Phila-Locksmith Now Offers Full Service in Abington

At Phila-Locksmith we are constantly trying to expand our coverage zone to bring our outstanding 24 hour locksmith service to more people than ever. This is why we are proud to announce comprehensive service being available 24/7 in Abington. Since Abington is so close to the city of Philadelphia it was inevitable for Phila-Locksmith to begin serving Abington with the same outstanding service that we offer inside the city of Philadelphia. Along with comprehensive service in the area, Phila-Locksmith also has an Abington home on our website so that Abington residents can stay updated on additional services that are available in the area.

Like every locksmith that Phila-Locksmith employs our local Abington locksmith is licensed, bonded and insured. He also has field experience to draw from to help complete any locksmith service he may encounter. Our Abington locksmith offers the same automotive, commercial and residential services that our professional locksmith do in the city.

Residential Services Phila-Locksmith Offers in Abington

  • Lock change
  • Re-key
  • Lock repair
  • Broken key extraction
  • Safe installation
  • Emergency lock out
  • Safe opening
  • High security lock installation
  • Mortise lock installation
  • Door drilling

Commercial Services Phila-Locksmith Offers in Abington

  • Buzzer system installation
  • Panic bar installation
  • Master key systems
  • Closed circuit television installation
  • Re-key
  • High security lock installation
  • Bio-metric lock installation
  • Emergency lock out
  • Lock change
  • Safe services

Automotive Services Phila-Locksmith Offers in Abington

  • Transponder keys
  • Remote/Fob programming
  • Ignition replacement
  • Emergency lock out
  • Trunk unlock
  • Make car keys
  • Ignition rebuild
  • Computer re-flash
  • Lock repair
  • Program and cut ignition keys

Once again Phila-Locksmith is glad to extend our great customer service as well as wide range of services to the Abington area. To show our appreciation for the Abington community we are offering a 10% discount to any locksmith services completed in Abington. So for your next locksmith service in Abington call Phila-Locksmith at 215-554-6109.

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Scams Work Both Ways

We have covered a lot of the scams that non-professional locksmith companies use to get over on their customers however as a locksmith company we have seen attempts by previous customers attempting to scam our company. Some customers think it is easy to claim that our locksmith has done damage to their vehicle when opening the door and that there will be no investigation. We at Phila-Locksmith take our commitment to customer service seriously so all complaints by our customers are vigorously followed up on and since all of our technicians are professionals we are able to pinpoint the source of any damage that we may have caused.

This also means that we are able to tell when damage to a car has not been caused by our technician. It is nearly impossible, using the machinery and techniques we employ, to cause damage however we understand that it is still possible in extremely rare circumstances. So in our follow up of all complaints we look to get better so if damage was a result of our technician we are more than willing to rectify the situation, however as a real professional company we know exactly where damage can come from during the unlocking process.

If we did not have our commitment to customer service that helps drive our company then we would not be able to accurately find the source of the damage. In all situations we work with our customers if they have any sort of complaint with our service but it should be noted that scammers beware.

Is AAA the best option?

Everyone knows the same, AAA, is the gold standard for roadside assistance across the country. This why when a member of AAA calls in for a new car key or for lockout service they expect to receive a professional locksmith at a reasonable price. However, at Phila-Locksmith we have seen an increase in the amount of our customers who call in saying that they are members of AAA who were guided to a locksmith that wanted to charge them $400 for a car key. If the individual had the money available they would have paid it without questioning because they assumed that AAA would steer them in the right direction. Fortunately for our customer, she gave us a call and we were able to complete the new car key for a total of $170. Now there are other services associated with AAA, but they are sorely lacking in many local locksmith departments and we advise any AAA members to call a licensed locksmith outside of the AAA network to check the price that you receive especially if it is an astronomical amount such as $400.

Currently Phila-Locksmith is working on becoming a local service provider for AAA so that we can begin to offer their members the reasonable price that they deserve. It is important for AAA members to remember that when locksmith services like making new car keys are requested from AAA that you are not receiving a AAA related technician. The technician who comes out to your car is from a local locksmith company which may not have the standard for service that both AAA and Phila-Locksmith offer.

