West Chester, Ohio 45069

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Home Security Tips & Advice

The Lang's Locks Blog

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 unreasonably high fees after a blank business agreement is signed.  

Lang's Locks is 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. 

Lang's 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 contacting the ALOA at 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 website 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 a while. 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 make sure you're secured!

Spring Cleaning To-Do List: Reduce the Risk of Home Burglary

west chester oh locksmith servicesAs the waters recede and rain turns into sunshine, Cincinnati homeowners will start to prepare for their spring cleaning and landscaping routines. The promise of longer days and sunny weather motivates a lot of home improvements, and home security should be at the top of the list.

Plant Barriers

Professional landscapers can guide important decisions about how to reduce the risk of home burglary. One important element of a home’s landscaping plans should be home security. Keeping shrubbery, bushes, and dense trees away from windowsills eliminates hiding places. Burglars no longer have an easy access point to windows or doors. Greenery near windows or home entrance points is important for exterior aesthetic.

Landscaping and exterior home improvement projects often focus on adding color and visual interest through flowers, shrubbery, and greenery. Landscapers can select thorny variations that add a new layer of security and protection. Thorny variation changes cannot prevent a home from being robbed. The home improvement changes often dissuade a potential burglar from identifying a home as an easy target.

Increase Lighting

Adding several types of outdoor lighting or motion-sensor lighting can also be a deterrent to a burglar looking for an easy target. Have your home’s entire lawn or landscape visible at night. Unfamiliar people or objects are going to be far easier to identify and see from inside the home or by passersby. Keeping a home well-lit is also a great security measure. Interior lighting provides the sense that people are inside and at home. The increased lighting makes the house a less practical target than a vacant home.

Check Windows and Doors

Every home should have fundamental window and door security measures in place. During the popular spring-cleaning season be sure to have a locksmith you trust check padlocks, door handle locks, and windows. Lang's Locks can help you to ensure the locks are secure. Spring is also a great time to review house keys and garage openers. Are your keys all accounted for and working?

Cincinnati Home Security and Locksmith Solutions

If a lock is broken or a key is missing, we can help! Lang’s Locks offers several ways to increase the security of a home. Rekeying a home with an entirely new set of keys and locks will give you ultimate security and peace of mind. New locks ensure that any previous lost or compromised keys are ineffective. Previous homeowners, cleaners, or other people with access to a home are no longer able to enter without making arrangements for access. Emergency 24-hour locksmith services can assist in the event of a break-in or if a homeowner is locked out of his or her home with no other form of entry.

Lang’s Locks offers service to Butler, Warren, and Northern Hamilton counties. Our expert locksmiths with more than 35 years of experience are always available! Contact 513-860-0222 for more information or to get 24-hour locksmith services today.

Door SafetyAs your first point of contact with the outside world, your front door deserves extra security. To make break-ins as difficult as possible for a would-be intruder, professional locksmiths recommend taking certain steps. Preventing crime on your property can be as easy as following these five tips.

1. Invest in Bright Outdoor Lighting

A criminal’s illicit activities are especially likely to be witnessed in well-lit areas, so thieves are more likely to bypass your home if you have a bright porch light, which would highlight their illegal activities.

2. Buy a Surveillance System

Proper lighting illuminates your door area, but if you want to keep tabs on everyone who approaches your front door, install a security camera. Many systems easily integrate with mobile devices, allowing you to monitor your home no matter where you are.

3. Upgrade Your Front Locks

Not all locks are made equal. If you recently moved in and haven’t changed the locks yet, you might not be the only person with access to your front door. For improved security, have a locksmith replace (or better yet, upgrade) your locks.

4. Install a Stronger Door

Locks are important, but they mean little if your door could be broken down. Look for exterior doors with solid iron or steel cores, which are difficult to drill into or break.

5. Protect Your Windows

Maybe your front door itself is secure, but what about the windows next to it? If you’re concerned about someone breaking through the glass, consider installing metal bars over them for heavy-duty protection. If you find that idea unsightly, though, you could also use clear security film, which makes windows harder to shatter.

If you’ve lost your only key, you’ll need to hire an experienced locksmith to make you a new set. But how do they do this using only a lock? We can explain it in just three steps

New Key Made

1. Use the Key Code

To make a new key, a locksmith will usually refer to the key code your lock comes with. The unique “bitting code” provides a map of the key’s contours, as it translates to particular settings on the professional’s code machine. However, the method only works if you’ve kept the key code card. If not, they can sometimes access the bitting code by determining the make and model number of the lock. They would then contact the company to request the code.

 2. Take a Lock Impression

If they can’t figure out the key code or there’s an emergency, a locksmith can take an impression of the lock to create a new key. The process is quicker, as they can complete the job without having to disassemble anything. First, they insert a blank key into the lock and turn it several times to allow the pins of the locking mechanism to bind with the key. After it’s marked, the locksmith will file it down until it works smoothly.

3. Disassemble the Lock

When a professional can’t fashion a key from the lock’s key code or get a working impression of it, they’ll take it apart and use the height of the pins as a reference point to create the new key. The process requires a great deal of skill and tact, as the lock must be dismantled properly so as not to damage its components. Otherwise, they won’t be able to fashion a working key from it.

Your family’s safety and property investment depend on working with a locksmith to keep a burglar out of the house. An experienced thief has an arsenal of skills and tools they use to bypass a homeowner’s defense system. Lang’s Locks in West Chester, OH, has been protecting the community since 1990. Our family-run business knows all a burglar’s tricks, and, best of all, we know how to combat them. Here are their tips on how to keep your house secure.

1. Quality Door LocksCombat Burglar Tricks

The door locks are a house’s first line of defense, and getting past a cheap one is the first skill on any amateur burglar’s resume. There are two strategies they could use to open the door; they can use picks or break it completely. Both methods will be made easier with a low-quality lock. When speaking with your locksmith, ask about the strongest materials for the cylinders and pins. To make your installation worth it, choose a brand that is trusted for its solid construction.

2. Window Security

Windows are often ignored by homeowners and left vulnerable. A cracked window might as well be an open door. Windows located near shrubbery and obscured from neighbors’ views are most at risk. Even second-floor windows can be broken into. Talk to your locksmith about installing more secure window locks. Make nightly rounds to ensure all windows are closed and secure before going to bed.

3. Garage Vulnerability

While you’re focused on securing the main points of entry to the house, the burglar will be looking at the garage. With minimal security, the garage door is easily broken into. Few homeowners bother to lock the door separating the house from the garage. Invest in quality installation on that inner door to keep unwanted guests out.

The act of breaking into a house is a learned skill, and the average homeowner is playing against a stacked deck. The best strategy to protect what’s yours is to hire a trusted locksmith. 

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