Monthly Archives: October 2015

Lock Out Services – What You Need to Know

Lock Out Services Info You Should Know

It’s funny that so many people think they will never have the need for lockout services. The elderly and children end up victims of getting locked in or out of a room, house or car – and need rescuing.

Stroke victims cannot make it to the door at times and need a locksmith to let the family in to check on them.

And at times the authorities need a locksmith to perform lockout services. Nowadays when everyone is so lawsuit happy, the police and fire dept happen to be a little reluctant to knock doors down or break windows out unless they are absolutely sure there is a life at stake.

Some states vary on laws when it comes to checking for ID’s.  Personally I really don’t care who owns the property or car when I open them up for customers! I am not the authority’s and so many people get locked out of homes they are watching for friends or family or watching and feeding pets!

What? I’m supposed to say no? Get over yourself. I can’t count the amount of times people who got locked out of a rental car, or a car that a friend or family borrowed them! Or it’s a brand new car they bought. There is no way to prove they own the car or home in these situations and they need to get in. The law doesn’t normally take these situations into consideration.

Here it is folks! People normally get locked out simply because they not acquainted with the home or car. They are not familiar with the routine of locking them up. And in most cases there is no way to really prove they own the home or the car.

But what I do is I take a picture of their Legal ID on my smart phone and save it, before I open the doors. And I keep it in my phone for up to 90 days. Just in case something funny was going on.

Now if our local governments were at all intelligent. They would create a state database for locksmiths and tow truck drivers. Then we would be able to send a picture of a state ID and be able to enter the address or License plate of the property. That way the police would be able to search for possible infractions on said dates.

 But of course government can’t do anything smart with out creating huge regulations, without huge fees and licensing. Which only makes it more expensive than it really needs to be. And of course we would have to make the customer pay for it. But hey what do I know! I’m just a locksmith.

Lockout Service Pricing

Since I’m on the subject of pricing for lockout services pricing. For car lockout services typically range from $55 to $75 Normally. If there is a huge snow storm going on I have been known to charge a $100 to unlock a car for a customer. Bottom line is I don’t have to venture out in a storm and risk my life or my company truck for a regulated price. I rather sit at home! Then where would you be? Running around in deep snow burns up a lot of gasoline. Need I say more?

House lockout service or building lockout service requires the talent of being able to pick a lock open. This talent will traditionally cost you $85 to $115. And 98% of the time if your locksmith is talented enough they should be able to get the door open with no damage. Remember the snowstorm issue? That’s right We charge more or we just sit at home drinking our hot chocolate. Snow storms will cost you $100 – $150.

Scammers are Everywhere

Unfortunately scammers performing lockout services tend to be in every major city in the country. They are here in Minneapolis as well and performing services illegally.  They are here visiting or have a visa to go to school but end up performing lockout service with huge pricing’s with this scam. They are traditionally from Israel. And have a deep accent from their native country. People were starting to be able to identify them as scammers on the phone. So now they are using young ladies in a call center. Ladies from the United States so you won’t catch on to them.

So now the best way to catch them before you hire them is to ask the whole price. Or the total price in the end. A lot of the time they will just hang the phone up on you. And other times they advertise $19 Locksmith & Lockout service. I’ve seen $39 lockout service as well by the way. When they show up they say $19 or $39 on up! They will even say this on the phone as well.

If anyone tells you a price followed with ( ON UP ) run like hell or hang up the phone on them or call the police and tell the cops about their little scam. Here is what they have been known to charge for a car lockout service: $175 to $300.

And for Home or Business lockout services they have been known to charge $175 – $700 all by saying ( ON UP.)

In most cases they tell you your locks are High Security so they need to drill your locks out. Then hit you with extra charges by selling you locks on top of the lockout service. If Immigration was doing their jobs we wouldn’t have this issue! Even in States that have heavy regulated licensing these scammers are able to do business as usual. They hold onto 5-10 fake locksmith licenses. So buyer beware. If the price sounds really great you’re about to get ripped off! Badly.

The solution? Find a good Lockout service or locksmith way ahead of time and keep them in your phone under the name of Locksmith or Lockout service so you can find them when you need them.

 

For more Lockout Services info post on

the blog with your questions or ideas.

Or contact me Edward Mann at:

Fast Eddys Keys Express

Owner: Edward Mann

Call us at: 612-822-3773

Text us at 612-250-6362

email us: locksmithminneapolisarea@gmail.com

Visit my website: https://www.ourlocksmith.com

 

Home Security Products to Prevent Break Ins

Quick Do It Yourself Security

This tip could save your life. More importantly your family’s life.

