Classroom Barricades: Safer Schools or Safety Issue?

The Big Debate Around Barricades

Due to the frightening rise in school invasions and shootings, there has been a demand that schools find a way to be more secure and keep students safe. Because of this demand, a heated debate has started between parents who think classroom barricade devices should be implemented in schools and officials who are hesitant to implement these devices. Classroom barricades offer a secondary line of defense in the event of an active shooter present at a school and have the potential to save thousands of lives if properly utilized.

blue cover barricade

Simple blue cover that prevents the door from opening in the event of an active shooter warning. DIY method: if you are not equipped with one of these, a simple belt tied in the same area will prohibit the door from functioning.

Classroom barricades come in all different shapes and sizes, ranging from large bars that go across the center of the door to compact locks that bolt into the floor. The locks are designed to only be used in times of crisis for protection, but code and building officials are against installing them in classrooms across the globe because of the fear of misuse and the risks that surround them.

If used improperly or incorrectly, a classroom barricade device could cause more harm than good.

The floor lock bolts into the ground adding extra security to classrooms during active shooter situations.

The floor lock bolts into the ground adding extra security to classrooms during active shooter situations.

That is the main concern of code officials: that the barricade will be used improperly, and in the event of a fire or natural disaster they could potentially trap students inside of the building or hinder their escape.In addition to possibly causing issues during fires or disasters, there is also the chance of an active shooter barricading themselves inside of a locked classroom and causing more damage then if the students were able to easily exit the classroom.

bar lock barricade

The bar lock barricade goes over the entire center of the door and locks into place, preventing access to the classroom.

While those points offered by the officials have validity, there is no denying the benefits of extra security when it comes to the safety of students. No one should fear for their life just because they are trying to obtain an education. The usage of classroom barricades not only adds to the safety of those in school, but they also provide a sense of security to students and teachers because they know if a problem were to arise, they would be protected.

 

Because this is such a heated debate, we here at Phila-Locksmith would love to hear your view on the subject. Do you think classroom barricades should be implemented in schools? Leave a comment below expressing your opinion.

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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.

 

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.

Celebrating Back to the Future Day

(Via 6abc.com)

(Via 6abc.com)

Great Scott, it is almost here! Wednesday, October 21st 2015, the day that film fanatics have been waiting for since 1989: Back to the Future Day.  This coming Wednesday will mark the very day that Marty McFly traveled 30 years into the future to from his present time of October 26th, 1985 in order to stop his children from making some huge mistakes that were detrimental to his family. The Bryn Mawr Film Institute in Lower Merion will be hosting a fly event in which people can celebrate a day that they have been anxiously awaiting for over 20 years now.

 

According to 6 abc News, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute will be celebrating with a screening of the movie, costumes, trivia, and a real life DeLorean equipped with a flux-capacitor. It is expected to be a great turn out and filled with lots of fun. The DeLorean will be accessible to attendees to pose and take pictures with, and the trivia gives the opportunity to win some cool prizes. In addition to that commemoration of the popular film, on a wider scale,  Pepsi has announced that they will be releasing bottles of Pepsi Perfect and we’re sure you’ve seen the magnetic, liquid Nitrogen-powered hover boards by Lexus that are all the craze.

 

It’s amazing to see that some of what was predicted years ago in Back to the Future 2 is starting to actually come to reality right before our eyes. Granted we may not have self-lacing sneakers (yet) but advanced technology is all around us. For example, there are locks that you can control simply with the use of your smartphone, or a touch of your finger. In fact, August (an advanced and innovative creator of smart locks) has recently released new technology with which you can control the locks on your business or residence simply by using Siri on your iPhone. There are also bio-metric locks that you can control by effortlessly scanning your fingerprint directly on lock in order to open it.

(Via amazon.com)

(Via amazon.com)

 
These locks are a great way to enhance the security of your home or business, and we at Phila-Locksmith have technicians that precisely specialize in the installation and setup of smart locks as well as bio-metric locks.  Whether you’re trying to amp up security, or make life a little easier by living key-free, Phila-Locksmith has both residential and commercial technicians who can come out to you and provide you with an estimate as well as same day service. Imagine, never having to fumble around looking for a set of keys buried in the bottom of your bag, or worrying about losing a set of keys. The power is all within your beloved smartphone (that is nearly always in your hand), or, in your hand itself. Give us a call at 215-554-6109 today and arrange to have the locks of the future right at the tips of your fingers.

