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How to Protect Your Car From Break-Ins 

Category : Blog

How to Protect Your Car From Break-Ins

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 1 million vehicles are stolen in the United States annually. Many people don’t report the theft of personal belongings inside vehicles, making the frequency difficult to measure, though that number is probably considerably higher than that of car theft. 

Whether you want to follow the best safety practices in general, you’ve heard about crime in an area or you’ve personally experienced theft and never want it to happen again, here are some of the best ways to protect your car from break-ins. 

1. Park in Secure Areas

Many car break-ins happen where no one can see. When possible, park near other people or choose a lot with an attendant. Thieves want to avoid a crowd of onlookers, so they’ll usually avoid busy parking lots with plenty of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Avoid parking along dark streets and in empty parking garages. Whenever possible, park your car in an area with ample lighting or plenty of street lamps. If you live on a private property, installing motion-sensor lights is often a smart move. These simple devices can help deter unwanted visitors and give you peace of mind. 

2. Keep Your Valuables out of Sight

Whether you’re leaving your car for a minute or parking it for the night, you shouldn’t leave your purse, wallet or phone in plain sight. Bring these items with you or install window tinting treatments so it’s more difficult for others to see what’s in your vehicle. 

Some thieves scope out parking lots, looking for targets who move items into their trunks before leaving to visit more stores. For this reason, it’s a good idea to finish all your shopping at once or plan to move your vehicle after you’ve deposited something valuable inside. 

3. Activate Your Car’s Alarm System 

Many car models have a standard alarm system that produces a loud, siren-like sound. Depending on the alarm system’s features, you could program it to sound an alarm in case of vibrations or mild to excessive contact on the vehicle’s windows, locks, headlights or tires. 

Today’s alarms are becoming more advanced and including more capabilities than ever. Some models even feature a kill switch, which can shut down the engine from a remote location. 

3. Install a Vehicle Immobilizer

In some cases, a thief can hotwire your car to bypass your ignition. You can prevent hot-wiring with a vehicle immobilizer. These systems may include smart keys, authentication for wireless ignition and kill switches. 

The immobilizers disable a vehicle to prevent someone from stealing your car. Typically, newer vehicles have this device built in. You can purchase aftermarket immobilizers for older vehicles. 

4. Invest in Steering Wheel Locks 

Consider installing a steering wheel lock if you’d like to use a visible anti-theft device. The device attaches to your steering wheel and prevents anyone without a key from driving away. To remove the device, someone would have to drill the lock out using power tools or picking skills. 

A steering wheel lock can cause a would-be thief to turn away since stealing your car would require more time and effort and pose a higher risk of getting caught. 

5. Always Lock Your Vehicle

The simplest and most important way to prevent car break-ins is simply keeping your windows closed and locking your car doors. Create a habit of locking your car, even when you’re driving, and always check your car doors after parking to ensure they’re secure. 

You might also consider investing in other car locks, like brake locks. Since the systems require a key to unlock the device, they prevent a thief from stealing your vehicle. As a last resort, secure your car’s wheels with wheel clamps and lug nut locks. This measure takes some effort, so it’s only ideal if you’re leaving your car for a long time or if you’re in a high-crime area. 

Contact Ernie’s Lock Company for Lock Services 

Are you looking for ways to increase your safety and protection? You can trust the trained, licensed and experienced technicians at Ernie’s Lock Company to offer quality products and expert insight. 

With experience stretching back to 1960, we’re the professionals you can count on for quality solutions. Our team operates in communities throughout Maryland and the DC Metro areas, providing commercial, residential and emergency locksmith services. 

To get started, contact our team to ask for more information or schedule a lock service today! Please give us a call if you need immediate services.

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How to Secure Your Garage Door

Category : Blog

How To Secure Your Garage Door

On average, over one million home burglaries happen yearly in the United States. The garage is an often overlooked entry point to the home that can allow unwanted visitors access if not properly secured. 

When properly equipped, a garage door can offer protection and help keep your family, belongings and property safe. Benefit from greater peace of mind when you learn how to prevent garage door break-ins with these tips. 

1. Don’t Leave Your Doors Open

When you’re working on a DIY project or want to organize boxes in the garage, keeping your door open is okay. An open garage door offers better lighting and enhances airflow. However, it’s essential to keep your doors closed when you’re not there to supervise the space at all times. 

Even if you’re working on your yard, you should consider keeping the doors secure to keep people passing by from seeing the contents of your garage. 

2. Enhance Your Lighting

Burglars prefer working in the dark where no one can see them. By hiding in bushes or landscaping at night, burglars can sneak up to your garage door undetected. You can deter these stealthy break-ins by installing motion-activated lights. 

Adding motion-activated flood lights near your garage windows and doors can startle would-be intruders, and the illumination makes it difficult to move closer without drawing attention. Because of this, burglars may think twice about breaking in. 

3. Add Security Cameras

You can increase your garage door security with motion-activated cameras. Any time a car pulls onto your driveway or someone walks by, the devices will start recording — a video of a person’s face, clothing and actions works as excellent evidence in case an incident occurs. 

Today’s advanced technology lets you sync cameras with smart home systems as well. This capability provides a way to check on your garage door and receive real-time alerts if the system is triggered. 

4. Obscure Your Windows

Do you store expensive tools or a classic vehicle in your garage? Regardless of what you keep in there, you don’t want someone to take a peek and get interested. Even if you don’t store anything in your garage, would-be burglars may look for a vehicle to see if anyone’s home. Because of this, it’s a good idea to cover your windows. 

To increase privacy and maintain natural lighting, consider a frosted glass or translucent film. As another option, you might install window treatments like garage blinds or curtains. 

