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.

Maintenance Tips for Commercial & Residential Safes

Security Safe

For businesses, safes are usually the last thing on your mind when it comes to your to-do list. You typically prioritize business activities before anything else since your business depends on it, right? The same goes for residents who may have safes in their homes as well. There are a million other tasks that can be accomplished before dealing with your safe.

Be Gentle

Sounds simple enough right? Even if you have a heavy-duty safe, constant slamming of the safe door can cause internal parts and bolts to malfunction and eventually break. Safes with a traditional locking mechanism are more susceptible to breaking because internal parts wear and tear easier.

This is why investing in modern safes such as a biometric, keypad, and safes that require electronic access cards is better for your pockets and more durable.

Ensure Locking Mechanisms are Lubricated

Constantly opening and closing your safe will naturally cause wear and tear over time. No one wants to deal with a safe that doesn’t open, even when the right combination is input. This can be troublesome especially when you have something of value that you need to get out when you’re in a time crunch.

Better yet, it can really be troublesome when you have a gun safe and need to extract something for protection. To avoid this, keep all moving parts lubricated. At a minimum, locks should have maintenance done annually.

Invest in Maintenance & Repair

Last but definitely not least, make an investment in your safe! Safes hold valuable items and the last thing you want to do is jeopardize the availability of those items. For this reason, you should invest in safe maintenance and repair.

Hire Safe Repair Professionals for the Job

Quick Key Locksmith is available 24/7 to help with all your residential and commercial locksmith services. Need safe maintenance? Safe Repair Services? We’re here to get the job done! Contact us at (877) 787-3399

3 Ways to Extract a Broken Key from a Lock

Broken Key in Lock

You’re arriving at your home after a long day of work. You’re excited to Key broken and stuck in the door? It happens!

What causes this breakage?

  1. Sometimes this occurs due to normal wear and tear on a key over time. The teeth on the key get worn down and can make it difficult for the teeth to catch onto the lock.
  2. In a hurry? Using excessive force can sometimes break a key in an instant.
  3. Other times it can be due to the key being a cheap duplicate!

No matter the cause of your key breaking in the door, we can all agree that it’s a huge pain. The question becomes, how can you extract it and move on about your day?

3 Ways to Extract a Broken Key

 

Tweezers

This is usually the go-to tool when a key breaks off in a door for most people. Two things you need to be aware of is how far the key has broken off in the lock, and how wide/thick the tweezers are. Thin tweezers that open wide are ideal for the job. Too thick tweezers won’t allow you to position them along the sides of the key, while tweezers that don’t open wide enough will not be able to grasp it. The last thing you want to do is end up pushing the key further in the locking mechanism.

This method will only work if there’s a little bit of key sticking out. Pushing the key deeper is more likely to happen if this isn’t the case.

Jigsaw Blade

This is probably the most time-consuming method of them all and will most likely require a trip to your local hardware store. However, if available, use two jigsaw blades when trying to extract a broken key. Insert both blades on opposite sides of the key.

For this to be successful, the blades must be thin enough. Be sure the blades are also faced down so that they can hook the teeth of the key. After doing so, simply turn and pull.

If it doesn’t work the first time, try again!

Super Glue

This should be your last option if all else fails. While we do not always agree with this method, because it can end up making things worse, this is an option that can be pulled off if done correctly.

The trick here is to utilize something small like a match and glue it to the key. Mind you, this only works if part of the key is sticking out. After creating a firm bond between the two, try pulling the key out of the lock!

Extracting a key isn’t easy all the time. It depends on the type of lock and how the key is broken.

Contact Your Chicago Locksmith

Don’t feel like extracting it? Tried these methods and still came up short? Give us a call at 877-787-3399. With 24/7 service, Quick Key Locksmith & Security can get the job done fast and affordable when needed. Not only can we remove the key,  we can also create a duplicate key.

Lock Problem? Is the Problem Really Your Lock?

