Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Securing Your Door and Windows

Locksmith Spokane heavy duty strike plate
The common problem with low grade locks for residential properties is the fact that an intruder would not have much of an issue kicking a front door of a home that is equipped with such a lock. That is why making sure to use mid to high grade level locks is very important for your security and an additional deadbolt lock as well. However, aside from high quality locks, it is recommended to add and additional security features or components to re-enforce the security of your home.

A Heavy duty strike plate would be a good way to start as it would help adding strength to the door frame. Strike plates are often overlooked as most of the time people consider them as a decorative piece and normally can be found made out of a cheap material. The purpose of a strike plate is to help re-enforcing the part of the door frame that meets the lock as most of the times the door and frame are made from wood. However, a cheap material strike plate will present a weak link in the security of the door. That is why going with a heavy duty solid metal or brass strike plate is very important. It will add the strength required to the door jamb which in turn will help withstand abuse.

Locksmith Spokane window lock
Securing the windows around your home is the second step to take toward properly securing your home. Windows consider to be a weak link in the security of a home especially if they are not equipped with some sort of a locking mechanism. Many people especially during the summer tend to leave their windows open to get some cool air. However, this may put your home at risk by providing an easy opportunity for intruders to break into your home during the night. In order to prevent such situation, we recommend adding special windows locks that will allow you to lock and secure the windows in certain positions where you can still enjoy some cool air during the night without worrying of someone being able to break into your home.

For more information about what you can do to re-enforce the security of your home, contact NorthWest Locksmith Spokane.

Commercial File Cabinet Lockout Service

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Security List Before Vacation

Spokane locksmith home security
Going away for vacation? Making sure your home is fully protected against intruders should be the #1 priority. There are many precautions that should be taken in order to preserve your peace of mind when you are away from home. Research has shown that a high percentage of break-ins to residential properties normally happened when the residents where away. Intruders take advantage of the fact that an empty home will not have anyone to show resistance during the break-in process. That is why it is important to always show signs as if someone at home while you are on vacation.

The first thing you can do before leaving to your vacation is leaving a light on and/or electronic devices such as a TV or a stereo on a scheduled timer to make it look like someone is residing. Even though leaving a light on may seem like a waste of energy, it is a small price to pay for assisting in preventing any home break-ins. With technology today, there are many ways where you can control electronic devices in your home from anywhere in the world as long as your internet connection work at home. It makes it easy to set a time schedule for lights, and other electric devices to tun on and off at certain times of the day or night.

Another sign that many home intruders will look at to determine if a family is at home or not is the mail and daily newspaper subscriptions. In order to avoid having your mail piled up in your mail box and newspapers in your driveway or door step, it would help to put the mail and newspaper subscriptions on hold for the entire period of time you will be on vacation. As an alternative, you can always have a close friend or a member stop by and pick up the mail or newspaper every other day.

Locksmith Spokane door locked
Making sure your home is completely secure just before you leave. Check twice to make sure all the locks are locked, sliding doors are secured, windows are locked and secure, and even your garage door. Closing window blinds will also help in deceiving those who seek to break-in. Another good idea would be hiring a house sitter or a close friend that can come and stay at the house for few hours every day. This will give the impression of someone that is occupying the house alerting intruders breaking-in would not be such a good idea.

For all of your home security solutions, contact NorthWest Locksmith Spokane.

Automotive Re-key Service

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Commercial Lock Grade Levels

Locksmith Spokane Grade 3 lock
Making sure your office or small business property is secure should be a top priority. The only way to really do it properly is to inspect the grade level on the locks that protect your office or small business. In the market, there are 3 grade levels that are assigned to each lock. starting with the lower grade #3 would mean the lock has been tested to the lowest quality materials and construction while #1 and #2 grades will provide higher quality. In order to even be assigned a grade, a lock will go a series of tests which mainly check its ability to lock and unlock for a number of times without any failure as well as the ability to withstand abuse in a break-in attempt.

Starting with the lowest grade, #3 level locks will have the least amount of strength and quality acceptable in the market all over the country. As mentioned before, this type of lower grade lock will go through a series of tests to see how much it could take before failing which will include resistance and proper operation. To qualify for a grade 3 level, a lock will have to pass 200,000 times of testing the locking mechanism and should hold at least 120/225 lbs. of resistance. These types of locks would normally be categorize for interior use in the form of lever sets and knobs.

