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A-Best Locksmith

Serving Normandy, Tullahoma, Manchester, 
Shelbyville, and Winchester, TN since 1989!


A-Best Locksmith shares tips, tricks, and suggestions to help people in the Tennessee towns of Manchester, Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, and Tullahoma. Call David at 615-308-6794 if you have any questions!

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Are Classroom Intruder Locks a Good Idea?

Posted on May 21, 2019 at 3:50 PM

Classroom inturder locks, locks that can be locked in the outside by using a key in the inside, are one solution to the active shooter problem taking place in school campuses. In the even the classrooms need to be locked down because of an emergency, the teacher can take her key, insert it into the inside lock cylinder, turn it, and lock down the outside lock handle. She can do this without having to leave the room and lock the door from the outside.

Okay. The iclassroom intruder lock is a good idea, although an expensive one. But, if it were up to me - unfortunatley it's up to the codes people - I wouldn't have an intruder lock on my classroom door as the be-all-end-all answer to the active shooter problem. Here's why:

  1. In the event of an emergenecy, somebody with a key must be inside the room in order to lock it.
  2. In order to lock an intruder lock, the teacher is going to have to find her key and be calm enough to get the key into the lock cylinder. This is sometimes hard to do anyway.
  3. If the teacher IS NOT FULLY TRAINED to use the lock, she could end up locking it AND UNLOCKING it both at the same time!
One school system I know about has attached a chain to the door from which hangs a key to operate the inside lock in the event of an emergency. Sorry, but that's a mistake. Just because a key is available doesn't mean someone can be sure the lock is on lock down in the event of an emergency. 

If it were up to me, here's what I would do. Given that we cannot and should not have two locks on one door, which is a life safety hazard, I would install a grade one ENTRY LEVER which uses a button on the inside to lock the outside. In the event there is an active shooter, any student can push the button and know THE LOCK IS LOCKED! The problem with my solution here? Kids can lock the door whenever they want to. I don't think this is real problem. 

If clasrroom instruders are used, here is something you can do. I have down this with the locks in one county. Every lock takes a unique outside key which only the teacher using the classroom has. The principal has a master key which operates all the locks. The inside cylinder of the intruder lock is keyed to ONE KEY THAT WORKS IN THE ENTIRE COUNTY SYSTEM. This key is given out to subs and teachers. In an emergency, every person on the school staff has a key that will work in any classroom. That means if a teacher is in a different classroom, she can lock down that classroom. As always, school staff must be properly-trained to use these locks.

Still, in the end, I think ENTRY FUNCTION locks are the answer. I think intruders are a mistake. Coupled with a resource officer, metal detectors, room alarms, and locked outer doors, an entry lock will be foolproof safety feature to protect kids.

The Manchester, TN Fried Chicken Restaurant Manager Who Needed to be Fried - uh, ur, Fired!

Posted on December 14, 2018 at 11:10 AM

Got a call to a famous fried chicken place in Manchester, Tennessee, a few years ago. It was late, the girl, an associate manager, was pretty upset. She told me to come to the restaurant and open the office door. When I arrived, I asked her about the problem. She said her key wouldn't work. I tried the key myself, working the usual jiggly magic, and the lock would not unlock. I grabbed my long, under-the-door tool, grabbed the inside lever, and pulled. Nothing. The interior lever, which is always free, was jammed up, too. The key cylinder was drill-proof. The only thing left to do was to destroy the lever, and I did. It took me two minutes. The girl, with a look on fear in her eyes, told me to indicate on the bill what had happened to the lock, that the lock breakage was not her fault. I did.

A day later, I got a call from the manager. He told me I should not have destroyed the lock because his employees knew the drill. They were supposed to climb up into a ten-foot-high ceiling and drop down into the office. He told me he would never call me again and, "Oh, by the way, I fired the girl who called you."

I should have called the restaurant's regional manager, but I didn't. The manager of this famous fried chicken joint, by requiring his employees to crawl into a ceiling, was foolish and dangerous. Even his employees were afraid of him! As I said, this manager should have been fried - I mean, fired - on the spot, for putting his own lousy bonus ahead of the safety of his employees.

Is There Fraudulent Locksmith Activity Going On in Manchester, TN, and Tullahoma, TN?

