It doesn’t matter what time of night or day it is as a professional locksmith covering Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire, we are on hand to help you with and emergency lockout situation 24/7. We will make sure that you can get into your property, residential or commercial, whether you have lost your keys or your key is broken in the lock.
Have you ever been locked out of your car or home?
Either you can’t find your car keys or you locked yourself out of your home. First thoughts are typically to turn to family and friends for help or a set of spare keys, but this may not work out. Next steps are to contact a locksmith in your area. However, before sealing the deal with the locksmith business, you need to consider the reliability and honesty of the company. You may find some locksmith companies online when doing a search for “Locksmith Leeds”, or “Locksmith Near Me” but the companies you find might not be local at all. Worst, these ‘lock technicians’ may not have qualified professional training at all and can cause further damage to your property.
How to Best Choose a Local Locksmith Company
There are reliable and honest local locksmith companies out there. The best piece of advice is to do your research and due diligence before you find yourself locked out or in an emergency locksmith situation. Perhaps you are thinking about increasing your home security by installing deadbolt locks, changing locks and door keys, or even installing a home alarm system. This is an excellent time to sit down in front of the computer and research different companies. Be sure to read reviews, check that they have a local address and phone number, and compare quotes over the phone. Additionally, reach out to co-workers, family members, and friends for any personal recommendations they may have.
Once you’ve found a reputable locksmith, keep the company’s contact information in a safe place such as your wallet, phone, or address book. This can save you time, anxiety, and money in the future.
Tips for Emergency Locksmith Situations
Of course, if you are dealing with an emergency locksmith situation such as being locked out of your car, home, or office, you don’t have the same luxury of sitting in front of the computer and thoroughly checking the legitimacy of the locksmith companies. Here are some tips for such scenarios:
- If you’re locked out of your car and have a roadside assistance service call them before a locksmith. Many times, these lock out services are included in the membership or even though the car dealership or insurance company depending on when you bought the car.
- If a company answers the phone with a generic phrase like “locksmith services,” rather than a company-specific name, be on your guard. Ask for the legal name of the business. If the customer representative does not give an answer, call another locksmith.
- Get an estimate for all work and replacement parts from the locksmith before work begins.
- Ask about additional fees before you agree to have the technician come to your location. Companies may charge extra for responding to a call in the middle of the night or for driving long distance. Ask if there is a charge for mileage, or a minimum fee for a service call.
- Never sign a blank form authorising work.
- If the price decided on over the phone does not correspond to the price of the work when the technician arrives, do not allow any work to be done.
- Ask if the locksmith is insured. If your property is damaged during the work, it’s important for the locksmith to have insurance to cover your losses.
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How many times have you said, "Where are my car keys?" or been late to an appointment because you had to run around the house for fifteen minutes trying to figure out where you put them? Even worse, have you ever found yourself unable to open your car doors only to peer into the window and see all the locks secured and your keys dangling from the ignition or lying on the driver's seat? Either of these situations can be make a terrible impact on your day, especially if it is dark, cold, rainy, or a particularly pressing engagement. If this happens to you, stay calm and call a car locksmith.
Replacing your lost car keys, or getting into your locked car, is a simple task for a professional locksmith. These workers are skilled at the creating and getting past locks. They understand the complicated series of moving parts that make up a lock, whether it be for a house, a shed, a business, or a car. Because each type of lock poses different parts, a locksmith needs to know how each works, how it is made, and how they will be able to breach it should someone need to open a lock for which they have lost the key. When it comes to houses, locksmiths are not just able to open a lock, but can completely change them. This can mean actually changing the entire mechanism or just "re-keying". Re-keying refers to modifying the lock so that previous keys will not work and a new one will be necessary. This is a good idea if you lose your house keys or a person whom you do not want to be is in possession of a set.
Cars are a little different for locksmiths. Getting in to a locked car is sometimes called "popping" the lock because it requires manipulation of the lock mechanism that results in the manual lock "popping" up. This service will enable you to get in your car if you have locked yourself out or in an emergency when you absolutely need to get inside but cannot find your keys.
