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Here are some of our frequently asked questions  

Also, please see our articles section 

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Q: Is it really necessary to use a professional locksmith company?
A: Professional locksmiths have first-hand experience and the necessary knowledge about locks, safes and security solutions.  These skills are necessary for properly securing and making your home or business safe. There is much more to installing a lock than one would think. Specific adjustments need to be made to the frame in order for the lock to work properly and maximize its life. Proper installation, with specific adjustments, needs to be done in order for the lock to function properly and maximize its life.  Professional locksmiths can suggest state-of-the-art products that are readily available to protect your family and your most valuable possessions. Supreme Lock Solutions Ltd. offers professional security solutions to clients throughout Nova Scotia. 

Q: Can I schedule a specific time for Locksmith service?
A: We value your time. Our goal is to not only give you a specific appointment time but rather strive to be there 5 minutes prior to our meeting. If we do happen to run late, we will always inform the customer and give them the option of waiting for us or re-scheduling at a time that is convenient for them. 

Q: What are your payment options? 
A: Our payment options are Visa, Master Card, cash, cheque-due on receipt; 30-day accounts are available upon account application approval.   

Q: How long will it take to get me into my locked apartment, home, or office using a locksmith?
A: If you have locked yourself out of your apartment, home, or office and you are in a great hurry, you should call Supreme Lock Solutions Ltd. for quick local locksmith service and peace of mind. Our company has mobile locksmith service in your area. This gives you a great advantage when you need someone to get you into your locked apartment, home, or office quickly and safely.

Q: I had a duplicate key made at a hardware store and it doesn't work, why? 
A: We have a lot of customers who go to a hardware store or a box store to have a duplicate key made, and then they come to us to have it done right.  Remember that a locksmith is in the business of making keys. There are several differences when you purchase a key at a locksmith versus elsewhere. First, locksmith key machines are generally of better quality and they are always kept calibrated. Most locksmiths calibrate their machines at least once a month if not more, to ensure that the copy that the machine makes is as close to the key given to them as possible.

Q: How would you define a safe lock?
A: The first stage to define a safe lock would be to determine whether the cylinder is safe or not. These days, the market is saturated with all types of cylinders, 90% of which can be opened quickly and quietly using one method or another: pick, bump, seam etc.  As a result of this, big manufacturers are working hard in order to make their cylinders more and more resistant to these methods.  

See High Security Locks Ask our professional locksmith about your safest lock options.

Q: What are High Security Locks (with Restricted Keys) and why should I consider putting them on my property?
A: High security locks are designed to restrict key duplication, are pick proof and drill resistant. High security locks are much more expensive, yet worth every penny. Remember investing in a good set of locks is a one-time investment, and the longer you live in the property the less it costs to be so well protected.

Q: Should I add a double- sided dead bolt (key on both sides) on the exterior doors of my property, is it safe?
A: Double-sided deadbolts are used on doors that have glass less than 18 inches from the lock. If someone breaks the glass they will not be able to unlock the door and leave with your possessions so easily. Fire code on rental properties states that double-sided deadbolts are not permitted. In a private property you should check with local laws and use your own discretion.

Q: Is it that easy to copy the key to my house?
A: Majority of house keys out there have a code on them and a valet person or someone else who has access to your keys can see that code one time and be able to translate that into a key and make an original copy of your key. It could then be used to trespass against you. High Security locks with restricted key control are designed to reduce the likelihood of situations like these arising. 
Q: What does it mean to “re-key locks?”
A: When keys are stolen or lost—in other words, when someone may be in possession of keys that still work in your home or business lock—you can re-key the locks, rather than having the locks changed.   It’s simple-just request an appointment time to have your lock(s) re-keyed.  Our locksmith will arrive at your location as scheduled, remove the lock, and change the pins and tumblers inside the lock with new replacements. When we’re finished re-installing your lock, the old keys will no longer work and we’ll cut new keys for you. Simple and affordable!

Q: I just moved into a new apartment / home /commercial building, should I re-key the locks? The keys work well.
A: We highly recommend re-keying the locks. It is impossible to know if your new manager, realtors or even construction worker has a copy of your key. It is better to be safe than sorry. Always re-key your locks when you move into a new property. It is the simplest and most affordable way to protect your valuables.

