City Lock - Storefront Locksmith and Boulder Based Mobile Locksmiths

Call Us At: (303) 444-4407

Do It Yourself Tips

Ask the Locksmith: Common Questions

Wed September 2, 2015

Q. Can I save money by changing my locks myself?  If your locks are in good working order, and you are reasonably handy; you can bring them to our service center in Boulder for re-keying. help-147419_1280We often will do this while you wait. You can bring in knobs one day, and deadbolts another ( If both are lockable ). Should all this be too daunting, you can always call and arrange to have us come to you. We offer real-time convenient appointments. We endeavor to be 5 minutes early, whenever possible.

If you are not within a reasonable drive distance from your City Lock in Boulder, please look for a locksmith Find A Locksmith.  This locksmith resource is a free service of the Associated Locksmiths of America.  A.L.O.A. is the ONLY US nonprofit, national association representing locksmiths.

Wed September 2, 2015

Q: 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 many office and industrial settings, steel and wood doors are set into a steel frame. Often, the door is intended to have silencers or cushions; but they were either never installed, or wore away over time. You may notice three small holes along the door frame. Door silencers perform two jobs: Firstly, 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. Second, and more importantly, the silencer provides the correct alignment to the centerline of the strike plate. 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. These doors do not use silencers, but have a continuous compressible weatherstrip. These doors need to be deal with in another manner. If you have any questions about locks, door issues, or other such troublesome devices, please don't hesitate to email us at [email protected], or call us at 303-444-4407.

Layer-Up for Better Security

Wed, Oct 4, 2015  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 achieved by merely the purchase of a gadget, a safe or a lock. A true security plan starts with an analysis. This  is the culmination of identifying all the safety and security risk factors between you (your stuff and yourself), nature and those who wish to exploit those risk factors to obtain or destroy what is yours.
Risk factors include, but are not limited to: lack of police foot patrol, remote location, distance to hydrant,  window design, existing door locks and door design, sliding patio doors, rooftop HVAC, doggie doors and more.
 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 a return-on-investment ( ROI ) is often very important.
I see stuff on Amazon, all over the web, what should I get?
As a security professional, City Lock can be of assistance in reviewing your security risks, and suggestion remedial actions. Our skilled and knowledgeable will allow you to maintain the aesthetics you want, but achieved with improved security and safety. Many products are promoted with a lot of sizzle, but not much quality under-ther-hood. We will always guide you on a path you will be glad to have tread. Deal locally, from a trusted source, and you get far more than just product. You get the RIGHT product, and the support, warranty and satisfaction of no regrets. City Lock gets most business from clients who are on their NEXT commercialstructure or home, calling us due to great satisfaction on the prior project.
How do I organize all this information, and create a course of action?
 We can think of security in terms of layers, like a cake. Gluten Free? Try a Pyramid. Not into acute angles? Let us view security as concentric rings. Who does not like a circle ?
1. The Envelope.
Whether commercial or residential, security and safety share many similar characteristics: An outer ring we call the "Envelope" is the first, largest and often most varied collection of elements.
 We can break the envelope down into simple categories; doors, walls, windows, exterior ducts and vents, etc.
2. Next we have open space. This may not appear as a ring, but it actually is. When numbering openings in larger buildings, we enter the front door, and start counting all doorways in a counterclockwise manner. There is a lot of sigzagging as we completely covering all passageways, but we come out at the front door, having made a ring. Within the open space 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.
The next ring is one where we may treat areas specially, as they are the sleeping or retreat areas.Arguably, these are the most important layer of security, this ring is the most expensive area to address; if and when budget allows. Fortifying sleeping quarters may be the most expensive consideration of all; and only useful once the primary rings have been beefed up.
The final ring of security is that of high assets protection. This would be a safe, 5 layers deep in your security. I did not skip one. There is a recommendation to create a safe-room. This can double as a storage room, crafts and shop, tool room etc. You can fortify an unused closet, if space does not allow for more. Within this room, a safe that is matched to what we would recommend, appropriately constructed to offer ideal protection for double the current value of all hard assets.
Save money on the countertops and flooring; if you must. Do not use internet or big box bargains to gamble with your security.
 Please call us at 303-444-4407. We'll be glad to review options, and broad range of security 
 Established in 1979, City Lock is your TRUSTED Boulder Locksmith serving Boulder County and surrounding areas.