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!
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!
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!
Who doesn’t love vacation? You work really hard, so this is your chance to get away and do what you love. Whether it’s sitting on the beach or touring your favorite city, the excitement of planning your trip builds until the day finally comes to get out of town. But what about leaving your home all alone? Are you concerned if your home will be safe while you’re away? Of course, the best thing to do is have a house sitter stay at your house while you’re gone. It’s the perfect solution to ease your mind. But, for those of us who are not able to find someone to stay at their home, here are some other things you can do to help.
We’re talking about home security again. And why not? It’s very important to all of us to keep our families, including our furry little friends, safe in our own homes. According to the Justice Department, the majority of break-ins happen with criminals entering your home through the front door. So, this should be your first line of defense in home security. Let’s take a look at some of the best door locks on the market today.
According to the Consumer Reports’ website, they conducted a series of brute force kick tests using a 100-pound battering ram against locked doors to determine the best door locks for preventing forced entry. After testing dozens of locks, they concluded that Yale Premier Single Cylinder YH82 was among the top strongest locks. It is one of the strongest conventional deadbolts that stands up well to kick-ins and drilling. Yale is a pretty trusted lock, being one of the oldest and most recognized brands in the security industry. As the creators of the modern day pin tumbler lock, and being around for such a long time, most other locks are designed off of their pin tumbler design. The brand produces a wide array of products, including smart locks. During Consumer Reports testing for Smart locks, the Yale Assure Lock SL was the top in that category as well. Along with it being resistant to kick-ins and drilling, with it being a Smart lock, or keyless lock, it’s impossible to pick.
The Medeco Maxum 11*603 also performed well in the testing, as the strongest deadbolt across all of the Consumer Reports lock categories, including picking, drilling, and kick-ins. Popular with many professional locksmiths, Medeco is one of the largest manufacturers of medium and high-security locks for both residential and commercial use.
For electronic locks, the Schlage Touch Keyless FE375 CAM electronic deadbolt was the top in the electronic lock category. The Schlage brand locks are a sturdier lock, and the non-electronic keyed-locks are harder to pick. Schlage is a popular and widely available brand of locks that manufactures a wide range of locks, including nonconnected and smart locks.
So if you are looking for a new, very secure door lock for your home, check out one of these tested locks. If you have any further questions, or would like more guidance on what type of door lock you should get for your home, please call us at Minnesota Locks at (651) 451-0622 today!
These days, everyone is looking for more space in their homes. With so many more people working from home, some homes can start to feel a bit crowded. And there’s a space you may not consider as a usable living area, the garage. If your home has a decently maintained garage the conversion can be somewhat simple.
Measure and Design your Space
The first thing you’ll want to decide upon is the layout of your workspace. Think about how much space your garage can offer by rearranging clutter or storage that may be there. And if you want to keep a space for your car as well. Take measurements of your garage and draw out an outline of what you’ll need. Don’t forget to think about placement of desks or shelves to put in your drawing. This will help decide if you need additional power outlets for your computer, printer, and other devices you may need power for at your desk.
If you do decide to maintain space for your car, you will need to construct new walls to divide the space. If you’re adding walls and you have some extra space, maybe an office closet would do nicely for office supplies.
You’re going to need an insulated garage door to keep warm or cool in your office space. If you have to upgrade, then consider getting a door with windows. You can frost the glass if you want privacy.
You’re going to need heating and cooling in your new space. If your garage is not already insulated, you’ll want to do that before you get to finishing your office space. This will keep your office comfortable to work in through the seasons. There are small heating units and cooling units to use in smaller spaces, or you can just open your garage door in nicer weather.
Your garage should already have some outlets, but you may want to consider adding some more power for your office needs. And you may want to run wiring for wall mounted lighting as well.
The easiest option would be to polish the concrete that exists for a nice finish. You could also do a laminate or tile option for the finished office area. A durable option is installing natural stone and epoxy. Throw a rug down under your desk for a little protection for the cold floor.
