These days most modern vehicles come with the added security of a transponder key that prevents the motor being started even if someone manages to “hotwire” your car. The way they work is by have a chip programmed to send the correct, matching signal through you transponder to the Engine Control Unit of your car.
It’s a great way of securing your car…. But it also leads to unintentional lockouts. Transponders sometimes just stop working. They can get lost. Or they get broken after falling or being stepped on. Getting a “genuine” replacement from your car’s manufacturer is a guarantee of one thing only. You are going to pay far more than you need to, for a device that is no more effective than the quality generic ones we can supply. How can we help?
Our vans are equipped with diagnostic equipment which when attached to your vehicle’s ECU allow us to program a transponder to… Read more
I have had a lot of calls lately for providing extra security for garages. Sure, houses are where the wallets, smart-phones, laptops, and jewellery are… but garages are where the nice push-bike, mower, tools etc are. And there is usually no one living in the garage, so they are less well secured, and at night, are often likely to be empty of people.
People who always lock their bike up when they are out and about… fail to realise most bikes are stolen from homes so that’s where the most care needs to be taken.
Some tips for securing your garage and bikes in the back yard/garage:
- Check how old your remote-controlled door is. Older versions have a traceable, wireless signal. Crooks can case your neighborhood looking for open garage door signals, then come back and rob you at their convenience. You’ll never know how they got in, as
… Read more
As long as you have a secure place to stash a spare key where prying eyes are unable to see you retrieving it and it’s placed in a position the average burglar won’t think to look… The hidden spare key is a good strategy for preventing lockouts. It can however lead to complacency as was recently experienced by our latest customer in Biggera Waters.
The house was occupied by three university students who each had their own set of keys as well as an emergency key stashed in the backyard. This “prevention from getting locked out” strategy had worked well for the boys all year and generally speaking they had stuck to the house rules of “Spare key club” namely:-
- No one talks about the spare key club.
- Don’t retrieve the spare key when in the company of others
- Immediately return the spare key to its hiding place after use.
… Read more
I like to categorise burglars into two separate groups:
- The low-risk burglar.
The low-risk burglar is typically going to go about their business between 10 AM and 3 PM. This is the time most homes are empty with children at school and parents at work. They will typically target homes that appear to have children living in them for this reason. They will case the house first and check for security systems and places where they can enter the property and the building without being observed.
- The high-risk burglar
These guys prefer to target homes between 1:30 AM and 4.am and they prefer the residents of the home to be home. And with good reason. When we leave home we most often take our mobile phone, our wallet, some of our jewellery, and items such as laptops and iPads. But when we’re home those items are there
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It’s important when one of our team turns up to let you inside that you can provide evidence that your are a resident of the property. It’s not as easy as it might seem. If your keys are missing, sometimes that means your wallet/purse/id is as well. But even if you have them? You are going to need to provide evidence you are a resident of the property.
Here’s and example of why.
Last weekend I got a call from a Gold Coast gentleman about 2am Saturday morning claiming to be locked out of this house. He had his keys, but for some reason they were not working. He had clearly been out for a big night on the town – his speech was slurred and he sounded pretty upset. He told me he had his Id on him and it was his place… but his key was definitely not working and he needed immediate help…. Read more
Lately we‘re getting more and more enquiries regarding installation of key-less entry systems and ist no wonder as there is so much to love about them. Here are some of the reasons we’ve been given for wanting a system.
- An 11-year-old daughter has a house key because she finishes school before we get home from work. Twice now she has left her jacket on the bus wallet and key in it. Whether founded it would easy access to our home.
- We rent our house out for eight weeks of the year through air B&B which allows us to pay for holidays that we don‘t like the idea that someone who we know little about then may have permanent access to a home after copying our keys.
- We have a cleaner that comes Tuesdays. We don‘t want to give her a key but we also don‘t play here her and look after she leaves.
… Read more
I recently attended a house in Gold Coast where the owners wanted a security solution a bit outside the box. A long hours working couple, they had a cleaner who came once a week to clean the house whilst they were out. Their home security was pretty good, central locking for the house, security cameras and a home alarm… but they were concerned about the weakest link. The cleaner herself.
They believed their cleaner was honest… at least… as much as you can believe anyone is honest. But the cleaner having a key to their home just seemed too much of a risk. So we discussed options.
Modifying the locking mechanism of the front door.
