3 Security Items to Consider When Moving Into a New Home

When it comes to moving into a new home, there are many things you are trying to do all at once. If you planned to paint or renovate any of the home, this is a big task right before you move in. If you’re moving from state to state, you’ve had a big drive with all of your household goods and family in tow.

Another thing you may not have considered but should is keeping your new home secure from the start. The last thing you want is a security breach when you’re just moved into a new home, so be sure to follow these three tips below to keep your new home more secure.

Change the locks

Something you may overlook is that your locks will need to be changed as soon as possible. Since the locks are the same ones that the last owner used and anyone that may have borrowed a key to work on the home, your house is not very secure initially. If you are renting, you’ll want to check with your landlord before changing the locks, but you should definitely do so in your new home purchase.

This is even wise to do if you’ve had a home built because you just don’t know who may have had a key before you moved in. You can either have them rekeyed which changes out the internal workings of the locks for a new key, or you can replace the hardware completely.

Get a security system and put up signs

Next, you’ll want to get your new home a security system by reaching out to your security company. You can get a simple alarm system to a fully-equipped smart home system. You’ll have to get in the habit of arming your home at nighttime or when you leave.

Then make sure to put signs and decals all over the home to let potential trespassers that your home is secure. Make sure the security company has any important phone numbers and a plan to keep up with maintenance.

While you’re at it, make sure all of your windows have secure screens and locks, your exterior doors are strong and secure, and you hang up some window treatments.

Meet the neighbors

The third tip solves two problems. You want to improve your security but you also want to get to know your neighbors and neighborhood. Make sure to meet and get to know your neighbors so that you can feel a part of your new neighborhood and also in order to improve your home security.

Your neighbors are a good source of keeping watchful eye on unusual activity around the street. Learn about any security issues they’ve had in the area and also let them know if you plan to be out of town to keep an eye on your home while you’re gone.

With these three security items checked off, you can feel at ease knowing your new home is safe and secure. Make sure to take care of these things right away so that you can enjoy your new home.

5 Common Items to Store in a Home Safe & Why

Home Safe

You finally invested in a home safe, but you’re not sure what you should put in it and what doesn’t really need to go inside your safe. There are plenty of things you may believe are valuable enough to go into your home safe, but you also only have so much room. Let’s look at some of the common items to store in a home safe and why you should put them in your safe.

Is your Safe Fire Proof?

Before we look at the list of items, it’s important to consider the safe you have. A home safe should provide fireproof qualities. The most common reason you will need a safe to protect your belongings is likely a house fire. Yes, a break-in is possible, but many home safes are small enough a criminal could easily take off with them.

Even with a larger home safe that’s too heavy to move, it’s important to make sure it’s fireproof. With a fireproof safe, you gain many more benefits for protecting your most valuable things.

Five Common Items to Store in Your Home Safe

1. Important Documents

Birth certificates, social security cards, titles to property, insurance policies, home pictures, wills, and other important documents can all be store in a fireproof home safe. This will help to protect them in the event of a fire or another disaster. Anything you might need to rebuild your life, if something were to happen, should go in the safe.

Storing important documents in a safe also ensures you don’t have to worry about where they are. They will be in your home safe when you need them.

2. Important Keys

Yes, you probably have plenty of keys on your daily key ring that don’t belong there. Your keyring should have vehicle keys, house keys, and safe keys (if necessary). However, the rest of your keys, such as safe deposit box keys, keys to personal storage unit locks, and other keys you don’t use every day, should go in your home safe.

It’s also smart to keep a spare car key in the safe, just in case.

3. Valuable Jewelry

If you have a $100 bracelet, it probably doesn’t need to go in your home safe. However, if grandma passed down an heirloom worth $1,000 or more and you don’t wear it daily, this type of valuable jewelry can go into your safe. Any valuable jewelry can be stored in your safe.

4. Emergency Cash

Of course, it’s a good idea to have some emergency cash, gold, and silver in your home safe. Any physical currency you own that you don’t need to spend can go in the safe. Many people hold their emergency fund in cash or at least a portion of it, which should be stored in your safe.

5. Guns

While some home safes have room for guns, others will need to go in a gun safe. If you have room in your fireproof home safe, it’s a good place to store a gun.

There are many common items you can and should store in your home safe. It depends on what you consider to be valuable and what you want to protect the most. Make sure you consider all your items and protect the most important things in your home safe.

Rekey vs Lock Replacement: Which is Right for You?

