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Lockout/Tagout Solutions for Facility Managers

What is lockout/tagout?
Lockout/Tagout (aka LOTO) is a system that outlines measures for controlling hazardous energies like electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, chemical, and thermal. Industrial production facilities use lockout/tagout products to first lock a switch or valve with a safety device and to indicate when a piece of machinery or equipment should not be turned on until completion of maintenance or servicing work.

Why is lockout/tagout important?
The lockout/tagout standard is designed to protect the 3 million plus employees who service or maintain machines or equipment that may be exposed to serious harm or death if hazardous energy isn’t properly controlled. Non-compliance with this standard routinely results in worker related injuries and sometimes even deaths. According to the OSHA, compliance with the lockout/tagout standard prevents and estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.

How do you protect your building and workers?
Employers are responsible for protecting employees from hazardous energy sources on machines and equipment during service and maintenance. Use only lockout/tagout devices authorized for the equipment and ensure that the lockout/tagout devices identify the individual users. Most importantly, make sure to have a documented and enforced energy control procedure for your building and its employees.

Where do you buy lockout/tagout supplies?
Harry’s Locksmith is a one-stop security shop for property managers in Vancouver and the Portland metro area. From padlocks to lockout kits and labels, we carry in stock Abus safety lockout/tagout solutions.

Harry’s Locksmith provides the products and services you need to help keep your building secure and OSHA compliant. The OSHA LOTO standard has 5 requirements that all safety products and devices must meet:
1) Durable
2) Substantial
3) Standardized
4) Identifiable
5) Exclusive for safety

Click here to read the full OSHA standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations.

For more information on LOTO products or to purchase LOTO supplies, give us a call at 360-696-4901.

 

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5 Reasons to Choose a Company that Offers Complete Lock and Key Service

Whether you’re a business owner trying to protect some of your company’s most valuable resources or simply looking for a little extra security for your home, it’s important to understand the value of a good locksmith.

Many people only give consideration to lock and key services when they’re locked outside or if they need to have their locks changed. The reality, however, is that your locksmith provides far more than just occasional emergency services; they’re also responsible for the security of your home or business.

With that at stake, having access to a good locksmith is at least as important as having the number for a good plumber, electrician, or auto mechanic. It’s not as simple as summoning the first locksmith that your internet search turns up; you need to search carefully for a well-rounded key and lock company that can do a vast array of jobs.

It’s important to look for a company that offers complete lock and key service. Here are five reasons why:

1. Complete Residential Services Available

Many people only think about contacting their locksmith when they’re locked out of their homes. And while being stuck outside on a freezing-cold night can certainly have you wishing and hoping you’ve contacted a good—and fast—locksmith, there’s a lot more to the residential services offered by a good complete lock and key service.

For example, did you know that the locks in your home need to be regularly maintained? Just as with any other mechanical system, it’s a good idea to have your locks checked regularly to ensure they’re still structurally sound; repairs and replacements will occasionally need to be made.

Chances are, you also have plenty of other locks in your home beside the one on the front door. For example, locks on garage man doors, antique cabinets, desk drawers, and safes and vaults. A good key and lock service can help you with the maintenance, rekeying, and other requirements of any of these locks. If you find the right locksmith, they can even help you with old, antique locks. You might want to access your 100-year-old cabinet without damaging it, and a good key and lock service can help you do just that.

2. Complete Commercial Services Available

Of course, if you’re running a business, your lock and key requirements will likely be completely different—and probably more complex—than a simple residential locksmith can provide. Regardless of what type of business you’re trying to protect—be it a bank, restaurant, laboratory, or anything in between—you’ll want a skilled commercial locksmith to handle your security. Don’t rely on basic key replacement service for your business, click here to find out why.

Commercial locks are very different from residential ones; they need to be built stronger, not just for security reasons, but also because the doors on businesses are subject to a lot more wear and tear. After all, the doors on most homes only get used a few times a day, but at a business, hundreds or thousands of people could walk through the door on any given day!

You’ll want a locksmith that specializes in commercial locks, and one that is adept at installing deadbolts and working with automatic doors and that is capable of ensuring your doors are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

3. Automobile Services by the Same Company You Already Trust

Of course, you’re looking for a complete lock and key service, and that means you’re not just thinking about your home and business. You’re thinking about your car or truck as well. Whether it’s a commercial vehicle or a personal one, chances are you’ll need a locksmith for it at some point.

Everyone’s had to deal with the inconvenience of being locked out of a car, and everyone has dealt with the aggravation of losing their car keys. If the key and lock service you’ve found is truly complete, they’ll be able to help you in any scenario.

If you need to get into your locked car, they will be able to do it. If you need a brand-new key made for your ignition, they’ll be able to do that too. They’ll even be able to repair or replace damaged locks in your car or truck doors.

4. Access to Modern Technology

In addition to the broad spectrum of services for homes, businesses, and vehicles, a complete lock and key service will also have an eye toward modern technology.

Locks these days can be vastly more complex than the mechanical tumbler locks most doors still utilize. There are electronic door locks—some of which even sport a Wi-Fi connection—that have been designed to automate the whole process of entering a building. In many cases, you’ll simply need to punch in a code to open the lock. However, there are also biometric locks you can access with a simple fingerprint and of course locks you can open simply by having the key in your pocket.

