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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.

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.

Contact a Locksmith for Advice

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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Top Ways to Secure a Door

Category : Locks

 door locks in md

Your home is your haven. It’s where you relax after a long day, where you cook your meals, keep your pets and settle into sleep. In a personal place, you want to feel as safe as possible — especially if you live alone or have little ones you want to protect. Whether you live in the city or the suburbs, a house or an apartment, with a big group of people or on your own, securing your space against burglary threats increases your peace of mind and the safety of your environment.

How to Security Your Door and Keep Your Home Safe

  • Install High-Security Locks: To protect against covert break-in methods such as lock-picking, high-security home lock installation can be the best route to making sure your front door is secure. Deadbolt strength and material are key, so make sure you choose a lock with strong metal and resistance to picking. Whether you choose a traditional lock or an electronic smart lock, the right high-security deadbolt will guard against outside threats.

 

  • Invest in Security Cameras: If you’re concerned about burglaries or break-ins and want to keep an eye on your residence at all times, consider installing a security camera in your entryway. There are many options for video surveillance and security, including setups like smart doorbells with cameras or security cameras with alert systems. Video security can help you deter and prevent threats before they occur or identify burglars in your neighborhood.

 

  • Increase Door Visibility: It may seem irrelevant, but paying attention to the appearance of your door can increase security on its own. A door that is exposed, well-lit or in plain sight of the community is much less likely to be a burglary target because it makes it more likely that someone would notice a break-in attempt. Make sure not to conceal your door with close obstacles or shady areas that might make good hiding places.

 

  • Think About Door Construction: The best home security is door security. The material of your door has a lot to do with how secure it is. To prevent entry by jamming or breaking down the door, make sure your door is made of strong, solid wood or steel. Hollow core doors are never safe for exterior use. You should also think about a hardware cover to protect your lock and the weaknesses around it.

High-Security Door Locks and Services in Maryland

If you need assistance and assurance in door lock installation, security or residential lock repair, let Ernie’s Lock and Key lend you our expertise. Serving the Maryland and Metro D.C. areas since 1960, we’ve got you covered with the best products and services to protect your home. Contact us today!


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keyless entry system md

How Keyless Entry Systems Will Help Your Business

Category : Keys

How Keyless Entry Systems Will Help Your Business

 Building a business requires extensive amounts of dedication, time, resources, money — and the list goes on. So naturally, one of your most significant investments should be in the security system of protecting your business, assets and employees.

Keyless entry installation in Maryland is a modern and efficient technology that puts you in control. The system uses either keycards or personal identification numbers, which prove to be more convenient than fondling with a physical key. A simple swipe motion of a keyless system is beneficial to companies that have high employee turnovers.

Benefits of Commercial Keyless Door Locks

With a commercial keyless entry method for your business in Maryland, you’ll have complete access to all the control systems. Here are four main benefits of keyless security:

 

  1. Increased Efficiency

 A keyless entry system installed at your Maryland business allows you to keep track of employee entry and exit times, along with which entry and exit points they use. The efficiency of your company can increase by allowing you to track employee work hours accurately. Because you’re in control of the system, you can issue temporary keycards, or change or delete permission as deemed necessary. Essentially, you can completely regulate who enters the building during specific times and days of the week.

 

  1. Employee Safety

 As a business owner, you aren’t only responsible for the safety of your physical assets, but for your employees, as well. Keyless entry installation minimizes risks in the workplace and prevents security issues from occurring. Safety in all buildings helps reduce internal theft and violence, while also keeping your employees out of danger. With a keyless system, unauthorized personnel are unable to enter, which produces a secure workplace environment.

 

  1. Secure Solutions

Having a keyless entry locksmith in Maryland ensures secure solutions for your business’ important technologies and documents. Because people can “pick” traditional locks, the security of a building is greatly reduced. However, keyless systems are more complex, which lessens the risk of theft and creates a secure solution to protecting your tech, documents and other essential items. Keys can fall into the wrong hands — but not with a keyless system.

 

  1. Reduced Costs

 With a keyless system, you’ll no longer need to pay for lost or misplaced keys, or make copy keys for new employees. Although the initial cost of a keyless installation is heavy, the investment pays off while producing a more secure workspace. A downfall of having a key system is the cost of replacing spare keys and hiring a locksmith to replace outdated locks. Compared to keyless security, physical keys can get lost or stolen and can’t be revoked unless physically gathered.

 

How Ernie’s Can Help You Install a Keyless System

As Maryland’s leading commercial locksmith and a high-quality keyless entry installer, Ernie’s can help protect your business and employees. Contact us today.






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Ernie's Lock Company, Inc. believes in full transparency when it comes to pricing! We always provide honest, competitive and up-front pricing to our customers - we don't like sticker shock. Call our licensed locksmiths today for pricing & custom quotes!

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