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This is meant to be an introduction to keyless entry systems available.

Have you ever taken your dog for a walk and returned to find your front door locked with your keys still inside? It happens far too often and typically at the most inconvenient times. Another great option of some systems is the ability to give the dog or house sitter a code that you can issue or remove at anytime. With some systems this is as easy as sending a text or phone call.

Keyless entry is a great option for short-term vacation rentals like with Air BnB or VRBO, having the ability to grant access remotely in case the keys get lost is priceless. Some keyless entry systems sync directly with the AirBnB app and can automatically assign and revoke access codes with your customer's reservation.

Another great use is at locations like a hunting cabin on a remote island. A simple push button mechanical lock with a single combination would be good for a small private property. An electronic lock which generates it own power when you turn the handle is the best solution for shared use hunting cabin and you have the ability to give each user their own unique code.

While the features offered by modern keyless entry locks are great, not all are created equal. Some keyless entry locks do not have the ability for a key override in the event the batteries die or the electronics fail. On homes with multiple entry doors, this is not a problem since you have an option to use your key on other doors. If you live in a condo with a single entry, having an override key "in case the electronics fail" is essential.

If you're interested in learning more about these systems and the different options they offer, stay tuned. We hope to have a new article posted each Friday going in depth into the many different options. If you don't want to wait, stop by or give us a call and we can help you decide what works best for your situation.

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The trouble with safes

There are many reasons why we need to lock things up, especially during the holidays when kids come to visit. A quality home safe is a great place to store items which could be potentially dangerous to children like firearms or prescription medication. It can also be a good place to store valuables like family heirlooms, important documents or emergency money. A common misconception is that any home safe will do a fine job for any purpose but not all safes are created equal.

Safes are purpose built items and sometimes their limitations are not clearly defined on the packaging. Some items marketed as "safes" are nothing more than a 'simple child-proof container.' One popular handgun "safe" is made out of thin plastic and it can be easily broken by children who can throw a baseball. Another very popular brand of fire-proof "safes" does a good job of protecting documents in the event of a fire but can be easily broken open by any burglar. A safe designed to prevent burglary (UL-B rated) is built stronger than a basic fire safe or gun safe. Cash deposit safes used at many businesses are also built thicker to prevent burglary but usually do not include a fire-proof layer by design.

Some safe designs are convenient and easy to use with electronic locks. Many budget models are solid at big-box stores but they are not all created equal. Some design features of electronic safes can be a nightmare to deal when the batteries fail. If the battery compartment is on the inside you may be locked-out of your own safe when the batteries die. We prefer designs with an accessible battery compartment on the outside of the safe. This allows you to replace bad batteries after they expire while the safe remains secured closed. For small safes, we recommend bolting it down to the floor, wall studs or another large heavy object. This makes it much harder for a burglar to steal your entire safe.

Before you decide to buy a safe, you must consider what purpose it will serve? Do you plan to store cash and valuables to prevent loss in case of a burglary? Do you plan to store documents or heat-sensitive items which need protection from fire? If you already have a home safe, will it provide the level of protection you need?

At ProLockPlus, we sell safes for each purpose. We are happy to recommend a model which best serves your needs. We also provide a number of safe related services including opening, repair, installation, and moving. Drop in or give us a call today to talk about your safe needs.

Security starts with a proper mindset

As a security professional, I often get asked, "what type of locks, alarms, and other security devices are the best to install on my home or business." My answer is, "The ones you will actually use."

High-security locks with an actively monitored alarm system would be pointless if you fail to lock the door and set the alarm. When people get in a hurry they tend to leave doors unlocked and may not set the alarm especially if they are only leaving for a short time. This is what we call an easy or soft-target. Most criminals prey on soft-targets.

To avoid being a soft-target, we must adopt a security mindset. Having a security mindset means checking that doors and windows are properly closed, latched and locked. Setting the alarm if you have one and locking the deadbolt when you leave. It also means protecting your alarm and entry codes from unauthorized people. Allowing someone to watch while you enter a combination is a mistake. Hiding a key under the doormat or in a flower pot is also a bad idea.

Once a proper security mindset has been adopted, we can make better recommendations to help further protect your family, employees and property. Call or drop-in to discuss your security today.

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Have you heard the phrase, "proper prior planning prevents poor performance"? Would you believe this could help you avoid today's high cost of replacing car keys? It is true! If you plan ahead you could avoid unnecessary obstacles, especially when it comes to misplacing or forgetting your keys.

Planning ahead can help save both time and money in a couple of very common scenarios.

The first is being locked out of your home or car. This can be very frustrating but is easily resolved after a phone call to your local locksmith, some patience, and payment for the service. If you are looking to avoid the cost of this service you could consider leaving a spare set of keys with a trusted relative or neighbor to open your home or car in case you are locked out. Another option for your home would be adding keyless entry. We will go more in depth with the different keyless entry options in a future post.

The second more costly scenario is losing your last and only car key. If this happens, you have a couple of options. You could have your vehicle towed to the auto-dealership, schedule service, and hope they have the correct key in stock for your car. You may have your car back in a couple days with a working key and a hefty bill for parts, service, and towing. A more affordable option may be to call a mobile locksmith for service. He or she will drive to you and make new keys on-site. This is usually faster and can be cheaper depending on your type of vehicle. Many times the locksmith is able to offer after-hours and same-day service which may come with an additional fee. If you are unable to go without a vehicle for a couple day this may be the only option. Again, this can be avoided. Before you lose your only car key, have a duplicate key made. This can be done in shop with your local locksmith and typically takes less than30 minutes.

The services mentioned in this post are all offered at Pro Lock Plus. If you are in need or services from being locked out of your home or care or only have one car key give us a call or stop by.