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Home Security Tips & Advice

The Langs Locks Blog

Moving into a new home is always exciting but it comes with a big to do list. 

There’s the obvious things like turning utilities on, changing your address. But there’s so many more non-obvious things that need to be done!

Change the locks! 

rekey house lockYou’ll likely have zero idea when the locks were changed last. You’ll also have zero idea of how many people have a key to the current lock. Since your front door lock is one of the most important parts of your home, it’s a great idea to change the locks as soon as possible. Deep clean everything! If you’ve moved a lot, you probably know that not every surface gets the TLC it deserves before a new family moves in. Germs linger around! Get your carpet cleaned, wipe down the cabinets and the walls, purchase a new toilet seat. Don’t forget the air filters! This starts your house off super clean and super fresh. 

Evict the critters! 

Do you want to share your new home with bugs, mice and all those things? Probably not. Do a scan of the house, including any nooks and crannies any of them could be hiding in. Luckily there’s plenty of DIY tips on how to get them out. Your local grocery store will also have traps and sprays you can use. 

Learn the land!

Most people don’t know where the breaker box is in their home til there is an electrical issue. Same thing with the main water valve. These are two very important components of your home. Play with the switches in the breaker box to see which fuse works for which rooms. Locate the main water valve and turn it off. Check a faucet to make sure it worked. Again, don’t wait til there’s a plumbing emergency or an electrical issue to locate and play with these! 

With Lang's Locks being in the Home Services business 40+ years - we have met some great contractors. Need a recommendation? We can help! 

We at Langs Locks know how exciting moving to a new home is. Unpacking usually ends up being top priority but make sure you add these four tasks to your move in to-do list! Be sure to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Why Families Love Access Control

home securityDo you have kids and are often worried whether they have reached home from school or not?

Do you have a babysitter and you are not sure if they are giving your kids the time you are paying them for? 

Are you getting some work done at your home and want to know if the contractor comes on time for the repair? 

Is there any such thing that can help you access control to your home while you are not there? This system provides both convenience and security!

Thanks to Stand Alone Access Control, you can do this now.

What is Stand Alone Access Control?

Stand Alone Access Control is your one-stop-solution to put an end to all your worries when you are not at home. It gives you an easily programmed access to your home. The Stand Alone Access sends out notifications if anyone enters or leave. Thanks to Stand Alone Access Control, people can live with peace of mind now.

How Does it Work?

Stand Alone Access Control offers a simple way to control access to your home.

remote access to doorYou can schedule access - and you are notified as soon as anybody opens the door to your house. You will now know whether your kids have reached home from school or not and at what time. It works with a simple security code and there is nothing much the person at the door needs to do too. They need to have a cellphone with them and they will be able to enter using the security code. If you want to let anyone in the house, you can give them the security code and they will be able to pass without any issues.

Not any one can enter the house. If anyone does try to do that, you are notified immediately, and you can then take the necessary actions.

Why Restrict and Track Access?

The world is not a safe place anymore and it is difficult to trust anyone. You are protecting your home, family or loved ones. You are in charge of who is entering and leaving the house. Do your work in peace knowing that the home is under your constant monitoring. This makes Stand Alone Access Control the ideal hands-free monitoring system. 

Get your Stand Alone Access Control installed at your house today. This digital device will give access as needed, to whom needed. Be free of all kinds of worries when you are at work or away. We will take care of your house with all our heart.  Contact the professional locksmiths at Lang's Locks today to have a one of our certified locksmiths discuss how our product adds peace of mind to your home. 

Are Smart Homes really the smartest way to keep you home safe?

cyber security locksWith technology on the rise, it is easy to keep updating every aspect of your life once the newest model of it is released. And with everything from smart vacuums, to smart light, to smart locks- some are staring to wonder if investing so much into smart object for your day-to-day is not only worth-it, but safe.

What is a smart home?:

A smart home is define as “a home equipped with lighting, heating, and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by phone or computer.” by google. So that could be anything from owning “smart” outlets that connect to the Bluetooth on your phone to turn lights on and off, all the way to have every outlet, appliance, and more linked up to an app on your smart-phone.