When it’s time to consider replacing your lock, it’s important to know the difference between rekeying and lock replacement. Many homeowners and business owners choose lock replacement over rekeying simply because they didn’t know rekeying a lock was an option.

In most cases, you have the option to rekey or replace your locks. Let’s look at what both are and why you might choose to rekey your locks over replacing them.

What is Lock Rekeying?

While it might seem self-explanatory, lock rekeying is the process of readjusting the internal parts of the lock to fit a different key. The goal is to change the design of the key needed to unlock your doors to ensure the old keys no longer work.

Without a trained residential locksmith, it’s very difficult to rekey a lock. When your locksmith rekeys your locks, you will keep the same locks you have, but they will not open with the old keys. you will need a new key, which the locksmith will also provide, to open the locks.

Lock rekeying offers a cost-effective way to change the key for your locks when you have lost your keys, a tenant moves out, or for any other reason.

Since you will use the current lock body and change the interior parts, it’s often less expensive than replacing your locks. While rekeying your locks is a cost-effective way to boost security, it’s only a limited security boost. If you want to gain even better security, replacing your locks is a better choice.

Why Choose Lock Replacement?

When you decide to replace the locks, you will actually replace the entire lock with a new one. This offers the ability to upgrade your locks to a more secure choice compared to what you currently have for your home or office.

Choosing the right locks means you need to consider the necessary factors. It usually starts with a look at home much you want to spend, along with the features you prefer. Some locks offer better security features and you can even choose smart locks if you want to gain some convenience features.

If you want to upgrade your locks to a very secure option, multi-point lock installation might be right for you. With a trained locksmith, these locks can be installed and will give you a more secure option since they lock in multiple places unlike single-point locks found on most doors.

With the ability to choose the locks you want and upgrade your security; lock replacement might be the right option for your needs. Compared to rekeying, lock replacement offers better security, but it will cost more. You will pay for both parts and labor when having new locks installed at home or at the office.

Whether you choose to rekey or replace your locks, it’s best to hire a trained Chicago locksmith to handle the job. Trying to do it yourself could result in disaster. Without proper installation of new locks, you might cause more harm to your security than good. Hire a professional and make sure your locks are either rekeyed or replaced properly.

Top Smart Home Security Features for 2021

smart home security

Home security is very important. Without a good security system with the right features, you might struggle to feel protected and even sleep at night.

Protecting your home and your valuables has never been easier. With so many great smart home security features available, you can gain both convenience and peace of mind. Let’s look at some of the top home security features for 2021 to consider when upgrading your security system.

Smart Video Doorbell

While it’s not a new feature of a security system, smart video doorbells are still one of the top smart home security features. With a smart doorbell, you can see who is at your door, no matter where you are.

According to an article from Reader’s Digest, the most common way a burglar breaks into the home is through the front door. In fact, 34% of home break-ins happen through the front doors. By adding a smart video doorbell, you can monitor the number one place a break-in will occur 24/7/365.

A front door camera can be set up to alert you anytime it senses motion. This could be a delivery person dropping off a package, the kids arriving home from school, or someone that shouldn’t be at your front door. This is a vital element of any good smart home security system in 2021.

Smart Lights

Another good smart home security feature to add to your system is smart lights. It might not seem like a security feature, but having the ability to turn lights on and off from anywhere can signal to a would-be burglar that someone is home, even if you’re not.

It used to be, you would set up a timer when you were on vacation to have the lights turn on and off at certain times. However, burglars are smart enough to seek when lights come on and go off at the same time every single day. With smart lights, you can vary the time they come on and even control which lights come on and off automatically.

This is one of the top smart home security features for those traveling often or not home at night sometimes.

Smart Security Sensors

While motion sensors are nothing new, smart security sensors take the basic motion sensor to another level. With a smart security sensor, when it senses motion, it can communicate with other parts of your smart home security system.

Not only can this type of sensor alert you on your mobile device, but it can also turn on a light or trigger a smart alarm to go off. For example, if you have a smart security sensor in the hallway and it senses motion, you can get a notification on your phone, while the hallway smart lights are triggered to turn on, your alarm starts blaring, and your central monitoring team is alerted to the tripped alarm.

You can even set up smart security sensors without a complete home security system or without an alarm at all. They can be used to trigger just lights and send you a notification if you prefer.

There are many great smart home security features to consider in 2021. With just about any element of a home security system including smart technology today, it’s important to consider which upgrades are best for your needs.

