Archives for May 2012

Layers of Security: Batten Down the Hatches

The best way to dress for cold weather is to wear layers of clothing, and add or remove layers as necessary, depending upon conditions and your level of comfort.  This is true for security as well.  Not only the security in one’s home,  but the security for individuals, vehicles, and public or private facilities.

Consider your home. The first layer of security is a physical barrier of some kind; something on the periphery that is a basic first line of defense. A fence.  A fence will stop a few interlopers, especially if there is a padlock on the gate.

Don’t want, or can’t do a fence? No problem. A fence is a good first line of defense, but most people will not enter “your space”  without some sort of reason, or invitation.  A fence is more of a symbolic barrier than anything, unless it is a high security fence topped with razor ribbon.  Symbolic barriers are important, as they transmit a “”do not enter” message. The main advantage of a fence is that if a person crosses it onto your property, they have actually crossed a barrier, and,  absent an invitation, they are clearly trespassing.  This easy transition from passerby to trespasser is a significant deterrent for some would-be criminals.  Without a fence,  an excuse (I’m looking for my dog, I’m looking for work, etc.), no matter how weak, would appear somewhat valid.

A dog (or two) behind this fence is another layer of security.A barking dog,  regardless of size, might deter someone who would otherwise hop over the fence. More importantly, a barking dog creates noise and draws attention to the would-be trespasser;  something a criminal does not want.

Heavy solid doors, closed and locked with deadbolts, are the next layer. Assuming all of the doors are the same (We’ll talk about  sliding doors later) this layer would stop honest people, and a little over half of your basic two- bit criminal types.  Closed, locked, windows, fronted by security screens  (or even bars) are another layer of security.

For most homeowners the above constitutes all of the usual layers of security implemented. But additional layers are easily available.  An excellent layer of additional security is an alarm system for the structure. Because their price has dropped over the years, home alarms are a viable option for most people.  A good, closed circuit alarm system (the type most private homes utilize), monitored by a central station is a recommended layer of security.

Each layer of security costs money. Most home owners implement all or most of the aforementioned measures, but there are a few inexpensive measures to add a few extra effective security layers.

   Locks Inside

When a warship goes into battle, one of the first steps taken is to secure all hatches. The purpose for doing this is to close off all of the compartments of the ship so that if an area is hit it may fill up with water but the remaining compartments will not. The vessel will stay afloat after sustaining many hits.

If every room in your house has a lock on the door (deadbolts or otherwise), then after a criminal has penetrated your house he has to break into every room he wants to go into. Combine this with an alarm siren, a barking dog and flashing lights, a criminal’s intentions will dramatically change from find loot to get the &^%% out of here.

Of course this is not a popular option. Most people don’t want to secure all of the rooms in their house before they leave for work in the morning, and if there are kids/family  going in and out later in the day this may not be practical. But why not? If you plan for a burglary, the burglary may be thwarted, or at least significantly curtailed.  This is a cheap, viable option.  One of our customers has dead bolts on every door in the house. He uses a few of them (office, master bedroom) in addition to his regular locks, and locks them all  when he goes out of town.  Someone broke into his house once. The burglar set off the alarm, and made it into the foyer. Another dead bolted door stopped him from going in further.  He grabbed an umbrella from the umbrella stand; that was all he got. The police investigated, and closed the front door. The customer came back from his trip two weeks later.

If They Don’t See It, They Don’t Want It

A really cheap layer of security is to hide things. Not go out and bury things; this is simple stuff. Have an expensive watch? Put it under a sheet on your bed. Same with your lap top, or guns, etc.  This is also very effective (it’s almost mandatory) for expensive items in your car. If a burglar gets into the house, they are going to the dresser in the master bedroom. Gold, expensive jewelry, etc. That’s what they want. Put those items under your sheet on your bed.  Under a pillow. Have a 7′ big screen TV? Throw a sheet over it. Yes, they will look to see what it is, but they might not.  Seriously. Especially if there is an alarm going off; they want to hurry; they want to grab; they want to run.  Barriers, layers, impediments. These things cost a burglar time, and when the burglar gets inside, they want to get some good stuff and then get out, fast. They don’t want to spend their time taking sheets off  of stuff or going through several locked doors.

                                                               Get Creative

Mr. X has an office in his house. In this office are expensive computers, a flat screen TV, a gun safe (with guns), and a floor safe containing his company’s cash and receipts.

His security is tight. Alarms, multiple dead bolts, security screens, security cameras, and all sorts of goodies.

But he has something else. He makes the entire office disappear. On the inside of his office door is a florescent light, about 3″ above the floor. From the inside of the house, this appears to be sunlight. On the office door is a sign which reads, “KEEP THIS DOOR CLOSED! DO NOT LET THE DOGS IN THROUGH THIS DOOR!”  This would confuse, even for a few minutes, the smartest criminal. Remember: a burglar’s time is limited. Help him use it up.

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In summary, remember that time is a burglar’s enemy. Most burglaries occur in the day time, on week days, between 8 to 5 pm. Burglars keep regular work hours. This when everyone is working. Burglars rarely work on the week ends, except during events where everyone is away and attending (a home football game, or a big city event downtown, or something similar). The more layers of security you can afford to implement, the better.  These layers,  in combination, can pay off with big security dividends.

