Thursday, December 17, 2009 City Lock recently received an official Google Favorite Places decal which includes a barcode unique to our business. If you’re not familiar with the program, you can read more about it here, in Google’s blog.City Lock now displays a decal in the front window that looks like this:
The decal includes a special barcode (the one pictured above is just a sample) that potential customers may scan using the cameras on their cell phones. Upon scanning our code, you can see our business listing on Google, read and write reviews, and add City Lock as a favorite place for quicker reference later. To scan the barcode, called a QR code, you’ll need a phone with a camera and an app that can read QR codes. Google suggests a few sites to find these apps.
City Lock is proud to have been chosen as a Google Favorite Place, and we hope you will find this new feature of our business helpful. As always, we appreciate your feedback. Please take a moment to comment on your City Lock experience on any of our online business profiles, such as Yelp, Yahoo Local, and Google.
Established in 1979, City Lock is a full service locksmith serving Boulder and surrounding areas. Visit online at www.citylockusa.com.
Ask the Locksmith: What You Need to Know About Auto and Motorcycle Transponder (Chip) Keys BEFORE You Purchase
Monday, November 16, 2009 At City Lock we get tons of folks who bring in keys and remotes from Ebay and other websites to fit and program. The only problem is there’s no assurance that these items are compatible or functional. We WILL attempt to make them work, but it does not always work. There are rarely any overall savings.So, we’ve put together this brief guide to transponder, or “chip” keys we hope will save you some time, money, and frustration.Get the Lingo!
- DefinitionsChip – (n.) The RFID device that is embedded into a key. This device is uniquely matched to your vehicle. When a key with a chip is turned in a vehicle’s ignition, the vehicle must recognize the chip in order to start the engine.
- Clone – (n. or v.) An electronic duplicate of a chip key. When programmed properly, its corresponding vehicle sees a clone as though it were the original.
- Code Cut – (v.) To produce a key cut by technical specifications. We use very high-end CNC (Computer Numeric Control) type machines, unlike anything a car dealer is likely to have. We produce a large volume of keys this way for not only vehicles, but also for accurate master key production for multi-unit residential and office buildings, utility and gaming, high security locks, etc.
- FOB – (n.) A tag. Often used to describe a decorative key tag, or a remote. Sometimes a fob and a remote are combined. Many folks also refer to it as the “clicker thing that unlocks the doors and opens the trunk.”
- FOBIK – (n.) This stands for FOB-Integrated Key. The term was coined by Chrysler to describe keys with a remote built right into the head of the key.
- Flip-Key – (n.) A type of fob and integrated transponder key, the key blade pivots and folds into the housing.
- Key Code – (n.) A blind number used to determine the cuts to make on a new key blade.
- RFID – (n.) Radio Frequency Identification
- RKE – (n.) Remote Keyless Entry
Three random, yet crucial facts
- The RFID chip in Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth and Volkswagen keys can only be programmed to ONE car. No “refurbished” or “recycled” key is going to work on any of these makes’ models. On other makes, various chips may potentially be “recycled,” but there’s still a very real chance that it won’t work with your vehicle.
- City Lock makes all transponder keys by code (see definition of “Code Cut” above). We do not just trace your old key. You get better, longer lasting keys this way, plus we supply you the key code, in case you ever lose all your keys. This code is useful when replacing lost keys.
- What applies to one year/make/model has nothing to do with another year/make/model. Each manufacturer has numerous systems, various chips and totally different programming methods. We at City Lock are your experts on getting it done right.
Other FAQs and Figures About Transponder Keys and Remotes
Q: I saw keys online for cheap, and directions say I can have someone local “just cut it and program for a few bucks.” Can you do that?
A: Often it will cost less if you just buy the key and remote directly from us. Plus, if we sell and program these items for you, we can guarantee they will work. If you already bought some, bring them, along with the vehicle and all the existing keys. We WILL help you.
Q: Can’t you just make a basic copy of the key to my car without the chip?
