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Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find some of our most frequently answered questions. If this dosn't answer your question please feel free to call us, we are always happy to give information or advice that may help. 

I lost my keys, do you have a "master" key?
A master key is a key that can open multiple locks in a master key system. Each lock will generally have it's own key, while the "master" key will usually open all locks. Additionally, if you are on a mastered system the locksmith must have access to the system listing in order to make additional keys or change your locks to a different key. 

How are warranties handled?
All hardware warranties are established and covered by the individual manufacturer. Quite often they will have us perform the service for them but that is their option, not ours. We are very selective about the hardware we use.  We would rather spend a few dollars more to buy quality. Check the package that the part came in, warranty information should be on it or in it. In 2016 we started offering select clients a preventative maintenance program. With this program we keep track of all warranty information on new products installed. This program can easily save you several thousand or more each year. 

I want to buy a safe, can you help?
We  ship primarily to our clients, but we have a few available in our shop.  Our distributors have gun safes, wall safes, floor safes, free standing safes, vaults, gun lockers, fire safes, drop safes, and deposit safes. Most styles, colors and finishes available and ready to ship.  Take a minute and talk to us before buying a safe.  We will answer all of your questions without any pressure. 

Can you come out and work on my car?
We offer full in-the-field locksmith services. 

What are your hours and days of operation?
Empire Lock and Safe is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m for routine service.  We are available 24/7 for emergencies.
What is a master key system?
If you were to randomly buy locks and install them, there is a chance that someone's key would let them go where they shouldn't. A master key system prevents such happenings. A master key system assigns every key a unique biting that makes sure no unwanted access is granted. That same system also permits people who need common access to certain areas to do so without the need for a fist full of keys. It can also allow changing certain areas without having to re-key the entire complex. If you have many and varied access issues or a high employee turnover you may want your locksmith to set up a  master key system. It will be cost effective in the long run. 

Do you work on door closers?
Yes!  We work on all door hardware.

When should I re-key my business?
Any time you feel the potential loss to the company would exceed the cost of upgrading you should seriously consider updating your system. Red flags should be such things as removal of an employee who had keys, missing inventory with no evidence of forced entry, and the fact that you haven't updated the locks for a long time. We strongly urge you to consider a restricted key system. 

How can I limit pilferage?
Depending in the amount of loss, you may want to consider monitoring (CCTV) systems, user logging, time limited access, and/or a key control system. We can help you find a solution that fits your budget, we are always here to answer your questions. 
Exactly what is re-keying?
When a lock is re-keyed the "bitting" of the lock is changed to allow a new key to be used but exclude the old key. The bitting is set by the internal parts that move when the key is inserted. The bitting must match the cuts on the key or the lock will not release. By using your old lock mechanism that is still in good working order you effectively have a "new" lock at a greatly reduced price.

How secure is my lock?
If your lock was installed by the builder of the house there is a good chance many sub contractors still have keys. Please keep in mind that the for the most part, since most home invasions and burglaries do not involve forcing the lock. Most contractors buy cheap off brand locks, you may want to consider upgrading to a better quality lock. As the local security professional we have all kinds of suggestion.  Many you can do yourself. 

Is there a way to hide a key at my house?
While hiding keys is never as secure as keeping personal possession of them there are a variety of devices that let you store keys for emergency use. Realtors use a "key box" to store keys so they don't have to carry them. We sell a similar product that mounts to the wall. They have a cover with push buttons where you enter a code to open the door and access the key. 

Is there a "master" key that fits all locks?
No, there isn't. This is one of the urban myths. If that were true there would be no locksmith trade and all burglars would be rich.

Should I use double cylinder deadbolts
We DO NOT sell, install or recommend the use of double cylinder deadbolts. 
A double cylinder deadbolt system makes you use a key no matter which side of the door you are on. When you think of a fire or even worse a home envasion, you want to get out quick without looking for a key. 

What is "keyless entry"?
Even before the "digital age" there were pushbutton types of locks that allowed you to enter a "combination:. They are still around and have a great track record. Now, however, there are newer digital locks that perform functions impossible for the mechanical types, such as: usage logging, time and data access control, single use function and invalid code alarm. 

Is there a pick-proof lock?
There are no totally pickproof locks. There are, however, locks that are so hard to pick that there is virtually no chance of compromising them. Price by itself does not guarantee security. We have several options to choose from. 

Can you make my house work on only one key?
You can usually key locks alike if one key will enter all of the candidate locks. There are a few exceptions, we commonly find mismatched hardware. Storm – door locks often need to be upgraded to one’s with re-key able cylinders.  What does "master-key" mean? The purpose of master-keying is to reduce the number of keys you have to carry. We work with a lot of property investors. By master-keying all the locks the investor only needs to carry one key for all of their property. 
I lost my combination to my safe, do you have it on record?
The short answer is no. We do not keep records on safe combinations, both because of the potential liability involved and because of the logistics of the situation. However, if you did not have the combination change when the safe was installed the manufacturer may have a record of the combination that was on the safe when it shipped. We need the manufacture, model, and serial number of you safe to check into it. 

What is a floor safe?
A floor safe is an all-metal safe that is buried in the floor of your home or office. It offers extremely good burglar and fire protection since all but the lid is buried. The two main downsides to floor safes are that you must consider how condensation can effects the contents  and that you must get down to the floor level to retrieve the contents. 

Can a safe be bolted down?
Most, if not all, jewelry (burglar resistant) and gun safes have provisions to bolt them down and prevent movement. 

Can I store valuables in a "Gun Safe"?
As in a lot of safe questions the answer is both yes and no. Gun safes are primarily designed to protect guns from heat and improper access. The burglary protection is mon nearly that of a true "jewelry" or "burglar resistant" safe. Thus, the overriding consideration is whether you feel the protection offered by the gun safe is adequate for the value of the contents. 

What is a "Fire Safe"?
A "Fire Safe" is just what the name implies and no more, it is designed to protect your documents from fire. It is designed with a thin metal skin and lots of insulation. 

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