How Secure is Your Home? 9 Home Security Tricks to Keep You Safe

Your home is more than your most valued asset – it’s the psychological safe haven for you and your family. When an intrusion or break-in occurs, that illusion of security is shattered and often irreparable. There are several methods to increasing your home’s security and while these have been covered extensively, it’s wise to consider a home security analysis from a professional locksmith and safety specialist. Here are 10 factors to test the security of your home:

1. Check Your Locks

Not all locks are made the same. There are three basic grades for locks: Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3. Grade 3 locks are among the most common and only provide minimal security precautions, whereas Grade 1 locks, while more expensive, offer sophisticated protection against manipulation and door strikes. If you’re unsure of the quality of your lock, find the make and model information on the casing and search for the manufacturer. Upgrading your locks to higher grades will demonstrate to the sophisticated thief that you’re serious about home security and ward off any amateurs expecting a flimsy lock.

2. Where are the Spares?

Placing your spare key under the doormat or nearby potted plant is basically an invitation to home invaders. Instead, secure your spare key in a combination lockbox secured to a metal bar or fixture near your home. This keeps your spare key within easy access to homeowners and prevent burglars from stumbling across your spare key. 

3. Reinforced Windows and Sliding Doors

If you’ve got sliding doors and windows in your home, you’re at higher risk for a break-in. Locks for sliding doors and windows are notoriously easy to crack, but sometimes the simplest remedies are the best ones. A solid metal bar or wooden dowel placed in the window’s or door’s runner will keep a physical barrier between your home and the thief, even if they do manage to force open your lock.

4. Check the Perimeter

Thieves love untrimmed hedges and tall fences for exactly the same reason you do: neighbors’ views of your home are obscured. If you do have tall fences and thick hedges or shrubs around your property, consider installing some perimeter lighting as a compromise. Both you and your neighbors will have a better chance of spotting would-be intruders before they can enter your property.

5. Burglar-Proof Your Home

Home security alarms only go so far. While these are a great deterrent to an unskilled thief, experts will be able to trick your alarm with a little time and patience. Don’t give it to them. Make your home a tough enough nut to crack and a patient thief will move onto the next target. By staying vigilant and making a few smart decisions before leaving your home for an extended period of time, you can prevent opportunistic thieves from breaking into your home. First, ensure your mail delivery isn’t suspended, but attended to by a neighbor on a daily basis. Your landscaping should be kept up with on a weekly basis, but going the extra mile and lowering your telephone’s ringer volume, installing timed lights and automatic curtain mechanisms, and staying mum on social media until you’ve returned home will keep even the most expert thief guessing.

6. Test Your Door

Your front door should be the sturdiest door in your home, but burglars also look for weak entry points. A mail slot or Grade 3 lock are prizes for experienced thieves, as the structural integrity of the door is compromised with a mail slot and Grade 3 locks can be broken with a swift kick to the strike plate. If your door or door frame isn’t up to snuff, it’s time to opt for a reinforced entryway.

7. Rethink Your Security System

While there are dozens of companies offering home security solutions, knowing a few security essentials will help you choose which provider you’d prefer. An experienced thief will locate your keypad and attempt to visually steal your passcode to make entry easy, so installing your keypad in a concealed location (such as a coat closet or behind a support beam) can be a great precautionary measure. Furthermore, finding a company that offers unified fire and flood protection systems will ensure a cohesive security environment in your home, adding to your overall sense of security.

8. What Are Your Deterrents?

Walk around your home and ask yourself the following question: what would prevent me from breaking into this home? Find your home’s weaknesses before a burglar can and fix them. Weak window panes, lack of security systems, and absent homeowners are all perks in a thief’s eyes, so if your home has any visible shortcomings, it’s time to upgrade. Reinforce your doors, windows, and locks to show a would-be intruder that you’re serious about your home’s security.

9. Only Use a Trusted Locksmith

As with any professional service, it’s critical that you select a locksmith with integrity and experience, but also one that’s licensed and bonded. Whether you require 24/7 emergency service or a comprehensive home security analysis, Hawk Locksmith has the professional technicians and state-of-the-art tools and equipment you need to keep your home and your family safe from harm.

To schedule a re-key, security assessment, or lock replacement, contact Hawk Locksmith by using the contact form or calling our Seattle office at 206-725-1200 today!

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Protect Yourself From Thieves | 24/7 Emergency Locksmith

Unfortunately the world we live in is not always a safe place. Protecting yourself from theft is an important issue. Crime rates are not slowing down anytime soon, so lets protect your possessions from people that want to do wrong.

 

 

What Stops Criminals?