Door Lock

In the vast majority of cases where you think you might have a lock problem, the real culprit reason for the problem lies elsewhere, and statistically more than 80% of the time it has nothing whatsoever to do with the lock itself. Listed below are some of the most common causes of problems that appear to be lock issues, but which are actually attributable to other reasons entirely.

Hinges

Loose hinges can cause a great many problems, and if they happen to be poorly mounted in the first place, hinges can cause even greater problems. For instance, if the hinges are not securely mounted and the door is not properly positioned, the door may sag, thereby severely interfering with the necessary alignment between lock and strikes. The most obvious giveaway for this condition is in checking the gap between the jamb and the door, and finding that the gap is not uniform between top and bottom. This almost always means the door will not be situated right, and lock problems will be the likely result.

Strikes

Even if the door has been installed and hung properly, problems can result if the strike was carelessly or improperly installed, because, for proper functioning, bolts and latches need to be centered with their respective strikes. The entry lock latch must have its strike positioned in such a manner that the deadlatch plunger cannot fall into the opening for the strike, and the strike itself should be installed with screws at least three inches long so that the strike is well anchored into the framing behind the door jamb.

 

Keys

The internal pins on a lock have been ideally matched with their keys to ensure smooth functionality, and if you lose the original key which was 100% compatible, the replacement key may not be quite so ideally matched. Even a minor variation can have a huge impact on key operation, causing it to become completely unworkable. Even worse, sometimes it becomes necessary to make duplicates from duplicates, and in such cases, any small variation can get magnified into an even larger incompatibility, and more ‘lock’ problems may develop.

What to do

Lock problems are not generally repairable by do-it-yourself-er types, even if they aren’t truly problems with the lock. When any of these kinds of problems develop, your best recourse is almost always to contact your local expert locksmith and have the problem professionally resolved. In many of those cases, the best option will involve re-keying the lock itself, and preparing an entirely new set of keys to match that new lock. Your residential locksmith will have the knowledge, the skills, and the high-quality products on hand to expertly handle your lock crisis and solve your access problems in the fastest and most effective manner possible.

How Can Many Locks Be Opened with a Single Master Key?

master key

Have you ever wondered why it is that a single master key can open any of the locks in your entire apartment complex, while the one you have will only open your apartment door, and possibly the main entrance door to the building? While this specific scenario highlights a master key setup in an apartment complex, the same situation could be true with any number of other commercial and residential lock-and-key configurations.

The answer to the ‘one key, many locks’ question lies in a very clever arrangement of the components which comprise a lock and key system – but the same principle which allows that kind of master key access is also what makes this model vulnerable to a security breach if engineered by a skillful and knowledgeable criminal. Here’s why all that is true.

How master locks work

Most locks are constructed using design concepts that are fairly uniform in the industry, the most common of which is the cylinder lock. With this kind of design, the key turns a cylinder which is attached to a cam, which then also gets turned. When the cylinder is turned in one direction, the cam or plug, causes the door to open by pulling in on the bolt. When the cylinder is turned in the opposite direction, the bolt is released by the cam and is snapped into place to prevent the door from opening.

Another common type of lock is the pin and tumbler design, which features a series of small pins, each having different lengths. These pins are separated into pairs, with each pair situated in a shaft that goes through the central cylinder cam, and on into the housing. The pairs of pins are kept in position by springs situated at the top of the shafts.

Before key insertion, the bottom end of each pair rests totally inside the plug, and the topside pin stays halfway inside the plug and halfway within the housing. The position of the upper pin is what prevents the plug from being turned because the plug is bound to the housing by the pins. The fundamental principle which makes any master key system functional is that there are extra pins in the cylinder of the lock, and these allow for several differently shaped keys to achieving a compatible alignment with all sets of pins that they extend into.

Do you need a master key system?

If you need a master key system to be installed at your home or place of business, the first call you should make is to a highly reputable commercial locksmith or residential locksmith in your area. As mentioned earlier, some master key systems are more easily breached than others, because clever criminals can reverse engineer the system of pins in the cylinder to create their own master key. An expert locksmith can discourage this kind of criminal breach of security with a professionally designed master key system.

