It's amazing how many people ignore their security and then wonder how the intruder was able to make entry so easy. If every home owner would follow a few basic rules, take some basic precautions, and install some basic hardware, home invasions and personal attacks could be cut drastically.
Below are just a few tips for you to consider.
1. If you're going to be away from home for a extended period of time, create the illusion that someone is still there. Leave a TV or stereo on in the main rooms of the home making it look as though the home is occupied. Use exterior lighting and motion detectors to minimize burglar concealment. Leave the lights off so neighbors will get use to the darkness so when a light is on it will attract their attention. Use timers to turn lights on and off so it will look as if someone is moving around the home.
2. Make sure all exterior doors have good deadbolts properly installed with security strikes. Always consider the door from the garage to the house an exterior door.
3. If you get a knock at the door, check to see who it is before you open it. Use peak holes for this; not door chains. Door chains offer no security once the door is opened. A burglar can simply kick the door busting the chain while knocking you to the floor disorienting you giving him time to enter and attack you.
4. Do not leave extra keys outside the home, burglars know the hiding places and will generally find them. If you must, find a place that is so inconspicuous no one would think to look or better yet give a set to a neighbor you can trust.
5. Patio doors are a weak link to any home, to aid in the security of these doors you can add a keyed lock at the bottom or top that will act as a mini deadbolt or you can simply place a broom stick in the track if the door slides on the inside track.
6. ALWAYS keep your garage doors shut if your not in the front of the house. It allows for a place to hide for later entry or it offers a quick grab of your property, or it allows the thief to enter your home while your in the back yard busy with the kids or garden.
7. Keep drapes and blinds shut - especially in rooms where there are expensive items. Don't advertise what you have in your home. Also never set the boxes these items came in at the curb, again you are advertising what you just purchased.
8. Store valuables in a safe or safety deposit box instead of leaving them lying around the home.
9. Don't leave notes on the door for service people or family members. These alert the burglar that you are not home.
10. If you're going to be away from home for a few days, adjust your telephone ring to its lowest volume setting. An unanswered phone may tip off a burglar that no one is home. Also, have a neighbor or friend collect your newspaper and mail. Never cancel delivery - you don't know who will get that information.
11. Never put your name on your mail box, it just aids the intruder in his scam. He will catch you off guard by knowing your name.
12. Keep your shrubs trimmed, don't give them a place to hide.
13. Keep your Auto Key Remote by you at all times and next to the bed at night. If you do experience a break in or another emergency you can activate your car alarm alerting your neighbors that you're having a problem.
14. Never mail anything from your home with checks or account numbers in the envelope. Use a drop box or hand it directly to the carrier.
15. Are your locks working hard? Do you feel a click or a binding in the key? Do you have to jiggle the key to get it to work? If so your having issues within the lock cylinder, these are warning signs that the lock could be in need of service, or that it was poorly keyed at the inset. Some times a simple flushing of the cylinder will help or you could just simply have a key that was miss-cut. Use a lubricant such as WD-40 to flush out and lubricate the lock. Don't use graphite in a lock that has been lubricated with a liquid lubricant, it will clog up. If you are one that uses graphite use it very sparingly or it will build up in the back of the cylinder causing problems, more is not better in the case of graphite.
For additional information, give us a call. We can come to your home, evaluate your hardware and make suggestions to improve your security.
Commonly Asked Questions 1) What exactly is a Trip/Service Charge & why do I pay it? The Trip/Service Charge is for travel time and fuel to your location.
2) Do I have or can I get a corporate account with TLC? Yes, corporate accounts are available to all business customers. We have a very liberal policy in regards to open accounts.
3) Do you offer warranties or extended warranties? Yes we do on both cases. Our standard warranty is 120 days for all labor and most hardware manufactures carry an even longer warranty. An extended warranty is available for an additional charge.
4) I can buy the same lock at the local do-it-yourself center for less then you charge. Why are your prices higher? Do-it-yourself centers have always been able to purchase hardware by the truck load. The trade off is the level of service after the sale. The great price is there if you are not concerned with the fact you get only what they have in stock even if it is not really what you wanted as well as the lack of technical help in deciding what is really best for your situation. The super stores have almost caused the complete demise of the smaller specialty shops such as the small retailer, hardware stores, and so on, leaving the consumer less and less to choose from. Often these super store giants lead you in by offering an unbelievable price on a typical locking device, what you don't know is the quality or lack of quality on this item. For example many manufactures sell a "Consumer Line" of hardware you see in the plastic packages. This "Consumer Line" to the untrained eye is the same as any other but in fact is not. The hardware we promote is of a substantially greater quality. We sell only high quality locks and will always install the lock that best fits your budget and needs.
