The Story of Love Locks

Love Locks, also known as love padlocks, is a tradition where couples lock padlocks onto a public bridge, gate, pole, fence or fixture by couples to symbolize their abiding love.
 
 
It’s believed to have originated in China, where lovers would lock padlocks on a public fence then throw away the key, symbolically locking their love forever. In cities around the work, from Las Vegas to Rome are filled gates and fences adorned with love locks.
 
 
In Rome, the ritual of locking padlocks to the bridge Ponte Milvio can be linked to the popular book I Want You by the Italian author Federico Moccia, who later made it in the film-adaptation Ho voglia di te.
 
 
However, not everyone is a fan. Some treat is as litter or vandalism, because of the labor and cost to remove them. But many still embrace this tradition of couples finding this creative way to express their love and commitment with a padlock. These places have also become some sort of tourist attraction and helped with fundraising projects.
 
Click on the link below if you want to know where to find a safe and legal place to lock a love padlock.
 
www.makelovelocks.com
 

Posted in Life

KEEPING YOUR HOME SAFE WHILE ON VACATION

Follow these helpful tips to keep your home safe.

Secure home while on vacation
It’s back to reality when you come back home from a vacation. It’s back to work, school, chores, routines, but it’s ok because you are now recharged. Something you don’t want to come home is to find out your house was broken into because your home was not safe and secured.
Summer months are one of the peaking points when burglars come out to terrorize since most homeowners are going away on vacation. A burglar will scope out a house and can notice things like if the lights are turned off, newspapers and deliveries are piled up on the porch or overgrown lawns.
Keeping your home safe and secured while on vacation is crucial. Here are 6 tips that can help you come back to a secured home and also give you piece of mind.
 

1. KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS

This can be uncomfortable for many. Sure you may nod or say hello when you are walking your dog or grabbing the mail, but truly knowing each other’s names and how to reach each other can go a long way to prevent criminals from terrorizing your neighborhood. Take some cookies to your neighbor’s house and say hello. Exchange phone numbers, emails, social media or any other way form of contact. Starting or joining a neighborhood watch is always a good idea.
 

2. DON’T POST IT

Almost 50% of homeowners aged 18-34 post photos and updates on social media while on vacation. Don’t let the world know on Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat or whatever social media platform you have. It’s not always your friends and family who see your post, burglars are looking for those post as well. Wait until you get back or save them for a later #TBT (Throw Back Thursday).
 

3. HOME MONITORING

It is now easier than ever to install home security systems for your home. There are many new products out now that are easy to install and affordable. You can be at the pool sipping on a drink while on vacation and monitor your home from your mobile device. Surveillance cameras, alarms, and smart devices that can lock doors or turn on lights from any computer or mobile device are all great security features that can be installed to give you piece of mind and keep your home safe. Don’t have the budget for a fancy device or monthly monitoring system? Installing a motion sensing lights can go a long way.
Feel free to call us for more information or help installing home monitoring devices.
Academy Locksmith (800) 964-0700
 

4. MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO HIDE

Trim those bushes and low hanging trees. They can be a thief’s best friend. Homes with fencing that obscure a door or windows are popular target that make it easy to hide. What is not friendly for a burglar are prickly landscaping or anything that makes noise like gravel or rocks.
 

5. PAUSE DELIVERIES

Anyone passing by can tell no one is home if newspapers pile up on a porch and the lights are off. It’s easy to hold deliveries of mail. Check out the link below.
https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/
 

6. MAKE YOUR HOME LOOK OCCUPIED

You don’t have to be as extreme as the kid from the movie Home Alone. Leave some lights on or hook up some lamps on automatic timers to turn on during certain hours. Arrange the lawn to be mowed while on your long trip.

