Restricted key systems prevent unauthorized persons from making key copies. But what system should you choose? There’s Medeco, ASSA, Mul-T-Lock, GMS, and a several others. We’ve recently added ASSA Maximum + to our lineup of restricted key systems. ASSA Maximum + is patented until 2030. This provides an extra layer of security preventing unauthorized individuals or even other locksmiths from making copies.

ASSA keys don’t just have key cuts. They also have a sidebar. The sidebar is nearly impossible to replicate without specialized milling equipment. We can provide ASSA systems with different sidebars to ensure that other people can’t duplicate your keys.

ASSA cylinders are extremely high quality and the keys simply don’t break. Other restricted key systems can have issues with keys breaking. ASSA keys are thick and withstand the toughest users.

If you’re interested in a high security, UL listed, and/or master key system contact us about our ASSA options.

There is a lot of confusion about how alarm systems work. Firstly, what is monitoring. Monitoring means there is a company dedicated to answering calls, alerts, responding to those alerts, and calling local police and fire. Self-monitored simply means that the system will notify YOU, the user, that something has occurred and it’s up to you how to proceed. Obviously, the small cost of having a monitored system is extremely beneficial. There are people handling the system 24/7 even when you sleep, are out of the house, or on vacation.  A monitored alarm system saves precious time in case of an incident and works for you around the clock. Obviously there are no guarantee with a professionally monitored alarm system. The police response and the actions of the perpetrator will play a large role in how things turn out.

Secondly, many people still think that most alarm systems use a telephone line (POTS which stands for Plain Old Telephone Service). Most modern systems are dual path – meaning that they communicate to a central monitoring station using internet AND cellular communication. It amazes us that many alarm companies still advertise that you don’t need a telephone line for their system. There are, however, still systems that use telephone lines. “Wireless” can refer to the fact that the sensors are not wired OR that the system communicates without a wired connection to a phone line.When trying to understand what someone is talking about a wireless alarm system it’s important to differentiate if they are talking about the communication method or the sensors. Wireless sensors can still be used on a system that communicates using a telephone line. Conversely, wired sensors can use wireless communication methods back to a central station.

There are still many companies that offer internet only monitored alarm systems. If the internet is out, the alarm is out. It’s a small risk but insignificant. Some suburbs such as University Heights, Beachwood, South Euclid, and Cleveland Heights are prone to frequent brown outs and other fluctuations in power which effect the internet.  It does save costs on monthly monitoring which is attractive to some customers. In our experience, it’s preferable to use a dual-path system.

There are advantages to wired and wireless sensors. In short, wired sensors are not defeated by cutting them. If anyone tells you that, run, because they don’t know enough about the alarm industry to try and sell you anything. The biggest downside is the cost and clean up of installing hardwired sensors.

 

In Summary of What We Provide

  • Installation of NEW wireless sensors
  • Installation of NEW hardwired sensors
  • Re-using some wireless sensors (some companies use proprietary sensors to prevent you from switching companies)
  • Re-using wired sensors/upgrading them
  • Panels that use internet AND cellular to communicate to the central station
  • We *can* do telephone line and internet only monitoring but advise against it

 

There are some industry terms, confusing marketing jargon, and ignorant sales people. If you have questions about alarm systems just reach out to us!

The Qolsys IQ 2 Alarm Panel is our go to panel for a residential security system. You may find that there is also a IQ2 Plus model. At this time, the only difference is that the IQ 2 plus model can also use Power G sensors.

Power G sensors are very good all around sensors for doors, windows, motion detectors etc. They do cost a little more than typical alarm sensors.

The main advantage of Power G sensors is their incredible range. The have the furthest range out of any wireless alarm sensor on the market. For larger homes that may need necessary. If a home doesn’t require the extended range Qolsys sensors will provide more than adequate performance and range.

Contact Lock Alchemy Locksmiths & Security today to learn more about our no contact alarm home monitoring solutions.

Lock Alchemy isn’t just “doing alarm system.” We’re disrupting the industry in several important ways.

Local

Recent events have taught us the importance of relying on local businesses. Frankly, large alarm companies will never care about your installation, system, user experience, and satisfaction like a local company. Local companies have less hoops to jump through to get in contact with someone about your issues and offer support. Research into large alarm companies will quickly reveal they have many upset customers.

Marketing

Large companies have huge marketing budgets and often times have aggressive sales tactics. You’ve probably received a number of sales flyers for an alarm system. Those ads cost money and that cost is passed on to you when you sign up. Large companies are notorious for door to door sales. They receive lists of recently sold properties and visit them trying to sell a new alarm system. These salesmen typically work heavily on commission. Meaning they only get paid when they sell you a system. They also make more commission when they sell upgrades and add-ons that you might not need or even understand.

