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Commercial Locksmith FAQ

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Here at Top Locksmith, we provide service to tons of both residential and commercial clients every day. Here’s a list of the most common inquiries that we receive regarding our full spectrum of commercial locksmith services.

 

How long will it take for one of your locksmiths to get to my business?

It will almost always take between 15 and 30 minutes depending on the location of your commercial property. Top’s locksmith are mobile based – meaning they are situated in mobile locksmith vans equipped with the latest and greatest equipment to provide you exemplary service in an efficient and quick manner.

 

Do I need to understand what type of locks my business implements?

The experts at Top Locksmith are knowledgeable about all manners and brand of locks, and can assess the specific make and models of your existing locks, diagnose your security needs, and help provide you solutions without any need for you to have knowledge about the lock products themselves – although, it might help if you remembered if there have been any lock related services provided to your business in the recent past.

 

How long will it take for one of your locksmiths to open my door?

Depending on the door, the lock, and the specifics of the issue, it can take our locksmiths 10-25 minutes to open a door – but rest assured that we will get it open, always.

 

Will your services damage my office lock?

The majority of lock opening methods that utilize bump keys won’t’ cause any damage to the lock. However, in extreme cases, the lock will need to be drilled and then replaced – a service which the Top experts can quickly and professionally carry out on the spot.

 

Will opening up my commercial business’ safe open up the interior property?

Absolutely not! The experts at Top make sure to be as careful as possible when handling your property, ensuring that all of your valuables stay unharmed during the safe opening process. That being said, it’s not a bad idea to mention any fragile items that may be housed in the safe before any service is carried out.

 

Will opening up my commercial safe damage the safe itself?

It’s likely that your safe will need to be replaced after it is opened, as its security infrastructure has been compromised, and it’s ability to securely protect your property has been diminished. This is the common likelihood with safe opening operations.

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Keeping Door Locks Working Correctly

Posted on by TopLocksmith in Locks, Locks Installation, Locksmith

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Door locks are the last defensive barrier that keeps your family safe from potential burglars. Most people don’t know that locks require a high degree of maintenance, similar to every other home based mechanical system. Regardless of what type of high security lock you have in your home, by following these tips you can make sure that every single door is operating at peak condition.

 

Keep locks clean and well lubricated

Few people know that door locks need to be periodically cleaned out – but only with the right tools. On an annual basis, lubricate doors with a graphite lubricant or dry lubricant. Spray the lubricant inside the lock, and move a key inside and outside it a few times to get rid of any excess gunk. Door locks should be wiped down with a wet rag every now and then in order to remove dust that can accumulate and clog it up. We don’t recommend using any other sort of cleaner rather than a gentle detergent, because it can take off the lock’s finish and damage it. High security locks, biometric locks, keyless door locks, and electronic locks usually come with specific cleaning procedures, so make sure to only clean it according to the specifications that came with it – and if you don’t know these, contact the manufacturer to ask.

 

Make key copies

Whenever you get a brand new lock installed, save one of the original keys in order to make copies. Keys usually experience wear and tear before locks do, and usually key replacements are warranted – but as your keys wear, it’s structure can shift, and if it is then copied, the new key won’t as work as well with the door as it should. If you want a truly functioning key, make sure to keep an extra copy of the original in order to make copies.

 

Hang and properly align doors

If your door is attached improperly, it’s lock will not fully activate, or may not work at all. Small misalignments in door hanging can be subtle and hard to notice, but even the smallest misalignment is magnified within the lock as pressure, warping, and mechanical distortion. If your door is binding or sagging, it puts way too much stress on the lock, and eventually causes issues that can prevent you from entering or exiting your home through that door. It’s important to notice that the space between the door frame and the door itself are consistently even throughout the perimeter of the door, and is less than 1/4th of an inch wide.

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Benefits of Using a Keypad Lock

Posted on by TopLocksmith in Locks, Locks Installation

keypad-lock

There’s many benefits for consumers in using a keypad lock as opposed to a normal door lock. Today, the amount of homes that use keypad locks are increasing – even to rival their usage by commercial locations!

Keypad locks have become commercial and residential lifesavers due to their plethora of practical benefits. A few of the major benefits of using keypad locks in home or business settings are:

A lack of need to carry keys

Keypad locks are keyless  meaning the process of locking one is very different than the typical door locking technique. Keypad locks almost work like machines or dispensers at a bank – all you need to do is type in your specific keypad access code that only you know in order to unlock or lock your doors. There’s zero need to worry about misplaced, lost, or stolen keys – or even a need to remember where you placed them in the first place.

Serious home security improvements

All keypad locking mechanisms are built with advanced machinery, making it nearly impossible for criminals to break into your home. Business and residential owners of property will never have to worry about burglaries again – since the only individuals who will have the ability to enter their home are those who know the custom access code.