Grade level #2 locks are a major improvement over grade #3. They are much stronger and can be found widely in the market for commercial property use. Grade #2 locks are normally tested to endure at least twice as much a grade level #3 lock can which means that they can handle at least 400,000 of operating cycles and 150 lbs. of resistance for knobs and 3 times more for lever sets. Because of extreme measures of testing grade level #2 locks are being tested for, they can withstand picking and break-in attempts with confident.  

Locksmith Spokane Grade 1 lever set lock
For the ultimate security, grade level #1 locks are the perfect solution. The testing that these types of locks have to pass are even double than grade level #2 locks where 800,000 successful operation cycles would be required as well as resisting 300 lbs. for knobs and double than that for lever sets in order to be categorized as grade #1. These types of locks would normally be perfect for high traffic environments where the locks or lever sets are being used constantly throughout the day.

For more information about the grade levels for commercial type locks, contact NorthWest Locksmith Spokane.

Double Cylinder Deadbolt

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Store Lockout

Spokane locksmith store lockout
During my years as a locksmith technician, I got called many times to resolve an issue with locks because someone had tried to break in and damaged it. Some of the times, the customer didn't even realized someone had try to break in to his home or store since there wasn't a clear sign of breaking an entry. However, any experience locksmith who will diagnose an issue with a lock could tell if the issue caused by worn out internals or with a stranger tampering with the lock.

Not too long ago I remember getting a call from a customer who had a store in the area and claimed he was not able to unlock it with the key. He couldn't tell me much information on the phone, but I figured that probably the lock just needed cleaning to function properly again. I took the store location info from the customer and started heading his way.

Once I got to the store and tried assessing the situation myself, I came to determine that someone might have tried breaking inside the store during the night. It seemed that the plug was turned all the way upside down which in my opinion was as a result from picking attempt that went wrong after the top pins fell to the bottom and and trapped the plug in its current position. Other then drilling I didn't have any solution for the situation, so I decided to give a call to one of my Spokane locksmith technician friends to see if they had any insights to my current predicament.

store lock Spokane locksmith
After getting one of my co-workers on the phone and explained the situation, he said that there is a way out of it aside from drilling. He first said I should check what type of lock the store was equipped with and then get a blank that matched it. After determining the correct blank for the lock, I continued following my co-worker instructions by cutting the blade of the key to its lowest depth. This allowed me to insert it into the lock without any issue and turn the plug to its original position. After doing that, I was able to use the customer's key to unlock the door. All that I needed to do now is take apart the lock and do the necessary repairs.  

Commercial Key-Less Entry Locks

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Toyota Key Origination

Toyota Corolla locksmith Spokane
For the average locksmith, originating a key for a vehicle can be a time consuming task. Especially on the older model vehicles. On most older makes and models, in order to make a key, there is a code that would need to be retrieved either from the ignition cylinder or the door lock depending on the type of vehicle and key that is needed to be made. Some manufactures has made things a little easier offering the codes to be available to purchase which will make things a little more expensive for the customer. However sometimes, an experience locksmith will find a way where some manufactures provided the code inside the vehicle where nothing would be needed to be taken apart.

A few years ago I remember being called to originate a new key for a 94 Toyota Corolla after the customer accidentally damaged it. Back then I did not have any experience making a key for this particular model, but I figured it shouldn't be any different than most vehicles I did where the code to make the key could be find on the door lock or ignition cylinder. I decided to take the job and started heading to the customer's location.

When I got to the customer's address I pulled out the locksmith guides to see what would be the easiest way to make a key and I saw that both the door lock and the ignition cylinder should have a code stamped on them. Since I never took apart an ignition from a Toyota at that period of time, I decided to try the door lock first. When I started removing the door panel I ran across couple of bolts that didn't want to budge. Since it was an old vehicle I wasn't surprise, but I needed to figure out another way to make a key.

Toyota Corolla Spokane locksmith
At that point I figured my only option was to take the ignition apart, but since I wasn't sure how to do it, I called a fellow Spokane locksmith of mine for some tips. As I got him on the phone, he mentioned something that I didn't know and wasn't on the guides as well. Apparently, under the rubber coating of the original key, there should be a code. I then took the customer's damaged key which luckily was the original one, peeled the rubber coating which revealed the code and I was able to make a key without taking apart anything.

Automotive Ignition Service

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Acura Trunk Lockout

Spokane locksmith Acura lockout
As a locksmith technician with many years of experience in the area, I found that most of the calls I would usually get are for automotive lockout service. I guess it is most common experience accidentally leaving the keys inside the vehicle while locking the door behind. Normally, for a professional locksmith, unlocking a vehicle is a straight forward service, especially if the technician has all the right specialty tools. However, with all the different makes and models in the market, sometimes even using the traditional tools in the traditional ways would not help.