Knowledge

Unfortunately, the sales people with these companies are often times not event the person who installs the system. This can create a breakdown in communication and expectations. We have knowledgeable staff that can educate potential customers, design systems, and install them. One point of contact. Because we are a full service security company we understand locks, doors, cameras, and other security issues. Everything is under one umbrella.

“FREE”

Is anything ever really free? Nope. Ads promise free sensors, cameras, and other perks. Read the fine print and you’ll discover that in order to use these “free” devices you need to upgrade to a more expensive package. Free is cheesy and deceptive.

Financing

Traditional alarm companies rely heavily on financing. No money down and free equipment actually just means that the monthly cost of your alarm system is unnecessarily high. Their return is all but guaranteed by their iron clad 3 year contracts that lock you in and have heavy penalties if you leave early. With our model, you own all your equipment day one. In fact, you could switch to another alarm company whenever you’d like. That’s why from day one we need to deliver as a company that will keep your support.

Purchasing all of the equipment at once can be a little expensive. We have a system to offer 6 monthly payments for the equipment. It’s not a lease or rental. You own your equipment day one.

Contracts

We’ve already mentioned the lengthy contracts and early termination penalties. We offer our service month to month. We mentioned that since you own your equipment you can terminate your service at any time or even switch to another alarm company. From day one we have motivation to make sure you are 100% satisfied with your system.

Another benefit of not having contracts is that it provides you another type of security – financial security. You can have services for one month or years then pause your monitoring in case of financial need. However, our low monthly rates are affordable enough that you probably wouldn’t notice the cost if you needed to save money on your monthly budget.

If you’re interested in a home security system contact us at info@LockAlchemy.com

Typically, we can install an alarm system the same day you call if your located in University Heights, South Euclid, Cleveland Heights, Shakers Heights, Beachwood, or other nearby cities.

Lock Alchemy Locksmiths & Security is now a provider of home and commercial alarm systems.

Residential: We’re very excited to provide home alarm systems. We are so excited because we’re doing something different from other companies. We’re happy to bring the same customer service and support we provide with our other services to the alarm industry. The alarm industry sometimes gets a bad wrap and often times, rightfully so. Pushy door to door salesmen, bait & switch tactics, and long contracts with heavy early termination penalties. We’re changing that. No door-to-door sales. Honest upfront pricing. No contracts – everything is month to month. We plan on releasing more articles about how we’re doing something really different.

Commercial: You can affordably protect your business while away. With remote camera viewing and analytics – you can visually check on your facility and receive notifications of unusual activity. Many businesses qualify for an insurance premium reduction with a qualifying alarm system.

Choosing Lock Alchemy as your alarm provider can reduce the difficulty of contacting multiple service companies and having them play the blame game. Alarm, access control, cameras, locks, doors, and internet cabling can be under one service provider.

Qolsys is a leading alarm panel manufacturer. They produce residential and commercial alarm and fire protection products. Their current main product is their IQ2+ panel that works with their own slimeline sensors and other sensors from other manjor manufactures. They also have products that help integrate hardwired alarm systems with wireless sensors.

The IQ2+ provides several features that set it apart from other manufactures. Firstly, it’s a quality product that’s worthy of providing home and business security. It has a built in cell transmitter that eliminates the need to buy a panel and a transmitter – which reduces costs. The Iq2+ can use power G transmitters that have the longest range available making them an ideal choice for large homes and large commercial applications. The large range of sensor that the panel often times completely eliminates the need to buy new sensors when switching companies.

Some Key Features:

7” HD Touchscreen Easy to use, Feels like your phone
Bluetooth Touchless Disarming Leave your phone in your pocket
Dual SRF featuring PowerG 4x Range, Encrypted, Takeover wireless, Hardwired
Live Answer, Live View Safely answer your door from the 7” HD Touchscreen
Built in 5MP Camera Disarm Photos with Face Recognition
Built in Glass Break Add value without adding cost
Z-Wave Plus Lights, Locks, Thermostats, Garage Openers

Our businesses has been deemed essential (security and network infrastructure). In order to promote the safety of our workers and the general public we are still in minimal operation in the field. We are only taking high priority service calls: lockouts, lock and key issues for essential businesses, fixing hazardous door issues, fixing security cameras etc. We are not taking service calls for projects that can feasibly wait until after the shut down has been lifted.

The Corona virus has resulted in the temporary shut down of many buildings and businesses. We are available to secure buildings during this time. We are able to change exterior keys to prevent employees from entering the building during the shut down. We can also install additional security upgrades to minimize potential break-ins and vandalism during the shut down.

The shut down provides a unique opportunity for businesses to address issues with their lock and door hardware. We are also able to address issues on exterior and interior doors that may not be typically easily accessible due to a high volume of foot traffic.

Many business owners don’t typically have time to sit down, plan, and discuss their building’s security. We are meeting with business owners online to discuss locks, door hardware, electronic access control, alarms, and security cameras.  In some instances, such as a building being closed, we can complete larger jobs. This is different than completing non-essential work in areas that are currently occupied by people.

