Locksmith FAQ’S

1What does it take to become a locksmith?

The term locksmith used to refer to a metal smith who made their own locks. Since it has become a specialization, it typically refers to a specialist—although today's locksmiths do not typically make their own locks.

Modern locksmithing requires in-depth knowledge of different manufactured locks and their internal makeup. Taking apart and rekeying locks, as well as complex repairs, are a frequent part of the job. Modern locks also frequently require knowledge of digital security protocols and the use of advanced software.

Locksmiths are always adapting, and the best local professionals keep up with advances in manual and digital lock designs. Focus predominantly lies with home and commercial locksmith services and when you need to keep someone out, they are the specialist to call.

2What areas in Washington do your locksmiths serve?
Guardian is proud to serve most parts of Southern Puget Sound. Our primary service areas are Pierce County, King County, and Thurston county we service West to the Coast, East to the Cascades, South to Centralia/Chehalis and North to Seattle. Areas outside of that area are served by trusted members of our strategic alliance. They are Locksmiths we have vetted for their quality of work and integrity.
3What kind of locks do your locksmiths recommend?
We recommend locks based on the needs of the client and the application of the lock. We only recommend trusted manufacturers like Schlage and Medeco for locks and locksets. Our automotive locksmith services use OEM keys. This is the case for remote head keys and transponder keys. Generics are a last resort when an OEM can not be acquired and only then if we feel it will not compromise the quality, safety, and reliability of your vehicle.
4Are your auto locks the same quality as the manufacturers?

The majority of the automotive locks we use are OEM and created by the manufacturers of the vehicles we use them in. Locks for "domestic vehicles" typically come from Briggs and Stratton. They originally manufactured Chrysler, G.M., Ford, Jeep, and additional vehicle brands. Their auto lock manufacturing arm began production in 1924.

Our company actually sells new locks to many of the areas car dealerships. Because the package says Briggs and Stratton as opposed to Ford or G.M., you won't find them visible in the showroom of any dealership you visit.

5What's the easiest way to recommend your services?

It's easy! Just refer them to our website or provide them with our phone number. Referrals don't just help our business, they help your friends and family receive the same great service you did.

Pre-programming our number into a cell phone guarantees you have it on hand even if your phone is restricted to 2g service or slower. If you have an emergency or a lockout this preparation can make the situation less stressful and resolve it more quickly.

6What should I do if I'm locked out of my car?

1. Check every entrance point available. Take a deep breath, remain calm, and try every door available including the trunk. Check your moon roof as well if you have one.

2. If you cannot get inside of your vehicle just give us a call! One our technicians will be out to assist you before you know it.

7Can you provide service for a vehicle with a transponder key?

Many new cars come standard with transponder keys. These provide extra security because a car will only start if the digital chip and key match. This does come with a downside. Losing a key can be much more costly, especially if you replace it at the dealership.

We can duplicate and create new transponder keys for the majority of vehicles. The list of makes and models we can create keys for grows every single week. Please call us for pricing and availability information.

8How quickly does your locksmith arrive?

Our dispatchers will quote you an arrival time when you call. Since our locksmiths are available 24/7, we're ready to work whenever you need us.

Depending on your location and specific needs, we'll adjust the projected arrival time accordingly to provide as accurate an estimate as possible.

9Are you able to make new keys?

We make a whole range of new keys. These include keys for a padlock, car, house, safe deposit box, file cabinet or anything else that can use a lock.

The majority of keys can be fabricated while you wait. Certain locks require more complex keys, and these may take longer, but we'll let you know before we get started.

10What's the benefit of using a locksmith company?

A locksmith has the skills and experience necessary to determine your needs and apply the best course of action. Guardian Security Group, Inc is owned by a master locksmith. We can provide lock installations and repairs for homes and businesses that meet your security needs head on.

With a large inventory and skills honed over decades, we can also repair and change your existing locks as well. The best decision you can make regarding your locks is to choose a knowledgeable local locksmith company. We work quickly, effectively, and stand behind our services. Call now.

11My key says, "Do Not Duplicate." Can I still make a copy of it?

Keys that are marked with, "Do Not Copy," "Do Not Duplicate," or "Unlawful to Copy," can most often be duplicated legally. Only certain specific US governmental keys cannot be. This is a left over relic from a time before high-security key systems had the many safeguards they do now.

Locksmiths have always been capable of duplicating these keys. All it takes is a broken or covered key head, and that warning text is gone entirely. This means these keys are falsely secure. The writing does not mean there are not duplicates in existence and you should treat safety concerns regarding these keys in the same fashion as a key without any warnings on it.

12My key is having trouble turning, inserting, or being removed.

