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.

Keyboard Organization Helps Locksmiths Unlock Potential

When most people think of a keyboard, what comes to mind is the device which is used to type on your computer. The meaning of a ‘keyboard’ has a much different meaning if you ask a locksmith. Locksmiths will tell you that their keyboard is one of their life lines which not only allows them to help a wide variety of customers, but also do so in an extremely organized way. Depending on the locksmith, and the number of services he offers, you may find a variety of keyboard configurations which help them to meet their customer’s needs while making their job as easy as possible. We’ll examine some of the keyboard configurations which a locksmith may use as well as give our customers a look at the way we at Phila-Locksmith organize our own key blanks.

Locksmith Keyboard Configurations

swinging keyboardDepending on the type of work that a locksmith completes, and the space he has available, the configuration of keyboards can greatly vary. In many cases, locksmiths are working in restricted areas which forces them to conserve space in anyway possible. One way that a locksmith may try to do this is by using swinging keyboard panels. You can see this set-up displayed to the left. Much like you may find posters in a store, these swinging keyboards allow for the locksmith to maximize the surface area to hold keys while simultaneously minimizing the overall wall space that the keyboard would occupy. Swinging keyboards are an extremely efficient solution for locksmiths with shops that are small in area, or for mobile service units which have extra width in the vehicle. In many cases, a locksmith will take the most straight forward approach and that is a keyboard which simply rests on the face of the wall. Generally, a locksmith who has a board such as this will have the board start at about their waste level and go as high as five feet tall. This allows for the locksmith to maximize his space while also keeping all of his keys within reach. No matter the configuration that a locksmith decides to choose, organization is an important part of their keyboard. By organizing the keys in an easy to remember fashion a locksmith can quickly pull the correct blank for any customers whether they need a car key, residential key or high security key.

Phila-Locksmith’s Keys

At any moment, Phila-Locksmith keeps hundreds of key blanks in stock. These key blanks range from residential knobs to high security commercial keys and of course a wide variety of car keys. In addition to these keys, we work closely with suppliers which provides us access to thousands of different keys at a moment’s notice. With so many keys which our locksmiths must keep track of, organization is an extremely important aspect. Due to the limited room inside of our mobile services units, proper organization is even more important. In addition to a keyboard which holds many of our technician’s blanks, our locksmiths also uses a number of drawers and storage devices to easily organize their truck. It is our wide range of keys and services provided which allows us to be a top locksmith Philadelphia. The careful organization of keys by our locksmiths plays a large role in maintaining our comprehensive range of services to customers.

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.