Comparing Lock Grades – What You Should Know

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When choosing a lock for your home or business, protecting our assets is at the forefront of our attention. Many people assume that all locks are created equal so their buying decision hinges on the aesthetics of the lock sets but even though two locks may appear identical, they may not be of the same quality. Another consideration when purchasing locks is where it will be used. Exterior doors need different locks than bedroom doors. As an informed consumer, you should consider all three criteria when choosing a lock. Understanding lock grades can be a bit confusing so we are going to clarify that below.

ANSI Lock and Deadbolt Grading Standards

ANSI is the American National Standards Institute and as the name implies, they create standards for measuring and comparing the quality of locks. These criteria were designed to help the average homeowner understand and compare locks of varying security and quality levels. To keep things simple, locks are put into one of 3 categories with Grade 1, 2, and 3.

Grade 3 Locks

This grade offers the lowest level of security and durability. These locks are designed to meet the minimum security standards for homes. Even at this level locks must be able to withstand 200K opening and closing cycles, 2 door strikes, and a 150 pound weight test. These locks are often recommended for interior and light residential applications.

Grade 2 Locks

Grade 2 locks must be able to withstand 400K cycles, 4 door strikes, and a 250 pound weight test, nearly double the requirements for a grade 3 lock. These locks are often used in light commercial applications or in homes where greater security and durability is required.

Grade 1 Locks

These locks are generally used for commercial applications because of their superior durability and security attributes. Remember, a grade 2 lock must only survive 400K cycles, a grade 1 lock on the other hand must be able to endure 800K cycles. It also must be able to endure 6 door strikes and a 360 pound weight test. Deadbolts in this grade must be built to handle 250K cycles and 10 door strikes.

Choosing the perfect lock for your home can be a bit confusing and your security is the last place you want to take unnecessary risks. If you are thinking of replacing your locks or are looking for guidance on what type of locks to install on your new home or office, consulting with a professional locksmith can save your time, money, and ensure your get the best lock for your needs.

Security Tips for Commercial Properties

securing your business with the help of a commercial locksmith

CCTV Security Cameras.

When you run a business , especially one with valuable merchandise and equipment, you need to be aware of the potential for break -ins and proactive in your approach to preventing them.  Even if you know there isn’t anything to steal from your premises, there is always a chance that a thief may think otherwise. In either event, damage is likely to be caused resulting in financial losses for your business. Today we are going to look at a few simple steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of your business being broken into

Monitored Security Systems

Commercial security systems work in a similar way to home burglar alarms. They will sound when a door or window is opened and, unless de-activated in a certain amount of time, will alert the police to an unwanted presence within the building. In addition to standard alarms, you can upgrade to a fully monitored system. This will often times include monitoring for fire as well, offering another layer of protection to your business property when you aren’t around

Dedicated or Multi-Property Security Guards

One common method business owners are now using is semi-dedicated security guards. Instead of having someone work full time patrolling your property, you can work with an agency to schedule periodic security patrols around your property during the hours your office is unattended. This is a cost effective method that still offers increased security for your property. When paired with a security system, you have made your business a hardened target for would be burglars.

 Using the Proper Hardware

Another way to reduce the risk of a break in to your business is to have a professional, commercial locksmith inspect your current hardware for vulnerabilities. A good locksmith will be able evaluate your current locking mechanisms and let you know if they meet the guidelines set forth for protecting your property. The higher the risk of your assets attracting a burglar, the better prepared you need to be. Many locksmiths offer security audits that will help you access and prepare your business.

Protecting High Value Property

If you are in a high crime area or have high value assets you may want to go even further with your security measures. Security systems that include video surveillance that can be placed in key points around your building and grounds are one such addition worth considering. The new technology being built into these systems means that you don’t even need to have a security guard constantly monitoring the footage thanks to advancements in movement triggered monitoring systems that can alert a guard or even the police, depending on your setup.

As you may have heard before, you do not have to have the most secure building in a neighborhood to avoid a break in but having the softest target will all but ensure one. Taking even basic steps like outfitted your business with properly installed commercial locks can go a long way in keeping your business safe from unwanted guests.

If you are you not sure if your locks are currently up to par, schedule a consultation today and we would be happy to assist you in making your business more secure.

Finding a Proper Locksmith

locksmith-professionalLocksmithing is a lucrative business if the professional is, well, professional! It can be hard to tell right off the bat if someone is a certified technician or an on call handyman. When looking for a locksmith to secure your home, car, or commercial property, you’ll want someone who is knowledgeable and honest. Listed here are some important factors to consider when searching for a reputable locksmith.

3rd Party Approval

any professional service with have either good yelp reviews or better yet, be approved by the local Better Business Bureau or The Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA). Any legitimate business should have their own website outlining their training and services offered, as well as comments from recent customers. People tend to be fairly honest when writing online service reviews so if the only locksmith in your area does not have a website, they may be listed on either paper or web versions of the yellow pages.

Pricing

Most locksmithing businesses will be able to give you an estimated quote before they arrive to help you. When you call a locksmithing service, don’t hang up before asking about the price of the service. If they hesitate or it sounds like they are internally negotiating the price, rescind your service request. They may be waiting until they get to you to hike up the price and are therefore a dishonest business.

Shop Local

Avoid contacting a national call center for your locksmithing service. Usually they call the closest “business” which may not be in your best interest. It is good to have a working knowledge of local services in your surrounding area in the event that you need a locksmith during an emergency. You do not want to make a hasty decision and then wind up overpaying or putting yourself in a bigger emergency when you call a shady locksmith.

Professionalism

Locksmithing is a trade that takes years to learn the craft and develop the skills. your service should be conducted with minimal if no property damage. Your locksmith should also be using specialized tools as well as provide a variety of services. If the listed locksmith you’re researching simply deals with emergency lockouts, it is doubtful he has the tools and more than rudimentary knowledge to give you the service you’re looking for.