Do I Need a Security Camera? Some things to Consider...

Are you considering adding a security camera to your home or office to make it more secure? These are becoming increasingly popular for their effectiveness and advancements in technology. It’s a great way to watch out for criminals, watch for internal theft in your office, keep an eye out for quality assurance, and just feel a peace of mind. Take a look at why you need a security camera, what it can be used for, and what you should know before making the purchase.

Criminal watch

One of the biggest reasons that people get security cameras is to watch for criminal activity. Whether it’s protecting your home at night or while you’re away, or having your office on watch during the night, crime detection can happen to anyone and by having proof on camera it will only help you recover your items or catch the thief. Most of the time when a criminal sees a camera, they will be more likely to leave to avoid getting caught doing something illegal.

At the office

There are a couple of great reasons to get cameras at work. If you want to make sure you’re getting the quality you expect from your suppliers, have cameras put up for quality assurance. Whether you’re a food manufacturer, a company that has to prepare shipments to your customers, or you want to make sure your sales staff is taking care of your customers properly, putting up cameras will remind your staff that they are being watched and need to perform to their best ability.

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If you’ve ever worried about theft happening within the building, it’s a great way to catch any of this in the moment. Internal theft can be a large problem for companies that don’t realize it’s happening since it can go on for a long time and start to add up.

Whether your staff is taking home office supplies or something more serious, like internal records and sensitive customer data, this can become a financial problem or a legal problem. Having cameras up will deter your staff from getting any ideas, while at the same time giving you a chance to see if there are other issues in the office that are slowing down productivity.

Don’t forget claims made in the office that could cost you. Be extra cautious in case someone files a harassment claim, somebody slips and falls in the parking lot, or a customer says they didn’t get the service they expect, you’ll have it all on camera. These types of things can cost you a lot of money, but if you have proof something didn’t happen as it was claimed, it will likely get dropped.

Things to look for in a camera

While it’s nice to have the visual recorded for covering your company or your home’s security, you’ll want to be sure to avoid recording audio. There is an Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 that restricts audio recording.

Keep in mind that just like any other technology, security cameras can be hacked but you can stay secure by updating your password that accesses the cameras on a regular basis. Be sure to choose one that is higher-end and can see up to 100 feet in HD, because the lower-end versions will only reach 30-40 ft. at best with low quality. You’ll also want to look for features that apply to you, such as night vision, video playback, video recording, and have notifications sent to you when motion is detected.

Then decide where you want to place your cameras and if you want them visible or not, since a hidden camera will catch things that normally would happen while those doing the action wouldn’t know they are being watched. Keep in mind that a wired camera tends to perform better and wireless cameras will kill your wireless Internet.

These are some of the things to consider if you are looking to get a security camera for your home or office. They can really give you the peace of mind you need as long as you choose the right setup and understand the best ways to utilize them. Use these tips to get the most of out of your security camera needs.

Best Locks to Secure Your Storage Unit

If you’re thinking about finally getting that storage unit for those extras that just don’t fit in the house, it’s important to think about how you are going to secure it when you’re not around it. It’s a great place to put your belongings when you need a little extra space at home, you’re moving, or you have items that you only use during certain seasons of the year.

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There is no need to hold onto holiday decorations or summertime equipment all year when you could be using the space in your home to function and live. Getting a storage unit can be a really handy way to get things out of one space temporarily and secure nearby, but make sure you are actually secure. Here is a look at the best locks you should consider getting to secure your storage unit from a break-in or vandalism.

Padlock

One of the most common options for locking a storage unit is to use a padlock, which allows you to lock up your unit without having to worry about losing your keys. You can get a keyed option as well, but having the option to use a combination style through a closed-shackle combination lock will make life simple. In addition, the closed-shackle design of it is challenging to break into with a bolt cutter; all you have to do is remember your combination.

If you get a padlock that requires a key, you’ll need it to lock and unlock. You’ll have two keys, allowing you to keep one as a backup in case you lose the other. Be sure to get one of solid quality so that a bolt cutter can’t get through any soft metal casing or poor quality material. Get one with a hardened steel shackle, a 5-pin tumbler, and a double lock.