Customizable Access Codes

We just want to stress that these locks offer users the options to program in their own custom access codes; you won’t have to worry about the brand providing default codes that make rounds within the community, that burglars might get their hands on. With the ability to program in custom codes of infinite length and complexity, you can ensure that your doors are as secure as they ever have been.

Simplicity and Durability

These locks are made out of advanced technology with an emphasis on ergonomics, aesthetics, and practicality. You can trust in your keypad lock to provide you years of faithful reliability, making them a perfect choice for homeowners seeking a lock that’s both easy to install, and will last them for years to come.

Wireless Keypad Installations in Baltimore, Bethesda, and Maryland

There’s a major amount of specific designs for keypad locks on the market today. It’s important to ensure that you’re installing locks made by a professional brand, from a professional installation provider if you truly want to end up with a lock that will both be reliable and provide lasting service. If you’re looking for true professionals to install your keypad locks, look no further than Top Locksmith, the best lock installation and repair service throughout the entire Baltimore County region.

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Risky College Student Security Behavior

Risky College Student Security Behavior

 

College students often are protected by strict campus safety protocol, however they are often finding themselves in dangerous security situations. In this blog entry I’ll detail some of the most common behavior amongst college students that leads to a compromise in security.

 

Most College Students don’t Know Self Defense

Many college students exist in a illusory bubble of Utopia housed inside their college campus. However they shouldn’t think it’s a utopia, as with any situation where you’re surrounded by total strangers, you need to be vigilant in protecting your own property. Not only are most college students ill prepared to defend themselves in the event of a violent burglary, but most of them don’t even anticipate the need for incorporating any additional self-maintained security infrastructure to protect their own property.

 

College Students are Distracted

From Facebook and Twitter, to Snapchat, Tinder, Tumblr, and Pokemon Go, college students are often distracted by a simultaneous host of electronic social platforms that all demand large contributions of labor and attention. Because of this, many college students walk around in a haze of blissful solipsism, and aren’t usually aware of the world around them, including any security risks that could show red flags in advance.

 

Heavy Drinking

It’s well known that there’s a culture of partying and drinking heavily embedded in many colleges. While this time certainly calls for a sense of youthful celebration and joviality, it’s common for inexperienced students to drink too much and lock themselves out of their dorms, lose their keys, or simply be unaware of leaving their doors unlocked. ,Excessive alcohol consumption inhibits focus, concentration, and awareness of surroundings, all factors that make it a fantastic foil for any sustained effort at on-campus security.

 

College Students are somewhat Solitary – even in social settings

We have moved long past the days of the buddy system where individuals appoint each other as guardians and watchdogs for each other’s interests and properties. Although quite a social cross section of society, college students nowadays manage much of their life completely on their own, without aid or assistance from adults – meaning that they might not have friends looking out for their security on a day-to-day level.

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What to expect when calling a locksmith

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When you call a locksmith, you want to ensure that you’re getting the best service possible. In this blog entry I’ll detail exactly what to expect in regards to process when calling a locksmith for any sort of service.

 

The initial Request

You have a problem and you want to solve it. You call the locksmith and ask for help – the call will usually be taken by the Locksmith’s main office, which acts as a deployer and dispatch for the company. The central service division will ask you what your location is, what sort of service you need, and your contact information.

 

Dispatch of Service

The central office will contact a manager for your area, who will be given your information. They will then select a local technician and send them directly to your location.

 

Technician Update

The technician sent to your home or business will call the customer, letting them know their estimated time of arrival. This lets the customer know how fast the process of the repair should take. Any additional information regarding the requested service will be discussed.

 

Security Assessment

The technician will arrive and professionally introduce himself to the client. They will then inspect the lock, and provide an assessment of exactly what the necessary steps that should be taken are. They will inform the customer of the right course of action, and together they will set a price. The customer will be then presented with a receipt that they need to sign in order to agree to the service and the charge.

 

The Locksmithing Work

Here’s where the meat of the process takes place. The time it will take to complete this process will range on what the service and situation is – during this process the technician will make sure not to damage any aspect of the home, business, or vehicle (besides cases where destructive entry is requested – like in lockouts that require a lock change.) However, this sort of entry is only utilized as a last resort, when there’s another way of entering the home, business, or vehicle.

 

Completion of Payment

The job is completed, and the customer will assess the success of the service. Then the locksmith will collect payment for the job which can usually be paid in either cash or credit. THen the technician simply gathers their equipment and leaves, on their way to help the next individual in need of expert locksmith intervention.

