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Best New Smart Home Devices

Posted on by TopLocksmith in Locks

In this new year of 2017, there’s tons of fantastic options for home automation that allow people to integrate their homes with fantastic levels of convenience. However, there’s been a over-saturation of home automation devices – making it somewhat difficult for homeowners to determine what devices are the best for purchasing. Here’s Top Locksmith‘s guide to the best smart devices – so you can simplify your search.

 

Ring Doorbell

This doorbell fuses doorbells with a CCTV system via Wi-Fi, notifying homeowners whenever anybody presses the doorbell or walks up to the door. It’s simple to install, and heat and rain resistant. It works with a mobile application for full control from a distance, and has live streaming capabilities.

 

Schlage Sense Smart Lock

This smart lock detects when anybody opens the door via keypad or it’s build in key, and has a siren that sounds if the door experiences a forced entry attempt. It contains an ANSI Grade 1 deadbolt, the highest security grade in the industry. It offers full mobile control through the Schlage Sense application – and has a high degree of durability and strength to protect your home.

 

Nest Thermostat

This thermostat connects with all cooling and heating systems, including electric, air, solar, gas, and even geothermal. This thermostat is ‘learning’, meaning it will adapt to your habits after a few days of your custom settings, and automatically apply them, so you never have to manually set them again. It can be integrated with other smart devices, and notify you of any potential dangers inside your residence.

 

Amazon Echo

This device works as a speaker as well as a voice activated home automation device, that can control your front door or smart thermostat, as well as place Amazon deliveries. This is a newcomer to the game, but already immensely popular.

 

Phillips Hue

This lighting automation bulb allows for full control of home lighting wirelessly, with a range of customization options that include varied light intensity, as well as timing scheduling – even for separate bulbs.

 

iSmart Alarm

This smart home security system connects via WiFi to allow for remote access and control. It comes with a group of motion sensors and monitors that send information back to a central hub controller that notifies you if there’s any unexpected movement or entry attempts in your home. It can be easily installed, as well as programmed with any automation or scheduling rules that you may prefer.

 

Nest Protect

THis smoke alarm works with the Nest Thermostat, notifying you of any smoke or carbon monoxide way in advance of most normal smoke alarms. It’s easy to set up, and can be monitored via smartphone or tablet. You can choose options for wireless alarms, or even one wired into your homes existing circuits.

 

Nest Cam

This camera is easily installed, and has high quality video that can be watched live via smartphone. It can be connected with all other nest devices, and even offers two way voice chat, allowing you to communicate with people inside your home even when you’re not there. All it  needs is to be placed on an included stand or a wall mount, and it’s good to go.

 

Samsung SmartThings

This control unit can work with multiple home automation devices, and can be programmed with customizable automation protocols that link up various control factors through multiple devices. It’s strong back up battery and full connectivity with Amazon Echo, Apple Watch, and many different devices allows homeowners maximum convenience to control an array of home automation devices from a single location.

 

Belkin WeMo

This device plugs into power outlets and allows for remote control of any plug-in appliance, from toasters and lights, to televisions. You can program times for devices to turn on and off, to save on your electric bill, and it can be pared with other home automation devices – with pretty much infinite potential configurations.

 

Honda Miimo

This lawn mowing machine basically cuts grass on your lawn for you. Simply program it, put it down, and it will automatically mow your lawn while avoiding any obstacles. It’s pretty amazing to see us moving closer to a time when automated and robotic devices will eliminate the need for human labor in simple household tasks.

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Add On Lock Devices

Posted on by TopLocksmith in Baltimore Locksmith, Home Safety, Locks

We at Top Locksmith understand the priority and importance of keeping one’s home and family safe. Besides making sure your deadbolted shut at night, there’s a few other successful tactics that you can implement to make sure that your family remains as safe and secure as possible.

 

The initial steps should involve an upgrade of the entire lock infrastructure in your home. Many locks in American homes can be easily picked or bumped through criminal tampering. If you install a pick proof high security lock, you can help make your family much safer as well as greatly reducing the ease with which a criminal could break into your home. Your friendly assistant at Top Locksmith will be able to help you choose the exact right lock for your particular needs – highlighting burglar resistance abilities.