Bright Paint and Lighting
With no windows in the garage, you want to make it as bright as you can through other means. With your new walls, you’ll want to pick a lighter, brighter color to help lighten the space up. Add floor or desk lamps if you can’t install wall or overhead lighting.
Depending on the work your garage to office conversion needs, this can all be overwhelming to those that might not know the difference between a nail gun and a drill. If you aren’t handy or knowledgable about some aspects of a remodel, like electrical wiring, hire a contractor. Get recommendations and read reviews to find reliable contractors for all your conversion needs, big or small.
Working in a garage can leave you feeling a little more exposed than inside the home, so think about some security options that would work for your new office space. You could add a camera to see what’s happening outside the garage door. Or add a security keypad for easier access to the garage without a garage door opener. If you have an outside access door to the garage, make sure all the locks are in proper working order. And there are multiple alarm systems available that you could have installed as well.
Call Minnesota Locks today with your questions about garage security.
When we think of security risks, we typically think about our own actions. But have you thought about the actions of those in your home? Specifically, we’re talking about those seemingly innocent, moon-faced little creatures living under your roof… your kids. It may not seem like it, but they can cause serious harm to your home security or themselves.
Today, most people with kids grew up in an era where they were raised to be latch-key kids. Their parents instructed them on what to say if a stranger was at the door or called on the phone (you know, pre-caller ID), so you had no idea who was calling, Mom? Dad? Stranger? It was like a roll of the dice who you would get). With instructions of things to say like “My mom can’t come to the door because she is in the bathroom”, or whatever excuse your parents coached you to say. Nowadays, it might be less likely kids are at home alone (cue Macaulay Calkin scream 😱), but we still have to think about coaching our kids about telling strangers personal information or when you will be home. Of course, that’s what burglars want to know, when no one will be home. Kids don’t realize there is danger to telling people certain information, and we all know some kids can be quite talkative about all kinds of things. Take the time to give them a few instructions on the information that they shouldn’t be telling to people they don’t know.
Which leads us to other ways kids can give out information... on the internet. Giving out information in real life is pretty bad, but it’s even worse online. Teach your kids to post things about the places you’ve visited, like restaurants or vacations, after the fact. When you are back in your home, post away about the day’s adventures, or that recent vacation. I know they are eager to share their experiences, but it’s wise to not let them post online while your home is currently unoccupied (this is also good advice to grown ups too). When they are posting online, they are sending a press release to everyone online what your schedule is, giving a lot of people access to this information. Make sure your kids understand that by allowing people to see these aspects of your life, opens up the opportunity for people to steal from you, or maybe worse. Pay close attention to your kids’ accounts to ensure they are not putting anyone at home in danger by sharing private information or about the families schedules detailing when they aren’t home. In short, continuing to educate them about stranger danger online is key.
Another item for your kids to be aware of is your home security alarm (if you have one). These are great for aiding in burglary prevention, but they don’t do much good if your kids forget to re-arm the device when they come home from school or are out playing with friends. Notes or signs that can be hung next to the security keypad are great reminders for them to remember to reset an alarm. Especially if they happen to be home alone after school. And soon it may become second nature to them, as they get into a routine of resetting the alarm. And don’t forget to go over all the buttons and their functions, just in case there happens to be a hiccup with the alarm system. If it’s hooked to a phone service that calls if there is a problem, also brief them on the proper phone numbers that identify as the security system company and practice the questions that they may ask when they call, so your kids aren’t nervous or confused. And while we’re on the subject, simply getting them to remember to lock the door is a benefit too. Help them turn it into a habit, when you close an outside door, turn the lock. Make it into a step process. Turn the doorknob to close the door, and then turn the lock.
We know life is full of stress, so hopefully following some of these tips can help relieve a little bit of that anxiety. Just knowing your kids are educated in keeping your family safe can bring a little peace of mind.
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!
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.