There are many reasons to buy security cameras for your home. The most obvious is providing security for your family, not to mention deterring crime, being able to monitor your home while you are away, and providing peace of mind. If you are thinking about getting security cameras for your home, here are a few things to think about before you make that purchase.
Resolution and Night Vision
You’ll want to find a camera with good resolution so you can see details of things inside or outside your home, including an intruder’s face for later identification by the police. Look for a camera that offers at least 1080p. You’ll need a good Wi-Fi signal to utilize the 1080p quality. So make sure you have a strong signal. Most cameras out there offer some sort of night vision. Look for ones that offer color night vision for a better picture with more details.
There are many different services for security footage storage out there that can offer different options for a monthly or yearly fee. Think about what kind of storage suits your needs, like how much you want to save and the duration of how long you’ll want to save it. Some of the cheaper options will keep all your footage for a short amount of time on an external server, with options for you to save and download your video clips on your own devices. And you can set your cameras to only record when motion is occurring, instead of rolling 24/7. If you’d like to save some money and skip a monthly fee, some cameras utilize SD cards, so you can do all the storing and saving yourself on a camera card.
Field of View/ Pan/Tilt/Zoom Options
Think about how much space you need to capture on your camera. The field of view is everything you see on the camera. Consider what you need to cover for the type of lens the camera should have. A narrower lens (110 degrees) covers a smaller area, and a wide lens (180 degrees) will cover a bigger area. Some cameras offer a pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) option to allow you to control the camera and where it is pointing through an app. Some of these can rotate 360 degrees offering the opportunity to see the whole space from every side. PTZ cameras can offer a little more of an affordable option as you don’t have to get multiple cameras.
Ease of Use - App Functions
When shopping for security cameras consider their App-based control systems. Look at how their Apps work and what features and alerts that they offer for what suits your needs and your workflow. It’s easier to learn Apps that are familiar to others that you already use.
Professional monitoring for cameras is a bit more rare these days, since people tend to monitor their security cameras themselves. But it’s still a good thing to consider during your camera search. It is a bigger cost to have a professional security company monitor your cameras so they can alert authorities to threats like break-ins and fires. But it takes that responsibility off of you to monitor it yourself. If you are interested in hiring a monitoring service, then make sure you read trusted reviews to see if the service is reliable and emergency services, like the police or fire, will actually show up when needed.
So consider these items before you buy your home security cameras, then you can get exactly what you need. Of course, Minnesota Locks is here to help you with any of your home security needs, so give us a call today!
So you’ve got a busted or old door at your business property? But what to do next. Is it repairable? Or would it be best to just get a whole new door? Let’s run through the options and see what’s right for your situation.
SHOULD YOU REPAIR YOUR DOOR?
Generally, repairing your door is going to be a more cost effective option than getting a whole new replacement. Depending on the damage, this is what will warrant the outcome of your damaged door. Some of the types of damage that can be repaired are bent frames, corrosion, alignment, or warping.
Bent door frames can affect the functionality and security of your door. If something large hits your door during deliveries, attempted break-ins, or misuse can cause your door frame to become bent. This is an important issue to fix for security reasons, with a bent frame it allows for an easy way for someone to pry the door open.
Corrosion damage can be caused by humidity, extreme weather, or sunlight. These items can wear on the paint on the door that protects the structure underneath, causing a door to become rusted and brittle. Which affects the aesthetic and can be a security issue if the corrosion is located in an area that could be pried open.
Normal wear and tear can cause alignment issues for your door. The door can become misaligned and then become hard to open and close or can scrape against the floor.
Door warping is a common issue with commercial doors because of their manufacturing. It can occur from misuse over time.
These items can be repaired, which can add years onto the life of the door. And can be cheaper than a whole new door and install.
SHOULD YOU REPLACE YOUR DOOR?
In some cases, your door simply may be too damaged (or costly) to fix and it will be a better and cheaper option to just have the whole door replaced. Your door could be broken beyond repair or it’s run its course of it’s life expectancy. Depending on what the damage may be, you may want to get a new one to give your business facade a little love with a fresh look.
Regardless of the damage you have, you should consult a professional to see what your best, most cost effective option could be. If it's the lock that needs replacing, give us a call at Minnesota Locks so we can get your door locks working like new again!
If you own or manage a commercial property, then you’ll want to make sure you have the most secure locks you can get. These will be different from the types of locks you use on your home. Let’s examine different commercial locks that you may want to add to your business.
Panic bars/Crashbars Install these for ease of use and exiting a building, which is what they were designed for, as an easy way to get out in case of emergency. If you don’t know what these are, they are the long bars that you push to exit from inside the building. They are very common in schools. These function differently from traditional door locks and are mostly keyless. They operate through the use of a connected handle or bar, and when the bar is pressed, the internal mechanics retract the latch that keeps the door closed.
Cylindrical Lever Locks These are pretty common locks to use. They are lever door handles that are designed for high usage. The reason they are used for commercial properties, instead of homes, is there is more traffic coming through a business than a residential building. These can be operated with a key or a combined use of a key and push button, that are located on the interior of the door to allow access for people coming into the building.
