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When to Change Locks: Keeping You and Your Property Safe

Category : Blog , Locks

when to change locks

You do what you can to keep your property safe. Whether you have a home, apartment or business, you lock your doors to protect yourself. In some cases, our locks can’t always guard our homes. For many situations, you must change your locks so they can do their job correctly.

When you change your lock, you choose an entirely new lock system to replace your old one. Customize your security with a new lock system that fits the look of your property, all while keeping everything secure. But how often should you change locks?

We at Ernie’s Lock Company know the importance of keeping your family, possessions or business safe. Below you’ll find our recommendations of when to change your locks. Plan for life’s surprises and prepare for when you may need to replace door locks. When it’s time, contact us for help when you’re unsure how to change the locks on your house.

Changing Locks on a New House or Property

One of the most common reasons to change your locks is purchasing a new home or property. Many new homeowners or individuals who have acquired a business neglect to replace their locks. Changing the locks on a new house or building, however, is a crucial step when you move. You care about your employees, your family members and everything else in your home or business, so take the first step in protecting them.

No matter how you acquired it, you may not know why it’s necessary to change locks on a newly-purchased property. Don’t take the chance of keeping the same locks. Consider these reasons for changing your locks:

  • The previous owner left a copy of their key with a friend, neighbor or family member.
  • The previous owner lost a copy of their key or had it stolen without changing the locks.
  • The previous owner still has a copy of their key that they did not turn over.
  • The property is a foreclosure with a disgruntled past owner who still has access to a key.
  • Construction workers who built your new house may have kept or copied a key.
  • Real estate agents or those with access to their keys could have access to your home.

Don’t let any of the concerns above overshadow the exciting experience of moving into a new place or starting a new business. Whether you need commercial lock services or residential security, a reliable locksmith can protect you, your possessions and your property. Even if you know the past owners or contractors of your new property, it’s not worth the risk. Individuals you do not know or trust could have had access to the property in the past. Save yourself future troubles by hiring a locksmith to replace your locks.

Be sure to examine your property, taking note of exterior doors with locks that a locksmith should replace for you. It’s easy to focus on your front door, but people could have keys to different entrances. Don’t allow for any cracks in the defense of your property. Whether you own or rent the building, you should take this precaution. Even those living in apartment complexes should change their locks upon moving in unless the landlord has already made replacements.

Evicting Tenants and Other Landlord Concerns

landlord changing locks

As a landlord, you have a responsibility to those living in your building. Tenants have the right to habitability, meaning a safe and livable space. One main feature of habitability is a door with a lock. Though it may seem simple, you should also take on the responsibility of maintaining those locks. Changing locks can keep you and your tenants safe after any number of situations and enforces habitability.

Take the precaution of changing locks after:

  1. Evicting tenants: For the security of your building and future renters, you should change your locks after evicting a tenant. Evicted tenants may be defiant, and you don’t want to risk letting them back into your building. While you can collect any keys they have, you never know if a copy of the key is somewhere out there. Be sure not to change the locks on your tenant’s apartment before evicting them, though.
  2. Tenants move out: Even if your renter moves out by choice and returns their key, they may have made a copy or given one to friends or family. Change the locks to protect yourself and future tenants. Let new renters know that you changed the locks to provide them with peace of mind and ensure them about habitability.
  3. Tenants made copies of keys: Hopefully, your renters will be honest about making copies of keys. They should return copies made to you when they move. Sometimes, you won’t be so lucky to have honest tenants. If your renter returns copies rather than original keys or if you suspect they made copies, change the locks to be safe.
  4. Other security issues: Break-ins, breakups and other problems may require you to change locks for current tenants. Individuals living in your building may request to change their locks, or you may make the choice and notify them. No matter how you go about changing the locks, it will create a habitable and safe building for your tenants.

Seek out a locksmith for evictions and other issues to keep everyone in your building protected. Be sure to notify your tenants properly about any lock changes so you follow the law and enhance the safety of your building.

If you take the vital step of changing your locks as a response to the issues above, your tenants will feel that they can trust you. They’ll want to live at your property longer since they know it is a safe place. The act of replacing locks shows your dedication to your tenants.

Lost or Stolen Keys

There’s no need to worry if you misplace your keys somewhere in your home and find them later, but if you ever lose your keys while you’re out and about, your first concern should be the security of your home or business. If you know someone stole your keys, contact your insurance company and the police to report the incident. After you’ve notified authorities, hire a professional locksmith to change your lock right away.