The main moral of the story is to check the prices you receive. You may be lulled into a false sense of security because you are using AAA as a medium, however the locksmith you end up with still may attempt to over charge you.

A Lock is Only as Strong as the Frame that Holds It

We talk about wanting to have the highest level of security for your home or business but this does not just mean putting the most expensive lock on your door that has the most sophisticated mechanisms. The entire door frame and entrance way needs to be soundly constructed and fit properly otherwise this could a have a great detriment to your security. Most commonly this is seen on residential doors rather than commercial because of the relatively low amount of up keep that is completed on residential locks and doorways. If your door is not properly fitted into the frame there can be a few problems that will directly arise from this. For example, a door that does not have the correct fitting from a width standpoint can cause the bolt to not fully engage leaving your once powerful lock with a hampered grip of the door frame.

Another instance where an improper fit of the frame can prevent your lock from properly functioning is  if the door is not completely square to the frame. When a door is not square to the door it cause the door to have a slight slant in one direction and this can prevent your lock from properly connecting into the lock position. The strength of the door frame is also a concern, there is no point to having a deadbolt or high security lock on a door with extremely weak wood used for the frame because this will still allow someone to possibly break down the frame itself since the a deadbolt or high security lock would not be forgiving to the frame.

In most cases where you receive both the frame and door as a package unit there are no issues upon initial installation. However, once there has been wear on the door and it is exposed to more variations in temperature problems can arise and it is best to have these issues addressed beforehand rather than after a break in.

Largest Iron Lock on Display in Saudi Arabia

In the capital city of Riyadh at the Janadriyah Cultural Festival, the largest iron lock in the world is on display. This is definitely not your run of the mill deadbolt lock. Coming in at a size of 5 meters high, about 2.5 wide and 60 centimeters thick, so that is over 16 feet high, and nearly 2 feet thick! Now how is that for home security? The lock weighs about 100 pounds on its own and the key by itself weighs over 8 pounds, if you’re thinking about getting a lock like this you might want to invest in a stronger lanyard. The Saudi locksmith who created this lock has quite an interesting tale himself.

During the previous Janadriyah Cultural Festival the locksmith, Anas Mohammad Rajab, displayed the heaviest lock in Saudi Arabia. Obviously he has taken “doing big things” to a whole different level. In addition to creating the world’s largest lock only a year after displaying Saudi Arabia’s heaviest lock, Rajab comes from a family of locksmiths. His family are the only lock-pickers who have been approved by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance as well as other Saudi departments. The family started from a small craft in a small town about 90 years ago to now becoming the keys and lock industry in Saudi Arabia.

Being the only approved lock-pickers in the entire country of Saudi Arabia must keep everyone more than busy however Rajab has truly dedicated his life to his profession. Not only is he creating his own record breaking locks but he is also an avid collector of old English locks.

Anas Mohammad Rajab

(Largest lock in the world not pictured)

The Dangers of Leaving a Child in the Car

The summer months are coming and in Philadelphia yesterday we reached 88 degrees. Some like the very young and elderly are more susceptible to heat related issues than those who are middle aged. This is why it is important to keep in mind that for no matter how long you are going to turn the car off, never leave your children in the car. It can take as little as 10 minutes for a car to increase in temperature by 20 degrees this makes an 88 degree day a 108 degree day! Prolonged exposure to this heat can be devastating to small children and can result in death.  Most municipalities offer free car lock opening if a child or animal is locked inside of the car. However, we understand how big of an emergency this is and we at Phila-Locksmtih are also offering to complete any car lock out service free of charge if there is a child or pet locked in the car.

We understand the danger this poses to the child locked in the car at that is why we are willing to help. In the event that you have your child locked in the car give a call to first your local police department then also call Phila-Locksmith. We will immediately dispatch a technician to your location in the event that the responding officer is not able to get the door open or in the case where our technician may arrive first since he is already on the road. If the officer is able to get your car door open, when our locksmith technician arrives you will not be forced to pay a penny.