Its called a Master Lock Dual Function Security Bar.

Master Lock Dual Function Security bar
Master Lock Dual  Function Security Bar

My best advice is to pick up this product purchase as many as you need. Count how many doors in your home, and these bars also work on patio sliding glass doors.

Purchase them way before you need them. Your locks most likely won’t stand up to a bruit force. Sorry it’s just a cold hard fact. Purchase them and store them in a entry closet near your front door. Where you will know where they are at all times.

 Dual function Security Bar
Dual function Security Bar

These bars are meant to secure your home or business while you happen to be in it. If you don’t have the time to hire a respected locksmith and when you need   security NOW.   The Master Lock Dual function Security Bar is your best bet. Just Side it up under your knob lock or lever lock and adjust the length of the bar. The rubber pad sits on the floor and the adjustable “Y” tip sits just under the lock.

You would be amazed at how much pressure these bars can take. They will offer you the time to call the police. Or allow you the time to get your gun and load it. 

These are some good reasons to why you might need to add these security bars to your doors:

  • You just kicked out a bad renter or room mate.
  • You just broke up with someone who used to have access to your home.
  • Domestic violence from someone who thinks its ok to beat you up or worse.
  • Someone threatens your life.
  • You’re being Stalked by a stranger.
  • If you think a property manager has been coming into your home while you were out.
  • If there has been a rash of breaking an entries in your neighborhood.
  • If there happens to be a Fugitive on the loose in your town.
  • Your child is now addicted to drugs and is no longer welcomed in your home.
  • Your neighbor has one of your keys and you’re no longer friends with them.
  • Someone stolen your house keys from work.
  • You lost your house keys somewhere on the town.
  • If you happen to be staying in a Hotel or Motel.
  • If your cat sitting at a friend’s/family’s place

 

So some of the places that carries Master Lock Dual Function Security Bars are:

  • Home Depot
  • Lowel’s
  • Menards
  • Ace Hardware
  • Walmart

Or you can purchase them online at: https://goo.gl/rGiEKM

They are sold for anywhere from $6.99 – $38.00 pending on where you go. But they are a bargain at any price guaranteed.

For more security ideas contact me Edward Mann at:

Fast Eddys Keys Express

Owner: Edward Mann

Call us at: 612-822-3773

Text us at 612-250-6362

email us: locksmithminneapolisarea@gmail.com

Visit my website: https://www.ourlocksmith.com

 

Minneapolis Locksmith Offers Home Security Tips

Residential Security Tips 

As a Minneapolis locksmith for over 30 years I typically get two types of calls from homeowners.

The first type is the price shopper who knows that their home needs some security upgrade like a deadbolt for instance. However, they are sometimes reluctant to spend money and they may feel that they are being paranoid. Many times after speaking with the homeowner on the phone they insist that the Minneapolis area they live in is very safe and that their neighbors are always home so they really don’t worry too much about break-ins.

The second type of homeowner that calls is the victim of a home invasion. They want to repair the damage from the break-in and also upgrade their security. Of course, I also get other phone calls but for simplicity we will stick to the two types listed above. Basically we have a price shopper and the victim types of callers.

The price shopper is common for most us to relate to. We all want a fair price, and we don’t want to be accused of being paranoid by family and friends. Generally the price shopper either has locks that need repair or service, or they are aware that their home is a candidate for home invasion . Sometimes I get the impression that the price shopper wants to be reassured that their current security is effective. But of course I can only come to this conclusion after a security survey!

It is more complicated to relate to the victim as many of us have not been the victim of a burglary or break-in. I have met quite a few people who have had close calls when it comes to a burglary or theft, or they have lost something in a minor crime that was not really that valuable to them.

home security

Another factor is that we sometimes insulate ourselves from crimes so that we don’t worry or upset our family by focusing on negative things. It is a sad fact to accept, but homes get burglarized all the time.

Rather than go into a statistical analysis of property crime, or argue about the safety of the area they live in I simply offer to perform a security evaluation of the customer’s home.

Whether victim or price shopper I offer all home owners a security evaluation and generally spend about 20 minutes with them and make suggestions. Many of my suggestions are do it yourself type of suggestions but some require the use of a locksmith or handyman. These evaluations are sometimes called a Threat Assessment. There are no obligations to use my service when I perform an evaluation, but my services are available if the customer decides to follow through on the suggestions at a later date.