If you do lose your keys, it’s time to act quickly and replace your locks. If you’re considering the risk of leaving the locks the same, think about these possibilities:

  • Someone could have stolen your keys.
  • A stranger could recover your lost keys and attempt to use them.
  • If you don’t have a copy of your key, you may be locked out.

While losing a key doesn’t automatically mean someone will use it to enter your home or business, it’s better to be safe. Individuals can take lost or stolen keys to a kiosk to make a copy of your key with no questions asked. Machines can duplicate keys marked “do not duplicate.” There are also individuals who do not take care to read the message and who copy these keys. Even if you find your keys again or someone returns them to you, you should still take the safe route and replace your locks.

Regardless of how long you’ve lost your keys for, assume someone has found them. While you can’t know for sure what they will do with your key, it’s safer to assume the worst in this case. Since individuals with keys commit a percentage of home invasions and break-ins, you shouldn’t take the gamble when you lose a key. But merely losing a key isn’t the only event that makes your locks vulnerable.

Other Reasons to Change Locks

Just because none of the above has happened to you, there are still reasons to change your locks. Replace the locks in your home or business if you’ve experienced any of the following:

reasons to change locks
  1. Theft or break-ins: If you have suffered a break-in, protect your home so you do not experience another tragedy. Check for dents or scuff marks to determine if a burglar has tampered with a security device. Damaged doorknobs and locks can become flaws in security down the line, which leaves you vulnerable to another incident.
  2. Change in staffing: As employees leave your business, whether it was their choice or yours, consider changing your locks to keep your employees and property protected. Fired employees may become disgruntled individuals, and you do not want to take the risk of them accessing your business.
  3. Roommate moving out: Even if your roommate moves out on amicable terms, you should still take the precaution of changing your locks. Breakups can create disgruntled former roommates, so be sure to take the same care if your relationship has ended. If you rent, be sure to speak with your landlord about making the change so you have their approval for a locksmith to come and secure your space.
  4. Renovations: Inviting contractors into your home may have left you with a fresh new space, but you may also have a security risk on your hands. If you were away while contractors and other employees completed work, you likely provided them with a key. While we hope individuals who work in your home are professional and responsible, they could have made copies of your key. Consider changing your locks for the safety of your newly-renovated home.
  5. Having a house sitter: Friends, family or neighbors can be helpful when you’ve been away for work or vacation, but unless you trust your house sitter completely, you may want to consider changing your locks. While changing them every time you go away may be a bit drastic, definitely change your locks if your house sitter doesn’t return your key or returns a copy.

The events above depend on other individuals accessing your keys, but sometimes the locks may be the problem. Update your locks if you have:

  1. Damaged locks: Broken or damaged locks cannot correctly guard your home. Intruders can easily tamper with damaged locks, and broken locks may not even function properly to secure your property.
  2. Old locks: To prevent damaged locks in the future, keep track of when you’ve last changed your locks. If it’s been some time, your locks may be weaker and prone to tampering. Maintain regular replacements, and purchase high-quality security installed by a professional to help your locks work their best.
  3. Outdated locks: If your locks are old in appearance, you may want to update them to match the aesthetic or your home. Even modern doorknobs and locks may not match your plans for new decor, so feel free to have a locksmith update them. The new style will come with the added security benefit of a new and functioning lock.
house key in lock

Regain comfort, control and security in your home after you’ve changed the locks. Don’t let events like these threaten your security or your property.

How Often to Change Locks

You should change your locks as often as you find yourself in the situations above. If you’re lucky enough not to encounter those problems, you should still change locks on occasion. You don’t need to change your locks every few months — unless that’s how often events above happen to you. Consult with a locksmith to see if your locks should be updated.

You can prevent having to change your locks frequently by taking some precautions like:

  • Only give your key or copies of it to people you trust
  • Keep track of your keys and who has copies
  • Make a note of how many copies you’ve made of your key
  • Avoid putting your address on keys or keychains
  • Only give older and responsible children in your household a key
  • Purchase an electronic access system from a locksmith for businesses
  • Opt to have a locksmith rekey your locks instead of replacing the whole system
  • Treat locks and keys carefully as you would other mechanical objects

These steps can prevent you from changing your locks often, but try to have locksmiths install new locks in your home or business on occasion. Treat changing your locks as necessary upkeep of your property. Just as you change the batteries in your smoke detector to keep yourself safe, you should change the locks on your exterior doors. Your tenants, roommates or family members will appreciate the effort you’ve taken to protect them and their possessions.