Locked In The Car

Last year, in one week alone 8 children were killed across the United States of hyperthermia when they were left in locked cars. That is why Phila-Locksmith offers this service, children being in grave danger is not a rare instance when they are left in a car. So whenever you are in this terrible situation make two calls the first to your local police department and the second to Phila-Locksmith in case that the officer is not able to get the door open because of the type of lock or we may be closer to your location then the police are.

Prepare Your Home For Break-In Season

In Philadelphia the weather is heating up and as the weather heats up there is a dramatic increase in the amount of burglaries that are seen nation wide. It is important to be aware of this so you can properly prepare for the summer months and keep your home safe. There are two main reasons that we see more burglaries being committed in the summer months; one being that home owners are more likely to be on vacation leaving more opportunities for burglars to enter and exit undetected. The second reason that there tends to be an increase of burglaries is that it is warmer in the summer months which leads to more people being outside and leads to more windows and doors to be left open. That is why being careful can be one of the most important aspects to keeping your home safe.

Obviously the greatest way to protect you home from burglary is to make sure that your doors are properly locked and windows properly closed, however leaving something unlocked is not the only way a burglary happens. Depending on what level of security you desire it may be smart to install a deadbolt lock onto any exterior door which does not have it, this makes the door more difficult to pick as well as more difficult to kick in. Another smart alternative to your standard lock would be the installation of a mortise lock which creates a more secure entry way than standard cylinder and deadbolt locks.

There are ways to protect your home even when you are on vacation. If you are able to install a security monitoring system on your home, this is the best way to maintain your homes security, but it is not within most family’s budgets to have this luxury. During the summer months when you are on vacation it is extremely important to log on to the Post Office’s website to put a hold on mail deliveries. It is easy to set-up and mail piling up in the mailbox is a dead give away to burglars that no one is home. Having a neighbor pick up your mail and newspapers works just as well, if you have trustworthy neighbors that is. When on vacation it is also a good idea to have a member of the family who did not go away to check up on the house everyday. Whether that means stopping by to cut the grass or even just to go inside to eat a meal, it will ward off anyone who may be thinking that you are not home.

Burglary is often a crime of oppurtunity where a criminal sees an opening they had no expected and go for it. This is why Phila-Locksmith believes that one of the best ways to protect your home from burglary is to always be mindful. Remembering to lock all doors and windows is obviously the most important because a high security lock will not do you any good if it is not even locked.

 

 

Locksmith Terms – Part 3

Our latest additions to The Locksmith’s Glossary can be found in the post below if you missed part one or two, you may want to take quick look.
Dictionary
Anti-passback: system designed to prevent the same credential from using an access control multiple times in a row

Bezel: a collar use secure some cylinder and lock assemblies

Bible: that portion of the cylinder shell which normally house the pin chambers

Cutting a key: making a new key from scratch to replace a missing one

Deadbolt: a lock that is engaged through turning a key or knob rather than by spring action

Deflector cover: metal shield, possibly removable, that is in place to prevent the drilling of a safe

Factory original key: completely cut and finished key that the manufacturer creates for the lock

Key duplication: making a copy of an existing key

Key relevance: the relative difference between the original and duplicate key

Key way: the area of the lock cylinder where the key is inserted

NLSA: National Locksmith Suppliers Association

Re-key: resetting the tumbler of a lock so that it is controlled by a different key

Sash lock: upright mortise lock which is operated by a key

Shoulder (or bow stop): edge of the key that sticks out and determines how far the key is inserted into the lock

Tumbler: mechanism which must be lifted before the bolt of the lock will move

Uncontrolled cross keying: set-up in which two or more keys are purposely designed to open and close the same lock

Locksmith Scammers Caught on Tape

A news station in North Carolina was actually able to successfully uncover an unlicensed locksmith operation on hidden camera. The news team set up a series of cameras at a woman’s house who then called a notoriously deceptive locksmith company to come and unlock her door. Here is a look at the news story:

Locksmith Scammers Caught on Tape

It is rare that we get to see such an egregiously deceptive scheme on camera. From the beginning the supposed “locksmith” who shows up on the scene seems to be a little fishy since he shows up in an unmarked van and with out uniform or identification. While many locksmiths are 24/7 companies and technicians are sometimes forced to come from their home at odd hours it is unlikely for a real locksmith to not have some form of identification on him.