Q: I have two or three different keys that go to my property; can I make one key work everything?
A: The answer is most definitely YES. People live in their residence for years and years stumbling in the dark trying to find the right key for the 2 different locks on their front door. We can easily re-key or if necessary replace certain locks on your property so that 1 key works everything. Having one key is very convenient and there is no better way to live.

Q: I would like one key that works all the locks on my house and one key that my gardener can use to get into one gate and nothing else, is this possible?
A: This is very possible and the answer is having your locks master keyed. If they are all the same brand we can have 1 or 2 locks that have their own separate key for the gardener, babysitter or pool cleaner. They are only able to get into specific doors while the property owner or renter can get into ALL locks on the property with only 1 key.

Q: What is a master key system and why is key control important?
A: A master key system limits access to designated areas while allowing authorized persons to have access to all locks. An example of a basic master key system is the following: The owner has one key that works all the locks and the employees only have a key that works in the front door and not the office.  These systems can be as simple as the above example or more complex to designate access to departments, floors, etc. It is essential to exercise proper control over who has keys to what areas. Follow our suggested guidelines for key control.

Guidelines for Key Control

A key is worth more than its small purchase price. A key is worth everything that it allows access to (your information and property). Establishing a method for key control will provide...
  • Authorization
  • Accountability
  • Loss prevention

Establish Records (Authorization) 
1. Choose one person to be responsible for key distribution and authorization.
2. Establish a policy that all keys are company property and not personal property, that is loaned on a temporary basis for a day, week, month, or while employed by the company, and must be returned after this period.
3. Maintain permanent key control records that specify the following: The key number, door number, the person issued to, date issued/returned, and deposit amount.
4. Keep these records in a safe or locked file cabinet.
5. To aid in record keeping, there is computer software available. Two options may be a database or a specific key control program.

Designate Keys (Accountability) 
6. Have all keys properly labelled and identified by sequence number. This saves a great deal of time and prevents unlabelled and unidentified keys from stock piling in office drawers. However, to maintain security this number should not easily identify which door the key allows access to in case it is misplaced. For example, instead of the label "garage", use the label "A2" that can be cross referenced by the using the key records.
7. Keep all undistributed and/or returned keys in a key cabinet. A key cabinet is necessary for every business to help organize the keying systems.
8. To ensure that there is always a working key, never issue original keys. All original keys should be locked in a key cabinet. All copies should be made from originals.
9. Do not have excess copies of keys on hand. In some situations, extras keys are appropriate, but keep them to a minimum.

Emphasize Security (Loss Prevention) 
10. If unauthorized duplications become a problem, speak with your professional locksmith about high security keying systems that are unique to the owner.
11. Never issue the master key to visiting service personnel, unfortunately they are rarely returned. The only exception would be a professional locksmith for the purposes of keying work.
12. Limit distribution of keys to high turnover and/or temporary positions. Issue a key only at the beginning of their shift, to be returned at the end of their shift.
13. Key audits should be conducted periodically to verify that no keys are lost.

Q: Why do I have to fidget with my keys in the lock in order to make them work?
A: As does everything, locks wear over time. The small parts in the locks tend to wear down causing your key to get stuck or stick at times. Many times we get used to "jiggling or wiggling" the key repeatedly in order to get the lock to work. There are many different reasons for this problem and a professional locksmith can resolve the problem and make opening your door enjoyable. 

Don't Forget Maintenance!

Don't force it - fix it!  Every lock is designed to work smoothly. If it doesn't, there's probably a good reason.

Fix it now or it will probably break at the worst possible moment.

Q: I have a key marked “Do Not Duplicate.” Can I get a copy of it anyway?
A: The law states that keys marked “Do Not Duplicate, “Do Not Copy” or “Unlawful to Copy” must have an authorization letter from the owner or supervisor presented at the time of requesting duplication. Even though this is the law, some locksmiths and key copying kiosks are willing to copy these keys for an extra fee. The restrictions that are stamped on the keys are merely a deterrent and the only way to secure duplication is with a restricted key.

