Locksmith Tips for Holiday Travel

Travel Tips from Your Local Philadelphia Locksmith

HolidayTravelTipsfromPhila-Locksmith

For most of the general population, the holiday season triggers feelings of excitement, joy, and the need to see distant cousins you haven’t spoken to in months.  According to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics, during the Thanksgiving travel period there is a 52% increase in long distance travel just over the span of 6 days, and for the Christmas/New Year’s time frame long distance travel increases 23%. All this traveling makes the holidays an ideal time for home invasions while you’re away, and it also increases the chances of misplacing personal belongings, such as car keys, during one of your many stops this holiday season. At Phila-Locksmith we are extremely excited for the holidays and would hate to see the holiday cheer of anyone tarnished by running into any of the above-mentioned problems.  This is why we have come up with some simple travel tips that will make a huge difference in your life this holiday season.

Residential Locksmith Travel Tips

Traveling during the holidays can potentially put your home at risk to be burglarized. It is imperative to take security precautions to ensure that your home does not fall victim to holiday thieves. When the amount of people traveling increases that also directly affects the amount of crime in any given area, because of a higher volume of traffic in the area, and most people are absent from their homes as well. The following tips will help you keep your home and your family safe this holiday season.

  1. Have your home security evaluated.
    1. One of our residential locksmith technicians can come out to your home and evaluate the security grade of your locks as well as suggest any changes or improvements you may want to make.
    2. Our technicians are able to assist you with installing safes in your home to keep valuables secure while you are away.
    3. We even have locksmith technicians who specialize in home security and surveillance that can come out to install a closed-circuit television system in your home as well.
  2. Make it look like someone is always home.
    1. Leave your lights on a timer so at night it will appear that your home is occupied, this will help to ward off criminals.
    2. Leave a vehicle parked in your driveway to make thieves think someone is home.
    3. Have a trusted friend or neighbor pick up your mail so unwanted visitors don’t notice a growing pile of mail in your mailbox, another indication that the home is empty.
  3. Do not post travel plans on social media.
    1. While it may be exciting to share your plans with friends, other people see your trip to Grandma’s house in Florida as a chance to burglarize your home.
    2. Another thing to keep in mind in relation to social media, don’t post your new lavish gifts online because it provides unwanted eyes a look into what you have that they could potentially try to take.
  4. Unplug your garage door openers.
    1. Some thieves think outside of the box, and rather than try to gain access to your home through an entry door, they use the garage door with a universal garage door opener remote. If you unplug your garage door opener before departing this will leave thieves stuck in their tracks.
    2. Ensure that you lock your garage door if you operate it manually.

Automotive Locksmith Travel Tips

Upon hearing the statistics regarding people who travel, it probably painted a beautiful image in your head of Septa stations and the airport being jam-packed with with people trying to figure out maps, schedules, tickets, and even life itself as they try to make it to friends’ and relatives’ homes.  Surprisingly, most holiday travel (91% to be exact), takes place in the form of a good, old-fashioned, family road-trip, according to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics.  That being said, the number of people who lose or lock their keys in their vehicle is directly affected, and that is where the automotive locksmiths at Phila-Locksmith come in handy.  

  1. Bring a spare key with you.
    1. One way to avoid falling victim to being stranded outside of your vehicle is to have a spare key on you or your vehicle at all times. There are little magnetic lock boxes that can be placed on the undercarriage of your car to ensure that you always have a spare key on you.
    2. No spare key? No problem, we can have an automotive technician to you to make you a duplicate key within as little as 20 minutes. They will be able to provide, cut, and program the key on the spot.
  2. Put a tag on your keys with your contact information.
    1. By simply putting your name and phone number on your key chain you will greatly increase the chances of your keys finding their way back to you.
    2. We do not advise putting anymore personal information than that on your keys as it could lead to future security issues.
  3. Go through a mental checklist when exiting your vehicle.
    1. If you make it a habit to remind yourself to do a checklist each time you exit your vehicle it will help you remember to grab your keys.
    2. Each time you leave your vehicle ask yourself a few questions: Do I have my wallet? Do I have my keys? Did I turn my lights out? This exercise will stick with you and become second nature, almost guaranteeing you will never lose or forget your keys again.
  4. Lost your keys completely?
    1. First we recommend retracing your steps, and checking those pesky couch cushions before you panic. If you find your keys, great! If not, there is still no need to panic.
    2. Don’t worry if you’ve lost your keys, a car key specialist from Phila-Locksmith can come out to your location within as little as 20 minutes to make you a new key on the spot. The new key will be cut and programmed to your vehicle and will have you back on the road within as little as an hour!
    3. While you  have a technician out there making you a replacement car key, it might be time to invest in that spare key we mentioned earlier, especially if you’re already getting a new key made, it will be easier on your wallet, and the technician to make a second key at that time.

