locked out

Locked out in Brisbane

Locked out in Brisbane

It has been a busy Friday night in Brisbane. Tonight we have performed lockouts in Chermside, Upper Mount Gravatt, St Lucia and Kangaroo Point.  We were able to unlock all the doors tonight without any problems.  The number of people locked out side of their homes increases quite a bit this time of year as the weather heats up and it gets closer to Christmas.

Locked out in Brisbane. Need a locksmith to unlock a doorUnlocking the door at Upper Mount Gravatt tonight was an interesting job. We were not the first locksmith to attend the property. The first locksmith called could not unlock the door. The tried for over an hour and could not pick the lock. The tenant of the property informed us they used a pick gun to try to open the door. It was quickly evident that the lock they were trying to pick the pick gun would never have opened. It was a new style Lockwood 001 deadlatch. These locks use security pins that can not be picked with a pick gun or bumped with a bump key. We use a unique opening techinique to unlock a locked door with these Lockwood deadlocks. The customer was very happy to be back inside their apartment within a few minutes of our arrival.

It is normal that we can unlock a locked door within a few minutes. There are situations where it becomes very difficult to open a locked door. High security locks a challenge, which often can still be opened. The biggest challenges when opening locked doors are caused by lock malfunctions, broken locks and very weird situations. A broken lock can make it impossible to open a door, even when a key is available. A broken lock can often be unlocked and the door opened quite fast, although some situations require patience in figuring out exactly what is wrong with the lock. A broken latch inside a door is also a situation that requires skill to open the door.

In Brisbane there is an ever increasing number of high security locks. High security locks stop a lot of burglars from breaking into homes and businesses. They do however hinder a locksmith from quickly unlocking a door. Making a locksmiths job harder is not a bad thing! The harder it is for a locksmith, the harder it also is for criminals. Opening all types of doors with all types of locks is just part of a locksmiths job. Our locksmiths have a range of door opening techniques for many situations.

If you need a door unlocked in Brisbane, call our 24 hour locksmiths any time and we will come to you as quickly as possible.

Posted by arbus in locksmith Brisbane, locksmith Kangaroo Point, Lockwood, unlcock apartment door, unlock door, unlock house door, 0 comments
Logan Central Nightmare

Logan Central Nightmare

Emergency Locksmith

Cheapest Price Locksmith cost more then bargained for!

Around midnight we were called to an apartment at Logan Central to unlock a door. It was a standard sounding type of locksmith job, so we thought.  We unlock a lot of doors!  Most of them are to help people get back inside when they accidentally lock their keys inside. This job was different!

When we arrive to unlock the door, our client informs us that their new deadlock was fitted earlier that day. They are quite frantic as their dog is locked inside the apartment and they have been trying to get the door open for the last 7 hours! They even tell me that they had another Logan locksmith out to open the door, but he left because he could not get the door open. The customer even has the keys to the lock, so at this stage this was not a normal every day door unlocking job.

The key works in the outside cylinder of the door. But the key will only turn a tiny amount in each direction which would indicate that there is a problem inside the lock. The lock that is fitted to the door is a Lockwood 001 Deadlatch. This type of lock has an outside cylinder that is connected to the inside lock mechanism via a long tail-piece and the cylinder is screwed to the inside of the lock with 2 screws. Maybe the cylinder is not lined up with the inside of the lock? Maybe the door has dropped and the latch is binding inside the strike? Nothing really makes sense with this lock.

The only way we can get this lock open is to remove the outside cylinder. This requires drilling the outside cylinder off the door. Not something we ever like to do! Our business is based on our locksmiths being able to open locks without damage. Unfortunately in this case there is no easy way to open the door. Drilling a Lockwood 001 Deadlatch is not an easy task! The cylinders are made from some pretty hard materials!

After the lock cylinder is removed first thing that is noticed is that the tail-piece is way too long. The tail-piece should be cut to a length to match the door thickness. Peering through the cylinder hole we can also to our amazement see that there is no tail-piece receptor in this lock! Maybe it fell out? This lock is very strange indeed!

A tool is made up to pull the bolt open through the cylinder hole. With the tool inserted a twist is all that is needed to open the door. The door swings open and the customer and their dog are reunited. They were so relieved to finally get back into their home.

The lock is then removed from the door for investigation of what went wrong. It was very obvious what the problem was with this door. The lock was fitted to the door but the actuator which withdraws the bolt when the outside key is turned was not fitted! The tail-piece of the cylinder was not even cut down. The small amount of movement we could feel with the key was due to the tail-piece of the outside cylinder jambing inside the inner workings of the lock. The piece that was missing from the lock is a large piece! The size of a golf ball! Not something that could be easily missed during installation.

The really disturbing part of this installation is that the lock was never tested from the outside! If the so called locksmith had have tested the lock with the key, then they would have realised that the lock was never going to work. It worked from the inside but as soon as the door closed, there was no way to get back in from the outside. How a tradesman could have not checked this is beyond me.

It turned out that the locksmith that had fitted the lock earlier that day was advertising the cheapest prices. It’s not the customers fault of course! They just saw someone advertising a $55 callout fee and thought it was a bargain. The locksmith was not a qualified locksmith. Judging by this job, I doubt they had ever done any kind of locksmith work before at all. I am just so happy that we could get the lock open, replaced and working properly. It saved these people from spending the night on the stairs outside their Logan Apartment.