Keyless Door Locks These are locks that operate with a keypad or an App instead of a traditional key. One benefit of these types is that you don’t have to transfer physical keys between employees or wait for the person with a key to arrive. These are also becoming popular for people to use in their homes as well. For increased security, some keypad locks can be completely keyless, so they cannot be picked.
Mortise Locks These are a common option for businesses due to their strength and reliability. The deadbolt size helps with the durability, and the placement of it being housed inside the lock body, makes it more resistant to forced entry. With the stronger internal components, it allows for higher cycle counts so it will last much longer. They can endure heavily trafficked usage. So if you have a pretty consistent flow of people coming in and out, this is a good option for that.
Commercial Electric Strike Locks These secure, electronic door locks can be used in conjunction with a panic bar and keypad door lock. They can provide access from the inside and outside of the building. These secure locks are good for a company that experiences a lot of people entering and exiting. They are a good option for allowing access to particular locations in the building. These can offer the option of a fail-safe lock and a fail-secure as well. Some things to consider for installation of this lock is the layout of the building, the numbers of employees, and your emergency escape routes (you don’t want people to get trapped during an emergency).
When looking at different lock types, you’ll have to factor in your personal needs for your commercial property. If your business is in need of updated locks or if you want to have a conversation about how to make your business more secure, give us a call at Minnesota Locks today!
When would you need to replace your home locks? Most people do it when they move into their new home, because they want anyone that has an old key, to not have access to their home. Or if you’ve lost a key, it’s best to replace those locks. But instead of replacing the whole door locks and door knobs, consider a more cost effective solution of rekeying the locks you have.
Have a lock company, like Minnesota Locks, come to your home to rekey your current locks. You may be thinking, what is rekeying? Rekeying is an adjustment of the locking mechanism by moving the tumblers in the lock to adjust to a new key.
You can save money. Reinstalling a whole new lock can be a labor intensive process, so it will cost more for a new install, plus you have the cost of the new locks on top of that cost as well. So a simple rekeying can help save money.
It’s a quick process. By having a professional come to your home to rekey all your locks can save time, taking about 10 to 15 minutes per lock, compared with the time of replacing the whole lock. This is beneficial in the case of a lost key. You can change the locks as quickly as possible, since you have no idea where that lost key is, you’ll want to change the locks as quickly as possible.
A big benefit is you’ll have a customized lock. When you get a lock from the store, it comes with a generic key. When a lock is rekeyed the pins arrangements are customized to a unique key.
It allows for a master key opportunity. You can customize all your home locks to the same key. So you only have to carry one one key for the whole house.
You can change your locks more frequently. Since rekeying is quicker and cheaper than replacing the whole lock system, you can do it more frequently. Depending on your situation, this may be of benefit.
The biggest benefit is increasing your home security obviously. By changing old locks, you can eliminate others who had prior access to your home the ability to gain access. If you’d like to discuss this option further or book and appointment with Minnesota Locks, give us a call today!
Now that a lot of us find ourselves working from home, we can sometimes find it hard to focus on our duties. We’ve come up with a few ideas to help you become distraction free, and get some work done.
Whether you are starting a new business or you have been established for a while, if you don’t have video security yet, perhaps you should. Most businesses utilize a video security system of some sort to help deter theft, in case of theft, or to monitor their business while they aren’t there. Let’s consider some of the reasons businesses use video security to see if it’s right for your business.
Now that we’re in the midst of winter, you’re probably feeling a bit cooped up inside the house with the kids, and are itching to break out and do some fun activities. We’ve come up with some fun things to get out and do in the state of Minnesota.
So get out of the house this winter and explore these fun escapes in Minnesota with your whole family. You’ll love have much Minnesota has to offer!
Everyone wants their homes to be as safe as possible and talk of security systems and locks are always at the forefront. But what about some of the simpler things you can do to help protect your home. When it comes to sliding glass doors, we can sometimes forget that they typically don’t have as strong of a lock system as the ones on your front doors. Consider some of these tips to help secure your beautiful sliding doors.
One of the easiest things you can do is to have a solid bar made of wood, metal or strong plastic to simply lay down in your sliding door track while it is closed. By putting an obstruction in the way, when the door tries to slide open, it will get stopped by the bar laying on the track. You can easily obtain a bar for this, by cutting down an old broom handle or a wooden dowel that you can get at your local hardware store. First measure the space that is your track and cut the broom handle slightly shorter than that measurement. This allows you to have room to insert and remove the bar from the door track. You can also paint the bar to match your door for a more aesthetic appeal. Don’t forget to remove it when you try to open the door or you’ll meet a sudden stop and you don’t want to do any damage to your door. When you paint it to blend in with the color of the door, you can tend to forget about it when you go to open the door. They also sell pre-made security bars out of other materials as well.
