Unlocking the mysteries of locksmithing: an insider’s look.
Locksmithing might not seem like the most glamorous job, but you might be surprised by some of the exciting situations members of the industry find themselves in. From assisting police operations in gaining access to buildings, setting up surveillance, and warring lock changes between divorcing couples. What is life like as a locksmith? Here, we unlock the mysteries.
You can take plenty of steps as a homeowner to keep your home safe and avoid unnecessary call-out fees if you are in a precarious situation. A reputable locksmith will have a standard set of fees, depending on the job.
Unfortunately, while there are always factors that can increase the cost, fewer than reputable locksmiths are happy to take advantage of people in fraught circumstances.
So, when you need a locksmith, you should play it cool. Just because you call for an emergency locksmith doesn’t mean you should pay over the odds. For example, if you call an emergency locksmith at 3 in the morning, locked out of your car after a night out on the town, there’s a good chance a dishonest locksmith will jack up the call-out fee to take advantage of a bad situation.
As an aside, if a car dealer tells you they are the only ones capable of duplicating keys, know that it’s a lie and will cost you more than calling a locksmith who does automotive work. Remain calm and play it cool, no matter the situation. If you sound too fraught or even like you can afford an extra charge, a dodgy locksmith will take advantage of you.
Beyond that, if your key is sticking in the lock and it won’t turn, grab a bottle of WD40 – there’s a good chance you don’t need a locksmith in situations like this. So, not only will you save money on a call-out fee, but you will also avoid the cost of changing locks. And you wouldn’t believe how often people call a locksmith without giving the doorknob a shake to try it out. It’s the equivalent of calling IT before you turn it off and turn it back on again.
If you employ cleaners or dog walkers, you can ask a reputable locksmith to key the door specifically for the master to work on both the doorknob and deadbolt. But, you can also have the employee key work solely on the knob, which you can leave as the only lock locked on the days they come.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is believing they do not copy keys’ markings. Don’t assume that people take heed of those markings; they still copy them. Instead, you can pay extra for a high-security key that cannot be replicated.
Locksmiths are experts at what they do, as they work with various security door types and locking mechanisms., You can enlist a handyman or a contractor to install deadbolts or change your locks, but that comes with issues. Poor installation is one of the most common issues locksmiths see when attending a lockout.
If the job isn’t done right, it won’t keep you safe. Not only will it put your security at risk, but it also leaves you more likely to get locked out. A locksmith knows how much throw a deadbolt requires and what the strike side should look like. It’s the best way to protect your home from burglars.
You should always call a locksmith and have the locks changed when you move into a new home. A double-cylinder lock is a must to help avoid break-ins. If you are tempted to pick up a lock from a chain store, you might want to rethink that – they are not made to the highest standard, so a mass-produced item doesn’t protect you.
As a closing piece of advice – as tempting as it is to pick up a locked safe at an estate sale, you’re better off skipping it. Not only do those old combination locks cost a lot to unlock, but they are also, more often than not, empty. If you are trying to gain entry to a safety box, don’t panic. People often spin the dial too quickly and try to open it before they hear the click. You don’t need a locksmith. You need to take your time.