Contact Ernie’s Lock Company to Change Your Locks

reliable and efficient lock changing services

If any of the above reasons to change locks apply to you, and you’re in Prince George’s County or nearby Maryland locations, contact us at Ernie’s Lock Company. Our reliable and efficient lock services will help you secure your home and business. If you prefer to talk to someone in person, visit our physical location to learn about us and our services.

Whether you need a locksmith for evictions or you’re changing locks on a new house, we’re ready to help. Our licensed technicians can solve your residential or commercial lock and key problems in a timely and professional manner. Don’t let strangers, past renters or disgruntled former employees make you fear your own property. Remember the above reasons to change your locks, and contact Ernie’s today to secure your home or business.


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What Is a Master Key System?

Category : Uncategorized

If you’re a business owner, a landlord or a commercial property manager, you might be interested in learning more about master key door lock systems and how they operate. A property with multiple doors, duties and employees can be difficult to balance when it comes to granting access while maintaining security.

Here’s everything you need to know about master key installation and how it can improve your business:

What Is a Master Key System?

A master key system is a lock system that allows different types of keys to unlock the same doors to enhance security. Each door on a property may have its own individual key that cannot open anything but its specific lock, but a master key has the capability to unlock every door.

How Does It Work?

Basic pin tumbler locks — the most common kind of lock — operates with key and driver pins within a cylinder. When you insert a key into the key plug, it lifts the pins to a specified height, called the shear line, and allows the lock to open. Master key locks have two shear lines: one for the change keys or sub-master keys, which open only individual doors, and one for master keys, which open them all.

Although the master key is usually the highest-ranking in the system, sometimes businesses might use grand-master or great-grand-master keys, which have the ability open multiple master key systems.

Benefits of Using a Master Key System

Master key systems offer multiple benefits for convenience, control and security. They make restricted access possible, meaning you can give employees keys to only specific doors while you have access to them all. Master keys also eliminate the need to carry heavy key rings and designate which key opens what door — you’ll have one key to do it all.

Reinforce the safety, security and ease of managing your business or property by investing in a master key system.

Install a Master Key System With Ernie’s

If you’re ready to make your master key move, trust Ernie’s Lock and Key to deliver the service and system you’re looking for. Providing top-notch locksmith and key services to Maryland and the Metro D.C. area since 1960, we’ll keep your business secure. Contact us today.


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Benefits of Keyless Remotes for Your Car

Category : Keys

Inserting your car key into the side door lock and turning it in the ignition used to be the standard for every vehicle, but more and more cars today rely on keyless remote technology for ease in opening and starting your car.

If you’re not quite sold on the idea of operating a car with the start of a button, you might want to know more about keyless systems and how they work. Here are the basics and benefits of remote keyless entry for your car:

What Are Keyless Remotes and How Do They Work?

Keyless remotes are in-hand systems that depend on the remote key you carry and its connection to a receiver installed in the car. The singular coding in your remote’s chip matches that of the chip in the car, and it allows you to send signals to perform functions like locking and unlocking the vehicle, starting the ignition, opening the trunk and enabling or disabling the car alarm. Your remote will work within the range of a specific distance.

What Are the Advantages of Keyless Remotes?

The option of keyless remote entry provides numerous benefits, starting with significant ease and convenience. You’ll never have to wake up on a cold morning and run into the chill to get your car warmed up before your commute — just press a button and your car will prepare for your arrival on its own. And when you’ve got your hands full with kids and groceries, getting everything into the car is much easier with a quick click to unlock everything and open the trunk.

Keyless entry provides better security, as well. No one can pick your car’s lock — because it doesn’t have one. If you forget to lock up, just press one button to secure your car from across the parking lot without backtracking. And don’t fret about fumbling with and dropping a metal key in a dark parking lot. One click and you’re in your car as quickly as possible.

In addition to their functional advantages, remote keyless entry is plain trendy. You’ll feel chic, breezy and modern with your cool car and its click-capable functions at the press of a button.

Ernie’s Can Help With Any Key

Just like residential and commercial door lock and key services, Ernie’s Lock and Key can provide all the assistance you need for electronic key systems. Contact us today for more info.


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Tips for Giving Your Kids House Keys

Category : Keys

So you think it’s time. Your sons or daughters are old enough to attend school, go out into the neighborhood on their own or be dropped home from a friend’s house when you’re out, and you think it’s probably wise to give them house keys to make sure they can always get in.

