Friday, 30 December 2016

The Various Kinds of Locks and the Protection They Provide

Do you know your padlocks from your deadbolts? This may seem like an obvious comparison, but locks can come in many shapes and sizes. Different lock types will be better for specific types of properties, while others are advised against for certain doors. They may also be relatively simple or quite sophisticated, affordable or expensive, electronic or manual. 

See what we mean? With so many choices, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed when choosing the right lock to protect you and your valuables. Whether you are looking to upgrade your home’s security or your commercial building could benefit from a new set of locks, you should ask your local locksmith to help you select the right fittings for your property and budget.  

Before we get to that, though, let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular lock varieties out there. 

Different types of locks 

1)     Knob locks
These are your standard residential door locks, installed in both internal and external doors. Knob locks comprise a key cylinder on one side and a turning knob on the other, offering you your staple home security basics. They shouldn’t be used as standalone protection as they are very easy to force their way into. A secondary lock like a deadbolt should be fitted alongside these to ensure your property is adequately safeguarded.    

2)      Padlocks
Padlocks are unique in that they are the only ‘portable’ locks you will find in a residential property. They can come in different sizes and variations are not attached to a foundation. All padlocks have three main components: the locking mechanism, a shackle and the body of the lock. Additionally, there are two types of padlocks you can choose from – keyed and combination. 
You can probably guess the difference between the two padlock types: the former is opened with a key, while the latter relies on a special code. Not only that, keyed padlocks can also come in key-retaining and non-key retaining options. Once you have opened a key-retaining padlock, the key will stay in place until you lock it again. If you want a bit of flexibility with your keyed padlock, opt for one that doesn’t retain the key. 
3)      Deadbolts
Deadbolts are a very popular choice for the main entrance doors of a residential property, accompanying the aforementioned knob locks. Here, an internal bolt is driven into the door frame after a rotating cylinder is turned to lock it – and it will stay there until retracted back into the initial unlocking position. Popular deadbolt options include: 
-          Single cylinder deadbolts: The most common type around, these have a key cylinder on one side and a turning thumb knob on the other. We wouldn’t recommend these around glass doors, as someone could easily break the surrounding glass and reach around to unlock the deadbolt.
-          Thumb turn deadbolts: Very similar to single cylinder – the point of difference is that these have an additional lock for their inner turning mechanism.
-          Double cylinder deadbolts: More complex than a single cylinder and thumb turn, these comprise a key cylinder on both sides of the lock. While they provide you with heightened security, they could make emergency evacuations more difficult.
-          Keyless deadbolts: These are activated by code, making them much harder to break into. The downside is that these can be more expensive than other deadbolt types.   

4)      Lever handle locks
A popular choice in commercial properties. With these locks, you have a lever that has been especially designed to open and close easily – something that is crucial in a building with a high foot traffic. Once the lever is swung up or down, a bolt is released to quickly open the door. Like your residential knob locks, a lever handle lock will a rotating door knob on one side and a key cylinder on the other. 
5)      Mortise locks
Mortise locks are a two-in-one component, combining a non-locking spring latch that is controlled by a lever, and a deadbolt locking mechanism. That dual action makes these locks significantly stronger than most locks – meaning they are much harder to break into. With that said, they are also harder to install into a property too. 
6)      Cam locks
These are simple locks used to secure low-level devices like filing cabinets and lock boxes. The “cam” is a small tailpiece that keeps these locks secure. A key is required to take the cam out of, and back into its slot.

Find the right locks for your property 
Like we said, contacting a lock and key services provider will give you a lot of clarity over your security. Seasoned pros have installed and replaced these several times, and they will know exactly what type of lock is best for each type of property. Many locksmith businesses these days won’t charge you for a consultation, and they won’t pressure you into making a rash decision. We want to emphasize that, because every industry has its scammers, you should choose your locksmith professional wisely. Always hire a local business with a fully verifiable address – and run away from any operator that refuses to give you a full business name and information on licensing and insurance upon request. Locksmith services seldom cost several thousand dollars, so make sure to ask for a full cost breakdown of the options you are considering for your property. 
Are you looking for a locksmith business in Atlanta, GA? Then you’re in luck! Atlanta Fast Locksmith is more than happy to help you find the right locks for your property – whether you are a local homeowner or you own a business in the area. Get on the phone with our licensed and insured professional to inquire about our services and we will provide you with a full price quote, free of charge. 
Regardless of where you live or the type of property that you own, we hope that this basic guide to the various types of locks will help you better understand some of the options you can select from. Make sure to contact your trusted locksmith professional to find out more about your protection.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Lost Transponder Key

