Monthly Archives: October 2015

Safety & Security Checklist Before Leaving For Vacation in Houston Texas

The holidays are fast approaching and many traditions include traveling. With home break-ins being on the rise, you don’t want to leave your home unprotected. Empty homes are a banquet hall for scoundrels who are out to take what does not belong to them.

Texan Lock & Key would like to offer a few tips and ideas on how to better keep your home safe and secured.

Neighbor Surveillance. When preparing to leave out of town, it is good to have a close neighbor keep an eye on your home while you are away. They are within view of your place, and know who should, and shouldn’t be around. If you are not particularly close with or trust any nearby neighbors, ask a friend or family member to check in often. Keeping activity in your house can reduce the availability to the unsavory sort. Should you have multiple people coming and going from your home, letting the watchers know would be a good idea so no un-needed police calls are made.
Don’t announce your travel plans. In an era where every moment is documented in social media, it is best to keep your vacation plans to those who need to know in person. Posting your pictures upon your safe return is better suited. Many criminals have accounts on social media and in reality, you never know who has the skill to peek at yours.
Curtains and blinds – To open the curtains, or not to open the curtains. If you open your curtains you may feel that’s an unwritten invitation to be victimized. But if they are closed, your trusted watchers may not see any unwelcomed guests and notify authorities. Best solution; leave your curtains like how would if you were home. The seasoned criminals look for changes in the home to give them clues when no one is there. Do keep as many valuables out of window shot to make your home less enticing.
Avoid light streaming. Lights left on for your extended vacation all day and all night is very costly. The energy bill would be eye-widening and wasting energy isn’t very “green”. Burning light through the late hours of the night would also raise suspicion. Investing in light switch timers is the more cost effective way to go. Your lights will turn on and off in giving the illusion your home is occupied, but won’t cost you in energy bills.
Mail and Advertisement Clutter. You don’t want mail, newspapers, or door hangers to pile up. Put a “stop” on newspapers and mail if you’re you plan to be gone more than week. If you don’t want to put up with that aggravation, ask your friends, family, or neighbor to pick it up for you.
Utilities. In colder climates, make proper arrangements to keep your pipes insulated. Unless you have an actual house sitter, turn off the main water valve. You can show your house care giver where the valve is in the event they are caring for plants or pets that require daily watering. If that is too time consuming for your house-sitter, perhaps asking them to do a quick sweep of every room is in order. No one wants to come home to a flood. Your power sources need to be addressed. If your house sitters are not occupying the house for long periods of time, unplugging all unnecessary electronics is strongly recommended. This will help save a ton on your bill, as even items turned off can draw energy, but it could also prevent any issues while you are away.
Spare key. Should a criminal realize your home is empty, keeping a spare key in the obvious places is begging for him to come in and help themselves. Give your key to the trusted person keeping an eye on things instead.

Professional Home Safety & Security, Rekeying & Changing of Locks, Spare Keys in Killeen, Austin, San Antonio, Round Rock, San Marcos, Frisco, Austin, New Braunfels and Houston TX

Remember to think ahead and make the appropriate plans and security measures for your humble abode. If you are uncertain to how many keys are floating around for your home, having a skilled professional from Texan Lock and Key to re-key your home can give you peace of mind in your absence.

Pass / Master & Classic Antique Skeleton Keys

Fall is in the air and with it comes the fun and excitement of Halloween decorations, costumes and purchasing pounds of candy to hand out to eager trick or treaters. One of the more common decorations you may see hanging around the neighborhood this season is the skeleton, a hanging bag of bones is a sure way to get into the spirit of Halloween and make your home one that kids want to come and knock on your door. One thing that Halloween and keys have in common is the skeleton, believe it or not. The skeleton key is a common term used in the locksmith business every day.

Classic Antique Skeleton Keys

There are two types of skeleton keys. The first is the antique classic key design that fits a warded lock. This type of key has been in use for over two thousand years. These skeleton keys look old and antique, most of the time seen in movies that depict a much earlier time. These keys are rarely used in the locks that we use today, but can be fun to have to open an old chest or padlock. Old skeleton keys can become a collector’s item, especially if you have a matching lock to go along with it. Many old fashioned skeleton keys were very ornate and elaborate in their design. Some containing jewels on the handle, or initials, specific shapes or patterns. This was during an era where intricate metal work was prized. The bow of the key would often include decorations and ornamental flourishes to make it even more distinctive. While the handle of these old keys was very flashy, the end of the key that opened up locks was very simple, and able to open a large number of doors with locks which are similar enough for the key to work. Keys differ in many ways as do the locks they fit in to.

