Purchasing a Safe ǀ Locksmiths Durham, NC

A-1 Lock and Safe are locksmiths in Durham, NC and Chapel Hill, NC. We offer car, residential, and commercial locksmith services. We also sell new and used safes. Safes are great for storing a number of things as well as keeping them safe from the elements and from potential burglars.

  • Here are some pointers to help you pick the right safe for your needs:
  • The most common types of safes are fire-resistant, water-resistant, or theft-resistant. Some safes offer protection against all 3.
  • If you want to store important documents like birth certificates and passports, fire-resistant and water-resistant safes are usually your best choice.
  • If you are looking to protect valuables such as jewelry and cash from burglars, you are probably looking for a theft-resistant safe.
  • Gun safes are also a popular choice to secure your firearms from children, pets, and everyone else.
  • If you live in an area prone to flooding, avoid putting your safe in the basement of your home. However, if not, basements are the best place when it comes to keeping documents safe from fire damage.
  • The master bedroom is usually the first place thieves look for valuables, so avoid keeping the safe in your master bedroom if you can.

For all of your locksmith and safe needs in Durham and Chapel Hill, NC, contact us at A-1 Lock and Safe. For more tips on safes, visit consumerreports.org.

Spare Keys ǀ Locksmiths Durham, NC

A-1 Lock and Safe is one of Durham, NC’s premier locksmiths. We help clients with all of their residential, commercial, and automotive locking needs, 24 hours a day. It’s a good idea to have some spare keys handy in case you forget yours or accidentally lock yourself out. Here are a few ideas about where to hide spare keys and who to give spare keys to:

  • When it comes to spare car keys, it’s helpful to keep an extra in your house, just in case. But what if you lock your house keys AND care keys in your car? There are multiple spare key hiders for your car available on the market. Some are magnetic and can be placed under your car or even behind your license plate.
  • Give a spare car key to your spouse. That way if you are locked out of your car, you can give them a call for help.
  • Give a spare house key to a neighbor your trust. This option is safer than hiding a spare key under your welcome mat. Plus, as an added bonus, they can check in on your house when you’re out of town.
  • CNET suggests that you nail a spare key to a tree in your yard. Not too many potential burglars would ever think to look in a tree for a key.

For all of your lock needs in Durham, NC, contact us at A-1 Lock and Safe.

When to Replace Your Locks Ɩ Locksmiths Durham, NC

As locksmiths in Durham, NC, we at A-1 Lock & Safe want to ensure that you are safe and secure. We specialize in automotive, residential, and commercial locks. According to Simpli Safe, there are 4 times when you should definitely change your locks. Here are a few signs that it is time to give us a call and replace your locks:

  • If your locks are old and in disrepair, you definitely want to replace them with new and more reliable locks. If you have difficulty locking and unlocking your door, if your lock is loose, or if your key constantly gets stuck in the lock, it’s time for a new lock.
  • If you have recently moved into a new home or apartment, be sure to replace the locks. You don’t know who still has keys to the current lock, so to be safe you want to put in new locks.
  • If you lose your keys, you definitely want to get your locks changed to keep yourself safe from break-ins.
  • When relationships go sour, whether it’s romantic relationships, friendships, or former roommates, you will want to go ahead and change the locks for your own peace of mind.

If one of these scenarios applies to you and you need new locks, contact us at A-1 Lock & Safe in Durham, NC. For more information on changing your locks, visit Simpli Safe’s article on the topic.

Smart Locks 101 ǀ Locksmiths Durham, NC

A-1 Lock & Safe are locksmiths in Durham, NC. As technology advances, so do home security systems. One of the exciting newer technologies is smart locks. Here are a few interesting tidbits about smart locks:

  • There are a variety of smart locks, such as locks that use a code to unlock, or your fingerprint, or even an app on your phone.
  • You can replace your traditional locks with smart locks, or you can purchase smart locks that go with your existing locks in your home.
  • Before you purchase a smart lock you want to make sure that they lock itself is as secure as the traditional locks you already have. We suggest that you only buy smart locks that are deadbolt locks.
  • Many smart locks give you the option to lock and unlock your door remotely. This comes in handy when you need to let someone in when you’re not at home, or when you’re unsure if you locked your door on the way out.
  • Your smart lock needs one of these three communication options to work: Bluetooth, wi-fi, and Z-wave.

For all of your lock needs in Durham, NC contact us at A-1 Lock & Safe. For more information on smart locks, visit cnet.com’s article.

The Advantages of Deadbolt Locks ǀ Locksmiths Durham, NC

As the premier locksmiths of Durham, NC, A-1 Lock & Safe caters to all of your commercial, automotive, and residential lock needs. As expert locksmiths, we know that deadbolt locks have many advantages. So, here are a few of the benefits of this type of lock:

  • Deadbolt locks are more secure than standard locks, thus making it much harder for potential burglars to break into your home.
  • Standard locks work on a spring mechanism, so they can be opened with a crowbar or even a knife. This is nearly impossible, if at all possible, to do with deadbolt locks.
  • Because deadbolt locks typically require a key to lock and unlock, it is much more difficult for you to accidentally lock yourself out of your home with a deadbolt lock as opposed to a standard lock.
  • There are also keyless deadbolt locks available that allow you to unlock your home with a thumbprint scan or a passcode. Just be sure not to forget your code to get in!

