Access Control System Fundamentals – What You Need to Know

Access Control System Fundamentals – What You Need to Know

Access Control System Basics – Components of Access Control

Want to install access control on a door of your business? What components do you need to buy for access control?

All access control systems can be broken down into the following components: Read more

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How Much Does Access Control Cost Per Door?

How Much Does Access Control Cost Per Door?

Are you considering access control for your business? There are many advantages to these systems. I am often asked, “What will it cost to install access control?” The answer usually starts with, “What do you want in a system?” but there are some general guidelines.
What does access control cost?
Access control pricing varies Read more

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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.

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Medeco XT Easy Access Control

Medeco XT Easy Access Control

We’re big fans of access control and even bigger fans of access control that doesn’t require wiring. No wire runs to distant doors/gates and no power supplies required make for more affordable keyless entry solutions.

That’s why we love the Medeco XT solution. With this system the power required to track access and audit locks is maintained within the key. So no power is necessary at the lock.

Who needs the Medeco XT system? When you have doors, padlocks, or other locks across multiple sites or spaced far apart, but not a large number of users, this is the ideal, cost-effective solution.

Product Highlights Include:

  • Controlled Access – Keys are programmed to allow access to a given lock during a designated timeframe.
  • Audit Information – Audit trails are recorded at both the lock and the key. Locks record which keys have opened them and when, and the key records which locks they have opened.
  • Physically Strong – Attack resistant design and temper-proof features protect against forced entry.
  • Cloud-Based Convenience – Online access to all programming, analytics and reports.
  • Flexible – Medeco XT cylinders are available for all of the most common locks. There are even padlocks and cam locks.
  • Eliminate Re-keying – Easily remove keys that are currently authorized.
  • Key Control – Medeco XT Intelligent Keys cannot be copied like traditional keys.

Lock Highlights:

  • Hundreds of cylinder formats available
  • Quick and easy installation
  • No power or wiring
  • Stores up to 2000 audit events
  • -40 to 140 degrees
  • Break-away stainless steel plug means lock will fail-secure
  • Drill resistant

Key Highlights:

  • Lightweight and rechargeable keys
  • Water-resistant
  • Opens up to 16000 locks
  • Customizable activation and expiration periods
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Stopping the Smart Burglar

Stopping the Smart Burglar

I my opinion, there are two types of home robberies: what I call smash and grabbers and then the smart ones.

Though devastating, smash and grab robberies are usually done by kids. They quickly take what they can, and they’re out. Your insurance fixes the damage and replaces the property. It impacts your life but the impact is temporary. As the name implies, there’s clear evidence that you’ve been robbed.  Broken glass, smashed locks, kicked-in doors; these things can’t be missed.

But the the smart burglar is much harder to detect. They get into your home unnoticed using techniques like lock bumping or picking. These techniques are easily learned online and the tools bought to do them cost less than a couple of dollars. When someone gains access to your house using these techniques, you’ll probably never even know they were there.  Your key will still work, and the locks show no damage. But one day you discover you can’t find that expensive piece of family jewelry you had hidden in the closet (did you just misplace it?), or there’s unauthorized charges on your credit card, or worse, there are new credit cards under your name because you’re identity has been taken. Smart robbers leave no trace they’ve been in the home, target items such as mail or a few pieces of jewelry, and the results aren’t found until long after they’ve left.

How do you stop this type of robbery when even the new locks that were specifically designed to stop lock bumping and picking are vulnerable to simple, undetectable attacks? That’s were a lock and security professional comes in.

At ACME Locksmith, we evaluate your home’s entire security and identify weak areas and possible points of entry – even the ways someone can get in undetected. We recommend solutions that you can implement yourself or, if you prefer, we’d be happy to help. Our security evaluations will tell you how to:

  • Stop someone from getting in through weak security points such as garage doors, french doors, and sliding glass doors
  • Prevent your locks from being bumped or picked
  • Stop someone from getting your mail
  • Properly beef up and secure your entry doors
All home evaluations are Free if we’re onsite performing any other service.
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Business Robbed -The Importance of Latch Guards

Business Robbed -The Importance of Latch Guards

A latch guard is a sheet of metal that covers the latch on a door. Most often, they are installed on commercial exterior doors to prevent someone from prying the door open and easily gaining access to your business. The goal of prying open a door is to move the frame of the door just enough so the latch pops out of the frame and the door opens. This is usually accomplished by a breaker bar or some other long narrow object being inserted in the crack at the latch location. Latch guards prevent objects from being inserted into the crack near the commercial door latch thus the latch can’t be forced to pop out of the door frame.

Is it overkill? Not for this business. This is a fire riser room door.

Door That Was Not Secure and Pried Open.

Almost all Arizona commercial properties have one on the building. We were recently called out to perform emergency commercial door service to secure this door. The door was pried open by a burglar. He then cut a hole in the drywall of the fire riser room to gain access to the adjacent business. The business was cleaned out.

This is door after we finished the repair. Simple fixes can make big security improvements. Don’t skimp on door security.

Latch Guard Installed on Commercial Door to Prevent Prying Door Open
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Schlage NDE Wireless Access

Schlage NDE Wireless Access

We are loving this new card access lock from Schlage. At its price point, it’s one of the best card access locks available and feature rich. Full installation (parts and labor) for less than half of previous stand alone, card access systems with audit trail capability.

