Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Garage door locks; additional security!

Many people have not heard of garage door locks, but they are becoming more and more popular every day; not only here in Riverside, CA but anywhere garages are used, both at home and for business. Our Riverside Locksmith experts know how using garage door locks can greatly increase the security of your property and especially the contents of your garage whether it’s guarded by a single tilt up or a huge industrial garage door.

Why lock the garage door?

It’s an honest question; your garage door leads into your garage. You naturally want to secure the contents of this large room so locking your garage door just makes sense. Take the average home garage for example. The typical residential garage contains at least one vehicle (car, truck, SUV, van, etc.) as well as bicycles, motorcycle, golf cart, garden tools, water heater, work bench, water softener system, storage containers, lawn furniture, and lots more. All of these items cost money and if stolen, would need replacement at some point. While every garage is different, you can see where most home garages contain a wealth of belongings that are important both in monetary worth and personal value.

Gateways into the home

You already know that your garage door opens (usually) into your home or business. Did you also know that your garage can be a gateway into “burglar heaven?” Every year many Riverside, CA homes are burglarized from inside the garage. That’s right; the crooks get inside the garage and worked in peace and seclusion to pick the lock on the door leading into the home, or simply walk through the unlocked door directly into the house where they can steal at will! Do you see the advantage of breaking into the garage? From the street, no one notices anything! Sometimes, the burglar’s vehicle is even driven into the garage and loaded with items from the house and then driven out while the whole thing looks normal to anyone not familiar with the real occupants.

What you can do!

First of all, don’t panic. It’s always difficult to think clearly when under stress or extreme uncertainty. Next, try and clean up the area just outside your garage door. By saying this, we mean trimming tree branches, hedges, bushes or other large plants that people can hide behind. Keep in mind that burglars often observe the victim(s) before they actually steal. Large, overgrown shrubbery is ideal to hide behind and watch your intended victims go about their business. Arrival and departure times can be noted, and lights on at night, as well as open curtains can reveal other information like floorplan layouts, any possible weapons and number of persons in the household; all good things to know about before actually breaking in. You can never go wrong making your home or business property look neater and more attractive, and you might just discourage a home burglar or common thief from even attempting to rob you.

Another helpful tip is to add a light over the garage door. A well-lit area is a real deterrent to criminal activity as any would-be thief would be much easier to notice and observe. Even more recommended is a motion detector light that turns on anytime there is significant movement within its range.

Garage door locks

By now you are probably wondering “what about garage door locks – aren’t they what this post is about?” Following the above advice is recommended to increase the overall security and appearance of your property. Adding garage door locks is the finishing touch to achieving a well secured and hard to rob property for you and your loved ones to live and work in. Who knows; you may not even need the locks if your home or business is clean, well-lit and looking secure!

Garage door slide lock

Slide locks are the most common garage door locks. These are sometimes called latch locks and are simple but very effective. They use a latch that slides from the garage door into a pre-cut hole located in the garage door track. When the lock is in place, it prevents the garage door from lifting up as the latch is locked into place and can’t roll up via the vertical track. These locks are inexpensive and easy to install on your own. They do have one drawback however; they can burn your opener motor out if you forget that the lock is in place and keep trying to run your opener. Sometimes, a family member can lock the garage door and forget to tell roommates or other residents who then attempt to open the garage door using their remotes. Motor burn out is the result and sometimes even damage to the garage door itsel.

T handle lock

Another popular garage door lock is the T Handle keyed lock. You’ve seen them hundreds of times; they have a handle in the shape of a T and are installed on the outside of a garage door. There are two bolts and a cable system on the inside that work to lock the garage door when in use. The bolts are secured to the vertical track and only unlocked when the T Handle is turned. You can only turn the handle with a key so they are well secured from passersby. Again; don’t use your garage door opener when this lock is engaged as damage to the door can occur.

J Arm lock

Is your garage door automatic? If so, it already has a lock of sorts on it. The operator arm; located on the garage door trolley, locks into place when the door is closed. This is what prevents it from opening when lifted manually. This is what you unlock when you pull the red handle on the cord and disconnect the opener.

Which to get?

That’s up to you, but all three are effective and easy to use and install. You can do it yourself or use the services of a professional Riverside, CA locksmith shop if you like. When used correctly garage door locks can add peace of mind and better security to your building.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Better Safe than Sorry!

We know banks, businesses, and the wealthy have safes. But why should regular folks like us own a safe? If you reside in a quiet neighborhood, you may decide a safe isn’t needed. If you live in a more unpredictable part of town, you may be wondering what kind of safe might be best for you.

