Lock Change

Are you looking for locks for your home or business? Once you begin, you’ll find out that there’s an almost endless selection of locks to choose from. To find the best lock for each need, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who will use the lock?
  • How much security do you need?
  • Where will the lock be placed?
  • What are the surroundings like where you’ll install the lock?

Here are some of the most popular locks. Let’s look at their security features:

Knob locks are often utilized as the sole source of security for exterior doors, although they’re typically installed in addition to deadbolts. A knob lock by itself actually isn’t very secure, because the lock cylinder is just in the knob itself rather than inside the door. A knob lock can be broken off the door by a criminal in the know, using a hammer. The lock can also be forced open with pliers or with a wrench behind the knob, bypassing the locking cylinder, by a professional thief. If you presently have knob locks, you ought to consider replacing them with simple passage knobs. Adding deadbolts will give you more security.

Deadbolts are the most secure locks you can have for your home, as any locksmith professional will tell you. They’re called “dead” because there aren’t any springs to operate the bolt; a deadbolt is operated only manually, with a key or a thumbturn. Deadbolts are installed on external doors in four basic types: single-cylinder, double-cylinder, lockable thumbturn, and jimmy-proof.

A single-cylinder deadbolt is the type we normally imagine, as it has a key cylinder on the outside. A thumbturn on the inside opens and closes it. This kind of deadbolt is often used on solid doors made of wood or metal. A disadvantage of this deadbolt is that if there’s any possible access to the inside (such as through a nearby window, or through the peephole, which a professional burglar will know how to do), the door can be opened with the thumbturn.

To deal with this issue, a double-cylinder deadbolt has a key cylinder both on the inside and on the outside of the door. If the door’s locked, the double-cylinder deadbolt requires a key to open it from the inside. It’s good if your door has any glass in it, or if there’s a window near your door, because it will prevent an intruder from breaking the glass and reaching in to unlock the door. Its drawback is that in case of fire, it can be unsafe; make sure you always leave a key on the inside whenever people are at home, so that in case of an emergency, you can all get out fast.

A lockable thumbturn deadbolt is a hybrid of the single-cylinder and the double-cylinder deadbolt, giving optimized flexibility and security. It features a thumbturn on the inside, which works like a regular single-cylinder deadbolt, except that it can be locked with a key, so it can’t unlock or lock the door. This means that you can leave the thumbturn in an unlocked position while people are at home, but it will operate just like a standard single-cylinder deadbolt. When everyone is away, especially for a long time, the thumbturn can be easily locked, so even if someone gets access to the door from the inside, the deadbolt cannot be unlocked.

A jimmy-proof deadbolt is a surface-mount lock, frequently found on double doors and in apartment complexes. This deadbolt is preferred because it requires minimal door modifications. In this unique lock, the deadbolt interlocks with the jamb bracket, keeping it from any vulnerability to being pulled apart or forced from the outside by a would-be trespasser. A surface-mount lock means that the lock screws into the door’s inside, rather than with a drill pattern, the way a basic deadbolt does.

Key Extraction

Lever-handle locks are often used on inner doors in commercial facilities. They’re easier for most people to open than knob locks, because they have a large push-down handle, rather than a knob that you have to grasp and turn. When accessibility for the disabled is important, a lever lock is your best bet.

Mortise-cylinder locks are threaded, screwing into mortise hardware that’s mounted inside the door. These locks are held in place by a set screw, and a cam activates the locking mechanism. Mortise cylinders are available in numerous lengths, and come with several options for the cams, depending on the hardware used.

Rim cylinder locks help upgrade your security. You’ll see them regularly on entry glass doors, commercial doors, and sometimes on doors of apartment buildings. These locks are generally used in rim latch locks, mounted on the inside of the door. Rim cylinder locks have a long metal piece that extends out from the back of the lock, which runs through the door into a locking mechanism on the opposite side of the door.

Cam locks are the locks you see in mailboxes, filing cabinets, and cupboards. They come in various lengths, with an assortment of tailpieces (“cams”) which interface with another lock mechanism.

A rim latch lock has a rim cylinder on one side, with a surface-mount latch lock on the other. Rim latch locks can automatically lock the door as it shuts behind you, which makes them popular in apartment houses.

A wall-mounted lock is mounted in the wall, as its name says. An example is a firefighter’s box-style lock, oftentimes found in larger businesses. A wall-mounted lock provides emergency access to the building’s keys. It can be a small safe, which holds essential items. Usually it’s installed at the time of construction, although one can be installed at an existing facility. A wall-mounted lock normally has a cover or alarm sensor, which allows for networking into the building’s security system, meaning that any unauthorized access will be detected immediately.


