Fire safety is physical security. In 2019, there were 1.3 million fire incidents inside the United States. This has been fairly average over the last decade, since 2010. In general fire incidents are on the decline but they are still too common.

Fire-rated doors and door hardware exist for a reason and a purpose. They can mean the difference between minor damage and a total fire loss. In some cases fire doors are mandated either by local building code, the architectural plans, the fire marshal, or other AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction). Fire-rated equipment may be mandated in these cases is not optional. You should consult with a competent professional to determine your legal requirements. Here are some uses of fire rated doors and hardware.


1. Stairwells / Elevators

Building codes usually require that the doors accessing stairwells and elevators be fire rated. In addition to being fire rated doors in these cases might also have special features that help mitigate smoke. Aside from being dangerous or deadly to inhale, smoke reduces visibility and increases the time required to evacuate a building. These fire door assemblies need routine inspection.

2. Garages

Roll up gates and garages can also have fire ratings. These types of gates require very specific installation and specialized maintenance. Given that roll up gates and garages have cars many times doors adjacent to garages will carry a fire rating.

3. Hallways

It’s not uncommon for hallway doors to be fire rated. Fire doors slow the spread of the fire, so installing one for a hallway can protect a large amount of space. Some buildings might not require a fire rated door for hallway but as a facility manager or building owner it can be a smart upgrade. Hallway doors might also require a certain smoke rating as well.

4. Vulnerable Areas

Not every building or business is the same. Some companies have particular assets that are more valuable necessitating that the room they’re held in be more secure. This might mean installing locking hardware on the door or upgrading the door to a fire rated door. For example, a business might have a room with two desks that holds significant value for the business. It might be wise to upgrade the doors leading to and from that area with fire rated doors.


The East side suburbs have growing reports of car theft. Don’t panic, it’s still not that common and there are few simple things you can do to help protect yourself.


Don’t Leave your Keys in your Car

This is the number one thing you can start doing today to reduce your chances of having your car stolen. Most people who call us for locksmith service after their car was stolen and then recovered left their keys in the car. Don’t let the car run while you are making a quick trip to the store!

Lock your Doors

Many cars can be stolen without complicated tools. Locking your car doors helps prevent thieves from stealing items inside your car or the car itself. When you’re done parking your car – roll up the car windows and lock your car.

Don’t Leave your Spare Keys in Your Car

A surprising number of people leave spare keys in their car. If your car is locked the keys inside won’t help you. If you’ve lost your keys, after someone opens the car, you can use them to drive. However, it’s generally not the safest idea to store a spare key inside the vehicle. Instead, try carrying the spare in a day bag, in a wallet, or in a purse.

Don’t Leave Valuables in Your Car

Thieves might first be attracted to a vehicle if they see valuables inside your car. If you must store valuables inside your car, put them in the trunk or somehow hid them from plain sight.

How are People Stealing Cars

People have a perception of car thieves using a slim jim tool on the window and lock to open the door. Then they go inside the car and “hot wire” it. While some version of this is possible and certainly easier to do with some models than others this isn’t really the most common way.

1) They’re Using Tools

Here is an article from News 5 Cleveland that provides some details about tools and methods this crew was using. Essentially, they had a method for a certain type of car and repeated it. This was a more sophisticated care theft ring that is not the most common way people steal cars

2) Someone Left a Key in the Car

This is probably the most common, and preventable way, people steal cars. Someone left a key in the car on the seat or even left the car running.

3) Carjacking

Unfortunately, this is becoming the popular way that people are stealing cars. Transponders, high security key systems, and smart fobs are making it harder to use brute force methods similar to “hot wiring” the car. They need the physical key or car fob in order to start the car. There are several methods that people use.

       A) Fake Car accidents

One method is by using two different vehicles. The criminals will bump a car. The victim will stop their car and get out. At this point, a second vehicle will also stop, someone will get out and then grab the keys from the victim. The perpetrators will then drive off in their two original cars and the stolen one. If you are in an accident, it’s a good idea to stop, call the police, and remain in your vehicle.

      B) Wait and Rush

Car thieves will wait outside someone’s house early in the morning. They’re waiting for them to leave for the day. People are generally waiting for their morning coffee to kick in and are thinking about their day. When the person takes out their keys they’ll pop out, grab the keys, and take off with the vehicle. Sometimes people are pushed or assaulted in other ways. You never know what a criminal might do if they encounter resistance. Generally, criminals are not looking for a fight, they are looking for an easy way of making money. If they encounter resistance they may act out very violently to prevent getting caught. It’s wise to have good auto insurance and just let the person take the car. Most of the time the vehicles are recovered fairly soon after they are taken. Surprisingly, they are often not even damaged

Carjackings are a frightening thing. It’s pretty traumatic being robbed of one of your most valuable assets and/or being physically assaulted during a car theft. One thing you can do is have ample lighting outside your house and on your driveway. The second, is installing a security camera system. A visible security camera system will prevent many people from targeting that particular home or area.



If you lost your car keys don’t panic. And please don’t call 10 different locksmiths and see which one arrives the fastest!

Car keys are no different from any other lost item and the steps for trying to find them are the very similar.

First, try and look for the missing car key or car fob. If you’re car is in the driveway, there’s a good chance the keys are inside the house. The first thing you should do is retrace your steps. Look inside the car, see if they fell just outside the car or on your way into the house. Most people put them down in an unusual spot hoping to remember and forget.

1) Retrace your steps
2) Look in all of your usual spots. The places you toss items, papers, things you “don’t want to forget” etc.
3) Start looking in odd places
4) Use your spare key until you find the one you lost


Tips for Searching

Try to remain calm. Getting into a panic leads to frustration and won’t help you find your keys. I know, easy to say, “don’t panic” but it’s true.

Take breaks. You don’t need to search for an hour straight until you find them. Look a little, take a break. Odds are, as you move about your house, you’ll find the keys in an odd place you swore you wouldn’t forget.

Most people simply misplace their keys. They typically don’t fall out of purses or pockets.

If you’ve not in your house, ask for help. People are pretty understanding of the frustration of losing your keys. If you’re at a store notify the manager. They can put a lookout for the car keys and be in touch with you if someone reports them to the lost and found.


How to Prevent Losing your Keys

It might not help you now but there are some things you can do in the future to prevent losing your keys

1) Dedicate a place to drop your keys. Everyone likes coming home kicking off their shoes and relaxing. Having a dedicated space to drop off your wallet, car keys, and other items can help reduce the chances you’ll lose your keys in the future

2) Get an apple airtag or similar product. That way if you lose your keys in your house you can find them easier. Similarly, if they are lost out in the world you would be able to geolocate them.

3) Get spare keys before it’s an issue. If you bought a used car it’s not uncommon for them to only provide one key. Set up an appointment with a locksmith and create 1, 2, 3 spare keys for back ups or for other members of your household. It’s much easier for a locksmith to make keys when you have a working key than when you lose all of your keys. Most locksmiths will welcome the opportunity of scheduling a time instead of dealing with an emergency. They will more than likely give you a bulk rate if you are buying more than one key

If you have tried everything, but you can’t still find your keys, call a locksmith to help you. If you happen to find your keys after the fact

If you’re in the Beachwood, Shaker Heights, University Heights area give us a call. We’d be glad to help you out for emergency service or for a scheduled appointment.