Break-ins and burglaries at a person’s home seem to be a sad common occurrence these days. It is hard to pick up a local newspaper or talk to your neighbors without hearing about homes that have been broken into, sometimes even in broad daylight while the person is at home. Unfortunately, not everyone has the budget needed to install high technology security and surveillance systems or even to purchase high security locks for your doors and windows. These measures can be quite expensive. Luckily, there are some inexpensive tips that you can follow and do to help make your home safer against potential burglars.

How Can I Project My Home on a Budget?

There are a few simple tips that you can employ without spending a great deal of money that can help to make your personal environment a lot safer. One of the easiest things you can do is some basic common sense that can make a big difference in your safety. The simplest thing you can do, whether you are home or not, is to make sure that all of your doors are properly locked and secured each not. Very often this is more than enough to deter a potential robber. Many crimes occur simply because a door was left unlocked, allowing easy entry.

Making sure that outside access doors are locked also makes a difference. This means closing your garage door all the time and locking it. You should do the same with any outside door leading into a basement or bottom portion of the house. There is no reason to invite any trouble by leaving the doors open or unlocked.

Checking to see if there is a Neighborhood Watch program in your neighborhood can help to make a difference. If there are other concerned neighbors, you can consider forming an organization to help watch the neighborhood and each other. Thieves are more likely to stay away from an area where someone may be watching all the time.

Be Aware of your Surrounding

If someone knocks on your door, use your peephole to see who it is if you are not expecting anyone. Do not immediately just open the door and assume it is someone you know or has good intentions. Many home invasions today happen during the day so being cautious and checking through the door before opening is a good idea.

You could also make sure that your home stays well-lit. Potential thieves do not like any light shining anywhere near them for fear of being discovered. Sensor lights or motion lights can be a great addition to any home, but if you do not want to spend the extra money, simply keeping a porch light, garage light or light inside on can let burglars know someone is around.

There are many other things that you can do to help protect your home without spending a lot of money on anything. You can check at your local hardware store to see if there is anything there that is inexpensive that you could use for security. You could also speak to a professional locksmith and ask if there are inexpensive ways that you can go about getting an extra layer of protection for your family and home.

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If you currently have a deadbolt and lock that you purchased at one of the big box stores or at your local hardware store, you may have a lock intended only to keep out flying lizards.  Most of these, according to tests run by police services around the country are pretty much worthless when it comes to security.

Most can be opened with a paper clip, a credit card or a screwdriver.  So, what should you look for when you buy a new lock for your home?

Tips for Buying the Right Doorknob Lock

Locksets that have a key that goes into the knob are the first thing to avoid. Look for a locking system that has a key insert above the doorknob. This is especially imperative if you have the handle type that is so popular today.

Make sure that the plate that holds both the knob and the lock is made of steel even if it appears to be brass.  Brass is a very soft metal that can easily be compromised. When you have this installed, be certain that the exterior plate is sealed so that it cannot be loosened from the outside exposing the locking mechanism.

Tips for Buying the Best Deadbolt Lock

Take time when you are buying a deadbolt to read all the specifications on the packages.  Just because you find a brand name that claims to be “high-security” does not mean that it really is.  It may look secure.

It may even have the necessary double-cylinders that are part of the requirements for high-security deadbolt identification.  But, if it fails to meet other requirements, it may just be a great gimmick instead of a safety feature.

The best high-security deadbolts are made of steel with a ½” thick shank that extends 3” or more into the receiving wall.  They will come with a steel “box strike” rather than just a plate.  The strike is the area that receives the bolt.  It should also come with steel screws that are long enough to go into the stud beyond the frame – generally 2-3” in length.

Double-cylinder deadbolts that require a key to open the door from either side have been outlawed by some fire departments. The response from manufacturers has been to make a “panic-proof” deadbolt that can be opened in emergencies with a single action.

Tips on Keeping Your Locks Safe

Even if you have a high-security deadbolt installed, it can be compromised by a window near the door that can be broken to allow a thief to open the lock.  Replace glass panels in or next to a door.  Replace and seal up doggie doors and mailbox slots as well. These are excellent openings for thieves to use with specially made tools.

Have your high-security locks installed by a locksmith that is licensed and bonded.  A handyman to repair your sink is not putting your life at risk. If the same handyman installs a high-security lock just a bit wrong, you could have unexpected and very unwelcome company at 2:00 a.m.

Have someone with a bit of knowledge test your locks immediately after they are installed – the locksmith would do this anyway. Finally, have a locksmith check and maintain your locks at least once a year.

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Fingerprint Door Lock

Fingerprint Door LockOnce you have decided on upgrading your traditional dead bolt to something more modern, there are still looming issues that you need to address before you purchase the new primary lock for your home. This guide aims to enlighten readers with some of the issues looming around fingerprint locks in hopes that it will guide you to the right fingerprint lock for your house or office.