Combination lock

Next, you could choose a combination lock like the padlock. Combination locks allow you to unlock the unit through a set of numbers rather than a key. You can choose from a single dial lock or a multiple dial lock, depending on if you want several combinations to open the lock.

Single dial locks will be used by operating a single sequence of numbers and lining them up on a single rotating dial. You’ll have to know the sequence to open it, as well as the right order of numbers because there are discs inside that have to line up with the correct sequence. You’ll hear a click when you have the right sequence and a simple tug will open it.

A multiple dial combination lock works where several rotating discs are operating with a pin with teeth that hook into them. You’ll have to align the notches of the lock with the pin’s teeth to open it. This works well for your bike or your luggage, but it’s not recommended for storage units compared to a single dial lock.

Cylinder locks, maximum security padlocks, and general purpose locks

Other great options for your storage unit are cylinder locks if you have the ability to lock it directly to the storage door, general purpose locks since they are made of brass or stainless steel, and maximum security padlocks made from these same materials. These three options are another way to really add security to your storage unit that other locks can’t.

If you are ready for a storage unit but you’re not sure how to ensure your belonging’s security, make sure you check out these best lock options, first.

Adding a Deadbolt Lock for Added Security

Sometimes feeling safe in your home requires you to take some extra steps to make that happen. For many, adding a deadbolt is just the solution they need. A deadbolt lock works by locking your door by turning a knob rather than having a spring involved like a regular lock.

This means that the deadbolt can only be opened through a key or knob, making it very difficult to break-in. Due to their increased likelihood of resisting a forced entry; it’s a popular choice among homeowners and offices. Take a look at your options for adding a deadbolt lock for added security on your property.

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Why deadbolts work so well

Deadbolts are known to be powerful locks that deter thieves that know they can’t break through them. When a robber is trying to break in your front or back door, even the most experienced ones won’t be able to open a door that has a deadbolt locking it in place.

While a kick on the door or other methods of taking down a door can work on a standard lock, it doesn’t work on a durable deadbolt. Deadbolts are considered the reliable option for locking up your property since they require locking and unlocking from the exterior and interior of the property.

Types of deadbolts

You may be wondering what a deadbolt lock is like and if you’ll have to choose between different options. There are actually three main types of deadbolts, making it easy to choose the one that works best for you. You’ll choose between a single cylinder, a double cylinder, and a keyless cylinder.

The single cylinder is the simplest option in which you’ll open from one side through a key while using the thumb piece on the interior side. This is a great option for those with doors that have on breakable glass since an intruder would break the glass and turn the knob to enter.

The double cylinder requires a key to activate it from both sides. This is the option you’ll want if you have breakable glass on the door since the intruder would need a key. You’ll just have to be careful because this type of lock can slow you down if you were to need to exit quickly, such as in the event of a fire.

The third route is the keyless cylinder deadbolt, the easiest to operate of all, allowing you to leave and enter without any key at all. You’ll use a password or fingerprint scan, closing it with a button or knob rather than locking with a key.

The drawbacks of them

While deadbolts are an amazing security feature, there are drawbacks to any route you go. You’ll have to come up with a difficult password to avoid an intruder guessing it and getting inside. The double keyed deadbolt can cause for a panic when trying to get out during an emergency and you could get stuck inside the house if you forget your password. Be sure to get a bump resistant deadbolt because these are susceptible to lock bumping.

Brands and costs to expect

If you’re sold on a deadbolt, expect to pay around $30-$50 or higher depending on what features you want. Brands like Schlage, Kwikset, and Code-a-key all sell deadbolts at a variety of price points.

If you’re looking for the ultimate protection against a break-in, call your professional locksmith to have deadbolts installed on your property today.

Simple Tips to Not Lose Your Keys

Do you ever have that problem of losing your keys? Your day is going along just fine and suddenly you can’t find your keys to get in the car and head home for the day. Maybe you made it home and you can’t find the keys to your house. Perhaps your teenager misplaced your car keys or you can’t find the key to your office.