Below is a list of my frequent suggestions I give to homeowners.

The Locksmiths Recommendations

Outside Perimeter:

  • Provide the outdoor perimeter of your home with plenty of lighting.
  • Trim back bushes and trees to limit hiding spots for a potential burglar.
  • Keep the yard tidy and remove any junk or clutter.
  • Cut up large boxes from major purchases instead of placing them by the trash. This is usually a tip to a burglar to target your new TV!
  • Use signage like “No Trespassing”, “Beware of Dog”, and Alarm signs or decals to deter criminals who may be profiling your home for a crime.

 

Windows:

  • Close curtains and blinds to prevent observation into your home.
  • Lock windows when leaving home for even short amounts of time.
  • Purchase dowels or thumb turn window locks for windows that have a lack or a poor quality of lock mechanism.
  • Consider using a window film that makes glass more difficult to break.
  • Replace screens when they become damaged or are falling out of the window frame.
  • Limit access to windows by locking up maintenance ladders, chairs, and tools.

 

Doors:

  • Make sure every exterior door has a deadbolt properly installed.
  • Make sure the door jamb is reinforced with wood and long screws. This is usually the critical weak point when a door is pried or kicked in.    (See This Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf3Er777QJ4 )
  • Glass sliding doors should have a dowel placed in the frame to prevent opening. There are products available for this often referred to as “Charlie Bars”.
  • Consider replacing screen doors with security doors made of steel or iron.
  • Replace screens on all screen doors, insure locks are functional, and you might also replace screen door glass with Pyrex or Lexanglass.

 

High Security Keys and Key Control:

  • Never give out a spare key to a neighbor. Place spare keys in locking boxes mounted to a door or garage. These are often called “Realtor Boxes” and they lock the key in an armored box only opened with a numerical code.
  • Never leave your house keys unattended, or on the key chain when you have work done on your vehicle.
  • Never leave keys in the open when shopping, socializing, or visiting friends or coworkers.
  • Always carry a spare house key or car key in your wallet or pocket-book.
  • Consider keying your doors alike except for one door used only by the baby sitter, cleaning staff, or delivery workers. Then if this person is let go from service you are only paying a locksmith to rekey only a door rather than ALL of your exterior doors.

 

More Security tips for your Home:

  • All doors should have a peep-hole viewer or camera to identify visitors prior to opening the door.
  • Consider adding a locking mail drop box to prevent mail theft.
  • Firearms and important documents should be locked in a quality safe or lock box. The safe should be bolted down or otherwise tethered to prevent theft of the entire container during a break-in.
  • Consider adding a basic burglary alarm system that communicates with an alarm monitoring Central Station.
  • CCTV or surveillance cameras are becoming easier to install and more affordable. Consider adding a system as they are excellent deterrents and can often help identify an intruder when viewed after the crime.
  • Review your insurance coverage with your insurance agent to make sure you are protected for all of the valuables in your home. (Alarm systems are a great way to get a discount on your homeowners or renters insurance.
  • Record to video media all of your personal property; especially collectibles, jewelry, firearms and other items. Keep this video media DVD, CD, Thumb Drive, Tape, etc. in a safe, or in a safe deposit box off site.
  • Mark your property with a unique mark or name with a scratch pen to easily identify your goods if they are recovered later.

 

Get a Home Security Evaluation

As far as the two types of callers, my opinion as a Locksmith and Security Professional is that as a price shopper this person usually make a good decision regarding their home security. They are aware of a need and makes solid decisions, sometimes with a gentle nudge in the right direction. If a caller is a victim of a home invasion, I request that they please teach what they have learned to their friends and family. This information from a respected peer can make a difference, and can prepare them to take steps toward crime prevention in their home.

Please consider these tips regardless if you rent or own your current home. Do not assume that the current security features of your home are satisfactory. Have a security professional evaluate your home security.

Every home can benefit from a security evaluation, and the peace of mind that comes with one is worth the time and effort. Discuss home security with all of your family members and other occupants to develop a plan for upgrading security and establishing a protocol to utilize during an emergency or home invasion.

To set up a security survey of your home in Minneapolis area please contact:

Fast Eddys Keys Express

Owner: Edward Mann

Call us at: 612-822-3773

Text us at 612-250-6362

email us: locksmithminneapolisarea@gmail.com

Visit my website: https://www.ourlocksmith.com