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1. What qualities and attributes make a good locksmith company?

There are many factors that go into making a good locksmith company and everyone will have their own opinion on this issue. Below, I am going to outline a few the things that we think make a good locksmith company.

1. The company you select needs to have firm roots in Atlanta. When I refer to having roots in Atlanta what I am saying is that you should look for a company that has a successful track record of serving customers in Atlanta for many years. Why risk your company's security by using an unproven vendor with no references?

2. Look for a security company that has the size to adequately service your properties. For commercial clients this means having multiple service vehicles (5+ trucks). Due to a lack of regulation for locksmiths in Georgia, 99% of locksmith companies do not meet this requirement. It should not take a week for a technician to come out and see you. If you find yourself waiting more than 24 hours for a service visit you need to look for a new provider.

3. Make sure your locksmith carries insurance. If any locksmith will not readily provide you with a copy of their insurance you should not let them do work on your property. Make sure to protect yourself and your business. Any reputable locksmith will carry a multi-million dollar General Liability & Workmen's Compensation Insurance Policy. Here is Armor Lock & Security's.

4. All reputable locksmiths will have an office location in Atlanta. We can not stress this point enough. Through the years we have seen many "mobile" and out of state locksmiths do unjustice to the profession. You need to ensure you are dealing with a professional company and not just a single or fly by night entity.

5. Last but not least, work with someone you trust. Someone who will take the time to learn your property and your particular needs. Every property and every customer is different, your security provider should take the time to learn how you do business.

 

2. What should the average consumer know about the locksmith industry in Georgia?

What most people do not know and what a lot of locksmiths will not tell you is that the locksmith industry in Georgia is completely unregulated. Mobile shops spring up daily with no insurance, no shop location, and very little experience. It is really important to choose a locksmith who has a proven track record and does not mind taking the time to speak with you or answer your questions. When you see -Mobile Service- you should be cautious. You want to deal with a company that has roots in a community and has been there a long time with an established shop location.

At Armor, we favor regulation and have been lobbying for many years to establish it. Currently HB 107 addresses the licensing of locksmiths and we encourage everyone to contact their representatives and ask them to support this bill. A big thank you is due to Harry Geisinger, Jill Chambers and Barbara Sims for their support of this bill. Contact the representatives in your district and ask them to support this as well. As important as regulation is it will be just as important to ensure it's enforcement.

It has amazed us for years that you have to be licensed in Georgia to cut hair but not to do locksmith work. Hopefully that will change soon.

 

3. What makes Armor Lock & Security different?

There are many factors that make Armor Lock & Security different from the competition. A few are:

1. Armor's knowledge of the Atlanta market place is second to none. We have been working as a commercial locksmith in Atlanta for over 45 years. We have seen and been apart of the changes and growth in Atlanta and through this we have gained valuable insight into the security needs of our customers and our markets.

2. Armor's Staff and Technicians are the best! Our technicians have been with us on average 20+ years. We have a cumulative total of over 250 years experience between our service technicians. That is experience which will better help us serve our customers needs.

3. Armor's size allows us to serve our market better. We have many service trucks throughout Atlanta each day and because of this we are able to give our customers great service. We never make you wait more than 24 hours for a site visit, over 99% of the time we can see you same day.

4. Armor carries the proper insurance and licenses to serve you.

5. Armor takes an interest in our customers, stated simply "We care". Our repeat customers know us by name and we know them. In addition, we know their properties and operating procedures. We take the time to understand our customers and their needs because we intend on keeping them as clients.

 

4. What areas does Armor serve?

Armor Lock & Security serves all of metro Atlanta. If you have any specific questions just give us a call at 770-493-1915.

 

5. What markets does Armor serve?

Armor serves the commercial, industrial and residential markets. We do everything except automobiles.

 

6. Does Armor give appointments?

Only for the first job of the day, otherwise we can call you when we are on our way. We can also hit time frames but giving an exact appointment in the afternoon can be challenging. If you absolutely require a certain time give us a call and we will try to work something out with you.

 

7. Does Armor carry insurance?

Of coarse, and we are happy to send you a copy prior to doing work for you. If someone will not do this you should not do business with them. See our standard Certificate of Insurance.

 

8. Does Armor carry a low voltage license?

Yes, and you can see one of our licences here .

 

9. Is it possible to get the approximate cost for a specific locksmith or security task?

Certainly, just give us a call at 770-493-1915 or email us and we can usually give you a ballpark price over the phone. For large jobs we will send a technician by for a free estimate.

 

10. What is a master key system and why is key control important?

A master key system limits access to designated areas while allowing authorized persons to have access to all locks. An example of a basic master key system is the following: the owner has one key that works all the locks and the employees only have a key that works in the front door and not the office.

These systems can be as simple as the above example or more complex to designate access to departments, floors, etc. It is essential to exercise proper control over who has keys to what areas. Follow our suggested guidelines for key control.