For all of your lock and safe needs in Durham, NC, contact us at A-1 Lock & Safe. For more detailed information on the advantages of deadbolt locks, visit this article.

Locked Out of Your Car? l Locksmiths Durham, NC

As locksmiths in Durham, NC, A-1 Lock & Safe is available for all of your auto, commercial, and residential lock needs. Have you ever locked yourself out of your car? Plenty of us have found ourselves in this frustrating and inconvenient situation. If this happens to you, don’t worry. Here is what you should do:

  • First of all, don’t panic if you lock yourself out of your car. You might be tempted to break your window, especially if you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, but that isn’t a good idea. Not only does it make mess, but you also risk getting hurt and you’re going to have the additional cost of replacing your window.
  • Next, call A-1 Lock & Safe for help. If you locked your phone in your car as well, you can ask to borrow someone else’s phone or you can go to a nearby business and ask to use theirs. Even if this happens outside of our regular business hours, we are on call 24 hours for emergencies, so we’ll be there for you.
  • What about if you lock your child or your pet in the car? If they are not in distress and it is not hot outside that day, call immediately for help and wait patiently. Try to stay calm to help keep your child or pet calm as well. If it is a life-threatening situation, call emergency services immediately, and if absolutely necessary, break the window farthest from your child or pet.


If you ever find yourself locked out of your car, give us a call at A-1 Lock & Safe, and we will be there to help.

Getting Started: Smart Door Locks | Locksmiths Durham, NC

Are you considering smart door locks in your home? As dedicated locksmiths in Durham, NC, Chapel Hill, NC, and surrounding areas, we get a lot of questions about smart door locks. At A1 Lock and Safe, we not only help you get your keys out of your car but can help you outfit your home with traditional and smart locks and safes. With that expertise in mind, here are 3 things you need to know about smart door locks.

1. Forget Keys

With electronic keypads, key cards and fobs, fingerprint scanners and smartphone technology, you never have to worry about frantically searching for a house key while carrying tons of groceries. Some smart locks will let you open a door via a smartphone app when you’re away from your home, so you can let in anyone who needs to get in.

2. Get Helpful Activity Alerts

Smartphones can actually both unlock doors and track who is entering your home. Thanks to apps that work with your smart lock via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, you will be able to see who’s coming to and leaving your house. Some will even allow you to send virtual keys to other people.

3. Customized It For Your Home

Of course, locks not only need to keep your home protected but also match your outdoor decor.If you’re worried that a brand new smart lock won’t match the rest of your door, never fear. You’ll find that there are a variety of colors and metallic finishes to match your doorway.

Ready to Talk to Our Locksmiths About Smart Locks?

Whether need smart locks, a safe, a car locksmith, or anything in between— don’t hesitate to seek the help of A1 Lock and Safe. Our Chapel Hill and Durham locksmiths provide a wide array of commercial locksmith services, everything from locking commercial foreclosures to providing master keys for hotels and motels. Our technicians also offer re-keying services for properties that have been recently purchased as well as for businesses that have had a change in personnel. We also install door closures to prevent doors from being left open. If you’re ready to talk with one of our lock experts, contact us today!


3 Lock Precautions to Consider | Locksmiths Chapel Hill, NC

Ever wondered about making your home even safer? As locksmiths in Chapel Hill, NC, we see different kinds of locking problems every day.  Among the biggest problems? Having ill-maintained locks or the not the right kind. When people call us at A1 Lock and Safe, they often call after a disaster, wanting to be secure and not wanting a home burglary to ever happen to them again. We want our customers to be protected before disaster strikes.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program,

“In 2010, there were an estimated 2,159,878 burglaries—a decrease of 2.0 percent when compared with 2009 data”

In addition, the victims suffered an overall average dollar loss per burglary offense was $2,119.  Just think: What could that kind of money buy for your home and your future? An easy way to prevent this is to keep your home well secured with quality locks. With that in mind, here are 3 kinds of locks every homeowner should know about.

1. Try Deadbolt Locks

Everyone should have a deadbolt lock on their doors. Deadbolt locks provide the most security on residential doors. This is because these locks do not contain springs. There are two types of deadbolts that we use as Chapel Hill, NC based locksmiths: single and double. A single-cylinder deadbolt is operated with a key from the outside and with a turn button on the inside, and a double-cylinder is operated with a key on both the inside and outside.A word of warning though: double-cylinder deadbolts can be dangerous during an emergency if the key is missing or not readily available.