Lock and Key Industries Go Green

Since the turn of the century government regulations and private pressure has created an immense amount of interest in eliminating waste throughout manufacturing. Faced with changes to the world’s climate, as well as scarce resources, companies have moved to eliminate waste to protect the environment. In addition to the greater good which ‘going green’ can contribute to companies also see a monetary benefit in moving to greener work processes. The locksmith and key manufacturing industry is no different. Companies are looking to limit costs, while also limiting their impact on the earth.

Kaba Ilco Corporation

kaba ilcoKaba Ilco is a leading manufacturer in the security industry. Before instituting internal reforms about 60% of their stock material produces usable key blanks, the remaining 40% was disposed of as waste material. In 1985, Kaba Ilco constructed a brass foundry at their factory located in North Carolina. After the construction of the foundry, Kaba Ilco was able to turn the 40% waste material back into usable brass for key blanks. Not only did this save the company a great deal of money on their resources, but also had positive environmental effects. No longer was the wasted material being dumped back into the environment and overall energy consumption was reduced due to the lower need for new brass resources.

Select Products: Higher Quality, Lower Environmental Impact

‘Going green’ can mean much more than just recycling. Bob Crank from Select Products looks at conservation through a different lens. The number of opening and closing cycles in order for a lock to be considered grade 1, is ten years of high traffic usage. Select Products’ grade 1 lock has been tested to last through 50 years of high traffic usage. This is over five times the normal specification’s lifespan. By creating products which have a longer lifespan, Bob Cronk argues, that they are able to reduce energy and resources by reducing the overall need for lock replacement. In addition to extending the lifespan of their products, Select Products also uses 1005 recycled aluminum in their hinges offering one of the greenest options available on the market.

Identifying Green Programs and Products

It is easier than ever to identify programs and products which are making an active effort to become more ‘green’. The United States Green Building Council wants to help people identify these products and programs through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, or LEED. There are numerous ways that a building can be LEED certified. Some of the most common practice are using products made from recycled material, or products which reduce a building’s overall environmental impact. Reducing environmental impact can range from low air emissions to close proximity to public transportation.

As the world becomes more interconnected, it is important for companies, especially manufacturers, to ensure they are doing the utmost to converse resources and the environment. Many of the largest players in the security and locksmith industries have already taken large steps to ensure the sustainability of their green programs. It will be interesting to view the creative green initiatives which will come in the future to the locksmith and security industries. In the mean time, companies who do not have the capital to start their own green initiative can do their part by watching energy consumption levels and reducing waste in the simplest of ways.

In Focus: School Lock Security

Administrators and teachers alike have a renewed focus on the security at their schools. However, ensuring the security of students and staff means that whoever is making the security decisions at that location must be aware of the different benefits of each type of lock. By understanding their own security needs, and the options that are available, school administrators can find a solution that works for both their budget and security needs. Below Phila-Locksmith has compiled information on some of the most popular lock functions which are found in use at schools.

Classroom Function

Classroom function is one of the most commonly found lock functions in school settings. With this lock function the door can only be locked by turning a key in the lock set from the outside. Once the teacher has opened their classroom using the key at the beginning of the day, the lock is set to passage mode. In passage mode, students and other teachers are able to easily enter the door as it remains unlocked. Another benefit of this lock set is that it can only be locked using a key. This prevents students from accidentally, or purposely, locking someone out of the room. The big drawback to standard classroom function is that the lock must be operated from the hallway. This means that during a lock down scenario the teacher would have to open the door and expose themselves to harm when arming the lock.

Classroom Security Function

The second function which we will take a look at is the classroom security function. The classroom security function operates in much the same way that classroom function does. The big difference is that the classroom security function allows for the lock to be armed by a teacher who uses a key from the inside. This allows for teachers to easily, and securely, lock their classrooms during a lock down scenario. The drawback to the classroom security function is that if the door is locked while class is in session, the teacher would have to be interrupted to unlock the door from the inside. This function would also prevent any students from locking the door from the inside, because a key is required.