Whatever the case, losing keys you use every day can give you that sinking feeling of worry, dread, and panic. Not only are you wasting time searching everything you own to find them, but you may be missing out on important obligations because you can’t get into the office, the car, or the house. Fortunately, there are some easy tricks that you can learn to ensure you don’t lose your keys anymore and the likelihood of losing them in the future will be slim to none. Try these tips to stop losing your keys.

Your life is too cluttered

One of the main culprits behind losing your keys or anything in your life is that you are lacking organization. It’s time to get rid of clutter once and for all, allowing you to easily see where you’ve placed items without things other visual distractions along the way. Minimizing your belongings to only keep on you the things you really need allows you to more easily find missing objects since there are fewer hiding spots.

Make a home for everything

Once you’ve started paring things down, you can start to make a “home” for everything you own. Now that you have less stuff, you can dedicate a place to where things go when they are not in use and this allows for you to eliminate excuses about why things are missing. As long as the keys, wallet, and phone have a spot that it’s supposed to go, it would be much harder to lose these items.

When you arrive home at night, make sure to put each item you’ve brought home with you in its dedicated spot, whether it’s the key rack, the bowl on the counter, or the hook by the door. Do this for each household member so that everyone knows where things go after using them and things stop getting lost.

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Use technology for help

Now that you’re organized, it’s time to use technology to your advantage. For starters, it’s much harder to lose a phone when the ringer is on and you can find it by calling the phone. Sometimes you can’t find an item when looking for it or feeling for it in a bag, but you’ll eventually hear it and see it light up. Next, use technology to help keep track of your phone even easier.

You can attach a BlueTooth tracking device like Tile or download apps like “Find my Phone” to help you track the item in the event that it is lost and nowhere to be found. Just get on a desktop to locate your phone through these tech options.

It’s important to remember that life gets busy and forgetting things is bound to happen. By implementing tricks like these, you’ll find it easier to keep track of your stuff and have methods in place to find them if you were to lose it again. When you dedicate a space in your home for things to live, hang a motivational sign to remind you to put things in their place, stop collecting clutter, and use technology as an aid, things can stop getting lost and life can get a little simpler.

Use these tips to make sure you don’t lose your keys anymore! If you do get locked out, please call The Professional Locksmith and they'll get you in!

Reasons Why You’d Need to Replace Your Door Locks

Have you ever wondered what causes people to change their locks? It seems like one of those things that you would never really need to do unless you moved into a house, right? There are actually many reasons like moving that you’d definitely want to change your locks that you may not have really thought about before.

When you had your neighbor check on your house while you were away that one time, did you ever consider that someone could have gotten a hold of that key afterward? There are many reasons that probably hadn’t crossed your mind to cause a door lock replacement and below you will find a helpful guide to make sure you didn’t neglect to do so during one of these circumstances.

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After a break-in

One of the times you may have forgotten to change your locks was in the event that your house was broken into. After a terrible event like a break-in, you handle things with the police and insurance, but did you remember to change your locks?

The burglar could have access to your home again if you don’t change your locks since they could have gotten a hold of keys or they didn’t have a problem picking your old locks. Your locks could also be damaged from the burglary, so be sure to change them considering all of the circumstances.

Changing roommates

Do you rent out a room that has seen different roommates? You need to make sure that if you share a key with someone else and that arrangement ends that you are sure to change your locks. You and current roommates are the only ones that should have access.

Moved into a new house

If you moved into a new house, you’ll definitely want to change the locks for a fresh start and to avoid the last family or anyone associated with the sale to have access to your home. Anyone from the realtor to the inspector could have been given a key and it’s important that you get a fresh lock that only your family has access to.

Your locks are old

Sometimes locks just simply age and don’t work as well anymore. It’s a good sign if you are struggling to get in the door easily and if you don’t remember the last time you changed them. Be sure to keep them changed every few years.

