FAQ Questions & Answers for Locks & Keys

Why do I need a professional locksmith company?

Every lost key, broken lock and security related situation is unique. Professionally trained, experienced locksmiths are experts in the lock and physical security industry and are better prepared to solve any security issue.

I have a key marked "Do Not Duplicate." Can I still get a copy of it?

Keys marked "Do Not Duplicate", "Do Not Copy", or "Unlawful to Copy" may be duplicated only if a letter of authorization from the owner or supervisor is presented with the request for duplication. The letter should be on company letterhead and identify the key to be made, the number of keys, the person picking up the keys, and the name and number of the person writing the letter. The person picking up the keys will be required to fill out a "Request for Restricted Keys" form. We reserve the right to refuse to duplicate any key marked "Do Not Duplicate."

I have problems with insertion and withdrawing of the key. It is also difficult to turn it around.

A spray-on light penetrating oil (such as WD-40) on the lock might be helpful. This oil is available at most hardware stores, or even in well assorted drugstores or supermarkets. The lock should get a good portion of oil (keep a paper towel handy). Spray the oil into the keyhole and onto the bolt mechanism. Move the bolt in and out to allow the oil to penetrate into the lock. Do not take the lock apart unless you are absolutely certain to be able to put it back together.

The lock doesn't lock and unlock smoothly. What should I do?

After you have tried the above solution, check to see if the lock operates smoothly with the door open. If it does, your problem might not be the lock itself, but rather lay in the alignment of the door and frame. Look for obstructions at the threshold and in the door jammed. Also check the door and frame for twists and warps. The door should completely rest against the door stop and stay there. If the door rests at the stop at the top or bottom only then the door or frame is twisted. If the door springs open then the hinges are probably binding. If you have weatherstrip on the door, it could be obstructing the path of the door. Please note: Wooden doors and frames will warp and swell with temperature and humidity, and metal doors and frames will twist and rust with age.

I've lost my car keys.

Sometimes a key code is available, only the original buyers of the keys have access to. This code is typically written on the original bill of sale so check your paper work or call your car dealer. Rarely, you can find these codes written on the cover of the owner's manual. So check this as well. A key by code can save you money over having a key fitted to the car on-site. A key by code will cost you about 15-50 dollars.

What is a master key?

A master key enables two different and distinct keys to open one lock. Master keying regulates access to specific zones while having one master key that accesses all zones.

What is the difference between re-key & master keying?

Re-keying means adjusting the tumblers in an existing lock so that only new keys can open it. Most technicians can re-key your locks and give you the security of knowing that only you and the people you trust will have access to your domain. In case of losing your keys, re-keying will adapt your existing locks to new keys. Your locksmith can install, replace and upgrade lock cylinders, locksets and deadbolt locks.

I am very familiar with hardware installation, why not just buy it at the home center and do it myself?

Just buying something you found at the home center can not guarantee you high quality. High quality goods offer characteristics such as, pick and drill resistance, access control options, protection against the unauthorized duplication of keys.

My landlord gave me the keys, is it more safe to get new ones?

Do you know when was the last time the locks were re-keyed? If you don't have an exact date then you and your company are potentially at risk. Some property management companies in an effort to save money simply swap the locks from one unit to another and have a brand new set of keys made. You don't want a previous tenant to show up inside your building, only because he can, do you?

If my home lock has to be picked, will it damage the lock?

Picking the lock to your home or business will not damage the lock. By picking the lock you are simply “decoding” the pattern of your current key and smoothly opening the lock. It is not an easy task and should only be performed by an experienced locksmith with modern equipment. A good locksmith should also be able to open most padlocks, cabinet locks, trunk locks, fingerprint locks, deadbolts, and any other locking mechanism. Sometimes the lock is damaged or has been tampered with so as to make it impossible to pick. In these instances, the lock will have to be drilled out and a new lock will have to be installed. If you have a high security lock, it will also have to be drilled out.

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