Items you can buy to make your home “smarter”:

1. Smart TV’s- this is usually the most commonly owned smart device on the market, but it’s good not to forget that it still qualifies you as a smart-home owner if it can be controlled via your phone, tablet, or any mobile personal device.
2. Lighting- if you want to be able to control your lighting at the press on a touch-screen button, there are a few different ways that you can go about doing so. The first that most commonly that is used, is switching out your switches by using smart-plugs.
3. Thermostats- This is where the future meets the present, people: These smart thermostats not only make your life easier, but make your home more green and Eco-friendly. These smart devices are perfect for anyone who may have forgotten to turn the A/C off after they leave home, or want to turn the heat on before they get home during a cold winter evening. You can customize some smart thermostats to even allow different temperatures for different rooms and/or family members. Again- these devices are outstanding for not only your wallet, but also in making your home more energy efficient.
4. Vacuums- Have you ever seen videos of Frisbee shaped robots roaming around someone’s house, or maybe you’ve seen one in person? That is most likely a smart vacuum. Popular brands of these vacuum’s are the iRobot Roomba, the Shark ION Robot 750, ILIFE, and NEATO. You can purchase different models of robot vacuums that suite your life-style. Some are best for pets, others are best for hardwood, but most have different settings for every type of indoor terrain you can think of. With it’s smart sensors, these robot maids will not fall down the stairs, run over your cat, or knock the chine cabinet over.
5. Window Blinds- Need some more privacy? Do you have more than one window in your house? Do you sleep past when the sun comes up? If you answered yes, to any of those questions- smart blinds will make your home much more “user-friendly”. With motorized shades, you can control the amount of light (heat) you have in each room without running around the house and pulling down the shades for every window.
6. Voice Assistants- You may have seen all of the commercials involving a chipper-voiced woman named “Alexa”. Alexa is just one of the many versions of a Voice Assistant. You can use most voice-assistants to connect to all of our other smart devices, so that you could say a custom command such as “Alexa, I’m leaving!” and she will start the vacuum, turn off the lights, put your Smart TV in sleep mode, shut your blinds, turn off the thermostat, and more. She can even feed your pets if you have a smart pet-feeder. Almost all of the big giants have a popular voice-assistant that can help you with anything from finding out if you need an umbrella today, or if the Warriors beat the Cavs. Some of the most popular Voice Assistants are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Home Kit, and the Google Home. All having similar but different features with various pros, and cons.

So let’s get into the nitty-gritty. What smart devices are available to make your home smarter and safer?

1. Home Security Systems- this might seem like the most obvious, but it needs to be mentioned. Having something that allows you to monitor your home when you are not there is also step number one when updating the safety mechanics in your house.
2. Door Locks- Smart locks allow you to lock, and unlock your door remotely. So, if the kids forget their house key, you can let them in from the office, and also make sure they are safe when you’re away. Making sure that you and your loved ones are safe is only a click of a button now!
3. Fire Detection Devices- Sometimes we do the most silly things when rushing out the door. Imagine this: You made pancakes and coffee for breakfast, and look down and you forgot that you clock jumped an hour forward last night (pesky daylight savings time, right?). You scarf down breakfast, put your shoes on, and you’re out the door. Well… someone forgot to turn the stove-top off. One thing leads to another, and bam- a fire strikes. Instead of getting home to the fire department watering your home like the hydrangeas, get an alert anywhere you are that the smoke-detector is going off. This way action can be handled immediately, and not until the neighbors call the fire department.

Other devices like Water Detection Devices, Doorbell Cameras, Motion Sensors, and other smart devices are available to make your home the smartest and safest it can be.

So are smart home safer than “not-smart” homes?

The answer is: A home is only as safe as it is secure.
This means that just like someone picking a lock, or breaking a window- thieves have found ways to trick a smart home. Hackers are the biggest threat you have when it comes to a smart-home. Specifically, if you have smart-locks, and cameras that are all connected.

But don’t worry yet you Jetson-family-wannabe!

There are ways to make your home, harder to “crack” or hack into than others. Here are some safety tips to apply to your smart-home and all of your interactions with technology to keep you safe:

1. Always use two-factor authentication
2. Your security system being connected to cameras is a MUST
3. Smart Locks, or smart keys that only you an a few loved ones have or know about
4. Doorbell Cameras/ Cameras in general- always check before you answer your door or cell-phone
5. Always have protective software uploaded into your devices (this isn’t an option for all smart-hubs)
6. Back up your devices and cameras on a regular basis
7. Use emails and internet (wifi) safely. Never open spam, or click on links that you don’t know of.
8. Choose strong and encrypted passwords for all of your devices, and don’t share them
9. Make commands with you voice-assistant that make you answer a question when you come in the door, to verify your identity.
10. Most importantly, to informed and up-to-date. Keep all of your smart-devices updated, and be aware if there are any big waves of hackers messing with smart-home devices.

If you have any questions, we would be more than happy to discuss how to set-up for home in the safest and smartest for your lifestyle. 

By Lyndsay Bamberger

Lately, the Cincinnati real estate market is growing like crazy.

replacement door locksHomes are selling left and right, which means there are lots of new homebuyers in the market. Homeownership can be an exciting experience, especially for first time buyers. There are so many things to consider when buying a home. It can be easy to get preoccupied with the challenges of moving homes. From budgeting to painting and decorating, there are hundreds of items on your to-do list. But, when it comes to what’s truly important, securing your home and protecting your new house usually get forgotten. It’s important to stop and think about changing or rekeying the locks of your new home as soon as you’re handed your new set of keys. With all of the running around, this step is easy to delay or put off. Thankfully, Lang’s Locks has been helping people keep their homes safe and secure since 1976.

