locks

The most common lock problems and how to inspect them

Are you suspicious of a lock problem at your home, office, or car? Whether it’s just been a long time since you’ve had them inspected, you’re preparing for a trip and want to keep things secure, or your lock just seems off, it’s never a bad time to have locks inspected. Securing your home, car, or office is an absolute must and it’s not something to put off. Take a look at some of the most common lock problems that cause homeowners to call the locksmith faster than ever.

The lock is loose or faulty

If you’ve discovered your lock seems a bit loose or it seems to be faulty, call your locksmith to get it replaced or repaired. A faulty lock is one in which the internal mechanism is worn or possibly broken, while a loose lock can happen from old age.

A loose lock is easy to unlock with the right tool or sometimes even a hairpin.  Don’t let either of these situations cause you to think you can let it go on like that; call a locksmith to have it handled since you are leaving your lock at risk of being compromised.

Your key broke or got stuck

If your key got stuck or broke in the lock, call the locksmith before you go anywhere. New keys sometimes get stuck but they can be removed by a locksmith who can also lubricate it to avoid that happening again in the future.

Don’t force anything in either scenario; you could damage your lock. When a key breaks inside of the lock, typically from too much force, a locksmith will need to bring special equipment to help you out and make you a new key. Don’t try to pull the key out if its stuck or broken and sticking out since you could damage your lock.

The lock froze

During the winter months, it’s easy to have a frozen lock, especially on your car. Watch out this winter as the temps become harsh as your doorknobs may become more difficult to turn. In an emergency, you can try applying light heat, but overdoing it can cause permanent damage. Your best bet is to call the locksmith who will know how much heat to apply to avoid damaging it.

It’s warped

Lastly, a warped lock is one of the most common problems locksmiths come across. This can happen with age and poor weather conditions. A warped lock can cause the locking points to not work, which means that you’ll be unable to lock the door. Luckily, the locksmith can easily and quickly fix this problem to get you on your way.

Along with these common lock problems, watch out for issues like a key that is hard to turn or won’t work, a dropped door for a UPVC door, a faulty cylinder, and a clogged mechanism. All of these common lock issues are just a phone call away from being corrected and getting you back to your day.

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.

By Self Storage (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via  Wikimedia Commons

By Self Storage (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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.

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.