2. Go For Entry Lockset

These kinds of locks are best for a medium level security. Locksets and handlesets locks are often combined with a deadbolt. They have two doorknobs that can be locked from the inside and the outside. This is how it works: one doorknob locks from the inside by turning or depressing a small button, while a key must unlock the outside knob. A handleset features a decorative door handle on the exterior, which is always nice.

3. Invest in Keyless Locks

While this may not be the perfect pick for every home, for maximum security, go for a high tech keyless door.  Keyless locks can be used to replace any standard deadbolts on exterior doors. You can also use an anti-theft rolling code feature ensures the same code is never used twice, and certain models sound an alarm after the incorrect code is entered more than three consecutive times. Also, some systems you can buy are compatible with garage door openers or home security systems.

Ready For More Locksmith Help in Chapel Hill, NC?

At the end of the day, the quality of a door lock does not matter if the door is not locked. It is so important to remember to lock your doors when you’™re at home. Any intruder would prefer to enter a home through unlocked entry points. Additionally, doors and their hardware occasionally need maintenance, because a poorly maintained door makes it easier for a burglar to enter your house.

For any help with the locks on your home and selecting new ones, be sure to contact our experts to help you on your way. Our locksmiths in Chapel Hill, NC are equipped to help residential properties, commercial buildings, and vehicles. We are available 24 hours a day and are proud to offer affordable pricing on all services.

How To: Storing Firearms Safely | Locksmiths Durham, NC

Are you storing your firearms in a safe manner? At A1 Lock and Safe, our locksmiths in Chapel Hill, NC, Durham, NC, and surrounding areas, for us, safety is our #1 concern when it comes to gun ownership. Whether you are a parent, a newbie, or just want to refresh the fundamentals of gun safety, here is a list of ways to add needed gun safety in your home.

1. Make Sure It’s Unloaded

As a general rule, firearms should be unloaded when not in use. Whenever you pick up a gun, like when you’re removing it from or returning it to storage, remember that it should be pointed in a safe direction and make absolutely sure that it’s unloaded. A “safe direction” means that the gun is pointed so that even if there was an accidental discharge, there wouldn’t be any injury.

2. Stay Educated

As a gun owner in Chapel Hill, NC, it is so important that you know how your firearm operates. Do this by reading the manual on your firearm to know how to safely open and close the action of the firearm. The manual and other learning materials should also be able to tell you how to safely remove any ammunition from the firearm and the magazine.

Most importantly, make sure the young people in your home are aware of and understand the safety guidelines with firearms. Educate everyone in your family about firearms safety.

3. Get a Safe From Trusted Locksmiths in Durham, NC

Of course, most importantly, you need to make sure everything to do with your firearm is locked up. Store your firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case when you’re not using them, in a location inaccessible to children and cannot be handled by anyone without your permission. For another measure, store your ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms.

When choosing a safe, it’s always a great idea to rely on locksmiths in Chapel Hill, NC and surrounding areas that you can trust. We are A1 Lock and Safe of North Carolina, your Durham and Chapel Hill Locksmiths. Being local and family owned, we would appreciate nothing more than being your first choice for your locksmith and safety needs. Contact us today to inquire about the safes we currently have in stock.

Quick Guide: Locking For Realtors | Locksmiths Chapel Hill, NC

Believe it or not, as locksmiths in Chapel Hill, NC, we work with a lot of realtors. People may think that a realtor’s job consists only of selling homes to interested clients, but actually, realtors deal a great deal with home security. Every home you sell has locks, and no home is safe without secure locks. With that in mind, here are 3 locking tips for realtors and security enthusiasts alike.

1. Try Re-Keying Instead

Almost everyone has heard that you should change your locks when you move into a new home, especially if it was owned before. Few know that replacing the locks is not the only way to do this. While replacing locks can be costly and time-consuming, re-keying is much more cost-effective. Basically, it is the process by which the inner mechanisms of the existing locks on a home are reconfigured, and new keys are cut to match the new configuration. This renders old keys useless and the old locks are as equally secure.

2. Use Longer Screws For Your Deadbolts

Worried about the strength of the deadbolts? It’s not about new locks, it’s about the screw. Longer, stronger screws are important to increase the strength of a door’s deadbolt because they reach all the way to the studs in the door frame and strengthen the door against extreme force, such as someone kicking in the door.

3. Multiple Properties? Try Master Keys

If your client is interested in multiple properties, it may be worth considering a master key. Instead of them lugging around tons of keys, through simple re-keying, they can have a master key that will fit their locks.

Need More Help From Locksmiths in Chapel Hill, NC?

Whether you need a replacement key or you need to change your locks, be sure to visit A1 Lock & Safe to see how we can help you protect your home. Notably, we sale safes where you can store firearms and your most prized possessions in the event that you are robbed. Thankfully, A1 Lock and Safe specializes in changing locks, making duplicate keys, and more for your safety. If you so much as suspect that someone could break into your home or office, because your locks are faulty – let our Durham locksmiths know and we will replace your keys and locks for an affordable price. Contact us today to get started.