When you move into a new home, you never know who has access inside. If previous owners made copies of their keys, there’s a strong probability that there’s a spare key floating around. It’s good practice to change or rekey your locks. This is especially true if a family member loses a key, a key goes unreturned by a serviceperson, or if your locks are old.

Here are a few situations where you should consider contacting a locksmith: 

• Your keys are stolen

• You lose your keys

• Your key often gets stuck inside of the lock or the lock is difficult to unlatch

• You want to consolidate your keys and have only one master key for the whole home

If you’ve experienced one of these situations, you might consider your choices:

Rekeying your home’s locks: Rekeying your locks means changing the notches within the lock and the corresponding key. This uses the same locks, but manipulates them so your existing keys won’t unlatch the lock. Moving into a new home comes with a lot of expenses. If you’re looking for the most affordable option, rekeying is a practical choice.

Replacing your home’s locks: While rekeying is a secure choice, there are some scenarios in which changing the locks completely would be a better option. Although it might feel like big investment, what price are you willing to put on your family’s safety? We recommend changing locks if the existing locks are old. It’s wise to invest in newer, more secure locks. This requires the removal of your existing locks and replacing them with a new version that ensures you’ve secured your home.

Whatever your need might be, Lang’s Locks has the experience and commitment you’d want in a locksmith. With more than three decades of experience, Lang’s Locks has access to a large variety of inventory at especially affordable prices. Whether you need standard door or patio locks, or high-security control, we’re committed to helping you keep your home safe.

Our emergency service sets us apart from the rest, but don’t wait until it’s too late to feel secure.

Avoiding Locksmith Fraud

It's Good To Know a Locksmith Before You Need a Locksmith:

Each day, up to 250,000 Americans make emergency calls to locksmiths. Despite reasonable quotes over the phone... so called locksmiths are playing the bait and switch game and charging exorbitant fees after a blank business agreement is signed.  

Lang's Locks in a member of The Associated Locksmiths Of America (ALOA).  

ALOA's certification program (PRP) provides a standard of knowledge and technical proficiency by which locksmiths can be recognized. All members go through a thorough background check and extensive training. Credentials and Credibility lead to Knowledge and Integrity. 

Langs Locks has been a locksmith company since 1976. When you call Lang's Locks - We ensure your security needs are met and your expectations are exceeded.

Checklist For Detecting a Locksmith Scam:

ALOL Certified LocksmithALOA has also created a 10-point locksmith scam check-list for detecting a locksmith company that may be engaging in this scheme. Many of the items in this checklist are legal by themselves, however, if several are used together, you may be dealing with a con artist:

• Not Familiar with Your Area . To ensure that the company is local, make sure that they are familiar with your area of town .

• "Locksmith Service." Unscrupulous individuals often operate under many business names/aliases. Thus, they must answer the phone with a generic phrase like, "locksmith service." If the call is answered this way, ask, "What is the legal name of your business."

• ALOA Logo. Does the Yellow Pages ad contain a logo that makes them appear to belong to ALOA? While many locksmiths do belong to the Association, some unscrupulous individuals trick the consumer by falsely using the ALOA logo. You can always check to see if in fact these businesses are members by calling ALOA, (800) 532-2562 or www.findalocksmith.com .

• Unclear Business Name. Look closely at the ad(s). Is the specific name of the business clearly identified? Does it appear that the dealer actually operates under several names? If a Web address is listed, does the name on the Web site match the name on the ad?

• "Under Same Ownership" This confusing statement, often found in small print at the bottom of a full-page ad in phone directories, give consumers a sense that the firm has been in business for awhile. The statement itself may be a warning sign that the company operates under several aliases. Also, the ad sometimes lists association memberships for organizations that do not exist, (i.e. American Locksmith Association).

• Service Vehicle. Some legitimate locksmiths will work out of a car or unmarked van for quick jobs, but most will arrive in a service vehicle – a van or truck that is clearly marked.

• Identity. A legitimate locksmith should ask for identity and some form of proof that you have the authority to allow the unlocking to be done. You have the right to ask for the locksmith's identification as well. Does he have a business card? Does he have an invoice or bill with the company name printed on it? Does it match the name on the service vehicle?

• Estimate. Find out what the work will cost before you authorize it. Never sign a blank form authorizing work.

• Invoice. Insist on an itemized invoice. You can't dispute a charge without proof of how much you paid and what the payment was for .

• Refuse. If you are not comfortable with the service provider, you can, and should, refuse to work with the locksmith.

Call the Lang's Locks locksmith company today, and we'll try to have you secured tonight!

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