A: Sure. But if your key has/had a chip in it, a key without a chip is not going to start the engine. You’ll be able to use it to unlock the doors and/or trunk, but that’s it. This is a good choice for a “hide-a-key” spare, though!
Q: Do I have to go to the dealer to do this?
A: Nope. We have the technology and skill required to do the job right, and usually at a better price than the dealer!
Q: Can the lumber store or hardware store do this?
A. Some such stores will cut the key, find that it won’t work without the chip, and send you to us. It is better to bring a project like this to a qualified locksmith.
Q. My keys do not work well anymore. I had new ones made, but they didn’t work either. Do I need new locks/a new ignition?
A. Probably NOT. Copies of a bad key will work as poorly or WORSE. They can even jam up the lock mechanism, which can get you stuck. We recreate an original key on our special CNC machines, to produce a key that is original to specification. Clients are always amazed at how great everything works after we do this. We hope this helps demystify some of the technology we use to get from A to B. Please don’t hesitate to call Jeff at City Lock, 303-444-4407, or email email@example.com if you have any other burning questions for the locksmith!
Monday, November 9, 2009 City Lock is featured in the Business section of the Boulder Daily Camera today. Staff writer, Rob Herman interviewed City Lock owner, Jeff Rosen and penned the article highlighting the business.City Lock opened on a snowy evening on Nov. 19, 1979, inside a small shop in New England. Fast-forward 30 years, and owner Jeff Rosen is still running the business, even after a 1991 move to Boulder.
Read the full article in the Boulder Daily Camera by clicking here. Established in 1979, City Lock is a full service locksmith serving Boulder and surrounding areas. Visit online at www.citylockusa.com.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009 City Lock, a locally owned and operated locksmith company in Boulder is pleased to announce the launch of its new website, CityLockUSA.com. The new site features a more user-oriented layout and expanded catalog selections, with emphasis on City Lock’s commitment to exceptional customer service. City Lock hopes to reach new clients beyond the greater Boulder and Denver regions by providing more information on its services and product selection than ever before.City Lock’s workshop and showroom located at 2898 30th Street near Valmont offers a broad selection of auto, home, and commercial security products. The company also offers emergency lockout assistance, as well as lock repair and installation. Established in 1979, City Lock is a full service locksmith serving Boulder and surrounding areas. Visit online at www.citylockusa.com.
Friday, September 25, 2009Q: My door knob often “sticks,” or feels like it’s locked, even when I know the door is unlocked. What causes this and how can it be fixed? Let us examine the symptoms, explain the cause, and supply simple do-it-yourself solutions that will save you an unnecessary visit from a professional locksmith.In most office and industrial settings, steel and wood doors are set into a steel frame. Some of these frames are narrow, with a pre-baked on finish, which has made them vastly more popular than industrial ready-to-paint heavy-duty frames that once were the standard. Often, the door is intended to have silencers but they were either never installed, or wore away over time. If the door should have silencers, you will notice three small holes along the door frame. Such door silencers perform two jobs:First, as their name implies, they muffle the closing of a door by preventing the surface of the door from directly hitting the obvious contact point of the door frame, called the stop. This function is practically a necessity in office settings, but it makes for a much less dramatic effect when exiting an argument. Second, and more importantly, the silencer provides a “filler” to make the door align with the frame at just the right point for the lock to work correctly. The door knob or lever has a latch that protrudes from the edge of the door. Imagine a line down the center of the door edge, and a similar line on the door frame, centered vertically between the two screws that hold the strike plate to the jamb. These two lines must be almost exactly aligned when door is closed for the latch to properly engage. The vertical center line on the frame is generally measured from the silencer, not the stop!
Where it all goes wrong: If you look at a latch from a keyed lock, you will notice a large beveled part, and a narrow blunt piece. The blunt piece is called the deadlatch trigger. When the door is closed, the trigger stays retracted (which prevents “credit card entry”) and only the larger beveled piece of the latch enters the strike plate cavity on the door frame. Should the door close in too far, the deadlatch trigger may drop into the strike plate cavity with the beveled latch causing the door to jam or stick.