We hope that these simple tips will make a big difference in your lives this holiday season. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any residential or automotive locksmith needs you may have this holiday season please give us a call. We have customer service associates on call 24/7 to help you out no matter how last minute your travel plans are. A technician is guaranteed to be out to you in as little as 20 minutes. We thank you for your business and hope the upcoming holidays are joyful.

 

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Tricks to Beat this Tricky Weather

frozen lockFall, in my opinion, is one of the best seasons. It isn’t too cold, not too hot, you get a bunch of free candy, and then get to stuff your face with a Thanksgiving feast. What’s not to love? This fall has been a little bit different, though. As I am sure you’ve noticed, there have been a few days topping the charts at 80℉ and then the temperatures at night have been dipping down to around 35℉. While these drastic temperature changes pose a threat to your immune system, did you know that they can also affect the performance of your locks?

As your neighborhood Philadelphia locksmith, we here at Phila-Locksmith always strive to provide you with the most up to date information regarding your home, business, or automobile.  We have a little science lesson for you to further explain what is happening to your locks. Thermal expansion is the movement of the molecules within any given object due to temperature change. Therefore if a metal object is heated up it will expand because the molecules are in motion and moving apart from each other. Inversely, when an object is exposed to colder temperatures the molecules within move closer together and become stationary causing the object to contract or get smaller.

Due to the expansion and contraction of molecules, your locks have been going through a lot lately, so you may have noticed them sometimes sticking or having a little bit of trouble to turn. In weather like this, that is perfectly normal. You may have even experienced your locks freezing already. Your lock can freeze overnight (or throughout the day depending on the temperature) simply because of any water or condensation that may be within the lock. When this water in the lock freezes to the tumbler, it can make it nearly impossible to use a key within the lock. The last thing you want to do is try to force the lock open, because most likely you’ll just end up breaking the key within the lock. And while a trusted Philadelphia locksmith like us is always around the corner to assist with a broken key extraction or lock change, it is still best to save both time and money. Here are some home repair tips for a frozen lock that we have gathered for you:

HeatingKey

  1. Keep deicer or WD-40 accessible in numerous locations. It’s no help to you to keep deicer in the back seat of your car, because if your find the lock to be frozen you won’t be able to get to the deicer to melt the ice around the lock. Be sure to keep some in your home and vehicle that way no matter the situation you will always have it handy.
  2. Use a lighter to heat up your key before sliding it into the lock. You may have to repeat the process a few times, but eventually it will melt the ice around the tumblers within the lock.
  3. Dip your key in Vaseline and turn it in the lock. This process usually takes some time and has to be repeated as well, but it does usually show positive results. You can also use this as a preventative method against the cold, and lubricate your locks once a week during the frigid, winter months.
  4. You can pre-treat your locks as well as the frame of your vehicle door to prevent the lock from freezing as well as the door being frozen shut.
  5. NEVER POUR HOT WATER OVER A LOCK, it will only add more water to the internal mechanisms of the lock and lead to more freezing problems in the future.

We hope that you find these tips useful and you don’t find yourself in a predicament locked out of your home or vehicle due to frozen locks. In the event that you do find yourself locked out of your home, business, or vehicle never hesitate to give us a call for our emergency locksmith services.  We have reliable Philadelphia locksmith technicians that are on call and ready to assist you. Even if you happen to break your home or vehicle key within a frozen lock our technicians here at Phila-Locksmith can extract your broken keys for you and even make you a new replacement car key or change your locks right there on the spot. Give us a call today at (215) 554-6109 to set up a service or even have a technician come out to inspect your locks and let you know what you can do to make sure you are winter ready.