Q: My home was burglarized. What should I do?
A: In many cases, thieves are able to gain entry because the homes were left unlocked, or windows were left open. If your locks were picked or forced open, it’s time to replace them with better, high security door locks. There are numerous models on the market today that are pick-proof and more difficult for thieves to force or pry open.

Call Supreme Lock Solutions Ltd. at 902-982-2498 to request a free security consultation with our professional locksmith. And remember, the easiest way to prevent home intrusion is to always lock your windows and doors! 

Q: My key is broken in the lock!
A: If the key to your home or business is broken in the lock, we still recommend that you don’t try to stick things inside to take it out.  You might damage the wells or break off more material into the lock.  Let a professional locksmith assist you. In the long run, it’s the most cost-effective way of solving the problem.

General Safe Questions

Also, please see our FYI article:  What type of safe do I really need?

Call our safe specialist for more detailed information specific to your needs.

Q: Are safes fireproof, waterproof, or burglar proof? 
A: Generally, safes are neither waterproof nor burglar proof. A more realistic definition is that they are "resistant" to water and burglary; meaning they will withstand heat, tool attacks and severe conditions over a specific period of time. Safes are classified as to the level of "resistance" they are designed to withstand. Unless you have specifically selected a safe that is designed to be a waterproof safe, to ensure your contents are protected from water (especially for floor safes), we suggest you place the contents in a waterproof container or zip lock bag. 

Q: Can I bolt my safe to the floor or ground? 
A: Yes, in most cases -- and we strongly recommend that you bolt your safe to the floor when possible. The installation method depends on what the safe is being fixed to:  Concrete or timber.  Most safe manufacturers have factory installed anchor bolt holes or a bolt-down kit.  Your best option is to contact Supreme Lock Solutions Ltd. to find out more about having your safe bolted down. This is our specialty, we have the knowledge and tools available to do this job safely and correctly. 

Q: Does a safe need maintenance? 
A: Yes, the internal mechanisms of a lock are precisely manufactured and over a period of time and use, the locks, bolts and hinges will need cleaning, lubrication and adjustment. We recommend that you contact Supreme Lock Solutions Ltd. to find out more about having your safe serviced. 

Q: What if I need service on my safe? 
A: Safes are our specialty!  With over 30 years’ experience in the industry, you can trust our professional services to meet your security requirements.  
Call to schedule a safe service appointment today -“Let us do what we do best!”

Q: Why do I see less expensive safes in chain stores? 
A: Hardware, office products, and "Big Box" stores typically offer an entry-level, fire rated safe or lock box. While these safes may offer some degree of protection, you will not find these types on our site. Entry level safes may not have a burglar or fire rating or an Underwriters Laboratory rated high security lock. We caution you to learn about the safe before you buy from these stores that sell many other items besides safes.
Fire Rated Safes

Q: Can my safe protect my documents forever against fire?
A: No, older fire safes lose their ability to protect against fire with age.  The insulation and humidifying materials used in its construction become dry and are less likely to keep the temperature below 350 degrees F as it gets older.  A safe older than 10-15 years may no longer protect your important papers and valuables from burning up in a fire.

Q: Can I place paper money (cash) in a fire rated safe? 
A: While storage of a small amount of cash may be acceptable for overnight storage, Supreme Lock Solutions Ltd. does not recommend you place a large amount of cash in a fire rated only safe. Fire safes are built to withstand the ravages of a fire and most fire safes offer only a light degree of burglary protection and are not engineered or designed for burglary resistance. If you need help selecting the right safe for your specific needs and budget, please contact our safe expert to assist you.

Q: Can I place photos and negatives in a fire safe? 
A: Unfortunately, no. Photos and photo negatives are meant to be protected by a safe specially made for this type of material. These safes are called "data/media safes" and are engineered to keep temperatures inside the safe below 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q: Can I store computer diskettes in a standard fire safe? 
A: Unfortunately, no. A standard fire safe is rated and tested to keep the interior of the safe cool enough so that paper does not char or burn; usually 350 degrees Fahrenheit or less. During a fire, paper is more durable than media and will tolerate wider ranges of heat and humidity. Media material, such as computer diskettes, CDs and tapes are much more fragile and must be kept in an environment that will stay below 125 degrees Fahrenheit and 80% humidity. 