We’ve always taken personal safety very seriously. We are using protective gloves, masks, and using appropriate cleaning products.

On a personal note, we’d like to thank you all of the essential employees still operating as normal to reduce the amount of disruption in our life, provide us utilities, and keep us safe. I hope this all ends very soon but that we don’t lose the valuable insights we gain during this difficult time.

 

The founder of Lock Alchemy is now an IPVM certified Video Surveillance Installer. The 6 week course consists of bi-weekly online classes, reading assignments, homework, and a final exam.  This thorough class and certification will help consumers understand that we are not just a company that “can do cameras.” Rather, we are passionate about professional design, installation, and maintenance of systems. Security cameras are more complicated than most people would imagine. We want our customers to be satisfied knowing that they are choosing to do business with a company that won’t settle for “good enough,” and seeks constant education and training.

IPVM is an independent testing and review company for security cameras, video analytics, VMS, IP networking, and access control. IPVM does not accept money for advertisements or reviews. Rather, the businesses model is providing real value to people who pay for membership.

SFIC cores are a type of interchangeable lock. An operating key opens the door and a special key called a control key removes the lock core from the the lock itself – without needing to disassemble the lock.

The ability to remove the new old lock and put a new one in has several advantages. 1) a property owner can rekey their on locks instantly. 2) the locks are high quality and very hard to pick 3) the keys are not easily to duplicate. 4) it takes a lot less time to switch over a large facility, say, 30 plus doors.

Some people find it hard to understand how SFIC locks work. That makes sense until you demonstrate it. It almost looks like magic.

While thinking about SFIC systems I realized something interesting. Traditional keys offer savings but you need a locksmith to change them. Electronic Access control is more expensive but users can add and eliminate users quickly. SFIC systems are really the middle ground between these two systems.

“Please submit a proposal”

“Could you provide an estimate?”

“How much will it be?”

We’re asked all the time by our Cleveland neighbors to provide pricing information for locksmithing, access control, and security cameras. There are a few reasons why it’s often times complicated to provide an exact price. We’re not trying to be obtuse and hide pricing – it’s just more complicated than most would imagine and there are several reasons why.

Pricing Approach – materials versus labor: Some people will charge $100 for a part and $100 for labor. Some will charge $200 for the part installed. The result is the same price. There is some psychology involved. Some people don’t mind paying for materials with a manufacturer warranty and installer gaurentee but don’t like paying for labor. Some people don’t want to pay more for a part than they can get it online for and don’t mind paying for labor. It’s tricky to make everyone happy. But we strive to provide competitive pricing that’s fair and transparent.

It costs $100 on Amazon: Yes it does. However, ordering the product, doing the invoicin, accounting, opening up the package, disposing of the packaging materials and preparing to install it can easily take half an hour. That’s not including actually installing it, testing it, and putting our name on it with a warranty.

Apples to Oranges: The other company was $200 cheaper. Maybe. Are all the products exactly the same? Do they have the specialized tools and training to install it correctly? What kind of warranty are they providing? If they find something needs a 5 minute fix or adjustment will that do it and bill extra for it? Are all of the consumable products (wire, connectors, cat5 cables etc) quality UL rated products?

Just Come and Look at It: At Lock Alchemy Locksmiths & Security we love doing site visits. It’s great to come out and meet people in person. Get an in-person view of what we are qouting out. Unfortunately, some people have ruined it for everyone. Some people like having service workers come out to give specific product information and try and buy them and install them on their own. Part of our service is designing a system. We won’t come out and qoute smaller jobs. It’s just not time or cost effective. We will provide over the phone/email/text qoutes though. We qoute it and we stick to it. This often time doesn’t work in our favor and we do an extra hour of labor. We’re okay with this because it’s the best way to fairly and efficiently take care of customers. Of course we do site visits for larger projects at no cost. We’ve found that this balance works for us and our customers.

Hourly versus per Job: At Lock Alchemy we are a results based company. Opening a door may take 5 minutes and installing a difficult cameras may take 5 hours. Either way we price things out by the job / result. This transparency allows us to know what we’re getting into and for the customer to know. No surprises!

Tiers: Option A, B, & C. We try to provide various options and price points for our clients and educate them about the differences between different options.

How to Evaluate Qoutes: The other company was cheaper so we’re going with that. Look at the cost, the quality of products, the level of professionalism, and the total cost of ownership. A difference of $200 in a qoute can easily be eclipsed by additional work costs, frustration of call backs, and total cost of ownership (contact fees, licensing fees, replacement parts etc.)

Harder than we thought? We agree. Pricing out work is a necessary part of our company and we strive to make it as painless, transparent, and fair as possible. Reach out to us for any proposals or bids you’d like for your next locksmith, door, security camera, or electronic access control project!