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A Phoenix Locksmith Blog

The Life of a Locksmith, this blog follows the owner and locksmith of Andrews Lock and Key around the Phoenix metro area servicing Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert, and Chandler 24 hour a day 7 days a week with scheduled calls and emergency calls.Check us out every Sunday on Independent Talk 1100 KFNX at 11:00 AM on 1100 AM radio.  

Authorities say a local locksmith saved a childs life.

     As locksmiths we sometimes find our selves in interesting and potentially dangerous situations. One locksmith in Hall County, GA found him self in that situation. A mother tied her infant sons feet, hands, and mouth with packing tape and tossed him in the back seat on the floor board of her car. Why she did this is unclear.

     The car was at the end of a road by a lake. She said she didn't know the child was back there and that she had gone to the lake to sit and think. After realizing she locked her keys in the car she started going door to door in a near by neighborhood. She was asking to borrow a phone to call a locksmith.

     No one answered the door but one person did call a locksmith and 911 to report a suspicious person on the secluded road by the lake. The locksmith arrived before police to open the car. Authorities say he probably saved the child's life. After opening the car and reaching in to grab the keys the locksmith heard the child crying in the back seat.

     More details on this situation as well as the entire article are linked below. As locksmiths we rarely know what we are getting in to when we get a call. I have talked to several experienced locksmiths and they all say the same thing "You always get some amount of butterflies in your gut when you're heading to a job. That never changes.". After hearing that and reading this article I now understand better why I always get a little nervous before heading out to a job.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/toddler-bound-packing-tape-locked-car

Big re-key needing a locksmith in Chandler.

     Today was a pretty slammed day. We got tons of calls from people needing a locksmith in Chandler. One of these jobs came from an associate of Andrews that owns another lock company in town. He needed us to go re-key a house in Chandler and take a look at a safe the customer lost the keys to. He was stuck on another job on the other side of town and needed this customer taken care of.

     Andrew sent me out on my own ahead of him to get some info on the safe and start the re-key. He planned on meeting up with me later. The customer was very nice and gave me the back story on the house. I guess her father owned it and recently passed away. He never told anyone where the keys were to the safe and the customer had no idea who all had keys to the house.

     So I took come pictures of the safe and sent them to Andrew. Then I walked the property getting a count on how many locks I needed to re-key. Total count was 17 locks. This was going to take me a while, even longer once I found out the customer didn't have keys to all of the locks. Of course the locks she didn't have keys for were the Schlage locks that require a key to get the lock cylinder out, or you have to pick them open and then take them out.

     After I started pulling locks I realized that some of the locks (two to be exact) were not the Schlage key way but were the Kwikset key way. The customer didn't want to replace any locks so I let her know she would have two different keys. She didn't have a problem with that so I went back to pulling locks. Luckily Andrews associate has a shop that was right around the corner so I was able to pull all of the locks and head in to his shop to work on getting them re-keyed. It makes life easier that is for sure.

Electronic Strike Installed in Phoenix, AZ

     So this week started off with us getting a call from a Jim Anderson over at Copperstate Lock and Security. He needed  a little help covering a job this week. Jim only works with the best and most professional Locksmith in Phoenix so it is always a complement when he asks us for help. His schedule was slammed and he needed some assistance covering this job.

     He let us know the customer needed an electronic strike installed. We figured this would be a normal commercial property and scheduled the job for a Tuesday. When we showed up we found out that this is a residential house that was being used to house a few commercial suites. The unit we were working on was for a new tenant wanting to control access from foot traffic passing by an exterior door.

     We also found out that the contractor hired to do the renovations was the one that hired us to install the strike. He led us to the door and after Andrew got his first look at the door he noticed a few problems from the start. This property was old, nearly 100 years old and this door looked like one of the original doors that was on the house when it was built. The door and the door jam had been previously modified to fit different door hardware and had been patched and re-patched a few times.

     Andrews main concern was that the door jam didn't have enough material for the strike hardware to install to. Since the main purpose of this door was to restrict access and was going to be locked the majority of the time; it is important the hardware is mounted correctly and to a solid surface that can withstand being pulled on. We let the customer know we would need to bring in someone else, a colleague of Andrews named Vinnie.

     Vinnie is a general contractor that Andrew calls from time to time for special projects like this. Andrew wanted to modify the door jam and beef it up some so it could handle the new hardware. We let the customer know we had someone coming in to give us a consultation on the job and we would let him know what needed to happen after we spoke with him. Vinnie showed up and took a look at the door jam. He let us know that he would need to cut out the weak part of the door jam and make a custom piece to house the electronic strike and then mount it in to the current door jam.

