Monthly Archives: May 2017

Which is Best & More Secure for Your Home or Business in Houston, TX? Traditional Deadbolts or Electronic Smart Locks

Homeowners have locked up their homes for some time now. Keeping your family, possessions, and home safe from those that want to cause harm is among the top priorities. But with modern technology, locks have evolved. Options between traditional locks and smart locks are now a debate as to the effectiveness of the security they provide. Today, we at Texan Lock and Key would like to look at smart locks versus traditional locks for your consideration.

ANSI Grade Traditional Locks
Traditional locks have many variations, but referencing them is essentially the locks that require manual engagement in order for the locking mechanism to function. Options of traditional locks for example, include deadbolts, mortise locks, knob locks and so on. With a turn of a key, a twist of your thumb, or a push of a button all constitute a traditional lock. To unlock or lock these mechanisms often requires a key or code, to which a pin tumbler locks, rim lock, or mortise lock than performs its purpose. If the wrong key or sequence of buttons for a code is pushed, the lock will not comply, keeping the home secure. Deadbolts and other traditional forms of locks are graded on a system based on the ANSI standards and depending on the grade the lock has earned, dictate the level of security it offers. The traditional locks can also be enhanced with the use of solid metal strike plates and longer deadbolt throws. Many of these locks can feature resistance to lock picking, lock bumping, and other methods commonly used to bypass the locking mechanism.

Security of Traditional Locks

In order to know the quality of security your traditional lock offers, there are a few determining factors to consider; placement, frequency of use, as well as if the lock works in conjunction with other methods. Basically, traditional locks are in fact an excellent source for securing your home as long as you utilize the highest quality and top graded locks as well as ensuring optimal installation.

Automated Smart Locks

To put it in simple terms, basically a smart lock is an automated version of the traditional lock. The same mechanics apply, the only difference is that these locks are integrated with electronic properties to allow them to be operated remotely or electronically. Smart locks are often referenced because they can be operated with smartphones or other smart devices and the appropriate apps. Homeowners can monitor and control the locks to their home in ways that are not applicable to traditional locks. Smart lock manufacturers focus on efficiency and unique features more so than they do the actual security. In order for the smart lock to perform its locking and unlocking process, it has to receive its operational instructions from a pre-authorized device, as well as a cryptographic key. Additionally, smart locks have the ability to monitor the status of the lock and send pertinent alerts to authorized devices. Where some smart locks also have the ability to hand out temporary keys to third parties, and these temporary keys function as spare keys, they generally do not have a physical key. Typically, either a special key fobs or a set of instructions issued by home automation protocol, which will authenticate that it is the proper key for the lock is issued.

Can Smart Locks Be Hacked?

Though the smart lock is trendy and innovative, many question the integrity and quality of the security it provides. Between cyber crimes on smart locks and the customizing holes that are created to install smart locks, they can be hacked fairly easily. Until the kinks are worked out and the security improved, sticking with traditional locks offers your home more security.

Residential, Commercial & Automotive Locksmith in KILLEEN, AUSTIN, SAN ANTONIO, ROUND ROCK, SAN MARCOS, FRISCO, NEW BRAUNFELS & HOUSTON TEXAS

If you are looking to upgrade your locks, contact Texan Lock and Key and let our experts recommend the highest secure locks available to keep your home and loved ones safe.

Difference Between a Gun Safe & Cabinet in New Braunfels, TX; Waterproof, Fire Rated & More

Common material for gun safes and cabinets are 14-12 gauge steel. For 12 gauge that is about 1/10th of an inch, while 10 gauge is over an eighth inch. A fire axe has been shown to penetrate a safe’s side wall within minutes. There are two primary differences between safes and cabinets. Safes are more robust, usually double layering the material or using thicker steel and are lined with some sort of fire resistant material, generally some kind of gypsum product, well bluntly put “sheetrock”.

Fire Rated Gun Safes

Sheetrock or gypsum board is a mineral material resistant to heat and fire. It is a fairly effective fire resistant rated material but most sheetrock also contains formaldehyde. Formaldehyde in the Chinese manufactured safes is perhaps excessive, the smell readily detectable. Formaldehyde is a gas in these applications and thus can be breathed in through normal aspiration. It has a carcinogenic link to cancer. When it burns, formic acid is produced. Formic acid and formaldehyde together can cause optic nerve damage as in methanol poisoning. Supposedly non-corrosive in the vapor or gaseous state, but aqueous formaldehyde is known to be corrosive to carbon steel. Fire ratings for safes are given in minutes and temperature. A 75 minute at 1,400 0F is an example. However, the typical house fire temperatures are higher and last longer than any rating on the market. Essentially your guns are cooked and wood products reduced to charcoal while synthetic materials give of a plethora of toxic products, some like hydrogen cyanide and halogen acids. Most of those who die in fires succumb to the aerosols and toxic vapor present long before heat is an issue. If ammo is stored, cook-off explosions will exacerbate fire suppression and add a further danger to the fire fighting equation. Ammo should be stored away from the guns.

Moisture & Waterproof Gun Safes

Some safes offer water protection up to two feet depth, if the safe is properly secured. Most safety cabinets are merely steel shells developed to hinder access to firearms by children and cursory theft. Both gun safes and cabinets are easily breached by modern tools. The 4” or 4.5” grinders with a cut-off wheel can breach the typical safe in 10 to 15 minutes by cutting into the side. The primary bottom line in choosing a secure solution is weight and expense.