Lost your keys

Did you lose your keys? Even with your copy still available, you don’t know who could have found your keys and could have access to your house. It’s a good idea to get them changed.

Neighbor watched the house while on vacation

When the kind neighbor across the street watches your house from you while you’re away, you have no idea where that key ends up or if anyone else could have made a copy of it. Be sure to change your locks after trusting someone with the key.

After a renovation

Did you renovate your home recently? This means that you’ve likely had several contractors at your house working on everything from plumbing to painting, especially during hours you were away. It’s important that you keep your home safe after a renovation by changing your locks in the event that anyone was able to swipe your key. They know what you own better than anyone.

Post-divorce

If you’ve recently divorced or had a break-up, your partner likely still has access to your home. This is an important time to change those locks, in order to play it on the safe side with your security.

While moving to a new house warrants a new set of locks and keys, don’t forget about these other common situations that could warrant a home security refresher.

What to do if a key breaks inside of a lock?

The worst has happened. A key has broken inside of your lock! What do you do? Believe it or not, this situation is not uncommon. It can happen when you’ve turned the key too fast when you’re running late for work or you turn it funny when your hands are full of groceries.

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Whatever the case, you don’t need to panic in the event that your key breaks inside of a lock because that is exactly the kind of thing your local professional locksmith can help you with. Instead of trying to figure out what to do, just call a reliable locksmith in your area and they will handle it. Take a look at this guide that will go through the steps of what to do when a key breaks inside your lock.

 Call the locksmith right away

If this situation happens when you’re on your way out the door or trying to get in from being away, it will prevent you from properly locking or unlocking your door, making your home vulnerable to theft. It’s important that you call the locksmith right away to make sure you can leave your home with a secured home or lock your car instead of leaving it vulnerable to a criminal. Your broken key can damage the lock, so rather than trying to fix it yourself, you should call the locksmith to handle the situation properly.

Different scenarios you could encounter

If you find that your key is sticking out of the lock, the locksmith may be able to simply pull it out with the right tools. Since you wouldn’t be likely to have the proper tools to handle a small grab as this, a locksmith will be able to handle it and ensure there is no damage to the lock, in addition to making you a new key.

If the key isn’t sticking out, trying to remove it will definitely damage the lock. A locksmith will be able to efficiently and correctly remove it without damaging your lock. They will also be able to make you a new key and ensure you can be on your way.

Preventing this situation

While it’s easy to call your professional locksmith to help you when your key has broken inside your car or home lock, it would be smart to know how to avoid this situation in the future. It’s helpful to maintain your keys and locks by applying some lock lubrication to your keyhole when you notice any grinding or friction locking or unlocking the doors.

Your keys can simply be replaced every so often to ensure they are durable and unlikely to break. Your car locks are more susceptible during the winter season, which means that you should be extra careful to de-ice during freezing weather to avoid breaking your keys during the locking or unlocking process.

Consider these tips in the event that your key breaks inside your lock. It’s never wise to try to fix it yourself as you could damage your locks and cause a very expensive job. Call your local locksmith to make sure you handle the situation efficiently from the start and take a sigh of relief that they will have the proper tools and knowledge to handle the job for you.

How to decide if you need a camera security system

A camera security system is becoming more and more common for homeowners, but is it a good idea? You may be considering adding this to your home to improve your home security, but do you know the impact it will have? Not only do you have to consider what your goal is behind the cameras, but you’ll have to understand laws like filming restrictions. Take a look at this guide to make sure you are prepared before you have a camera security system installed in order to feel confident going into the process.

The need for a surveillance system

First, you should make sure that you have a clear reason for getting a camera security system installed. If you’re trying to protect your home from vandalism or you want to keep an eye on your home when you’re away, it can be a great form of assistance for you and your family. Perhaps you want to keep an eye on the property in the middle of the night or while you’re away on vacation. There are many reasons to have a security system aside from the help of your neighbor’s watchful eyes.

