Minnesota in the winter can be such a fun time of year. Sure, it can get a little cold, but there are plenty of fun things to do.
Here’s a list of our top 5 winter/holiday activities you can do with your family or friends:
As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, now is the perfect time to make sure all of your home maintenance tasks are taken care of. Afterall, who wants to be stuck worrying about your furnace, roof, or fireplace right before the holidays!
Inspect Your Roof: Did you know that the National Roofing Contractors Association recommends you should have your roof inspected twice a year? Yes, we said twice! If you haven’t had it looked in some time, it could long overdue. Whether you take the time to look at it yourself or hire a professional, its important to spot potential problems before they become, well, as serious problem.
Check Your Furnace: Checking your furnace is an important one to get done before the weather gets cold. You don’t want to be stuck without heat on the coldest day of the year, especially in MN. We highly recommend brining in a professional to do this. Many companies have programs where they offer discounts for regular maintenance or you can schedule a one-time checkup.
Inspect Your Fireplace and Chimney: Isn't there something so cozy about having a nice warm fire in the winter? If your fireplace isn’t working right. If you haven’t touched it all year, now is a good time to have it cleaned and inspected. If it’s gas, having it inspected for any blockages is always a good idea as well. A professional can go through all aspects of it to make sure it’s running smoothly. If you need more resources, check out the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America).
Storing Outdoor Furniture and Garden Items: Did you forget to bring in your outdoor pots or chairs last year before the first snow? Now is a great time to break it all down and bring it inside. Don’t wait until the last minute!
Clean Your Gutters: Cleaning your gutter is key! Clogged gutters can lead to issues like ice dams (no one wants those in MN during the winter), issues with rodents and insects, or even water damage. Having them inspected and cleaned one to two times a year is key to making sure gutters and downspouts area clear of leaves and debris!
There are many more things you can do to prepare your home for winter, but theses are just a few of the big ones we recommend putting on your to-do list every year! If you’re running short on time or just don’t want to do these yourself, always consider hiring a professional.
Is your door not closing properly? One of the things that may be causing it is a misaligned door strike plate. Now, you’re saying, what is a door strike plate? Well, that is the metal piece that is in the door frame that your door handle or deadbolt aligns with to close the door. Other problems can occur if this plate is out of place like weakening the door frame or affecting the effectiveness of the door lock. So, now that we have that covered, let’s talk about making some adjustments to the strike plate.
One of the easiest things to do is to tighten the screws on the strike plate. Over time, it’s possible that these can loosen just from regular usage and you can try tightening them to fix your door closing issues.
If your deadbolt isn’t aligning in the strike plate properly anymore, you can move the whole strike plate. If the misalignment is severe, you can unscrew the plate and move it for proper alignment.Though, in this case, you may want to look at other issues (are your hinges secure?), as to why the door is so misaligned and address that problem too. Those other door fixes may put your door strike plate back into its proper place with the deadbolt. If it’s just a little off or the deadbolt doesn’t seem to be closing fully, you can also trim the wood where the hole is for the deadbolt.
You could also look into installing adjustable strike plates that come with ovular screw holes so you can make adjustments without having to install new pilot holes for the screws.
If all else fails, it might just be that you need a new strike plate. If you are having troubles, don’t hesitate to contact a locksmith, to ensure you have a secure lock in place. Give us a call at Minnesota Locks for any questions and help that you may need!
Oof, that stomach drop feeling of when you’re about to head out and your car key won’t work. Whether having trouble opening the door, getting the key in the ignition, or the key fob won’t connect to the car to start, we’ll help you get it fixed. Let’s think about what could possibly be wrong with it and how to fix it.
The first thing to look at with your key fob is power. The simplest thing to check is your batteries. You can easily pick up a new battery and see if that works. If that doesn’t fix it, the key fob could be damaged. It’s possible for your key fob to become damaged internally over time.There could be a problem with the connectors and then the car won’t be able to start because of it. Or there could be a problem with the programming. All key fobs are programmed to your particular car, and if that isn’t working properly, then the car won’t start. In this case, you’ll need to call a locksmith technician and they can repair or reprogram your key fob for you. It is also possible to order an entirely new replacement key fob.
Sometimes your key can become damaged from general wear and tear, and our everyday roughness with our car keys that could cause bending, breaking or chipping of the key. Over time, car keys can just require a replacement from the wear grinding down the key.
If you just received a new replacement key, it’s possible that you may have gotten a bad duplication key. Sometimes there is poor key duplication, so do research before landing on a place to take your key fob for duplication.
There could be several issues that could stop your car from starting. Give us a call at Minnesota Locks for any of your car key troubles, whether it is keyed or keyless. We’ll get you straightened out and on your way again.
When you own a business that has a commercial fleet of vehicles, keeping track of keys can be a challenge. It’s not a question of if you will need a locksmith, but when. In most cases, you need a locksmith only in rare occasions, but in this case, having one by your side could be a benefit.
Here are some things to think about if you own a fleet of vehicles to make sure you keep track of keys and stay on target with the business.
Make sure you have duplicate keys and duplicate key fobs for each vehicle. If you don’t, we know of a place that may be able to help in the Twin Cities. Finding a safe and secure spot for the second set it so important. Even if a new vehicle comes with two sets, a third isn’t a bad idea to keep on hand.
If you find that your business does need a commercial locksmith, there are several in the Twin Cities, but Minnesota Locks is happy to help. Not only can we assist with your commercial fleet of vehicles, but we can also help with building locks, file cabinet keys, and more!
Don’t hesitate to reach out.
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.
We offer automotive, commercial and residential locksmith services in the Twin Cities.