Author: Dave Johnson

What are the best locks for your home?

When most people think of a home security system, they often think of burglar alarms, motion detectors and security cameras. However, home security starts with the ordinary door lock, perhaps the most important part of any home security strategy. Installing the best lock available not only adds peace of mind, but also ensures that your home`s valuables remain safe and sound.

What to Look For When Choosing Door Locks

When it comes to choosing the right lock, security is always an absolute priority. It`s always best to choose a lock that offers the best in terms of security and function, but with a wide variety of locks available on the market, it can be rather difficult to know what to choose.

The best locks are usually those that follow standards set by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Locks that meet BHMA and ANSI criteria range from Grade One to Grade Three, with Grade One being the best in regards to material integrity under use and overall function.

There are plenty of useful features that bolster your door’s resistance against kicking, hammering and other typical methods of intrusion. For instance, some locks feature strike plates that incorporate three-inch screws for added protection against forced entry. If your lock’s strike plate doesn’t have these screws, there are plenty of other alternatives that bolster your lock’s effectiveness.

Common Door Lock Types

Doorknob locks are the most common type of door lock available. The simple twist-knob lock is the easiest to install and use, but it also affords the least amount of protection against break-ins. As a general rule, you should always pair a doorknob lock with another, stronger type of lock.

A deadbolt lock is one of the strongest secondary locks that are available for purchase. These locks make it more difficult for burglars to break in thanks to their design. As the lock is activated via the key, the sliding bolt within the deadbolt slides into place against the door jamb and prevents the door from opening.

The electric lock is quickly becoming a technologically integrated alternative to traditional locks. Using a numeric keypad or remote, the electric lock activates one or more sliding bolts. For added safety and control, electric locks can be integrated into your home`s security system.

When buying a new lock, make sure it`s derived from bronze, brass or solid steel. Die-cast locks tend to break when subjected to constant force, whereas an all-steel or bronze lock is far more resistant to force.

Choosing the Right Door Lock

Keep in mind that no lock is guaranteed to completely eliminate break-ins. However, fitting high quality door locks with strike plates and other features can help reduce the number of forced entry attempts by a substantial margin.

If you`re still not sure about which type of lock is right for your home, you`ll want to talk to a professional locksmith. An experienced professional with years of experience can help guide you towards the best choice for your door type and home security needs. After choosing the right lock for your home, your thoughts can turn to choosing door curtains and other decor to brighten up the appearance of your entrances.

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The Future of Home Security

As the world becomes ever more technologically sophisticated, home security is also keeping pace when it comes to the latest innovations and for good reason. Burglaries and break-ins are on the rise in many areas and millions of homes continue to be burglarized each year. Although burglary rates in the U.S. have fallen since 2003, no homeowner can afford to be off guard when it comes to keeping their home protected.

As a concerned homeowner, you`ll want your home to be protected by the best in home security technology. Fortunately, there are plenty of new developments that are sure to help your home become safer and more secure. Companies specializing in home security are rolling out a wide variety of high-tech solutions to an age-old problem that won`t be going away anytime soon.

Smart Home Integration

In an era when just about everyone has a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device, it only makes sense to integrate those devices into your home security system. An increasing number of home security firms are doing just that, creating a wide variety of security solutions that allow you to monitor all of your alarms from virtually any location. With smart home integration, your security system will let you know whenever there is an emergency involving fire, burglary, carbon monoxide levels and a wide range of other situations.

Broadband Video Monitoring

Thanks to smart home integration, it is much easier to see what is happening first-hand in and around your home while you`re away from home. Broadband video monitoring sends video footage to your smartphone, laptop or other mobile devices the instant a break-in or other emergency happens in your home.

Interactive Automation

Keeping your lights on while you`re away from home can help deter potential burglars, but if you plan on being away for days or even weeks, you`ll wind up raising your utility costs through wasted energy. Home automation allows you to program your lighting to automatically come on at certain points of the evening, which helps stop your home from looking unoccupied while you`re away. Home automation systems also manage climate control settings, providing optimum temperatures while you`re away so you can come home to a comfortable environment.

Motion Detectors

Today’s motion detectors rely on infrared technology to detect changes in the home environment while you’re away. Unlike motion detectors that rely on sound waves to detect movement, infrared motion detectors sense body heat to pick out and shine a bright spotlight on intruders. That means fewer false alarms from environmental and accidental sounds.