The problem with giving keys to kids, however, is that they can easily misplace them, which is a security threat to your home and a problem when your child gets locked out. Here’s how to help your kids keep track of their house keys:

  • Organize keys so they’re easy to locate. Think about buying your child a lanyard or a special keychain to help him or her have a personalized and easy way to remember and grab house keys. Kids can also attach keychains to their backpacks with a clip or tie. It’s easy to lose one little key, but losing a backpack or lanyard will be much more noticeable, so kids will keep better track of their keys this way.
  • Use a key rack at home to help keep all keys in one place. Designate a special spot in your house where everyone can put their keys down when they come home and pick them up again when they go out. If Mom, Dad and the kids all hang their keys on one rack or place them in a specific drawer, the whole family will always know where the keys are when you need them.
  • Have spare keys and keep them hidden. In the event that your kids (or you!) do misplace their keys, you should always keep spare keys as backup. Make duplicates and hide your keys in places only your family knows about.
  • Have a plan if your child gets locked out of the house. Even with the best organization, sometimes mistakes happen and your kids can get locked out. Make sure you’re prepared for this situation by having an emergency number to call, a neighbor they can go to or a spare key hidden in a secure location, like inside a keypad-entry garage. For security, never hide a key in a visible or easily accessible place outside, like under a mat or potted plant.

Choose Ernie’s for Your Duplicate Keys

If you’re confident your kids can handle having their own house keys, trust Ernie’s Lock and Key for your key cutting and duplication needs. We’ve been dedicated to the safety and peace-of-mind of residents in the Maryland and Metro D.C. areas since 1960. Contact us today.


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How to Secure Your Sliding Glass Door

Category : Uncategorized

Sliding doors are a beautiful addition to any home. They let in light in the morning, showcase the sunset and shine on the best parts of the rooms you’re proud of. While you’re admiring the aesthetic value of your doors, the view of the outside from indoors and the ease of traveling from your kitchen to your backyard, however, you might not be thinking about how they can make your home more vulnerable to break-ins.

Burglars target sliding doors because they showcase what’s inside the house, they’re easy to break and their locks and pressure resistance can be weak. To enjoy the appeal of your doors while ensuring you’re protected against outside threats, try these tips.

Tips for Increasing Your Sliding Glass Door Security

  • Add a bar to block the tracks. Sliding doors operate by moving along a set of tracks. Often, one panel is stationary while the other slides behind it when you open the door, and sometimes the doors open in the middle and slide away from each other. The latches on these doors aren’t very strong, so try reinforcing your security by placing a wood or metal bar behind the door that slides. This extra layer of resistance makes it much harder to break in.
  • Use chains around the handles. Especially with doors that meet in the middle, tampering with the handle or parting the doors to break in can be a possible threat. To protect against this risk, try chain-linking your handles together or to an attachment in the wall with strong chain material.
  • Reinforce the glass. You don’t want it to be easy for burglars to shatter the glass of your doors, so purchase a layer of glass film to protect your door or replace the material with impact-resistant glass.
  • Add an extra plate. Similar to blocking your tracks with a sliding glass door security bar, you can purchase an anti-jimmy door plate that fits into the space on the tracks above the door to prevent it from being lifting off its tracks.

Better Glass Door Security With Ernie’s Lock and Key

To make sure your home entries are as sturdy as possible with sliding glass door security locks and reinforcements, consult Ernie’s Lock and Key. Providing key and locksmith services in the Maryland and Metro D.C. areas since 1960, we specialize in your safety. Contact us today.


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Key Organization Ideas

Category : Keys

You use keys for everything, from your front door to your car to each floor of your office building. With such a busy schedule and so many keys floating around, it can be hard to remember which goes into what door, and misplacing one can be disastrous.

To keep your keys straight and ensure you always have the right one at hand, set up your own system for differentiating them while keeping them together for convenience.

So, how can you organize your keys?

Tips for Organizing Keys

Decorate the Keys Yourself

Want an easy way to tell your keys apart and know at a glance which goes where? Color-code and decorate them at home. Assign a shade to each location and memorize them or keep a color legend somewhere you’ll remember to check. Lay your keys out on a paper towel and paint them with nail polish or color them with sharpies. You can also decorate them with letters or symbols to signify their use.

Use Key Caps and Key Rings to Separate and Distinguish Your Keys 

If you don’t want to DIY-decorate your office keys or those that aren’t technically your property, you can buy pre-made organizational key caps to slip over your key heads. They’re made of rubber or plastic, come in all shapes and colors and are cheap.