Posted on April 27, 2016 at 4:50 PM

It has been said to me by somebody in the click-fraud industry that locksmiths are the worst perpetrators of fraud known in the internet world.  Add to that the fact that the Tennessee Locksmith Licensing Program cannot enforce the laws for locksmiths at the present time, then you know you simply cannot go online and hire a locksmith without doing your homework.  (You do need references, don't you?)

There is a locksmith working in the Manchester, TN and Tullahoma, TN area that has been cited and fined by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance for operating without a proper license.  So, the question is this - wouldn't you want to know why a person would not be licensed by the state?  And would you really want someone in your home who may not be elegible to have a license? I do not know the answer.  However, operating as a locksmith in Tennessee without a locksmth license is a crime.

Just think about it.  Why would the state refuse to license a person for locksmith work?  Can you think of anything?  Why would the state of Tennessee think an individual should not own locksmith tools? Has the person just never bothered with submitting a license application?  Is the persona  felon?  As a comsumer, I'd want to know.

Before you click on a locksmith advertising with a paid ad on Google or Yahoo, call the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and ask if the locksmith you want to use is licensed.  Here is something you need to pay attention to.  Go to the Disciplinary Actions Reports for October, 2015 and look under Locksmith Licensing.




Respondent: (Go to Google Adwords and then to the Dept. of Commerce site.  See if this business has been licensed yet.)

Violation: Unlicensed activity

Action: $500 Civil Penalty

Fraudulent locksmith activity hurts everyone and accounts for almost 30% of all revenues lost by legitimate, law-abiding locksmiths.  Be sure that the locksmith you call does have a valid locksmith license and ask the locksmith to show it to you when he arrives.

How Locksmith Scams Work in Tullahoma and Manchester, TN.

Posted on April 2, 2016 at 4:35 PM

If you are an individual looking for a locksmith, and if you do a search for "locksmith" in the search engines, the first things that usually pop up are paid locksmith ads.


(Note: People selling locksmith services pay a hefty price when you click on their ads.)


Most of the ads you see will advertise a low service call rate.


(Note: This is how you are hooked, because you are looking for a cheap locksmith.)


When you click on the ad, a person will tell you that, yes, the service call is minimal. But they will also tell you that there will be a small labor charge. What that charge will be, they refuse to say.

(Note: This is how they set you up for an over-charge.)


When the locksmith shows up and completes the work, he will hand you a bill for $375 when your real job was only an $85 job.


(Note: The locksmith is working for a locksmith reseller and he must share half the charges with the reseller. Do you really think such a locksmith can show up and do your work for $42.50?)


When you see the bill, you will protest. The locksmith will then tell you the bill must be paid or he will take you to court tomorrow. His reseller may even call you and threaten you.


(Note: Stand your ground. Offer the criminal $85 and don;t budge. He'll eventually take it and walk away.)


If this happens to you, get the locksmith's license plate number. Report the name of the locksmith company and all supporting documentation to your states Department of Commerce.

Chances are good you'll get scammed if you hire a locksmith from a pay-per-click ad!

Posted on March 30, 2016 at 4:30 PM

If I were a criminal locksmith working Manchester, TN or Tullahoma, TN, and I wanted to use expensive pay-per-click ads as my sole avenue of income, here's what I would do.

I would advertise a ridiculously low service call price somewhere between $10 and $19, even if I had to pay $30 for the click. This way, I would get the click and the phone call from a prospective customer.

I would tell the customer that the service call was $19 and assure him the labor charge would be small. But I'd also tell him that I wouldn't know what the labor charge would be until I started working on his locks. I would make it my motto to never give a customer a firm, upfront price.

After the job was finished, I would tell the customer that his lock job was more involved than most, and that I not only had to rekey the lock, but I also had to replace it. I would find any and every way I could to double-charge the customer and sell him over-priced products he didn't need.

I would jack up the price of the bill by three hundred to four hundred percent over the standard, going rates charged by ethical, local locksmiths. If the customer showed any hesitancy in paying the bill, I would threaten to sue him. More than likely, he would back down and just pay the bill.

I would never use a pre-printed locksmith invoice that showed my address or phone number.

