Q: The lock doesn’t lock and unlock smoothly.
A: Check to see it the lock operates smoothly with the door open. If it does, problem is not in the lock, but rather in the alignment of the door and frame. Look for obstructions at the threshold and in the door jammed. Also check the door and frame for twists and warps. The door should completely rest against the door stop and stay there. If the door rests at the stop at the top or bottom only then the door or frame is twisted. If the door springs open then the hinges are probably binding. If you have weather-strip on the door, it could be obstructing the path of the door. Keep in mind, wooden doors and frames will warp and swell with temperature and humidity, and metal doors and frames will twist and rust with age.
Q: I have lost my car keys.
A: Sometimes a key code is available. You will only have access to this code if you are the original buyer of the keys. This code is typically written on the original bill of sale which you may have or the car dealership may have. Rarely, these codes are written on the cover of the owner’s manual. So check this as well. A key by code can save you money over having a key fitted to the car on-site. Expect to pay from fifteen to fifty dollars for a key by code.
Q: Is the “Do Not Duplicate” marking on a key enough for controlling key duplication?
A: No. While the “Do Not Duplicate” marking on a key is usually respected, many discount stores do not. To effectively prevent unauthorized key duplication, a restricted key lock should be used.
Q: I can install the hardware, why not just buy it at the home center and do it myself?
A: Products typically sold in home stores are residential quality at best, at worst the shelves are stacked with low end products meant to increase profits for the manufacturer and the retailer. High quality goods offer characteristics such as, pick and drill resistance, access control options, protection against the unauthorized duplication of keys. The question you have to ask is what is your time really worth?
Q: My landlord gave me the keys why should I get new ones?
A: It’s your stuff! When was the last time the locks were changed? If you don’t know the answer then you and your company are potentially at risk. Some property management companies in an effort to save money simply swap the locks from one unit to another and have a brand new set of keys made. A previous tenant with some time to kill could simply try his key in each door in the complex until he finds one that works.
Q: Why do I have to wiggle my keys in the lock to make it work?
A: As locks age over time, the pins in a lock cylinder tend to “wear” down causing your keys to stick and forcing you to “jiggle or wiggle” the key in the lock to make it work. Most likely the keys you were given have probably been “copied” several times and this, plus pin wear, can cause your lock to act like it is breaking.
Q: I am moving into a new home, should I rekey the locks? They seem to be working properly.
A: The answer is YES! Everyone has someone that they trust with their house keys; this does not mean you can trust them. How many neighbors, old baby sitters, cleaning people are walking around with the key to your home? Change the locks and then give keys to people you and you alone trust.
Q: Is there such a thing as a key that can open all locks?
A: No. A “master” key is a key which works many locks. In order for a particular master key to work in a lock, the lock has to be set up to work on that master key. Locks are typically master keyed in hotels, office buildings, and schools. Rest assured that there is no such master key that opens all locks.