Electronic Entry

Still think electronic entry is just Hollywood technology? Biometric scanners and digital door locks are becoming very popular ways of securing homes from opportunistic burglars. Most digital door locks feature a convenient pen pad for keyless entry, or you can opt for an electronic “smart key” or remote fob. Either way, these locks have proven nearly impossible to pick, making them invaluable for comprehensive home security.

With all of these technological innovations, it`s no wonder that more people are considering upgrading their current home security system or installing one for the first time. Keeping your home secure and safe is definitely something to think about before you buy furniture at Forrest Furnishing.

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A Guide To Rim Locks & Latches

Rim Locks and Latches – The US Locksmith Pros Guide

The world we live in determines what our approach towards it must be. Unfortunately, crime is a constant reality of the day and we have to be prepared for it. No one wants to be surprised by burglars in their home just as no one wants to wake up at night to find a stranger next to their bed. Your home is the one place where you should feel safe and secure.

It is up to you to make sure you and your loved ones sleep peacefully at night. Apart from the standard locks that all homes have, you can install additional security that is not going to cost the earth. We all know that normal security is not going to stop a determined and experienced burglar. Where there is a will there is a way and burglars tend to find ways. So, make it as difficult as possible for the criminal to enter your house and consider installing a rim lock or latch to your doors. Rim locks can be anything from standard security to more advanced locks.

A rim lock is a device that is attached to the surface of a door. It can be used on interior or exterior doors but is mostly attached to the outer doors. The rim lock is fitted on the inside of the door. One would always open a rim lock with a key from the outside but depending on the level of security, one would use either a key or a latch on the inside.

The most basic rim lock, also known as a Yale lock, is opened with a key from the outside but has a knob on the inside that you turn to lock or unlock it. Yale locks are often used in the place of more traditional locks on a front door although it is usually not the only lock on the door. The disadvantage of this kind of lock is that it can easily be opened with a credit card or similar card from the outside by merely swiping the card through the lock. The advantage is that you can pull the door shut behind you and lock it quickly by turning the knob to the closed position.

If you are on the lookout for something that is more secure, the basic rim lock will not be for you. More advanced rim locks are available and are opened with a key on the inside and the outside. Many of the rim locks are deadbolts and far better security than the standard basic one. Single cylinder deadbolts will offer additional security but for even better security, you can fit the double cylinder deadbolt.

When locked, these cylinders interlock and it is not so easy for burglars to bypass it. It definitely will not be opened with a credit card. The rule of thumb is that one would fit a rim lock or latch as additional security to a door. This means that the thief has two sets of locks to break through before they enter your house. An ordinary door lock with a Door Lock Cylinder is your first line of defense. But don`t be fooled into thinking that this is enough security to stop a would-be burglar.

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Commercial Security Systems – Protect Your Business!

Commercial Building Security Systems

Everyone wants to be able to protect their valuables. Whether it is an intrusion, a fire or even an equipment malfunction, commercial security systems provide business owners with a way to keep an eye on things 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each system has different options and upgrades to choose from. Many can be customized to fit a certain facility to make sure that everything is safe and protected.

Businesses use commercial building security systems to protect both the people and the products located inside. Basic systems offer the user an easy way to set the alarm when leaving and deactivate when coming back in. There is usually a key code associated with the system, which is used by employees to gain access to the building.

The system itself is connected to a security company that monitors the area and reacts when an alarm is set off. With just a phone call the local police, fire department and business owner can be informed about the situation. The business owner can then check out the situation to let the security company know whether or not it was an actual intrusion or just a false alarm.

There are several different features that can be added to a commercial building security system to provide more protection. Cameras can be installed both inside and outside of a building to record everything that happens. This information can be invaluable if there is a theft or vandalism. The perpetrator is caught on film. In most cases the cameras can be viewed remotely, making it easy for the owner or security company to check on the property at all times. Most cameras are able to film during both daylight and evening hours.

Control Access Systems

In some instances a company will establish an access system. Through the use of cards or codes, employees will be able to go to different areas of the building. A stranger would not be able to get into the building without the proper credentials and information. In some cases, the work that takes place in the commercial building is highly sensitive. This type of security system protects everything with a well laid out accessibility plan.