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Traveling Suitcase / Luggage Security Tips

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When you’re traveling, you can’t be too safe with your luggage. TSA employees have been known to rifle through and steal from luggage – not to mention shifty fellow passengers. Since paranoia isn’t a great way to start a vacation, it’s a much better idea to make sure to adopt a collection of security strategies in order to have peace of mind in knowing your luggage is secure.

Keep all your things together

Keep your important stuff together in a sealed Ziploc bag, or a dedicated pocket that you will never veer from. The benefits of having a single location for your valuables is helpful because it will allow you to make sure you have all your important belongings quickly, rather than having to rifle through them and possibly missing something.

 

Announce what you’re giving over temporarily to security

Before handing a wallet, or any bag over to a gate or security employee, make sure to announce “this is my bag, it contains my money, cards, etc..” – if they hear you mention you know exactly what’s in the bag, they will be much less willing to take the risk of possibly stealing from you.

 

Always carry a credit card and your ID

These are the essential items that can save you in the unfortunate (and unlikely- if you follow these tips!) event of a robbery or theft. Almost anything else is replaceable, but a credit card and ID will allow you to find shelter, housing, or additional flights to go back home. While we’re at it, keep your cell phone on your body at all times.

 

Keep your cash and wallet in your carry on bag

Keep your wallet as deeply inside your carry on bag as possible so that the only way any thief could find it would be to thoroughly and conspicuously search and remove items from your bag.

 

Wear all jewelry and/or expensive watches on your body

If you’re traveling with any jewelry or wearable heirlooms make sure to wear it on your body at all times. Don’t trust anyone including airport employees to behave according to the law if they find a small – but incredibly precious – ring or necklace. By keeping valuables on your body at all times, you’re ensuring their protection.

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Gate Security

Gate Security

 

Gates can offer a great deal of security, depending on how they are installed, their style, and how they are maintained. Of course, gates will always be more secure when they are locked, however for the most part just the site of a gate is a fantastic deterrent for prospective criminals. Short gates that any human can step over are not effective deterrents – the more secure the gate appears (and functions) the higher its security.  There’s a few kinds of gates that aren’t worth investing in at all. Here are some.

 

Gates with small Holes

Small holes inside the gate allow criminals who are passing by to look inside your property to assess its security, as well as potentially open the lock through the openings with tools thin enough to pass through them.

 

Gates with large holes

This should be obvious, but a gate with a large hole is merely cosmetic, rather than functional. It allows criminals to reach inside the gate, look inside it to assess your security, or open it from the outside.

 

Short Gates

Short gates require reinforcement with locks, however if your gate is so short that it can be stepped over, any lock won’t help at all. Even gates that are short enough to see over are a risk, as anybody can reach over it and access the lock or handle.

 

Things to keep in mind about your Gate:

  • Don’t have valuables in plain sight of the gate
  • Latches without locks can be opened by anyone reaching over the gate
  • Door Knobs that allow for unkeyed egresses can be turned  by someone reaching over the gate.
  • Locks must be combined with keys, combinations, or remotes to be effective.

 

There’s a few ways to increase security on your gate; while barbed wire, or the like, is surely effective, it’s aesthetic drawbacks make it a seriously unappealing option. Another option is to grow roses along the walls of your home; while looking beautiful, the rose’s thorns will operate as a form of elegant barbed wire. Don’t get a gate outfit with hand or foot holds – get a tall, flat, smooth gate that’s sturdy enough that it can’t get kicked in. Security cameras will also help you figure out if anybody unruly is trying to enter your home; consider placing multiple cameras in both obscured and obvious places to maximize both your functionality, and the deterrents surrounding your security system.

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Little Known Facts about Safes

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For an item as ubiquitous and universal as safes, very few people know about their history, or the technical aspects of their construction. Here’s our primer on little known facts about safes.

The higher the price, the more quality the safe

While this equation isn’t always true with every kind of product, with safes it definitely is. The more expensive the safe is, the stronger it’s doors and body are, the thicker the metal is, and these safes contain materials that can blunt drills, cutting tools, and even disperse heat. Cheap safes, on the other hand, can be opened with the strike of a skilled hand – think about cost as a measure of how expensive the materials are, and with how much care they are constructed.

 

Safes should be Hidden

Make sure to conceal safes; by hiding it, any burglar will have to find it before even being able to attempt to enter it – making it even less likely that they will be able to steal from you. An even greater security tactic is to hide the safe in the floor or within a wall – this will cover up it’s weaker sides, and allow you to hide it in a way that most people wouldn’t be able to see.

 

The more inaccessible the safe is, the better it’s hidden

The most secure safes are the one’s that are hardest to access – any safes that are made invisible, or even inaccessible, requiring some kind of advanced exhumation are completely protected from the average thief. This is the best possible way of hiding a safe – however if it’s a safe you want regular access to, this strategy might prove inconvenient, if superiorly secure.