You may still be asking: What would I put in my safe, anyway?

We all have at least a few treasured objects. You likely have crucial documents, collectibles, and irreplaceable heirlooms. Why risk losing them, either because you misplace them or because they are stolen?

The fact is, there are a good number of reasons a home safe is an excellent idea ~ some of which you may not have thought of before.

Important Points to Consider

You’ll always know where your things are. If you often lose your stuff, you can keep all your important items in a safe, so you’ll never mislay them again.

Preventing theft. A safe prevents a burglar from stealing your valuables. Keeping your most prized possessions in a safe will give you peace of mind. Do you often throw parties at home? What about hosting house guests? When groups of people stay at your place, you can’t always keep an eye on every person. Therefore, it’s a comfort to know that your cherished items will stay untouched inside your home safe.

Guarding against fire. In case of fire, a premium-quality safe will safeguard whatever you have inside from destruction by fire. What would happen if you were to lose the following critical items to fire?

  • birth certificates
  • passports
  • copies of your driver’s licenses & other IDs
  • your last will & testament
  • insurance papers for filing a possible claim
  • powers of attorney, healthcare proxies, & living wills
  • list of family doctors with contact information
  • safe deposit box keys & other important keys you rarely use
  • mortgage records
  • outstanding loans and other debt records
  • documents regarding properties you own
  • tax records
  • pharmacy and prescription medication information
  • investment documents
  • titles to all your vehicles
  • rare coins & stamps
  • retirement plans
  • emergency cash
  • funeral arrangements
  • bank account information

Protecting against floods. If a flood comes, or any sort of water-related disaster, if you have the right safe, whatever’s protected inside will stay intact.

A safe is superior to a safety deposit box. A safety deposit box at your bank may seem better than a safe at home; yet actually, a home safe does give you numerous advantages:

  • You’ll have access 24/7, rather than just during office hours.
  • Strange but true: At a bank, a safe deposit box’s contents are hardly ever insured. But your home safe’s items are indeed usually covered by your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
  • Any cash kept in your safety deposit box is not FDIC-insured.
  • You’ll make a one-time investment, rather than have to pay a fee every month.
  • Your home is private, rather than public; anytime you want, you can take items out, and put them back in.
  • Upon the death of a loved one, if you’re the beneficiary, you may think you’ll be able to open that person’s safe deposit box. The problem is, however, that your bank will routinely seal your safety deposit box as soon as it receives the death certificate, which means you won’t be allowed to open it until the estate representatives supply the court papers.

Preserving your family photographs. You can keep digital copies of all your beloved family photos inside your home safe, and also store any older family photos. Otherwise, such photographic memories are irreplaceable.

Keeping backup data. Every computer owner knows that you have to keep backups of everything on your computer. When you know you have the data in your safe, should you ever experience computer glitches, your files will be completely retrievable. If your computer ever sustains a hard-drive crash, with your backup in your safe, you can restore everything.

Keeping your family out of harm’s way. If you own weapons, it’s imperative that you keep them from falling into the wrong hands. Prevent children or intruders from gaining access to your guns, axes, knives, explosives or any other harmful items. Avoid danger and tragedy!

Ask the Right Questions

Conduct thorough research to find the ideal safe for your home. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Should your safe be visible or well hidden?
  • How big should your safe be?
  • Look at the industry standards for optimal fire-resistance and water-resistance levels.
  • Which individuals will you trust who will always know how to open your safe?
  • Where is the most secure location in your home to place your safe?
  • Industry guidelines indicate a specific security rating for every safe manufacturer. Which level of security is right for your circumstances? Do you want something as standard as a combination lock, as sophisticated as an eye scan, or features in between? Do you desire to have a simple metal box? Or should it be substantially anchored?
  • What is your backup plan, if someone misplaces the information necessary for opening your safe?
  • What company will you contact if you encounter any technical problems?
  • Are there additional factors to consider for the proper protection of your specific items ~ light, humidity, temperature, and so on?

No doubt, a home safe offers you countless benefits. Home safes are available in numerous sizes, types, styles, and brands. Should you have any concerns about which safe technician is best for you to purchase, and you live any place in Riverside, California, you may want to bring all your questions to a mobile safe technician on staff at Riverside Locksmith. At such a reputable company, before deciding which home safe will be right for you, you can request a free consultation anytime at your convenience.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Riverside Locksmith: What to Do When You Experience Ignition Cylinder Problems

Ignition cylinder issues can come in many variations. In some cases, you may suddenly find yourself stranded in a car that won’t start, in others the damage may be more gradual and inconsistent. Either way, a locksmith may be the best resort for your troubles.