Posted by arbus in deadlock, fire door lock, lock repair, locks changed, locksmith Brisbane, locksmith service, unlcock apartment door, unlock door
Locksmith locked out

Locksmith locked out

Locked in!

locked inside room with no escape

Room of no escape!

Pretty ironic. 24 Hour Locksmith unlocks a door for someone and gets locked out while leaving the building. Had to phone my customer to let me out! Actually I wasnt locked out exactly.  I was locked inside a room, a back fire escape! While leaving I was following the fire exit signs to exit the building and end up following them into a room that has key locks on each of the exit doors.

Yeah, it is actually funny 🙂 But there is a real serious side to this story. This was a fairly new 4 story apartment building in St Lucia. The occupants of the buildings mostly foreign students. Could you imagine what would happen in a fire or other emergency if they all followed the fire exits? When my customer came to unlock the door for me, he laughed. He said, he too had done the exact same thing as I had done.  Well He didn’t have his keys either!

All buildings such as this one are suppose to get inspected regularly by a fire inspector. My mind boggles at how this building ever passed even a basic fire inspection? Having a common area such as this deadlocked is just insane. Forget the fire regulations. Just common sense would tell you there is a problem with this would it not?

Well, on leaving this building I also saw this unit door, right next to the front door. Apparently deadlocked steel security doors are also allowed on apartment doors? Not sure who the fire inspectors are at this building but it is not the only death trap building I have seen this week. Earlier on, at a house designed for student accommodation, a customer was telling me how a fire inspector had disabled bedroom door locks. The problem was that in disabling them, he made it possible to get trapped inside all the bedrooms!

Fire door with still bars door

unit door with steel bar door and deadlock!

I would suggest to people that they call a trade qualified locksmith when they need their locks repaired or replaced. A locksmith is required to do a four year apprenticeship in which they learn all aspects of being a locksmith. An apprentice receives training from a technical college and has 4 years of on the job training. Many locksmiths specialise in a particular branch of locksmithing, such as commercial, automotive or access control. At the end of their apprenticeship they should be the most knowledgeable tradespeople on the subject of locks. Why would anyone use an untrained person to advise them about their locks and security? Makes little sense to me. I would always check that the tradesperson that comes to my door is actually a trades person and not a pretending to be a locksmith. You pay for a locksmith make sure it is an actual locksmith you get.

Posted by arbus in fire door lock, locksmith Brisbane, unlcock apartment door
Please don’t drill open my lock

Please don’t drill open my lock

What? you want to drill open my Lockwood lock?

Lockwood 001

Lockwood Deadlatch DN315

Lockwood 001 deadlatch cylinderLockwood Anti-Bump Padlock

Nearly all the domestic range of Lockwood pin tumbler locks use a specific anti-bump lock cylinder.
The lock cylinder not only makes bumping much harder but it also makes the locks harder to pick open.  Good for security, but when you lock the keys inside your home unlocking the door might be a bit harder then the average lock.

When these locks hit the market even we had troubles opening them.  They are a challenge to open if you are not very skilled in lock picking! For a small change in design Lockwood did quite a good job at making their locks much harder to open.

So the question you might be asking is why are locksmiths still drilling open these locks when the keys are locked inside or lost?
Well, you would have to ask the person who comes to open your lock armed with a drill that question.   I could guess, that they haven’t taken the time to gain the skills they require to pick open locks?

I would definitely ask if the locksmith you call to open your door can open your lock without any damage and without drilling the lock open.  It might not sound like a big deal, but it will take much longer to drill open these locks and cost you for a replacement lock.

So how can you tell which locks have anti-bump cylinders?  Currently they are in all the domestic range of Lockwood pin tumbler locks and as far as I have seen Whitco use an anti-bump cylinder configuration as well.  It is not only Lockwood and brand name locks that use anti-bump cylinders.  Many locksmiths also add anti-bump cylinders to standard looking locks to increase security as well as registered keyed locks.

Posted by arbus in lock bumping, locksmith service, Lockwood, 0 comments
One thing you should think about in Storm Season

One thing you should think about in Storm Season

There is one specific type of job we get called out to quite a bit after a lightening storm.

locked out of garage
That is to unlock houses because the power has gone off.  Why?  Well, a lot of people drive out of their garage and click the remote to lock their door.  They don’t take a set of keys with them, only a garage remote.
Usually the remote is all you need to get back inside your house.  Except for when the power goes off, or a lightning strike makes your garage opener malfunction.  If your garage opener is all you have to unlock your house then you are going to be stuck outside.   As most storms happen in the late afternoon most of our calls to open a locked house in this situation happen at night which is not the best time to be locked outside.
All you really need to be prepared for this lockout situation is to have an alternative entry into your home.  A set of keys is not reliant on the power being switched on and will always give you access in any situation.  It is not expensive to get an extra set of keys cut for your house or apartment and it will save you money and the inconvenience of being locked out after a storm or power failure.
On some properties and townhouses you might even be locked out of your main gate or foyer door if there is no power.  Going keyless is great, but just check your entry requirements and find out what you need to do if there is no power.   Hopefully we wont have destructive storms this Summer although it is pretty much impossible to predict.  Being prepared is the best strategy.

Posted by arbus in blackout, garage door, unlock door, unlock garage, 0 comments