 

Locks! You should have the best locks possible on your home, car, and business. Thieves and robbers can not break into a house that is 100% secure. Some thieves break into houses or steal cars like it is their main job. This means they are experienced in the business of cracking locks. Obtaining the finest locks around and speaking to a professional 24/7 Emergency Locksmith team will help stop thieves in their tracks.

 

 

What is the Best Way to Secure My Home?

 

Locks are of course very important, but there are other ways to defend your home from theft as well. Professional residential 24/7 Emergency Locksmiths can install electronic locks, keypad locking mechanisms, biometric locks, single key entry systems and keyless entry systems. These types of security mechanisms will definitely help keep thieves from gaining entry into your home. If you are serious and need extra security for you home, residential locksmiths can also install security surveillance systems, CCTV cameras, wireless and wired alarms and latest security gadgets.

 

 

Equipping your home with the latest locks and security systems will help keep your home and family safe. Most 24/7 Emergency Locksmiths offer free estimates. Call a locksmith in your area to secure your home, you will be glad you did. There is no reason not to put the latest and greatest locks on your home to secure your life.

Seattle Commercial Locksmith: Understanding Trilogy Locks

Hawk Locksmiths is the best choice for your Seattle commercial locksmith needs. They serve all Seattle areas, north, west, central, east, and south. They can help you understand which Trilogy locks (high-security and electronic locks) are best suited for your residential, commercial, and emergency locksmith needs.

 

We recommend Trilogy lock systems. It’s the most trusted lock name in retail, hospitals, schools and airports around the world.

 

All Trilogy locks come standard with dependable wireless access control, support for thousands for PIN codes, access cards, and fobs, multi-level and one-time use codes, long-life batteries, key override, non-handed cylindrical options, and finish choices.

 

When you consider your security needs, it helps to understand the differences between several Trilogy locks.

 

With some Trilogy systems, you can view and set user audit trails, user access schedules and quickly alter electronic keys within the system. Adding or revoking user access is streamlined through the system’s management.

 

All Trilogys feature free Windows-based software for key, ID card, and PIN programming and management. You can also program manually from the keypad itself.

 

There are several accessories and add-ons available for your Trilogy system. Door strikes, mounting bars, cylinder locks, pulls, battery eliminators, door holders, and armored door loops.

 

At Hawk Locksmith, we offer not only emergency locksmith services, but also residential, commercial, and industrial locksmith services in the Seattle surrounding area. With our years of experience and highly trained security specialists, you can sleep easy knowing we’ve got your back 24/7. We’re bonded, licensed, and insured.

 

Since 2007, we’ve established a trust with the citizens of the Puget Sound region and have a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of A+. Trust us to solve all your lock security and locksmith needs. Contact us for a free quote or a free residential, commercial, or industrial security consultation.

How To Choose The Best Locks For Your Home

types of locks Keeping your home secure is of the utmost importance. It’s your largest asset, it keeps your family warm and safe, and it holds pretty much everything you own. Why risk letting burglars into your home with shoddy locks, when you can have one of our residential locksmiths help you find the best locks for your home?

Here are some tips for choosing the best locks for your house, and a few videos, to help you figure out what type of locks might be right for you.

Do Your Homework

Any lock that you buy should meet minimum standards set by the American National Standards Institute and by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BAMA). While that may be a lot to remember, determining the quality of a lock is pretty easy.

Each lock should be graded on the package. Products will be labelled Grade One, Grade Two or Grade Three, with One being the best quality. The actual grading goes into more detail on the BAMA website, so go there to see how your favorite lock stacks up next to its competitors.

Assess Your Needs

Do you live in a high crime area? Do you have children you need to prevent from leaving the house by themselves? Maybe you need a smartlock so that you can let people in your home when you aren’t there, such as the dog walker or cleaner?

Just be sure that the lock you choose can be safely operated by everyone who needs to use it. It’s no good installing super strong locks that are difficult to open from the inside. In fact, if there were ever to be a fire in your home, you’d want to know that the lock would be easy to operate under those conditions.

Types of locks

There are several basic types of locks, some of which are harder to pick than others. If you live in a high crime area, you want one or more sturdy locks that will make it more difficult for thieves to get into your home.

Spring latch and slip bolt locks are the easiest to open using something other than a key. They lock the doorknob in place, preventing the latch from moving from the door frame. They are easy to install and inexpensive, but also easy to pick and break.

Deadbolts are sturdier locks that actually bolt the door closed. The entire bolt must be moved from the door frame by turning a knob or using a key, making it more difficult to pick. Look for deadbolts made from steel, bronze or brass as they are the sturdiest materials for this type of lock.

