West Chester, Ohio 45069

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Home Security Tips & Advice

The Lang's Locks Blog

You'll Never Regret Owning a Safe

safe Most of us have items that need safe-keeping. It could be a will, family memories, or even a family heirloom that was passed down. No matter what it is, a safe can make the difference between those items being there or not. 

Reasons to Invest in a Safe Now

Foresight is always better than hindsight.

Many of us have have lost treasured things that can never be replaced. Take the proactive steps to prevent the loss in the first place. It’s not at all uncommon to respond re-actively instead of proactively. We all are guilty of it. We get so busy with the present that we don’t think for the future. Yet, not taking precautions could set you back into the past.

It's insurance for your valuables.

Most of us would not even consider going uninsured health-wise. The law requires all drivers to have it for their cars. Anything can happen at anytime, no matter how unlikely.  Reduce your stress knowing that your emergency money is secure in a safe and will not go missing. Thinking of the worst case scenario is never fun. It’s best to be prepared by taking preventative measures. Having a safe for your valuables is the ultimate form of insurance when it comes to your belongings.

Know exactly where your treasures are.

We might not dig our valuables out all the time, but old photographs of the family or a will are things we aught not lose. Not all of us are great at being organized. Things tend to go into storage boxes or “safe places” around the house and get forgotten in the long-term. It’s not fun to go on a hunt to find them either. Have a secure safe to keep your treasures in.

What Should I Store in a Safe?

  • Wills and Trusts

  • Family Photo Albums

  • Videos

  • Memorabilia

  • Highly Valued Antiques

  • Emergency Money

  • Heirlooms

  • Pensions/Insurance Documents

What Kind of Safe Do I Need? 

Safes come in all types and price ranges. It just depends on what you need secured. We suggest considering a “fire-proof/water proof” safe. 

All in all, weighing the pros and cons are easy when it comes to your valuable items. If it’s priceless, this one-time buy is worth it. No real dollar amount can be put on being secure. If you have any questions about adding a safe to your home, contact Lang's Locks! 

Moving Into a New Home is Very Exciting, But it Comes With a Big To-Do List

From installing appliances to taking care of the utilities, changing your address and settling in, you end up with a lot on your hands.

In addition to all these things, one important task that you cannot ignore is changing the locks. Changing the locks as soon as you move into a new house is important for your safety. You don’t know how many people were given keys to the present locks and you don’t want to take any chances. Many burglars access homes not through force but with a key in hand. This means that just changing your home locks can make a real difference between suffering the damages of a home burglary or just avoiding it altogether.

Locksmith Working

Change Locks as Soon as You Move In

Most people change the locks of their property as soon as they move into a new place. While this can easily be forgotten in the stress of moving, it should just not slip your mind. In fact, it should be a priority.

New homeowners can never be sure how many people have keys to their new property. Since you are starting fresh, only the people you trust and who are close to you should have access to your premises. The best practice is to always change the front lock of your new house when you move in to make sure that you, your loved ones, and your property is safe.

If you are moving to a rented house and are worried about previous tenants having access to your rented property, you can talk to the landlord and arrange for your locks to be rekeyed or changed. This is for your own safety as most of the landlords fail to change locks between tenancies. It is best to discuss this issue with your landlord and determine if you have permission to change the locks.

Changing locks in a new property also becomes important when the previous locks are too old and you notice general wear and tear. The door lock may be a little tricky to operate or the key often gets stuck in it, leaving you trapped inside or out. The locks may also be rusty, which makes them easy to break.

Whatever the case may be, it is important that you consider changing the locks as soon as you move into a new property.

Choosing a Certified Registered Locksmith

Lang’s Locks is the leading lock service serving the Warren, Butler and North Hamilton Counties. If you are looking for experts to help you change your locks, then we are the people you should contact. We also offer lock repair, lock installation, emergency on-call house locksmith and lock replacement service. Contact Lang’s Locks for a safe, secure and professional lock security service.

Picture this: You just purchased your dream home. The house is almost perfect, just needs a few repairs done. You update the flooring, paint the walls and last thing to do be done is have your locks rekeyed. Being new to the area, you do a quick Google search and call the first locksmith listed. They give you a trip charge of $40 and you say okay.

The locksmith arrives in a plain van. “Hmm..they must be an independent, freelance guy. Hopefully his work is good.” He greets you with just a “You called for a locksmith?” You nod and show him the locks.

“Yeah, this just seems a little too difficult for me to just rekey. You see, these locks are really high-quality locks. We’ll have to do more here than just a simple rekey.”

“How much would this work run me?”

“Upwards of a couple hundred.”

Red Flags

Langs Dog 6922 SQ400When it comes to doing any work and repairs on your home, it’s important to research any contractors you call. Locksmith fraud especially is very common but is 100% avoidable. Since most of us rely on the Google machine to find these kinds of services, you always want to read the reviews. If the reviews look great but the person shows up in an unmarked van or doesn’t state their company name when on the phone, this is a red flag

Don’t be fooled by the cheap trip charges. This is how frauds lure people in so they can charge an astronomical amount for a simple rekey, which a reliable and trusted locksmith will be able to do with no worries and no hassle.

Here at Lang's Locks, we’ve been in business for 40 years and continue to grow. Because of this, we have years of experience and customer reviews to vouch for our quality of work. We even show up to the job with our pups in tow! If you have any questions in regards to locksmith services or our specific work, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Moving Into a New Home is Always Exciting, But it Comes With a Big To-Do List 

There are obvious things like turning utilities on and changing your address, but there are so many more non-obvious things that need to be done!

Change the Locks

rekey house lockYou’ll likely have no idea when the locks were changed last. You’ll also have no 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. 

Clean the Home

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 fresh. 

Evict the Critters

Do you want to share your new home with bugs, mice and other pests? 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 until 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 until 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 for 40 plus years, we have met some great contractors. Need a recommendation? We can help! 

We at Lang's 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.

Are Smart Homes Really the Smartest Way to Keep Your 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 lights, to smart locks, some people are starting to wonder if investing so much into smart objects for your day-to-day is not only worth it, but safe.

What is a Smart Home?

A smart home is defined, by Google, as “a home equipped with lighting, heating, and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by phone or computer”. 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 having 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 TVs - 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 is used, is switching out your switches by using smart-plugs.
3. Thermostats - This is where the future meets the present. 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 vacuums are the iRobot Roomba, the Shark ION Robot 750, ILIFE, and NEATO. You can purchase different models of robot vacuums that suite your lifestyle. 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 its smart sensors, these robot maids will not fall down the stairs, run over your cat, or knock the china cabinet over.
5. Window Blinds - Need 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 and 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 your 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 giant companies 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 silliest things when rushing out the door. Imagine this: You made pancakes and coffee for breakfast, and look down and you forgot that the 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 wait 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 Homes 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 and 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 your voice assistant that make you answer a question when you come in the door, to verify your identity.
10. Most importantly, stay 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 your home in the safest and smartest way for your lifestyle.

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