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Posts Tagged ‘safety’

Guide to Fire Doors

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Fire doors are integral parts of commercial and residential safety or security. They are used in conjunction with fire door locks that help contain or slow the spread of fire throughout a location, while also functioning as a safe and protected egress method for all interior occupants. They are made to be fire resistance, and similar to the way deadbolts are made to withstand force, they are made to withstand huge levels of heat. Here’s a guide to the functionality of fire doors as prepared by Top Locksmith.


Definition of Fire Doors

Fire doors are part of emergency and fire safety planning, and a core aspect of PFP (passive fire protection_ protocols which are used in buildings as fire safety structure. These protocols slow down or contain a fire’s spread. Fire doors are set with fire resistance ratings which measure the amount of time that a PFP measure withstands the aspects of a fire resistance test  – which are all set with different requirements depending on your country or state. It’s important to pay close attention to fire protection protocols, as they are essential for both the protection of property, but also lives. Fire door locks should not be confused with fire rated door locks, as the door locks are usually geared towards burglary protection rather than complete fire protection.


Requirements for Fire Door Locks

Fire doors need to be able to grant egress in the event of an emergency that would call for people to quickly exit. They have to contain a fire into a specific area, secure property, and protect lives. The fire door lock is made of the locking mechanism, the fire door hinges, the latching technology, the closing devices, and the releasing device. THey need to be hung on hinges meant to be part of the fire door itself made of steel bearing or heavy duty steel hinges that can resist high heat pressure and intensity. They need to have an active latch bolt, but deadbolts should not be used on fire doors meant as an exit point, as they are not the necessary kind of active latch points that allow for safe egress. If you put a deadbolt on another type of fire door, make sure that it is fire resistant.

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When to Rekey or Replace Your Locks

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Although they sound similar, rekeying and lock replacement are separate processes that should be adopted at different times. I’ll first explain how the processes are different, and then I’ll give some examples of situations when each one would be necessary.


Rekeying is a matter of reconfiguring the internal structure of the lock – the tumbler. Locks work through a system of internal rolling pins and openings – only a particular and very specific organization of the internal structure will allow the structure to decompress and unlock. Rekeying is done without replacement of the existing lock – it renders old keys useless, and you will be provided a new key to use with your door. The “wafers” of the lock tumbler will be placed in a new order specific to a new key – while maintaining the look of your door. This is a decidedly cheaper process than total re-keying.

Lock replacement

Lock replacement is a matter of completely removing the existing lock structure and installing a new one. This is best handled by a professional, as it’s best done precisely – and there’s a huge variety of lock types to choose from – including electronic options.

Which should I do?

You should rekey your locks when moving into a new home or office, if your keys are lost or stolen, or if your keys aren’t functioning properly. It’s a common, inexpensive process that vastly multiplies the security of your home so you can have peace of mind.

Lock replacement should be done if your locks are damaged accidentally or through a break-in (I hope not!!) Additionally, your lock might be antique, and finding parts for it to be rekeyed can be an intensive and potentially impossible process – modern locks have a much higher security level than even locks from 20 years ago. Since it’s hard to find a locksmith – or parts – for older locks, installing a new one seems to be a much more simple solution. Reinstalling locks for security is also a wise strategy if you’re not satisfied with the quality of your locks so far.

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Home Security Tips

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Pretend You’re A Burglar

Securing outside areas of your home – backyards, sheds and garages – helps provide added security for your entire home. Make sure that ladders are secured away. Shred personal information before throwing it away. Make sure your house number is visible clearly for emergencies. Secure all tools or expensive equipment in a locking garage or shed.

Doors and Windows

Make sure all windows and doors are intact and can lock securely. Make sure curtains or blinds fully cover windows. Install a peephole or wide angle viewer in front doors to give you a wider range of sight.

This is the front-line of protection for your property – locks sometimes require upkeep, and there are many new lock technologies to consider including electronic options. Don’t hide your keys outside!

Porches and Front Yards

Consider installing a fence with a lockable gate and check locks and security of all garages, sheds, and etc. This is the front-line of protection for your property – locks sometimes require upkeep, and there are many new lock technologies to consider including electronic options. Don’t hide your keys outside! Display sign indicating that you have a home security system or guard dog. Consider installing exterior lights, as they are a great deterrent for burglars – you can even have these lights wired to a schedule system to make it appear as if you were home.

Inside the House While You’re Gone

Leave lights on in specific rooms and leave talk radio on before leaving on your trip. Set your thermostat at 50 degrees in the winter time to keep your piping safe – and saving energy. Install timers throughout your house and your front door if you don’t have a front window. This will help you monitor your front driveway. Check placement and functionality of smoke detectors. These should be placed in kitchens as well as hallways of the house.  Keep a list of valuables and their location for home security insurance purposes.

Be Friends With Your Neighbors

It’s important to keep an active presence in your neighborhood and look out for each other. Tell a neighbor when you’re going out of town and when you’re arriving back. Leave a key with them, a family member, or close friend. If possible, cancel deliveries for the duration of your trip, or notify your neighbors or house-sitter.