Storeroom Function

The storeroom function is the most restrictive of the lock functions which we will review in this blog post. With storeroom function, the lock always arms when the door is closed. This ensures that there is no confusion about the lock’s current setting. If the door is closed, the lock is armed. The obvious drawback to storeroom function is that a teacher would have to keep their key on person at all times. It would also mean that the teacher would have to manually unlock the door every time someone wanted to enter the room which can result in unwanted distractions. If storeroom function is something that you are considering for a classroom which would be in use throughout the day, it is recommended to check with your local fire codes to see if this function is permitted.

school security

School security starts with having appropriate lock functions for your school’s needs.

Phila-Locksmith’s School Lock Security Recommendation

In addition to the three lock functions which are mentioned above there are also a few others which have a more unique function. Those lock functions not mentioned above include office function, corridor function and classroom security intruder function. Of these types of lock functions, Phila-Locksmith recommends the use of classroom security function for an average primary school. The reason for this is the function’s balance of both security and ease of access. Once a teacher has unlocked the door in the morning, the door will remain unlocked until it is reengaged. This prevents interruptions to class time whenever a student, or other individual, wants to enter the class. Additionally, teachers have the ability to lock the door using their key from the inside. This helps to keep that teacher secure during any type of lock down scenario.

Depending on the class structure and modus operandi of the school, a different lock function may suit your needs best. It is recommended to speak directly with a professional locksmith. By speaking with a professional about your security needs, he can give you options which will meet those needs without having to break your budget.

Phila-Locksmith’s Ch-Ch-Changes Benefit Our Customers

David Bowie once famously sang that ‘time may change me’, and time certainly has changed Phila-Locksmith. At Phila-Locksmith we are always striving to offer our customers the top locksmith services in the Delaware Valley. This means that as we continue to grow, our services and the way we deliver them sometimes have to change. Through these changes we aim to bring our customers the most professional locksmith services in the most convenient manner. Recently, Phila-Locksmith has made changes which will help customers to more easily request service, receive a wider range of services than ever and decrease the amount of time that it takes our locksmiths to respond to a service request.

Phila-Locksmith’s Website Redesign

While Phila-Locksmith’s blog has remained unchanged, our Phila-Locksmith home has vastly changed. Our redesigned website reflects the professionalism that our technicians offer to our customers. The same depth of information which we have always offered from our website remains unchanged; you can still view the services offered by Phila-Locksmith, our price list, and the areas which we offer service. Customers can now even fill out a contact form directly from our home page! Additionally, Phila-Locksmith’s site is now easier than ever to navigate and access from your mobile phone. This means that you can access the information that you need from Phila-Locksmith even in emergency situations.

Expanded Service Fleet

mobile locksmith truck

Phila-Locksmith’s new trucks are bigger and better than ever before!

Phila-Locksmith has added two brand new Ford Transit vehicles to our service fleet. We have done this for two reasons. The first being that these new vehicles afford our locksmiths extra space to carry all of the tools that they need to complete work, while also increasing the work space that they have. A more comfortable work environment allows for our technicians to complete service as quickly as possible with much more breathing room. The second reason Phila-Locksmith has added these trucks to our fleet is that it allows for us to have two extra technicians on the road at any moment. These additional locksmiths allow for us to answer a larger number of service calls, while also responding to those service calls faster than ever.

Coming Soon: In-store Service

As mobile locksmiths, our technicians are able to offer a great deal of convenience to our customers who need emergency service or who are in need of replacement car keys. However, it has not been convenient, or cost effective, for our locksmiths to complete services like house key duplication. In the near future, this will no longer be the case. Phila-Locksmith is aiming to offer in-store service through our location in North Philadelphia. Stay tuned for the latest updates regarding our in-store services.

At Phila-Locksmith we are constantly striving to offer our services to more people in more location than ever before. The recent changes which we have made will certainly allow for us to do so. By adding two additional mobile service vehicles, Phila-Locksmith can have an additional two technicians offering service at any moment. The additional room which our trucks provide allow for our technicians to carry even more parts and machines than they have been able to previously. Stay tuned to Phila-Locksmith for updates on our in-store services! In the meantime turn to Phila-Locksmith as your Philadelphia locksmith for all of your commercial, residential and automotive locksmith needs!