No matter what type of lock you have, remember to use it. A great lock will only act as a deterrent if you remember to lock the door behind you. And, don’t worry if you happen to lock yourself out of the house. We’ll be happy to come let you back in again, any time day or night, regardless of what type of lock you have.

Keep Your Belongings Safe During Your Labor Day Celebrations

happy labor day hawk locksmith

If you have plans this upcoming Labor Day weekend, make sure that they don’t include getting your belongings stolen from your car or home. Many people spend the holiday weekend traveling or going to events, enjoying the extra day off from work. However, just because you aren’t working doesn’t mean that thieves are taking the day off, so use these tips to keep your belongings safe this Labor Day weekend.

Keep your belongings out of sight

Never leave valuables in plain sight in your car. Lock them up in the trunk or the glove compartment box, or leave them at home. If you have a GPS system, put it in the glove compartment box or carry it with you. If thieves can’t see anything worth stealing, they’re less likely to target your vehicle.

Lock your doors

Don’t make it easy for thieves to break into your house or car while you are away enjoying the holiday. Always lock up your home when you are going to be away from it, and lock your car doors when you are out shopping or attending events.

Lock your windows

Thieves will look for any opportunity to get inside your home, and an unlocked window is practically an invitation for them to come and take whatever they like. If you don’t have window locks, ask your locksmith if he can install some for you, and consider beefing up your door locks, too.

Fool thieves

If you want to deter thieves from targeting your home when you go out of town over Labor Day weekend, fool them with lights that are set on timers. They can be programmed to turn on and off throughout the day, so thieves will think that someone is home, even when you aren’t.

Enlist the help of a neighbor

If you are going to be out of town over the holiday weekend, have a trusted neighbor collect your mail and newspapers for you, so thieves won’t be tipped off to your absence. Consider having a copy of your house key made and leave it with the neighbor, so that they can check on your home while you are away.

Take the time to make sure that your home and vehicle are secure so that you can keep your belongings safe this Labor Day weekend. If you want to speak to a helpful  residential locksmith about making your home more secure before you go away for the weekend, contact us. We are always happy to help you keep your belongings safe during your Labor Day celebrations, or any time.

The Future Of Home Security: Residential Locksmiths And Keyless Locks

smart locks for residential locksmiths

If you’ve been thinking about boosting your home’s security by installing a new lock, you may be surprised at the huge amount of choices you have. Some of the newer locks available on the market are also some of the most high-tech, and they may have you wondering if you’ll still need your keys in the years to come.

 

Keyless entry locks and smart locks are becoming more popular with today’s homeowners who rely heavily on their smart phones to keep up with daily life. Smart locks, which are activated by keying in a code on a keypad, or unlocked via your smart phone, are quickly becoming a popular choice for busy homeowners who want something a little more sophisticated and versatile than traditional locks.

 

Why They’re So Smart

 

One of the features of many smart locks is the ability to program several access codes for each lock. This allows you to give a temporary access code to neighbors or family members who may need to get inside your home while you aren’t there. You can give your dog walker a code, then deactivate it once they’ve left your house.

 

Some smart locks can also be remotely accessed via your computer or smart phone, so you can see if you’ve forgotten to lock the door when you left, even when you aren’t there. You can also lock or unlock the door from anywhere in the world. No more rushing home to double-check your door lock; check it and lock it from your phone instead.

 

Keep Your Keys

 

Many of the new smart locks work with an existing lock mechanism, or they include one. This means you still have the option of using your key, which can be useful if there is a problem with the power supply to your lock.

 

Some consumers worry that these smart locks are able to be hacked by computer savvy thieves, but in reality, they are no less secure than a traditional lock that could be picked or bumped open, and they do offer a lot of added convenience.

 

Talk To Your Residential Locksmith

 

If you want to install a new smart lock or keyless entry lock in your home, ask your residential locksmith about which ones they recommend. Depending on your home security needs, there’s sure to be a perfect smart lock for you. Let our residential locksmiths make your home secure the smart way, contact us today.


Protecting Your Seattle Area Home From Lock Bumping

open door that has been picked

There’s a terrifyingly effective technique that intruders can use to open many doors, including the ones leading into your home, and it leaves no sign of forced entry.

What is lock bumping?

Lock bumping is a technique that uses a special key called a bump key that is inserted into the lock, then ‘bumped’ with a mallet or other device. This forces the pins in the lock to unlock, allowing the intruder into your home without damaging the door or lock in any noticeable way.

Originally used by residential locksmiths in Seattle and other cities to help homeowners gain access into their homes when locked out, the technique has been picked up by criminals because it is much easier than lock picking and leaves no signs of forced entry. It is quiet enough to allow criminals into your home while you are sleeping, leaving you vulnerable to assault.