In addition to the above locks, there are so many more. To discover which lock is ideal for each purpose, bring all your questions and concerns to a locksmith professional. If you’re located in Birmingham, Alabama, you ought to consult with a trustworthy locksmith, such as the mobile locksmith technicians on staff at Birmingham Locksmith.

Birmingham Locksmith: What To Do When Your Transponder Key Is Lost

Transponder Keys

The team of experts at Birmingham Locksmith surely is a force to be reckoned with. They have taken the time to put together advice for people not just in Birmingham, AL but everywhere. Anyone who owns or even rents or leases a vehicle will find the information here to be useful. Why? Because losing a transponder key can happen to anyone. When it does happen, it is extremely stressful, but luckily, there are steps you can take to regain access to your vehicle without spending a fortune.

Car companies are taking the time to come up with steps that will help in deterring theft, which is good for everyone. Think about it – less theft means less police reports, and it means less stress for car owners who spent a lot of money to be able to own their vehicle. Certain manufacturers such as Audi typically make a person enter a PIN before their key can be replaced if it is stolen. This way, not just anyone is able to get a copy of your transponder key. BMW is a manufacturer that has multiple codes programmed in their keys. Actually, this is a company that will immobilize your car so that it cannot run if the key is not there. These are just some of the methods which are being deployed nowadays to ensure only trained experts like trained, licensed lock and security providers and dealers are able to create and distribute keys.

What exactly is a transponder key and how does it work?

A transponder key is very important in keeping a vehicle safe and secure. The technology for this type of key was actually created during World War II. It didn’t become popular though for cars until the 90s. If your vehicle is one of the new ones which is utilizing a transponder key, then the ignition will have an antenna coil. Upon inserting and turning the key, the ignition coil will make a field which is electromagnetic. This electromagnetic field will communicate with the transponder chip that is located in the head of the key. This will serve as proof that the key is the right key which is needed to operate the vehicle. The car simply will not start if the transponder chip isn’t programmed with the right code. This technology is absolutely wonderful and serves to truly protect vehicles everywhere. It saves a great deal of stress.

But what happens if you can’t find your transponder key, and then you are unable to access your own vehicle?

If your transponder key is lost and you have already taken the time to search everywhere, like your house, the last place you visited, etc. then you should get on the phone with a local locksmith. Many offer emergency solutions so they are available 24 hours a day, every day, and they are able to make copies of transponder keys. How can they do this when this level of technology is so specific and advanced? How can they do this when manufacturers have created a system that prevents anyone from accessing your vehicle without the right key? Well, they have specialized equipment that can gain access to the embedded codes. Sure, you can go back to your dealership if you need to have a new transponder key made. The problem is that the dealership will usually charge a very high rate, one that many people are unable to afford. At least, it is a price tag that will set them back. So yes, visiting a dealership to get a key replacement is an option, but it is one that might be out of your price range. A lock and security provider that specializes in automotive services might end up being your best bet. And because they are willing to travel to their customers, they tend to make things easier than a dealer might.

Commercial Locksmith

Losing a key is always stressful, and it is even more stressful if said key happened to be stolen. You might be afraid that someone else will be able to gain access to your property. Luckily, most car manufacturers have made it essentially impossible for a person to gain access to your vehicle if they don’t have the transponder key that has been connected to said car. Basically, the new key technology which exists is absolutely wonderful for car owners who want to prevent theft whenever possible, but it does make the replacement of missing keys a bit of a challenge. Luckily, licensed and insured locksmiths should have access to equipment that allows them to program transponder chip keys. This is why it is important that people everywhere take a few moments of their time to look up and save the contact information of a lock and security provider that is local to their area. Anyone in Birmingham, Alabama can use the services of Birmingham Locksmith, but you just might not be in this area. Luckily, you can still heed the advice which has been offered by this company and take advantage of the information.

If your transponder key is lost, don’t panic. Just make sure to get in touch with a local professional if you have already searched everywhere that the key could possibly be. Just try to take a deep breath and re-trace your steps, because often times, when someone misplaces a key, it ends up being found practically right in front of them. That might mean that it is sitting on the desk at your office, on a nightstand, on a kitchen counter, or even in the bathroom if you happened to bring it in there. Once you have exhausted all of your options in terms of where it might have ended up, just reach out to a licensed and insured expert that can help you by creating a copy or programming a new transponder key for you. Good luck!