Secure Your Home in the New Year

With two weeks of the New Year already behind us, many people are already beginning to wilt on their newly made New Year’s resolutions. One resolution, which is easily to make and keep, is to upgrade the existing security that your home has. Through just a small amount of investment, you can make your home much more secure than it had previously been. Our Philadelphia locksmiths have gathered a small list of recommendations which can help you to complete one resolution which pays dividends throughout the rest of the year. Even if you may not be able to complete your more difficult New Year’s resolution, increasing the security at your home is one easy resolution which Phila-Locksmith can assist you with entirely.

1. Have a Deadbolt Installed

It is highly recommended to have a deadbolt installed on, at least, all of your exterior door ways. A traditional knob lock is much more susceptible to break-in strategies than a deadbolt lock is. One common break-in technique which thieves use to disable a knob lock is show below. “Credit carding” is when a thief inserts a flat and rigid surface, sometimes a credit card, into the space between your door and door frame.

There are a number of deadbolt models which are available on the residential market today with varying features. Some are more traditional versions of a high security lock, while others employ smart technology in their function. It would behoove customers to speak with a professional or to complete research before choosing the deadbolt lock that they would like installed.

2. Re-key Your Existing Locks

Re-keying is a service that we already recommend whenever you move into a new home or apartment, but regularly re-keying your locks can also help to prevent your keys from falling into the wrong hands. Whether it is through lost or stolen keys, in addition to new technology which raises safety concerns, your keys can easily fall into the wrong hands. Having a re-key completed helps to make your home secure once again, but without the higher cost which would result from having an entirely new residential lock set installed. A locksmith can even key your locks alike so that you can conveniently open every lock with just one key.

3. Safe Installation

There are a number of reasons for a residential safe and the New Year is the perfect time to invest. A gun safe is highly recommended for any individual who owns a firearm. Not only does a gun safe help to keep your firearm secure from thieves, but also from young children. If you do not own a firearm, then investing in a residential safe can help you to keep even the smallest valuables in your home secure. Not only can a residential safe be used to protect valuables and jewelry during a break-in, but having a fire resistant safe can also help to keep your valuable documents and personal information safe from destruction. Based on the security needs of your home, there can be a number of safes that would best fit your needs. It is recommended to decide exactly which features are most important for your use before deciding to invest in a particular safe model.

Above are three of the simplest things that you can do to have a successful security resolution. There are a number of other lock and key services which can help you to increase your home security, but choosing those services would be based on the specific needs of you or your home. By contacting your local locksmith you can successfully complete a New Year’s resolution without much hard-work on your end while still achieving a calming peace of mind throughout the rest of 2015.

LockCon and the Dutch Open Championship

Locksmiths like the technicians at Phila-Locksmith are always striving to become more knowledgeable and more masterful of their lock services. Many people do not realize, for the cream of the lock picking crop, there is a convention to not only learn more about their craft, but also compete for a chance to be crowned champion lock picker. LockCon is run by The Open Organization of Lock Pickers and is held annually in the Netherlands. Lock pickers, engineers, locksmiths and lock enthusiasts from around the world flock to this convention every year to test their skills, while also taking a look at the most advanced lock technology that is available.

Maintaining the LockCon Image

The Open Organization of Lock Pickers wants to ensure that their convention and competition only occurs with the best of intentions. This is why LockCon is an invite only event to certain individuals. The President of TOOOL has said that their focus is that, “we spend a lot of time trying to keep the bad guys—or guys with bad intentions—out.” Keeping a tight reign on membership and invitations is crucial for TOOOL because of the negative connotation that can come with being a lock picker. Not only is there competition within LockCon, but also a lot of collaboration and information sharing. The event provides an opportunity for lock pickers to share information with their peers about the latest methods they use and technology that they have encountered. Of course, throughout the convention, the Youth Hostel which plays host to this event each year provides their own lager, “all inclusive”, which certainly helps to maintain the cheerful, friendly but ultimately competitive atmosphere that LockCon is looking to cultivate.

Driving Lock Innovation

Master hacker and creator of Linux once said, “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”. This same logic is applied to new lock technology which is constantly being developed. With enough master lock pickers working on a new technology, it is easy to figure out exactly what the weaknesses of a new technology are. Manufacturers can use the weaknesses identified by some of the brightest brains in the lock pick industry to develop newer technology which is even more secure than that which was produced previously. Once, a lock manufacturer claimed that they had created the, “the safest locking system in the world”[1]. Intrigued, master lock pick Deviant Ollam brought the new lock to that year’s LockCon. After passing the lock around, they recorded the unlocking time that it took for every lock picker and sent that information to the manufacturer. Impressed, the manufacturer began engaging in constructive discussion with the lock pickers on how to improve their new technology.