Before we get to that, though, let’s focus our attention on the ignitions themselves – how these work, and the issues you may encounter along the way.

Your car’s ignition switch does more than enabling you to turn the vehicle on and off. It’s also a crucial security mechanism designed to prevent car theft. In the old days, thieves could easily pry their way into cars by dismantling the cylinder and hotwiring the vehicle. Modern cars have more sophisticated systems, which won’t start unless the ignition receives the right code from the key fob and the inserted key lines up with the cylinder’s pins. This is why worn out keys and/or internal components can lead to some of the signs and symptoms we will focus on right now.

Think you have an issue? Here are some symptoms to look out for:

1) Powering on the vehicle becomes more difficult

Usually the result of wear and tear, this is one of the most common signs of a malfunctioning ignition switch. Worn out components mean that the key and ignition only respond to certain positions, gradually worsening until the components are no longer responsive. Stay vigilant, and if symptoms persist we recommend you get in touch with a qualified professional before any of the worst-case scenarios come to play. An automotive locksmith will be able to advise you whether or not you need to replace (or even reprogram) your keys or your ignition cylinder.

2) Everything starts okay, but then the engine fails while driving

A very common symptom of a worn out ignition switch. Over time, the electrical contacts inside your ignition may become corroded, leading to losses in voltage which will cause your car to unexpectedly come to a halt. In some cases, it may even cause the engine to misfire or stumble.

  • One thing to note: heavy keyrings may put more stress on your ignition that you bargained for, ultimately speeding up the wear and tear of its inner components. If possible, avoid carrying your car keys alongside extra fobs, pendants, or bulky keyrings.

3) The car will not start at all

This can be the sign of different problems, like a flat battery or a faulty sensor, but is quite common with ignition troubles too. In this case, it’s highly recommended to ask a locksmith to inspect the damage for you before making a full diagnosis. When the problem is the cylinder, though, you’ll likely need a replacement as this often emerges as the result of internal damage.

  • If your ignition cylinder turns, the engine cranks but your car won’t start, the likely culprit will be a malfunctioning anti-theft device. Check if the anti-theft lights are flashing – if yes, your key is not being recognized by the vehicle and you may need to get it reprogrammed. Otherwise, the fault may not necessarily be in the ignition cylinder (it could as easily be a fuel issue as a glitch in the control model of your cylinder switch).

4) Difficulties inserting and removing the key

This is where key extractions tend to come into play. Worn cylinders can bind the key in an awkward position, making it difficult to remove it once inserted. Interference in the powering of your vehicle will ensue, eventually leading to the key no longer being able to fit the cylinder at all. Once that happens, your car will no longer be able to be powered on with the key in your possession.

  • Key stuck after turning off the engine? Try steering the wheel back into lock position. If that doesn’t help, you’ll need to call a locksmith.

How an auto locksmith will help

Because of the way ignition cylinders are designed, it is safer and easier to get a repair or replacement from a credible professional.

Automotive locksmith services are often created with the intention of making repairs and replacements convenient and accessible. Without a locksmith, you’d need to get your car towed away into an expensive garage or you may even need to request specialist parts from a local car dealer. A credible auto lock and key services provider will be able to work on all kinds of vehicles and will have equipment and tools on site so they can easily deal with some of the most common troubles car owners will be faced with.

To find a good professional to hire, make sure to ask around. Referrals and word of mouth are still the best way of identifying a good business. Also check every locksmith business online, make sure they are local, and request a consultation and full price quote from them (most businesses don’t charge for these types of queries). Also, make sure to ask if they actually work with automotive matters as some locksmiths may only provide a small portion of services – like residential help or commercial assistance.

If you happen to live in Riverside, CA, our licensed and insured professionals are able to sort your ignition cylinder troubles out for you. Automotive lock and key matters are among the various specialist areas that Riverside Locksmith focuses on. In urgent cases, we can dispatch one of our locally-based professionals in your general direction 24/7. Just remember to tell us your issues so we can come with the right tools on-hand to apply the best fixes. In most cases, all you’ll need is a key extraction, but if your ignition cylinder is damaged beyond repair we’ll be able to replace it quickly. Get in touch to consult with us, find out about our automotive solutions, and feel free to request a price quote too.

Now you know what to look out for, you’ll be able to get the help that you need, as soon as you need it.