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Commercial Locksmith Tips:

How do I masterkey my locks?

First, you must learn the terminology.  If you want just one key to work all of your locks, then you really mean you want everything keyed-alike. Masterkeying is where one key works an entire building, then another submaster key works just the janitor closets and all the offices, and then, below the submaster key, each office has just one key.  In reality, at the office level, three keys work the lock. But, at the same time, the one office key will not work the office lock of a neighbor.  If you want to masterkey your locks, all of the locks must be compatible. That means one key will slip into every lock on the premises. The key may not work, but you will know that all the keyways are alike. If you have old locks, there may be metal loss. You must have decent locks in decent shape in order to proceed.  We would not recommend masterkeying Schlage residential hardware in your business: Too many lock parts are flying loose due to the insertion of master pins. Also, if you are going to masterkey, get in writing that your locksmith will give you the pinning charts and schedules. Generally, he will want to keep these away from you so you'll have to come back to him for any additions. This is fraud.


"My key jams up when I turn it and works only when I wiggle it. What's wrong?"

You have a poor copy or a copy made from a copy of a copy of a copy.  When you make a key copy from a non-original, you get a key that is off by a few thousandths of an inch.  The better the quality of the lock, the worse the problem is. A cheap lock will allow for a sloppy copy. But, if you have a nice Sargeant lock, you must copy from an original key if possible.  If you cannot find the original, you will need to call a locksmith to decode your key and precut it on a code machine, or have the lock re keyed. 


"My commercial glass door has only one deadbolt lock. Should I have another installed?"

No. The general rule of thumb for all doors used as emergency exits is this:  All exit doors must be exited using ONE MOTION.  You cannot have a door used as an emergency exit with two or more locks on them.  The codes people may not notice a door in violation. However, in the event of an emergency, people may be injured or die because a door was locked with too many locks.  Call your fire marshal before modifying any lock application and get any approvals in writing!


"Should I re key my new business?"

Absolutely. When you take possession of your new business location and the contractor gives you the keys, these keys could have been copied earlier by just about anybody.  We highly recommend re keying.  Subcontractors have been known to come back after hours for a little shopping! 

"How can I best secure the rear door of my business?"

The single best device you can use to secure your back is the Exit Security Inc. product model SB-01-0036 for the 36" door.  It is a locking bar that can be used only after operating hours. This device is the best security solution for the money! 

If you are using a single door lever, you are not secure. If you have only a lever, install a latch protector. Remember: To be in code compliance, a fire exit door must be able to be opened IN ONE MOTION. A stout panic bar is the only real solution. You cannot use surface flush bolts on a fire exit.


"How can I keep employees from leaving secretly via the back door of my business?"

You will need to install a Detex Alarm which incorporates a deadbolt and an alarm. It always stays locked unless you unlock it with a key or hit the exit paddle.  This device complies with codes in that, people can exit the building in case of emergency, yet the alarm goes off alerting you.  This will keep employees from secretly stealing goods.


What different functions can door levers and knobs have?

 If you need a lock on an office door, you will want to use an ENTRY style lock. This has a button on the inside to lock or unlock. Many of these buttons have a dual function. If you push a button in, it locks. When the key is used, it pops the button out and unlocks the lock. However, if the button is pushed in AND TURNED, then the lock stays locked; and the key, when turned, only retracts the latch to allow you to gain entrance but always locks behind you.


How can I make it hard for burglars to break in?

You can enhance your security by installing latch protectors on your front and rear doors. Time is a burglar's most important commodity. If he sees that you have latch guards, he knows he will need to spend too much time getting into you place of business. Make him go to the establishment next door down.

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