The definition of locksmith is a person who designs, makes and repairs locks. The majority of us have had the need to employ someone with these skills at one point or another, during our sometimes forgetful life. But have you ever stopped to wonder where this trade originated from?
The word Locksmith comes from Old English meaning “one who works with metal”, but it has been around for 4000 years, originating in Babylon and Ancient Egypt. The first locks were large, crude, and made of wood. They consisted of pin tumblers that could only be moved using a large wooden key that would be in the shape of a modern toothbrush. Moving forward to 200 A.D., the Romans evolved on the idea of the Egyptian locks, by using metal pin tumbler locks. These locks were often skillfully constructed, with keys that were usually made of bronze and iron, and sometimes made of precious metals. These Roman locks were eventually made so small, that they could provide keys that could be worn as rings on the lock owner’s fingers. This not only ensured the loss of their keys, but wealthy Romans had the added benefit of showing off their status and wealth to others, as wearing a key ring showed that they had valuables to protect. The Romans are also credited with the invention of the portable padlock with a U-shaped bolt, which is also believed to be independently developed by the Chinese.
In 18th century Europe, the design of locks changed. With the aid of advanced metallurgy locksmiths were able to create much more durable locks and keys. Improving on the designs, the locksmith focus was on making locks more elaborate, which developed locksmithing into a skilled trade. While these medieval locks focused on lavish embellishments, they were lacking on actually being secure from skilled thieves that could easily pick and open these locks.
Improvements on locks continued in 1778 with the invention of a double-acting tumbler lock providing much needed advancement in lock security. Six years later, a safety lock that was patented by Joseph Bramah, was so secure that it was unpickable for nearly 67 years.
Today, locksmiths continue this lock designing tradition into the modern world. Often using the same principle of pin tumbler locks, while also utilizing new technologies of program chip keys and remotes. Continuing to design locks to keep you safe.
“History of Locksmithing” HistoryofKeys.com
“History of Locks” LifestyleLounge.com
“An Ancient Profession: The History of Locksmithing” HistoryCooperative.org
For those of us with the misfortune of getting locked out of our car, we know how awful that can feel. Misplacing your keys, or even worse, seeing your keys sitting, seemingly smiling at you from the interior of your car, as you jiggle the locked door handle. When you find yourself in this situation, the solution is simple. Call a locksmith. Unless you find yourself in a horror movie, then there’s no time for that phone call, so just run away… quickly.
Of course, our lists will vary with multiple reasons that we can get locked out of our cars. Lost keys, the key breaks off in the lock, a broken ignition lock, or your purse (including your keys) was stolen, etc. The value of a high quality and reliable locksmith is key. One that will ensure your car security and your safety by getting to you quickly when you are stranded. Rescuing you from waiting outside your vehicle, and unable to get to your next destination.
Locksmiths can offer emergency round the clock service. No matter when you find yourself in need, someone can be there to help. A talented locksmith can solve your problem quickly, professionally, and successfully without inflicting damage to your automobile. And for the times you don’t find yourself in an emergency situation, locksmiths can provide a number of other services to keep you moving. They provide replacement car keys, program chip keys, duplicate car keys, and help you when your keys won't turn in the ignition.
With modern cars being manufactured with advanced locking systems, copying or replacing keys and locks might seem confusing to some of us. What is the best way to deal with this situation? One option is to call your car dealer. With the new technology making it more difficult to repair these kinds of locks, your car dealer might suggest you replace the lock. These car dealers will then hire a locksmith to do the job, and charge you a third party fee for the repairs. Skip the dealer and go right to the locksmith to save some cash. Locksmiths are highly skilled in their trade, and can work with all the latest vehicles, as well as older cars
These well-trained technicians can help you get on your way again quickly, and onto the more important things in your day. Consider researching a good, reliable locksmith to have on hand before an emergency strikes. Then you know you have a quality service to call upon, when that stressful time may strike.
Let’s face it, 2020 was a pretty rough year. A lot of last year’s events have probably gotten you thinking about some things that you may never have thought about before. Some of us may have conjured up images of Mad Max and The Walking Dead as we have watched some of the events unfold on the news, but we don't want to focus on that. So, let’s have some fun and let’s think about how best to prepare for a Doom’s Day scenario.
Bonus: These can also be good tips if you’re thinking about new lifestyle activities, so either way, we hope you enjoyed this fun post.
Owning your own business can be stressful with keeping up with daily routines and everything that you have to remember to do. Add to the top of it all, thinking about security risks. One thing that can help alleviate this anxiety is to be prepared and take preventative measures toward theft.