Fixing the Problem on Commercial Doors: I recommend getting replacement silencers or, as a very good substitute, pick up an assortment of cork in different thicknesses, 3/16″, 1/4″ and 5/16″. Glue the cork piece in the thickness that fits best to three spots along the frame: top and bottom and middle. Use an adhesive such as Household Goop (TM) to secure the cork silencers to the frame. Residential Doors suffer a similar symptom, but for a host of different causes. We will address this issue soon! We hope this saves you some money and aggravation! If you have any questions about locks, door issues, or other such troublesome devices, please don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 303-444-4407.
Monday, August 24, 2009 City Lock now offers expanded service for General Motors keys and remotes. City Lock owner, Jeff Rosen acquired the software needed to expand service in effort to address more customers’ needs. “I don’t like having to tell a client, ‘no, I can’t do that’ so I am always looking for ways to widen my product base, as well as my knowledge base.” City Lock stocks most of the popular makes’ OEM remotes, Keys and ignition, door and trunk locks. The business now offers more auto products and services for 52 GM models in addition to hundreds of other makes. Rosen is quick to assert his capabilities of making keys and other devices for autos even if the owner’s manual says it can only be made by a dealer. “I’m a locksmith,” he says. “It’s my job to be capable of the unexpected.” Established in 1979, City Lock is a full service locksmith serving Boulder and surrounding areas.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009 In 2007 City Lock owner Jeff Rosen decided to be proactive about rising energy costs at his small Boulder business. Instead of raising prices on his products, he simply threw out all his light bulbs.”I’d already ‘gone green’ on things like recycling paper and shipping cartons, so reducing energy consumption was the next step,” says Rosen. “I heard of re-lamping programs and energy credits, but no local companies offered retrofitting for light fixtures.” Rosen had to go beyond Boulder to find a company with the expertise to complete this project.Rosen spent a modest $1,060 to retrofit 19 light fixtures in his shop. There was a power company rebate for efficiency upgrades and additional assistance from the landlord for improving the property. “What makes this project so important is owners of millions of square feet of retail and office space could benefit from following my lead,” Rosen says.The installation process was efficient, too. The existing light fixtures weren’t taken out, but modified to house two bulbs instead of four. This saved a lot of scrapped parts from landing in the dumpster. All wire removed was stripped to recycle the copper. The process took four hours and was completed without interrupting power or damaging ceiling panels.Now, instead of four regular fluorescent bulbs in each fixture, there are two longer-lasting bulbs per fixture. “I haven’t had to replace a bulb since they were installed two years ago,” says Rosen. He also reports savings of over $250 per year for maintenance, and approximately $720.00 saved annually on his power bill. “Once you figure in the $300 rebate from the power company for switching,” he adds, “the whole project easily paid for itself within the first year.” Established in 1979, City Lock is a full service locksmith serving Boulder and surrounding areas.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 City Lock is pleased to celebrate its 30th year in business. The company began in 1979 in a small shop in New England and relocated to Boulder in 1991. City Lock’s workshop and showroom located at 2898 30th Street near Valmont offers a broad selection of auto, home, and commercial security products. The company also offers emergency lockout assistance, as well as lock repair and installation.Still operated by founder, Jeff Rosen, City Lock’s business has changed quite a bit over the last 30 years to keep up with industry trends and advancement. “Technology has infused itself in every aspect of our daily operations,” says Rosen. “Running the business requires more skill and creativity than ever before.” Established in 1979, City Lock is a full service locksmith serving Boulder and surrounding areas.