 

Door Devils

 

One device that works fantastically at securing doors is known as the Door Devil. It fits inside the jamb of the door, preventing it from being able to get kicked in. This is an effective security strategy – though one might not think burglars would be dumb enough to attempt kicking in a door – since many actually do, especially if they get frustrated at their lack of ability to effectively outsmart your impervious lock system.

 

Electronic Home Security

 

Another add on device that can greatly contribute to home security is an electronic home security system. These systems have wide variety in terms of their features and offerings for families or businesses. Many of them are attached to your entry door, so that when the door is opened when the alarm is armed, a loud alarm will ring out – which works to scare away any potential intruder (as it alerts everyone nearby with its piercing sound) as well as automatically contacting local law enforcement agencies, or the security company. Other features include motion sensors which can detect any motion inside the home, door knob sensors, or window sensors. Window alarms are always a good idea as windows are a common entry method for burglars. Finally, the installation of CCTV monitoring camera systems are never a  bad idea, as they can help you make sure that nobody is tampering with or trying to enter your home at any time you feel like checking.

 

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Programming Car Keys

carkeys programming in DC

When it comes to home security, it never hurts to be prepared. One of the smartest things that you can do is to constantly maintain the possession of a spare key for your vehicle – a tactic that’s not often thought of as an essential precaution.

Transponder Chips

It’s not quite as simple as walking into your local Maryland or Washington D.C. hardware store to get an instant key copy, since almost all cars today are built with transponder keys. These transponders are made up of a small electronic chip which provides a signal to the computer system inside the car, allowing the engine to be turned on. The majority of hardware stores are unable to make duplicates of car keys, since the programming of transponders requires specific professional technology that isn’t readily available to casual consumers. This is why it’s important to have the contact information for a trustworthy and professional local automotive locksmith, like Top Locksmiths.

 

Duplicating Car Keys

Car key duplicates furnished at hardware stores might be able to open up the doors of your car, but most likely will not be able to start your vehicle’s engine. The only way that the copied key will be able to work in sync with your vehicle’s on board computer is if it gets programmed by a professional locksmith. The professional automotive locksmiths at Top are fully equipped with the necessary technology and computer equipment to match programmable car keys to their respective vehicles. While this is a common procedure, if one seeks it out from someone else besides a professional automotive locksmith, it can be quite expensive for the consumer – since the programming computer program is costly, and there’s also a price attached to the code which is provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer. Trustworthy local locksmiths can provide this service at a fraction of the price that one would get charged at a local automobile dealership.

 

Depending on the type of key that you’re copying (luxury car keys are usually priced at somewhat higher of a level) you may pay anywhere from 50 to 160 dollars. This is the general price for key copying; so if you’ve lost all versions of the keys you need, a locksmith will be able to make you a copy from scratch – but it may come at slightly higher of a price tag. The best way to avoid this expense is to make copies of your existing keys before you lose them, so that you always have a spare on hand in case you ever misplace or lose one.

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Programming Car Keys

Posted on by TopLocksmith in Auto Locksmith

When it comes to home security, it never hurts to be prepared. One of the smartest things that you can do is to constantly maintain the possession of a spare key for your vehicle – a tactic that’s not often thought of as an essential precaution.

Transponder Chips

It’s not quite as simple as walking into your local Maryland or Washington D.C. hardware store to get an instant key copy, since almost all cars today are built with transponder keys. These transponders are made up of a small electronic chip which provides a signal to the computer system inside the car, allowing the engine to be turned on. The majority of hardware stores are unable to make duplicates of car keys, since the programming of transponders requires specific professional technology that isn’t readily available to casual consumers. This is why it’s important to have the contact information for a trustworthy and professional local automotive locksmith, like Top Locksmiths.

 

Duplicating Car Keys

Car key duplicates furnished at hardware stores might be able to open up the doors of your car, but most likely will not be able to start your vehicle’s engine. The only way that the copied key will be able to work in sync with your vehicle’s on board computer is if it gets programmed by a professional locksmith. The professional automotive locksmiths at Top are fully equipped with the necessary technology and computer equipment to match programmable car keys to their respective vehicles. While this is a common procedure, if one seeks it out from someone else besides a professional automotive locksmith, it can be quite expensive for the consumer – since the programming computer program is costly, and there’s also a price attached to the code which is provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer. Trustworthy local locksmiths can provide this service at a fraction of the price that one would get charged at a local automobile dealership.