Bring Home Security With You

If you’re traveling for business or vacation, it’s easy to monitor your home’s security with mobile home security apps. Many new mobile security systems allow you to use your mobile device to track all movement activity in the house, or watch live or recorded video footage from any security cameras in your home.

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Re-key Your Lock Instead of Doing a Lock Replacement


Having your locks replaced from time to time is an easily overlooked part of home maintenance. Old locks can break, become stiff, or even become obsolete. However, changing the entire lock isn’t always necessary. If it hasn’t been too long since your locks were changed, you may be able to get by with having your existing locks re-keyed. Re-keying provides you with new keys, but it is cheaper and quicker than completely replacing your locks. When locks are re-keyed, only the section of the lock that accepts the key is replaced. You pay less, but still get the peace of mind that comes with knowing that any spare keys that are floating around out there will no longer open your door. Here are some times when re-keying is a good alternative to replacing your locks.

Moving Day

Landlords often reuse the same keys for one tenant after another, and it is impossible to know how many spare copies have been made or who ended up with them. Even if your home is newly built, subcontractors, plumbers, HVAC personnel and even the salesperson may have all had ample chances to make their own copies of your keys. Even expensive hardware can be economically re-keyed.


Even the most reasonable people can behave badly during a breakup, and it’s a good idea to re-key your doors as soon as possible after a separation. Arguments over belongings, pets, or even children can make an ex-partner feel fully entitled to enter your home without your permission. Re-keying your locks removes that temptation.


You may be certain your old roommate will never use that old key again, but do you feel the same level of trust for the roommate’s ex? Keys end up in all sorts of odd places, and new roommates deserve new keys.

Lost Keys

It only takes a few minutes to have a key copied. Even if your keys were only out of your hands long enough for the store or restaurant to call you to come pick them up, an unscrupulous person may have had a copy made. Having your locks re-keyed is an inexpensive way to remove that nagging seed of doubt and keep your home secure.

Latchkey Kids

If your teens carry keys, it’s a good idea to have your locks re-keyed regularly. Even responsible children can’t always keep their keys in sight. Additionally, kids often trust their friends completely, which is a feeling you might not share.

Emergency Keys

Most people have a number of house keys in the hands of neighbors, relatives, friends, babysitters, housekeepers, and many others. While you may have felt perfectly safe when you handed these keys out, circumstances change. Even if you could collect all of these stray keys, you can never be sure they weren’t copied. Avoid awkward moments and just have your locks re-keyed.


If a criminal has had access to your home, then he or she has had access to any spare keys you keep there. Even if the keys look untouched, they may have been copied. Re-keying is an easy, inexpensive way to restore your home’s security after a break-in.

Re-keying is a smart way to keep your home secure between routine lock changes. You can even have all of your home’s locks re-keyed alike so that one key will work for all of them.

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Reasons for Lock Change

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Like most other parts, pieces and components making up your home, locks occasionally need to be replaced for one reason or another. Fortunately, the process of replacing locks is fairly simple and inexpensive. Some of the reasons why locks may need to be changed include:

Lost Keys

If for no other reason than some much-appreciated peace of mind, it’s best to change locks when keys are lost. Even if lost keys turn up later, there’s no way to be completely sure that it wasn’t copied by someone without your knowledge.

Moving into a New Home

While a real estate agent or the previous owner is likely to give you keys to a newly purchased home, there’s no way of knowing how many copies exist or who may still have a set of keys.

Worn or Damaged Locks

Locks can wear out over time, especially older locks that have been slowly rusting or deteriorating internally. Perform periodic inspections to look for signs of worn or damaged locks that need to be changed such as difficulty inserting keys or rusted metal. In addition to posing a safety hazard, worn or damaged lock can also fail when you’re trying to get into your home.

Not Getting Spare Keys Back

Keep track of who you gave keys to and whether or not you got the key back. If you’ve lost track of keys you’ve given to neighbors or friends while on vacation or keys you’ve given to repair people when you couldn’t be home for the appointment, opt for a lock change to be on the safe side. The same is true should you notice that you’re not getting spare keys back.


The process of going through a separation or divorce sometimes involves issues over possessions. While you may be hesitant to resort to changing the locks, it’s a move that can provide some peace of mind as you go through the separation or divorce process.

Getting New Roommates

Even if you trust roommate(s), it’s best to have your locks changed if they move out since you have no way of knowing who they may have given keys to or if any copies were made without your knowledge. The last thing you want is to find out that your former roommate is still using your home or apartment whenever you’re away without your consent.

Following a Break-in or Attempted Break-in

It’s better to be safe than sorry, so it’s best to have your locks changed after you’ve experienced a break-in at your home. The same applies with attempted break-ins since you can’t be sure that your locks weren’t damaged during the attempt to enter your home.

When Giving Children Keys

It’s understandable to trust children with house keys. However, kids tend to lose things now or then, so it’s best to have your locks changed on a regular basis just to be on the safe side.