Security systems protect from more than just an intruder. Some commercial building security systems can notify an owner if there is a complication with the building, including a fire, smoke, or equipment failure. With special detectors throughout the area, the system will pick up on changes to both the quality of air, in the case of smoke, or the temperature of the room, in case of fire. When something out of the ordinary takes place, the local authorities, including the fire department, as well as the business owner would be contacted to check the situation.

In order to secure a commercial building, it is important to consult with a professional. They will look into things like the number of access points as well as the security already in place. Some locations may need specialized equipment while others may need a more basic set up. A warehouse filled with Black & Decker spare parts may need something completely different from an office building that houses only paperwork. No matter what type of building it is or the items contained inside, it is important to have some type of security system in place.

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Card Access Control Systems

Card Access Control System Installation

There are two components involved when installing a card access control system. First, the hardware has to be installed and then the software has to be programmed to allow card holders to enter the premises. There are various systems available on the market and each system will be installed a different way according to the instructions that come with the system. These systems used to be a lot harder to install and required quite a bit of technical knowledge. Nowadays, technology has come a long way and almost anyone should be able to easily install the simpler systems on the market. Access control systems used by businesses are more complicated and generally require experienced technicians to set up the system. Wiring the system in large commercial buildings requires thorough electrical knowledge to make it work.

Card access systems can be bought with integrated surveillance cameras if so desired. This allows for the ultimate protection and security of the property. Both business and home user can control the system through their PC via a software application that is installed on the computer. The hardware component of the system has to be installed first in order for the software to be able to set the controls for the device. The instructions give clear directions in how to install the various wiring components needed to make the unit work properly. Many people can follow the instructions but some may require professional help in this regard. The hardware units are installed in the desired location and checked to make sure they are operational.

The system works by reading the card presented to the reader on the unit and sends this information to the control panel. The control panel compares the number on the card to a list of data. If this number is not in the database, access is denied and the door remains locked. If the number matches then a relay is operated that then unlocks the door. Quite often the reader provides feedback by showing a flashing red light for a denied access and a flashing green light for a granted access. The door access control system can be installed using an existing Ethernet network. Authorized individuals have to follow the instructions in the user manual to set up the access controls. The numbers on the cards have to be carefully entered and double checked to avoid entrance denial to qualified personnel.

Once the access controls have been customized the software goes to work and instructs the controller. All commands are processed by the controller. If the system has been installed by a company, access can be changed by authorized users from anywhere within the company network. The components will need to be installed by strictly following directions or the signal between the controller and access cards may not function properly. Using systems such as these provides a high level of security for both homes and businesses. It`s even possible to make your games room secure and sports minded individuals may be interested in checking out table tennis tables and other leisure equipment.

If you are interested in hiring a local locksmith access control system installed in your home or business, please search through our LocksmithPros on our service areas page to see if our Pros service your location.

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The Ins & Outs of Kwikset Lock Re-keying

You may have recently moved and wish to re-key your locks for added security. Or perhaps the unthinkable occurred, and you experienced a home break-in. You may simply want the convenience of having all the locks in your home open with only one key. No matter what your reason to undertake a Kwikset lock re-keying, the process can pose a bit of a challenge. The Kwikset type of mechanism is most commonly used in homes, and it is the one which you are most likely to encounter during any re-keying process.

If your specific Kwikset Lock is a fairly recent model, then you will probably find a hole adjacent to the key-way which will be used in the Kwikset lock re-key process. A Smartkey Learn tool will be needed to accomplish the job successfully, though locating this device can be difficult if you were not the original purchaser of the locking mechanism. If you do not see such a hole, then you will be unable to re-key your Kwikset lock on your own – a professional locksmith will be needed. If your lock does have such a hole, move onto step two.

The second step in any Kwikset lock re-keying is to locate the current key for the lock. If you are unable to find this key, you won’t be able to continue and will need the services of a good locksmith at this juncture. If you do have the working key for the lock, then insert it into the lock and rotate it a quarter turn to your right. Then you will want to put the Smartkey Learn tool into the hole next to the locking mechanism and push. Now remove the key without turning it back to the upright position.

The next step in the Re-key Kwikset Locks  process is to place your new key into the door. Once inside the lock, turn this key back to the upright position, and then again one quarter turn to the right. Pull the key out carefully. You now have successfully reset your Kwikset Lock, allowing you to use your new key from this point on.

