Under Lock and Key

Apr 7, 2020

The Secrets of Security with Juri Kotowitz of West Hartford Lock

A top priority of every home and business owner is the protection and safety of their home or business. It is a natural instinct for people to keep their homes, businesses, the “things” and most importantly the people inside, safe. West Hartford Lock has built its reputation on the ability to work on homes new or old, as well as businesses big and small to ensure the physical security of the building using traditional hardware and locks as well as the latest in technology.

West Hartford Lock recognizes security must be convenient or people don’t use it… then they aren’t secure and don’t think about until something terrible happens.

Known for getting the job done right the first time, West Hartford Lock comes to your door instilling confidence in their ability and confidence in your security once the job is done.

We asked Juri Kotowitz, of West Hartford Lock to tell us about the company, tips on home security, and new trends in the industry.

Juri, West Hartford Lock has been a staple in town for over 80 years. Tell us a bit about what sets you apart.

Our team. Hands-down our team is what sets us apart. Anyone can sell door hardware, the people make the difference. What you want and need is the experienced people who actually know the product, can troubleshoot and get the job done right. Our team really knows their stuff and we take pride in that. They’ve seen some of the oldest hardware and repaired it rather than replace it because that older hardware was made incredibly well and will last forever. The team also has the ability to offer the latest hardware which boasts incredible options, technology and convenience. Convenience is key! Pardon the pun. But seriously, when it’s easy to lock or secure a door, people do it… when it’s not easy, people find a way to bypass it often leaving the premises unsecure.

What are your customers calling you for most often?

Our most common calls for service include repair of existing deadbolt or other door hardware and rekeying. For example, something has gone wrong with a customer’s door and they call us to fix it. I apologize for the broad answer, but really if it involves a door and the hardware, we’ve gotten the call. Almost like that insurance commercial; if it’s happened to a door, we’ve seen it, and taken care of it. Rekeying is popular because of course you want to do this when you buy a new home or commercial building; who knows who has keys to your new space? We will also rekey when customers decide they want all the locks in the home or business to be on the same key.

What is an average day like at West Hartford Lock?

Like I just mentioned, calls for repair, rekeying, supplying & installing deadbolts, supplying and installing all manner of door hardware as well as the sales and servicing of safes. I haven’t mentioned safes yet, but we sell and service all sizes and types of safes. Right now, gun, ammunition and standard home safes are very popular. Each of these products and the related services keep our team quite busy.

An interesting facet that I love is when customers with older homes travel to us from all over the state because our fluency in historical door hardware. Our customers often want to preserve the original hardware or repair what they have. We do that better than anyone. Other customers want something completely new that they can control at the click of a button, or touch of their phone so along with our experience with historical hardware, we have all the latest technology and a fantastic selection of products too. Regardless of what someone is looking for, we are all about making people feel completely safe in their environment.

Most customers aren’t aware that behind the scenes we also have a commercial hardware division. Our team on that side of the business bids and supplies large commercial projects in Connecticut and surrounding states. We have supplied doors, frames and hardware for local projects like Teachers Corner in Hartford and The Delamar in West Hartford, a renovation at Windsor Police Depart and even at The new Encore Wynn Casino in Boston.

What should people be doing today to make sure that their home or business is secure?

Everyone has a different idea of security and what level they are comfortable with. We are here to listen to your concerns, present prudent solutions that address those concerns and do it within your budget. The best place to start is by making sure that only people you authorize have keys to your home or business. Rekeying creates only one key for the entire home and it is the most cost-effective way to get started with physical home security. We also offer consultations to get a feel for your home and have a personalized discussion about concerns and options specific to each client’s needs. Use the locks and other security devices you already have, make sure they’re in working order, if they aren’t or you want to add or upgrade then call us.

What are the major differences in what you do for homes versus businesses?

Our residential work commonly involves rekeying after a new home purchase, repairing original hardware and upgrading to new hardware. Many customers like the idea of remotely unlocking their doors with smart/connected locks where they can walk right in rather than fumble for keys.

Our commercial work involves commercial-grade hardware and similarly often revolves around rekeying for security purposes. Similar to the residential side, we see a trend towards touch keypad or smart/connected locks for ease of use and to reduce the cost of rekeying because of staff turnover. We also help businesses maintain code compliance and repair or replace the hardware for building security as well as emergency egress.

While some of the products are a little different, the concerns and needs of our customers are the same. Security.

What trends are you seeing in security right now?

Smartphone connected smart-locks have been big for a few years and their popularity continues to grow. The functionality and versatility are amazing.

Regarding safes, most of the evolution has to do with gun safes. Maintaining a firearm in a secure manner while also being able to access it quickly in an emergency is crucial. Touchpad, fingerprint recognition and multi-method-access technology are leading the way in terms of safety innovation.

People use security features when they are simple. You will lock your doors more often when it is simple to lock/unlock. When your neighborhood homes are secure and firearms are appropriately locked away, you reduce your risk of burglary and everyone is safer.

You’ve been in West Hartford for 80 years and now you’re here in the Design District. What do you love about the neighborhood?

The Design District of West Hartford has an exceptional number of resources in such a concentrated area. Being a member of the Design District provides the ability for members to work with each other and help their customers to get the best possible people for the job. Everyone is so dedicated to the highest quality products and services and we all share the same values. It’s exciting to be part of a business community that really cares about the work they are putting out.

West Hartford Lock has been providing residential and commercial locksmith services in the Greater Hartford region for over 80 years.  The company also offers retail sale of safes, hardware, and other accessories. Learn more about West Hartford Lock and all that they have to offer at https://www.westhartfordlock.com/.