SECURITY FOR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY

Residential Locksmith

One place where good security is always needed is at home; your home to be exact. Think about it – you live there, and so do your loved ones. You keep your belongings there, and you return there to rest, relax and recharge. What kind of place would it be if there were strangers coming and going, and rifling through your things at all hours? Not a nice thought is it? Locks and security do their part in keeping your home safe and private. With good residential security you can feel good about returning home for a nice dinner and a good night’s sleep at the end of the day. You can also raise your family, relax with your friends, and even provide a safe haven to raise your pets.

Good security for your Birmingham, AL home gives you privacy as well as security. Even if your belongings are of little monetary value, they are yours and should be protected. For those with more worldly assets this especially applies. Even the most basic homes shelter belongings like furniture, books, jewelry, mementos, electronics, clothing, appliances, cars and other household items of value. You paid good money for these things or they were gifts that you don’t want to part with. Having good residential lock protection can be hugely instrumental in keeping your valuables safe from theft and vandalism. The thought of your personal items being pawned for drug money is nauseating to some and it should be! While no home or building is 100% burglar proof, there are steps that you can take to greatly bolster your home security without spending a lot of money or time in the process.

There was a time…

It’s true; there was a time when many people didn’t lock their doors. Here at Birmingham Locksmith we often hear of how in the “good ole days” folks went into each other’s homes on a regular basis to visit or help run errands or to stay overnight. In today’s reality, this is very rare due to the rise in neighborhood crime like burglaries, home invasions, and drug use. Fortunately, there are affordable and simple ways to make your home more secure and all it takes is a couple of phone calls along with minimal effort on your part.

Start with your locks

Most people feel safe with locks on the front and back doors. What they might not realize is that those locks were not installed for better home protection; they are there to fulfill a minimum building requirement. In most cases, these basic locks are easy to bump, pick or smash open. While it’s true that home builders can install better quality locks on their new construction, they consider these an upgrade, much like granite counters, stainless steel appliances and window treatments. While many assume that “a lock is a lock” and they all provide adequate protection, this is simply not the case. Lock bumping is becoming increasingly popular as a simple and fast way to break into residential homes. There are even bump keys that are easy to make and buy over the web, as well as bumping instructions that are sold for “informational purposes only” to anyone with a few dollars that show how to access 90% of door locks in less than 20 seconds. To add insult to injury, lock bumping leaves no trace of forced entry! This makes it doubly difficult to file a police report or insurance claim.

Lock Change

So, upgrade?

Yes, it’s a good idea to upgrade your locks. Now, don’t freak out; you don’t have to go overboard and pay exorbitant prices for better quality hardware. Call our shop or your favorite Birmingham, AL locksmith and have high security locks installed. These cannot be bumped open, or for that matter, picked, pried or smashed open either! Unlike “regular” locks that are hollow and usually made of tin, high security locks are made with solid brass and steel parts and best of all, they are quite affordable.

Add a deadbolt

If your home doesn’t have a quality deadbolt lock on the door, you need to add one! A solidly installed, good quality deadbolt can frustrate a home intruder or burglar to the point of giving up! Getting past your first lock is one thing, but having to now bypass your deadbolt is often too much of a risk for the crook. In the time it takes to do this, the homeowner has time to call police or even arm themselves!

Rekeying your locks

Rekeying your locks can make a huge difference in your home security. While a rekey does not guarantee crime prevention at your Birmingham, AL home, it does “up” your chances of being safer and better secured. You keep the same locks in a rekey. Only the inside springs and pins are replaced. This act alone renders all previous keys useless, and only the newly issued ones will work. Why is this important? Think of all the key holders that are out there now. These can include you, your family, realtors, property managers, builders, contractors, dog sitters, neighbors and many more. Do you trust all of these people to NOT make a copy of your key or lose it by accident?

Also, rekeying your locks eliminates another possible threat to your residential security; the interior master pins. These pins were part of the original lock installation and were there to benefit the builder and his contractors and vendors who also had copies of the key. Now, they are no longer needed but they do tend to weaken the lock and make it easier to pick or bump open by crooks.

Another good reason to rekey is that your locksmith can service your lock and inspect it while doing the rekey. If it needs service or if the lock itself is not in the best of shape, he can recommend a suitable replacement of equal or greater security value. What better time to inspect the lock than when it’s taken apart?