There is the process in a nutshell. As you can see, at several points during a Kwikset lock re-keying you may need the services of a experienced professional. Even if you have all the correct equipment, you may still want to employ a certified locksmith, to ensure that you do not accidentally make your locks dysfunctional. The re-keying process is essential anytime that you move or change addresses, you never know who has a key to your new dwelling.

Our US LocksmithPros provide re-keys of your residential or commercial kwikset locks, and the the price can be cheaper than you think! Visit our service areas page or us our contact page to give us a call about pricing and availability of parts.

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Home Window Locks – A Vital Part of Home Security

According to the FBI a home in the US is broken into every 14 seconds.

We at are not bringing this fact up to scare you, but we believe that being prepared is important. Thinking about the security features of your house or apartment can help secure your space properly. A looked over part of home security is the installation and use of home window locks, but they can be extremely helpful for keeping your home and valuables safe.

It pays to install locks that will last a long time on your home’s windows; you should use a premium with the most amount of security that you can afford. Good window locks will protect your family not only by keeping it locked against intruders, but also by preventing children from being able to open a window without supervision.

There are several sturdy locks that will keep your windows shut tight, but how do you know which lock is best for your needs? If you want to buy a lock for a double-hung window, look for locks with pins or screws that fit deep in the window frame. Wedge locks are another option. You can get a type of window lock is a latch, and is opened or closed with a key. You can also add a steel security grille to the outside of your home that covers the window area if you want to; these come in many styles and designs. It is not a good substitute for other types of protection, but in addition to the use of sturdy locks, grilles offer an additional layer of security. It is true that a security grille can be removed but a burglar might not have the time, especially during daylight hours, to risk being seen and caught unscrewing the grille.

If you have an air conditioning unit in a window, secure the window with locks with screws that stop the unit from being removed or pushed in.

Sliding glass doors can be lifted right off their tracks by a determined thief, or forced open with tools. Sliding bolt locks can be attached to sliding doors and placing an anti-theft device in the door track can be a good deterrent along with bolt locks or tab locks. Steel mortise locks are another good choice for locking for sliding glass securely, and these locks can be purchased at any home improvement store or other retail stores and installed by the home owner.

There are many ways to make sure that your home is safe, and a locksmith can certainly help you with most of them.

If you need help with your residential security needs, USLocksmithPros provides a large number of residential locksmith services.

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Biometric Locks – Are they right for your business or home?

The latest technology push in locking devices is the field of biometrics, which means that in order to open a bio-metric lock, you must first have your fingerprint or another physical characteristic verified. If you have seen the first Mission Impossible, to get into the vault room where Tom Cruise gets lowered down into, that would be an example of a biometric scan of the eye to open the door.

There are biometric scans to verify identity through facial characteristics, hands, retinas (also called iris scans) and voice recognition.

The most commonly used type of biometric lock uses fingerprint analysis. This type of security has been in use for decades to authorize entry to government employees and businesses that have large numbers of people entering and for whom keys and keyed locks are not practical.

Biometric doorknobs can be purchased for home use and while they might be more expensive than more traditional locks, they are also safer and easier to use. With keyed locks, there is always the possibility that the lock could be picked or keys lost, copied or stolen. It is also much faster to open a biometric lock than another type. Lost ID cards and forgotten passwords are a thing of the past.

Biometric security is a multi-billion dollar industry. Fingerprint locks account for most of the sales, with facial recognition a close second.

How secure is biometrics? The technology is always improving but with fingerprints, the high-end scanners can help prevent fraud by testing finger temperature and the amount of pressure applied as well as the print itself.

Biometric deadbolts are very tough and can withstand a lot of force without breaking. Since there is no keyhole, they cannot be picked, and some models come equipped with alarms if an unauthorized person tries to open it.

With retina scans, the iris is scanned with infrared light. This type of scan is as secure as a fingerprint but is very expensive at present.

There are a few drawbacks to biometric systems, including occasional false positives and false negatives with fingerprints, and voice recognition is certainly not fail-proof, since a person’s voice can sound quite different at different times of day.

You can buy many things that already have biometric fingerprint locks, from briefcases, gun safes, wall safes to file cabinets, computer keyboards and laptops.

If you are thinking about the right way to secure your home, office, or other property you might want to consider biometric lock assemblies, they do cost more than regular locks, but they will last and provide a high level of security for your business or home. US Locksmith Pros is capable of handling the installation of biometric locks, if you have questions regarding the procedure, cost, or types that are available you can give us a call and we will help you decide what types of locks are right for your situation.