Some people question why there may have been two men who came to the house and whether that was a sign that this was a deceptive locksmith scheme. The fact that their were two men is not that odd since locksmithing is a trade there are time where a licensed locksmith with bring along an apprentice to observe him as he works.

Perhaps the worst part of the video is when the man says he is forced to drill the deadbolt out. Just by watching the video a licensed locksmith would be able to tell that the deadbolt did not have to drilled. The customer stated that her keys were inside of the house and that it was a standard deadbolt meaning that it would have been impossible to even lock the deadbolt itself, since you have to use a key from the outside to lock yourself out from a deadbolt.

Locksmith Pricing

The issue for any professional locksmith is that pricing over the phone can be difficult depending on the amount of information that the customer has. Most locksmith services charge a service charge from around $19-$40, in order to cover the mobile part of the service including the technicians time, any automotive costs to arrive on scene and his expertise to diagnose the problem when on scene. This can make a professional locksmith seem deceptive but there is a main difference.

A professional locksmith, when he arrives on scene, will diagnose the entire issue and then give you pricing for each possible service before attempting to complete any of them. The truth is for high security locks and labor intensive lock outs can reach around $200 but a professional locksmith will be able to tell you this from the start rather than waiting until they have completely finished the service.

The most important part of trying to figure out if a locksmith is legit is to check for a license and to trust your instincts. If a locksmith who comes out seems shady and deceptive such as the man in the video put an end to the service then to prevent any unnecessary charges. In Pennsylvania, for a locksmith to operate they do not need to be licensed by law however in other states such as North Carolina a license is required. So the most important thing is to trend lightly. If there is a locksmith who attempts to do something like this to you it would be best to ask the locksmith to leave, even if you are still forced to pay a service fee and then call a locksmith which offers more specific pricing. Even if you are required to pay a $40 service fee for the scammer and then are able to get a real locksmith on scene to complete the service for around $100, if this woman had been scammed without the help of the news station she would have been able to save $250 even though she was still had to pay the previous service fee.

The Bait and Switch: Classic Scam Move

The Bait and Switch

The locksmith has become known for the bait and switch tactic and has left the industry with a soiled reputation. Most people have had it happen to them before, you call a locksmith service they give you a price of 35 dollars and then when they arrive on scene complete their work and then demand $200. This is a classic scam move because the scammer wants to put you into a vulnerable position whether it be because you are unfamiliar with the operation of locks or you are locked out and in such a rush that you have no choice.

bait-and-switch

While some unprofessional seedy locksmiths may try to pull such a stunt in order to make a few extra dollars, there are plenty of honest professional locksmiths that offer fair and honest pricing. The truth about the mobile locksmith service industry is that there is a lot of price variety depending on the time required, location, and type of service. While a technician may not be able to give an exact price over the phone without a picture of the lock, he should still be able to provide you with an estimate that is in the range of what your final price will be.

For example, if you call a locksmith to inquire about removing a broken key from a door, there are a lot of different resolutions to this situation. An experienced locksmith will know this and give you a price estimation for each type of service. In this situation depending on whether the key is broken in a car or on a residential door the price will differ simply because the ignition and car lock are much more valuable while also being more susceptible to breaking during extraction. For this type of service a locksmith may give you the following estimations

  • A standard service call charge that the company charges
  • Cost of extracting the key (if successful) and the charge if he is unsuccessful
  • The locksmith will also let you know not all key extractions are successful
  • The technician will then let you know the cost of completely replacing the ignition or lock in order to get back inside and have your door working properly again

That is a lot of information to swallow at once, and all of the prices may make you feel as if you are getting scammed. However, by explaining each individual services’ cost and when they would be needed allows you to get a better idea of whether you service will cost closer to $60 or $260.

It is the nature of the mobile locksmith industry to have flexible prices, however with sufficient information or a picture a professional locksmith can assess the situation. If you are able to send a photograph of the lock in question to the locksmith you should have no issue getting a quote price, this is a good strategy to try next time you have to request a locksmith and hopefully will help you to avoid the dreaded bait and switch.