If you can’t remember the last time you had your locks changed, it’s a good idea to go ahead an opt for an update even if you’ve never had any issues. Technology changes over tine and newer locks are better designed for today’s needs. Additionally, some homeowner’s insurance policies include discounts for making improvements like updating locks since it makes your home more secure.

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How to Protect Yourself During a Home Invasion

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Many burglars don’t operate in their right minds. Inherently the act displays a lot of desperation. Around 50% of burglars commit this crime fueled by their need to obtain drugs. The rest of the percentage is comprised of many reasons. Whatever the reason might be, home invasions happen and they’re very dangerous. The best solution in a home invasion is to have a plan. Having a plan increases your chance to come out of the situation in a fortuitous and safer way. Here are a few suggestions you should consider to prepare yourself.



When you’ve deduced that the person of entry is in fact a burglar, remain calm. Your main concern is your safety and the safety of others around you. Listen to where the burglar may be in the home and try to call the police as soon as possible. If you’re alone, secure yourself in one room. Refrain from confronting the burglar if you can. If you’re not alone, be prepared to defend yourself or others with a weapon or something like a baseball bat. The fact of the matter is that this person is in your home and maybe inclined to do you harm to get at their goal. Also, be prepared for multiple people in your home.

Tip: Keeping your car keys by your nightstand can help you. If a break in happens the panic button on a car can shock and deter a burglar from swiping your possessions. That is, if the panic button reaches your automobile from your location.


Talk the Burglar(s) Down

If you can safely communicate with the burglar, do so. Let them know that the police are on the way and that their escape or refusal to vacate the premises will be met with police reinforcement. Be prepared that this may anger the burglar. It’s very likely that they’re not thinking properly. When you try to talk the burglar down, be firm. Don’t alter your position: they’re not allowed in your home and have little to no say in the situation.


Dont let your dog sick em

Your dog may have alerted you that your home is being invaded, but burglars aren’t opposed to killing or severely injuring a dog that comes at them to protect you. If you can restrain your dog, do so unless the burglar approaches you directly. In that case, let your dog attempt to protect you. The more support you have on your end the better. Just plan your moves to strategically help you in this situation.


Dont show youre vulnerable

Screaming, crying, panicking out loud shows you’re behaving in a vulnerable way. Refrain from showing the burglar that you’re not a threat to them.



In the event that a burglar breaks into your home and you need to protect yourself and those around you, be prepared to use your gun. Knowing the lock combination or safe combination for a gun can mean life or death. In the event of a panic you may forget these things. Try not to panic. Know where your ammunition is, know that you have a working gun and know that you can and have used it confidentially. This is the worst case scenario. If you’ve had self-defense classes prepare yourself to use your knowledge and practice here. If a burglary comes to this, it’s most unfortunate, but instill that you’re on the side with the best protection if needed, and take up anything that may be able to protect you in this event.


The following tips on home security has been giving Top Locksmith Service 




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Self-Defense As Additional Protection

Posted on by TopLocksmith in Locksmith Tips

Female self defense

Installing the new locks and alarms give us a sense of security.  But what happens when it’s not enough?  What happens when we don’t feel safe even with technology helping to protect us?  At those moments you might want to consider picking up self-defense lessons.

Self Defense is to prepared to defend oneself against some of the criminal encounters.?    Your personal security is important so it makes sense that you do whatever you need to in order to feel safe.

There are various reasons to consider taking up self-defense lessons.  Not only will it make you feel safer, but it also benefits your health and helps your confidence as a person.  So let’s look at the great things they can happen to you once you start on those courses.

So Much More Energy

If you’re not the type to exercise, you often find yourself tired by the smallest of activities.  The only way to change that is to start working out.  Participating in self-defense courses like Krav Maga in Maryland is an engaging way to get in your exercise.  It doesn’t feel like exercise because there are people doing it with you and because there is a higher purpose than just getting fit.  Soon you’ll find that you have a lot more energy than you used to.  And with better health, it also improves your overall wellness and health.


Another advantage to self-defense classes is muscle endurance.  That basically means you become stronger than you were.  You’ll be able to lift heavier things and if the situation ever calls for it, you will be able to hit people harder than you used to be able to.  You’ll also be able to hit them more accurately.  But remember.  Violence is not the answer.

Check Out Those Abs

Who doesn’t wish they had awesome abs that would look great during bathing suit season?  But great abs are actually a two-fold benefit.  Not only do you look great, but it protects your soft center.  If your attacker lashes out at your stomach, it can severely incapacitate you and cause serious injury.  The layer of muscle you build up through self-defense classes become protection.

As Graceful As A Ballerina

Exercise in any form promotes greater coordination.  As you continue to work out, you become more aware of how your muscles move.  With this awareness, you gain greater control over your body.  Where you usually trip, you might find yourself gliding.  Coordination is also helpful if you ever get attacked.  Rather than flailing uselessly for help, your self-defense classes teach you how to move fluidly and become more adept in both the defensive and offensive.  Try not to pointlessly attack people though.

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