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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Say "Good Buy" to 2010! - One Day Special Offer

Call today - 12/31/2010 - between 10 am and 2 pm to schedule service today or tomorrow. Receive a 20% discount on labor charges and a 10% discount on parts! Sorry, no discount on lockout services. Cannot be combined with any other offer. No discount on invoiced accounts. Parts discount applies only to stock on hand, which may be limited. Call (317) 490-1469 today and mention this offer when scheduling service to receive the discounts.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New homes

It would be nice to think that a new home would include decent functioning locks, but too often that is not the case. The fact is that the top 3 lock problems are every bit as common in new homes as old, and one of those three occurs frequently in new construction.

Locks should be rekeyed any time there is a change of ownership, and that includes when the builder hands over the keys to the first homeowner. When Altic Lock Service rekeys your locks, we will also be checking to see if the deadlatches on entry locks are functioning correctly and if the deadbolt extends completely. While rekeying, we will also remove any master pins that may be found in the builder's locks. We can also check to see what type of screws were used to mount the deadbolt strike. Too many locks still come, and are installed, with 3/4 inch screws. Three inch screws should be used in order to tie the strike plate into the 2x4 framing around the door.

The problem with new construction is that the door hardware is rarely installed by a locksmith. After the door is hung, locks are often installed by whoever has the time, almost as an afterthought. The thicker, heavier weatherstripping used on many new exterior doors makes proper deadlatch alignment even more difficult. Most doors come pre-assembled with the jamb, with cutouts already made for the locks. This is why deadbolts often cannot extend completely. Quality deadbolts extend 1 inch, but the pre-drilled jamb piece is maybe 3/4 of an inch. If the door framing beyond the opening in the jamb is not drilled for the bolt after the door is hung, the bolt cannot extend fully, and does not actually lock in place like it should. If, when you throw the deadbolt, you hear it thump against wood, it probably did not extend completely.

If you take a lock off of the door, and see a handwritten number on a normally unexposed part of the lock body, there is a very high probability that the lock cylinder contains master pins. Each master pin doubles the number of keys that will operate the lock. There is really no justification for master pins in a residential lock, but some builders use them regularly.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Big-box store rekeyable locks

More and more locks available at the local and chain hardware stores are advertised as being rekeyable by the customer. Judging by the complaints found on Danny Lipford's DIY site, they are not working so well. Too early for us to pronounce judgment, but Altic Lock Service does not stock or recommend the use of these locks, and cannot provide a warranty on any work performed on them.

These locks were designed in response to concerns over the use of "bump keys". While they are at least relatively bump-proof as well as pick-proof, what good are they if they fail to work? Meanwhile, we have been informed recently that the Prosecutor's Office is not aware of a single criminal use of bump keys in Marion County. That is not to say that bump keys have not or will not be used to break into a home or business, but it would seem to mean that it is not worth switching to bump-proof locks if it means the lock may fail to function at all.

There are other ways to deal with the threat of bump keys - special pins and springs in standard pin-tumbler locks, using a less common keyway, using non-standard depths of cut on the key, etc. It does not mean that  you need to use a "high-security" lock with a restricted keyway. It does mean that you might want to consider a different brand of lock than what you will find at the big-box stores.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How to choose a locksmith

Here's a short video with some useful tips from Angie's List. The van got more video time than I did... My biggest complaint about the video is its reference to ALOA. ALOA may be the largest organization of locksmiths, but in the view of many (including myself), it does not represent the small locksmith business or promote the industry in a way that we can support. I feel the profession is better served by the Society of Professional Locksmiths.

Here's some other information from the Federal Trade Commission to help you find a legitimate locksmith.

Dangerous Deadbolts

Properly installed deadbolts are critical to protecting your home from forced entry, but some can also pose a hazard in case of fire or other need to quickly vacate the home. Altic Lock Service never recommends the use of double-sided deadbolts, which require the use of a key to either enter or exit. If there is glass near the lock, replace the glass with shatter-proof polycarbonate. If the concern is for a child or a dementia patient wandering away from the home, GPS-tracking systems are available that won't put lives at risk.

Increase your business's ADA compliance

The Americans with Disabilities Act was intended to make businesses that serve the public more accessible to folks with various disabilities. One can certainly question the wisdom of allowing government to mandate actions on the part of privately-owned businesses, but there are advantages to being ADA-compliant. Business owners don't mind making it easier for potential customers to reach their business, but at what cost?

The good news is that their are tax credits and deductions available - up to 50%. The better news is that Altic Lock Service is also offering a discount on certain ADA-compliant door hardware, now through December 23, 2010. Save now, and at tax time! Click here for more information.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Special

Considering upgrading the locks on your home or business? Save on Arrow-manufactured leversets and deadbolts from now until December 23, 2010.

Burglary Prevention Forum

Altic Lock Service is proud to again be a sponsor of a Burglary Prevention Forum presented by the Marion County Prosecutor's Office Burglary Enforcement Strategy Team (B.E.S.T.). The forum will be on Tuesday, December 14, from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. at the Southport Presbyterian Church, 7525 McFarland Boulevard. The forum is free and open to the public. These forums provide a lot of great information that may help prevent you from becoming a victim of a burglary or other crime.

Sliding Door Security

Sliding doors are difficult to secure. We recommend the CAL Double-Bolt Lock.

Top 3 Lock Problems

Many lock problems are a result of improper installation. If the deadlatch of an entry lock is not installed properly, the lock will not provide the security it is capable of, and may fail prematurely. If a deadbolt is not installed correctly, it may not actually lock in place and also may fail prematurely. If you live in a single-builder community, your lock may contain master pins. Each master pin doubles the number of keys that will operate a lock. Click here for more information.