Thursday, January 4, 2018


The los Angeles Times year end edition reported that murder rates decreased in 2017 but robbery and property crimes increased. The article said the police department did not yet know the reason why and would be analyzing it. As a Security Professional we have our own theories but right or not the statistics remain the same and there are solutions to make it safer for your home, school and business.

Our main theory is not new, we believe the increase is due to the early release of prisoners, the time coinciding with the increase in crime. There is also a correlation with the increase in the Opioid epidemic and the need for more money to support the habit. Also important is the States' insanity of the definitions of 'Non Violent' crimes  which you can google. If you read about it, not to mention the plea deals reducing the original charges of a 'violent' crime, your eyes will bug out and you will see why you need High Security locks as your FIRST line of defense.

We also have firsthand knowledge of the increase because we also own Delta Mailbox Sales, a division of Flam's that requires its own expertise and is run by Vikki Flam. Mailbox vandalism to apartment, condo and HOA's has increased over 1,000 % and 90% of all replacements are now the higher security mailboxes. While identity theft is still rampant, the majority of actual offenders are now selling your mail for drug money. Also important to note, that even though they are identifiable on a good camera system, there are too many for the Post Office to even try and pursue.

The good news is that there are many deterrents, well worth the investment, that can make it safer for your family, business and schools. The other good news is that there are Security Professionals that are not 'mobile'only services but also brick and mortar. Mobile services only cannot offer you the same depth of security products ( most are for auto lockouts), or high security locks that don't require a carded system to get more keys.

You don't need to know what that means in this article as we will explain in more detail in another blog. You need only to trust that there is a huge difference and we are here to educate you.

It is our job to know how best to protect what you most value, it is your job to use due diligence to know WHO you are calling.

Happy 2018 and stay safe!

Monday, January 9, 2017

BEWARE-New math problem equals NEW Security problem

Yes, simple math ( which I used to suck at) adds up to rise in violent crime and identity theft.

I call it basic algebra and it is "If A = B and B =C than A = C.

Less cryptically said; The recent decline in the prison population has lead to an increased rate in crime. The trickle down effect of Governor Brown's goal of reducing the prison population by releasing 'non violent offenders' is the increased risk of your own safety and the greater need for high security locks and new physical security measures

What you read may tell you otherwise but we are on the front lines and get the daily phone calls.

What is really ironic is that the police will agree there is increase in violent crime and the definition of "non-violent" crimes which qualify criminals for early release. Some of these crimes even start with the term "violent":

Violent spousal and child abuse
Battery with personal inflictions of serious bodily injury
Assault with a deadly weapon
Exploding a destructive device with intent to injure
residential burglary
any felony involving the personal use of a deadly weapon
Rape of unconscious or intoxicated victim
Involuntary manslaughter
Criminal threats

There are many more but just know 'non-violent felony offense' is not defined in the governors plan or anywhere else in California Law.

One of my collegues who owns Delta Mailbox Sales, a company that sells mailboxes to office buildings , condos, etc has seen a 100% increase in mail vandalism since the early release program began. Coincidence? NOT!

Hey, it is great for our business, but first and foremost I am a human being and parent and just as scared as you should be. Flam's has been around for 67 years and we did just fine before the early release program.
Don't let being an ostrich with your head in the sand make you the next victim. Stay alert and stay secure and know there are security experts. Remember your first line of defense is your physical security, not your alarms or cameras.

Stay safe out there!
Vikki Flam

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Answer:Alex Trebek Question: What TV host entrusts his Security with Flam's?

There are hundreds of locksmiths so why does Alex Trebek choose Flam's Lock and Key?
Because'trustworthy people' trust 'trustworthy' companies and he is one person who does his homework.

If you watch Jeopardy you know that Alex likes to do home projects and likes to learn how to do it himself so here is the best story ever:

Years ago, when he was remodeling his own home, he asked Jack Flam, the owner of Flam's, to teach him how to re-key his own locks. Alex would come in daily when he was on hiatus from the show and Jack would teach him something new everyday. Sometimes he would work at the front counter and customers would walk in and just stare. Did they have double vision or was it really Alex? He even wore his Jeopardy USO jacket.

After a week of this Jack told Alex he asked too many questions and sent him to the back work room to work on his locks. One day we got really busy and I jokingly asked Alex to go into the showroom and help out. Guess what? He did, he went up to a customer who needed help with padlocks and she just stared at him in disbelief. Even with his Jeopardy jacket on, and the 'real' voice she was still not sure. When she finally asked him about the padlocks we heard Alex yell out to us that if we wanted his help we could at least tell him where they were.
We sent him back to his work bench.

I love this story!

Protecting what you most value,
Vikki Flam

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Hi, Vikki here again and it's been too long since I have blogged.