Losing Your Keys: Top Tips to Always Remember Your Keys

lost keys

Forgetting your keys can lead to needing a locksmith. When you lose your keys regularly, you might need some helpful tips to ensure you can remember your keys. Here are a few helpful tips.

6 Tips for Remembering Your Keys

1. Get a Larger Keychain

If you have a smaller keychain, it might get lost in your purse. However, with a larger keychain, it will be easier to spot. This way, if you do lose your keys, they are easier to find and you’ll be less likely to forget them.

2. Keep Your Keys on a Hook

You can get a hook for your keys and put it near the door you leave out of the most. This can help ensure you remember to grab your keys before you leave and you don’t forget them. It will also give you a regular spot for your keys making it harder to lose them.

3. Attach Your ID to your Keys

If you use a lanyard with your ID and you attach your keys it will help you remember your keys easier. This trick allows you to create a bulkier keychain and also gives you an additional reason to remember your keys with your ID attached.

4. Tile Your Keys

It sounds odd, and no, it doesn’t mean attaching a piece of tile used for flooring to your keys. Tile is a small disc you can add to a bag, clothing, shoes, or another item, like a keychain. It’s a wireless object you can use to find your keys when they are lost. Another version of this is called a Stick N Find.

5. Carry Your Keys on a Carabiner

If you have a habit of losing your keys when you’re out, use a carabiner instead of tossing them in your pocket. It can be attached to your belt loop to ensure you don’t lose your keys.

Carabiners can also be used inside your purse or as an attachment to the strap. Use it to make finding your keys much easier when they are lost in your purse.

6. Eliminate the Key Clutter

If you have keys you don’t use or don’t need, you can take them off your keychain. While this may not help you remember them, it can help you find the right key when you need it.

These six tips can help you when you need to remember your keys. You can use many other tricks, too. Of course, if you lose your keys often, you should also give a duplicate key to a friend or family member just in case.

You can also have a locksmith create a master key for many different things to make things easier. Then, get a few copies of this master key and give them to those you trust the most. This will ensure, if you get locked out of your home, you can make a phone call and get a spare key to help you out.

Why Your Garage Door Should Be Repaired by Experts

garage door repair

Do you need work done on your garage and want to do it yourself? You’re going to want to call the experts for this one because garage doors can be tricky. Not only can there be a safety issue of trying to tackle a project like this without professional experience, but you may cost yourself extra money if you have to call in someone to fix something that went wrong. 

Allow the experts to share their expertise by calling for garage door repair in Chicago and have them come out today to get your door repaired. 

It will save you money

Instead of trying to fix it yourself, you should invest in the eye of a professional that will know just how to handle the problem. They already have the tools and experience, while you might have to purchase the right tools and will have to spend time trying to learn how to fix it. 

If you do the project wrong, you will probably have to call in for help and it will require money to fix your work, on top of the cost you’ve already incurred, both the time and the money, to do it yourself. 

It will save you time

Just as mentioned above, trying to repair it yourself is going to require time on your end. You will likely have to research the project, learn what to do when problems arise, and the actual repair work may be time-consuming. 

Instead of all of this guesswork, talk to a garage door repair specialist that can pinpoint the problem and easily fix it like other jobs they’ve done. They will likely be able to fix it the same day too for emergency fixes. This quick turn-around service will be much faster than you’ll likely be able to complete the work. 

It’s just safer

Keep in mind that do-it-yourself projects can be dangerous. While you may feel confident in your abilities, you may find that you’ve had close calls in the past for accidents.  Garage doors are especially dangerous being one of the heaviest moving objects in your home. 

You would need the proper tools and protection to avoid an accident which leads us to advise against taking on the risks yourself. Allow the experts to make their own assessment and fix the problem without any hassle involved. Rest assured that the project will be done right and safely, while also ensuring your home’s security will get the attention it needs as the garage door is ready to work properly again. If you are considering fixing your garage door repair job on your own, this is the time to call the specialists. You’ll not only lose time and money trying to handle it yourself, but you’ll be relying on the little knowledge you may have on this type of job while putting yourself at risk. Protect yourself, your wallet, and your schedule by calling garage door specialists to get the job done. 

How to Choose an Access Control System?

access control system

Whether you need an access control system in Chicago for your residential building or office building, you need to choose the right one. There are several features to consider and the right access control system makes a big difference. 

