Category : Lockout Services
Posted on February 18th, 2018 0 Comments
The expert residential locksmiths at Chicago Locksmiths regularly perform lockout services for our valued customers. There’s a few strategies, however, that homeowners can tackle when trying to regain entry into their homes that can be attempted before contacting a locksmith. In this blog post, we’ll detail what the first steps you should take are for when you experience a lockout.
Posted on October 13th, 2016 0 Comments
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.
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.
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!
Posted on May 23rd, 2016 0 Comments
Vehicle Identification Numbers are unique code combinations given to vehicles when they are manufactured. This code contains the most important identifying details about the car This code cannot be changed, and remains active throughout the car’s life. Consider it as your car’s DNA.
VIN numbers are made up of a serial code of 17 characters. They started being used in 1954, and different manufacturers used different formats of the code until 1981, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States standardized the use of these codes. This standard excludes the use of letters like: “Q, w, o, O, i, and I” from being used as they can all be easily confused with being the numbers 0 or 1.
World Manufacturer Identifier Numbers
The first three symbols of the VIN number determine the WMI (world manufacturer identifier,) showing which manufacturer made your car. The first character of the WMI identifies the area where the vehicle was made. The next 4 characters provide information about the vehicle type, the model, and the body style.
Uses of VIN Numbers
VIN numbers are incredibly helpful if you want to buy a used car. You can use the car’s VIN number to check its history report, and whether it has sustained any damage in accidents or has insurance that covers it. VIN numbers also help identify stolen cars, or specific parts if you need to have your car repaired, or your car keys copied.
Posted on May 5th, 2016 0 Comments
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted on March 23rd, 2016 0 Comments
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.
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.
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.
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.
These safes are made to be waterproof – they can withstand extended underwater submersion for extended amounts of time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted on March 3rd, 2016 0 Comments
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.