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What Is Lock Snapping?

Posted by on 7:28 pm in Locksmith | 0 comments

What Is Lock Snapping?

 What Is Lock Snapping? Also referred to as “cylinder snapping” and “lock bumping,” lock snapping is a technique used by burglars to gain access into homes and businesses. With this technique, a specific type of lock cylinder is literally snapped in two with the right amount of pressure applied. As a result, the outside portion of the lock is exposed, making it possible to reach the interior mechanism. Although burglars use a variety of entry methods, snapping is one of the most common. For getting inside a property with a euro cylinder lock, security is compromised. This type of lock is often associated with uPVC doors for both residential and commercial purposes. Making Entry with Lock snapping With lock snapping, a burglar has the ability to gain access to the locking mechanism, which is then tampered with to get the door unlocked. In the United Kingdom alone, there are more than 22 million doors at risk for snapping. This method is used throughout Europe as well as North America. Within the past few years, lock snapping has become far more prevalent because intruders do not need any special skills or tools to achieve their goal. In fact, with this method, a burglar can use a screwdriver, hammer, ice pick, or any other similar object to reach in and grab the cylinder that unlocks the door. Depending on how skilled the criminal is, sometimes lock snapping can be performed in a matter of seconds. A study was conducted to find out what methods burglars prefer; of those questioned, the majority said lock snapping because it is fast, easy, and efficient. Biggest Risks As mentioned, certain locks are at greater risk for lock snapping than others. One example is a euro profile cylinder set designed with two double cylinders and a single cylinder on the left that uses a screw as security. These locks are common throughout Europe, but there are still plenty of homes and businesses in the U.S. and Canada that have them as well.   These locks are commonly installed on uPVC and double glazed doors. Because of the risk involved, professional locksmiths strongly recommend that additional security measures are added. This can include a high-quality deadbolt, anti-life bar, shoot bolt, or something else. The reason is that once the lock is snapped, the door can be compromised in no time. There are actually a number of anti-snap locks on the market that are designed specifically to prevent this type of criminal action. For this kind of lock, there is a section that will snap off if someone tries to break it. Because of this, the locking portion of the cylinder stays completely secure. If you have a type of lock mentioned, it is important to have your home or business inspected by a qualified locksmith so the right type of lock can be installed and other safety measures recommended. With the right preventative measures, you can prevent lock snapping and keep your...

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What Is an Interchangeable Core and How Is It Used?

Posted by on 7:11 pm in Locksmith | 0 comments

What Is an Interchangeable Core and How Is It Used?

 What Is an Interchangeable Core and How Is It Used? In simple terms, an interchangeable core is a type of lock that offers flexibility in managing keyed locks. Often used for commercial and industrial type applications, this type of lock is designed with a removable core in which the key cylinder is housed. Usually, an interchangeable core lock is compatible with a number of different cores, which again offers flexibility as well as convenience if you ever need to swap cores out. Today, you can choose a doorknob and lever made with a traditional keyway or, if preferred, an interchangeable core. Overview of an Interchangeable Core Lock By having a lock with an interchangeable core, the need to break down the locking mechanism to replace or repair the cylinder mechanism is eliminated. These locks are approximately 20 percent smaller than more conventional locks. For example, for the most common barrel or plug cylinders, the diameter is 0.509, whereas for an interchangeable core lock, the diameter is just 0.437. Even the pins, as well as spacing between pin chambers and key cuts, are smaller compared to standard cylinders with pin tumblers. For an interchangeable core lock, you have a choice of six- or seven-pin chambered cores, each capped individually. In addition, there are three unique configurations for pin size known as A2, A3, and A4. Based on the unique dimensions of the pins and key cuts used for these three configurations, the total key combination is unique. Although there are a number of brands that have been on the market for a long time, there are also some newer patented designs. Regardless, the assembly procedures, pinning systems, cutting, and key dimensions remain the same. However, one benefit of using one of the newer types of interchangeable core locks is that the plug comes preassembled so there is never maintenance to be done in the field. Unique Configuration Each interchangeable core lock is comprised of several different components, which varies according to brand. As an example, some locks are designed with zero sub assembled components while others are made of four preassembled components. Other components associated with interchangeable core locks include: Cap Pins – These work by sealing each of the individual pin chambers. Springs – To maintain a constant pressure within the core, these springs provide the correct tension. Top Pins and Drivers – To ensure the stack configuration for each pinning system is correct, top pins and drivers are chosen according to size. Pins for the A2, A3, and A4 configuration make it possible for master level keys within the system to rotate the plug properly when inserted into the core lock. Bottom Pins – These pins have a unique ball end shape and, as with top pins, are chosen based on size relating to the keys used to operate the interchangeable core lock. Of the different pins within the plug, the bottom pins are at the first level and rounded so they can move up and down the cuts of keys. When the bottom pins are cut to the right depth, pins within the chamber achieve a shear line so the plug can rotate once the appropriate keys fully inserted in the core. Slide Cover – In some cases, an interchangeable core lock will have a slide cover...

