Why You Want an Electronic Home Deadbolt

Keyless entry has made it’s why to the residential market. There are a number of good home electronic locks out there, our favorite is from Arrow (shown). The Arrow lock is sleek, has a beautiful look to it, and voice guided programming instruction.

Why would you want an electronic for your home?

  1. You’ll never be locked out of the house. If you’ve ever been locked out, you know what a hassle it can be. First you check all the doors seeing if you left one unlocked. Then all the window. Eventually you call a locksmith and wait for them to arrive. Avoid all that hassle by using a code to get in. No key required.
  2. Do you have children walking home from school? They’ll never be locked out, and you can be certain they’re safe.
  3. Dog sitter, house cleaner, boyfriend/girlfriend? Should any of those relationships turn sour, just remove their code from the system, and you and your home are instantly protected.
Call ACME Locksmith today to have your lock installed and programmed. There are touch screen deadbolts with optional bluetooth and wireless capabilities available or the more affordable push button style. We love the Arrow touch screen deadbolt and our drivers carry it in Satin Nickel and Oil Rubbed Bronze. It has the following lock features:

  • Touch screen
  • Voice guided programming (including Spanish)
  • Optional bluetooth and optional wireless capability for quick code changes
  • Modern look and feel
  • 25 user codes
  • Programmable without removing the back side of the deadbolt
  • 1 year electronic warranty
  • Lifetime mechanical and finish warranty
  • Key override. Should the batteries ever go dead or the lock malfunction, you and your children will still be able to get into the home.
Touch Screen Deadbolt
Arrow Touch Screen Deadbolt in Oil Rubbed Bronze

Kwikset Electronic Deadbolt
Kwikset Push Button Electronic Deadbolt in Satin Nickel

It’s Getting Harder to Spot Price-Gouging Locksmiths

It’s Getting Harder to Spot Price-Gouging Locksmiths

A few years ago it was relatively easy to spot a SCAM locksmith. By this I mean a locksmith that may do the work they were hired to do, but they’ll charge up to 10X what a legitimate company would charge. Can you imagine being told you owe $300 for a car opening you were quoted $39 plus labor for? Sadly, we’ve seen this type of locksmith fraud. Lately we’ve noticed a shift though. They are raising the rates from what they quote, but only by about 3X. This way, they get your job by quoting low, yet the con isn’t so obvious to those not knowing the going rate. Whats more is that they are getting very good at hiding any negative reviews revealing this tactic by overwhelming the search engines with hundreds of positive reviews.

At ACME Locksmith, we take great pride in delivering great service. We have 13 employees and service over 5,000 customers per year. Over a 10-year span, we have earned over 500 5-star-rated Google reviews for our company. Everyone of those reviews can be tied to a customer receipt. I can tell you, it is HARD to get a Google review. In our experience, 0.5% (or 1 out of every 200 customers) will take the time to right a Google review. We have several hundred reviews on other sites, but lets face it, Google is King, and it is especially hard to get a Google review. Why is it so hard?

  • First, customers need a Google account to write a Google review. If they don’t have an Android phone, they likely don’t have a Google account. iPhone users with Google accounts are rare.
  • Second, even if they have a Google account, while people are quick to complain about a service, it’s much more difficult to get a satisfied customer to tout a good service. Once the service is received, they’re getting on with their day. They soon forget about it. The customer’s experience really has to be stellar for them to remember, go back, and write a review.

But in just the past year, we’ve seen brand new “locksmith” companies on Google getting 400, 600, and even 1000’s of Google reviews in just a few months. Are they real? These “locksmiths” have circumvented the limited Googles safeguards to get these reviews posted and look completely legitimate to someone who doesn’t have time to do the research.

One such company has been in business on Google for 9 months. They currently have over 1000 reviews!!! These guys are great! That’s over 110 reviews per month! I want to hire them, heck, I want to be them!

But when we dive into this a bit, the numbers don’t hold up. I’ve confirmed this company has just one driver on the road performing service. A quick locksmith can handle at most 7 calls a day, which includes driving around to and from calls. So they can service at maximum 35 calls per week or 140 calls a month. IF AND ONLY IF, they are fully booked, every day, without a single slow day or holiday.

I can tell you, after 10 years in the locksmith business, this is not possible. There are busy days and slow days, but lets assume it is possible just to continue our thought process. That means that 79% of this company’s customers are writing them 5-star Google reviews. 79% !!! This company is truly amazing. Not only do 79% of their customers have the Google account needed to write the review, but 100% of those customers were so impressed by the service that they took the time to write a review! I wish I had these customers!

If you haven’t guessed it. These customers don’t exist. There are however review farms that unscrupulous lock service companies can hire to write fake reviews. Don’t believe me? We get asked by these crooks to hire them all the time.