     Andrew spoke with the customer and let him know the issues with the door jam and what we could do to solve the problem. He let the customer know this would need to be done before the electronic strike could be installed. After some more discussion Andrew scheduled us to come back out the next day with the custom made piece and install the strike. Vinnie went back to our shop along with some measurements as well as pictures of the door jam and got to work making the custom piece the strike would mount to.

     The next day we went back to the house and got to work installing everything. Vinnie cut out a section of the door jam and installed the custom piece he made. It is kind of complicated to try and explain everything Vinnie did in a blog post. The pictures I took at the job site are below and show what was done with better detail. After Vinnie was done Andrew and I got to work installing the strike. Because Vinnie built everything custom to house the strike that part went very smoothly.

     This job was a big learning experience for me. We saved the customer a ton of money by being able to salvage their current door jam and door. We were able to get the electronic strike they purchased installed so that it would line up with a 100 year old door and door jam that were never meant to work with an electronic strike. This is where a professional and experienced locksmith shows why he is needed.



Locksmith in Tempe, AZ | Condo Re-Key

     So today I had a job that came in as a re-key. It wasn't until I was on my way that Andrew told me the constable was there waiting for me. In my head I was hoping it would go better than the first eviction/lockout that I went to. I got on site, greeted the Realtor and constable, and got to work on picking the lock. A few seconds later the person being evicted said something through the door.


     The constable talked to her for a while and she opened the door. When she opened the door I stepped off to the side so I wasn't in the way. I discussed the job with the Realtor a little and killed some time while the constable and other police officers on site talked to the tenant. After a few minutes the Realtor asked the police if I could get started and they said sure.


     I walked up stairs and started taking the locks off the condo. One of the knobs was really old, worn out, and barely working. The deadbolt was in good working order. I let the Realtor know she needed a new knob, I quoted her the price, and she said to get it done. I ran back to the truck, re-keyed everything, and headed back.


     The new knob didn't fit in the door so I had to take the drill and open up the holes a little. After some persuasion on the door with a drill and no visible signs I drilled on the door I got the new knob installed. This job took way longer than it should have, mostly because I was having to dodge police and fire dept. personnel the entire time. The tenant ended up being very mentally disturbed. I don't want to go in to a lot of details but she definitely needed some help and the police and counselors on site were super nice and patient with this lady.


     I was really impressed with how sensitive the police handled everything including trying to get me in and out of there as fast as possible. I was just standing in the back trying to stay out of their way and they were pretty cool about me doing my work. Although it took a while and I had to drill on the door the job went pretty smoothly. An experienced locksmith would probably laugh at this story but to me is was pretty interesting. But everything seems pretty interesting when you're new to this.

Jammed Door needing a 24 hour Mesa Locksmith

            So we were right about to wrap up for the night and go home when Andrew got a call. Being a 24 hour locksmith in Mesa we get calls at random hours. The customer had locked them selves out of a bed room and needed us to come help them. The complex was massive and it took us a while to find their unit but we found it. When we walked in the customers explained to us that they had been trying to open the door them selves and think they might have damaged it more.

            Andrew and I took a look and it looked like a crime scene. They had kitchen utensils all over the floor, the door jam and door were all chewed up, and there was debris all over the place. It looked like they had been ripping in to this thing for hours. I tried picking it but it felt really awkward. Andrew stepped in and figured out right away it was a quick change lock similar to kwikset but from another company.

           We let the girls know we would have to drill the lock, they agreed, so I ran to the truck and grabbed everything we needed to drill the lock. After we got it drilled the door still wouldn't open. The entire lock was off the door, just an opening where you could see the back of the latch. We tried picking up on the door, pushing on it firmly in different spots, anything we could think of to try and open this door and it wouldn't budge. Upon further examination of the door we were able to figure out that the girls had actually split the door jam and that the latch was probably getting wedged in the jam and not allowing the door to open.

           Andrew was afraid of damaging the door jam further and informed the customers of the situation. They asked us to just get to door open any way we could. Andrew and I gave a pretty healthy shove on the door and it opened. The customer was very upset that they broke their door but were grateful that we were able to get them in. Andrew recommended a good contractor to come out and repair the damage, we put a new lock on the door at the customers request and we were on our way. The moral of this post is to never use to much force. If you locked your self out just call a locksmith. It is almost always cheaper and less stressful in the long run.

Andrews Lock and Key - A 24-Hour Phoenix Locksmith


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Locksmith Reviews & Testimonials


5-starsout of 5 stars

Andrew and his staff have done A LOT of work for my company and myself personally. They have always been timely, very communicative, and just all around good guys. Andrew has always given me the BEST PRICE in town and he is always easy to get a hold of when emergencies arise (I've locked myself out a few times). Thank you Andrews Lock and Key!

Josh Harris, via Google+Originally posted on google plus