Locksmithing etc. July 2016

July 4, 2016

Selling Bike Locks?

Bicycle security has come a long way, and there are some great products to sell in your lockshop, particularly during the summer and at the start of the next school  year. Why not set up a display of some of the options at your counter? This could be a great seasonal impulse buy.

Here is a guide to the most common types of bike locks, courtesy of REI (REI’s Guide to Bike locks: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/bike-lock.html)

U-Locks:  This widely used bike lock style is an excellent deterrent. The bulky locking mechanism resists hammers, chisels and the like. Its horseshoe shape can limit leveraging—provided it's not way oversized for the bike. The goal is to reduce the amount of space in which a thief can insert a crowbar and leverage enough oomph to pop it apart.

U-locks come in various sizes. Your goal is to size the lock so that it goes around the things you’re locking with as little gap left as possible. Small to medium models lock one wheel and your frame to a fixed object. Large models lock both wheels and your frame to a fixed object.

Cable Locks: These are versatile and adaptable but generally offer less theft deterrence than U-locks. Bolt cutters are able to cut through most cable locks. On their own, they may be suitable for low-crime areas. Elsewhere, they are a good choice to use in combination with a U-lock to secure easily removed parts (e.g., seat). Many have integral combination or key locks; others require a separate padlock. Some feature sliding sizing or an armored coating. A few newer models feature stylish designs.

 Chain Locks: Tough enough for high-crime areas, these bike locks use a specially designed chain link that resists hacksaws or chisels and makes the chain tough to leverage. Be sure to invest in a padlock that's just as sturdy—thieves can easily cut through thin locks, no matter how sturdy the chain. The downside? Chains are heavy and bulky, so they are best for stationary uses.

Locking Wheel/Seat Skewers: Quick-release wheels and seatposts are, unfortunately, as convenient for thieves as they are for bike owners. Great for high-crime areas, locking skewers disable the quick-release feature and make it a lot tougher to steal. They’re easy to install but many require a special wrench that comes with the skewer.

Bike Lock Keys and Combinations: Keyed locks use either flat keys or cylindrical keys. Cylindrical keys got a bad reputation in years past when it was discovered some locks of this style could be picked by a ballpoint pen. Newer models have solved that problem so now either style is equally effective.

Keyed locking mechanisms are found on most U-locks and some cable and chain locks. Combination locks are convenient because you don’t have to remember to carry a key with you or worry about losing keys, but you do have to remember a 4-digit code. Cable locks typically use a combination locking mechanism.

Bike Lock Manufacturers

In the locksmith community, well-known brands are Master Lock (www.masterlock.com),  Kryptonite (www.kryptonitelock.com )  and Abus (http://www.abus.com/eng/Mobile-Security/Bike-Safety-and-Security/Locks)

Insurance Matters!

A recent news story caught our eye about a Canadian locksmiths whose van ended up at the bottom of a sinkhole and could not be extracted. Thankfully, the van was parked with no one inside when the sinkhole opened up.

Canadian officials determined that the van – containing key machines, key blanks and additional equipment – was too deep to safely remove and would end up underground, encased in concrete. Value of the van and contents was estimated at around $27,000.

The van was just one of several operated by First Choice Locksmith, Ottawa, Canada. The business owner reports that he is fully insured and his locksmith is back out working in a rental van for the time being.

Skeleton Key Coffee

MBA USA introduces its newest product line, Skeleton Key Coffee®, an original coffee brand designed for locksmiths and members of the security industry.

Skeleton Key Coffee® Safecracker Special™ is a 100 percent Arabica bean dark roast. It is a gentle, heavy bodied coffee with silky texture, sweet chocolate aroma and flavor rich with notes of toasted nuts. Premium 100% Arabica coffee beans are expertly batch-roasted by a 5th Generation Roastmaster, then sealed into advanced recylable pods. Additional flavors are planned.

The following products are now available online:

• Safecracker Special Dark Roast - 12-pack Carton

• Safecracker Special Dark Roast - Master Case (six 12-packs)

• Safecracker Special T-Shirt (Sizes S-3X)

• Skeleton Key Coffee Mug w/ Spoon

For more information, visit http://mbausa.com/skeletonkeycoffee/

Calling All History Buffs

Folks near Lancaster, PA, may want to take in the 7th Annual Lancaster Lock Show, billed as an international show for collectors of antique and collectible padlocks, railroad memorabilia, restraints, keys and door hardware. More than 100 dealers and collectors are expected to exhibit. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lancaster Host Resort & Conference Center.

The Lancaster Lock Show is one of four major shows which take place in the United States annually.

Additional shows are:

  • West Coast Lock Show, Hawthorne, CA, dates TBA
  • Crossroads of America Lock Show, Indianapolis, IN, Dates TBA
  • Lock Museum of America Lock Show, Terryville, CT, Oct. 10

For more information on shows, as well as tips and links on lock collecting and some photo galleries opf antique locks, visit http://www.lancasterlockshow.com/

Tech Tip: Detex EAX-3500 Door Alarm

While the EAX-3500 has a selectable bypass time (5, 10, 20 and 40 minutes), most businesses choose to select the shorter times. Five minutes is the most popular bypass time setting.

Managers get distracted by customers, phone calls or employees. The EAX-3500 simply reminds the manager they have to monitor the door while it's open. The timed bypass is the amount of time the manager can be away from the back door, ensuring that the manager does not forget the back door is open, reminding everyone when the back door has been left unattended too long.

If more time is required, a manager can easily add more time, by simply using the authorized key and add more bypass time. If the task is completed quickly and the door is closed, the EAX-3500 will automatically rearm when the door is closed. However, if the back door is left unsupervised too long and the EAX-3500 sounds the 100dB alarm, the door must be closed first, and using the authorized key, the manager must take steps to reset the alarm and secure the door.

For more application questions, call Detex technical support at 800-729-3839, extension 2.