No matter the industry you’re in, if you want to control access to your building, an access control system is the right choice. It can be set up to let in residents and guests living in a condo building or to let in employees working in your office. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right access control system for your specific needs.

Computer-Based vs. Standalone Access Control

A computer-based system offers the ability to control multiple doors through a wireless network. You won’t have an isolated system on each door, but one system working on all entry points within the building. If you need to control all the doors from one central location, a computer-based access control system is right for you. 

These types of systems tend to work best for medium to large buildings. They work well when you have quite a few people you need to give access and they can also be used for a smaller building, too.

Standalone access control systems use secure locks on all doors. These systems are isolated to each specific door and often work best for smaller buildings with fewer users. They are simple to set up and very user-friendly.

Wired vs. Wireless

You have the option to choose a wired or a wireless access control system. With a wired system, you will need wires to be run to each entry and to the central system running the access control system. This can provide stronger infrastructure, but can also be difficult to install in an existing building. 

With a wireless access control system, you won’t need to run any wires. They are much easier to install and offer more flexibility. You can scale a wireless system easier, too, as you grow or need to protect more entry points.

Key Cards vs. Biometrics vs. Key Codes

The way you allow access into the building is also a big decision to consider. You can use key cards, which means each person will have a card that will act as a key when they need to enter.

Another option is to use biometrics, which is more advanced. This is the most secure option and requires a part of the human body to be used, such as the face, eyes, or fingerprints to enter the building. If you need a high level of security, biometrics is the right option.

Key codes are also an option. Instead of a card, each person will need to punch in their code to enter the building. This works much like a PIN and gives user access while recording who entered based on the key code used.

There are plenty of things to consider when choosing an access control system. Make sure you choose a professional to install the system. They should also be able to help you make the right decisions about the type of access control system and the features best suited to your needs.

Smart Locks vs Traditional Locks: Which is Safer?

Smart Locks

If you are considering new locks for your home or you’re in the process of building, you’re probably torn between traditional locks and smart locks. You are used to traditional locks and that is what you’ve always known, but you want your own to have the best bells and whistles and to have the security that is being featured today and in the future.

That is why you might be considering smart locks that put the latest technology at your side. Take a closer look at both traditional locks and smart locks to see the differences and how to know which is the safer route for your home’s security.

How traditional locks work

Traditional locks were always just considered “locks,” until smart locks came onto the scene. These are any locks that are not a smart lock and come in a variety of styles. These would be anything not automated and have to be manually engaged to work. These will be locks such as deadbolts, knob locks, mortise locks, and more like these rather than one that works electronically.

Most traditional locks work by using a key to open the door and are likely going to be made using rim locks, pin tumbler locks, or mortise locks. These types of locks work when a key is inserted and allows the device to do its thing, which involves everything from spring-loaded pins to cylinders that work together.

These have always been considered secure ways to lock something like your home, office, car, or safe. Deadbolts are most commonly used on a residential lock and are known for being secure. Today you can choose deadbolts with different grades or strengths for a more secure option, such as a Grade 1 deadbolt, or you can enhance them through different methods.

The best way to ensure a traditional lock is secure is having it used correctly, installed correctly, and choosing a more durable design and grade of lock.

Smart locks

Smart locks are a different type of lock, which you are going to be relying on technology since these are engaged electronically or remotely. They are the automated version of a traditional lock and require something other than a key inserted into the lock for the user to open something.

They are usually able to be controlled by your smartphone and have the ability to integrate with your other smart devices. This may sound more secure than someone picking your locks, but being online means it’s susceptible to being hacked.

To open something with a smart lock, you’ll have to use a cryptographic key to unlock your door. This is where the lock receives instructions to open.  It has the functionality to send you notifications and alerts to your smartphone to monitor its activity, making you feel more secure as the owner. You won’t have to carry a key around unless you use a key fob, since mostly you’ll be able to use it from a device.

The security of smart locks are debatable since they can technically be hacked into, but traditional locks also have the potential to be physically tampered with too. Smart locks are still a newer concept and may still be early on in giving you the most secure lock for your home, despite giving you the ability to monitor the lock from your devices.

They will work with an existing deadbolt though which may make this a good in-between option for homeowners that don’t want to go with an all-in smart lock cylinder. You also have to consider what you would do if someone were to simply gain access to your phone if you were to lose it and it has your door unlocking abilities on it.