There is no longer any reason to beat around the bush, we have been in business long enough ( 63 years) to worry about educating through scare tactics. There is reason to feel scared and hopefully our reputation of integrity will counteract negative opinion, perhaps not, but I am too old not to say it like it is.
CRIME is real, latest headline of serial rapist on the loose and just read an article yesterday about a homeowner who saw someone suspicious and risked her life chasing down a damn stranger in her car. The prisons have picked up the pace of releasing high risk offenders and if you think they are low risk you head is in in cloud.
I have written about this for a lifetime and the average consumer would rather still believe crime happens to other people than to spend less than their deductible on high security locks that are pick and bump resistant. It is called "real" security , not 'feel good' security and NO, it is not available in the big box stores. It requires calling a calling a security professional (not just any ole locksmith) which first demands your awareness that they exist. And for LORD SAKE, FIRST ask who they are, not how much they cost.
We have had and continue to have a successful run in business and sure, we would like you to call us,but I care more that you care at all even if it means calling someone else.

As always, protecting what you most value (hopefully),
Vikki Flam

Monday, September 1, 2014


Garcetti and all who support raising minimum wage do not address the inpact of the cost of training new employees. Imagine adding overtime to $20.25 on top of that and then waiting at least a year to begin getting back investment. Not possible without government subsidy for small business. 
In our trade, locksmith and security, most of our competition alreay break the law by mis classfying employees as independent contractors and get away with it because there is no money for oversight.
Once again, the ethical business will be hurt along with you, the consumer, who will pay higher prices and negate the benefit of higher minimum wages.
One day there will be no trades, no expertise and only one person mobile trucks without the range of knowledge and product.
How about we start another trade school where the trainee 'pays us" tuition and gives up a paid
Trainee job?

Protecting what you most value,

Saturday, March 22, 2014


"There is No Such thing as Cheap or Expensive,But Thinking Makes It So"Shakespeare, if he were alive today.

I am writing this blog today because we have heard  from consumers, on occasion,  that they would choose Flam's Lock and Key if we were not so expensive. What is expensive?
The subject of pricing, no matter what you sell,always has been and always will be,relative.


We only 'appear' expensive because our service call is more than 80% of most other locksmith's you may call,but when you compare the bottom line, not the service call line, we are cheaper. 
More important,we choose a higher price point for our trip charge so we can maintain our standards of excellence and stay in business.

Some of these standards that are for your benefit include:

1. Maintaining a shop location and paying rent so we can offer you more choices than a mobile     
    only service. We want you to touch and feel, not just listen over the phone. We also want to   
    offer  products like high security locks because you can only get your proprietary keys cut at a       shop.

    Flam's physical location also allows us to cater to commercial clients, property management
    companies, homeowners associations and quality residential clientel,
    We were also raised with old fashion values that taught us that having a physical location lends 
    greater credibility to our reputation and integrity. Sixty years in business proves this advice was

2. We believe in hiring the best and most experienced and ethical employees and paying them 
    more. It adds to our cost but less to yours' because they can problem solve and you can trust
    they are a good fit to work in a culture that demands excellence, continuing education and       
    We don't pay them as independent contractors, like most, to avoid paying workers comp
    insurance avoiding matching social security taxes. 

3. We charge what it cost to pay for a truck, insurance, repairs and travel time ( we actually 
     don't charge enough to cover these costs) so we can stay in business and honor your

5. WE DON'T WANT EVERYONE'S BUSINESS and yes you read that correctly. We choose
    to eliminate price shoppers who have no appreciation for the difference between a locksmith and a
    'security professional' and who are not concerned with the reputation of who hands them there keys.
    These are the consumers who pay the most and learn that 'cheap is expensive'. 


So now that you know why we may charge more you may wonder why we are less expensive.

1.  We charge enough so you are not ripped off with the lure of a cheap service call which is made
     up by charging you 4 times more for product and labor.

2.  We maintain a location so you can bring things in for repair without needing a trip charge.

3. Remember that standard about paying more for experienced and ethical employees?
    Well, they can repair and not just replace, they will not pretend your lock can't be picked so
    they can make more by replacing it, they will get the job done faster because they can, keeping
    your labor costs down. They can problem solve and tell you the truth because they know about
    more products.

4. We don't send out independent contractors who make commission and don't protect you
    against liability.

5. We maintain our State Contractors license's, require our employee's to have their Consumers
     Affairs License so you know we are not sending criminals or sex offenders. Yes, you read 
     correctly again, most locksmiths do not do background checks. We know of one sex offender
     currently in business and another that employed him for 12 years. 

"There is No Such Thing as Cheap or Expensive, But Thinkng Makes It so"

 There is such a thing as good and bad.

Protecting what you most value!

Vikki Flam 

Friday, November 1, 2013


No one ever accused me of not being straight forward and this blog topic is no exception.

 At Flam's Lock and Key your security is our business and the lockmith you choose is your first step in protection, but do you know if the person coming to your home or business is a REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER?  Yes, that's right, for over 12 years an established locksmith company employed just such a person and it was only after his own daughter was a victim that he found out.

How do you know if the company you trust does background checks before they hire? How do you know if they follow the law and require each employee to apply for and obtain their consumer affairs license which requires finger printing?

How many of you ask if their locksmith is licensed and simply believe their verbal answer without asking them to email or fax copies?

If you still only care about what appears to be the cheapest price, think again; this same registered sex offender now owns his own company but just operates without a license because he relies on your naivety.

I hope this blog promotes awareness and smarter consumers. At least in our industry there are required credentials you can ask to see. Shop smart, smart safe.

Protecting what you most value,
Vikki Flam