Kenton Brothers Lockpicking Contest: Beat The Punisher and win $1,000!

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

The PunisherKenton Brothers has created a lockpicking challenge for 2022 called The Punisher!

Lockpicking goes back to when the very first lock was invented and at Kenton Brothers our locksmiths have been picking locks from the start to get our customers into their locked doors. So we decided to have a little fun and come up with a contest for anyone who wants to go through the gauntlet of lock picking that we call “The Punisher”.

The Rules

  • Have to pick a total of 15 locks in under 2 hours. Each lock on level 1 must be picked in 5 minutes or less. All locks on consecutive levels must be picked in under 10 minutes each. You can bank time if you pick a lock in under its required time… this time can be banked towards the next lock. If at any time you go over the time limit at any specific lock, your attempt is over.
  • Must use Kenton Brothers provided pick set.
  • Must be supervised and scheduled at the Kenton Brothers office located at 3401 E. Truman Rd Kansas City, MO 64127.
    Please call our main line at 816-842-3700 to provide name and contact info to schedule your attempt.
  • Must be done from 9am to 2pm Monday – Friday.
  • Each person is only allowed one (1) attempt.
  • Any person attempting can’t be a professional locksmith or a Kenton Brothers Employee.
  • The first person to successfully open all 15 locks under the contest time limit will be awarded $1,000.00.

We’ve been commercial locksmiths in the Kanas City community since 1897. And we are always looking for fun ways to engage with the community. This is a fun and friendly contest to show how hard it is to pick locks and provide a small insight to what Kenton Brothers does on a daily basis. Please give our office a shout today to schedule your time to give your best shot to The Punisher!

Our Newest Apprentice? An International Soccer Player from Central Methodist University

Apprentice: Mark from CMUBy Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Kenton Brothers has run an apprenticeship program for many years. Typically, we’ve used the program to introduce people to the field of locksmithing. Locksmithing is not something you would find in a college course catalog and it can take many years to hone and perfect the craft. Likewise, coursework in electronic security can be hard to find. Adjacent coursework like IT management or computer science is close, but not a substitute for hands-on learning.

Meet Mark

Mark is an international student, studying at Central Methodist University. We started talking to Mark earlier this year. He was looking for a place to get some hands-on experience related to his computer science degree. Mark comes from Hungary, where his father is a well known, professional soccer player. Mark is a talented soccer player himself (and played professionally in Hungary.) Mark determined that while he enjoyed soccer, it wasn’t going to be his career. So he found an opportunity to play soccer in the United States and with a scholarship for college. One of Mark’s classes sparked his passion for computer science, causing Mark to add computer science as his third major.

Getting hands-on experience for any degree can increase your demand after graduation.

Computer science is so broad as a topic, one could specialize in dozens of fields. Kenton Brothers focuses on computer science in physical and cyber security. Computers are behind most of the systems in our world today, and physical security is no different. By focusing on the computer systems in physical security, we can make them easier to use and understand for our customers. We also increase cyber security for the installed systems and focus on where the physical and cyber systems converge.

Mark was able to use his time during an internship at Kenton Brothers to increase his knowledge of control wiring, physical security principles, and cyber security hardening. He earned two manufacturer certifications to springboard his physical security experience. Then he focused on programming a large installation throughout the summer with several smaller programming tasks. And he has been able to experience implementations of commercial security access control, cameras and intercoms.

We look forward to working more with Mark as he continues working towards earning his degree and after graduating. Hopefully, we’ve fostered a curiosity for him  within the computer science niche of physical security.

If you or someone you know is  interested in computers and would like to learn more about our internship opportunities, please visit our apprentice program page.

Words of Wisdom from William and Leon – Commercial Counter Q&A

By Justine King, Sales and Marketing Administrator at Kenton Brothers

Kenton Brothers - HistoryAs a 124 year old company, Kenton Brothers Systems for Security has been the leading name in locksmithing and electronic security systems for the Midwest region. We remember where we started as locksmiths to know where we’re going as a company. Here are some words of wisdom from our founding brothers, William and Leon:

Most Common Questions from Customers at the Commercial Counter:

Can you cut this rare style of key that I can’t find anywhere?

Most customers walk in and ask if we can cut “this” key. Typically, they started at a mainstream supply store such as Lowe’s. Here at Kenton Brothers, we stock enough keys that we’ll be able to cut just about any key brought in.

Can this lock be fixed or do I need to purchase a new one?

Yes, most locks can be worked on and saved/restored. (Now, the question is if the lock is still the safest and most efficient way of protecting your business.)

What is the importance of choosing the correct keying system?

Depending on budget and goal of the system, we will be able to find a locking system that will solve your issues.