I remember years ago I got called for a lockout service in the area. The customer claimed to have accidentally lock the keys inside the trunk of his 1993 Acura. Since I knew these types of vehicle models are equipped with a mechanical trunk release lever, I knew it will not be a complicated job, so I accepted the job and drove to the customer's location.

Once I got to the parking lot where the car was parked, I got my tools from the van and started working on unlocking the vehicle first. I got the vehicle unlocked withing couple of minutes. However, as I was trying to pull the trunk release lever to open the trunk, I noticed nothing was happening. I asked the customer if he had any idea why it wasn't working, and he said that he got the car like that and it never worked for him. I decided to call a fellow Spokane locksmith technician of mine and see if he might know anything about that particular vehicle's locking mechanism.

Acura lockout Spokane locksmith
Once I got my technician friend on the phone, he said that in these years there was suppose to be a switch in the glove box compartment that was responsible for enabling and disabling the trunk release lever. As I was finishing the conversation, I went to the glove box compartment in order to check for the switch but it was locked. Since I knew the glove box lock should not be so hard to unlock, I used my pick tool set in order to unlock it. Once I got it open, I did saw the switch right in front of me, flipped it to the on position and I was able to use the trunk release lever in order to get the trunk open and retrieve the customer back his keys.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I-Core Fix

There were many times as a locksmith technician where I got callbacks from customer complaining something with my work went wrong. I usually never rule out that something went south because I did something the wrong way. However, as I and any locksmith technician before me came to find that most of the time its a miss use from the customer's end. Some of the times its not the customer fault as a product such as a lock can be faulty from one reason or another.

I came to find that the last statement is mostly true when it comes to I-Core key services that Me or other fellow locksmith technicians that I know did. I had a customer call recently complaining about a job I did not too long ago installing an interchangeable core lock at his store. Apparently, it seemed that he could not operate the lock with the keys that I mad him at that time. Thinking it would be a minor issue, I drove to the customer's store to try and figure out what wen wrong.

Once I got to the customer's store, I tried the keys I made him myself and came to find he was right and there was something wrong. Normally, when I would have an issue such as that with any type of lock, I would immediately assume that the internals of the lock got contaminated and caused an obstacle for the key. This can happen in time where each use of the key will push the contaminants inside the key-way not allowing the key to be inserted all the way in.

After thinking I figured out the problem I went ahead to clean and lubricate the lock, but for some reason it still didn't help. I decided to call another Spokane locksmith that I know in the area which has much more experience than me. He mentioned running into this type of issue before with an interchangeable core type system and the problem was most likely with the key. The bottom milling on these types of keys tend to bent quickly which in combination with the tight tolerance inside the lock will cause failure for the key to operate the lock. The solution, all that I had to do he said, was to file the damaged bottom milling part to its original position and the key should successfully operate the lock again.      

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Motorcycle Key Tip

Locksmith Spokane Suzuki Bandit key blank
As a mobile locksmith technician sometimes it is very hard to keep the inventory in the service van full. For locksmith technicians who provide large variety of products and services in the category of residential, commercial and automotive, not only keeping trace of inventory gets very difficult, but it gets very expensive as well. With automotive services, I usually try to keep key blanks at least a couple from most makes and models. For motorcycles, since the blank are a lot cheaper, I keep a little more even though I don't get many jobs making motorcycle keys.

I got a call recently from a customer who wanted a key made for his Suzuki motorcycle. On motorcycles, the ignition key is usually different than the gas cap key which meant I needed at least two keys made. Fortunately, I knew they use the same blank, but what I didn't know was the fact I was a little short on inventory. I accepted the job thinking I have enough blanks to work with and was headed to the customer's address.

Suzuki Bandit Spokane locksmith
Once I got to the customer and ran a quick check on my inventory, I noticed I had only 3 blanks to work with. I started by making the key for the gas cap which was easier for me and since it left me with only two blanks, I decided to use the software I had to determine the rest of the cuts for making the key for the ignition. Since there were many choices for different type of cuts, I found myself without blanks and a working key.

At this point, I didn't have many choices, but to try and work with the keys that were already cut. For this to happen, I had to fill the cuts on the keys I made with solder making sure the keys were hot enough, so it would bond properly. Once the keys were cooled off, I re-cut one of them to the right cuts. Since the blanks were nickle plated keys, the repair i did was hardly noticeable and I was able to get the job done and get the customer back on the road.

Check out these links for information about Spokane locksmith solutions in the area. | NorthWest Locksmith Spokane services.

Automotive Broken Key Extraction

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