Guidelines for Key Control
A key is worth more than its small purchase price. A key is worth everything that it allows access to (your information and property). Establishing a method for key control will provide...
- Authorization
- Accountability
- Loss prevention

 Establish Records (Authorization)
1. Choose one person to be responsible for key distribution and authorization.
2. Establish a policy that all keys are company property and not personal property, that is loaned on a temporary basis for a day, week, month, or while employed by the company, and must be returned after this period.
3. Maintain permanent key control records that specify the following: the key number, door number, the person issued to, date issued/returned, deposit amount.
4. Keep these records in a safe or locked file cabinet.
5. To aid in record keeping, there is computer software available. Two options may be a database or a specific key control program.

Designate Keys (Accountability)
6. Have all keys properly labeled and identified by sequence number. This saves a great deal of time an prevents unlabeled and unidentified keys from stock piling in office drawers. However, to maintain security this number should not easily identify which door the key allows access to in case it is misplaced. For example, instead of the label "garage", use the label "A2" that can be cross referenced by the using the key records.
7. Keep all undistributed and/or returned keys in a key cabinet. A key cabinet is necessary for every business to help organize the keying systems.
8. To ensure that there is always a working key, never issue original keys. All original keys should be locked in a key cabinet. All copies should be made from originals.
9. Do not have excess copies of keys on hand. In some situations, extras keys are appropriate, but keep them to a minimum.

Emphasize Security (Loss Prevention)
10. If unauthorized duplications become a problem, speak with your professional locksmith about high security keying systems that are unique to the owner.
11. Never issue the master key to visiting service personnel, unfortunately they are rarely returned. The only exception would be a professional locksmith for the purposes of keying work.
12. Limit distribution of keys to high turnover and/or temporary positions. Issue a key only at the beginning of their shift, to be returned at the end of their shift.
13. Key audits should be conducted periodically to verify that no keys are lost.

Don't Forget Maintenance!
Don't force it - fix it! Every lock is designed to work smoothly. If it doesn't, there's probably a good reason. Fix it now or it will probably break at the worst possible moment.

 

11. How do you select the function of a lockset?

Not all locks function the same way. Commercial cylindrical and mortise locks may have several different functions to suit almost every combination of convenience and security requirements. The most common include passage, privacy, entry, classroom, storeroom, and asylum, named after their most typical applications.

Passage Function Lockset - passage sets are not locks in the true sense of the word, they incorporate a lever or knob on either side of the door and a latch to hold the door shut. There is no place for a key, as no lock cylinder is included.

Privacy Function Lockset - privacy locks are the type of locks generally used in restrooms, residential bedrooms, or sometimes offices. They contain no cylinder so they are not key operated. They can only be locked from the inside for privacy, usually by a pushbutton built into the knob or lever. They generally include a place for emergency access from the outside, often using a small screwdriver or pin to unlock the outside knob or lever through a hole in the trim.

Entrance Function Lockset - entry locks may be locked by pushing or turning a button on the inside and are unlocked by a key from the outside. This is the most common type of commercial and residential lock function, often found on office doors and exterior home locks.

Classroom Function Lockset - classroom locks (maintained) are always locked and unlocked from the outside by key. This style lockset can be left locked or unlocked from the outside via key. The inside knob or lever is always free for immediate exit.

Storeroom Function Lockset - storeroom locks (momentary) have a fixed outside knob or lever, and the latch is retracted by the key from the outside. This style lockset can not be left unlocked, it is always locked from the outside. The inside knob or lever is always free for immediate exit. This function lever is often used in access control systems incorporating electric strikes, this ensures the access system is not circumvented by leaving the door unlocked.

Asylum Function Lockset - asylum locks have cylinders on both sides and are always locked on both sides. A key is required for entry and exit. This is not a common lockset and you must be careful you are not using this lockset in violation of fire code. For commercial applications you will really only see this function lockset when sub-dividing a space, again consult your local fire marshall before using this function lockset.

 

12. How do you determine the handing of your hardware?

"Hand of door" indicates the direction of the swing of the door. It is always viewed from outside the room, building, etc.

LH = Left Hand
RH = Right Hand
LHR = Left Hand Reverse
RHR = Right Hand Reverse

 

13. What is the color of my hardware?

commercial hardware color

 

14. What is lock bumping? How do you protect against it?

Lock bumping may have originated in Denmark in the 1950s, but this is far from clear. It may have started independently in several places. A Dutch TV show explaining the technique was broadcast in April 2005 and found its way to internet video sites in 2006, popularizing the technique considerably. Please see the Associated Locksmith's of America official stand on lock bumping (click here).

Essentially, it is a way of modifying an existing key so that it is able to manipulate and open locks through a technique known as bumping. There is a lot of hype regarding this techinique at the moment. It's important to note that concern over this is probably undue for residential security. Thiefs are much more likely to just break a window.

Armor does recognize that security is a matter of personal feeling though. If you do have cause for concern, here are two ways to protect yourself from lock bumping. One is to install high security locks, Armor Lock & Security recommends ASSA Locks. A second way is to go with an electronic lockset or access control system. If you have any specific questions please contact us and we would be happy to help you with a security audit.

 

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