 

Depending on the type of key that you’re copying (luxury car keys are usually priced at somewhat higher of a level) you may pay anywhere from 50 to 160 dollars. This is the general price for key copying; so if you’ve lost all versions of the keys you need, a locksmith will be able to make you a copy from scratch – but it may come at slightly higher of a price tag. The best way to avoid this expense is to make copies of your existing keys before you lose them, so that you always have a spare on hand in case you ever misplace or lose one.

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Types of Security Safes

Posted on by TopLocksmith in Safes Installation, Security Tips

security-safe-types

There’s many kinds of security safes available on the market today for both residential and commercial use. Based on what your specific context is, you can choose security safes with additional features like fireproofing, or choose a more simple layout. Here’s a guide to some of the many main categories of security safes on the market today.

Office Safes

Safes in commercial office locations can vary from different sizes or exact functionality, based on the needs of the business. Some safes are massive and can hold large quantities of cash, important sensitive documents, electronic equipment, or other valuable items. Some other commercial locations may opt for a somewhat smaller safe that can hold day to day earnings.

 

Wall Safes

Wall safes, as you may have inferred, go inside the walls of residential or commercial locations. They protect all valuables or important documents safe from burglars, but they should also be officially rated as protecting them from water and fire, in the event of a fire or flood. Once you decide on the ideal size and specific features that you need, you should consult with a professional safe installer regarding the best location inside your home or business to install the safe. It’s common to place a picture, art, or furniture over the face of the safe in order to disguise it from unknowing passersby.

 

Fireproof Safes

Fireproof safes vary in terms of their heat ratings – based on how long the contents of the safe and it’s internal temperature can resist growing beyond 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fireproof safes are rated on a scale of 1 to 3, numbers which demonstrate how many hours it’s inside will stay below 350 degrees in the event of a fire.

 

Gun Safes

These safes are meant to prevent unwanted people from having access to guns that are kept inside residences or businesses. They are available in a wide range of sizes that can accommodate many different firearms, from small pistols to big shotguns. The locking mechanisms on these safes vary wildly, and can include combo locks, deadbolts, electronic codes locks, or even biometric locks. The majority of high quality gun safes also boast fireproof ratings.

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Underrated Security Strategies

security-strategies

There’s tons of home security and safety strategies readily available to anybody with internet access. Most of these strategies are definitely effective, however some burglars are aware of these strategies already, so it might not always work as well as you may want them to. It’s true, that even many deterrents won’t prevent extremely skilled or knowledgeable burglars from coming into your property. But if you follow the below strange security strategies, it greatly minimizes the chances of it happening; this is all due to the outlandish and creative aspects of these strategies.

 

Don’t Utilize Nightstands

Many burglars assume that weapons and valuables are stored in bedside nightstands or dressers – basically using a nearby piece of furniture as a form of improvised safe or deposit box. We urge you not to do this, because it’s a widely common space familiar to burglars. Perhaps consider storing valuables inside a high up cabinet in a child’s room, as the majority of burglars won’t assume that there’s valuable items stored there, especially if they are in a rush to leave your property quickly. It’s of course, not smart to put weapons in children’s rooms, but everything else is somewhat of a smart idea, especially if you can store items on a level too high for children to reach.

 

Fake Signs

Even if you don’t have an alarm system in your home, make sure to buy home security signs, because they work as excellent passive deterrents. You can easily find these signs online or at hardware stores, with a plethora of available branding – it’s cheap, and effective.

 

Move around alarm locations

The most common area for security alarms to be placed is inside the door closest to the front entrance of the home – this is meant to increase convenience for anybody coming into the home. However this is a major security floor, especially if there’s windows nearby the entranceway – as a criminal can easily break through the window and disable the alarm; we recommend, instead, to install an alarm system a bit farther away from the entrance way.

 

Car Key Strategies

If one does have a situation where a burglar enters their home, the most obvious reaction would be to call the police from your cellphone, perhaps a phone kept nearby your bed or nightstand. We recommend keeping your car keys on hand, so if you do end up hearing a burglar in your home, you can quickly set off your car alarm, which will likely spook and scare off the burglars.