When you have a newer model car, undoubtedly, you have a transponder key. The transponder key is convenient because it allows you to start your car without placing a key in the ignition. You can open your car without sticking a key in the keyhole. There is just another level of convenience that is afforded to owners of newer vehicles that those with older vehicles may not be familiar with. Another advantage to having and using a transponder key is that it makes stealing your car much more difficult. Without the proper transmission the car will not start.  Like any key, it is possible to lose your transponder key. You don’t ever have to worry, if you lose your transponder key, a professional service, such as, Atlanta Fast Locksmith in Atlanta, Georgia could quickly come and reprogram another one for you, on the spot.

However, when you have lost your transponder key, you likely want some practical solutions to the problem. Well, you’re in luck because we are here to offer you some.

Lost Transponder Chip

If you lose your chip, the key simply will not work. Whenever your key has been dropped too often, it can loosen up the chip until the chip eventually falls out. The chip is often mistaken for the battery. When you try to use your transponder key only to realize that the chip has fallen out, you can depend on the services of a reputable locksmith services in Atlanta, GA to come to your location to handle the problem. Most mobile locksmith services are equipped to handle this for you. They can bring you another chip and program it for you. Don’t be fooled into thinking that only a dealership can handle this for you because most professional lock and key services have the same equipment the dealerships have to accomplish the same thing.

Stay Prepared

At the end of the day, it really is a matter of convenience. Losing your transponder key isn’t the worst thing that could happen, not having a backup key until you can tend to your transponder key issue, is the worst thing that could happen. Be smart about it. ALWAYS have a spare key! This simply minimizes the level of frustration that you experience and give you time to calm down so that you can think. If you have a spare key, you don’t risk spending money on abrand new transponder key (which isn’t cheap) and later finding it. If you don’t already have a spare key, get yourself one TODAY! Most dealerships will actually give you another one as an incentive to buy a car. If you are offered certain features that do not come standard with the car you are considering purchasing, why not ask them for a spare transponder key instead of one of the features they are trying to sell to you. Give the spare key to someone who will be responsible and available to assist you whenever you might need it.

Insurance for Lost or Stolen Keys

If someone tries to sell you lost key insurance, reject it. You don’t need it if you are plan for the worst by having a spare key made. You are required to make an annual or monthly payment toward insurance that could be a headache to even get them to pay. Save that money and invest in a spar key, it is a lot less expensive. You don’t have a to have a spare transponder key, you can simply invest in a standard car key, which is far less expensive than the insurance.

Buy Online

You might be reluctant to buy a key online but if you are keen on saving money, it isn’t a bad option. There are some reliable online options for purchasing a new transponder key, one of them is eBay. The key to purchasing a transponder key online is to buy from a reputable resource. There are various manufacturers of transponder keys but not all are reliable sources. You can contact a locksmith who will surely know which manufacturer would offer you the best value for your money. The other thing to consider when purchasing a transponder key online is to only buy it online if they offer a return policy. If you buy it and get it home and the key doesn’t work, you want the reassurance that you will be able to return it and perhaps have them send you another one. Sometimes these things simply happen.

Another great gadget to invest in, especially if you are always losing your keys, is a key locater. This handy little gadget can save you time, money and frustration. It is well worth trying to find one online, where the prices will be significantly less expensive than buying it from retail store. The key locator is programmed to direct you to your key. You can often find them offered on Amazon or eBay and most sellers offer a return policy, which is always a good sign in my opinion. There is no reason you should throw money away when you shopping online to save money.

Lets face it; we all have a lot on our minds these days. The last thing you probably imagine is losing your key. If you are going to be able to minimize your level of stress, do yourself a favor by thinking before hand, what you’ll do if you should happen to lose or have your transponder key stolen. A great resource is always a local locksmith. Locksmith technicians can offer you a reliable resolution to your problem. Don’t panic, and just think back to this article should you happen to lose your transponder key. The steps mentioned above are practical and affordable. You don’t always have to be quick to spending more money than is necessary when you’re prepared for the possibility of losing your transponder car key. Again, while it is convenient to have them, they can also be misplaced or stolen, so be prepared.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

ACCESS CONTROL – what is it?