If you have so many keys that they’re hard to handle, try organizing them on different rings on your keychain depending on their use. For example, keep your office keys on one ring, your house keys on another and the keys to your cars on a third. Breaking them into sections will help you distinguish them more easily than having one big cluster.

Try a Key Organizer

To optimize your organization, buy a premade key organizer to give you professional-grade control over where you keep your keys.

Trust Ernie’s Lock and Key

Your new system should keep all your keys easily accessible and accounted-for, but if you ever misplace a key, Ernie’s is here to help! Servicing lock and key needs in Maryland and Metro D.C. since 1960, we’re your best choice for key-cutting and other essentials. Contact us today!


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Rekeying vs. Changing Your Locks

Category : Keys , Locks

Several circumstances might lead you to be in need of a key change. If you’ve misplaced your key, suffered a break-in, moved to a new house, started a new business in a previously owned building or experienced a change in staffing, it’s likely you desire a new key for safety and convenience purposes, but you might not know where to start.

Most don’t know it, but when you want to change your key entry method, you have the option of either changing your locks or rekeying them. Here’s the breakdown and benefits of both:

What Is Changing a Lock? 

Replacing a lock in order to change your key involves removing your current lock system and installing one that is entirely new. You’ll need to consider various factors when selecting a brand-new lock, such as your budget and the type of security features you desire. If you want a completely different kind of lock than the one you currently have, this method is necessary. You can buy a new lock at the hardware store and replace it yourself or consult your local locksmith for choices and installation.

Lock changing has several advantages. Selecting an entirely new lock, rather than working with your old one, gives you the added benefit of security customization. You can choose the appearance, features and functionality of your lock, add additional security pins or screws and create a system sturdier than any you’ve had before. You also have the option of upgrading your lock to reinforce and improve security whenever you desire.

What Is Rekeying?

Rather than removing and replacing your entire lock system, rekeying lets you keep your deadbolt system and readjust it to work with a different key. Your old key will no longer work, but otherwise your security will remain stable and operate in the same way — you’ll just have a fresh key to keep it safe. Rekeying is cost-effective but it can also be complicated, so make sure you contact a locksmith to help you perform the duty.

Rekeying is another great option for changing your entry key because it’s simple, efficient and cost-effective. You’ll keep your lock intact, so you don’t need to worry about budgeting for a new deadbolt system. The only costs you’ll incur are for the locksmith’s labor. In addition, when handled by a professional, rekeying is a quick and easy route to enhanced security and a fresh start.

Which Method Is Best?

Whether you choose to rekey or change your lock is based on personal preference and your situation. Think about what you’re willing to spend and the reason for the replacement. If you’re moving into a new house or business and want to make sure no one else has access, rekeying might be enough of a safety measure to ensure you’re the only one with the key.

If you’re looking for increased security or an upgrade because of the threat of burglaries, you might want to invest in a completely new lock instead.

New Lock and Rekeying Services in Maryland

Whether you’re looking for a new lock or need your current one rekeyed, Ernie’s Lock and Key can help. Servicing the keying needs of the Maryland and Metro D.C. areas since 1960, we specialize in ensuring your building is secure. Contact us today for more information.


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How to Pick a Lock

Category : Locks

We see it in spy movies, heists and other sensationalized settings: lock-picking is a skill that we associate with criminality and craftiness — but it’s a real skill that can come in handy in situations other than sleuthing and stealing. You can learn how to pick a door lock yourself and utilize the knowledge on multiple occasions to help you gain access to accidentally locked houses or cars in a non-destructive way.

Here’s what you need to know about picking locks:

  • Why You Should Know How to Pick a Lock:

    Learning to pick locks gives you insight into the nature of locks, how they work and the degree of security they provide. It can also open your eyes to the need to enhance your own security. It can also save you time and money in sticky situations, such as when you’ve misplaced your house key, locked your keys in your car or even to help someone in need.

  • Legality of Picking a Lock:

    You might be worried about whether carrying lock picking tools makes you look suspicious or could be against the law. But don’t fret — as long as you don’t intend to use them to break into another home or commit a crime, possessing tools for picking locks is legal and ethical. There’s nothing criminal about finding another way through your front door when you’ve forgotten your key!

