Most people rarely think about locksmiths until they find themselves locked out and they need an emergency locksmith. They may have lost their keys or they have been left inside when the door has slammed shut behind them. In this case, a 24 hour emergency locksmith service is perfect. However your local locksmith can usually offer many more useful services including:
Replacing the locks or rekeying
This is a great idea if you have recently moved house, as you can never be sure of how many people still have access to a set of keys to your home. You may be put off doing this because you think that this will be very expensive and will involve all the old locks being completely removed. However in many cases a locksmith will use a process called rekeying. Rekeying is when the locksmith changes the tumbler or wafer configuration of your current lock so that a new key will function in the lock but the old key will not. This is a good option if the original locks are of good quality and will cost less than throwing away the old locks completely and installing brand new ones.
Upgrading locks to insurance company approved standards
Many people now have very expensive items in their homes, protected by very cheap door and window locks. This is not a problem until your home is broken into or you find that your insurance company will not cover the cost of contents that were stolen as the locks were not up to the required standard.
It is therefore worth checking your home insurance documents to find out what standard of locks is required. If you have done this, but are not sure what type of locks you have fitted in your home, a good locksmith will be able to help.
The type of lock needed on a door depends on two things
- The material the door is made of e.g. wood or upvc
- Whether it is external, internal or communal.
Different types of locks have different standards, BS3621 (British Standard) is the most popular standard for locks on wooden doors. For UPVC doors the TS 007 (Technical Standard) is a revised and improved version of the British Standard Kitemark for cylinder locks. It was developed to protect against burglars who are increasingly using ‘cylinder snapping’ techniques to gain entry to properties.
A good locksmith will also only supply and fit branded locks. This is important so that you can be sure that the quality of your new lock is excellent and that the ‘Standard’ marked on the lock is genuine.
Fitting external Key Safes
More and more elderly people have carers visiting them in their home several times a day. To avoid having multiple copies of house keys in circulation, many people are having keys safes installed.
A key safe is a metal box, usually attached to a wall near the door, which can hold one set of keys. A keypad is used to enter a security code to open the box and retrieve the key. The code can be changed as often as is necessary.
Key safes should be installed securely and if possible, out of sight of passing pedestrians and traffic. A good locksmith will be able to advice you on the best place to locate it. Some key safes are also more secure than others, so again it is worth getting advice on this.
Designing and fitting Master Key Systems
Many organisations have a large number of locking doors which would require certain staff e.g. cleaners, security staff, caretakers to carry a huge array of keys with them as they go about their daily business. A master key system avoids the need for this. The system is designed so that one key is able to open many locks.
In other cases it is a requirement that some staff should have access to some areas of the building but not others. In this case a good locksmith will design a master key system with several levels of access dependent on access requirements. It will also be designed in such a way that it can be extended if the organisation structure changes sometime in the future.
As well as the ease of use, another benefit of a master key is that it is an extremely secure key. The keys are very specifically designed and can only be copied by the fully trained locksmith who designed them.
Locksmiths can also offer a host of other services such as key cutting, upvc window and door repairs, security safe installation, to name but a few. However, due to the nature of the job, many people might be of the opinion that one of the most important services a good locksmith can bring to any job, particularly when locked outside on a cold wet night, is reliability, a friendly personality and great customer service.
If you would like some advice on any of the items discussed above, please get in touch or give me a call on 0131 353 0040