Monthly Archives: August 2017

Kwikset & Schlage Types of Keys for Your Lock in Austin, TX? Check Grooves, Teeth & More

When you are in need of a new key for your home, office or car you go to a locksmith and ask them to make you a replacement key. You most likely don’t put much thought into which key they give you and why. It you stop and look at the keys on your key ring you will notice that there are all sorts of shapes and sizes. Have you ever wondered why there are so many options and why? The locksmith that is cutting keys will know what key you need based on the lock or the key that you bring in. There are some main differences in the keys that you can look at and understand.

Differences Between Specific Keys to Know Why You Have the Key You Have

What Shape Of Key Do You Need: When you go to have a new key made and you want to know what type you want, you can start by looking at the shape of the head. That is the upper part of the key that you use to grasp and rotate the key. There are really two main types of key heads to choose from. One is a Kwikset key that is rounded at the top and has either one hole or the more standard three holes. The other major house key option is a Schlage and it has a rough more triangular shape to the head. You want to stay with the type that was original to the lock.
Check Out The Grooves on Your Key: When you are looking to replace a key or have a new key made you need to know what the right key is. One area to look at is the grooves in the key. You need to have the right style grooves for the key to be able to slide in the lock. Your key may have a single channel or groove which is common with the Schalge key and the Kwikset has two grooves. These will go from the head of the key down to the tip. You need to be sure that the new key being made has the same style grooves.
Length Of The Key: When you are looking for a key you also need to compare the length of the replacement key. Some of the length can be adjusted so that the cuts will line up properly. The problem will come if you choose a replacement key that is too short. There is no way to add to the key so having a proper length is essential.
Do The Teeth Line Up: After the key has been cut you want to set them next to each other. The new key and the original key should have the same amount of teeth as well as the same shaped teeth. If they differ by sight the key needs to be cut again. Although the cuts are intricate and can vary ever so slightly you still can do a visual check before you do a check in the actual lock.

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

Texan Lock & Key offers key replacements and much more. Contact us for all your locksmith needs.

Famous Locksmiths; Pharaoh Khafre, King Louis XVI, Harry Houdini & Albert Einstein

Historical figures are often remembered for the primary contribution they made on impacting the world with specific talents, acts, or other such noteworthy attributes. Locksmiths are considered a humble profession. In fact, most can’t name any famous historical figure that was known solely for his abilities in the locksmith industry. But we at Texan Lock & Key may surprise you with a handful of well known historical figures that had an interest in the locksmith trade. Some names you more than likely know and we would like to expound on their role in the locksmith craft.

Pharaoh Khafre (c. 2550 BC)

More than 4,000 years ago immortalized on the Great Sphinx is Pharaoh Khafre’s iconic face, which he had built along with the second largest pyramid in Giza. Though there is no evidence that confirms whether or not he studied locks himself, but he was a primary influence behind the engineering of some of the world’s first locking mechanisms because of the Egyptians determination to secure possessions in both this life and the next.

King Louis XVI (1754-1793)

The husband of the infamous Marie Antoinette, the well-known King Louis XVI, the last king of France, and the only French king to ever meet his end at the guillotine was actually an excellent locksmith. Loving all things mechanical, it is reported he practiced as an amateur locksmith; but unfortunately, his passion for the locksmith trade would be a key element to his demise. Francois Gamain, Louis’ friend, who had served as the royal locksmith and taught the king much of what he knew about the trade. Because of his knowledge and trusted friendship, Louis commissioned him to secure a chest which can hold his sensitive and important documents. In the end Gamain, ultimately leading to the king’s infamous beheading, would eventually turn it over to revolutionaries.

Harry Houdini (1874-1926)

Famed magician and escape artist Harry Houdini trained in the craft of locksmith early in life. The 11 year old Houdini began working for the local locksmith and quickly picked up the trade after moving to America from Hungary with his family. His knowledge of locks was influential in his success as a magician and escape artist despite the fact he did not stick with the profession. Collecting locks all his life and studying each one with great intensity in order to memorize the way it worked and how it could be opened, Houdini revolutionize the magic industry and is still considered to be one of the world’s greatest escape artists and magicians.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Albert Einstein, gifted mathematician, Nobel Prize winner, and world-renowned physicist still drew attention to the profession with his infamous quote, “If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith”. If nothing else, the image of an elderly man with unruly white hair sticking his tongue out at the camera will help you recall the famous historical figure. Einstein respected the modest trade and, in light of the use of the atomic bomb in WWII, felt that maybe his achievements were not so respectable. Einstein is considered one of the greatest minds of all time and TIME Magazine named him Person of the (20th) Century for shaping history, calling him “the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom and the universe”.

Locksmith Services & More in Killeen, Austin, San Antonio, Round Rock, San Marcos, Frisco, New Braunfels & Houston Texas

With the intriguing historical locksmiths, it is truly a beneficial trade and one that helps many people when they need assistance. If you are looking for a reliable locksmith, Texan Lock & Key experts are readily available to offer our services at an affordable cost. Contact us for all your locksmith services.

