Burglary is the most feared property crime. According to a survey conducted by Safewise, over 60% of respondents stated that they most feared a break-in at their home while they are not there. Fifty-eight percent fear a break-in while they’re at home. One burglary happens every 26 seconds and the average resulting loss is approximately $3,000. Hiring a locksmith is one of the many ways that you can secure your home. Improving your home security should include outfitting your home with secure locks. This would include locks on both doors and windows.
A professional locksmith can tell you about the best locks to use on your home. They can also provide installation services.
Locksmiths are also a great resource to have if you get locked out of your home, car, or office. Locksmiths assist with the 16,000+ home and car lockouts that occur every day.
Services Provided by Locksmiths
If you’re ever locked out of your home or car, you can look for an open window. You can also call your landlord if applicable or the maintenance department if you are at the office. Some people even attempt to remove the lock, if possible. But you can avoid this by calling a locksmith.
Unlocking a door is one of the many services that a locksmith can provide. Here are a few more.
Locks are essential to secure your home. There are many types of locks you can choose from, including the traditional lock and key, card-swipe locks, and keypads. A locksmith can assist you in choosing the best option for your needs.
Locksmiths can also replace or change locks. In some cases, they can rekey the lock, depending on what you prefer.
How long your lock lasts will depend on the quality of the lock and the amount of usage. A traditional lock system usually lasts for about seven years.
Proper lock maintenance will also help your locks last longer, but issues may still occur. Some lock issues include broken keys stuck inside the lock, frozen locks, or difficulty latching.
Depending on the issue you’re experiencing, a locksmith can determine if your lock can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced.
If your key breaks or locks, once you have another copy at hand, a locksmith can cut a new one for you. This is why it is important to always have a spare key for all your locks. Keep these in a secure area.
You may also need to have a key cut if you have a house guest or a new roommate, that will need their own key.
Protection and Security
A good locksmith can advise you on the best lock products for your unique security needs. These will vary for homes and businesses but any solution provided should protect your belongings.
Each product will provide different levels of security. A locksmith will let you know the products that will work best for you.
Types of Locksmiths
Some locksmiths specialize in specific services. It is important to know if your locksmith has a specific specialty to ensure they can provide the services you require.
Here are some of the different types of locksmiths:
Emergency Locksmith – Many locksmith companies provide emergency services or 24-hour services. Verify that this is, in fact, the case and that they can come to fix the issue immediately, even if the issue occurs in the middle of the night.
This should also be the case if you are in an unfamiliar place after locking your keys in your car. An emergency locksmith will visit you on-site to:
- Change or fit your locks
- Safely open the door to your property (home, car, or office)
- Replace a lost key
- Cut keys
- Perform burglary repairs
Residential Locksmith – Specializes in the most common locksmith services available – residential locks and security.
A residential locksmith should have the latest equipment and knowledge about modern locking technologies. They should be able to suggest the right lock system for you. Besides the common lock services, such as lock installation, key copying, changing, and upgrading locks, they also provide:
- Smart home security system installation
- Panic hardware and CCTV installation
- High-security key duplication and deadbolt installation
- Keyless entry locks
They provide specialized services related to residential doors and locks.
Commercial Locksmith – Securing a business involves specific requirements for employees, customers, and public safety.
Businesses usually require more advanced security solutions. Commercial lock systems might include key-card access or master key systems. Commercial locksmiths also install biometric systems or remote keyless systems.
Experienced commercial locksmiths should be up-to-date with the latest in commercial security systems that will ensure the protection of their client’s properties.
Industrial Locksmith – Provide warehousing, manufacturing, and industrial locksmith services for larger companies. Their clients usually need monthly maintenance of their security systems.
Their services may include the installation of master key systems, security systems and technologies, frame and door replacement, and access control.
Automotive Locksmith – provide speedy solutions for all types of vehicles including car, trucks, vans, bikes, and industrial vehicles. The advances in vehicle lock technologies require that they stay up-to-date with new trends and update their skills.
They should also ensure there is minimal damage to the vehicle’s surface while unlocking doors or removing a broken key from the car’s lock system.
Automobile locksmiths can also duplicate or replace car keys and repair and update your car’s remote control.
Safe Locksmith – Have specialized training to work with vaults and safes. They will know how to get your safe open without destroying your valuables including which may include confidential files and data.
Forensic Locksmith – Their services delve into criminal acts or police investigations. It is a sensitive area of the locksmith industry.
They will have general locksmith experience. However, they also use scientific methods to understand and dissect lock systems.
They gather and analyze data that can determine how/if a lock has been opened, neutralized, or bypassed. They are also familiar with crime scene investigations, insurance claims, and security information.