1. Spray your lock with a high-quality penetrating lubricant. Ballistol is a reliable brand.

2. Don't be worried about overspray. Just keep a paper towel at the ready for cleanup.

3. Spray the lubricant on the bolt mechanism and inside the keyhole.

4. Move the bolt back and forth. This helps lubricate the mechanism.

If you do not know you can put a lock back together, do not take it apart.

Graphite is only good for specific older model locks. Newer locks contain small parts that can be jammed by an abundance of graphite.

13My door lock isn't working smoothly.

First follow the steps under the heading, "My key does not insert or withdraw easily or it has difficulty turning."

If this does not solve your problem, you'll want to first test the lock when the door is open. If it operates smoothly, the lock is not at fault. You may have a misalignment of the frame and the door.

You'll next want to check the door jam and threshold. Look for anything obstructing the door and that could keep the door from closing all the way. A common culprit is weatherstripping. You also want to check the door itself and frame for any warping or twisting.

An aligned door will sit level against the door stop and remain there. If it instead rests only at the bottom or top and is not flush with the stop, then the frame or door may be twisted or warped.

Binding of the hinges can lead to a door that springs open.

Wood undergoes seasonal swelling based on the humidity and temperature in the house. Even metal doors will wear over time and suffer from rust and twisting of the metal.

14My car keys are lost.

A keycode may be available for your vehicle. If you have proof of ownership you'll want to present it to your dealer. These codes may also be found on the owner's manual cover.

A key code will cost less in the long run and eliminate the need to have a key fitting done on-site. The code supplies all the information required to make a new physical key for your car or truck.

15How does a master-keying compare to a re-keying?

A re-key involves the adjusting of tumblers in a previously installed lock. This makes it so that a lock may only be opened by new keys. This allows you to keep your existing lock while enjoying the security benefits provided by a new lock.

You only want trusted individuals of your choosing to have access to your locks. Re-keying is critical when you move into a new home or someone moves out of a property you are still going to occupy.

Re-keys are especially useful if your keys are lost, and we can install, replace, and upgrade all of your locksets, cylinders, and deadbolts.

16Master Keying?

A master key system is perfect for a wide variety of applications. It's a great way to turn a large key-ring into a single key, and we can do this through the use of new locks or cylinder replacements on existing locks with identical manufacturers.

Master keying allows a lock to be opened by two independent keys. This allows you to restrict movement using specific locks and keys.

This is often accomplished by the use of key specific zones. These are common practices in hospitals, offices, and large residences. We can apply the same ability to your home locks, garden shed, gates and more.

We'll help you evaluate your needs and the functioning of your current locking system. The usefulness of a master key system depends on your current and future usage needs. Our expert technicians will help you make a sound and well-reasoned decision.

17Can I purchase tools to open a lock myself?

No. This is not legal in several states and can be argued if criminal intent can be proven in a court of law in the vast majority of others. Possession of entry tools including lockpicks and other devices may provide grounds for prosecution.

Reputable locksmiths do not sell the tools of their trade to any party. If you are interested in pursuing a career as a locksmith, however, there are many great resources to get you started. We suggest speaking to your local librarian to begin your research.

18If I can install hardware from a hardware store, why shouldn't I do it myself?

Shopping for locks at your local hardware store isn't a smart option. At best hardware store locks are residential quality, and much lower quality than this at worst. Sacrificing quality for savings also sacrifices the quality of your home security. This can lead to a much greater loss down the line.

Our high-quality commercial grade locks offer additional characteristics you won't often find in over-the-counter options. This includes built-in resistance to drills and lockpicks, protective measures from unauthorized key duplication, additional access control abilities and more.

The decision really boils down to whether or not you believe sacrificing your time and safety are worth the savings.

Manufacturers frequently create locks specifically for big-box retail. These may have the same name as their commercial counterparts with a greatly reduced material and build quality.

We won't risk your home or business with poor lock quality. You shouldn't either.

19How come my lock only works when I wiggle the key?

Locks cylinders have a series of pins in them. These thin but sturdy metal pins wear down over time. This requires a jiggling of the key to lock the pins at the same time and allow the cylinder to move.

You are also very likely using a key that has been "copied" before. These copies will not be as accurate as the original. Couple this with pin wear and it can simulate the symptoms of a breaking lock.

20The locks in my new home work fine. Why should I have them re-keyed?

YES! You do not know who the previous owners entrusted with keys. They may be in the hands of ex-roommates, ex-spouses, friends, relatives, neighbors, house cleaners, and more.

Would you give your house keys to a stranger? If the answer is NO then you want to change your locks. Home insurance may not cover a break-in and theft if it occurs because of a failure to change locks as well. This is a security vulnerability you don't want to risk.