For dual sliding doors that have two handles that are next to each other, you can attach a chain or similar material around the door handles to tie them together, so they use each other to act as a resistance if someone tries to slide the doors open. Just make sure you use a material that can’t be easily cut. If an intruder happens to be able to slide the door open a little and can reach the binding mechanism, they may be able to cut it. There are some locking mechanisms on the market you can buy as well, if you don’t want to fashion one yourself out of other materials. Make sure whatever item you get to help secure your door is easy to remove by you and your family, so if there is an emergency, you are not trapped inside.
You can also buy a clear safety window film to help reinforce the glass. Apply the safety film to your glass doors for added protection. These will allow you to still be able to look out and enjoy the sunshine, but will block those that are outside from looking in. It can also slow down intruders, with the reinforced glass it will take more to break it out of the door frame to allow access for someone to enter your home. There are several options for this product on the market. You can also add curtains to keep people from looking into your home.
Some other options are adding a more secure lock system to your sliding doors, or integrating it into a monitored home security system.
If you’d like to discuss more security options for your home, please give us a call at Minnesota Locks. We can help you figure out the best options to suit your needs for a more secure home.
Snap! What an awful sinking feeling you have when you realize that your key has just broken off inside your lock. It feels like a red alarm emergency if you don’t happen to know how to deal with it. But don’t fret. There are ways you can get the key out before you have to call a professional.
Depending on your situation, you may have limited access to different tools or items. Say, if your key breaks off in the door to your home, then you might not have certain items you may need on your side of the door. If you are able to, use another entrance to your home to gain access to the inside of the door. It will be easier to work on if you can open the door. If the whole key is inserted, you can try opening the door with a screwdriver (if you happen to carry one in your car), then you can insert the screwdriver as much as you can into the lock and try turning the doorknob to see if it opens. This could at least get you access into your home to more options for tools.
If the key is visible, you may be able to pull it out. First, spray some lubricant into the lock to help loosen the parts inside. A dry lubricant is preferred over an oil-based one, since those can residue that can collect dirt and grime over time, clogging up your lock. If the key broke off without any teeth still attached to the part you’re holding in your hand, then you may need to realign the lock first. If it broke mid-turn, then you’ll have to do this step. Use a flathead screwdriver to turn it back to it’s vertical position. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to grip the piece of the key that is still sticking out and try to pull the key out that way. Note: This will work if the key broke off at the head of the key, with all the teeth inside the lock. Be careful trying to remove a key that isn’t fully inserted, you don’t want to push the key further into the lock making it harder to reach. If your pliers are proving clunky or are too big to get a good grasp, you can try a pair of tweezers and they may be able to do the trick.
If the pliers aren’t able to grip the broken key, try using a small blade used for a scroll saw or jigsaw. Slide the saw blade in the top part of the key hole, with the teeth facing downwards, next to the broken key into the lock. You should be able to feel the blade’s teeth grab onto the grooves, then you will pull the saw blade back out and the key should come with it. Locksmiths have a tool that is similar to these blades that they use to remove keys. Paper clips can also potentially work in this same manner.
If your key is removed successfully, keep both pieces and take them to a locksmith or key duplicating place and they will be able to make you a new one from the two broken parts.
If you still can’t seem to get the key out or if the lock has been damaged, call a locksmith to help with the repair. You can call us at Minnesota Locks with any of your concerns.
For those of us who may not be as car savvy as others, when something like your car key locking up and not being able to turn to start your car ignition, can cause a minor amount of panic to set in. If you have no idea what is happening, it can be very stressful. Your mind can tend to go immediately to the worst case scenario, that your car is broken.
Don’t panic. This can be a very common occurrence, your wheel is locked. This can happen if the steering wheel has been moved since you last took your key out of the ignition. To unlock it, move the steering wheel from side to side while turning the key simultaneously. As soon as the key can turn, the wheel will unlock.
If the ignition cylinder is still stuck, then try using a dry lubricant in the lock. You want something that won’t collect dust or grime over time. Spray the lubricant into the keyway of the ignition, wipe off any excess on the outside, then insert the key a few times so the lubricant can work into the mechanism, then turn the key. Try jiggling it if the key doesn’t turn right away.
If you’re still not able to get the key to turn, it might be a different issue. Perhaps the key is damaged. Try using a spare key to see if it works. If it does, there might be a twist or bend or worn teeth on the original key that is causing it not to turn. So replacing the broken key is an easy option. Locksmiths or dealerships can make a copy of your spare key that works, or if you don’t have a second key, they can make a copy of the damaged key (that will now work). Calling a locksmith can be a cheaper option than a dealership, so check with a good locksmithing company first.
If all else fails, the problem may lie in your ignition cylinder and may need a replacement. You can try to fumble through figuring out how to fix this on your own, or just save yourself a lot of time and frustration and call a locksmith. Again, you can call your dealership, but you’ll probably find that a locksmith is a more economical option.
Once you’ve figured out where the problem lies, it can be an easy fix. Whether you do it on your own or by calling a locksmith. Either way, never fear, you’ll soon be on your way again.
We offer automotive, commercial and residential locksmith services in the Twin Cities.