Words of Wisdom from William and Leon - Retail Counter Q&A

Tricks and Suggestions:

Words of Wisdom from William and Leon - Retail Counter Q&ADo not use graphite for fixing locks: Many people find online sources that suggest adding graphite into a lock as a lubricant. Mortise locks used to have a chamber for the graphite to fall into, however, most cylinders no longer have this open chamber for the graphite to settle into. If graphite is added to these new mortise locks, it can cause build up in the cylinder and eventually create more damage to the lock over time.

Avoid SmartKey Kwikset Locks: The KB Commercial Counter suggests that customers stay away from SmartKey locks. They don’t contain pins that one would need to master key the lock. These SmartKey locks contain plastic parts that don’t have the longevity of metal parts and therefore are not as safe because they can be bypassed or broken more easily. Rather than these locks, KB recommends any Schlage electronic or mechanical locks for any style of property.

How to Remove a Jammed Key from the Lock: Keys often get stuck in a lock for numerous reasons. However, the most common reason is that the bezel nut or cam may be loose on the inside of the lock causing the lock to create a Chinese Finger Trap situation. In order to remove a key that has become stuck, it is best to use the index finger to push against the face of the cylinder while simultaneously pulling back on the key. It is important to bring the lock cylinder into a locksmith to tighten and adjust the malfunctioning bezel nut or cam.

Do you need help with commercial keying?

Our Commercial Counter helps customers create and manage key systems, duplicate keys, re-key, order parts, repair parts and the list goes on. We welcome local walk-ins every day, but not all of our customers are local. We have customers across the country that rely on our knowledge and products to protect them. If you need help with your commercial keys, let’s talk!

Words of Wisdom from William and Leon - Retail Counter Q&A

What Happens When Your 100 Year Old Lock Breaks?

By Ryan Kaullen, Field Services Manager at Kenton Brothers

Kenton Brothers has been in business since 1897. Through our 124 year history, we’ve seen just about every type of lock imaginable. But in 2021, we rarely see locks that are 100+ years old. Most of those have become obsolete, the companies who once made them are out of business, and most were just thrown away over the years.

Recently a customer of Kenton Brothers brought into our commercial locksmith service counter a lock from the early 1900’s that had a piece broken. The customer bringing in the lock knew it was a longshot that it could be fixed. But it was a piece of history and was in a historical building, so they were going to do everything they could to try and fix it. The piece that was broken is vital to the lock because without it the bolt would free float… not allowing the lock to properly engage and lock.

The section circled below is the part that was broken.

100 Year Old Lock

Vern is our senior front counter commercial locksmith has been a locksmith all his life. His father was a locksmith before him, so he is always up for a challenge. After looking over the lock, he came up with a plan that required him to take a very small bit to drill completely through the piece and then install a small roll pin to attach it back to the lock body. This was an extremely difficult task because of the size of the part that was broken. If the drill bit did not go straight through, the piece wouldn’t be repairable.

After re-attaching the broken piece to the lock body, it was tested over 100 times to make sure the repair would hold up. And it did!

100 Year Old Lock Repair

Repairs on 100+ year old locks don’t always turn out like this. But we like solving problems for our customers. Being innovative is one of our core values, and in this case it allowed us to help keep a part of history intact.

Do you need help with commercial locksmith services at your business? We can help!

100 Year Old Lock Repair

People Counters and Intercoms – Adapting to this New Normal

By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers

Like many businesses, Kenton Brothers is adapting to the “Stay at home” order and the “New Normal”. While we remain operational, we are changing our operations to reduce risk and exposure for our team and yours. One of the ways we’ve adapted is by looking at our systems and seeing what they can do for us.

With fewer people in the office, we’ve introduced some new challenges.

Commercial Counter - People Counter in ActionOne such challenge is when people come to our commercial counter. The commercial counter is not always staffed like it used to be. The employees staffing our commercial counter are still in the building, but they’re helping out other teams. We don’t want a customer waiting for service, so we looked to our systems to increase alerting.

In this case, we used the Axis “People counter” software to send alerts to our team members when someone gets to the commercial counter. This counter is loaded directly onto the camera and can send alerts from the camera itself or notify the Video Management System (VMS) which can apply more logic to the alert.

The intercoms installed at our main entrances have become even more vital.

Old intercom systems used to be answered by a physical device at one or two desks in an office or retail environment. Today, intercoms are assigned to an extension on your phone system and can be answered by any station.

Most intercom systems have mobile applications where you can see and talk to the person at the intercom from anywhere in the world. We have an Axis 8105-E and 2N Solo mounted at two of our main entrances. The person who usually answers the intercom is at home, but shifting the answering station to another person was as simple as changing the extension in our phone system. We could have enabled the mobile app for after-hours answering if that was necessary as well.

Although these are “strange times” we can look to technology to help fill some of the gaps. These tools and technologies can  increase our ability to do more with less. If you’re faced with some business or security problems in this new world, give us a call. We’re happy to help!