Posted in Uncategorized

Rekeying Does Exist

One of the main locksmith request we receive are to change the locks when keys are lost, during a new move in or when a key holder has left a company or moved out of the house. We are surprised to know that many people don’t know that their existing locks can be rekeyed. Many folks believe their only option is to buy and install new locks when we can simply rekey the locks to change the key they currently use. As a result of not knowing many businesses and home owners end up adding more and more keys to their already overcrowded key rings.
change locks

Standard Rekey

A standard rekey happens when the cylinder on a lock is modified accept a new key. Pins or wafers can be changed inside the locks tumbler to match the new set of keys. We highly recommended to rekey the locks when you move into a new home or office.

It is convenient to have all locks operate with a single key. Locks can be rekeyed alike if the locks are compatible. For example if the all the locks on a house are Schlage and they need to be keyed alike, they can. If one of the locks is a Kwikset, the lock will either have to be replaced with a Schlage compatible lock to rekey all the locks alike or that house would require 2 different set of keys. Many big box stores sell locks already keyed alike in groups. This means that someone who purchased their locks from the same store will likely use the same key. That is why it is best to hire a professional locksmith or rekey the locks yourself.
 

Master Rekey

Master Rekeying is setting up a lock so that more than one key can work on it. One of the keys will be the master key which can open all other lock in the facility and the other key will be the key that only opens a unique lock. Master rekeying should be done by professionals to avoid accidental cross keying.
Master rekey set up

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Posted in Craft of Locksmithing

Active Shooter

The key to minimizing risk and life loss during an active shooter incident is preparation.

Active Shooter

UCLA Shooting

During the shooting at UCLA, several photos were tweeted from the engineering building where the shooting was taking place. Because most of the classroom doors were not equipped with locks, or had locks that could not be locked by the occupants of the building, the students were improvising their own locking methods.
I’m sure that some of the manufacturers of classroom barricade devices will use this incident to try to sell their retrofit devices. But while it might cost less to buy a gadget to lock the classroom door, there are many disadvantages to using this security method. Adding these devices to the existing doors and hardware will mean that the doors are not compliant with model code requirements for egress, fire protection, and in most cases – accessibility. In California, classroom barricade devices are not allowed by the state codes.
When I’ve expressed concerns about an unauthorized person installing a classroom barricade device to secure the classroom and commit a crime, I’ve been told by barricade device proponents that there is no cause for concern – the teacher could keep the device in a safe place where only the teacher had access to it. How would this work in a college or university, where various professors may use any given classroom? In this situation, the device would not be able to be hidden and installed only by the classroom teacher. Anyone could install it, and once in place, most of the devices prevent access – even authorized access by school staff and emergency responders.
Traditional locks provide the necessary level of security without sacrificing life safety or leaving facilities open to the liability associated with using a product that hinders egress and can be used to secure the classroom for ill intent.
Methods for securing classroom doors is one aspect of school security that should be addressed in the emergency plans for a school. During an active shooter incident or other lockdown situation, students and teachers may need to shelter-in-place behind a locked classroom door, or evacuate to a safe location if necessary. It’s important to plan for both possibilities.
The Final Report of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission includes several recommendations regarding classroom doors, including Recommendation #1 – classroom doors should be lockable from inside the classroom. Another recommendation of this report addresses the distribution of keys to all staff including substitute teachers. The report states: “The testimony and other evidence presented to the Commission reveals that there has never been an event in which an active shooter breached a locked classroom door.” Traditional locksets provide the required level of security for classroom doors, but it is important to consider the location, type, and size of glazing adjacent to the hardware to ensure that the lockset cannot be defeated by breaking the glass.
The National Association of State Fire Marshals – or NASFM, has published a set of guidelines for classroom door security. In some jurisdictions, these recommendations may be mandatory depending on applicable codes, laws, and regulations. The guidelines include classroom door hardware that meets the following criteria:
• Hardware that is lockable from inside the classroom without opening the door, to minimize the teacher’s exposure
• Access from outside of the classroom by emergency responders using a key or other credential
• Egress without a key, tool, special knowledge or effort, and one operation to unlatch the door
• Operable hardware mounted between 34 inches and 48 inches above the floor, and no tight grasping, tight pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate, with the bottom 10 inches on the push side of manual doors a flush, smooth surface
• If a classroom door is fire rated, the door must be self-closing and self-latching, and may not be modified in a way that invalidates the fire rating
There are many retrofit security devices (also known as barricade devices) on the market today which do not meet these guidelines. These devices typically barricade the door, delaying or preventing egress and often making it impossible for staff and emergency responders to open the door from the outside. Check the local code requirements to determine whether these devices are allowed by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.
There are several lock functions that are commonly used in schools, and there are pros and cons to each. All of the following lock functions allow immediate egress and authorized access, in accordance with the NASFM guidelines.
• The classroom security function allows a teacher to lock the outside lever without opening the door, by inserting a key in the cylinder on the inside lever. While the use of a key ensures that only an authorized person can lock the classroom door, some staff members may have difficulty using fine motor skills to lock the door in a high-stress situation. Lockdown drills and practice will help to familiarize teachers with the operation of the lock, and an indicator will confirm that the lock has been put into lockdown.
• An entrance function or office function lock is locked by turning a thumbturn or pushing a button on the inside lever. This makes it easy to lock the outside lever without opening the door, but it is also possible for the door to be locked by an unauthorized person, including someone who may want to secure a classroom to commit an assault, theft, vandalism or other crime. If this lock function is used, staff should carry keys to unlock the door from the outside in case of unauthorized lockdown.
• A storeroom function lock always requires a key to retract the latch and enter the room. A classroom lock can be locked or unlocked using a key in the outside lever, but would require a teacher to open the door to do so. Many schools have existing classroom locks, and some have instituted a policy in which the classroom is kept locked at all times, making the lock’s operation similar to a storeroom function lock. This strategy makes sense when budgetary constraints prevent replacement of the locks with a function that can be locked without opening the door, but it can be inconvenient to keep the doors locked all the time.
• Electronic classroom locks are available that are locked by pressing a button on a fob worn by staff members. Some locks can be locked remotely or as a system-wide lockdown. Using a fob removes the concern about the fine-motor skills necessary for inserting and turning a key, and lockdown cannot be initiated by an unauthorized person who is not in possession of the fob, but the cost of replacing existing locks with an electronic product may not be feasible for all facilities.
Remember, all of these lock functions allow free egress by turning the inside lever, as required by the model codes. In addition, all of these options allow authorized access from the outside by staff or emergency responders. Balancing life safety with security is critical when choosing a locking method for classroom doors. For more information on classroom door locks and other school security topics, visit www.AcademyLocksmith/schools.