And this is how criminal locksmiths operate. They are never local, they are never honest, they never commit to an upfront price.


But they will always threaten to sue you when you ask why the bill is too high.


You will not find them in your Chamber of Commerce or as members of the Better Business Bureau. Some of them will not have business licenses, valid addresses, or be traceable to any location.


If I wanted to find a criminal locksmith, the first place I would look would be in the pay-per-click section of the search engines.  But that doesn't mean all pay-per-click locksmiths are engaging in criminal activity.  But still -- I wouldn't hire one!

Don't Damage Your Car by Using a Crow Bar!

Posted on March 19, 2016 at 11:10 PM

I got a call from a woman in Tullahoma, TN.  She wanted me to open her car.  She called me after she had taken a crow bar to the top of the door.  Luckily, she stoppped using it when she saw the paint get scratched and then notices a small dent in the roof of the car.  I would guess that little ding cost her around $400 in repairs.  She called me, and I opened her car for a very reasonable price.  Now she wishes she had never taken the crow bar to her car door!

Stripped-Out Screw Holes?

Posted on March 19, 2016 at 11:10 PM

If you have stripped-out screw holes in your wooden doors or jambs, try inserting a wooden golf tee.  Hammer it gently unti lit fits snugly and then break it off flush with the wood.  You now will be able to insert the screw and it will hold perfectly!  Just remember not to make the golf tee too tight, otherwise, you may split the wood in the jamb.

Door Closer Leaking Oil

Posted on January 16, 2016 at 9:25 AM

If you see oil on the floor near your business door, or if you see it dripping down the door frame or down the jamb, you have a bad door closer.  The oil you see is called hydraulic fluid, and that fluid is the lifeblood of your closer.  If the closer is leaking, forget about repairing it.  It's time for a new one.  Also, if an inexperienced person has tried to adjust the settings on the closer, and has removed one of the adjustment screws too far, or if he has removed it completely, fluid will shoot out and the closer will be ruined.

Another sign that your closer is going bad is dust and dirt sticking to the closer. That means the fluid is leaking out slowly and creeping along the surface of the closer, thereby attracting dust.

If you see fluid dripping from the closer, or see thick, damp dust, it is time to replace it.  If you don't the door will begin to slam; and when commercial doors slam, people can be hurt or maimed.  Call David if you need to have your closer adjusted or replaced.

Ice In Your Car Door Locks and What To Do About It

Posted on January 16, 2016 at 9:15 AM

The best way to thaw a frozen caf door lock is to spray warm WD-40, or other liquid penetrant of lube, into the lock then quickly nsert your key and open the lock.  You can set the can of WD-40 into a sink of hot water to get it warm - but do not put it on the stove or in the microwave!  Using a pair of Vice Grips to hold the key whiel you heat it up with a match is just plain stupid.  The key will get soft and it will bend easier or break off in the lock.  When you use warm WD-40, be sure to spray it enough so that the WD-40 displaces the moisture in the lock.

Your car door locks freeze up when it rains one day and freezes thenext.  So, keep the warm WD-40 handy!

Getting a Firm Quote From Your Locksmith

Posted on January 14, 2016 at 10:55 AM

I received a call from a business on South Rutherford Boulevard who wanted me to change his locks.  When I arrived, he told me he just paid a locksmith $375 to change two locks.  He also told me he found the locksmith in a paid ad on a search engine.  When the business owner called the number in the ad, the person on the phone would not give him a firm price for the service he needed.  When he got the bill from the locksmith, and said he thought it was too high, the locksmith threatnened him with a lawsuit.

If you call a locksmith and he refuses to give you a firm, upfront price for his services, do not request his services.  Why?  Because there is a chance you will be taken to the cleaners.

Why would a locksmith overcharge a customer?  Besides being greedy, a pay-per-click locksmith is someone who has been hired by a person who owns the pay-per-click ad.  He splits the cost of the lock job with the person, whoever he is, who owns the ad.  Many times, the pay-per-click ads have poorly-educated people working for them and, sometimes, they have to drive vast distances.  This isn't always true, however.

Be careful. Never sign an invoice before a job is done, and demand an upfront quote before any work is begun.  You'll be glad you did!