homes and offices.

     

    Single Cylinder Deadbolts

    This is the most commonly used deadbolt in homes in the USA. They can be installed with an additional flip guard which prevents the thumb turn from turning, preventing it from being able to get picked.

     

    Double Cylinder Deadbolts

    These even more secure deadbolts require a key on the inside and outside of the lock, but can be a safety hazard if there’s an emergency that requires a quick exit - so they are prevented from being able to get installed in many residential situations in the USA.

     

    Thumbturn Deadbolts

    These deadbolts can lock doors from the outside and inside, and is a combination of single and double cylinder deadbolts, that has a key cylinder on one end, and a thumbturn on the other.

     

    Jimmy Proof Deadbolts

    These deadbolts are most commonly found inside homes and apartments, and are easy to install as they are surface mounted - and are much more resistant to strong force or interference than the usual deadbolt.

     

    Knob Locks

    These locks are found on doorknobs and are commonly paired with deadbolts. They are a rudimentary type of spring lock, and aren’t the most secure, as they can be easily knocked off the door.

     

    Lever Handle Locks

    These locks are commonly found in businesses or institutions and are most often used in interior doors - but they are also rather insecure, as they can be somewhat easily broken off.

     

    Mortise Cylinders and Rim Cylinders

    These are a secure alternative to deadbolts, and can be found on sliding glass doors or in retail environments. The difference between mortises and rim cylinders is that the latter has an extended tailpiece that is threaded through the door into the lock, while mortise cylinders have a side-thread, and are directly attached to a mortise hardware that gets installed into the door.

     

    Interchangeable Cores

    These locks are used in institutional and large commercial settings, as they can easily allow for key changes without full deinstallation. They are operated with either standard operator keys, which can lock and unlock the lock - or control keys, that remove the main core from the lock, allowing for a replacement core to be inserted.

     

    Cam Locks

    These low security screw based locks are the type that can usually be found in mailboxes or filing cabinets - the ‘cam’ is the back part that operates as the latch for the screw base.

     

    Digital Locks

    These locks are operated electronically, with either a coded card that gets inserted, or the entry of a numerical pin code. The codes can be easily changed, but they can be hacked, so they aren’t impervious to all burglary attempts.

     

    Smart Locks

    These locks operate in conjunction with a programmed code on one’s smartphone - through an application commonly included along with the purchase of the lock itself.

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  • Controlling Locks With Smart Phones

    Posted on November 18th, 2016 | 0 Comments

    controlling-locks-with-smart-phone

    Advancements in Wireless Door Locks

    Today, in 2016, we have a high level of advanced technology that can help make your life more organized and simple, while also increasing the level of security in your home. Your house, apartment, or commercial location are also susceptible to the technology upgrades that vehicular locks receive. Many lock manufacturers offer locks that you can remotely control from your smart phone or internet ready device. Every manufacturer maintains separate mechanisms for remote operation, and many don’t even require you to replace the door lock that you’re currently working with. If you install a remote control deadbolt, you can unlock your home so somebody can check on it when you’re away from home, or even let somebody who forgot their keys inside your home from a distance. These wireless locks can help one save cash if they often find themselves calling locksmiths due to lost or misplaced keys.

    New Lock Technology

    One particular brand that makes wireless locks that can be installed without changing your current lock system is the Lockitron - which can be placed right over your current deadbolt, and operates with wifi and bluetooth capabilities. Simply unlock the lock, place the device on it, and use it’s included mobile application to help lock and unlock the lock. This is a fantastically convenient option for property owners looking to minimize the time they spend looking for keys or unlocking their doors.

    Another example of fantastic wireless lock technology is the Schlage Nexia, which allows users to wirelessly control deadbolts, as well as program up to nineteen separate security codes that you can use to unlock your door. You can give this code to separate members of your business and household, so that each can carry their own personal entry code. There’s also the possibility of programming specific codes that only work during certain parts of the day. This is a great option for business owners or homeowners who want to let workers in during the day, while they are at work; this way, people can enter your property when they are allowed to, and cannot when they are not.

    The increasing popularity of smart phone lock control, as it gains momentum, will help home and business owners by making their lives much more fast, practical, and efficient.

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  • Avoiding Going Crazy Over Lost Car Keys

    Posted on November 3rd, 2016 | 0 Comments

    picture-of-person-stressed-out-about-car

    With almost three million people, the population of Chicago is constantly swarming around. It comes as no new revelation, to us, that the majority of the calls we get are to help replace broken or misplaced car keys. The loss of car keys can be incredibly stressful, rife with worry and panic - but it doesn’t have to be this stressful. You always have the option of relying on the amazing service at Chicago Locksmith to help you when you’re in need - and there’s additional measures that you can take to help avoid going crazy when you lose or misplace your car keys.

    Get to know (us) your local locksmith

    If you get to know your local Chicago locksmith, you’ll never have to worry about searching for a locksmith when you’re in a rush to replace your car keys, or get let back into your vehicle. Chicago Locksmith offers expert emergency lockout service, and our emergency technicians are available on a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week basis so that when or where ever you may need help, we’ll be able to save you.