They have the combined skills of a locksmith and an investigator. They provide facts, insights, and evidence to an investigating team, but are not part of the investigative team.
Their experience also allows them to work as a commercial or industrial locksmith, as well.
Institutional Locksmith – They provide locksmith services for hospitals, schools, government facilities, manufacturing plants, and modular buildings. Before giving the security recommendations these facilities may need an institutional locksmith will first evaluate and understand the operational needs of the organization.
Institutional locksmiths require additional training and certification. They also need to fill out specific documentation for every job.
Finding the Right Locksmith
You may know the type of locksmith you need, but before they can meet your needs, they should possess certain qualities that will ensure the successful completion of your job.
Some of the qualities of a good locksmith include:
- Attention to detail
- Problem-solving skills
- Good customer service skills
- A general understanding of carpentry and metalwork
Do the research necessary to ensure you get the right person for the job. There are also some signs you should look for to avoid hiring the wrong company.
10 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Locksmith
Here are 10 common mistakes you should avoid:
1. Assuming They Are Registered or Licensed
One of the first things you should do to ensure the locksmith company you’re hiring is legitimate is to check their registration and license. This is a key element that tells you that they are capable of assisting you.
This is a requirement in many states including Houston. Some companies, including Houston Locksmith Pros, are fully licensed, bonded, and insured.
Your locksmith company should also be registered with the local business governing body, especially if they have been in the field for years.
When you do hire a locksmith company, you should also check the technician’s identification before letting them into your home.
2. Not Asking For an Advance Cost Estimate
A professional locksmith should be able to assess your issue and give you a cost for the services you need. They will also have a good idea of the length of time any job will take. This will allow them to give a more accurate quote for the labor costs involved.
Always ask for a written estimate before they start the job and compare their pricing with the going market rate.
Even if unforeseen circumstances occur during the job, an expert should be able to adjust any estimate without making the cost excessive. Make sure any changes required during the job are reasonable.
You should also ask about their payment policy so that you know if they require a downpayment before the start of the job.
3. Not Checking or Ignoring Online Reviews and Ratings Before Hiring
Proper research will include looking at online reviews and ratings. However, be aware of fake reviews.
If unsure, supplement your research by also checking their license and registration, as mentioned before. You should also be able to assess their reliability through your research.
4. Failing To Check Their Web Presence
Having a web presence gives a company more credibility. Their site should be professional and state the company’s name, address, and contact information.
Read the company’s About Us page and check any reviews or customer testimonials. You should be able to gauge how long they have been in business from their website. The older the company, the more extensive their experience.
However, just as reviews can be fake, so too can their web presence. Again, background research can help you determine how legitimate the company is. Check a reputable business organization such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
When using BBB to do research, check to see if the company has any complaints made against them. When using it to look for a company, start with A+ companies as that is their highest rating.
5. Trusting a Company That Only Recommends Entire Lock Replacement
An experienced locksmith will know how to open any locked door, whether it is a car door or a door in your home.
If the technician’s first solution is to change the entire lock, be wary. Chances are they are trying to mislead you so that you purchase a new lock.
6. Not Getting An Experienced Locksmith For Smart Lock Issues
When dealing with a smart lock issue, ensure the locksmith has experience with smart technologies.
The locksmith should be comfortable working with a home automation system that includes digital locks.
7. Not Finding Out What Specialized Services They Provide
Don’t assume that every locksmith can open all types of locks. Different locks will require different skills.
There are various types of locksmiths, as mentioned above. Don’t be afraid to ask what they specialize in and if they have the necessary training or skills in the service you need.
8. Settling For a Run-of-the-mill Locksmith
You should hire a locksmith that can provide unique solutions to their customers. Look for a company that has employees with a wide range of abilities.
They should not only deal with locks but should be able to advise on related systems including door closers, intercoms, and control systems.
9. Not Asking How Long the Service Will Take
If your issue is urgent, ensure you hire a locksmith that can provide emergency or 24-hour service. Find out how long the service will take as it can be inconvenient if it takes longer than expected.
You can also let them know your expectations on how quickly you would like the job completed.
10. Not Getting a Product Warranty
Your locksmith should supply and maintain your locks and ensure any new item provided has a warranty. This will make any additional work needed hassle-free if something goes wrong.
Getting a Good Locksmith Service
Hiring a locksmith requires some research. In an emergency, extensive research may not be possible. You should at least ensure that the company has proof of registration, a license, and provides you with an estimate before proceeding.
The ideal locksmith company will have relevant documentation, provide emergency services, and on-the-spot pricing. They should also have expert technicians with the latest tools and equipment.
Houston Locksmith Pros can provide this. Our technicians are also versed in the latest lock technology. If you are looking for a reliable and effective locksmith in the Houston area, contact us today.