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Were the Good Old Days before Modern Security Systems Really so Good?

If you lived in a castle, you protected your home with a moat, expert archers and perhaps a pot of boiling oil suspended above the main entrance. Even back in those days you had several lines of defense, and at times you really needed them.

Sometimes I wish I had been born in an earlier time—back when a person’s house was often left unlocked for long periods of time. These days I lock my parked car even when I make a quick trip to the store. Is this progress, or have we become afraid to live? I’d like to think that the conveniences we enjoy and our mobility and freedom are worth protecting, so it is a trade-off: was the simplicity of the good old days and its limitations better, or the advances in all spheres of life, with their attendant safety risks?

The “good old days” of the pioneers, when Americans lived in simple log or brick houses, appeals to our renewed desire to live simply. Tools were left in sheds, doors and windows sometimes had no locks. We may have been friendly, giving and trusting, but security breaches still happened. The dangers of the olden days were just as real as our present security issues and challenges.

How can we live in safe, secure homes yet not spend every waking moment worrying about the possibility of home invasion, theft and other similar scenarios?

We can begin with simple steps, including adequate outdoor lighting, well-made locks, fences, trained guard dogs and other basic precautions. If you want a state-of-the art alarm system, you can get infrared motion sensors, and arrange to have a monitored home security system. Although thieves can eventually open almost any lock, other deterrents might cause them to find an easier target. Several layers and levels of protection can make you feel safer.

The more progress the human race makes, the greater the need to safeguard our countries and our people. From houses to airports to bridges to ocean liners, personal safety must remain upmost in our consciousness. Self defense takes many forms and ultimately empowers us all.


For 24 hour professional locksmith service across America, contact US Locksmith Pros today!

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Auto Lock Replacements – Are You Safe from Car Theft?

Secure locks for your vehicle should be a top priority if you drive a car. Think of all the in-valuables you carry in your vehicle and how drastically they affect your life. The cost of replacing your car, and the many ways an auto theft negatively impacts your life, make auto safety a very important aspect of car ownership. But there is good news!

“The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that 2010 continued the trend of declining national vehicle thefts for the seventh consecutive year.” click here to read more about auto theft rates on CNN.

What you need to know about auto lock replacements:

Nationwide car theft is on the decline. But it can happen to you!

This decline could be due to the latest increases in key technology in automobiles,  since transponder chip keys and laser cut models lock mechanisms generally are very hard to break into. But if you have a problem with your auto locks, the problem may not even be the lock — it could be the key itself that needs to be changed. It is more cost effective for most to find a reliable locksmith so you can save both time and money by hiring a professional, since most mechanics do not specialize in auto locks. You might choose to replace an auto lock yourself, but since duplicate keys need to be calibrated and the margin for error is very small, only .002, so you might be better off using a locksmith to replace your key or auto locks. In addition, automobile doors are filled with wiring and other parts that can be damaged if an unskilled person tries to force a door open or to change a lock. You will need to have some specific knowledge of the type of locking system that is being used in the lock—there are various wire systems, vacuum locks, aftermarket systems, and the attendant coils, wires and relay modules of these types of locks. Even keying a blank key can be tricky, because a car lock can be damaged if the wrong key is used. Locksmiths have the knowledge, skills, experience and tools needed to replace or repair auto locks.

Its safe to say that most people will not want to replace or repair their car door locks themselves, so the right person for the job is usually a locksmith professional that works on your brand of vehicle. Most locksmiths work on a wide range of both foreign and domestic vehicles, so most of the main brands of cars will be easy to receive service for. Specialty cars or vintage cars can be hard to service for locksmiths, as the parts can be hard to come by.

For a list of car brands that we service at US Locksmith Pros click here

If you want the top level of security possible for your car and it doesn’t have it already, an upgrade might be in order. Auto locks that can only be opened with a fingerprint are very safe. The driver programs the car to open or start only if the fingerprint being scanned matches the car’s computer memory. This personalized approach to security is more practical than other locks, since the driver is able to add and delete fingerprints to stop anyone from using the car at specific times. You can buy a fingerprint lock which cuts off the fuel supply, if an unauthorized person tries to open the door, which is an added precaution that you might need.

We would love to help you secure your car correctly, and can provide you with auto lock service in many different areas of the country. Please visit our service areas page to see if US Locksmith Pros provides locksmith service in your city or town.

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