How Access Control Benefits You

Acess Control

Access control systems enable you to control the movement of specific people. There are some people who you want to gain access into a certain area and those whom you do not. With an access control system, you have another layer of security. This type of system really comes in hand for schools, government buildings, hospitals, laboratories and other types of important institutions. Access control prevents people on the street from just walking into your building and going anywhere. We have to be more diligent more than ever, in keeping undeserving people out of our properties. Our Birmingham, Alabama locksmiths at Birmingham Locksmith have been able to advise many businesses and institutions of the necessity of installing access control systems. With access control systems you don’t need keys so you don’t have to worry about keeping up with them or the possibility of them getting into the wrong hands. Personal characteristics are used to identify the person who has been given permission to enter a certain area. They may or may not have to still enter an access code for further identification.

In addition to serving as security for your business, it also helps you to monitor those who are in and out of your property. When something comes up missing, you are able to narrow down who may have taken them based on who was in at that time. If you have access control entryways, it often acts as a deterrent  to someone who may try to gain access. When you have confidential information that you need to protect, having access-controlled doors is a great method for restricting certain people movements. With the latest technology, you can access a room via a smart card, bar code or magnetic striping. You can definitely make it much more difficult for someone to enter a room you would rather them not go into by investing in an access control system.

If you are still trying to determine the type of security features best for your business, why not consider some of the information we have provided below. They highlight many of the practical benefits of your installing an access control system.

  • Not Easy to Duplicate

Most standard keys are easy to duplicate. This possibility is eliminated when you have access-controlled entryways. An electronic key isn’t easily duplicated. There are far to many steps to take in doing so. There is also more advanced technology involved in attempting to duplicate an electronic key, that the average person isn’t familiar with.


  • Convenience

If you are expecting a technician and they need access into another area of your building, you can add them to your network so that they are able to gain access into all of the areas they need to visit. This means you do not have to hire extra security to wait around for technicians to arrive. After the service call has been completed, you can reprogram the area so that they can no longer gain access.


  • Customizable

You are in total control over who can have access into any part of your facility. In some cases, you may allow specific employees access into every part of the building. There may be some who you want to restrict to only one or two areas of the building. You are also able to program how long someone is able to remain in your building or in a certain area of your building. If you employ temporary employees, having this capability is extremely useful.


  • Remote Access

Having access control affords you flexibility and convenience. Many of the access control systems offered today give you the capability of accessing your building remotely. You don’t have to physically be present in order to give someone access onto your property. There is simply a signal that is transmitted to a central location. Remote access still gives you the control you need while protecting your business.


  • Easily Accessible

After receiving your access code, you will then have access into the areas that you have been given permission to enter. You won’t have to use a different key or change your access code every time you enter and leave the area. If something occurs where you are unable to enter the area, which you know that you have been granted access into, simply contact the network operator. With the flip of a button you are given access immediately.


  • Tracking System

    High Security Locks

When you have access-controlled systems installed, it is possible for you to track whomever is in an out. The system records who is in and out and at what times. When things are stolen, it is much easier to track down the possible suspect based on when they were in the building and at what times. This means that there is no longer a need to have someone standing by to sign people in and out.


  • Quick Access

If you already have to carry around a bunch of keys, the last thing you want to do is have to carry anymore than is necessary. With an access-controlled system, people are capable of quickly gaining access without trying to find the right key since a key is not needed in order to gain access.


If you have ever had a problem with employees stealing things or people gaining access into an area with confidential paperwork, it might be a good idea to invest in this type of system. If you’re concerned about the cost, just consider how much you actually save in theft prevention by not allowing just anyone to have access into your facility. Much more than not lose prevention, those who invest in an access-controlled system are afforded the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing that they have maximum security to protect themselves. You don’t have to settle on any one particular type of system when there are so many to choose from. A Birmingham, Alabama locksmith specialist can come in handy when trying to determine which system will work best for your needs.

Why it’s important to have a gun safe

Before you jump to conclusions about this somewhat controversial subject, read this post completely and then decide if a gun safe is right for you! It basically comes down to this; if you hate the thought of having guns in the house and don’t own any, then you don’t need a gun safe. If you even have one gun and don’t mind using it if you have to; you need and should have a gun safe.