5) Will you install what I purchase at the do-it-yourself center? In most cases yes, however there are many locking devices that are of very poor quality that will not hold up to the day to day abuse that a typical house hold or business will dish out. These hardware's have loose fitting parts and in some cases will just not work in your environment. Because of this warranties will not apply when the hardware is furnished by the customer.
6) What is TLC's policy on duplicating keys stamped "DO NOT DUPLICATE"? The "Do Not Duplicate" stamp is kind of like a sign saying "Please stay off the grass" they both express the desire of the owner but neither have much enforceability when it comes to the laws governing key duplication. Our policy states that any customer requesting a copy of a DND stamped key fill out a request form authorizing us to make the requested duplicates. We make every effort to honor the owners request but it is impossible to know exactly what the key is truly for. We have had home owners request duplicates of their standard house keys with DND stamped on them. Some locksmiths will stamp DND on any key causing the home owner a great deal of grief when he or she needs a duplicate. Another issue is that the DND can be ground off or just covered with tape or a label to conceal the DND stamping. If you want or need a key that truly can not be duplicated give us a call and we will be glad to visit with you about a High Security Key System.
7) Can you provide service out side of the Topeka area? Yes, we provide service any where in NE Kansas and beyond. Our standard trip charge applies up to 20 miles from the center of Topeka. Additional charges will be applied in the form of mileage charges for the round trip to cover the additional time and fuel. These charges will be expressed to you before the trip is made.
8) Do you provide security surveys and what is the cost? Yes we do. There is typically no cost to provide this service except for large facilities requiring a great deal of time. The cost is based on our standard hourly rate but will be credited back to you if the work is performed at a rate of 50%.
10) Will your company repair and or install doors? Yes we have a great deal of experience with the repair and installation of doors and entry ways. We have several sub contractors in our group of service providers to assist in the installation if necessary. Our group consist of carpenters, metal fabricators, welders, electricians, etc.
11) Do you work on glass aluminum entry ways as well as the framing? Yes we do, we have experience in the installation of glass aluminum doors and frames. However in most situations we would incorporate a subcontractor on the larger jobs or just recommend one for the installation of a complete systems.
12) We just moved in to our new home or facility. Should we have the locks re-keyed? YES, YES absolutely YES. First of all you don't know who has retained a key such as a neighbor, a baby-sitter, a service provider, or an X-employee. Changing the locks is a small price to pay for the piece of mind knowing that YOU & ONLY YOU have the keys. Secondly this is a good time to have your hardware evaluated for any repairs that are needed or to add additional hardware.
13) Can you change my safe combination to a familiar number? We can change your safe combination but not necessarily to a number that is familiar to you because of the ascending or descending numbers and the close proximity to the numbers. However we can suggest a number pattern that may be something that will help you remember the combination.
14) I was told that since I have Best locks I have to stay with Best key ways unless I replace all of my hardware, is this true? No not necessarily, there are cylinders available that will work in your hardware that can be keyed to many different manufacture key ways allowing you to avoid the replacement of expensive hardware and allow you to incorporate other manufacture hardware into your facility providing you with security and the ability to Master Key the system.
15) Can all my locks be keyed to work on the same key? Yes in most cases, if all the locks are compatible that is if a single key will insert into all of the locks. Some cheaper locks available at the do-it-yourself centers are not re-keyable because they are not made to be dissembled so the worse case scenario would be replacing some of the hardware.
16) I was told by my current service provider that a master key system in my facility is not feasible because of the number of locks, is this true? We have heard this over and over and are simply amazed at this statement. There is no limit to the number of locks you can build into a Properly Designed Master Key System. The only limitation is on the number of bittings on a single keyway. I personally have designed and installed a Master Key System with more then 12,000 locks.
17) Do you provide service for Automobiles? Yes we do but on a limited few at this time. Our main focus is Commercial & Residential. However we can answer any question you may have or at least lead you in a direction were you can get the necessary help. Our future expansion plans include an Automotive Service Technician who will provide service on more then 95% of all motorized vehicles. Just FYI in my earlier days I have made keys for an array of vehicles like vintage Model A's, a 1933 Derham Trustier, Rolls Royce's, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar's, and even the White Cadillac once owned by Elvis as well as just about everything else on the road with wheels.
18) Do you install alarm systems. No we do not but we highly recommend you have one. Alarms are your second line of defense when an intruder has successfully violated your perimeter defenses, in other words made forced entry. No building in the world with a few exceptions is completely safe and secure. Protect yourself and your family.