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Tips to hire a good locksmith

In a town the size of Birmingham, AL you can find hundreds of locksmiths. They are literally everywhere you look. You can find locksmith shops online, on billboards, in the yellow pages, on windshield flyers, even on business cards stuck on coffee shop bulletin boards. With so many options to choose from, how do you know which one(s) to hire? Is your choice really that important? Aren’t all locksmiths pretty much the same?

Home Lockouts

The answer may surprise you, but there ARE differences and qualities that you need to be aware of. Think about it; a locksmith is someone that is working to help secure your access to home, auto and business properties. If they help you get access, it means that THEY can get access, too! Wouldn’t you want someone trustworthy and skilled for a job like that? Of course you would! A lot of folks are more selective when hiring a gardener or a common handyman than they are when choosing a locksmith. The technician you select needs to be licensed, bonded, insured and fully mobile (at the very least!).

Is licensing important or just prestigious?

It’s actually both. It’s hard to believe, but people sometimes avoid calling a licensed technician in an effort to avoid having to pay more. This kind of thinking is foolish. Would you go to an unlicensed doctor or dentist? Of course not! Here at Birmingham Locksmith we take credentials seriously and so should you! Having a license is more than a just a piece of paper; it is validation that proper training and skill procedures were followed and that accountability to a licensing board is involved. Having proper credentials doesn’t have to mean higher prices, either. Not only are our Birmingham Locksmith technicians affordable, but many other local Birmingham, AL locksmith shops are, as well. If you need something simple like key cutting or door knob changing, call anyone you like, but when it comes to real locksmith tasks like lock replacement or transponder key programming use only real lock professionals and get better quality as well as peace of mind!

Be proactive!

It never hurts to be ready for ANY need. This includes locksmith service, too! If you lock yourself out, or come home to crime damaged locks, having a fully vetted locksmith already logged into your smart phone contacts is good to have. Instead of stressing out over trying to locate a technician and calling to see if they are available, just reach for your mobile device and tap to call! We recommend adding at least two shops or technicians to your smart phone and making sure that your loved ones, roommates or key staff members do the same. If you never need to use them; great! But if you do; they are only a fast phone call away at any time, day or night.

Insist on this one!

Choose a Birmingham, AL shop that offers 24-hour service; that’s important. Locksmith problems don’t keep regular hours; in fact, it seems that they happen when we least expect them and mostly AFTER hours. While ads often claim 24/7 service it’s smart to check and see if they really provide it. You might be locked out of your car late on a weekend night and not feel so safe in whatever neighborhood you are in. Or, your home might have been burglarized on a holiday and your locks were so badly damaged that you need new ones. The last thing you want to deal with now is a late show (or no-show) technician; not when you need one immediately! Our shop uses live response, 24-hour telephone staff to ensure that your call is handled with the utmost speed and attention. Insist on similar personal attention from the locksmith shop you choose to work with.

Check for unresolved issues

Lock Change

Every local business has complaints from customers from time to time; that’s not the problem. It’s the unresolved ones that tell a different story. Look for online reviews on the company you are considering and see how problems were taken care of. Check Better Business Bureau records for problems that were not finalized in a satisfactory way. The locksmith shop in question does NOT have to be a member but it should have few to none unresolved complaints. A pattern that says otherwise should be a red flag.

Insurance and bonding

Insist that the locksmith shop you select is bonded and insured. Go a step beyond just asking if they are covered, and find out for how much. This is a strong indicator that the company is legitimate and has your best interest at heart. It also protects you from shoddy work that one of their locksmiths may do that might cause property damage or even bodily injury. Note the response of the person you speak to. If they give the information willingly and cheerfully that tends to be a good sign. If they don’t know or refuse to answer the question; call someone else! While you are at it; be sure to ask if the company used to operate under other names. This is good to know in case they were previously shut down by local authorities and have now re-opened under a new name. Even if they don’t own up to that, you can still tell a lot by how they answer the question!

Well rounded service

An optimal locksmith shop for you to work with can do more than just make keys or install a peephole. They need to be able to help with residential locksmith services like emergency door unlocking, alarm service and lock replacement. They should also be well versed in automotive lock and key service including trunk opening, keyless entry repair and transponder key programming. Lastly, commercial locksmith service should be available including safe opening, panic bars and keypad devices. Having an “all in one” locksmith shop that is fully certified and available 24/7 is what you should be looking for. Spend the time and effort to find one now and it will pay off in big dividends down the road when you need to use them!