Technology is advancing all the time and it’s critical that your security advances along with it. It’s extremely important to look for a lock and key service that is up to date on the latest technology. They’ll be able to assist you should you wish to install or access locks that make use of the advanced technology that is now found in buildings everywhere.

5. Commitment to Your Safety and Security

Choosing the right key and lock company is every bit as important as selecting the right auto mechanic, plumber, or electrician. That’s why you want a company that offers many different services—commercial, residential, and automotive—but it’s not enough to simply look for talent. After all, the safety and security of your home, workplace, and automobile are all entrusted to your locksmith. That’s why it’s crucial to do a little homework and vet any key and lock company you are considering.

You’ll want to analyze their commitment to security. Find out if previous customers have been satisfied. Learn if the company runs background checks on their employees. See if the company is a member of important organizations such as the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA). These memberships are important when checking the credibility of a company and when verifying a locksmiths credentials. You’ll also want to find out how long a company has been in business. Often, if a key and lock business has been around for a long time, it can be a hint they’re doing something right.

Harry’s Locksmith provides complete key and lock services that meet all these requirements in the Vancouver, Washington area. In business since 1949, we keep up with the latest security technology and are an excellent choice for your home, business, and vehicle needs.

How to Select Between Vancouver Locksmiths

You never think about how important it is to have a good locksmith in your Rolodex until an emergency comes up. You lock yourself out of your house or office, you cannot get into your car when you are in a rush to get somewhere … you know the drill. In situations like these, having a locksmith you trust that you can pick up the phone and call to bail you out is invaluable.

But finding a locksmith that is reliable and affordable is not as easy as it sounds. You need to do your due diligence and follow a smart procedure when choosing the best possible locksmith to fit your needs. So when considering Vancouver locksmiths, there are several factors you should keep in mind.

Ask Your Friends and Family

You can do all the necessary research, but sometimes word of mouth can be the most effective method at finding a quality locksmith. If somebody you know and trust has a locksmith who has gotten the job done for them while proving to be trustworthy can make your decision of who to hire much easier. If a locksmith has done a good job for a friend or family member, for your purposes, you have tangible proof that locksmith is good at what they do.

Research Professional Reputation

The Better Business Bureau exists for a reason, so make use of it. If you are researching Vancouver locksmiths, looking into a company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau and checking reviews and complaints can, at the very least, may help you narrow the field.

Consult Web Reviews

Online reviews are not an exact science because they can be tainted by those with agendas or even by competitors who pretend to be reviewers, but they can still be very useful if you’re seeking a consensus opinion.

If nothing else, a website like Yelp allows you to see a collection of reviews that can show you either a negative or positive trend in what people are saying about a particular company, which can help steer your search if you are looking for a way to choose between Vancouver locksmiths.

Make Sure the Locksmith is Properly Licensed

The temptation may arise to use an unlicensed locksmith because that company may be cheaper or more responsive due to a desperate need for business. You should avoid this temptation at all costs because unlicensed locksmiths are far more likely to cause you headaches.

Whereas you have little to no protection with an unlicensed locksmith, a licensed locksmith is insured against occupational hazards, can be tracked down by law enforcement, and can be punished if they do something wrong, so they must behave accordingly.

With unlicensed locksmiths, there can be issues with lack of financial protection in case damage is done, and you could find yourself in a situation where you’ve unwittingly hired a fly-by-night company and have no recourse.

It is always better to select a locksmith with whom these are not potential problems, so you should insist that any company you hire is properly licensed and insured.

Shop Around

When deciding which Vancouver locksmith to hire, you want the best possible company to handle your needs, but odds are the price is going to be a major consideration too. This is why contacting companies and getting estimates is such a crucial part of the process. That said, it is important to understand that some locksmith work requires a higher level of expertise and may not be able to be done cheaply.

For example, the need to deal with laser beams or electric fences could be part of the equation. It is also possible that a computerized lock system could be involved, which would entail knowing cryptography and codes to fix or install. All of this must be kept in mind when comparing prices quoted so that, in the end, you can make your decision based on who is offering you the best combination of expertise, service, and price.

Look for Price Transparency

One issue you may encounter when deciding which Vancouver locksmiths you want to work with is that an estimate you are given could be misleading. Companies sometimes put a price on the website or give you an estimate that is significantly lower than what they are actually planning to charge you for the totality of the work you need done. While this is not an entirely uncommon practice, it is definitely sneaky and in no way above board. That is why when you are getting ready to finalize your decision you should verify exactly how much the work is going to cost and get an agreement in writing.

Getting an agreement in writing will legally lock in the price and remove the possibility of a company pulling a bait-and-switch by quoting a price and then using hidden fees and other tricks to pad your bill and drive the final price up.

Be Aware of the Potential Need for Specialization

While it is quite obviously more convenient to have one locksmith company handle all of your needs, this may not be possible. This is especially true if you are dealing with a complex system that involves multiple layers, which could be the case with an office building’s lock system. If this ends up being the situation, it makes your job harder because now you have to shop for multiple locksmiths or find one that is capable of handling numerous tasks.

Keep in mind that even if the locksmith company you select cannot handle all of your needs, that locksmith can be a big help to you since it is likely to have connections to other companies who can take care of what your chosen locksmith cannot do themselves.

With that said, some companies are a jack of all trades in this industry, so it may be in your best interest to spend time finding the right locksmith.