Ask An Expert

Some facts you need to know about your “master key”

By Frank Fourchalk A master key is a key capable of operating several different locks, each lock being operated by its own separate key (change key). Many people think that they have a master key because they have one key … Continue reading


Inmate Shares Tips To Protect Homes From Thieves

By Angela Yingling SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. — We found a man who knows a lot about break-ins and what burglars look for. He’s a convicted burglar serving time for his crime who offered some tips on how to keep yourself safe. It’s … Continue reading


Security is the key to latch-key kids

By Frank Fourchalk With more and more mothers rejoining the work force and the number of single-parent families increasing, “latch-key kids” has become a household name. Because of this, parents must educate their children on the importance of staying safe … Continue reading


Security bars increase your safety

By Frank Fourchalk It is estimated that 6 out of every 10 burglaries begin with entry through a window at the back of the house. Many burglaries are moments of opportunity created by simply easing wider an already open window. … Continue reading


Secure your door locks and frames

By Frank Fourchalk In most cases it only takes and intruder a few seconds to force open a locked door. As a homeowner it is your responsibility to secure your home to a level at which you feel most comfortable.  … Continue reading


Removable thumb turn for security and fire safety

By Frank Fourchalk Question: My husband and I own a store-front business. We have a commercial glass door with a key on the inside as well as the outside for security reasons. The fire department recently did a fire inspection … Continue reading


Rekey locks instead of replacing them

By Frank Fourchalk Question: I changed the locks on my home by purchasing all new deadbolts and replaced every lock. My neighbor informed me that I didn’t need to buy new locks. He told me a locksmith can somehow change … Continue reading


Keys cut won’t fit door lock

By Frank Fourchalk Question: I had a key cut for my home at the hardware store. When I tried it in my lock, it didn’t work. I went back and had another key cut, with the same result. Why can’t … Continue reading


Key Issues On Your Security

By Frank Fourchalk Last week I had the pleasure of running into Ron Cole an old locksmith friend of mine. I’m sure many of you remember Ron when he owned and operated “Coles Locksmith” for many years on the Peninsula. … Continue reading


Keeping thieves away from family heirlooms

By Frank Fourchalk You must have a back-up plan to protect your irreplaceable possessions, should a burglar manage to penetrate your existing security. All too often an evening ends with the discovery of missing heirloom jewelry. Stolen replaceable items are … Continue reading


Invisible Security

By Frank Fourchalk Meeting with dealer representatives is always exiting, especially when they offer a unique product that leaves a lasting impression. Then again anything that offers bulletand bomb resistance is sure to grab my attention. I’m talking about my … Continue reading


Intermittent lock problems

By Frank FourchalkQuestion: I have a very unusual problem with my apartment lock. Sometimes it locks and unlocks smoothly and other times I can hardly open my door. What causes this strange problem? Fourchalk: Check to see if the lock … Continue reading


How to change a powerbolt combination

By Frank Fourchalk Question: I have purchased a new home that has a Weiser Powerbolt on the front door. To enter through this door, I just punch in a code number. It is very handy not having to use a … Continue reading


Door chains hold weak link to home security

By Frank Fourchalk Ever since the first mechanical wood locks were born some 4000 years ago in Egypt, we have been on a steady mission to improve lock technology. In to-day’s world we would no sooner consider installing a 4000 … Continue reading


Don’t let cleaners clean you out

By Frank Fourchalk Question: We have recently hired a cleaning company to clean our home once a week while we are at work. We gave them a key to our home because we couldn’t be there at the time when … Continue reading


Differing keys a problem

By Frank FourchalkQuestion: I rent my apartment and have just discovered that my apartment key fits my friend’s apartment that lives in the same building. We compared our two keys and they look different. How can this happen? Fourchalk: This … Continue reading


Demographics indicate increase in crime ahead

By Frank Fourchalk There’s a segment of our population that has become more evident than ever before. Seeing these individuals lying on bus stop benches, pushing their worldly possessions in rusty old shopping carts or sleeping in their car is … Continue reading


Cutting keys for a high-security deadbolt

By Frank Fourchalk Question: My mother has a Mul-T-Lock high-security deadbolt in her front door. She would like to have another key cut, however, she is not well enough to go up to the locksmith. Can I get a key … Continue reading


Categorizing a burglar

By Frank Fourchalk The dictionary defines a burglar as, “A thief who enters a building with intent to steal.” I prefer to define a burglar as, “Quite often the person or persons you’d least expect to steal from you.” Unfortunately,

… Continue reading

Can my keys be copied?