 

Safes can be cut

This is why adding additional layers of concealment is such a good strategy. Although a quality safe will be protected from the average criminal, if you’re handling something truly priceless, you may be dealing with a more advanced level of burglar. It’s worth it to bear in mind that even Diamonds and Steel can be cut with the right tools – so it’s important to keep your investments secure by not only investing in the highest quality safe, but by making it as hard to access as possible.

 

How Criminals can Break into Safes

We are all familiar with the cinematic trope of the burglar cracking the safe by using a stethoscope to listen for the clicks – this isn’t really that common. Most criminals aren’t lockpicking experts – they are mostly concerned with getting out of there as quickly as possible. The majority of thieves will steal the entire safe; the common approach to mitigate this risk is to bolt the safe directly to the floor. This should never be done,a s then the thief can use the floor’s leverage to pry open the door of the safe with a crowbar. Expensive safes made of strong material can be broken into using angle grinders or torches – advanced and uncommon equipment, but equipment that is surely out there in the world. Whether you have a safe in your hallway closet or in a bank, they are not completely impervious – making the importance of concealment and deterrents an even more pressing issue.

 

 

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Cold Weather Lock Tips

There’s no doubt about it – this is one of the coldest winters on record. Although we’ve gotten the odd pleasant day, I’m sure you’ve all noticed the nighttime lows – whether there’s frost on your windows or not. Did you know that dropping mercury poses a serious risk to your lock performance as well?

 

As your local Maryland lock experts, we at Top Locksmiths always work hard to provide our customers with the most accurate information regarding your home, business, or automobile lock. Here’s our brief science briefing to explain the effects of super cold temperatures to locks. Thermal expansion is the term that describes the movements of the molecules inside any object due to temperature change. If a metal object is heated, it will expand because it’s internal molecules are moving, expanding away from each other. The opposite is also true. When an object is exposed to super cold temperatures, the molecules will gather closer together and eventually stop moving, causing the object to contract or shrink.

 

Because of the expansion and contraction of molecules, your locks may have been treated rough by the weather lately., You may have noticed locks sticking or posing trouble when you’re trying to turn them. Locks can freeze overnight (or on particularly cold days) because of any condensation or internal moisture. When this moisture freezes onto the tumbler, it can make it impossible to use a key inside the lock. You don’t want to try to force the lock open, because that’s likely to cause even more damage. You can call your trustworthy local Maryland locksmiths, who will be there in a jiffy to assist you, or you can try these tips:

 

  1. Use WD-40 or a de-icer to melt any ice around the lock. Spray in WD40 as a lubricant. Always be sure to have these items handy.
  2. Try using a lighter to heat up your key before putting it in the lock – don’t hold the flame directly onto it, but rather slightly below it. This might require a few attempts to work, but if it does it will melt any ice that’s sealed onto the lock tumblers.
  3. Try dipping your key in Vaseline and turning it in the lock – this might need some repeat attempts, but can be an excellent lubrication method on short term notice.
  4. You can pre-treat your locks with antifreeze to prevent it from being frozen in advance.
  5. Don’t ever pour hot water on a lock because it’s only going to increase the internal moisture already present and cause even more extreme freezing problems when the temperature drops in the future.

We hope that these tips serve you well in taking care of your locks during these winter months.

 

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Safety Barricades

Due to the macabre increase in school based invasions and shootings, there has been a national demand for schools to increase their security and safety features. A strifeful debate has emerged between parents who demand barricade devices should be placed inside schools and administrators who protest this addition. Barricades offer a fantastic secondary line of defense for schools or other institutions in the case of active shooters, and have the potential to save many lives if they are used correctly.

 

Barricades are available in many kinds of sizes and shapes – from compact locks that bolt directly into the floor to wide bars that run along the center of the door. These locks are made custom to be used in the event of crisis in order to protectively seal doors. For example, a barricade could bar a hinge from being able to expand, sealing the door shut, while another can insert heavy bolts into the ground, providing another layer of solid protection. Another design barricades across the entire doors center and bolts into the wall.

 

Some officials protest the wide installation of barricades in classrooms because they are afraid that they will be misused- with the argument that if used incorrectly, barricades could cause more negative than good impacts. The primary worry is that in the event of a fire or natural disaster, barricades could potentially trap people inside the building, preventing their ability to safely escape. Another possibility is the chance of an active shooter barricading themselves inside a locked classroom and causing more harm than they would be able to otherwise if the students weren’t barricaded inside.

 

Although these official concerns have valid logic, there’s no use in trying to imply that they trump the security benefits barricades add to students and workers inside schools – not to mention the psychological impact of barricades putting forward a sense of ease and security to both children and teachers who know that, in case there is a problem, they can simply stay in the classroom and be protected. What do you think?

 

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