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Understanding the Locksmithing Craft

Posted by on 1:42 pm in Locksmith | 0 comments

  Locksmithing is not just about installing locks and helping people with emergency vehicle lockouts. Although these are provided services, locksmithing is more of a craft. There are very distinct skills associated with locksmithing, and in fact, reputable companies only employ technicians who are properly educated, certified/licensed, bonded, and insured. Locksmithing is a great career. If you think about it, there is always a need for good locksmithing services. The high demand for this service will only increase. Today, more and more people are depending on high-tech security systems and sophisticated locking mechanisms. Since these are areas of services covered under locksmithing, the amount of work will continue to grow. Special Requirements Although there are plenty of unlicensed locksmiths in business, these are not true professionals. In fact, many of these individuals are nothing more than criminals waiting for opportunities to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. Reputable locksmiths enjoy the challenges of the job and understand what they do is a craft, one that offers many exciting rewards. Because of this, there has also been an increase in the number of people showing interest in a locksmithing career. However, to work for the best companies and build a solid customer base, it is essential that an individual complete the appropriate education and gain experience by working under a master locksmith before going at it alone. In addition to working for an actual locksmith company, these professionals are employed by top security firms around the country. Of course, there is also the option of starting a locksmithing business. To be successful in the craft of locksmithing, all the tricks of the trade must first be learned. Basics – Not always, but often someone who becomes a locksmith has had a long-standing interest in taking things apart and putting them back together. With determination, almost anyone can enjoy this career. Typically, locksmithing is for someone who is focused, driven, and detail-oriented. Education – To enjoy the craft of locksmithing, an individual needs to complete specific education. Learning can be done through a trade school, on a traditional college campus, or through an official online training course. After basic education, a person then needs to complete certification courses. As a certified locksmith, more doors of opportunity open. Internship – One of the best decisions a certified locksmith can make is completing an internship while under the supervision of a master locksmith. On-the-job training is by far the best education. With this, a locksmith will face real-life situations that require specific solutions. Being under a watchful eye allows a certified locksmith to continue honing the...

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Tips for Keeping Intruders Away

Posted by on 1:39 pm in Locksmith | 0 comments

  While home security might seem straightforward, in reality it needs to be addressed cautiously. Without making the right decisions, your family could be at greater risk. It is important to understand that a determined intruder will have the ability to bypass most deterrents. Therefore, it is essential to work with a professional locksmith to identify the necessary steps for making your home a safer place. Great Deterrents Below are some of the most proven methods of keeping intruders out of your home. Heavy-Duty Locking System – Locks are the most important way to keep your family members and belongings safe. Although there are many different locking mechanisms available, you want something that is tough. For example, a locksmith can install deadbolts in conjunction with strong bolts. Another option is with a keyless locking system, preferably one that operates via biometrics. Home Security System – In addition to tough locks, a locksmith can assist with a high-end yet affordable home security system. Again, there are multiple options and features, but two in particular that work best are alarms that produce audible alerts and those that connect directly to a local police station, usually through a calling center. Metal Bars – For glass and sliding doors, metal bars are still the best way to keep intruders out of your home. Rather than heavy and unsightly metal bars from the 1980s, there are small and less visible options available. However, these new bar systems are still extremely effective in stopping an intruder from trying to gain entry through a sliding door. Surveillance – Closed circuit cameras also work great. While this type of home security is a little more expensive, it offers key advantages. For one thing, a CCTV camera can capture goings-on within the home while you are out of town, so if the home is broken into, everything is filmed. In addition, surveillance cameras can be accessed via a smartphone, so at any given time, you have the ability to check up on things. Lock Changes – A common mistake that people make when moving into a new home is not changing the locks. Remember, you have no idea who still possesses a key, so the first step is to have all locks changed and upgraded. After that, you should have locks replaced periodically, especially those on the front and back door. Non-Home Locks – Just as you want heavy-duty locks on the home, make sure outside sheds, detached garages, and outbuildings are just as secured. After all, there are probably tools inside that an intruder could use to gain entry into the...