Pass Keys or Master Keys

The second is a master key which is a key designed to fit in a wide variety of locks. Master keys are a part of daily life for locksmiths as well as home and business owners that require a number of locking doors or devices. This skeleton key is a type of master key in which the edges are filed down to open any type of lock. The term “skeleton” derives from the fact that the key has been reduced to its essential parts, or in other words, it’s skeleton. Skeleton keys are very handy when a locksmith is trying to open a door where the original key has been accidentally locked behind.

New Lock Installation, Re-Keying, Master Keys, Lock Changes & Professional Locksmith Services in Killeen, Austin, San Antonio, Round Rock, San Marcos, Frisco, Austin, New Braunfels and Houston TX

If you are in need of a new set of keys or locks or replacement of existing ones, contact Texan Lock and Key today.

Don’t Get Overcharged by Other Locksmiths; Call Texan Lock & Key for Fair Costs in New Braunfels TX

There are many ways that you might find yourself in need of a locksmith. This can be as simple as needing a new key made to give to your teenager or a new lock set that needs to be installed in a home. There are other services that a locksmith offers that will include replacing a lost car key or transponder key. They can also come when there is an emergency and help you get back in your home or car if you are locked out. If you lose your set of keys you may want a new key made or new locks replaced for fear that someone else has the keys to the old locks.

Texan Lock and Key have prepared some ways to be sure that you are not overcharged for your locksmith services.

Don’t get baited by ‘low cost’ locksmiths. When you see an ad for a low priced locksmith service that claims they can have you rekey your entire house for a low, low price, the majority of the time they are baiting you in and then telling you that it is actually much more in fees that may be required to install the new locks. This happens most often when you are in a bind like when you have accidentally locked your key in the car or when you lose a key that you need to get in your house. These can be a very stressful time and you really need to be back on schedule as soon as possible. If you see a low price ad and call they will come out and many times tell you that the price is not as advertised hoping that you will be desperate enough to pay the higher fee to get back to your day.

Professional Emergency Mobile Locksmith Services in Killeen, Austin, San Antonio, Round Rock, San Marcos, Frisco, Austin, New Braunfels and Houston TX

The best thing that you can do to make sure that you are not overcharged is to take time to research a reliable company before you have a problem. You can call and talk to a technician so that you know what services they offer and what the standard rate is for specific kinds of jobs. Then when you are stuck in a bind you can stay calm and call the place that you have found to come out and get you back on the road. You are less likely to make a quick and hasty decision when you have already researched a company that services the area you are in. Contact Texan Lock and Key today. We would love to be your go-to locksmith!

Types of House Keys for Locks in Frisco Texas; Keys Made of Brass, Steel, Nickel, Silver & Aluminum.

We use keys every single day for almost everything we do, whether we are locking the front door, checking the mailbox, starting the car, locking up at work or locking the back gate, we use keys every day. Not all keys are created equal and you may be surprised at what material your keys are actually made out of. While most common keys are made from brass, there are other materials that are becoming more prominent in the manufacturing of keys. Some keys are made from nickel, silver, aluminum, or other combinations of metals. The type of metal your keys are made from have a direct correlation on their longevity, the effect they have on locks and the chances they have of breaking off in a lock.

Vintage Brass Keys

There is a reason why brass keys are so popular and the majority of keys are cut from brass. Brass is a softer material, which makes it much easier for key cutters to cut them out of and brass is best for locksmiths who are making hand-made keys. Brass is a much gentler metal when it comes to the effects a key has on the internal structure of a lock. Because brass is a softer metal, it will not wear down the interior mechanics of a lock as fast as other keys which are made from a harder material. However, because brass is so soft, it can shed off small particle of brass into the lock, sometimes causing it to jam. Brass keys wear down much faster which results in a lock wearing much slower. Because brass keys are so soft, they tend to bend and twist a lot easier than a key made form a stronger harder metal material. Brass keys are most popular is the United Kingdom and the United States. Brass keys have been found to last much longer when they match a brass lock, however brass on brass must be cleaned properly and regularly to produce the most positive and long lasting results.

Steel Keys

Steel keys are gaining popularity due to their strength and hardness. Steel keys are not usually handmade by locksmiths due to the hardness of the material. Because steel keys are so hard and strong, they tend to wear a lock down much faster than that of a brass key. While the steel key will last a very long time, the lock that it goes to can be worn down quite a bit. The benefits of having a steel key are that it will not bend, twist or break easily, eliminating the possibility of a key getting broke off into a lock.

Professional Key Duplication, Replacement, Re-Keying & Locksmith Services in Killeen, Austin, San Antonio, Round Rock, San Marcos, Frisco, Austin, New Braunfels and Houston TX

If you are in need of new keys or your locks have been worn down and need repair, contact Texan Lock and Key today.