Analyze the Locks on Your Home

Various locks for the home

Because the safety of your family and all valuables inside the home depend largely on whatever system of security you have installed, it’s worth conducting a thorough review of all the locks you have in place. While door and window locks alone will not prevent any really determined criminal from gaining entry to your home, high-quality locks which have been well installed will at least delay a criminal’s access long enough for help to arrive.

Deadbolt locks

While deadbolt locks can be highly effective, it is crucial that they’re installed correctly in the first place. If the hole on the door frame is not drilled deep enough for the deadbolt to be fully engaged, that bolt won’t extend far enough into the drilled hole to provide the maximum security it was intended for. This will reduce the value of a deadbolt down to the level of an ordinary lock, or worse.

Windows

If your windows can be accessed externally and will slide open, you should have a secondary lock installed on them besides what was provided originally. In most cases, the locking mechanism that comes with such windows is a simple latch that only holds the window closed, and doesn’t really lock them against external access. The vast majority of these can easily be opened from the outside, especially by a skillful burglar.

Sliding glass doors

One of the most easily accessible points in any home is a sliding glass patio door. Generally speaking, these doors are located in the rear of the home, providing just the kind of privacy a burglar needs to carry out an entry attempt. Sliding doors typically have only the same latching mechanism that windows do, and are not really secure unless you have another method of locking them.

Yard gates

If your backyard can be accessed through a gate, it would be a good idea to have it secured with a lock other than what it was sold with. To make things simpler for yourself, you can even have the lock keyed so it can be opened with your house key. Another good deterrent against entry into your backyard would be to install outdoor lighting and have it focused on any points of entry.

Spare Keys – Things You Need to Remember

Multiple types of keys

As a homeowner, you should never overlook the importance of spare keys, both to yourself and how they might be used by others. It is very easy to do that though because your spare keys aren’t the ones which you would ordinarily use – they’re just in the background somewhere, waiting to be called upon in an emergency, or in unusual circumstances. And if you don’t have a set of spare keys, all it will take is being locked out of your home one time, to convince you of the need to have a set made immediately.

Handling of spare keys

But where should you put your spare keys in order to make use of them when the time comes? You certainly don’t want to put them under the Welcome mat, since countless TV shows and movies have instructed generations of watchers about that hiding place, and truthfully, any object near your front door will be the first place a criminal-minded person would check for a spare set of keys. To avoid the risk of burglary or any other unwanted entry, you’ll have to situate your spare keys somewhere that is not obvious to intruders, but which you have easy access to when you need to retrieve them.

You could leave keys with a trusted neighbor, but that means they’d have to be home when you need your keys. Better options eliminate the need for any other individuals, because they simply may not be available at the precise moment of your need. You might want to try placing them under a deck outside, in a birdhouse you’ve placed in the yard, or under the doghouse if you happen to have a furry friend. A couple of other options might be to place keys inside an outdoor power meter box (carefully!), or along the siding of your home, in a spot which isn’t easily visible.

Any of these hiding places will probably be sufficiently secure from unwanted intruders, yet still easily accessible to you or someone from your household who needs emergency access, and does not have keys.

Other points to remember about spare keys

If you happen to be the manager of an apartment building, spare keys can be something of a problem, especially if they have been retained by previous tenants who will thus still have access to your building, and are no longer entitled to. If you are a tenant moving into an apartment, you should make a point of asking the landlord if a prior tenant still has a set of spare keys, because that could easily compromise your own safety.

These scenarios point up a common issue about spare keys, regarding the fact that they should always be accounted for and not simply forgotten. If spare keys are not monitored and turn up missing, that may be time to consult your residential locksmith or commercial locksmith and discuss an access control solution that keeps your premises, and yourself, secure.