The front door was a special 3-barrel door set up so a single key locked all 3 barrels, top middle, and bottom. I could modify the door, so instead, the top and bottom barrels could… Read more
I had a pretty fun “lockout” recovery in Arundel this week. It stretched my knowledge of the law a bit and I had to put in some extra care to make sure I was working for one of the good guys.
I get called out to a lockout in Arundel town centre where my new client has described a lockout involving his bike. Apparently, he can’t get the locking chain off. Sounds suspicious right? He was adamant that the bike was his and he would prove it… so I drove down to check it out.
I was greeted by a very excited 30-something male who told me a story of his bike being stolen from Brisbane about 3 weeks ago. It was a pretty swish bike, $4500 new (wow!) and it had been stolen just before he was due to fly out on a business trip. He hadn’t even had time to report it to the… Read more
I got called to a lockout in Carrara (Gold Coast) this week the gentleman in question was pretty frantic because not only had he lost his keys – his keyring had his address on it and was about to go away on a business trip leaving his 18-year-old daughter home alone. If someone found the keys, they would have easy access to his house at the worst possible time. Not good.
When he rang he wanted to make sure that not only was I bringing my emergency lockout gear, but I was also bringing sufficient barrels to redo all of his deadlocks. I assured him that my van contained all manner of locks and I was certain to be able to help him but it was probably best we got him inside the house first before we came up with a plan to completely redo all his house locks. After all…. Losing your keys… Read more
I was driving my van through Burleigh Waters late on a Saturday afternoon when I saw a young guy standing on the side of the road making a phone call when all of a sudden he started waving at me to pull over. I did so and he asked me “Hey man.. Are you the locksmith?”
I pointed to the van, with the big LOCKSMITH writing on it, held up my bag of tools, flashed him my best “You guessed it champ!” grin and replied. “Yes, that would be me, I’m the Locksmith”.
“Aweseome! Man! I’m so glad I saw you driving past and caught you… I thought you were going to drive straight past. Can we make this quick? I need to get into my mailbox fast.”
My warning bells didn’t go off immediately. Many people lose the keys to their letterbox and usually, that’s the reason someone calls me to help them…. Read more
I met with a rather embarrassed father and rather amused looking daughter at their Gold Coast apartment today. He was… underdressed… wearing just a pair of jocks. She was all decked out in her bike gear and was clearly in a hurry to be on her way.
It was a simple lockout from an apartment, the deadlock itself was not engaged and the door has simply closed on them whilst outside with external door having no knob that could be turned. No key – no entry. For a locksmith this is one of the easiest of jobs so I was inside in less than 30 seconds, Mr Tighty Whity’s went and got his wallet and proved he was the resident and all was good in the land of Gold Coast lockout recovery.
There was clearly some amused smirking from the daughter and some embarrassed annoyance from the father who said he had to finish getting ready… Read more
Modern and semi-modern cars come with a variety of safety features that more often than not work well… but when do they play up? Expect them to be a nuisance. Today’s lockout story is brought to you by Ford, with their entry in the “most annoying car” category with the “S-Max”
Overseas the Sm-Max is known as the Ford Galaxy. Now with a name like Ford “Galaxy” you’d be expecting something modern and sleek… capable of… Driving you right across the Galaxy right? Well. I’m not saying it couldn’t, but gee whiz. You might arrive with all your hair pulled out.
Last Sunday I received no less than 3 calls from the same lady who had recently purchased a 2nd hand S-Max. Her first issue was… the car just would not open. The keyless entry was broken (though she’d known this at the time of purchase) but now try as she may, the key would not… Read more
Bit of a funny one today, with a keys locked-in car scenario.
Car makers are always coming up with new and seemingly foolproof ways to stop people from locking their keys in their cars, for example.
- First, we had cars that could only be locked by a key in the door. No more slamming the locked door shut just as you spot the keys still in the ignition.
- Then, we had doors that could be locked by a push of a button. Open doors closed after the “lock door” button was pressed would unlock on the closure of the door to prevent accidental locking of the doors, leaving keys on the seat and locked in keys.
But as clever as car makers get, there is always someone who can find some way to circumvent this safety measure. Like my client yesterday from mermaid Beach. This is how it… Read more
I had a pretty hilarious job today which involved adding locking bolts to the sliding door of a Gold Coast house. The owner of the house had returned home after work several times to find the back door wide open and the house in a dishevelled state. It didn’t appear that anything had been stolen but someone had sure gone through the rubbish, licked the benches clean and sometimes managed to open the fridge and make off with the defrosting meat.