Size & Weight of Gun Safes & Cabinets

Gun safes run from about 400-500 pounds for the smaller one up to 800-1000+ pounds for larger safes. This makes it very difficult to move and hard to place in the typical home environment without specialized equipment. Most cabinets however come in sections and can be assembled in place. The safe/cabinet should be securely fastened to studs through the back or sides, or to the floor. This discourages hauling the safe away to be opened later, a factor for the lighter cabinets. Some prefer two smaller containers, either safe or cabinet or a combination of the two. One safe or cabinet used for direct access for defensive purpose or those firearms that are accessed on a regular basis. The other for storage of heirloom or seasonal firearms, collections and other valuables. For ammo storage, surprisingly enough, an old refrigerator with a hasp-padlock combo in the garage for ammo is a workable solution because these old fridges are heavily insulated. Though not fire proof they are heat resistant.

Residential, Commercial & Automotive Locksmith in KILLEEN, AUSTIN, SAN ANTONIO, ROUND ROCK, SAN MARCOS, FRISCO, NEW BRAUNFELS & HOUSTON TEXAS

When it comes down to it, it is a personal choice, one you weigh yourself considering budget, weight and comfort the construction gives you. Contact Texas Lock & Key for all your locksmith needs!

Are You Using All the Features On Your Commercial Alarm Lock in Frisco, TX; Single Use Codes, Pins & More

If you are running a business you know that having a good locking system is important. The locks need to secure the business so that your inventory is safe. The problem is not only from a would be burglar but you need to protect yourself from disgruntled employees as well. One of the hardest things when managing a business is keeping track of all the people that have a key or access to your commercial building. There are often times people that need access such as an employee, cleaning crew or owner; and those may change occasionally as well. When you try to use a standard lock with keys you would need to change out the lock to ensure that the key was not distributed without your knowledge. A standard key system is not a secure way to run a business. Most people opt for an alarm lock or a digital lock system. The alarm lock system has some great features that you should know about.

Texan Lock & Key Outlines Several Features You Can Use When You Have A Commercial Alarm or Digital Lock

You Can Set A Toggle Code: When you have a locking system that uses a card or codes to gain access you are more secure. You can block codes or change them immediately if a problem were ever to arrive. This is a great way to ensure that if you have a concern regarding a particular individual you can stop them gaining access. The problem is that sometimes you need to have the door open or closed for a particular amount of time and you want to not input the code. A toggle code will allow you to input that code and it will leave the door unlocked or ajar for whatever time you set it for. That way you can move large items without typing in the code over and over again.
You Can Use Pins & Codes Together: When you have a business that has several areas that are secured you may want some people to have access while others should not. You don’t have to solely rely on just using a code or a card you can use have someone that requires both options. You can have a restricted area that only a person that has a proper code and approved card will be able to get into. It is a great way to add another level of security.
Single Use Code: If you have someone that is coming to the office for a visit you may need to allow them access. It can also be an employee that does not need access on a regular basis but will be coming in on an extra day. You can set up a code that is only good for a single use that after it has been used it is deactivated. You don’t have to worry about the code being given out because it will not work after the one time use.

Residential, Commercial & Automotive in KILLEEN, AUSTIN, SAN ANTONIO, ROUND ROCK, SAN MARCOS, FRISCO, NEW BRAUNFELS & HOUSTON TEXAS.

Texas Lock & Key can update your commercial locks and meet all your other locksmith needs. Contact us for all your lock and key needs.

Losing Keys Solution; How Not to Lose Your House, Office or Car Keys in San Marcos, TX

Many times folks have left their keys in the store, at work, or in some unknown place where they seem to be lost forever. Replacing keys can become very expensive, especially if you need to replace all of your keys. Losing your keys isn’t just expensive, but it is also stressful and puts your security at risk. That’s why Texan Lock and Key would like to share a few tips on how you can never lose track of your keys again. Here is a list of tips on how you can keep better track of your keys and in different situations.

Habit Formation; Knowing Where Keys Are

One way to never lose your keys is by creating good habits at home, work, or while you’re out running errands or socializing. At home it helps to have a designated place for your keys. Whether it is on a hook, key plate, or on a night stand or end table, you should have an easy and secure place to put your keys. Same thing goes for at work. Have a drawer or a place in your carry bag where you put your keys once you get to work. When you’re out running errands or out with friends, it helps to use a key clip and attach your key to your pants. However, never trust a pocket. More things fall out of pockets than what most people would like.

Key Ring Identifiers; Colored Rubber Key Covers, Ball Chains & More

Using a bright or noticeable color key ring or key chain is a great way to help spot your keys. Most are afraid of bulky or loud looking key chains. No one wants to carry them around. However key chains aren’t just to express your personality, they can also aid you in finding what is considered a relatively small item, more easily.

Key Finder Tracking Devices

Similar to visual aids, you can also use a tracking device to help locate your keys. Yes, some people are born unlucky and always seem to find themselves searching for their keys. So a wonderful device was developed to help locate your keys at the touch of a button. There are many different types of blue tooth attachments that act as a key chain and can be tracked with your phone. Tracking devices don’t just help you find your keys, but can even locate them if they were stolen. For those with bad luck, a tracking device is a great way to always find your keys.

Trusting Spare Keys to Neighbors

A slightly less popular method and one that doesn’t really help you from losing your keys but is still great advice is to entrust either a close friend or neighbor with a copy of all your most important keys. In the event that you lost your keys and simply can’t find them or they were stolen, you will find giving an extra set to a family member, super close friend, or a trustworthy neighbor will help you access your home or vehicle without rushing around contacting a locksmith or your car dealership for key replacements. This will help you save time and money later down the road.

Lock & Key Services IN KILLEEN, AUSTIN, SAN ANTONIO, ROUND ROCK, SAN MARCOS, FRISCO, NEW BRAUNFELS & HOUSTON TEXAS

Texan Lock and Key hopes we were able to provide some good ideas and methods on preventing you from losing your keys. However in the event your keys do get lost or even worse stolen, contact Texan Lock and Key. We can help change your locks or re-key your home. We provide help you when you most need it.