  • Replaces existing commercial-grade levers
  • Half the cost of traditional wireless access control for very affordable implementation
  • No wiring, no power supplies, always ready in case of power or network failure
  • Up to 5000 users
  • 2000 event access report (audit trail)
  • Add and control up to 100 locks
  • Wifi and Bluetooth enabled for access and programming from computer computer or smartphone
  • Send daily automatic updates from the cloud or manually from the app
  • 20,000 cycle battery life for up to two years of access
  • Supports schedules (enable and disable access based on time of day or date) with auto-lock or auto-unlock scheduling
  • Works with smart cards, FOBs, or proximity cards
  • Field reversible for left handled and right handed door
  • Weather resistant for exterior doors
  • Standard cylinder and IC Core format key override available
  • See Schlage NDE Lock FAQ

Bluetooth Wifi Lock

Schlage NDE Card Access Lock

Bluetooth Locks

Bluetooth Locks

Bluetooth Locks are Being Released by Many Lock Manufactures. Are They Needed?

Locks just keep getting smarter and smarter. But what is needed vs what is too much?

For the past year, lock manufactures have been releasing deadbolts that can be opened via Bluetooth devices. And Master Lock has just released a padlock that can be opened via Bluetooth.

But are these devices worth it or are they just looking to jump on a technology that is currently a hot buzzword with consumers? Here’s ACME Locksmith’s thoughts.

Bluetooth locking devices tout the following benefits:

  • No need for keys
  • Share electronic access (via electronic key codes) with someone needing access right away
  • Some offer access history and tamper alerts

I acknowledge, I like these benefits. But with a list price over $400 is it worth it? Especially when you consider that electronic deadbolts are less than half that price and offer the SAME benefits as the Bluetooth devices. Electronic deadbolts offer Keyless entry, temporary pin codes or pin codes that can be easily removed, and in some cases (depending on the lock manufacture) tamper alerts and access history.

Kwikset Kevo Deadbolt

Our main concern with the Bluetooth home deadbolts lie within the technology itself. Bluetooth is a proximity based technology. That is, when your Bluetooth device is near the Bluetooth lock, the lock can be opened by anyone. So, if you just got home, entered the home and locked the door behind you, it is technically possible that someone behind you can then simply open the door because your Bluetooth device is near the lock. Thus the lock will offer NO PROTECTION. The home deadbolt manufactures are implementing technology that allows the lock to sense whether the Bluetooth device is outside or inside the home, but just how good this technology is has yet to be tested. Does the Bluetooth device need to be several feet inside the home??? Or is 2 feet sufficient??? Many of the deadbolts offer a calibration feature to improve the sensing of the device. How much at risk are you if you skip the calibration step? As a locksmith and security professional,these are our concerns, and we’ll wait until the technology has demonstrated itself secure before recommending it.

Master Lock Bluetooth Padlock
The new Master Lock Bluetooth padlock is more reasonably priced at around $70 (list price), and doesn’t have the same proximity security risk that the deadbolts do since they will typically be used on gates and noticing someone is possible since no door restricts your view causing a false sense of security. But, they too can be as much as 3X a good combination padlock offering many of the same benefits.

If the proximity technology proves safe, I like the idea of Bluetooth locks once the price comes down, but currently the additional benefits to justify such a large price increase (over a more proven electronic deadbolt or simply a combination padlock) just isn’t there in ACME Locksmith’s opinion. Save your money. With time, pricing will come down, the technology improved, and the Bluetooth locks will be more attractive.

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Pre-Screened Phoenix Locksmith Specialists

Pre-Screened Phoenix Locksmith Specialists

ACME Locksmith Takes the Following Steps to Ensure Your Home & Business Stay Safe

At ACME Locksmith we screen every locksmith we hire. We check them for drugs, we check them for criminal history, and we run a personality profile on them to see if they have any tendencies towards dishonesty.  We won’t hire anyone that doesn’t pass these tests.


  • Our locksmiths will likely have access to your keys while they are on site. You want someone you can trust to have them.
  • Our locksmiths are responsible for improving your home’s security. You want someone that’s knowledgeable.
  • Our locksmiths may have access to your credit cards while you pay for your lock service. You want someone that won’t be tempted.

Bottom line. We want you to feel more safe after our locksmith has arrived than you did before he got there. It’s our job to not only solve your lock, key and security needs, but to do so as safely as possible, without risk, and that’s why we insist on screening all our team members.

Do we really do it? After all, some lock companies claim to perform screenings, but aren’t really doing it. How can you be sure we screen out locksmiths?

As evidence, here’s a recent scan result report for a mobile locksmith team member hired late last year.  At ACME Locksmith, we value your trust and we’ll do everything we can to keep it.


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Commercial Door Lock Security Weakness – Easy Fix

Commercial Door Lock Security Weakness – Easy Fix

Here’s a BIG commercial door security weakness we see all the time.

Locks without latch guards. If you don’t protect the latch in that lever, any stiff card can be used to slide that door right open. This includes credit cards.

This one door lock fail really is as easy to open as the movies.   So the door can close when the latch is out, the tip of the latch is angled so it slides into position when the door closes. That’s the key. It slides. So by using a credit card or other stiff object, the latch can be pushed back into the door when sliding the object down the crack. Just like in the moves.

ACME Locksmith installs latch guards so people stay out of your business.

In this simple door  lock modification, our locksmith drills  four additional holes through the door. Heavy duty bolts are then installed to keep the guard in place, even under the most significant force, so the guard can’t be pried off. The entire installation of this commercial door hardware takes about 30 minutes and the job would cost well under $150. Isn’t that a small price to pay to prevent someone from walking into your business?

We should also note that the entry lever on this door is a clutched lever. That is, it will turn freely even in the locked position. This prevents the lever from being kicked or hit with a hammer in order to break it. The handle just rotates and the door lock stays secure.

Check out the breadth of  ACME Locksmith Commercial Lock Services.

Clutched Entry Lever – Before ACME Installed Latch Guard
Clutched Entry Lever with Latch Guard – After ACME Installation
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