Suspect No.1? The Dog Dunnit. Don’t know how, but she did it.
The chief suspect was the dog but my new client just couldn’t work out how she was doing it. The sliding door was locked he was sure of that… How on earth was she opening it. Not only that but the crafty devil knew that what she was doing was wrong so she never attempted it when anyone was home.
… Read more
Can you guess what the most common reason is I’m called to help someone with a lockout on the Gold Coast? Most people guess “got drunk and lost keys, left keys at work, keys in car et cetera”.
Whilst these certainly are common reasons the winner by far is the automatic closing and locking door. Not your traditional kind… like the spring hinge on a fly screen door. Not even one that is supposed to automatically close and lock. Just a normal everyday door for some reason has a tendency to close itself (hung incorrectly, the wall has moved, etc) and the door has a self-locking deadlock on it so once sharp requires a key to open.
Most people are very aware that they have a self-closing, self-locking door and are usually very careful about not leaving their homes without their keys. The problem is those moments of unexpected emergency where all thought of “have I… Read more
I had another funny job today seems like I’m on a bit of a roll. My latest client (Marc from Geelong…. got permission to use his real name for a change, most wan’t to keep things a bit quiet). Marc is a bit of a finance whiz, managing a mortgage broker business in Geelong, and was was staying in an apartment booked via AirB&B.
He rang me and rather sheepishly explained that he was both locked out AND locked in his apartment.
The apartment he was staying in was of a particular design where the balconies were fairly close together and an enterprising thief with no fear of heights would be able to move from balcony to balcony accessing the apartments through the balcony door.
Aware of this, the owner of the apartment had installed and automatically closing balcony door that was also self locking. Equally aware that this might strand… Read more
I had a strange job this week in Burleigh heads with a second call out in 10 days to repair a malfunctioning lock. It seemed very odd as we’d done the repair and I knew it had been done right so I was a bit concerned as to what could have happened.
We had initially attended the premises as the front door deadlock that would not turn. The key was right but the locking mechanism was blocked with dirt. I happens sometimes. I was able to clean the lock out with compressed air and some WD40 and no more serious intervention was necessary. The problem had now for some reason recurred.
The 2nd time I attended our new client was pretty annoyed. Locked out of his house, annoyed he’d paid for a job that had not worked out and now worried he might be stung again paying for the job to be done properly. He had… Read more
Just back from finishing a deadlock barrel replacement job on the Gold Coast. There had been no break, or at least nothing appeared to be missing. But the home owners felt their security had been compromised and were having trouble sleeping or leaving their home unattended, worried they had been targeted for a break in so they made the call to be better safe than sorry and do a barrel replacement and home security upgrade.
This is how it happened. The man of the house was home one Saturday by himself washing the car, when he managed to lock his keys in the car. No drama he thinks, I’ll get the emergency lockout backup key from under the pot plant on the front porch, pop inside and get the spare car keys and we are all good. But the emergency key was not there.
No alarm bells went off initially. Someone else might have got locked… Read more
Complete lock replacement this week on a burgled house on the Gold coast. The tenants were pretty upset. They’d been away for the weekend at a music festival down at Byron Bay and had come home to find their house had been emptied. Back door kicked in, and pretty much everything of value taken. This was not a quick smash and grab burglary – this was a whole house emptied burglary that would have taken some time to execute. With burglaries like this it’s usually the case that the burglars were aware of where the home owners were and that they were not coming home any time soon.
I can’t say for sure this is what happened but my experience tells me it probably went down something like this.
The group arranged to attend the music festival in Byron Bay. Probably they told a lot of people they were going. Maybe someone overheard who should not… Read more
Many unauthorised home and business entries happen via the most obvious but most ignored way. Someone with a key who shouldn’t have one. Who might this be?
- A former tenant or flatmate.
- A builder, tradesman, tradesman’s assistant, labourer etc. who had keys to premises prior to the completion of a building.
- A former employee.
- An ex-girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife.
If any of these events have happened in your life, it’s time to resecure your premises. There doesn’t need to be a threat or perceived danger from the persons who still have access to your premises, its all about reducing risk, and ensuring your insurance is valid at the same time.
So what locks to rekey?
All External Locks
These are the most important locks, the ones the prevent entry into your property. First of all, we need… Read more