Frequently Asked Questions

Q - My door is hard to lock, I have to push or pull it with a great deal of force to get it (un)locked. Why is this? It was working fine before.
A - Buildings tend to shift and settle over time. Wood has a tendency to expand during humid weather, and contract during dry weather. Because of this, the locks latch and its corresponding strike plate become out of alignment, and needs to be adjusted.

Q - My key is difficult to turn, should I force the key until it turns?
A - No! Too much force on a key will likely cause it to break off inside the lock. When your locks become hard to turn, or snap/stick when you turn your key; then it needs to be re-keyed to the proper pin height to match the key you are attempting to use.

Q - My key just stopped working all of a sudden. How and why did this happen?
A - Either the lock could be dry or seized, and need lubrication; or your key or lock (or both) could be worn and require either a code cut key or the cylinder to be re-keyed to factory specs.

Q - Can I use WD-40 or graphite in my locks?
A - Never use either in a vehicle lock, as over time, this can inhibit the moving parts and attracts dirt/dust causing lock failure. Graphite should only be used sparingly in residential and commercial style locks. Rather than WD-40 we recommend a teflon or silicone based lubricant such as Tri-flo.

Q - Sometimes I need to jiggle the key in the lock to get it to turn. What should I do?
A - When you need to jiggle your key, this means that either the key, the lock, or both is worn; and you're best to get a code cut key made. If this doesn't help, then you will likely also need to have your cylinder re-keyed to factory specifications.

Q - I want all of my locks on my house to take the same key, can this be done?
A - Yes. If you have a key that slides into all your locks, then we can re-key the locks to be "keyed alike". If you have a lock (or locks) that the key doesn't slide into; then those will need to be replaced to the brand of key in question.

Q - Someone has stolen my keys; and I need to change my locks. Does this mean I have to buy all new locks?
A - No. We can simply re-key your locks by changing the pins (combination) to a new code; rather than going through the added expense of replacement.

Q - Can you supply locks that can be operated by my existing key?
A - Yes. We supply and key new locks to existing keys all the time.

Q - What is a master key?
A - A master key is a secondary key that opens a group of locks; and sometimes all locks within a master key system. Many people get this confused with their locks that are "keyed alike"; where only one key operates all the locks.

Q - What is the difference between re-keying and master keying?
A - Re-keying changes the combination of the lock by changing the pins/tumblers to match the profile of new keys. Master keying is a process of keying locks to allow multiple keys to operate a lock under a master key system.

Q - What is a restricted key system?
A - A restricted key system restricts who can get a key duplicated. Only the authorized account holder may have duplicates made and/or update the current system we have on file.

Q - How do I know if the lock on my door is master keyed?
A - Unless you are in an apartment building, or group of buildings managed by a property manager; you likely won't know if your lock is master keyed or not. A professional locksmith must disassemble the cylinder to determine if your lock is master keyed. If there is no reason for the lock to be master keyed, we can simply remove the master pins for you.

Q - Is the "Do Not Duplicate" marking on a key enough for controlling key duplication?
A - No. While we respect the "Do Not Duplicate" marking on a key, many discount stores do not. To prevent unauthorized key duplication, a restricted key system such as Abloy, Medeco, or ASSA etc., should be used.

Q - Is there such a thing as a key that can open all locks?
A - No. A master key is a specific key that is designed to operate a group of locks, or all locks under a master key system. The days of skeleton keys are long gone. Rest assured that there is no such "master key" that opens all locks.

Q - Can a locksmith cut a key from a number?
A - It is quite common for a locksmith to cut a key "by code". This is possible for many things such as: vehicles, padlocks, filing cabinets, etc. Providing proof of ownership before cutting a key by code is a standard procedure of security professionals to safeguard security.

Q - What is a laser cut key?
A - Laser cut keys or sidewinders, are keys with the milling on the side rather than on the top and bottom. Contrary to the name, lasers are not required to cut this type of key!

Q - What is a transponder key?
A - It is a key with an embedded computer chip that transmits data to your vehicle when you turn it on. If the signal is recognized by the vehicles immobilizer, then the engine will start. If the signal is invalid, or the key has become damaged, the vehicle may go into theft mode and not start.

Q - I have a new car with a transponder key. Do I have to go to the dealership to get another key?
A - No. We are equipped to handle the majority of transponder keys on the market today; and usually at a fraction of the price of a dealership.

Q - My vehicle door lock was replaced. Can you change the door lock to suit the ignition key?
A - Yes. Please bring in the lock cylinder and the key in question; and we will key it up for you.

Q - Someone has stolen the keys to my car. What now?
A - We can rekey your vehicle locks to a new key, and even remove old transponder keys and add new ones for your peace of mind.

Q - I lost the key to my car. Is there any way I can get a new key made?
A - Depending on the year, make & model of the vehicle; we can usually cut a key by code for your vehicle. If a code is not available we can disassemble the locks to determine the key cuts; and make a new key.

Q - I just bought a business with a safe, and I don't know the combination. Can you help me get it open?
A - Yes. Safe opening services are one of our specialties. We can also do repairs after opening a safe to renew its appearance, functionality, and security.

Q - Can you change the combination on my safe?
A - Yes. Our safe & vault technicians can service, reset, and change combinations on the majority of safes on the market today.

Q - Is it necessary to service combination safes?
A - Yes. It is recommended that your safe be serviced at least once a year, depending on the amount of use it endures.

Q - Do you sell fire-resistant safes?
A - Yes. If we don't already have one in stock, we can do special orders to accommodate your needs.

Q - Why should I make sure that I hire a licensed, professional locksmith?
A - Unfortunately, there are individuals out there who are working as locksmiths, but are not licensed. Most of the time, these inexperienced & unprofessional "locksmiths" are simply trying to earn as much money as possible; thus resulting in them giving misleading information.

Only a licensed locksmith can give you qualified advice and recommendations regarding security solutions (both physical & electronic) for your home or business.

Q - What is a Locksmith Association?
A - Locksmith Associations are organizations committed to safeguarding the trust society has placed in security professionals, and the security industry. This is accomplished in a number of ways such as:

  • Accountability - through security checks, fingerprinting, licensing, etc.
  • Training - through ongoing hands-on classes at the local, provincial & national levels, including manufacturer & distributor sponsored classes or seminars.
  • Education - through association newsletters and national-level journals, books and manuals.

Q - Can I buy lock opening tools?
A - No. Lock opening tools are only available to persons with a license under the Criminal Code of Canada (section 353). Active Lock & Safe WILL NOT supply opening tools to anyone.

Q - Can I schedule a specific appointment time?
A - Yes. You can make a specific appointment that meets your needs, and we will do our best to work with your schedule. All appointments are on a first come, first serve basis.

Q - Do you operate a mobile service?
A - Yes. We service all of Southern Alberta, and parts of British Columbia.

Q - What types of payment do you accept?
A - We accept cash, Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, and debit card payments. We also have the capability to accept these payment forms from our mobile units as well.

Q - Can you bill me now, and I pay later?
A - Charging an invoice is only permissible once an account has been set up with our accounts receivable department.

Q - What sort of warranty is on your products and service work?
A - Every product we sell carries a different manufacturer's warranty. Please inquire about warranty at the time of purchase.

Q - Do you have an after-hours emergency service?
A - Yes. We provide a limited after-hours emergency service for your convenience.