Nowadays you often hear the term access control used. All it really means is just who is allowed through an entryway or into a certain part of a building. If you think about it, access control is everywhere in Atlanta, GA and in every other part of the world. We actually experience it often in our daily lives.Every time you see a security guard or a bouncer you are seeing access control at work. The security guard usually decides who gains access, who stays, and who must leave. Another example is a metal turnstile or even a metal detector at an airport.Any person or thing that restricts or controls access to a certain area is a form of access control. Try going on a tour of a museum or of the White House for that matter and you will see a access control at work! You can also see access control at universities, hospitals, movie theaters, shopping centers and in both residential and business locations all over town. Even something as simple as a sign that says Authorized Personnel Only or Valet Parking is a form of access control.

Is Access Control Really Needed?

Access control IS needed and has been used for thousands of years to keep order and better security. Here in Atlanta, GA we have restaurants, shopping locations and educational institutions where ticket holders, security personnel, VIP guests, and other special customers are allowed certain access and others are not. Every town in the country has similar situations. Try going to any sporting event and you can always spot where the high ticket seats and boxes are located. They are making use of access control! Other applications include public school lock downs and workplace violence where certain sections of a building are closed off.

Some Benefits

Here are some benefits of access control. An established access control system allows only authorized people access to certain parts of a building or location. At the same time, it blocks access to unauthorized individuals or staff members. It also increases security in residential, educational, institutional, and commercial locations. This provides additional protection, peace of mind, and safety for residents, employees and customers, as well. Sure, you can always lock a door, and that has its benefits, but for more advanced access control an electronic system allows for more advanced controlled access as well as visual and audio surveillance of an area. Take for example the remote monitoring and even visitor identification at your local courthouse, hospital,high end restaurant or casino and watch how they control the flow of the public and paying guests. Here at Atlanta Fast Locksmith we offer dozens of forms of access control. We have services and products to fit every budget and for every need.Our service is perfect for both residential and commercial applications. We invite you to call and speak to any of our helpful locksmith professionals and see how access control can benefit you and make your life safer and better protected.

Different Kinds of Access Control

One of the most simple and economical ways to utilize access control is to make use of a keypad. Simply punch in a number or combination sequence and you can gain access to a designated area. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s practical. The keypad can even identify which persons are entering which parts of the building and at what time. One problem though, user codes and combinations can be given to unauthorized persons so it’s always a good idea to match a keypad with video surveillance for more accurate identification and control. Keypads are most often used in hotels, high-rise condo units, and automotive vehicles. Additionally, keypads can be programmed so that if the wrong combination is used an alarm will sound. By using these alarms unauthorized users are discouraged from trying one code after another in the hopes that they will discover the right combination and be able to gain access.

Bar Code Cards

These are also call stripe cards and are often used in call centers, credit card companies and banks. They are very economical to make and to use. One drawback though; they should be avoided whenever high security access control is required as these cards can be easily and cheaply duplicated with the right equipment.

FOB Keys

FOB keys are used quite often. They are most often made in to a plastic card that can be attached to a key ring. The chip or electronic device is on the inside of the card itself. The user simply holds the card to a reader device which gives access th the user when it is recognized. These are often used as employee badges.

Biometric Readers

Biometric readers are one of the most reliable and advanced methods of access control. Here at Atlanta Fast Locksmith our biometric entry systems offer this method of access control and a great many others. These biometric readers are very convenient for users as they don’t have to carry badges, keys or any form of credentials. They simply use their fingerprints to gain access! These are also known as fingerprint locks and are now used in applications like smart phones and laptops. Other, more advanced biometric access control includes retina scanners, voice recognition, signature recognition, and hand identification. As you can see access control in all of its many forms is very common and its use is widespread not only here in Atlanta, GA but in other places, too. Other access control systems include electronic keys,residential keypads, remote controls, proximity readers, and other similar types.

You Should Consider Using Access Control

Anytime you wish to have better control over your building, property, or inventory you should consider using access control. Humans have used keys for thousands of years and still do today, however their use is limited as they can be lent out to others or easily copied. One of the problems with keys is that you cannot track their usage. For additional control and security you should consider using access control methods. Here at Atlanta Fast Locksmith we make access control available to any customer that needs or wants it. We work with small to practically unlimited budgets. If you wish to familiarize yourself with more of its applications and how it can help your residential or commercial security we invite you to call our Atlanta, GA locksmiths and get free details along with helpful, no-cost price quotes.

Monday, 31 October 2016


First and foremost, maintain safety.

Without a doubt, if you are a gun owner, it is critically important to store your weapons safely at all times by keeping them totally protected inside a reliable gun safe. Access control is indeed fundamental to gun safety. No matter why you own a gun ~ for work, hunting, target practice, skeet shooting, or protection ~ or if you are a gun collector, it is essential that you keep your weapons stored appropriately.