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Types of Locks for Garage Doors

Posted by on 12:08 pm in Locksmith | 0 comments

Along with design and functionality of garage doors and openers changing over the years, so have locking mechanisms. Often, people will spend significant money upgrading window and door locks on the home’s exterior but forget about the garage door. Unfortunately, many criminals are aware of this fact, which provides an often-overlooked means of gaining entry. Conventional Locking Mechanisms Today, millions of residential garage doors are still locked the old-fashioned way, using two primary methods. Although these methods work, considering all the high-tech and revolutionary locks for garage doors that provide far better security, they are considered outdated. T-Handle – Usually, a T-handle lock is on garage doors made of metal. This type of lock consists of a handle in the shape of a “T” and a cylinder-shaped key. The secure factor for T-handle locks is that they cannot be opened using standard keys, only the special key made for this particular type of locking mechanism. Side Door Bolt – This is another old-fashioned method of locking garage doors. With this, a lock is installed on the interior of the door, which is comprised of a bolt and receiving slot on the track. To lock the garage door, the bolt is simply slid into the open slot. This is still relatively safe, because intruders cannot gain access to the actual lock for tampering or entry purposes. Most Secure Options for Garage Door Locks To beef up security and provide the entire family with peace of mind, it is worthwhile to make upgrades to garage door locks. The garage door is opened and closed multiple times through the day and night, providing easy access to determined criminals. This is also where vehicles are parked and personal belongings stored, so it needs to be as secure as possible. Recognizing the need to make garage doors more secure, the lock industry has devised newer and better options. Sometimes people will add modern locking mechanisms to existing garage door locks, giving them double protection, but usually this is not required. The following locks are more secure options to consider. Electronic Locks – For both side entry and actual garage doors, electronic keys work incredibly well. Thanks to advanced technology, these locks require a fingerprint in order to open and close the door. This type of lock is capable of supporting multiple fingerprints, so everyone in the family as well as authorized guests can gain access. When it comes to security, electronic locks are one of the most secure. The only downside is that these locks can be somewhat expensive. Keyless Digital Locks – Also referred to as “keyless entry,” this is another excellent way to enhance security on both the garage and side entry door. For this system, the homeowner chooses an entry code that is programmed into the system. Without having that code, no one can get inside the garage. Because keyless digital locks work so well, most companies provide a lifetime warranty against any damage caused by an...

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Types of High-Security Locks