    Make copies of keys

    One of the best possible methods of avoiding getting stranded by losing car keys is to proactively make copies of your car keys in advance. The car key experts at Chicago Locksmith can come directly to your location and craft you a duplicate key, as well as program it for you right at your location. They can even provide you a magnetic box that can attach to the bottom of your vehicle and attach your keys, so that you can always have a spare one handy if you ever need it.

    Chicago Car Key Replacement

    If you ever find yourself in dire need of car key replacements, there’s simply no reason to worry. Contact one of the mobile experts at Chicago Locksmith, and they can help you out- instantly coming to your location and providing any key cutting, copying, or programming you may need, all at a competitive price. We offer a massive range of car key replacement services, and can provide our customers with all types of keys - from standard ones, to transponders, remotes, and proximity fobs. Not only can we help out with lost car keys, we also offer a full range of emergency services for all residential and commercial locksmith needs. 

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  • Why Car Lockouts Are The Absolute Worst

    Posted on October 23rd, 2016 | 0 Comments

    why-car-lockouts-are-the-absolute-worst

    What’s your vote on the worst possible car problems to find yourself with? Many people probably imagine that any sort of engine trouble would be incredibly aggravating - since, depending on your vehicle model, repairing engines might be an expensive operation. Other people might think transmission problems, since they’re also known to be quite expensive. Others might immediately think of common issues like blown out tires or broken mirrors, but there’s one incredibly commonplace issue that many people don’t even consider - being locked outside of your car.

     Perhaps you lost your keys, or locked them inside your car - in any case, you need your keys back. Vehicle lockouts should be considered serious issues, since:

     

    Car Locks are Unpickable

    Car locks differ from most manual door locks. With doors, you might have had experience using a bobby pin or other skinny tool to open an accidentally locked door, but this can’t be doen with cars. Besides the truth that car locks are much more materially complicated than door locks, all vehicles from the last 20 years have an internal chip that works along with the lock and key mechanism to unlock your car. It’s not worth trying to pick a car lock, you can waste over an hour doing so, and all you’re going to probably accomplish is damaging your car- which will lead to the need for another extensive repair operation. It’s best to trust an experienced professional to unlock your car.

     

    Being stuck in the Great Outdoors isn’t much fun

    While we all wish that all car problems occurred during sunny and perfect weather, it just doesn’t. Outdoor weather doesn’t just affect you when you’re driving, but it can when you’re trying to get inside your car in the first place. Imagine being locked outside your car during frigid windy weather, or during a gigantic rainstorm. Or imagine being stuck outside your car in the heat of the summer, with 100% humidity. Not fun at all.

     

    You’re going to be a Sitting Duck in the City

    Chicagoans love their native city, but they understand that you don’t want to be stranded in an unfamiliar neighborhood outside your car. Being along by it isn’t a good idea when you can’t sit inside it, you’re going to look like a potential target for criminals, as well as suspicious to police officers who might interrogate you. It’s best just to avoid being stuck outside your car - or to find a way to get back inside as quickly as possible.

     

    If you want to ensure that you can get back into your vehicle as quickly and safely as possible, Chicago Locksmiths can be a fantastic ally - we maintain a 24/7 emergency lockout service, with an approximately 15 minute response time, so you’ll never have to wait around for that long.

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  • Locksmith Myths

    Posted on October 13th, 2016 | 0 Comments

    locksmith-myths

    There’s tons of myths out there regarding locksmiths. For the most part, locksmiths are there to provide you with honest service that really helps you when you need assistance. That being said, let’s debunk some of the most common rumors about locksmiths, so that you can feel prepared next time you may need one.

     

    Locksmiths Never keep Key Copies

    Many people assume that locksmiths keep copies of keys so that whenever you ask them to make you a spare, they can make it quickly from the copy on hand. This is simply untrue, since most locksmiths agenda is simply to provide you with service as you request it - they have to reason to maintain continued access to your home, business, or vehicle. When you give a locksmith your key to make a copy, they trace it’s pattern onto a blank key, and give them both back to you when they are done. You can watch the entire process as it’s happening, so you know that they’re not making another copy at the exact same time.

     

    They don’t only do house calls

    Most locksmiths offer a whole panoply of instant solutions that include residential locksmith services, as well as automotive and commercial services. They don’t just perform house calls. They come to any home ready with an entire arsenal of equipment, ready to install commercial locks at an office, or even ready to repair a vehicle’s ignition.

     

    24/7 Availability

    Depending on which locksmith company you decide to work with, you can certainly find one that works on a 24/7 basis, around the lock. Locksmith emergencies can happen at any time of day or night, so the right locksmith will be available exactly when you need them.

     

    Grades of Tools Vary

    If all locksmiths used the exact same kinds of tools, none of them would be very distinct. In order for locksmiths to maintain a competitive edge amongst their other competition, they have to use the best tools available on the market coupled with the absolute best customer service. A truly great locksmith will use a broad arsenal of professional grade tools to work on deadbolts, electronic locking systems, personal safes, garage doors, and almost any kind of locking mechanism.

     

    Telephone Estimates

    There’s a stereotype that locksmiths don’t provide accurate over the phone estimates for their services, but they absolutely do. Only professional locksmiths, like Chicago Locksmiths, will give you a price estimate over the phone - and scam locksmiths out to gouge prices almost never will.

     Remember these rebuttals of locksmith related myths next time you’re searching for a truly professional service!

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