If you are just starting your business or have moved to a new location, call a locksmith to install new locks. Ask them if they can recommend the proper ones you would need for the best security. Simple things like adding signage that alerts criminals to the security measures you have in place. Place stickers on the door where customers enter that state the name of a security company system, or that your business has 24 hour surveillance (even if it doesn’t). These can help deter criminals if they know they are being recorded. You can also organize your store so that there are no blind spots for criminals to hide in, and shove merchandise into their pockets. Move shelving and displays around to avoid giving them hiding spots. Consider lowering tall displays, so you can see everyone in the store. Keeping visual sight lines to all parts of your establishment can help deter theft. With no place to hide, criminals are less likely to be bold and won’t try to steal something. Now that visual sight lines are improved, talk to your employees about how to spot suspicious behavior; like loitering or people who group together in an attempt to hide each other while they shoplift. You can also schedule a course in robbery training for your employees to teach them how to react during a robbery and what to do immediately afterwards.
You can also consider some professional security measures, like installing security doors or gates. We recommend consulting with a security company about what types of doors make sense for your business.
Think about adding a safe if you have valuables or cash that are left at the business overnight. Get a high quality safe designed for security, and while you’re at it, make sure it guards against fire too. You can also contact a professional service that installs safes as well, they can give you recommendations for what best suits your company’s needs. We discussed displaying signage for an alarm system to deter thieves. Go one step further and actually have an alarm system installed. Choose an alarm that connects directly with your local police department and not through a monitoring service. Talk to your alarm service company about also installing a silent alarm or panic button for your employees if a robbery were to take place.
We know every small business has different needs, including different security needs. Not all of these items may fit your business or your needs, so consider what is best suited for your business.
We're always here for your business locksmith needs! Just give us a call.
How often does a person grab their keys in a month? How about in a week, maybe even in a day? It’s crazy to consider how many times we’ve dug through our pockets or bags to find a key that locks our possessions up safely, but we do it every day. This small action was once something only the wealthiest of people could afford, and is something we take for granted in our daily lives. When we take a moment to think about it, how much do we really even know about a lock or a key? Here are some of the most fascinating facts we could find about both:
The need for locks goes back thousands of years, humans have spent large quantities of time trying to keep their secrets a secret. There have been all kinds of things locked away, behind various complicated contraptions all aiming to achieve the same goal; security. Having extra locks on hand can be incredibly helpful if you need to lock something up to keep it undisturbed. Whether it is securing your bike so that it doesn’t get stolen, locking up your shed so your tools are safe, or even just locking a very secret diary, some things are better left private.
There are many different types of locks on the market, all of them helpful tools to have in the home to assist the quest for privacy. In most American homes, you will typically see a deadbolt - the larger bolt that is used on your outside doors. This deadbolt can be a single, double, or lockable thumbturns. A single deadbolt requires a key from one side of the door, and can be locked by turning a lever on the other, while a double deadbolt requires a key on both sides. A lockable thumbturn can be locked by lever or by key on one side, and only by key on the other.
Padlocks are a different subset of locks because they can be removed from whatever they are locking up. A padlock typically comes as either a combination lock, or a keyed lock. Combination locks are great because they eliminate the need for a key. You can easily reset a combination lock to a new code if someone guesses your birth date, as opposed to needing to get a new key made if you lose it. Both have their pros and cons, and can be purchased at most hardware stores for a nominal price.
In the interior of most homes, you will see either knob locks or lever locks on doors. These are small locks that are used to lock the bedroom or bathroom doors for privacy, and are very easily broken with brute force. It is important to accompany these locks with deadbolts or other locks on external doors for optimal safety.
Mortise locks are often seen in commercial buildings, as they are advanced versions of deadbolts that require more skill to pick. These locks feature a non-locking latch controlled by a lever, with a deadbolt underneath. Meaning, even if the deadbolt is compromised, the latch will remain locked until someone flips the lever.
Electronic or smart locks are new on the market, and there will likely be awhile before we see them become mainstream. These feature electric combinations, or apps on your smartphone to control. They can be great additions when used with traditional locks, as electrical outages will prevent you from entering your home.
Keeping your property safe is an important part of being a homeowner. You didn’t spend your time and money purchasing the things in your home to lose them to a thief that didn’t try very hard, did you? The goal with these locks is to keep your possessions safe, so at the very least, upgrade your locks and put up a fight for your security!
It’s never fun to be in a rush out the door, get to your car and not be able to get inside. When you’ve used the FOB, manually used the key, and still can’t get inside, what do you do? The first step in any car door locking issue is to try and identify the cause of the problem. Is it because the door is damaged, the lock is broken, or is the door stuck? There are a variety of reasons a stubborn car door lock can refuse to open.
The most common reason a door gets stuck in the locked position is due to broken connections inside the door itself. If the lock is stuck, there could be a broken or loose connection to one or all of the parts that attach to the door latch due to use over time. If this is the problem, replacement parts and expertise are needed to fix the lock.