Monday, August 3, 2009 What does “security” mean to you? Is it an iron gate along the edge of your yard, a set of premium locks, or maybe an alarm system and cameras? Perhaps even a Doberman who sleeps at the foot of your bed? While all these things provide some level of safety, our overall definition of “security” could use a few revisions.Security is not the purchase of a gadget, a safe or a lock; True security is a product of addressing all the risk factors between you (your stuff and yourself) and those who wish to exploit those risk factors to obtain what is yours. Risk factors are things such as weak windows, builder grade door locks, hollow or unreinforced doors, sliding patio doors; anything an intruder might consider an opportunity. It is incredibly important to your security and safety to address each risk factor thoroughly.Think of security in terms of layers. The more the better! Intruders must weigh the benefit of obtaining access to you and your stuff against the time and effort they must spend breaching each layer of security in between. As such, you must also weigh the cost of each layer against the value of what you aim to protect. For example, keeping your reading glasses in a $5,000 safe would be overkill (and more than a little outlandish), but storing your heirloom jewelry in a sock drawer or toy-like safe is not enough to keep it out of the hands of thieves. The application of appropriate levels of security without exceeding reasonable costs to the customer is often very important and requires a skilled and knowledgeable locksmith to determine.Your premises, whether commercial or residential, share similar characteristics: An outer layer comprised of doors, walls, windows, etc., a layer of open or common areas like living rooms, lobbies, and hallways, and private areas such as bedrooms, offices, and other areas where sensitive material is stored.Windows, doors, vents and any exterior access points comprise the outer layer. Arguably, this is the most important layer of security, and one in which you should consider investing the most. All exterior doors should be equipped with, at the very least, a good quality and properly installed deadbolt lock. You might also consider a touchpad type deadbolt that will allow you to program an access code. Windows (including decorative door glass) should be replaced with hurricane rated windows, or existing windows reinforced with applied polycarbonate film, or with a rigid polycarbonate 1/8″ panels overlay. Often overlooked exterior access points are vents and ducts. A good rule of thumb is to secure any duct large enough for a small child to crawl through. If you are unsure how, we can advise you of several ways to do this. The next layer of securing your premises is to address the common areas such as lobbies, living rooms, hallways, etc. Securing these areas can be tough due to the necessity of through-traffic by family or employees. One option is to install an alarm system that is partially armed while premises is occupied, and fully armed when vacant. If an intruder has breached the previous layers of defense, his or her next objective is likely to access private areas such as bedrooms, offices, or anywhere else the intruder presumes to find valuables. To address this layer, don’t store your treasured items in a predictable haunt such as a jewelry box or your sock drawer. Invest in a good quality safe for such items instead. Safes aren’t just for jewels and neatly cinched bags of money, either. Use a fire rated safe to store important documents such as insurance policies, deeds, and your children’s birth certificates. For firearms owners, a gun safe is a must. Whatever your cache, we can recommend the best make and model of safe to protect it. Your safety and security are our concern. Please call us at 303-444-4407. We’ll be glad to discuss with you a broad range of security options that will suit your needs and provide invaluable peace of mind. Isn’t that what security is all about anyway? Established in 1979, City Lock is a full service locksmith serving Boulder and surrounding areas.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009 Consumers in the Boulder-Denver area are warned to beware of individuals posing as locksmiths who perform unnecessary work or charge exorbitant un-locking fees. The Associated Locksmiths of America, Inc. (ALOA), an international association of locksmith and physical security professionals, recently issued an official warning for Denver, Boulder, and surrounding areas.”This scheme entices locked-out consumers with large Yellow Pages ads that give the impression you are calling a local business,” says ALOA’s Executive Director, Charles W. Gibson, Jr., “These companies manipulate listings with multiple false addresses and phone numbers to make them seem like neighborhood businesses. In actuality, the victims frequently are calling out-of-state operations that are not locksmith companies at all. The consumer is quoted a reasonable price over the phone, but when a person posing as a locksmith finishes the job, the victim is charged a considerable amount more for unnecessary and sub-standard work.”ALOA has created a checklist for detecting a company that may be engaging in this scheme. “Many of the items in this checklist are legal by themselves,” adds Gibson. “However, if several are used together, you may be dealing with a con artist.”
- Not Familiar with Your Area To make sure 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 (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.
If you feel that you have been the victim of a scheme as described above, ALOA recommends that you contact the office of the Colorado Attorney General. The Federal Trade Commission offers more information on this topic in this Consumer Alert.Established in 1979, City Lock is a full service locksmith serving the greater Boulder-Denver area. City Lock is also a long-time member of the ALOA.