The Convenience of Having an Automatic Garage Door

automatic garage doors

If you don’t happen to have an automatic garage door yourself, you probably know someone who does, and if you’ve ever discussed it with them, chances are, you’ve heard some pretty favorable reviews about their unit. Automatic garage door openers have been around for nearly a century now, and in that time, they’ve found high favor with practically everyone who has bothered to have one installed, because they require little garage door repair or maintenance, and they are highly reliable.

Here are some of the advantages of having an automatic garage door opener implemented at your home.

Greater security

Most people can guess the first big advantage – security. The most advanced models now incorporate usage of rolling codes that only you would have possession of, and which prevents access by anyone else. Also in the way of security, many models automatically close after you’ve left the garage, so if you happen to be the forgetful type, your garage door won’t stay open all day, as an invitation to intruders who might want to ‘borrow’ your garage goods.

Weather convenience

How often do you arrive or depart from home while it’s raining or snowing? When you have an automatic garage door, it won’t matter anymore, because you’ll never have to walk out into that weather in order to get to or from your vehicle to open or close the garage door. If you had a manual locking mechanism on your garage door, that might provide a measure of security, but you would probably get wet at least several times each year, opening or locking it.

Vacation mode

Modern automatic garage doors often have a ‘vacation mode’ which you can invoke from a control panel, which makes your home safer in the event that you will be gone for an extended period, such as when you’re on vacation. Some basic functions are completely disabled in vacation mode so that any kind of clever remote that an intruder might have would be rendered helpless. The vacation mode itself would then be disabled at the control panel when you return from vacation and are ready to restore normal functionality.

Technology advances

The advances in modern technology have proven to be beneficial for automatic garage doors, which can now be controlled from smartphones after being integrated by a qualified service professional. There are also a great many more bells and whistles available on today’s automatic garage doors than ever before, including greater efficiency of energy usage, and built-in lighting, which provides convenient illumination for the garage itself, or for the pathway which leads to the garage. At night, this can be not only very handy but also a nice safety feature.

Do You Need More Door Locks?

Multi Point Locks

A very skilled and knowledgeable burglar can easily gain entry to any business or residence which is protected only by a single lock, and with years of experience at breaking into such buildings, thieves can then easily take any of your possessions having value. This scenario has played out many times in more affluent neighborhoods, where residents might be expected to have high dollar-value items, which of course are the particular targets of the criminal-minded. To prevent this kind of security breach and potential loss of valuables, both homeowners and business owners eventually reach the point where they consider adding more door locks or perhaps taking other preventive measures against theft and property damage.

Better door security

One of the best door security options available today is multi-point locks, which generally consist of a centrally-located deadbolt with live latch, two or more hook bolts, and possibly even dual compression bolts. This kind of lock is opened by raising the door handle on one side of the door leaf, and it is closed shut by turning a key from either side of the door. Because this kind of lock simultaneously engages several different bolts, it is far superior to a system having multiple single locks on the same door, or on multiple doors.

Both the hook bolts and the compression bolts serve to secure the door tightly into the door frame’s weather seals to ensure integrity against weather conditions. Depending on how a specific multi-point lock is configured, it can also have bolts on the top frame, the bottom frame, and the hinged side of the door frame as well. The most sophisticated of these multi-point locks (and of course, the most expensive) can engage all these bolts simultaneously when someone closes the door. As you might expect, this can amount to very good door security for your premises, whether commercial or residential.

The lone drawback to the multi-point lock system is that the owner must remember to engage the multi-points and lock the door into position, otherwise the door is only secured by a latch, which can easily be penetrated by someone with criminal intent. However, after just a few days of usage, engaging and closing your multi-point lock door will become an ingrained habit, and the issue will be solved.

Finding a multi-point lock vendor

All your residential or commercial door security needs can be managed by a single expert locksmith such as Quick Key Locksmiths in the Chicagoland area of Illinois. After consulting with a Quick Key representative to explain your security objectives, the best system for your circumstances can be arrived at and then installed by master craftsmen to guarantee proper setup. You will then have the peace of mind which comes from knowing that the best security people in the business have recommended and implemented a system which will protect your valued assets, your property, and all occupants.