Someone on Facebook trying to get us to hire them to write fake review.

These companies create accounts and write reviews; that’s all they do. We’ve even seen these companies copy and paste reviews from other lock businesses onto their own business. Seriously. Word for word. Even when the city/state mentioned in the review isn’t the state where the lock company is located.

But who has the time to figure all this out? When you are in a bind and need a locksmith, you certainly don’t.

Another company we investigated had 500 reviews in under 1 year, another too good to be true number. So we hired them to see what they were doing. At the end of the service he asked our secret shopper who was on her phone, “Can I borrow your phone for just a second?” and proceeded to write a review on her phone about how good his service was. I couldn’t believe that he asked. I couldn’t believe that anyone would hand him their phone.

Is it OK to write your own reviews? We believe it’s good business to ask for reviews. If a customer takes the time to write one, then well done. But taking a customers cell phone and rating and raving about yourself, well that seems dishonest to me. And a company using a review farm is way outside of the moral ground. Do you want to hire a lock security company with such dubious morals?

So how can you be sure to hire a credible company that you can trust?

  • Hire a licensed locksmith company. Companies that go through licensing have best in class businesses. Especially in Arizona where licensing is NOT required. ACME Locksmith is one of fewer than 10 licensed locksmiths in Phoenix-Metro area. Almost everyone advertising as a locksmith is claiming to be licensed and bonded. Ask for their ROC license number to confirm. When they don’t have one, and they’re website is telling you they do, hang up and call the next guy.
  • Look for steady reviews, over a sustained period of time. Remember, it’s hard to get reviews. Small locksmith services that are getting 5 reviews per day should raise a red flag.
  • Look for bad reviews. Try as we might, someone will always eventually be unsatisfied, and a unsatisfied customer is very vocal. A company with 0 bad reviews and 500 5-star reviews is suspect. When the bad reviews mention price gouging, be very careful.
  • For the most common lock services, you should get an exact price. Locksmiths rekey locks, unlock houses, businesses & cars thousands of times a year. We know exactly what it takes and exactly what you will pay. Don’t accept a “plus labor” quote for these types of services and don’t except any varying away from that quoted price once they’ve arrived.

Car Lock / Ignition Repair

Car Lock / Ignition Repair

Is Your Car’s Ignition Sticking – Time to Fix It

You wake up late. Quickly get yourself together and head to your car, desperately trying to get to work on time. But when you stick the key in the ignition, it won’t turn. Panic sets in.


It happens, and ACME Locksmith spends a lot of time repairing ignitions and other door locks that have been damaged over time. If you’re lucky. Your ignition starts to stick when you turn the key months before it fails. If you bring this car into our Mesa Lock Shop before you can no longer drive it, we can pull the ignition and repin it. Though inconvenient, this is a good thing since we will not have to perform the ignition repair at your location, which can be considerably more expensive.


Rekey & Repair Ignitions
Rekey & Repair Ignitions
Ignitions are a little different than residential and commercial locks. They’re composed of wafers that slide into position instead of pins. When one of these wafers is damaged (bent or broken) the key will no longer work the lock. That’s where we can help. ACME Locksmith removes and repairs the exiting locks to get you back on your way.


The picture below shows the wafers from a door lock our Shop Manager, repaired last week. This lock was in really bad shape and had completely stopped turning.



The benefits of using ACME Locksmith’s auto locksmith service?
  • We can repair what you have to save you money!
  • We charge much less than the dealer.
  • We do the work at your location, no need to tow your vehicle.

When your ignition or door locks start to stick, call ACME Locksmith before they stop working.

Do You Want Someone Having a Key to Your Business?

Do You Want Someone Having a Key to Your Business?

Do you want your employees to have keys to your business? If an employee leaves your employment on bad terms, how will you know they haven’t made a key to your companies door locks?

For many years, companies have been relying on keys stamped “Do Not Duplicate” or DND. But a DND key no longer offers ANY protection against duplication. Nowadays anyone can make a copy of your business key at any time. Watch this video to see why do no duplicate keys no longer offer any copy protection and to learn how to protect your keys.

 
 
Transcript:

This is a “Do not duplicate key.” Now do not duplicate keys have been used for years by business owners and communities in order to protect your keys from being duplicated. The idea was really simple. Take your key to a professional, they see a DND stamp and they know not to make a copy of the key unless the person is authorized.

Well, with the advent of the big box store, a lot of that protection was removed as uneducated, inexperience staff would make copies for just about anyone. However, there was still a level of protection as people who were familiar with DND keys wouldn’t cut the key. However, that has all changed.