Q: Why do I need a special product for computer media?  Don’t fire safes protect everything from fire? 
A: Fire safes are available with different ratings, because paper and media require different forms of protection.  During a fire, paper is more durable than media and can tolerate heat up to 450 degrees F before igniting.  However, paper will dry out and become brittle when exposed to heat.  So, the paper rated safe is designed to release a little steam inside to balance the heat’s drying effect when the internal temperature nears 300 degrees F.  Media such as diskettes, CDs, and tapes cannot tolerate either the higher temperature or the humidity levels found in the paper rated products.  They must be stored in an environment that will stay below 125 degrees F and 80% humidity in order to be protected. 

Supreme Lock Solutions Ltd. offers a wide variety of safes to suit virtually any need. 
Please contact us, we’d like to assist you in selecting the best safe that meets your security needs and budget.
Burglary Rated Safes

Q: What is the difference between a burglary and fire safe? 
A: A burglary safe has been tested and rated against an opening attack.  A fire safe has been tested and rated against fire.  Fire resistant products generally use relatively light weight steel to reduce heat transference, which in turn prevents the products from attaining a security rating.

Q: Will a burglary rated safe protect my contents from fire damage? 
A: Not likely. A burglary rated safe is typically made of hardened steel and designed to withstand an attack by tools (hammers, chisels, etc.), not fire. Safes rated for burglary resistance only, lack the special fire resistant insulate necessary to keep the interior from reaching damaging temperatures. Consider a burglar/fire safe which will provide BOTH burglar and fire resistance.

Q: What does UL mean? 
A: UL means Underwriters Laboratories Inc., which is an independent, non-profit product-safety testing and certification organization.
More information on UL Certifications here…

Q: What are the different categories of the Burglary Safe? 
A: Burglary safes are classified based upon the types of burglary tools that they are designed to resist, and the amount of time that a burglar with these tools needs to penetrate the safe. The more types of tools that the safe is designed to resist and the longer it takes to penetrate it, the better the protection.  In general, the better the protection a safe provides, the more it costs, and the more it weighs. 

Class Rating:  1-5 is based on a combination of door and wall thickness, and in the higher ratings (3-5) resistance to certain forms of attack such as drilling and cutting with a torch.  Insurance companies use this rating to designate how much cash may be kept in the safe.

Burglary resistant safes are classified in the following categories:
B-rated:  Residential burglar resistant rating with a ½” steel door and a ¼” steel body
C-rated:  A little better than the above with a 1” steel door and a ½” steel body
Class 2 (TL-15):  Tool resistant by professionals for 15 minutes.  Only the door is attacked.  The body must be 1” of steel or greater and the safe must weigh at least 750 lbs. or have a provision for anchoring. 
Class 3 (TL-30):  Tool resistant by professionals for a minimum of 30 minutes.  Only the door is attacked.  The body must be 1” of steel or greater and the safe must weigh at least 750 lbs. or have a provision for anchoring.
Class 4 (TL TR 30):  Tool/torch resistant by professionals for 30 minutes.
Cass 5 (TL TR 60):  Tool/torch resistant by professionals for a minimum of 60 minutes.  The safe must weigh at least 1000lbs. or have provision for anchoring.
X6:  The addition of X6 (i.e. TL-60X6) means that the requirements apply to all six sides of the safe and not just to the door.  It can only apply to a rating of TL-15 and higher.
TX:  The addition of TX means that the safe will resist nitroglycerine and other high explosives for a specific amount of time.
Combinations and Locks

Q:  Is an electronic lock (digital) less secure than a standard combination lock?
A:  No, they are both U.L. rated and offer the same level of security.

Q: Are electronic locks reliable and easier to use?
A:  Electronic or digital locks have evolved over the past 10 years or so and locks are now extremely reliable.  They are not only very quick and easy to use, they offer a wide range of optional functions including multiple user codes, time delay, time locking, audit trail, and remote access.

