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Tech Talk: Shawn

by Stacey Simmons
Who better to ask about locks than the knowledgeable technicians who work on them every day? This month, we’re featuring Shawn. He has over 21 years of industry experience, beginning as a technician and working his way up to Proposals Manager. His specialty has always been in doors and frames. He has taken numerous trainings for fire doors, egress doors, life safety, door hardware, and automatic operators.

Q: What is your favorite type of lock to repair/replace? Why?
A: It has been many years since I’ve installed a lock “professionally” but one thing I enjoyed as a technician was fresh installing locks on doors not prepped for them, particularly wood doors. Carefully chiseling a latch on a wood door, or strike on a wood frame, was very satisfying. It spoke to the craftsman I am at heart.

Q: What advice would you give about home locks and why?
A: Your locks are only as good as your doors. I would guess 99% of break-ins are smash and grabs, meaning the majority of criminals are not going to spend the time trying to pick your lock. They are going to beat, pry or kick your door in. Upgrade your doors and frames, if possible. This can be difficult since strong doors are not necessarily aesthetically pleasing doors. If you cannot upgrade your doors and frames, look at reinforcing them. There are products on the market that help prevent door failure during forced entry. Edge reinforcements, security pins, security strikes, and other similar products, that if installed correctly, will slow down an attempted break-in. Now that you have the strongest door and frame you can have, get a grade 1 deadbolt. You want a solid bolt with a 1” throw. This is the best type of lock you can have on your door. If you must distribute keys to cleaners, babysitters, or others, you may want to consider a restricted keyway. This ensures individuals with your key cannot make unauthorized copies of the key.

Q: When it comes to proposals, what is something you would like clients to know? 
A: Don’t procrastinate to request a proposal. Many times, the locks / keying are the last thing to be done on a project. I can’t count how many times we’ve been called at the last minute to key locks to a building master system or provide cores and key to a building master system but the hardware or keyway is wrong. This can potentially cause very long delays in finishing a project. Please call us at the beginning of a project. We will ensure that the correct hardware and keyway are spec’d. We are here to help!