Birmingham Locksmith can help you secure the best gun safe for your budget and weapons needs. We offer affordable pricing, free consultations and convenient installation service that works around your busy schedule. Of course you don’t have to use our shop to procure your gun safe or cabinet. Other Birmingham, AL locksmiths offer them as do home improvement stores, gun dealers, hardware stores and numerous online retailers like Amazon and EBay.

What Is A Gun Cabinet/Safe?

Just like it sounds; a gun safe is a “safe” place in your home to keep your weapons. Also known as gun or weapons cabinets, they are a designated place for firearms of all sizes and types along with bullets and other forms of ammunition. Having a locking and well-built cabinet or safe to store your guns in can be a real life saver and we mean that literally! Every year countless shooting accidents occur in homes all over the world. Having a loaded gun nearby can result in injury, death and other mayhem as children can discover them and shoot each other or parents by mistake.

Domestic violence is another problem where shootings can easily occur when a loaded weapon is only too handy. Having a gun is not expensive and even with the proper permits and instruction tempers and fear can wreak havoc on gun safety and home security. Taking the time to actually unlock the gun safe and remove a weapon can often lead to a cooling off period instead of simply reaching for a loaded firearm and shooting in the heat of the moment.

Protection For Your Gun!

Yes, gun safes protect your guns, too! You may be thinking “who wants to hurt a gun?” but the answer is simple – the elements! That’s right; weather can wreak havoc with your gun quality and ability to work on demand. Rust, moisture, fire, floods and even dust can hurt your gun’s ability to fire accurately and to calibrate just right. Also, there’s big underground market in gun theft. Sure, you took the time and spent the money to buy your weapon legitimately and to learn how to use it safely and responsibly. Others are not interested in going that route and would just as soon steal your gun and either use it for themselves or sell it on the “black market.” Securing your weapons in a locking gun safe can go a long way towards keeping your guns out of the hands of criminals that would love to claim it freely as their own.

The Big Question!

Here at Birmingham Locksmith we are often asked about the ability to access weapons quickly if they are locked away in a gun safe.Don’t worry about that – you still can! Actually, the question makes sense. What good are guns if you have to move “heaven and earth” to get to them? What burglar or home invader is going to wait for that? They won’t of course, but here’s where you get the advantage over others who simply buy their gun safe and are left to figure everything out for themselves. As a customer of Birmingham Locksmith you are invited to tap into our expertise in this field. We will expertly help you choose the right model of gun safe for your needs AND then advise you how to make use of it so that you are always assured of having quick and safe access to your weapons in any circumstance whatsoever!

Where To Get Your Gun Safe

No, you don’t have to buy from us! Other Birmingham, AL locksmith shops offer gun safes as do home improvement stores, gun stores, and even national chain stores like Wal-Mart, Target and Sears. You can buy used, too. Many a good deal can be found by buying at estate sales, flea markets and yard sales. One of the best sources for gun safe information is online. Even if you don’t buy your safe over the web, you can still research it and learn lots of great information that can be quite useful later. Be sure to check reviews as people who are passionate about their gun safes tend to post good or bad remarks about the unit as well as the seller or the manufacturer.

When buying your gun safe over the internet, be sure to check for installation costs, weight, insuring your safe, taxes and repair options. Take good measurements, too. You don’t want a huge cabinet for a single pistol nor a tiny gun box for an entire arsenal including ammo!

Different Needs For Different Folks!

It’s best to do your research into gun safes and what you really want out of yours. Some just want locking storage for theirs. Other people like to show theirs off to visiting friends and family. Do you want easy and fast access to yours or do you have a vintage set of valuable guns that you want preserved for safe and collectible status?

Gun safes can come with a variety of locks on them, too. Will you keep the keys handy if access is suddenly needed? Can you spend a little more to get biometric entry that simply requires your thumb print on the device for near-instant access?

By now, you know that there are dozens of good reasons to have a gun safe and that your particular situation is unique to you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of sellers, manufacturers and dealers and if you don’t get a good answer; move on! As always, feel free to check with our friendly Birmingham Locksmith staff as we sell, repair and install gun safes and can expertly advise you about yours!


The simple truth is, if you don’t pay attention to the safety and security of your home, you’ll make your property more attractive to a potential burglar. Fortunately, however, there are numerous relatively easy ways to safeguard your home from break-ins and theft. Obviously, you can’t foresee every possible vulnerability, but you can still take a good number of reasonable, cost-effective steps to prevent most circumstances in which a robbery could take place.