  • How Lock-Picking Works:

    The most common type of lock is a pin tumbler lock, which is made up of a cylinder casing with a plug hole for the key and several key pins that, when lifted to the correct height, allow the plug to rotate and the lock to turn. Picking a lock means using tools other than the correct key to move the key pins into the right position to unlock the door.

  • Tools and Steps to Pick a Lock:

    For basic lock-picking purposes, you’ll need a tension wrench and pick rakes. You can find your own set online.

First, put the tension wrench into the plug and apply light pressure so you can feel plug rotate slightly as the key pins rise and drop and the driver pin catches. The wrench should barely bend.

Next, insert your pick at the top of the lock and slide it all the way in. Still putting pressure on the wrench, make a raking motion with your pick as you lift it slightly up and pull it back.

Repeat until all the pins click into place.

Turn to a Professional for Tricky Locks

If you find yourself up against an especially testy lock you can’t pick despite your best efforts, reach out to your local locksmith. With more than 50 years of experience servicing the personal and commercial lock and key needs in the Maryland and Metro D.C. areas, Ernie’s Lock and Key can help you out of any sticky lock situation. Contact us today for more information.


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How to Improve Your Front Door Security

Category : Uncategorized

Your home is your stronghold, so there’s nothing more important than keeping your home security strong. When it comes to burglary threats and protection against break-ins, your front door can be your greatest weakness or your greatest strength. To make sure your home is safe and your door strands immobile against attacks, try these tips.

How To Increase Front Door Security

  • Have solid-core, strong doors.
    Doors with hollow cores are fine for the interior of your house, but they can be dangerous if they’re the only barrier between you and the outside. For better security in your front door, make sure you choose one made of solid wood or to replace your empty core with metal, wood or fiberglass.
  • Install a deadbolt and front-door security lock.
    If your entry door only features a standard handle lock, reinforce it with a sturdy deadbolt and hardware cover for an added layer of protection. If you already have a deadbolt, think about upgrading your locks periodically to make sure you’re up-to-date with the best types of protection and reinforce your locks with cylinder guards or strike plates.
  • Monitor your door.
    Part of preventing break-ins is taking deterrent measures to ensure not only that burglars are aware you’re watching them but also that you can identify anyone who attempts to gain entry. Try installing a wide-angle peephole or security camera in or around your door so you can always see who’s knocking and so potential criminals feel more exposed.
  • Keep your lights on.
    Installing outdoor lights around your front door and keeping your entryway bright, visible and friendly is a fantastic way to ward off intruders. After all, neighbors and community members are much more likely to notice someone trying to pick a lock or break down a door in plain sight with the extra attention of light at night. You should also try to minimize any objects that could provide hiding places around your door.

Improve Door Security With The Help of a Professional Locksmith

If you need more information on security for home doors, your local locksmiths are here to help. Servicing commercial, residential and emergency lock needs since 1960, Ernie’s Lock and Key is a name you can trust in the Maryland and Metro D.C. areas. Contact us today!


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What to Do When You’re Locked Out of Your Safe

Category : Access , Locks

You keep a safe to secure your most valuable items: your jewelry, your documents and your secret stash of cash. You don’t want anyone to get their hands on your prized possessions. Unfortunately, sometimes, that means you can’t, either. A secure safe you have access to can provide you with peace of mind, but a locked safe you can’t open can quickly cause a panic.

If you’re locked out of your safe, stay calm. Don’t try to break in with force. Instead, assess the situation and contact your local locksmith. Here are the steps to take when you can’t get into your safe:

  1. Determine the type of safe you have. The type of security, lock and operating system of your safe depends on the type you purchased. Look for a brand or manufacturer name on the safe, look up your purchasing information and take note of the size and construction of the device to determine whether it’s a safe or a lockbox.
  2. Determine why you’re locked out. You can always troubleshoot the lock issue before a professional arrives and try to open the safe yourself. You might have lost or broken your key or forgotten your combination, or it’s possible your bolts are jammed or detached. For cheap safes, safe bouncing — or hitting the top of the safe while turning the handle — can solve your problem. Other safes may have a safe override option, in which case you can flip a switch or enter a combination to reset your entry code.
  3. Reach out to a locksmith. If you can’t figure out why your safe won’t open or simply can’t solve the problem yourself, your best option is to contact a lock professional.

Maryland’s Locked Out Locksmith

If you’re looking for safe unlocking services or safe repair in Maryland, trust Ernie’s Lock and Key. Servicing the Maryland and Metro D.C. areas since 1960, we’ll make sure you have easy access to your safe again. Contact us today.


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