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Keeping Door Locks Working Correctly

Posted on by TopLocksmith in Locks, Locks Installation, Locksmith

keeping-door-locks-working-properly

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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Lock Snapping

Posted on by TopLocksmith in Lock snapping

lock-snapping

Lock Snapping isn’t an unfamiliar term to those who have been victimized through this burglary technique. In 2016, burglars have become much more skilled and sophisticated in their techniques, and will do almost anything to get access to your home at take your belongings. Many security system companies will invest in electronic security systems to help minimize the risks of burglary. Burglars have also made a close study of how euro cylinders work, so they can make sure that their break-in skills are at the top level possible.

 

Lock snapping, also known as cylinder snapping, basically involves the breakage of the euro cylinder, and manipulation of the lock system to allow people access to your home or business. Many people are reassured by their door’s multiple locking points – while this is somewhat beneficial, it definitely doesn’t make your door totally secure. As long as there’s a cylinder in your lock system, it can absolutely be compromised. Here’s how to prevent becoming a victim of lock snapping:

 

Pay for Extra Security Technology

Many locksmiths and lock experts have developed many gadgets that can add extra layers of security to homes and businesses. These products can be found in many local stores, or provided by locksmiths, and can make your cylinders snap resistant. The highly complex level of their design is constantly being tweaked and improved on to help prevent break ins.

 

Look into Integrated Alarm Infrastructure

Lock snapping doesn’t happen unless the criminal exerts some serious effort into it. By investing in an integrated alarm system, any attempts by the burglar to snap off the locks will be interrupted by an alarm that sounds to scare them off, as well as calling the local law enforcement agency. The integration of these alarm systems should be accomplished in a way that nobody else is aware of where the main network connections are placed – so they can try to deactivate the alarm. Once it’s successfully installed, any attempt to force or move the lock will raise the alarm.

 

Choose Lock Systems made of High Grade Material

Cylinders can be made of a great variety of materials, from aluminum to steel. If you choose a snap resistant material, you will surely be able to ensure the intactness of your lock, and prevent burglaries. Some of the really superior cylinders can be quite expensive, but we guarantee it’s worth it, because it’s more of a guarantee of security – and peace of mind.

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Locksmith Scams

Posted on by TopLocksmith in Locksmith Scams, Locksmith Services

lock-snapping

Living in a large city like Baltimore, Bethesda, or Annapolis has it’s benefits – there’s tons of culture, and you can find almost any service that you need whenever you need it. That being said, finding an emergency locksmith at all hours of the night should be no problem at all – however, finding a trustworthy locksmith is a bit more tricky. Recently, scam locksmith companies have been swindling their customers out of their hard earned money, by overpricing their services in a method similar to highway robbery. Top Locksmiths is one of the few trustworthy and reputable locksmiths in Maryland that guarantee you legitimacy, professionalism, and a fair price. Since there’s tons of fake locksmiths out there today, it’s best to study the following tips so you can know how to spot them and protect yourself.

 

Always check the name and address

If you’ve performed a search for a locksmith company, and the one you’ve found doesn’t have a listed address, keep on looking. This is an initial red flag that signals the illegitimacy of their business. If they have an address online, search it with a maps application – we suggest using Google Street View to look at the physical address – if it looks like an abandoned building or an empty lot, it’s likely the locksmith is a scam operation.

 

Always get a Quote

A reputable locksmith will be able to provide you a quote over the phone once you explain to them your situation and what sort of service you require. A locksmith who has experience should be able to give you an over the phone estimate before they arrive – and if they can’t it’s likely that it’s a scam – and you shouldn’t continue talking to them. Of course, if they provide you a strangely high or low quote amount,c all a few other locksmiths to see what the average cost for that service is – so you know whether or not they are trying to scam you.

 

Always ask the name of the Technician

Make sure to ask the locksmith, when you’re speaking with them over the phone, what the name of the technician who will be deployed to your location is. This is a simple request which should be very easy to answer – and if they can’t give you the name of the technician, you should find another locksmith. If you decide to work with them – once the technician arrives, ask them for identification before they start any work, and make sure to identify some form of company logo on the vehicle that they arrive in.

 

Take a close look at their Website

A great way of finding out if a locksmith is legitimate or a scam is by simply looking at their company website. If it’s very basic, without any information, it’s likely a fake locksmith. Search for information like contact addresses and numbers, and inspect their service pages to make sure it looks somewhat professional before you give them a call.

 

If you’re still unsure if the company is legitimate, why not drop all the worries and give Top Locksmith a call! We give our customers the ultimate in professional expert service, with incredibly fast response times, and a level of efficiency only available due to our rampant expertise.

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