If you have a business to protect, a camera security system can be extremely helpful. You can keep one watching your inventory, watching your cash registers, or keeping an eye out for shoplifters. There are many reasons to have a security system, but it’s important that you know the implications of one discussed below.

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Things to be aware of if you have one

If you’re considering getting a system, you’ll want to make sure you can accept some of the implications of having one. For example, did you know that your cameras can’t film other people’s homes, restrooms, dressing rooms, or locker rooms?

This means that you cannot film in your office restroom or pointed in your neighbor’s house, but you are allowed to film anything that is considered a public place, such as the exterior of the neighbor’s home. You are also not allowed to gather audio from a remote recording or eavesdropping. Be careful to follow the laws of filming if you are going to get a home security system.

You’ll want to understand that you can’t only rely on your security cameras since they are all going to vary in what they can offer you. It is possible to have your cameras hacked into, but you can add security measures and change your password in the event of this situation.

You’ll also need to make sure you are spending enough to get a camera that can film clearly because a poor quality will do you no good when it’s time to show a tape to the police. Be sure to look for a high-end camera system with features like motion detection and text notifications. Work with a professional to make sure you position your cameras properly and be sure to ask about features such as weather resistance, internet options, and tech support.

If you are considering getting a camera security system, be sure that you have thought through the reasoning behind it, the laws of having one and using the footage, and the questions to ask before you buy one. Talk to a professional before adding this enhanced security feature to your home or business.

5 Home Security Tips for New Homeowners

As a new homeowner, there are many things you will be learning for the first time. One of those things will be how to keep your home and your family safe on a regular basis without it interfering too much with life. Everybody knows to lock the door when they leave and to keep an eye out for suspicious people in the neighborhood, but what else will it take to keep your home and family secure?

There are some things you may not have thought to do, such as getting to know the neighbors and changing the locks when you move in. Take a look at these five tips to get you started when it comes to new home ownership and keeping things secure.

Replace the locks

The first thing you should do when you move into a new home is to change your locks. Most likely, the previous owners still have a key somewhere as does anyone involved in selling the property to you. That means that your home is not technically secure and available only to your family.

Make sure you change your locks upon arriving at the new home to make sure no one else has access to it, such as the previous family or realtor. Then, make sure you reconfigure your garage door code.

Get a home security system

Next, you’ll want to install a home security system. Make your home less appealing to a criminal that enters the neighborhood, from the trimmed bushes allowing for a great line of sight to the motion-detecting lights, make sure no criminal will want to bother breaking into your home.

Be sure to set up your home with a trustworthy home security system that will notify you in the event that there is a security breach. Make sure to have a professional install it and remember to tell your homeowners insurance since you’ll likely receive a discount for having one installed.

Get to know your neighbors and the area

One of the simplest ways to keep your home and family safe is to get to know your neighbors and your surroundings. When you know who lives near you, it’ll be easier to spot a visitor to the area to watch for suspicious activity. You’ll also have neighbors to watch your home as you do the same for them in the event that suspicious activity is taking place.

You can even join the neighborhood watch program and volunteer to collect mail and newspapers for neighbors that go on vacation, as they can do the same for you. Then, be sure to get to know your surroundings to get familiar with what habits are normal in the neighborhood compared to the times when something new comes up. Do you always see this certain service provider and delivery truck, while that moving van or construction crew has never been here before?

Think about fire safety

In addition to security, you’ll want to think about fire safety. Make sure you’ve made a plan for home fire defense and have a fire monitoring package with your home security system. Smoke detectors throughout the house are vital, as well as fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors.

Keep up with the maintenance

Having all of these items checked off will be a great feeling, but keeping up with maintaining everything is just as important. You need to be regularly checking your outside lights, your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, your fire extinguishers, and your window locks to ensure everything is in working order.

If something isn’t functioning properly, it can be all it takes to have a breach in your safety. Make sure you are trimming the bushes, verifying your home security system is working, and things on your property meant to deter an intruder are ready to perform.

These are the top five ways that you can make sure your new home is secure and prepared in the event of a fire or home invasion.