  1. Number of Users – One of the first things to consider in purchasing a fingerprint lock is that, first and foremost, it requires a fingerprint to scan. With that being said, know immediately the number of users that you will provide these digital keys to as the number of users a fingerprint lock can scan vary from model to model. You wouldn’t want someone deliberately knocking on the door every time they want to enter their own house simply because the storage ran out of space for that person’s biometrics.
  2. fingerprint commercial lockBattery Life – Just as with all other technology, fingerprint locks also have battery life. Although this may seem more of a caution towards the buyer rather than about the technology itself, it is still important to note the life expectancy of the battery life of your lock before you have to replace it. Having a dead fingerprint scanner without a manual key is the digital equivalent of losing your key. In purchasing your first fingerprint lock, be weary of how long the battery will last so that you can replace it before it expires.
  3. Backups – As mentioned in number two, some fingerprint locks still keep their analogue ancestors near by providing manual overrides and key ports in case anything goes wrong with the biometric scanner. It is up to the buyer whether they will keep it purely modern and excludes the manual key overrides or if they still want to keep a spare key in case anything goes wrong. Generally speaking, the only time a fingerprint lock would go wrong is if it ran out of battery. However, it is still better to be safe than sorry.
  4. Style – Security reasons aside, the lock will still be part of the overall appearance of the house or the office. With that being said, it is still important to take note of which designs go with which type of architecture.  There are countless of fingerprint locks out in the market that cater to all types of architectural designs and they are all worth a look at so that you do not compromise the overall design of the house when you consider upgrading the locks.
  5. Credibility – With the rise of demand comes also the rise of suppliers. When purchasing a fingerprint lock that would replace the primary door lock of your home, it is something that you should also consider. Invest in the creators that have made a name for themselves when it comes to fingerprint locks and you cannot go wrong. The top names in the fingerprint door lock industry include: BioAxxis, 1Touch, BioBolt, ACTAtek, Shepherd, BioLock, iTouchless, 21st Century Locks, and ArrowVision. They are well-known for a reason and are definitely worth the extra cost when you consider that this will be the primary lock keeping your house safe from the outside world.
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Be aware that there are only 15 states in the United States that require locksmiths to secure a license before they can take locksmith jobs. Licensing helps consumers feel secure that locksmiths are screened and checked for criminal backgrounds. A licensed locksmith will also provide you the best service since they are likely to have underwent training and have had hours of work as a requirement before being granted a license.

Some states however, provide equivalent training and licensing for locksmiths and other similar skills even if these are not required for their profession. It is important for consumers therefore to secure the services of a licensed locksmith; with a licensed worker, you will reduce the following worries:

  1. You will never have to worry about hiring someone who could be a burglar, a thief or a killer when you hire the services of a licensed locksmith. A licensed worker is often reviewed and is subjected to strenuous background checks before considered for a license. There are additional rules regarding people who were once convicted of crimes; these are available from your local labor office or you may find them online through their official site.
  2. Unlicensed workers are sure to have incomplete training requirements and may even have no prior formal training at all. Formal training is needed for uniformity of service and for keeping locksmiths up to date in new lock technologies as well as if they would like to install burglar alarms, fire alarms and security systems. Be aware that states who require locksmiths to have licenses and training have separate licenses for burglar alarms and fire alarms.
  3. Unlicensed workers may have limited experience in working for residential or commercial lock installations. Choosing a licensed locksmith ensures that license holders have a specific number of years spent at work and have the required number of hours spent as an apprentice before taking a licensure examination.
  4. Licensed locksmiths are ready to take on traditional locks as well as new locking mechanisms and even security systems. Licensure will guarantee that a locksmith has received ample training and tests for his skills and knowledge on even new security systems. Your family will be safer and more secure if you hire a locksmith that has years of experience and training for different kinds of jobs.
  5. Unlicensed locksmiths may not have guarantees or warranties with their work which could be a hassle especially after a faulty job or a work that was not done as expected. Therefore, you should hire a licensed locksmith with a guarantee for his work. You can easily find these as you check out their official site or their directory listing.

Ask for a locksmith’s license number before you even consider them for the job. Refer to your local online labor office to recheck license numbers beforehand. Do not be afraid to get this information; some locksmiths understand that this is SOP for homeowners and provide their identification cards and company IDs as well for more information about their identity.

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high security lock

high security lockNot having your own private office could pose as a risk for your safety and the security of your possessions. Yes, your colleague has been your pal since you started working in the company but how about other people in the production floor? How sure are you no one has been to your stuff after office hours have ended? Are you confident to leave your valuables like your purse, your mobile phone, your credit cards or any important paperwork at your desk?

Using the most suitable commercial lock for your office desk, filing cabinets and your workstation will not just safety your valuables but will also provide you with peace of mind even when you are far from your desk or you are not at work. So what is the ideal commercial lock to use? Different lock brands have so many features to offer that consumers are often confused which one to pick. Here are some of the most important things to consider in a commercial grade lock according to most office workers and employees:

  1. Durability – the lock that you choose whether you would require a padlock or cabinet drawer locks for your drawer and cabinets should be made of durable material. The strongest to choose is hardened steel which is hard to pry open even with a crowbar or with an ordinary pair of bolt cutters. A durable lock also means that it is tamper proof; the key opening must have a safety mechanism to disallow picking and tampering. You can find a lock with this kind of feature when you carefully shop online.
  2. Ease of use – the ease of opening the lock may sound contrary to its purpose but given that you are in a hurry, you as the owner of the desk could open the lock quickly and lock it afterwards without the worry of not being able to completely do so. While numeric locks offer the most security in an office environment, it could be very troublesome for an employee who needs to access his desk in a hurry or have forgotten the lock’s code. But if you are a conscientious office worker and safety is your utmost priority then numeric locks are not a hassle at all; this kind of lock may be the most suitable one for you.
  3. Price – certainly safety and security of employees by providing the ideal locking mechanism is in the hands of the employer. An employer who has his employee’s needs in mind will provide adequate funds to make sure that safety and security in the workplace is considered. Commercial locks therefore must be reasonably priced and are practical to use. However if this is not done in your workplace then you as an employee should provide your own means to provide safety and security of their belongings. Talk to your supervisor or your human resource department for employee safety and the security of your belongings if this is not observed.
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