Residential locksmiths should be valued for more than their ability to assist in an emergency. It’s true that locksmiths are lifesavers when a homeowner forgets or loses their keys, but a talented professional is capable of doing more than that. A certified locksmith in the Houston area is capable of enhancing home security in a variety of ways. For this reason, a reputable locksmith business should also be considered an insightful partner who can be consulted whenever it is time to better secure a property.
What can residential locksmiths offer?
First, a reputable locksmith business should have a presence throughout the city. A Houston locksmith, then, should also be considered a locksmith in Katy, for example. Certified lock shops go out of their way to extend their services to as many as possible because they know that most calls are of the emergency variety. But what can a locksmith business do other than cracking open doors and windows?
- Enhance door and window security – This is the service that is most overlooked with certified locksmiths. In the city, the priority is always maximum security, so a locksmith in the Villages, for instance, is a valuable consultant to Piney Point or Hunters Creek property owners. Unless a homebuyer makes it a special focus during the construction process, most homes are built with poor deadbolts and fragile strike plates. A solid kick or two will take care of those, so they don’t offer true security – just the mirage of true security.Fortunately, a locksmith in Houston can provide homeowners with much improved deadbolts and strike plates. Consider the typical deadbolt, which may not even meet the minimum requirements developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). A Grade 3 deadbolt, which is the lowest grade recognized by the ANSI, can only withstand two strikes of 75 pounds of force. That’s two kicks – something that can be executed in seconds. A Grade 1 deadbolt, though, can take 10 strikes using the same amount of force. Delivering 10 strong kicks in succession is exhausting and extremely loud. Would-be burglars are likely to give up, knowing that they have alerted everyone inside the building by the time they get through. A Grade 1 deadbolt paired with a strike plate that is securely bolted with additional, longer screws that are set in wall studs offers a combination that turns an otherwise easy entry point into a true barrier.A Bellaire or Memorial locksmith can also reinforce windows with improved locks and high security glass that does not shatter when struck. Instead, the strengthened glass is held together with adhesive that stands firm even after the glass is broken. This not only makes forced entry a massive chore, it also prevents the shattered glass from becoming a hazard in the building.
- Offer security products like gun and fire safes – A locksmith business isn’t just an expert in locks. Its certified professionals offer insight into security containers as well. Everyone knows what a safe looks like, but looks can be deceiving. Safe construction is exceptionally important in measuring burglary and fire protection, and homeowners need someone they can trust when selecting a safe that will provide optimal defense.A reputable locksmith business will maintain an inventory of safes that are built by respectable brands. A sturdy burglary and fire safe should be Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and Electrical Testing Lab (ETL) certified, and made with a UL approved locking mechanism.Homeowners should only accept a minimum of Residential Security Container (RSC)-level protection from a home safe, especially if the safe will be relied on as a primary method of storing high value assets. A locksmith business can help a homeowner select such a safe and review the construction features to ensure the buyer knows everything about their new purchase.This is especially helpful for homeowners that need to store a particular type of item, like firearms or sensitive documents. Protecting these items or storing them efficiently takes more than just a basic safe, and a locksmith business can help find the appropriate safe for the job.
- Provide an assortment of keying services – The first line of defense in protecting a property is maximizing key security. It’s true that a locksmith business can cut basic keys for a home or business, but that’s not the best use of an expert locksmith’s abilities. No, a locksmith can do more than that, including cutting keys for high security locks.Some burglars attempt to gain entry into the home by “bumping” the lock, or forcing all of the pins in place by shoving a blank into the lock with force. High security locks are impervious to this, as they are built with restrictive keyways. Such locks are also resistant to manipulation, typically with the use of security pins that make it impossible to move lock picking tools freely.However, none of this matters if there are too many keys in too many hands. A locksmith business can improve key security in a couple ways. One method is to take advantage of the massive number of key differences that a high security lock offers. With so many options available, a locksmith business can produce some impressively complex master keying patterns. This will make it extremely hard for a burglar to cross key their way through the lock.An emerging, but still rare, technology in key security is the advent of laser cut keys. Laser cut keys, like the name suggests, requires the use of a laser cutting tool. This is something that a garden variety locksmith business will likely not have access to. However, laser cut keys provide an additional layer of security because they can produce much more precise keying patterns. They are so precise, in fact, that it is impossible to copy the pattern without access to laser cutting equipment. That’s a bridge too far, even for the most ambitious burglars.
Look for a Certified Locksmith
Locksmith certification is something that the industry believes in, so businesses that want to maintain a strong reputation will encourage their people into attaining it. Locksmith certification is generally handled through the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA), as it is the most respected national industry association. The ALOA offers several levels of certification, from apprentice level certification to master level certification, the latter of which takes many years of work in the industry.
Ideally, a locksmith business will have a comprehensive range of experts on their staff, ensuring they can handle anything that a client needs. This may include specialty areas like electronic locks, advanced keying, alarms, time locks, domestic and foreign automotive locks and a couple dozen certification areas in safes and safe locks. If something specific is needed from a locksmith business, make sure that they have someone on staff who is certified in the area, as it takes decades of experience to learn everything in the field.
Houston residential locksmiths may be the people to call when the keys turn up missing, but they can be much more than that to a home or business owner. With their knowledge of all things security, a locksmith business is a valuable fount of insight when it comes to protecting the home.