Sometimes, things will build up inside the car door lock. This could be dirt, or pocket lint from inserting your keys, which seems insignificant but can actually jam the lock assembly making the door difficult to unlock. If you need to use your key to unlock your vehicle, and the key won’t insert fully into the lock, there could be something blocking its path. However, if you’ve tried using your key FOB and can’t get into the vehicle, the issue is something else.
If your key FOB is simply not unlocking your car, there could be multiple things wrong. It could be the battery, or some electrical issue within the FOB. It may need to be reprogrammed to your vehicle, which we can assist with. We can diagnose whatever malfunction is occurring and provide a new key for most vehicles.
While it may seem silly to mention here, another reason a door can be stuck in the lock position is due to structural damage to the vehicle. If you’ve come out to your vehicle parked on the street, and are having issues unlocking the door, check and make sure no other parts of the vehicle have damage. This ensures that you don’t miss a slight rear-end or something that could have shifted the door and jammed it.
The second step with car door issues, is calling your local locksmith at Minnesota Locks. It’s a great idea to try and identify what issues you’re having with your car door, but not always an easy task. You don’t need to try and fix the problem, because we are here to take care of it for you. If you’re having issues with your vehicles locking function, need a spare or a new set of keys, or have any other locksmith needs, let us know!
Why is it that when we misplace things, it’s almost always something important, like your wallet or your car keys? The good news is, we’re here to help. There are many different ways to set yourself up with habits and tools to make sure you don’t lose your keys. Here are some helpful tips we use ourselves!
Burglaries happen all the time. In 2018 alone, there were over a million burglaries in the United States. While there is no foolproof way to eliminate all possibility of a break in, there are certainly many ways to make your home an unappealing target. Preparation, and understanding will get you a long way in home security. The more you can think like a burglar, the better your chances of beating a burglar at their own game.
A scary thing to consider is that burglars often know their victims. This could mean they’re someone you’ve seen around, or simply that they know you from watching you. Skilled burglars case your home, watching to identify if you are an easy target. They know where the spare keys are typically kept and which exits are most trafficked. They wait to see what hours you are out, if you have security cameras, and valuables they may want to take from you.
There are many ways to not only deter a thief, but unfortunately to encourage one as well. Things like an unmowed lawn, mail piling up, or various items left outside, such as a grill or snowblower, can make your home an easy target. If you are going out of town, contact your local post office and ask that they hold your mail. It’s also a good idea to ask and see if a neighbor could keep an eye on your place. Another great way to keep up appearances is to pay a local lawn mowing service to take care of your grass while you’re away.
Sometimes, even just a security system sticker can deter a potential thief from breaking into your home. A solid security system can be built up using multiple different deterrents to keep burglars away. These deterrents do best when overlapped with others, but are all great ways to keep your home and family safe from intruders.
No matter what you believe, or where you stand, keeping your home and loved ones safe is most likely a priority. We all hope to come home and find all of our belongings exactly where we left them, our property untouched. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. In 2019 there were well over 1,000 burglaries in the city of St. Paul alone, which is enough to make anyone consider investing in a security system.
The good news is that there are tons of updated ways to keep your home, and personal items secure. A big trend these days is security cameras, and for good reason! Cameras can be purchased for high quality at low prices. They can be placed around your home to ensure nobody breaks in, and anybody oblivious enough to try will be caught on film!
If you are planning to get into the security camera game, you should stop to consider the most strategic placements around your property. A security camera does it’s best work when it’s positioned at the proper angle, height, and scope. This is where many at home security camera installs have gone wrong, because it can be difficult to position your cameras in the correct spot to capture everything happening around your home. It is important to consider how accessible your camera is, too. You don’t necessarily want a single camera that is within reach of someone on your porch, as anybody trying to commit a crime could easily cover or avert the camera lens.
It goes without saying that you should have video feed from your front and back door, as well as on any additional points of entry to your home. If you are recording the doorways, you will see if anybody tries to break into your place! The number of cameras you need depends on how many points of entry exist, but you should also consider adding at least two more to that number. It’s a good idea to get a camera that has a view of your entire perimeter, and if needed, a second to record your garage.
There are numerous reasons to have cameras installed. From added security, to a little fun spying on the local animals that frequent your home, there are fewer reasons not to invest in these easy to use devices. One of the many perks is that most times it actually lowers your home insurance premium. Most insurance companies offer discounts for homeowners insurance on homes with security systems and cameras certainly qualify!
Security cameras come in all shapes and sizes. The equipment you purchase is important, and sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Pay attention to deals, and package options for various security systems from your favorite manufacturers. Make sure to inquire about safety with these systems. If you experience a break-in, or ever need your locks changed, contact us, your favorite local Minnesota locksmith! We are here for our security needs.
We offer automotive, commercial and residential locksmith services in the Twin Cities.