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Posted in Safety

Double Sided Dead Bolts

Locksmiths are often asked by customers to install double sided deadbolts for them. It can be a daunting task to find a locksmith willing to do this, and for a good reason. While there might be a few reasons a customer could see this as a positive feature, there are downsides that can greatly outweigh the benefits. We will go over a few reasons why people might want double sided deadbolts, and then go over the reasons why locksmiths recommend against them.
One of the main reasons locksmiths get requested for a double sided deadbolt is if a customer has a glass door. They are afraid that a burglar can break open the glass and reach inside and turn the thumb turn. This is a bit of a fallacy because if a burglar is willing to break glass and make that much noise they are willing to use force to get their way in. This means that they will most likely find a way in the house anyways, such as breaking bigger hole in the glass so that they can walk through.
Another popular reason they are requested is because the customer who are in caregivers for children, family members or patients. They want the double sided deadbolt so that the person they care for cannot just roam outside and get lost or hurt. There are several options that can help with this. A simple option is installing a very high chain latch that is difficult to reach for the person receiving care. We also live in a great world full of technology with smart locks that can alert you when the door is unlocked or opened. Other tools that can be used are motion detectors, cameras, and tracking devices.
Now that we have covered a couple of the most popular reasons for double sided deadbolts lets go over the singular reason against them- safety. Unfortunately a few people have died, or been severely injured due to them. As a personal survivor of a house fire, I know that every second counts when trying to exit a burning building. This is why the fire code in many places does not allow double sided deadbolts. You must have an easy path of egress to get out of the house. This means an unobstructed path leading out of a dwelling without the use of a key or special knowledge. When making security decisions about your house, it is also very important to think about the safety of you and your family as well.
 