Arthur Bühl Lock Picking Legend

Standing at 6’5″, Arthur Bühl can seem like quite the intimidating man. To many who are involved in locksport, Mr. Bühl certainly is just that. With championships in many competitions around the globe he is affectionately known as “Arthurmeister”[2] to other lock enthusiast. Hailing from Hamburg, he is among a legion of German lock pickers who have established their country as one of the top producers of master lock pickers.

Not much has been written about TOOOL’s LockCon, which certainly has to do with the strict policy that they keep on attendance. The tales that are told from LockCon display an image of not only competition to vie for top lock picking honors, but also of collaboration that enables the lock industry to grow more and more secure with each year. Americans are among the least represented in the group and continue to maintain underdog status in most of LockCon’s competitions. It will be interesting to see if in the coming years Americans are able to establish themselves as not only a competitive force to be reckoned with, but also a resource that other lock pickers can turn to for innovation. While our Philadelphia locksmiths are able to pick just about any commercial or residential lock that they come across, it would be interesting to see exactly how they stack up against the best and most refined locksmiths in the world.

toool lock con

More information about LockCon and the Dutch Open Championships can be found at: [1] Slate.com and [2] Wired.com

When Locked Out, Best to Call a Locksmith

Being locked out of your home or apartment is obviously a frustrating experience. Sometimes, due to frustration, people try to use unconventional ways to get back into their home. In these cases it is best to call a locksmith and wait for them to arrive than to attempt a more daring reentry. Below we have some daring reentry methods that individuals have recently used to try and get back into their homes. Some luckily found success, while others ended up in a worse predicament than they had originally found themselves in. We remind readers to not try any of these reentry methods for themselves. Always call a locksmith!

Scottsdale Teen Tries Entering Through Chimney

It could have been a case of the holiday spirit that caused a thirteen year old Scottsdale teenager to attempt to reenter his locked house by climbing down the chimney. Last week, the teenager found himself locked out of his home without any keys to reenter with. He quickly fashioned together a rope, out of extension cords, and attempted to slide down the chimney. Despite a larger open area at the top of the chimney, the teen became stuck once he had gotten to the “flue” area lower in the chimney. Luckily he had his cellphone on hand to dial 911. After some effort, emergency responders were able to free the teenage boy and contact family to let them know what happened. This is one simple situation where calling a locksmith immediately would have made this teen’s night much easier. (AZFamily)

Egyptian Father Lowers Child to Open Window

No matter where in the world you may be, it can be easy to find yourself locked out. This is what one father and son in Egypt discovered, when they were locked out of their home while the mother was out shopping. Rather than call a locksmith, the father decided to fashion a hoist out of straps that were around in order to lower his small son from the roof to an open window. As you can see in the video below, the father was successful in getting his child through the window, and added the comment, “If your mom was here she would never allow such an act“. Obviously you should never attempt a stunt like this, especially with the amount of danger that you are placing that child in. Next time this family finds themselves locked out it would be best to call a locksmith, or wait for mother to return from her shopping trip with keys. (Albawaba)

Darwin Man Attempts to Repel Down Apartment Building

A man in Northern Australia was close to attempting one of the most daring ways to reenter a locked apartment possible. The man had tied a rope to the top of his apartment block with the other end tied around his waste. His plan was to use the rope to repel down the side of his apartment building to land on his apartment’s balcony hoping to reenter. Fortunately, before the man had a chance to try out his rig, concerned on-lookers called police. When police arrived they were able to talk the man out of attempting to repel and having him, instead, call a locksmith to have him back inside. (ABC AU)

No matter how frustrated or irritated that you may be, it is always best to call a locksmith when you are locked out, rather than attempt one of these daring entries. While there are occasional successes, such as the father in Egypt, the risk of bodily harm is to great when a locksmith is just minutes away from providing you with assistance. For example, if you find yourself locked out of your home or apartment in Philadelphia, or the surrounding tri-state area, you can get emergency response from Phila-Locksmith in as little as 20 minutes. Fast response like this not only gets you quickly out of a jam, but also allows for you to avoid the unnecessary risk that some of these daring reentries have.