5. Secure Your Entry Door

Attached garages offer an easy and convenient way to get out of the house, especially during rainy or cold weather. However, the connecting doors can pose a security risk if you don’t lock them. After a burglar enters your garage, this entry door is the only barrier left to the rest of your home.

Whether you’re just running inside for a few minutes or getting ready to go to sleep, you should always check to ensure you’ve locked your entry door behind you. You can enhance your protection by investing in a steel door and using extra security measures, like a deadbolt. 

6. Hide Your Garage Door Remote

When you park your car on your driveway, a burglar could look inside your vehicle for the remote to your garage door. Don’t have it clipped to your sun visor or your glove box — these are the first places a burglar may look. 

Instead, keep your remote out of plain sight. It’s best to carry these devices in your purse or coat pocket and bring them inside your house with your other keys.

7. Use Garage Door Locks

While automatic garage door openers make it more difficult for burglars to get inside, it isn’t impossible. If you’re going on vacation or will be away for an extended time, consider taking extra security measures. For example, you can clamp a padlock to a garage door track to keep the door closed. 

If you manually open and close your garage doors, you should always keep them locked. Keeping your expensive tools or personal belongings locked away is also a good idea. 

Contact Ernie’s Lock Company for Residential Lock Services

Want to increase your security or discover the best ways to lock down your garage door? The licensed technicians at Ernie’s Lock Company can give you guidance and recommendations. To get started, contact the team today! If you need immediate services, please give us a call.

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How to Protect Your Home While Traveling

Category : Blog , Locks

All the anticipation of an upcoming vacation can be distracting, especially after you’ve packed everything you need and loaded your suitcases into the car. Amid this excitement, homeowners sometimes forget to take one last look around their house to ensure their property doesn’t appear inviting to intruders.

Preventing break-ins and other potential problems takes minimal planning and will provide extra peace of mind while you’re away.

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How to Choose a Deadbolt Lock

Category : Locks

Feeling safe and secure at home or at your business is of the utmost importance. You want your home or commercial property to remain safe from intruders or other unwelcome guests, and one way to gain extra security is with a deadbolt lock. 

Deadbolt locks are additional locks on doors aside from the lock on the knob. These locks are very heavy-duty to give you increased peace of mind when relaxing at home or conducting important business at work. 

If your home or business does not currently have a deadbolt lock, you’ll want to look into installing one on each exterior exit. There are many different types, and selecting a deadbolt lock may be more complicated than you think. This guide will explain the different types and sizes and how to choose a deadbolt lock for your home or business. 

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How Long Do Locksmiths Take?

Category : Blog , Locks

How Long do Locksmiths Take?

Few things are more frustrating than being unable to unlock your property. This event can happen when you’ve accidentally locked yourself out of your car or your front door keys no longer work. In either event, you need a locksmith’s help, fast. But how long do locksmiths take to arrive and provide their services?

In our article, we’ll describe what to expect in terms of a locksmith’s estimated time of arrival and how long it may take to unlock your front door or car,  rekey a home, or duplicate a key.

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How to Become a Locksmith

Category : Keys , Locks

How to Become a Locksmith

Becoming a locksmith is a trade skill that allows someone to learn everything they can about locks, keys and how to work with and around the two. A good locksmith can install and repair locks, replace and replicate keys, and troubleshoot faulty ones in your home, business, cars, safes and anything else you keep locked up.

The requirements for becoming a locksmith vary based on your location. Many states will require some sort of certification, but others don’t require any. Let’s take a look at the process dedicated experts have gone through to gain the ability to take care of all your lock and key needs.

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Top 10 Tips to Hiring a Reliable Locksmith

Category : Blog

Top 10 Tips to Hiring a Reliable Locksmith

Hiring a locksmith can be highly frustrating and dangerous if done the wrong way. You don’t want to give an unqualified or ill-intentioned person access to the locks for your business, car or house. Put your security in the hands of a properly trained and reliable locksmith, who you know can get the job right without ripping you off or worse.

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What Are the Essential Tools of a Locksmith? 

Category : Blog

Locksmiths install, repair and fix locks in cars and buildings. Locksmithing is a professional trade and there are specific tools that every locksmith should have at their disposal. Since 1960, expert locksmiths at Ernie’s Lock Company have proudly serviced the Maryland and Metro D.C. area. As your neighborhood locksmith, Ernie’s has the knowledge, skills and tools for commercial, residential or emergency locksmithing jobs. 

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How to Get a Broken Key out of a Door Lock

Category : Keys

how to get a broken key out of a door

It’s Monday morning. You’ve made it through rush-hour traffic and are ready to get a jump on the week.

You step up to your company door, put the key in the lock and turn.

As you go to pull the key from the lock, you realize it won’t move.

You twist and pull again.

Still nothing.

At this point, most people begin to panic. They start pulling at the key and shaking the lock. They call someone or search for the number of a locksmith who’s answering calls early in the morning.

There’s an easier way.

If this has happened to you, you might be able to resolve the problem yourself and get your work back on track.

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Types of Locks

Category : Locks

In the United States, a home burglary happens every 18 seconds, resulting in an average property loss of more than $2,000.

Scary, isn’t it?

But, what if there was a simple way to improve your home security and lower your risk of a burglary — without installing a security system?

Don’t get us wrong — a high-quality security system is an effective way to protect your home and valuables. But oftentimes, when homeowners are thinking about safety and security, they overlook an equally important form of protection — their locks.

A good lock can make all the difference when it comes to protecting your home or even your business. But a good lock is only good if it’s being used correctly.

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