Don’t put a “hidden” key outside. Anyone who wants to get into your place will easily find your key under the mat, or quickly locate the key you put inside your mailbox or under the flower pot. Probably if you have a keyholder disguised as a rock, professional robbers will likely recognize it. Instead, give your extra key to a trusted neighbor.


Do not leave any ladders outside. Someone could pretend to be a contractor, and may try to use your ladder to gain entry through a second-floor window, or use it to land on your balcony if you have one.


Keep your valuables hidden well.

  • Safeguard your emergency cash, fine jewelry, and other treasured possessions in uncommon locations.
  • Rent a safe-deposit box at your bank to guard any particularly valuable items.
  • A home safe may be better for your needs, perhaps one anchored to the floor or hidden in the wall.


Establish simple household rules.

  • Don’t answer the door to strangers. (Install a peephole if you don’t already have one.)
  • Keep your windows and doors locked when you leave, as well as before everyone goes to sleep for the night.
  • Keep your garage door in good working order, and keep it closed and locked whenever you’re away.


Don’t keep your keys and garage-door remotes out in the open. It’s a bad idea to keep your keys and remotes on display near the door, where anyone could peek through your window. It’s better to store these important objects hidden inside a drawer or cupboard.


Post warning signs and insignias. It may sound harebrained to some people, but it can be effective to put up a sign or window sticker from a security company near each door or window ~ even if you don’t actually have a security system. Be creative. Post a “Beware of Dog” sign, or a “No Trespassing” sign.


Secure your air conditioning unit. You wouldn’t want a prowler to get through an unsecured window utilizing an air-conditioner bracket, corner braces, or a sliding window lock.


Install timers. Consider putting your porch lights on timers. That way, when you’re gone during the day, or away for a long time, you can make it look like people are at home. Not only can you use timers on your lights, but also on your TVs, computers, and radios. If you have a smart device attached to your timer, you can monitor and control everything with a mobile app, to make it appear as if your home is occupied the entire time you’re gone.


Use lights effectively. Install outdoor lighting with infrared motion detectors near each of your doors. Motion detector lights help to discourage trespassers. They can even be connected to your smart device, so you can quickly detect any unwelcome activity, and respond immediately. Some are made to respond to changes in temperature, light, or sound. Be sure also to make it a point to keep some of your indoor lights on if you’re going to be gone.


Eliminate possible intruder hiding places. Keep your trees, hedges, shrubs, and all other plants trimmed. If they’re too ungainly, tall, or poorly spaced, a potential thief can hide easily.



Additional Affordable Ways You Can Boost Your Home Security

There are plenty of other ways to enhance your home security. Some can take a little more effort, but can be reasonably priced. To discover more about the many options available to you, if you’re located anywhere in Birmingham, Alabama, you may want to schedule a free consultation with a staff mobile residential locksmith expert at Birmingham Locksmith. The following measures won’t take too much money or effort.


Fortify your doors. Inspect your outside entry points. A hollow door is of lower quality, and therefore easier for a burglar to penetrate. Therefore, replace it with a solid door, made of wood or metal.

Check your front- and back-door locks. If any locks are weak, you can reinforce them by replacing the strike plate (the stationary piece where the bolt enters), and then mounting an extra solid metal plate on the doorjamb for the sliding bolt. If you currently have short mounting screws, you can replace them with longer screws, which will reach the door’s studs and add extra strength to the doorframe.

If you have a sliding-glass door, make it more secure by placing a wooden dowel cut to size, or an adjustable safety bar, in the floor track. You can also add a floor bolt.


Upgrade your locks. Any professional locksmith will tell you that deadbolts provide exceptional security. Make sure you get a grade-2 deadbolt lock, which penetrates the doorframe. Heavy-duty is always more resilient.

Digital or smart locks are electronic devices that provide additional security for your front door. With some, you can even synchronize your smart lock with your smartphone, so you won’t have to carry a house key at all.


Install surveillance cameras. Surveillance cameras will definitely keep you aware of all that’s happening around your perimeter, so you can contact the authorities right away if you see any hint of foul play. Of course, you can also buy a premium-quality surveillance camera, which records video footage. Depending upon how much you want to spend, you can add additional security measures.


Use high-tech home automation. Nowadays, if you have a large budget, you can monitor all your home activities with a smart app. It’s possible to manage your whole house with a smart alarm system. From simulating routine habits, to checking your property anytime you want while you’re not even home, your property almost takes care of itself! If you detect any undesirable activity, you’ll be notified by an alert on your smartphone. You’ll enjoy wide-ranging safety with a smart home security system.