Q: Can I change my safe combination? 
A: For standard mechanical combination locks it is not recommended. However, electronic locks are manufactured so that the owner can easily change the combination by following the supplied manual. Please contact Supreme Lock Solutions Ltd. for more information on how to change your electronic lock combination. Mechanical combination locks require a special tool and training to successfully change combinations without damaging the mechanism or accidentally locking yourself out of the safe. 

We encourage you to contact Supreme Lock Solutions Ltd. for a highly-qualified safe professional. 

Q: Is an electronic lock less secure than a standard combination lock? 
A: Electronic locks go through the same Underwriters Laboratory testing that mechanical combination locks do. They both have U.L. listings for security. The benefits of having an electronic lock over a combination lock are that the owner may personally change the combination and they are very convenient to use.

Q: What happens if I forget the safe combination? 
A: For security reasons, Supreme Lock Solutions Ltd. does not retain records on safe combinations. Your safe will typically be delivered to you with a factory issued combination and only your safe's manufacturer has the original combination. This is as long as you did not change the factory programmed combination upon receipt. Upon delivery of your safe, our safe professional will provide you with hands-on instructions on how to properly use and dial open your new safe combination lock.  If you forget the factory issued combination, you will need the model name and serial number of your safe when contacting Supreme Lock Solutions Ltd.  If you are unable to locate these two items, we will try to locate the information for you. We recommend that you write your safe combination on a card and give it to a trusted family member or friend. DO NOT keep the combination in writing at your home or office -- or in the safe. If you forget your combination, then you can contact the person with your combination card.  If the safe is locked and the combination is unknown we specialize in safe open ups.  Call us for more information on this topic.

Q: My digital keypad won’t work and I can’t access my safe?
A: Your batteries may be weak, try changing the batteries. 

Q: What if the batteries go dead in an electric lock? 
A: Before the batteries go dead the lock emits multiple audible chirps (similar to those emitted by a smoke detector alarm) to alert the user that the batteries need to be changed. Your private combination will be stored in a "non-volatile" memory chip inside the electronic lock. If you are gone for several weeks, your private combination code will remain stored in the memory chip. Simply replace the 9-volt battery in the lock and your private combination code will still work.  If for some reason the battery is completely dead, your combination will still be stored and accessible once you replace the battery.   Call Supreme if you have questions related to battery replacement.

Q: Where can I get a duplicate key to my safe or filing cabinet? 
A: For duplicate keys, please contact Supreme Lock Solutions Ltd.; we will do our best to provide you with a duplicate key.  Sometimes it is necessary to contact the manufacturer of your safe or filing cabinet.  


Q: What is the warranty on my new safe? 
A: Manufacturers have varying warranties, depending on the type of product. Your warranty period begins on the date you receive your product. Most safe warranties are one year; however, some safes have a Lifetime Limited Warranty. Please contact us for more complete details on warranties, terms, limitations and exclusions. Proof of purchase (receipt) will be required in the event of any warranty issues or claims. 

Shipping & Installation

Q: How can I get my safe installed inside my home or office? 
A: We offer no-hassle after purchase delivery and installation.  Depending on the safe’s weight, dimensions, location and accessibility our Supreme Lock Solutions Ltd. safe professional is equipped to deliver your product–safely and conveniently.  We specialize in delivery of all safes- big and small.  Some of our larger safes require the assistance of a freight truck or crane. We cater to our clients’ needs by offering our comprehensive safe delivery and installation service. Let the experts move your new safe into your home or business without any trouble to you our customer.   Inside delivery service is always an option and generally advised considering the fact that some safes weigh over 2000 lbs.

There will be some questions that need to be addressed first including:  
Where will you locate your safe?
What are the doorway dimensions?
Are there any steps involved?
Do you require floor protection?
Can the floor sustain the safe’s weight?
Is there an elevator?

Answering these questions first allows us to give a more accurate delivery quote.  

Let us do what we do best!
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YOUR SECURITY SOLUTION-Over 30 years in the Lock and Safe business at work for you!

If you have any questions, please give us a call:  902-982-2498  Call today! 
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This page was last updated: January 27, 2019
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