You absolutely don’t want to risk any dangerous or fatal situation that could happen if one of your guns were to fall into the wrong hands. Be a responsible gun owner: Keep your guns locked up.

The proper gun safe will keep your guns away from thieves, and most of all, away from children. The truth is, no one should be able to get to your guns except you. Besides children and teenagers, anyone else who may be in your home mustn’t be able to gain access to your weapons ~ family members, friends, babysitters, house-sitters, care-givers, exchange students, neighbors, and so on.

Take proper precautions with your concealed-carry weapon.

Do you have a license to carry a concealed weapon? If so, be sure to pay attention to the legal requirements that pertain to your location. A portable gun safe, for example, is a good option for your vehicle.

You must obey the law.

It’s important to find out the particulars of the local laws of Atlanta, Georgia. In most states and in the District of Columbia, it is required by law that your guns be locked up to prevent access to children ~ in some cases even if you don’t have any children yourself. You’ll probably be breaking the law if any child gets a hold of your firearm. Penalties vary for allowing a child access to a gun; but the truth is, you can be held accountable for negligent storage, whether or not a child actually gains access to a gun or uses it to cause injury or death.

It’s possible that the unthinkable could happen: For example, someone could steal your gun, and, use it in a convenience-store robbery, shooting and killing the cashier. If you didn’t have a safe, the victim’s family could claim that your weapon was improperly stored, and thus file a lawsuit against you.

It’s so much better to safeguard your weapons in a safe, because in case your guns are ever stolen, it helps significantly if you can prove that you took the proper measures to store them securely and safely. Keep intruders out with a heavy-duty gun safe. Otherwise, a thief could steal and resell your gun, or use it to commit a crime.

Sometimes a burglar will break in your home without doing any damage. If you don’t have any proof of forced entry, then without evidence that you had your guns locked in a suitable safe, this fact may work against you should the robber commit a crime using your gun, especially if it is a person you know. 

Properly insure your guns.

Keeping your guns in a prime-quality safe may be the only way you’ll know for sure that your weapons are fully insured. Furthermore, guarding your guns in a safe can often get you a discount on your insurance premium. Just ask. Look into your firearm coverage limitations and particulars of your home or renter’s insurance policy. Your insurance company may compel you to put your guns in a certified gun safe, perhaps even requiring an alarm. Depending on how many guns you have, and what sort of weapons they are, you may want to ask about adding a rider for extended coverage. If you own a lot of guns, your insurance company’s safe certification rules may require you to divide your gun collection into several safes so as to reduce the likelihood of everything being stolen at once. If you ever had to make an insurance claim, being able to demonstrate that you took all the proper steps to protect your valuables makes it much more likely that you’ll be fully compensated for your loss.

Keep your weapons from being destroyed by flood and fire.

An exceptional-quality fire-rated and waterproof gun safe will provide maximized protection from fire or water damage for your guns and other valuables, in case a fire or flood should ever arise at your property.

Guard your investment.

With the right gun safe, you can keep all your firearms away from burglars. Some guns can easily be replaced or upgraded. But older vintage weapons are often irreplaceable and may have sentimental value.

You can often save on your taxes.

In some states, gun safes are exempt from sales tax. Some states offer a tax credit when you buy a gun safe. Even a federal tax credit is a possibility.

With an outstanding-quality safe, you can protect other valuables, too.

When you’ve got a trustworthy safe in the house to keep your guns secure as well as protected from flood, fire, and theft, you might as well include other important items, too. Because of its extraordinary size, you will likely have some space left for valuable items such as: stock certificates, property deeds, tax records, birth certificates, passports, emergency cash, collectibles, jewelry, or photographs. 

Extra protection for your home.

If you own a firearm for home protection, in case of an emergency, you’ll want easy access to your gun. Some manufactures make their gun safes with locks that can be opened in only a couple of seconds. Of course, it’s entirely imperative that you be the only person who knows how to open it.

You can store your guns in style.

Most people would agree, wherever you keep your high-quality gun safe, it does look appealing. Often painted with a shiny finish, and ornamented with gleaming hardware, a gun safe’s remarkable size and weight make it impressive.

How do you find the right gun safe?

If you are located anywhere in Atlanta, Georgia, and you have any questions about which gun safe is best for what you’ve got, it would be helpful to consult with a reputable company such as Atlanta Fast Locksmith. Their staff safe specialists would be glad to share their expertise so you can make well-informed decisions.