How to Prevent Home Break Ins & Deter Burglars from Your Killeen, TX House or Apartment

According to the Burglary Prevention Council, summertime is peak season for house thefts. A home burglary occurs approximately every 15 seconds in the United States with $1,600 being the average amount of dollar loss. Almost 66% of all burglaries are residential with 62% occur between 9 am and 3 pm when no one is home. There’s a breakdown to where break-ins most often happen with 34% of break-ins occurring at the front door. The best step to take is the installation of a solid, pick-resistant deadbolt lock on solid wood or metal door. Make sure it’s always locked, even when you’re home and keep an entry light on a timer to throw thieves off as to when you’re home and when you’re not. Next, 23% happen through first-floor windows. Sash locks are great, but add a security system for more protection. 22% are side-entry break-ins. Sliding glass doors need to have a solid metal jammer that folds up when it’s not being used to prevent from being lifted off the tracks. 9% of break-ins occur through the garage. For extra protection install a side-mounted indoor lock. This will add extra protection if a burglar bypasses your electronic-garage-door opener. 4% of break-ins are through basements so use motion-activated security lights around ground-level windows or entrance because lights make it hard for thieves to hide. Finally, 2% of break-ins occur on the-second floor. Don’t forget about the higher windows, they’re harder to get in unseen but should still have sash locks.

Tips to Prevent Break-Ins & Deter Burglars

1. Keep drapes closed to make sure thieves don’t take an inventory of your belongings and figure out how your home is laid out.
2. Don’t make access into your home easier by storing ladders, tools and any other objects to make it easier Keep these items in a locked shed or in the garage.
3. Don’t leave your garage door open unless it needs to be and make sure the door release cord is kept away from any windows.
4. If the keypads on entry pads are showing wear and tear, replace them. The uneven wear might allow criminals to figure out the code or change the codes periodically to prevent wear.
5. Do not discuss vacation plans in public. This allows criminals to know you’ll be away.
6. Keep all your important papers in a lock box and keep it stored in a hidden area of the home. Basements reduce the risk of heat damage from a fire.
7. Use a secure wireless network at home. Cyber criminals will use information to access personal information.
8. Papers need to be shredded before they are thrown out and destroy hard drives when you’re done with them.
9. Breakdown boxes of high end purchases. These boxes let thieves know you’ve just made a big purchase.
10. If you have pet doors make sure they have locks on them to prevent an entry point for thieves.

Home Locksmith Security Services & More in Killeen, Austin, San Antonio, Round Rock, San Marcos, Frisco, New Braunfels & Houston Texas

Private homes with high security locks and other measures are less likely to be broken into. Home security systems are a great way to deter criminals with noise or an automatic signal to the police. Contact Texan Lock & Key for lots of ways to keep your home safe from break-ins. Give us a call today!

How Not to Hide a Key Outside an Apartment or House in Houston TX; Hide a Key Rock & More

Many people will hide a key on the outside of their home either to gain access to their home through the front door or even a back door. Where it may sound like a good idea in the event you lose your keys or you are allowing a friend to hang out at your home, burglars know this. Before they force their way into the home they often look for that emergency key first and often they find it. Texan Lock and Key would like to share some of the worst hiding places which you may want to avoid placing your emergency key in case you choose to have one.

Where Not to Hide a Spare Key

1. Hidden Key Doormat – Due to popular TV shows, it seems the front door key is always hiding under the doormat and many people actually use this spot for their emergency key. However this is the first place most burglars will look. Some people will try to secure the key to the mat or even attempt to hold the mat down. This is just a dead giveaway. The doormat is one place you will want to avoid hiding the keys to your home.
2. Hide a Key Rock – You may have a concave rock or even bought one of those fake rocks that are designed to hold an emergency key. However regardless of how much manufacturers work to disguise them, these fake rocks are a major give away. The idea for using a rock to hide a key has become s common idea. Most burglars or intruders will check under lose rocks for this reason. That’s why it is best to avoid using rocks to hide your key to your home.
3. Key Wallet – Many will keep a key inside their wallet where if their keys get lost most people will have their wallet on them. In the event you lose your wallet instead of your keys, you gave a potential burglar not just the money inside the wallet but with your address and the key to your home. So you’ve not only lost everything inside your wallet but even your home. It is a pain canceling credit cards and getting a new driver’s license, but re-keying your home will just add to the expense of the loss.
4. Hiding a Key in a Flower Pot – Another common place for intruders to look for an emergency key is under flower pots. Even larger flower pots that can be tipped over are often checked especially if the flower pots are near the door or close to the access point. Flower pots are not the best spot for an emergency key since it has become a well known place to hide a key.
5. Key on Top of Door Frame – On top of the door frame, even if the key is wedged in the tightest crack of the door frame, is now regularly inspected by a would be intruder. Some may feel that if it is hard to reach or no one will notice a key wedge in a crack of the door frame. However thanks to home surveillance cameras, recorded evidence shows that door frames are carefully examined for keys by burglars. Door frames are no longer a big secret and are often checked for a key. This is why you shouldn’t consider the door frame a great place to hide a key.

Locksmith Services in Killeen, Austin, San Antonio, Round Rock, San Marcos, Frisco, New Braunfels & Houston Texas

At this point many will wonder where the best place for an emergency key is. That will depend on your home’s own unique setting and what will present itself as a good hiding place for an emergency key. The best advice is to be original and not place it in a convenient place to access the key. You may want to consider not having an emergency key at all. Yes, it sucks losing our keys but you can always use a locksmith to help you regain access to your home without the fear of an intruder finding your emergency key. Texan Lock and Key want to help make your home a safer place. If you find you’re in need of locksmith services, contact Texan Lock and Key today.