Q: Why should I use a professional locksmith company?
A: Skilled professional locksmiths bring experience and fund of knowledge in lock, safe & security problems and are better prepared to solve security issues to your unique situation. A professional locksmith can prescribe state-of-the-art products that work, and more effective solutions in an efficient manner.
Q: How to choose a reliable locksmith?
A: When it comes to your security you must be sure that there are no mistakes. You have to make sure that the job is done in a professional manner and if there are any problems you have someone to consult. After all, you entrust the keys to your house’s locks in the hands of a stranger. Here are some pointers:
• Always make sure that the locksmith you choose is Bonded & Insured.
• Always ask for a price! – Although it is not always possible to get an accurate quote for complicated jobs. For simple jobs such as car lockouts it is pretty reasonable to get a quote, even if it is a rough one. Don’t be satisfied with service call + labor, ask what the labor is!
• When the technician arrives make sure he has signs on his truck with the company name, company logo, and contact number. Organized companies will make sure that their logo is well shown and their customers know how to reach them.
Q: I have a key marked “Do Not Duplicate.” Can I get a copy of it anyway?
A: Keys marked “Do Not Duplicate,” “Do Not Copy,” or “Unlawful to Copy” may be duplicated only if a letter of authorization from the owner or supervisor is presented with the request for duplication. The letter should be on company letterhead and identify the key to be made, the number of keys, the person picking up the keys, and the name and number of the person writing the letter. The person picking up the keys will be required to fill out a “Request for Restricted Keys” form. We reserve the right to refuse to duplicate any key marked “Do Not Duplicate.”
Q: My key does not insert or withdraw easily or it has difficulty turning.
A: First spray the lock with light penetrating oil (such as WD-40). This oil can be found at most hardware stores, but can even be found at some drug stores and supermarkets. Don’t be afraid to spray too much, but have a paper towel handy to pick up the excess. Spray the oil into the keyhole and onto the bolt mechanism. Move the bolt in and out to allow the oil to penetrate into the lock. Do not take the lock apart if you are not confident you can put it back together.
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 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.
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: 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: What is the difference between rekey & master keying.
A: Re-keying means adjusting the tumblers in an existing lock so that only new keys can open it.
Many people, who continue to use the same key that they received when they bought their home, have no idea of how many people such as tradesmen, neighbors and friends, who are no longer relevant, have had access to that key. Most technicians can re-key your locks and give you the security of knowing that only you and the people you trust will have access to your domain.
Q: What should I do if my key broke off in my lock?
A: If you break your key off in your ignition or door lock and you do have the pieces you should keep them. Many times it is much easier for a locksmith to regenerate the key from the broken pieces than to make it from scratch. If you don’t have the key pieces, please do not try to extract it yourself because it may cause more problems, especially when it is a car key (ignition or doors). When you break a key off in a lock, most of the time you can still save the lock (This is relevant for door cylinder as well as ignition cylinder) you just need a new key. AFC Locksmith technicians can help you with that. We can make lost car keys on the spot, including transponder keys and high security keys. Just give us a call and set up a time for us to come out, remove the key, and make you another one.
Q: What could I do if my key is stuck in ignition?
A: If you get your key stuck in the ignition first thing you will want to do it leave it alone and call a locksmith. The more you mess with the ignition the more chances you would damage the cylinder and that may be more expensive to repair or replace than just to extract the key. Most of the time a locksmith can repair the ignition if needed but the more it is messed with the more chance you will need a new ignition.