You may find that you prefer going with a traditional lock knowing that you can always add on or modify with more features to make them more secure while not risking hacking through an electronic option. Whichever way you go, talk to a Chicago locksmith to ask any questions you have and get the right fit for you. These are some of the considerations when deciding which type of lock you feel safer using for your property.

Is It Better to Rekey or Change Locks?

lock replacement

There are times when you have to consider changing your locks, such as when you move into a new house, lose your keys, or had someone move out that won’t be returning to your home or office.  In any case, you probably wondered what scenarios make more sense to have the lock rekeyed and which ones require a total change of locks.

Did you know that there are these two options? In one case you want to change out the lock while the other is more like changing the computer password. Take a look at what the differences are and when you should do which.

What is rekeying a lock?

Rekeying a lock is not the same as changing your lock, which is just when you change an old lock to a new one. In this case, you’re going to be keeping the lock but changing the working key to a different one. A locksmith would need to have the current matching key or else they would have to pick it open.

They would then need to take the lock apart and replace the inside parts called key pins so that the key pins no longer correspond to the old key but rather replace them with different ones that set the new key. It can be done in a matter of minutes.

When you rekey a lock

Not only is rekeying a fast process, but it’s a money-saving option too. It will not affect the security of the lock. The security would not be affected unless the locksmith didn’t replace the old 5 pins with all 5 new ones since the number of pins would affect its security.

Key pins are inexpensive and preferred to changing locks since you only need to really pay for the labor. This is a good option if you simply need to match all of your home’s locks to the same key rather than carrying so many keys around.

This is also the common option for those that lost a copy of their key and don’t want someone to find it, if you’ve moved into a new place and don’t know who else may have a copy of the key, or someone has left the property that you don’t want having access anymore.

When you should replace a lock

There are scenarios in which you’ll want to replace a lock. In one case this may be aesthetic in which it’s time for a new look or design. An old rusted lock won’t look good on your modern upgrade of a door, home, or paint colors.

You may also find that you like newer lock designs and you want to upgrade to a newer, more secure option. Some people simply want to change out locks so that their home has all matching locks that will be able to be used with the same key.

If you have a disability and prefer a lever handle lock, they are easier to use and attractive. Electronic locks are a new possibility and something you may want for your home too. Consider the price and function when choosing between a rekey and a new lock.

When you’re ready for rekeying or a changing of locks to be done at your home, call Rekey Services in Chicago for professional care and reliability.

How a Door Latch Guard Provides Additional Security

Latch Guard

There are several ways to make your door security better. A door latch guard is one of the better choices. Before you make your decision, it’s important to understand how latch guards work.

Picking a Lock

Some break-ins happen because the criminal picks the lock. They slide a credit card or another tool between the crack in the door and use it to unlatch the lock to get in.

The gap between the frame of the door and the door is one of the weak points giving criminals away in. For some doors, the bolt of the lock is actually visible through this gap.

Adding a Latch Guard for Protection

A latch guard makes it possible to keep your lock from easily being picked. This security tool will cover the gap where the bolt of the lock is making it much harder to sneak any type of tool through the gap.

Outswing doors are the most common for latch guard installations. Since the latch guard can be put on the outside of the door, it works properly to guard the latch of the door from tampering.

The latch guard will be made of a single piece of metal, which will be installed on the exterior of the door. Some latch guards also include a security pin to embed it into the door frame. This adds even more security, especially in condos and apartments.

A latch guard can also be used on inswing doors, but it’s a different type of security device. It’s made of two pieces and uses a U-channel design to help protect the latch from tampering.

Protecting your Business

It’s common to find latch guards on storefront doors and business entryways. There’s usually a very large gap between the doors at a storefront, which needs to be protected. With the right latch guard, any business can add more security to their entryway.

A Low-Cost Pro-Active Security Device

Adding a latch guard to your door will help add security. These devices are very inexpensive and work with any door. Of course, you want to make sure you get the right latch guard for your specific door since they are not a one-size-fits-all solution.

The type of door you need a latch guard installed on will determine the type of guard installed. Regardless, it will be a low-cost solution offering more protection for your entryway.

If you prefer to be pro-active about your home or business security, a latch guard for your entry doors is a good idea. You can hire a Chicago locksmith to install your latch guards throughout your apartment building, on your business doors, or just on your home door.

Letting a professional install your latch guard ensures it will work properly. You want to make sure you gain better security and Quick Key Locksmith is here to help. Whether you need a latch guard for one door or hundreds of doors, we will make sure you gain the security you desire.