Do not duplicate keys now offer you ZERO protection against duplication. Automated machinery can now duplicate keys for the most common keys available. Here I’m at a big box store using one of these automated machines. You can see I’m sliding a do not duplicate key into the machine. They machine accepts the key and makes a copy, never looking at the do not duplicate stamp.

Now your employees, or members of your HOA community, can take your do not duplicate keys into any big box store and make as many copies as they want.

So what’s the solution? Restricted keyways. Restricted keyways are just that. Keys that can only be duplicated by some on that has access to that keyway. Most likely a lock or security professional. To implement a restricted keyway system so unauthorized copies still can’t be duplicated, you just replace the cylinders in some of your existing hardware so they use a different keyway. These keyways aren’t available at the key cutting machines or home clubs so it can’t be copied. When you take that key to a security professional any they see that stamp, they’re not going to duplicate it either unless that person has authorization. That way when you get your key back you know no unauthorized copies have been made and you don’t need to have your business rekeyed to protect yourself because you stay protected.

What Some Locksmiths Won’t Do for You

What Some Locksmiths Won’t Do for You

My company can be a pain. It’s true. But this, my friends, is a good thing.

When you call us for a car unlock or a house unlock, we’ll ask for proof of access rights. Is the title available and in your name? Does the registration match your drivers license? Does your drivers license show the home’s address? Etc…If you don’t have something that confirms you have rights to the property you’re asking us to open, we’ll ask that someone that does be present when we arrive on site. If that can’t be done, there’s more work to do before we let you in….faxes, photo IDs, verification with property records…. as I said, we can be a pain when you’re asking us to unlock your home or car.

Why? Because ACME Locksmith protects your property, whether you’re a customer of ours or not. We won’t unlock a car or a home for just anyone that calls us because they could be….well….anyone. We don’t accept “phone authorizations” because it can be anyone on the phone. We don’t accept email authorizations because anyone could have sent the email. We do this for you, the property owner, to protect your property from someone trying to get into it.

Some times, a potential customer complains about having to provide this information before we will let them in. Sometimes they simply hangup, call someone else, and we lose the business. That’s OK. Because that’s a red flag. We won’t risk your property.

We're professional locksmiths. Not this guy.
But most of the time customers understand the need. They get it. We’re protecting them. We’re professionals. We’re not just a guy showing up in a t-shirt, shorts, in an unmarked vehicle to make a buck.

And that’s what the other locksmith companies, the ones that will let anyone in without requiring proof of ownership or access rights, aren’t doing for you.

Great New Hollon Gun Safe

Great New Hollon Gun Safe

This great safe by Hollon has just been updated to provide even more fire protection! Amazing value for the price point with light kit, power, and door organizer. From 16 to 45 “comfort fit” long gun capacity. At this price point, it is the easy winner of similar brands like the Champion and Liberty safes.

Buy This Gun Safes Online Here

  • 90 Minute Fire Rating to 1400 degrees. Most competitors only rate their safes to 1200.
  • Motion sensor LED Light Kit STANDARD that can be either battery operated or powered by outlet.
  • Standard 3 plug outlet with 2 USB inputs to keep laptops, phones, or other electronics secure and charged
  • S&G electronic lock. Military grade with an EMP Rating
  • Drill/Ballistic Resistant Hard Plate with 1/4 inch steel plate on the interior of the door.
  • 1.5″ Chrome Bolts
  • Corded trim multi-flex shelving system allows for different arrangements for maximum use of space including tactical set ups
  • Steel reinforced top shelf prevents bowing under heavy load
  • Pocket door organizer
  • Heavy duty hinges
  • 10 gauge steel body up to 30% thicker than the competition. Up to 30% thicker than the competition
  • 3 sizes to choose from. New 16 gun, 24 gun and 45 gun
  • Here’s a comparison of this safe against the Liberty Gun Safe and Champion Gun Safes in the same price range. This comparision was done BEFORE this safe was boosted to a 90 minute fire rating. There really is no comparison anymore. It’s hundreds less, has a better fire rating, and is better built throughout.

 

 

 
 

Home Security Takes Another Hit

Home Security Takes Another Hit

This is an update of a previously posted article. We are continuing to see newest versions of locks bought at the big box stores coming with plastic parts. Remember, to be sold cheap, cheap locks need to be made cheap.

A few months back ACME Locksmith discovered that the new Schlage SecureKey lock contained plastic parts. Being a Phoenix Locksmith service, this disturbed us greatly. This lock is no longer manufactured, but that hasn’t stopped Schlage from putting plastic arts in their newer models. The locks we buy and the locks the big box stores sell have the same part number, but as you can see, they’re not made the same.