Locksmiths are also skilled at cutting keys. Taking advantage of this and getting extra copies of your car keys, both door and ignition, is a good idea even if you have never lost your keys or gotten locked out of your car. Some locksmiths recommend keeping an extra set of keys in a magnetic lock box under your car, or keeping a spare door key outside and a spare ignition key inside. Keeping an extra ignition key inside the car will enable you to actually use the car should you lose your keys and need a locksmith to let you inside.
Finding a locksmith is as simple as going online and looking at one of the numerous review-based websites available. These sites enable you to look through honest, unbiased reviews of local locksmiths and choose one that seems to fit your situation. Leaving these hard-working locksmiths positive feedback after service ensures that others will be able to find them should they ever need a lock opened, or a new key.
Locksmith Key Codes
Before we can discuss ways to prevent a home burglary, it's important to have an understanding of when the burglaries occur, who commits the crimes, and what is usually taken. Almost all home burglaries happen during the day, when people are at work. The summer months see a lot of burglaries, especially in July and August. February actually has the fewest number of burglaries compared to the other months.
Home burglaries are usually committed by males under 25 years old. These guys are usually trying to grab small things that are easy to carry away and sell for quick cash that is needed for living expenses an most often, drugs. The favorite items of theft are cash, guns, jewelry and watches, computers and DVD players, and CDs. These things are easily concealed in a duffel bag as the thief exits the home, and are easy to convert to cash.
Thieves never like to do any extra work if they don't have to, so they first look for an open door or window. And, unlike most movies where the bad guy carries a fancy lock pick kit, burglars prefer to use common household tools like screwdrivers, pliers, pry bars and hammers. Although it may seem like burglaries are random and happen on a whim, this is rarely the case. Burglars will always go for the easiest target. This is the house with the easiest access, good places to hide, and a good escape route.
Burglars always go for the easy target! Most burglars will skip your house if it seems too difficult to enter. So the best way to help prevent a home burglary is to make it difficult for a thief to get in. Most burglars pick a point of entry that has the most cover, and usually has the weakest lock. This is typically the garage door, followed by the back door, and then the front door.
Now let's take a look at some pointers for the types of locks you should consider:
- Use a high quality, heavy-duty, deadbolt lock that has a one-inch throw bolt (The part that goes into the door when locked)
- If you have to use a "knob-in-lock", make sure you get one that's high quality, heavy duty, and has a "dead-latch" feature.
- A "dead-latch" mechanism prevents a credit card or shim from being used to pop open the lock
- A high quality deadbolt will have what's called a beveled casing. This usually stops the use of channel lock pliers to break off the lock pins and gain access.
- Always spend the extra money and get Grade One or Grade Two locks for exterior doors, as these resist prying, hammering, and lock picking.
Expert (But completely obvious) Tip:
Most people leave an extra set of keys in the car. Burglars are wise to this and first look inside your car for house keys and valuables. Make sure you lock your car, even if it's in the garage.
Now let's talk about Doors. Follow these tips below when considering doors in your home.
- Always spend the extra money and buy solid core or metal doors for all exterior entrance points. Many cheap exterior doors have hollow cores, and can easily be kicked through with not much effort by a determined burglar.
- If the door doesn't come with one, install a peephole that is a wide-angle 160°, mounted no higher than 58 inches from the floor.
- Make sure the door comes with a heavy-duty, four-screw, strike plate with 3-inch screws to penetrate deep into a wooden door frame. The strike plate is almost always the weakest part of the door, as it is where the deadbolt secures the door in place with the door jamb. Cheap doors come with very soft wooden moldings that are usually tacked onto the door frame. It just takes a strong kick or shove with a shoulder to tear the lightweight molding away and burst the door open.
- Also make sure that the screws that hold the door hinges in place have at least two 3 inch screws per hinge plate.
- Make sure that the screws holding the knob lock strike plate are longer ones as well.
We always recommend spending the extra money to get good solid core or metal exterior doors, and strong, heavy duty locks. Remember that an experienced burglar can identify good doors and good locks. It is very likely that the mere presence of these upgrades will cause the burglar to think twice and move onto an easier target.