-Scott Cook

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Posted in Safety

Locksmith Scammers Still Out There

They are still out there, believe it or not. We try to warn and educated all of our customers or those who inquire about locksmith services. Phony locksmith’s are out there trying to to rip customers off.

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Posted in Consumer Alert

Scam Locksmith’s Still Out There

It’s been known for a while now that there are several “Scam Locksmith’s” ripping customers off through out the United States. This is an issue in some states more than others, but they are everywhere. Go online right now, and do a search for a locksmith in your area. I’m not a gambling man, but I would put money down that one of the first search results will be a scammer locksmith company. Give them a call and they will quote you an attractive, but deliberately unclear quote over the phone. It wont be a exact quote, but the MINIMUM CHARGE sure sounds nice. This scammer locksmith will be unlicensed or they will send an unlicensed locksmith to you. We read articles, see videos and personally hear stories like this all the time. Scam locksmith goes out charges something way different than what was quoted, and customers have no choice sometimes since they are usually in a bind when they called. Forget about complaining or asking for a refund.
These phony locksmith have been exposed time after time on news channels throughout the US and national televised reports like on the Today Show. Organisations like ALOA and other associations are also doing their part to get rid of the scammers in our industry. However, they are still out there. We also try inform all who call our office looking for a locksmith about scammers. Even if they don’t choose us, we want them to know that the next listing that they call may be a fake. Here are some tips to choose a legitimate locksmith:
1. Ask for a total price. Unless you your self are unsure of what is needed like the lock is not working and you don’t know why. Repairs can be difficult to quote over the phone. But, if you are locked out of your car, and you give the locksmith the exact year make and model of the car. There is no reason why you should be quoted a minimum price.
2. Ask for the locksmith license number. In California it is required for the license number to be advertised. Licensing requirements for locksmith can vary in different states.
3. Search for a reputable company. Reviews on Google, Yelp, Angies List, Home Advisor… See what several other people are saying about their experience with that company.

Posted in Consumer Alert, Locksmith Tips

Follow Us

Academy Locksmith is on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Like us on Facebook and get helpful locksmith tips. Check out our educational and interesting post with your occasional funny one. Make sure to follow if you’re on Instagram. On our Instagram you will find cool and interesting photos taken by our staff and locksmiths in the field. Have a question for a locksmith? If you have Twitter, you can ask Shamey the locksmith for any locksmith related questions. Click on the links below or search for us @academylocksmith.

facebook.com/academylocksmith

instagram.com/academylocksmith

twitter.com/academylock

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@academylocksmith

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Posted in Media

Another Customer Gets Scammed

Another customer get’s scammed. This time it’s in Massachusetts. Visit the Aloa website to find legitimate locksmith if you are in need of one.

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Posted in Consumer Alert

Lock Out Tip 1

What to do when locked out

Usually when we get called out to unlock a house or apartment, its because the keys are locked inside. It’s easy to get frustrated and forget to check for an open window. Too many times when called out on a residential lockout we will find a window or even a back door unlocked.

There was a call I did where when I arrived I asked my customer, “Did you get a chance to check all other doors and windows?” He said he did and that they were all locked. I did walk through with him to search for the lock I would pick open. When we got to the back garage door, the lock looked old and rusty. “We never use this door.” said my customer. I turned on the stiff rusted knob and it seemed locked but turned a bit. I gave it another hard turn and it ended up turning all the way. It was unlocked the whole time. I cleaned and lubricated the back garage door lock and only charged the customer for the service call. We both laughed about it.

Remember to check all doors and windows. Carefully tug on the windows, you may be able to unlatch old window locks that way. Check all doors and double check older exterior locks to make sure they are not frozen shut with dirt, rust or grime. You will gain entry yourself by finding an unlocked entrance. Call us if you discover a lock that wasn’t as secured as you thought or need a professional to unlock your door. My self or another service locksmith will be out to you quickly.

-Shamey the Locksmith

window academy locksmith

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Posted in Locksmith Tips