Beesafelocksmith’s Blog

Thoughts and other things from a locksmith

TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR BUSINESS SURROUNDINGS

If you were to give a thief enough time and resources (assuming they had the proper knowledge and the right tools), they could, possibly, break into virtually any building, defeat any lock or open any safe. Fortunately, the average thug does not have the luxury of unlimited time, knowledge, tools and other resources. Consequently, they’re reduced to the most direct approach: Force.

Rather then use finesse, they will break, pry, twist, hammer and otherwise force their way in. That makes it easy for you to take steps to deter them from entering your business.

Simply walk around the inside and outside of your business and look at the doors, win-dows, vents, and various openings in the wall or roof and ask yourself this question: “Could I force my way through that ____________?” If the answer is: “Yes”. Then, you need to strengthen that weak point to keep the thugs out.

Your security measures could be as simple as installing some screws or repairing a broken window latch. We can help you find the simplest, and frequently, the most economical security solutions that are truly effective.

February 11, 2009 Posted by | Home Security | , , , | Leave a comment

You Get What You Pay For

Whether you are considering lock hardware for your home or commercial establishment. it pays to know there are different grades of hardware and costs.   For residential, most homes have the bare minimum Grade 3 locks.  They do their job, but usually lack the strength to defeat a criminal breaking in.  Their cost is mimimal from five to twenty dollars for the keyed entry knob.

The Grade 2 hardware is a heavier and more costly, but can hold its own to damage from a burglar..Grade 2 entry knobs range from approximately twenty-five dollars and up.  The style and finish can also increase the price such as lifetime finish, oli rubbed bronze, etc.  Grade 2 can be a heavy duty residential or a lighter duty commercial.

Grade 3 is mostly commercial type lock hardware.  It is much heavier and more complicated and has various functions as storage, classroom, etc.  Hardware of this type would probably look very institutional in a residence application.

I don’t recommend Grade 2 to my customers just to make more money.  Rather, it’s intended to provide better security for the homeowner.  I also suggest sticking with quality products that can be serviced if necessary and are U.S. manufacturers.  My favorites are Schlage, Kwikset, Corbin, Emtek, and Medeco.  You can go to my company website and go to the Manufacturers links and view their products.   I also invite you to contact me if you have questions and will be glad to answer them.

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December 15, 2008 Posted by | Home Security | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

KNOW WHO’S COMING TO YOUR DOOR!

Countless people call a locksmith in an emergency for the first time.  You gaze at the listings and pick one to call.   Most locksmith businesses are locally run and are bonded, insured, and so forth.  There are unscrupulous businesses that are affiliated with a national chain.  When you call them, the call goes somewhere across the country, the dispatcher will notify the one local to you to proceed.  The dispatcher tells you for instance the work will be seventy-five dollars.  When the “locksmith” arrives, the price goes higher to one hundred or more dollars.  The price usually changes after the work is done and then the fun begins.  Know what services you are getting and have a written estimate in your hand prior to the work.

A reputable locksmith company should have a professional looking vehicle with signage, Watch out for the ones who have the magnetics.  They should also have some type of uniform with company name/logo to match.   Some states require a license number on any advertisement, vehicle, business card, etc.  If you have doubts, ask for an I.D. or call the local police,  Know who is working on your car or buidling.

I just uploaded photos of my vehicle and you can see that it looks professional.  When I greet a customer, I tell them my name and hand them a business card.   I am not a member of ALOA but find their sources very usefull.

The Associated Locksmiths Of America has created a 10-point checklist for detecting a locksmith company that may be engaging in this scheme. Many of the items in this checklist are legal by themselves. However, if several are used together, you may be dealing with a con-artist.

1. Not Familiar with Your Area. To ensure that the company is local, make sure that they are familiar with your area of town.
2. Locksmith Service. Unscrupulous individuals often operate under many business names/aliases. Thus, they must answer the phone with a generic phrase like, locksmith service. If the call is answered this way, ask, What is the legal name of your business.
3. ALOA Logo. Does the Yellow Pages ad contain a logo that makes them appear to belong to ALOA? While many locksmiths do belong to the Association, some unscrupulous individuals trick the consumer by falsely using the ALOA logo. You can always check to see if in fact these businesses are members by calling ALOA, (800) 532-2562 or http://www.findalocksmith.com.
4. Unclear Business Name. Look closely at the ad(s). Is the specific name of the business clearly identified? Does it appear that the dealer actually operates under several names? If a Web address is listed, does the name on the Web site match the name on the ad?
5. Under Same Ownership. This confusing statement, often found in small print at the bottom of a full-page ad in the Yellow Pages, is often legally required to prevent a business from deceiving the public. The statement itself may be a warning sign that the company operates under several aliases.
6. Service Vehicle. Some legitimate locksmiths will work out of a car or unmarked van for quick jobs, but most will arrive in a service vehicle – a van or truck that is clearly marked.
7. Identity. A legitimate locksmith should ask for identity and some form of proof that you have the authority to allow the unlocking to be done. You have the right to ask for the locksmith’ss identification as well. Does he have a business card? Does he have an invoice or bill with the company name printed on it? Does it match the name on the service vehicle?
8. Estimate. Find out what the work will cost before you authorize it. Never sign a blank form authorizing work.
9. Invoice. Insist on an itemized invoice. You can’st dispute a charge without proof of how much you paid and what the payment was for.
10. Refuse. If you are not comfortable with the service provider, you can, and should, refuse to work with the locksmith.

December 9, 2008 Posted by | Home Security | , , , | 2 Comments

HIDE YOUR KEYS

Many people use the various “hide-a-key” products to store a spare key to their house or vehicle. An example of the low cost magnetic type is pictured here. They are very convenient and will secure a key under a fender, backside of a bumper or license plate. The trouble is………… the crooks also know where to look for them. All it takes is a quick sweep in these places for instant access and drive away with the vehicle.

There is a better, although more expensive way to store a spare key. One that stands out is the Supra
brand key safes. Most come with pushbuttons that can be programed by the user to any combination and changed as often as desired. If someone hits the wrong numbers, it will reset itself. For the average key safe, the cost is about $28.00. For the automotive style,about $45-$50 and comes with a rubber cover that protects it from the elements. It can also be mounted on the receiver hitch or other accessible location where it won’t interfere with the operation on the vehicle (i.e. tire clearance, etc.) This same style with or without the protective cover can be mounted on a wall or fence and store a key for entry into a building. Most of these will hold two or three keys depending on how bulky they are. It helps to have a standard key without the plastic or rubber heads (“bows”, in locksmith speak).

Another type of key holder is the statuary or “fake rock” that you can placed near the front door or in a planter. The trouble with most of these, they are obvious to the criminal of their purpose. If you really want one of these, try to get one that blends in and doesn’t say “I’ve got the key you’re looking for!” One of the best sayiings is “you get what you pay for”. Get something of quality to do the job. Cheap, is just asking for “just walk right in”.

December 5, 2008 Posted by | Auto Security, Home Security | , , , | 3 Comments