Posted by on 12:08 pm in Locksmith | 0 comments

When talking about different types of high-security locks, this includes brand name but also design. With increasing demand for better home and business locks, manufacturers have come up with some extremely innovative solutions. Obviously, this is great news, but it also makes the section process somewhat challenging. Best Types of Security Locks For starters, it helps to understand some of the different types of locks relating to design. Deadbolts – Although deadbolts have been around for a long time, they remain one of the best methods of protecting a property. Deadbolts are affordable, made of high-quality materials, and designed to stop intruders from gaining access via forced entry. According to the latest statistics released by the FBI in 2012, roughly 60 percent of the 2.1 million burglaries that year involved forced entry. Made from hardened steel and designed so the bolt extends fully into the doorjamb, a deadbolt is an exceptional choice. Mortise Lock – This type of high-security lock has also been around for years. Because they fit to the interior of the door itself, mortise locks are difficult to open, even with intense force. For this, the locking system is cut into the edge of the door so only the faceplate is visible. In addition to being hard to force open, the mortise lock is extremely hard to pick, even by a highly skilled criminal. The key with a mortise lock is choosing one with a five- or six-lock lever. Biometric Locks – Although these types of locks are more commonly used on commercial properties, some homeowners use them as well. With this type of lock, you use a fingerprint to gain entry, as opposed to a more traditional key. However, some systems use a key as a backup. Another benefit to biometric locks is that you can record and view such information as who entered and at what time. Smart Lock – Available from Apple, the Smart Lock sells for around $250, minus installation, and is a revolutionary method of keeping a home and business secure. This lock just became available to the public this past October. It works by replacing a door’s standard deadbolt with an electronic lock that is wireless and controlled by smartphone. With a tap on the phone’s screen, the door can be locked and unlocked. Top Lock Brands In addition to the different types of high-security locks, it is important to consider brand. After all, some brands have been time tested and proven to provide incredible security. The following are just a few recommendations.   Abloy Protec ASSA BiLock NG EVVA MC Kwikset Marks Security Locks Medeco MIWA Mul-T Lock Sargent & Greenleaf Schlage Stanton Concepts   To make the right choice, there is a tremendous amount of information available online. However, if you need assistance, not only in selecting the best type of high-security lock for a home or business but also installation and ongoing support, a professional locksmith can...

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Help with Ignition Keys That Won’t Turn

Posted by on 1:49 pm in Locksmith | 0 comments

If you have ignition keys that won’t turn, the following information will help. There are actually a few different reasons for this problem, so you may need to try more than one of the following solutions. Reasons for Ignition Keys That Won’t Turn One of the most common reasons for an ignition key not to turn is because of a locked steering wheel. Many vehicles are designed with steering wheels that lock once the vehicle is placed in park, the engine turned off, and the key removed. Good news: This is an extremely quick and easy solution. Simply turn the wheel to the left or right, which frees up the wheel and allows the ignition key to turn. Another potential problem is that the keyway, which is where the ignition key is inserted, could be clogged from lint, dirt, or some other form of debris. Remember, this hole is small, so it does not always take a lot for it to become clogged. Rather than poke something inside that can cause damage to the cylinder, purchase a small can of electrical cleaner sold at automotive parts and supplies stores. After spraying the cleaner into the hole, wait a minute, and then try to turn the key again. If this is the problem, the key will turn easily, but if you feel the need to force it, something else is wrong. One important note is that electrical cleaner to unclog an ignition should never be used for any Toyota, Honda, or Acura model, nor for a vehicle designed to use a high-security key. The key itself should also be visually inspected. Even a small bend or slightly damaged or worn area can be the reason the ignition key won’t turn. In this case, pull the key out just slightly or wiggle it a little before trying to turn it again. If this allows you to start the vehicle, then you should have a new key made by a professional locksmith. The new key will be coded as opposed to duplicated, meaning it is cut by a machine capable of recreating the exact spacing and depth of the original key. Other Potential Problems Another reason that an ignition key won’t turn has to do with an issue pertaining to the lock cylinder. Sometimes, a cylinder will become damaged or worn out. When this happens, it must be replaced. Typically, a lock cylinder will hold up perfectly fine for approximately 60,000 miles, sometimes longer, but if it fails, the key simply will not work. For this, a mechanic or locksmith can replace the entire ignition lock cylinder for you. If after trying each of the possibilities mentioned the ignition key still will not turn, something else is obviously the problem. In this case, the vehicle will need to be checked by a professional. Having an ignition key that won’t turn is frustrating, but usually it is a simple and inexpensive problem to fix. If you do need professional assistance, always choose someone with expertise in the type of automobile you...