Arizona summer temps are routinely above 110 degrees (hit 113 this week), and when you put a shiny metal part on a sun exposed door, you’re going to get temperatures far higher than that. How are these plastic parts going to hold up in the AZ sun?

Just yesterday we discovered that Schlage’s largest competitor, Kwikset, is now also using plastic parts. The plastic parts are found on the hardware you would see at the big home improvement stores.

At ACME Locksmith, we sell something called “light commercial grade” door hardware for homes that use Schlage hardware. It’s always been a heavier duty, more secure product than those found in the big-box stores. Now that those stores are selling product with plastic parts, the use of the light commercial grade for Phoenix homes is even more compelling. For Kwikset, we sell a locksmith brand with the same keyway, and that brand has no plastic parts, so we’ll continue to recommend it.

Pool, Gate, HOA Code Locks

Pool, Gate, HOA Code Locks

Want Code Access for that Gate?

Locksmiths really can do it all, and coded gate locks are a large part of our job. Why install a coded gate pool locks?

1) Give codes to gates to landscapers, dog sitters, exterminators, etc… They won’t need to keep track of keys, and should those relationships go sour simply change the access code.

2) Stop would be criminals from freely walking into your back yard.

3) HOA gates? Give code(s) to home owners. They won’t need to keep track of keys and you won’t need to have hundreds of keys made when you want to prevent old tenants from getting in.

4) Child safety. Prevent children from accidentally gaining access to the pool area.

Have you seen this video on pool gates we posted all the way back on 2011? Get protected.


The lock shown below is a product for us that we installed at a retirement community. It’s mechanical instead of electronic and comes with a LIFETIME mechanical warranty.  Can’t beat that.  This particular gate lock is double sided, requiring a code to both enter and exist the pool. They installed this so someone with a code must always be present. In this case, due to the pools location it was allowed, but you need to check with your fire marshal to be certain. When the pools are near buildings, fire code may prevent it. We’ve installed hundreds of these locks which includes the modifications necessary to the gate.

 

It’s beautiful, affordable, and easy-to-use lock for many gate applications.

 

 

Securing File Cabinets

Securing File Cabinets

Many file cabinets come with pre-installed locks. If you lose those keys, no problem. We can make a key for the cabinet at your location or ours. Even if the lock is missing, we can simply replace it and get you one your way with new keys.

We Make File Cabinet Keys

But what about when the mechanical linkage is broken within the file cabinet? The lock is present, and the key turns it, but the cabinet can’t be locked. In this case, finding and repairing file cabinet linkage is very difficult if at all possible. If it is an inexpensive file cabinet, it’s not worth it. But if they are expensive file cabinets, their is a more affordable way to secure them.

The simpliest and most secure solution is to install an external file cabinet lock. These locks have three major advantages over the lock that was pre-installed.

  • File cabinet locking bars are more secure than the factory installed lock
  • They are locked in place by a padlock, which can be keyed up to your business key (no need for an extra key). Alternatively, a coded padlock can be used.
  • It is easily retrofitted to the file cabinet.
  • File Cabinet Locking Bar

    The bars are easily opened and spring loaded to be held open until relocked. So when you want a filing cabinet without a lock secured or one where the linkage has broken, we have an affordable solution for that as well.

A Great Sliding Door Lock

A Great Sliding Door Lock

When your arcadia, sliding glass door gets old one of the things that often fails in the door lock. While you could simply replace what you have with the identical item, this is the time to upgrade your door and strengthen the security of your slider by installing a Cal Double Bolt Lock. Why?

  • This sliding door lock easily retrofits above the existing lock and is often less expensive.
  • Its double bolt locking mechanism prevents the door from being open by lifting it off its tracks.
  • It has the added benefit of child protection. Because it requires both bolts to be open and can be mounted higher than the existing lock, little ones struggle to reach the lock and open the mechanism. For even more protection, a small key will lock the double bolt into place preventing it from being open at all.
  • It supports two sliding glass door that come together in the middle (instead of the frame).
  • You can Buy the Cal Lock on our website for quick delivery.
Cal Lock Double Bolt Lock
Sliding Glass Door Locks
Cal Lock Installed
Child Safety Mechanism

We started installing these locks when they first arrived on the market about 5 years ago. Up until that time, we were installing charlie bars on arcadia doors. Charlie bars were a great step above throwing a wood dowel in the window track. The secured to the slider and then folded down and locked into place on the frame of the sliding glass door so the slider could not be opened. But, they were not ideal. While the door was firmly held shut by a charlie bar, the door could still be lifted out of its tracks with a screw driver. This lock prevents that by securing the door with two bolts. One from the top of the latch and one from the bottom. This is one of the best ways to secure that sliding glass door.