Many people who find themselves in the stressful position of being locked out of their home are happy for any emergency locksmith to come to their rescue. This is particularly true for people who are locked out in the middle of the night. However this can often be a costly mistake. This is because not all locksmiths have the same level of training or expertise and many do not have the right skills to get you back into your home without damaging your lock or door. Even worse there are some rogue locksmiths out there who will deliberately make as much work for themselves as possible in order to ramp up the costs.
What is Non Destructive Emergency Entry?
In a ‘lock out’ situation, when an emergency locksmith arrives at your door they should always start by investigating ways to get you back inside your property without damaging either your lock or door. This is called Non Destructive Entry. A locksmith will need to have been specially trained in these techniques and will have attended several courses specifically aimed at improving their skills in these areas. There are several methods that can be used depending on the particular type of lock e.g. yale, euro lock, night latch or mortice. Some common techniques include trying to manually slide the latch back, picking the lock and using bump keys to ‘jump’ the pins, allowing the cylinder to be rotated.
However even the most skilled locksmith will tell you that the success of these methods very much depends on the type, age and brand of the particular lock. In fact it would be very misleading to say that drilling or forcing the lock is never necessary because sometimes nothing else will work. A general rule of thumb is Non Destructive Entry techniques are least likely to work on mortice locks (although other types of locks can be difficult too). This is because mortice locks are VERY SECURE. This is a really good thing in terms of home security but in a ‘lock out’ situation means it can be difficult to gain entry without completely destroying the old lock. However an experienced locksmith will always leave your door looking as good as they found it even if they have to use destructive entry methods.
So if you need emergency entry to your property and you don’t want to be ripped off, it is worth taking the time to check if the locksmith you call will at least attempt Non Destructive Entry techniques first. You can do this by checking their company website for mention of ‘Non Destructive Entry’ as well as reading their reviews on Google. Of course this cannot be done if you choose a national call centre to find a locksmith as you will know nothing about the skills of the particular locksmith that will be assigned to you. This is a very good reason for always choosing a LOCAL LOCKSMITH.
At the end of the day, sometimes drilling out the old lock and replacing it with a brand new one really is the best solution, particularly if the old lock is not very secure or you have lost your keys and are worried they have fallen into the wrong hands. However no one should be made to pay a hefty bill for an unnecessary new lock or damage made to their door because of an unskilled “I’ll have a go” locksmith. Instead, always do your research and find a local locksmith with good customer reviews and the right skills for the job.
Please get in touch with Richard if you need help with your locks or emergency access to your property. He is a trusted 24 hour emergency locksmith in Edinburgh and an expert in Non Destructive Entry techniques.