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How to Determine If a Car Key Has an Electronic Chip

Posted by on 1:52 pm in Locksmith | 0 comments

Many cars today will have electronic chips in their keys, and this is a safety precaution. The chip sends a signal to the ignition system or a chip embedded within the steering column, and both this signal and the correct key are necessary to start the car’s engine. This means that electronic chips are an excellent security measure, as they make it more challenging for thieves to steal your car. The downside, however, is that it makes copying the key a bit more expensive due to the presence of the chip. You can still save money, however, by having a locksmith replace the key with an electronic chip as opposed to a dealership. Based on Year One of the easiest ways to make an educated guess as to whether your car key has an electronic chip is to think about the year that your car was manufactured. Almost every car made after about 1995 will have an electronic chip in its key.  Read the Manual If you want to know for sure, you can possibly get the information yourself by taking a look at your owner’s manual. It should say in there at some point whether your key contains an electronic chip. If you aren’t sure where in the manual to look, start with the area about the ignition system for the vehicle. Think of Price You can also take the time to think about how much your car keys cost. If you were able to get an extra key from the dealership for a few dollars (or under $50 or so), chances are it does not have an electronic chip. If the extra key was more expensive, then it probably does. Look at the Key In some cases, you may be able to examine your car key to see whether there is an electronic chip within it. It is typically very hard to tell in keys with metal heads, although they will sometimes be a bit thicker at the top. Most of the keys with plastic heads will contain electronic chips. Talk to the Dealership Another method of telling with certainty whether your car key has an electronic chip is to talk to the dealership that you bought the car from. A staff member will most likely ask you for the make and model and use that information to give you an answer in seconds. Ask a Locksmith If you don’t want to talk to the dealership, you can also contact a locksmith. He or she will be able to take a quick glance at your key and tell you right away whether it has a chip. Many will even be able to give you an idea of whether it is likely to have one based on information you give over the phone. In cases where you need to know if the key has an electronic chip because you want to make a copy, it is ideal to consult a locksmith anyway. This will save you time, as he or she can tell you if there is a chip and make the copy in either case, all for a price much lower than you would get from the...

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How Do You Reset a Mercedes Key Fob?

Posted by on 1:52 pm in Locksmith | 0 comments

If you drive a Mercedes, then you most likely have a key fob as opposed to a standard car key. This key fob will include buttons for various functions, such as locking and unlocking the doors. Most of the time, you won’t have any need to reset the key fob, as it will not have any problems. If, however, you get a new one or something does occur, then you will need to reset it. It is also possible that you will accidentally hit some combination of buttons in your car, causing it to reset, although this is unlikely. Understanding the Key Fob The key fob is designed to give you a great deal of convenience. Instead of having to juggle groceries or other bags while using the key to open your car door, you can simply press the button, and it will be unlocked. This is great for when your hands are full or you are outside in inclement weather. The key fob will usually include a physical key as well, providing backup in case the fob breaks or stops working. Despite this, you still want to fix it as soon as possible for convenience.  Doing It Yourself If you want to reset your Mercedes key fob by yourself, you should take a look at your owner’s manual, as there should be instructions in there. Follow those directions, but if you can’t find your manual, most Mercedes key fobs will reset with the following steps. Start by putting your key into the ignition while the car is off. Don’t turn your car on. Then press “lock” on your key fob with the key in the ignition. Keep holding down the “lock” button while you remove the key from the ignition. Still keeping the button pressed down, use another finger and push “unlock” five times in a row. Now you can release the key fob’s “lock” button, and it should be completely reset. Simply press a button to test the key fob. Hiring a Locksmith If you try the above steps and don’t have any success, then you will have two main choices. You can either go to your dealership or call a locksmith. You will end up saving a great deal of money as well as time with a locksmith, as he or she will usually come to you to perform the resetting process and charge significantly less than your Mercedes dealership would. You should also consider hiring a locksmith to reset the key fob for you if you cannot find the instruction manual or simply don’t understand the above directions. Locksmiths will know exactly what they are doing and be able to complete the process in a matter of minutes. They can also help you if your Mercedes key fob is broken in some way, whether the plastic case is chipped or the fob simply doesn’t work. They will be able to diagnose the issue, letting you know if a simple reset will be enough or there is a more serious problem. If the key fob is completely broken, a locksmith will be able to recognize this and get you a replacement for a much more affordable price than the...

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