By Frank FourchalkQuestion: If I have “Do Not Copy” stamped on my key, does that mean it can not be copied? Fourchalk: “Do Not Copy” in most cases is nothing more that a polite request to the holder of the … Continue reading


Builder’s Deficiencies are Homeowners Risks

By Frank Fourchalk Don’t risk you and your families safety because your home builder doesn’t know anything about proper lock installation. It’s become common place discovering locks that are not installed properly in many new homes.The problem starts when a … Continue reading


Breaking into the housing market

By Frank Fourchalk First time home owners are not the only people breaking into the housing market. Housebreakers of a different kind are capitalizing on the security shortcomings of home owners to make their mark on crime. The ever-growing fault … Continue reading


Apartment security can be confusing

By Frank Fourchalk Question: I am new to apartment living and want to make my unit more secure. I have looked at other people’s doors and everybody seems to have a different idea on how to secure their apartment. I … Continue reading


Apartment security begins with good communication

By Frank Fourchalk Limiting risk to apartment complexes starts with communication. Apartment security hinges on the lines of communication being open between each and every owner. I recently attended a break-in at an apartment building and while repairing the damage, … Continue reading


Apartment intruders entering through front door

By Frank Fourchalk Question: Our apartment building has had three break-ins in three months. The intruders seem to be coming in through the front door. After our second break-in the strata council voted to install a 12-inch blocker plate on … Continue reading


Anti-theft Screws

By Frank Fourchalk Question: I would like to replace my lock on my back door, but I can’t get it off. It has a weird type of screw holding it onto the door. How can I get it off … Continue reading


Off the Wall’ Approach to Graffiti

By Frank Fourchalk I never gave much thought to graffiti in the past. However lately I  have seen more evidence of this senseless crime surfacing around our  community. Graffiti for the most part is the marking, drawing or  etching of … Continue reading


Always keep inventory of your possessions updated

By Frank Fourchalk As a security consultant, covering all aspects of home and business  security is my business. Unfortunately, dealing with victims of break  and enters is not my favorite part. However, I usually turn a negative into a positive … Continue reading


Access to Master Keys

By Frank Fourchalk Question: Is it true that locksmiths have access to master keys that will open any door in any home? Fourchalk: No. That’s an old wives’ tale. The only way to open  doors is by either picking a … Continue reading


10 home security tips to keep your children safe

By Frank Fourchalk After several e-mails from concerned parents, I have created what I feel are the 10 most important home security tips to teach your children. Please review this list with your youngsters and make sure they understand each … Continue reading


Burglars bank on your blunders

By Frank Fourchalk With the nice weather upon us, we seem to fall into this mindset that the bad guys are in hibernation. Winters over, the coast is clear, so lets throw open all the doors and windows. A burglary isn't going to happen to me, it's just too nice outside! … Continue reading


Stay safe: don't give burglars a break

There are simple ways to make sure your home is safe. By VENA EATON, Toronto Sun. The lights are on but nobody's home. And that's a good thing, if you're a homeowner. Keeping your casa secure from burglars, however, takes a bit of forethought and planning, particularly during the holiday season … Continue reading


Reinforcing security on doors next to glass panels

By Frank Fourchalk 

Question: I have a deadbolt in my front door with a thumb turn on the inside, however, there is a glass panel right next to it. How can I make my door more secure?

Fourchalk: There are several ways to secure doors with glass panels … Continue reading


Understanding fire and burglary constraints of safes

By Frank Fourchalk When purchasing a safe it's important to determine whether you will be requiring full security or just fire protection. Safes vary greatly in quality and price. Some aren't much more burglary resistant than a locked drawer. And many won't protect their contents against fire. Continue reading


Securing your sliding glass doors

By Frank Fourchalk Check your sliding glass door to see if it has an actual lock on it. Sliding glass doors usually do not have locks on them, only latches. These latches are usually made of soft aluminum or cast metal and quite often become worn or out of adjustment. … Continue reading