Employment With High Quality Locksmith

High Quality Locksmith is looking for qualified experienced locksmiths. We are especially interested in setting up commission based (contractor) arrangements with locksmiths who have extensive experience with automotive key making and also with commercial high security locks, safes, and exit devices.

The contractor must own his/her own tools (including transponder equipment and key blanks) and vehicle. Additionally, this individual must pass a background check and have community based references, as well as bona-fide, verifiable  experience as a locksmith.  Accreditation and training certificates are preferred but not mandatory.  Additionally, our contractors must present a polished, professional image, and convey same to our customers.

We do not presently offer training or apprenticeship programs.

This is not a full time employment opportunity;  assignments will only be given on an as needed basis, and there is no guarantee as to numbers of jobs  assigned during a given time period,  if any.  This opportunity is optimum for a person who is already a locksmith (employed or otherwise)  in Tallahassee, and wants to supplement his/her income with additional contract work.

Above average commission rates are guaranteed for automotive assignments.

If you are interested in this opportunity and meet the above qualifications, we want to hear from you. Drop us a note,  preferably with a resume  attached, to [email protected]  This e-mail address is specifically for employment inquiries.  Please, NO phone calls; we’ll call you after getting your e-mail.  If you would rather not  send an e-mail, please write to:

High Quality Locksmith of Tallahassee, 3000 Windsor Way, Tallahassee, FL 32312

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Expert Automotive Locksmiths

We are also the foremost automotive key experts in the area. We make and
program transponder keys, high security keys, and wireless proximity remotes, too.

Locksmithing: A brief synopsis

Locksmithing began as the science and art of making and defeating locks. A lock is a mechanism that secures buildings, rooms, cabinets, objects, or other storage facilities. A key is often used to open a lock. Means of opening a lock may include a security token or two-factor authentication for greater security, such as requiring both something a person knows (a combination) and something they have (a key or keycard).

The oldest known lock is approximately 4,000 years old and was of Egyptian make.The earliest known key-based lock was built during the Assyrian Empire in Khorsabadnear Nineveh about 704 BC. It may have been found in the ruins of the  Emporer Sargon II’s palace in Khorsabad. It used the same pin tumbler principle employed by many modern locks.

Terminology

A “smith” of any type is one who shapes metal pieces, often using a forge or mould, into useful objects or to be part of a more complex structure. Locksmithing, as its name implies, is the assembly and designing of locks and their respective keys.

Work

Locksmith, 1451

Historically, locksmiths actually made the entire lock, working for hours hand cutting screws and doing much file-work. Today, the rise of cheap mass production means that this is no longer true, and, though a few expert locksmiths are also engineers and capable of sophisticated repairs and renovation work, the vast majority of locks are repaired by swapping of parts or like-for-like replacement, or upgraded to modern mass-production items. Until more recently, safes and strongboxes were the exception to this, and to this day large vaults are custom designed and built at great cost, as the cost of this is lower than the very limited scope for mass production would allow, and the risk of a copy being obtained and defeated as practice is removed.

Although fitting of keys to replace lost keys to automobiles and homes and the changing of keys for homes and businesses to maintain security are still an important part of locksmithing, locksmiths today are primarily involved in the installation of higher quality lock-sets and the design, implementation and management of keying and key control systems. Most locksmiths also do electronic lock servicing, such as making keys for transponder-equipped vehicles and the implementation and application of access control systems protecting individuals and assets for many large institutions.

In terms of physical security, a locksmith’s work frequently involves making a determination of the level of risk to an individual or institution and then recommending and implementing appropriate combinations of equipment and policies to create “security layers” which exceed the reasonable gain to an intruder or attacker. The more different security layers are implemented, the more the requirement for additional skills and knowledge and tools to defeat them all. But because each layer comes at an expense to the customer, the application of appropriate levels without exceeding reasonable costs to the customer is often very important and requires a skilled and knowledgeable locksmith to determine.

Employment

Locksmiths may be commercial (working out of a storefront), mobile (working out of a vehicle), institutional (employed by an institution) or investigational (forensic locksmiths) or may specialize in one aspect of the skill, such as an automotive lock specialist, a master key system specialist or a safe technician. Many are also security consultants, but not every security consultant has the skills and knowledge of a locksmith. Locksmiths are frequently certified in specific skill areas or to a level of skill within the trade. This is separate from certificates of completion of training courses. In determining skill levels, certifications from manufacturers or locksmith associations are usually more valid criteria than certificates of completion. Some locksmiths decide to call themselves “Master Locksmiths” whether they are fully trained or not, and some training certificates appear quite authoritative.

The majority of locksmiths also work on any existing door hardware, not just locking mechanisms. This includes door closers, door hinges, electric strikes, frame repairs and other door hardware.

Locks

In the general case, a lock will not keep out an absolutely determined intruder with unlimited resources, skills, knowledge and time. However, even a minimal lock can delay a typical intruder for a time, and the disturbance generated in circumventing a high-quality lock, for example by breaking windows or doors, can deter many attackers, causing them to direct their attacks against weaker targets.

When combined with secure containers, or document destruction systems, or electronic access or alarm systems, locks can provide much higher levels of security. Some locksmiths possess these skills, and others form business relationships with companies or individuals with these specialties.