Bump keys are fairly simple to make and can even be ordered over the internet. A quick search for lock bumping videos will bring up everything a potential intruder needs to know to break into your Seattle area home.

 

 

 

How to protect your home from lock bumping

Older locks are actually less susceptible to lock bumping, primarily because the pins inside them don’t move as smoothly as more modern locks. If you are concerned that your locks could be bumped, call a Seattle locksmith to examine them. It’s also a good idea to consider upgrading your locks to bump-proof versions or consider adding additional security measures such as chain latches across doors or a door alarm that sounds any time your doors are opened.

At Hawk Locksmith, we make your home and business security our priority. Let our residential locksmiths and commercial locksmiths help keep your property safe from thieves with lock modifications or new locks that can’t be bumped.

Watch Out For Scams When Calling a Locksmith

While we pride ourselves on offering only the best, most reliable lock and key services, unfortunately there are plenty of scammers out there who would happily part you from your hard earned cash and leave you vulnerable, too. Whether you need an emergency callout to get you back into your home or car, or if you are just looking to replace a lock in a door or window of your home, these tips will help you avoid becoming the victim of dishonest locksmith.

Full disclosure

If your locksmith can’t or won’t provide a realistic quote, the full legal name of their business, and an actual location where they can be found, there’s a good chance they are going to be dishonest. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for criminals to set up fake ‘local’ telephone numbers and addresses online, with promises of low callout fees and quick service, but what you get is just the opposite.

These con artists will often try to bully you into paying hundreds of dollars more than their websites promise, often for shoddy work or cheap locks. If you can’t confirm their name, location and proof that they are licensed, bonded and insured, don’t accept their services.

Get ID

At the very least, your locksmith should be able to show a valid driver’s license as an ID, but most will have company ID’s issued that can be verified by calling their manager. Also, be wary of locksmiths who arrive in unmarked vehicles. Most legitimate businesses will have a company logo on their vehicle or send locksmiths in uniform.

Estimates

Before letting any work take place, get an estimate. If the estimate given over the phone is different from the one you get on-site, don’t let the locksmith work on your lock.

Bullying tactics

Several national news stories have highlighted the problems with locksmith scammers who promise one thing, but provide something else entirely. Instead of a low cost lock refit or emergency service, they try to bully you into paying hundreds of dollars more than you bargained for. Here are just a few videos about the problem.

 

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of bogus locksmith services advertising online. Don’t leave yourself or your loved ones vulnerable to these pop-a-lock scammers. We hope these tips help you stay safe when you need to call a locksmith!

Should I Become a Locksmith?

The locksmith has a very special knowledge set and training, this means you can make a good living if you were to become a locksmith. If you set your mind to it you can become a successful locksmith if you receive the right training.

 

Most successful locksmiths stay open 24/7 even on the holidays. This is because people lock themselves out all the time, not just when it’s convenient for you. This can be a good thing for people that like to work flexible hours, and people that like to work at night. If you want to work in this profession you should always be on time and have good time management skills.

 

Who becomes a locksmith? All kinds of people! Usually people that like to work with their hands are gravitated toward this profession. Don’t forget that locksmiths help people in need, so if you enjoy helping people this is a great career path. Locksmiths also must problem solve to do their job. Smart individuals who can get the lock installed right the first time or can choose the right tool for the job are sure to be a great fit.

 

There are many different types of locksmiths, although some can do all different types of jobs. There are residential locksmiths, industrial locksmiths, commercial locksmiths, emergency locksmiths etc. All locksmiths enjoy the benefits of steady income and helping those in need.

Tips To Stay Safe On Your College Campus

College is a place to learn and a place to find a new you. School is a wonderful place, but be sure to stay safe while you are on campus. There are measures you should take to stay safe in college dorms and around town. Read the following to learn how the right locks and the right precautions can help you stay safe.


Your Housing

 

Are you staying in a dorm or are you living in a house with roommates? The number one way to keep your new home safe is by installing strong locks. Ask if anyone else has keys to your dorm room and if you are allowed to change to locks. Also you might have your own room in a big house. Add a lock to your door so no one gets in your things, you will feel alot safer by taking this precaution.

 

Parties

 

It’s no secret that college towns have a large party atmosphere. Make sure your car locks work and are in good condition. Pepper spray is also a good idea, keep this in your purse or on your keys for easy access. Rowdy college parties can be fun, but they can get out of hand. Be sure to know where your friends are and don’t sneak off without telling the people you are with first.

 

Call a local locksmith to help you create a secure environment in your college housing. Professional locksmiths can help you decide the best security method to keep you safe!