12 Things to Look for When Choosing a Locksmith
|Published: 24th April 2020 16:09|
Do you know how to find a good locksmith in your local area?
Finding a locksmith in your area is pretty much the same as finding a plumber or electrician. The process is usually quite similar, as you use online directories and take recommendations and reviews from others who’ve used a service.
However, there’s more trust involved when choosing a locksmith, as they’re coming into your property and carrying out work to keep you safe.
We’ve spoken to Locksmith Leamington Spa to get 12 top tips on how to hire a reliable and trustworthy locksmith. In fact, it’s important to keep the contact details of a local locksmith to hand, just as you might do with a car mechanic.
1. Free Call Out and Quotes
It’s imperative you ask if the locksmith charges a call out fee. This may be on top of the labour charge, but most reputable locksmiths like 24hourlocksmith.org.uk don’t charge for this.
When shopping around, you may find a variation in the quotes you’re given.
Be warned, though. The cheapest quote isn’t always the best. If you’re replacing or renovating your locks and other security devices, it’s useful to think of it as a one-off investment that’ll protect your home or business forever.
Pick a locksmith who shares this approach and seems clued-up about the different products available.
2. Offers a Range of Services
A locksmith worth their salt should carry out a variety of services, including repairs, replacements, upgrades, security systems, and key cutting.
It’s useful to use a locksmith who can act as a one-stop shop for anything you might need.
3. All Work Should Be Agreed Ahead of Time
A locksmith doesn’t carry out unwanted work – all work is agreed in advance. So, always confirm the service price before the locksmith begins working. Fixed prices are best, so there aren’t any hidden extra fees involved at the end.
Be sure to take a written estimate once they’ve reviewed the situation to avoid being overcharged.
Some locksmiths have been known to charge for materials, different keys, locks or even for the distance they travelled to reach you. Ensure the technician offers transparent terms of service with flat prices – at once.
4. A Six-Month Warranty
And for your peace of mind about the quality of service, the locksmith should offer a minimum six-month warranty on all work undertaken by them. This is so that if any damage occurs, there’s a reimbursement to you, meaning added protection for each party.
5. Geographic Location
Rather than calling national centres, go local. Use your nearest professional locksmith, as national call centres often sub out the work to anyone in the area without carrying out full checks on their locksmiths.
Sometimes national centres don’t know how well a locksmith will perform and charge an expensive fee, more than a local locksmith would.
So double check the address on the locksmith’s website. If the address isn’t displayed, they probably aren’t local.
6. Qualifications and Training
For that extra degree of security, a professional locksmith must be appropriately qualified and experienced.
Those that advertise themselves as specialists may not have enough qualified professional training which, in turn, could lead to damage to your home. So, be sure to do your research.
Make sure your chosen locksmith is accredited. For example, do they have a Level 3 Enhanced Accreditation by NCFE in locksmithing?
And are they DBS/Police checked? A locksmith works in houses with children, vulnerable adults or in businesses like care homes and nurseries, so they’re required to provide a recent DBS check.
7. Google Reviews
As well as recommendations and word of mouth from friends and family, look at review sites like Google to find a reliable locksmith. Other review websites include Yell, Facebook and Twitter.
If the reviews are written in the space of a couple of days, they probably aren’t legitimate. Reviews that are spread out across a long period of time suggest they’re genuine.
Companies House is useful to validate the company is still trading.
8. 24/7 Emergency Service
Need a job done urgently? You’ll need to find an emergency locksmith who responds 24/7. Bear in mind that not all locksmiths are available in the evenings and at the weekends. Checking out locksmiths before an emergency occurs means that you won’t just be stuck with the first one available.
Since the majority of a locksmith’s work is carried out at customers’ businesses and homes, it’s vital your chosen technician has public liability insurance. As there’s a possibility of causing damage to your property and belongings – or even personal injury – a locksmith should have this cover in place, should you make a claim against them.
For instance, if you fell over the locksmith’s tools sustaining an injury or if the locksmith accidentally smashed a pane of glass in a door while changing a lock, public liability insurance takes care of this.
If you get locked out of your own house or you’ve lost your keys and forgotten where they are, quite often the only way to get back in is to call or locksmith. This normally means having new locks fitted if you can’t find your old set of keys.
So, you’ll need a dependable technician, one that comes out quickly when you need them, and when they say they will.
By doing your due diligence prior to hiring a locksmith, you can help safeguard yourself from suspicious business practices and excessive pricing after the fact.
11. Types of Work Covered
Does your locksmith work on all types of locks? For example, your local locksmith should be able to fit, replace and change all types of locks, such as:
· Key cutting, all types of keys
· Gain entry when locked out
· Locks on outbuildings (garage doors)
· Window and door locks
· Wood and uPVC doors
· Euro lock cylinders
· Mortice locks
· Yale locks
· Rim cylinders
· Patio door locks
· British Standard Locks
12. Uses Well-Known Lock Brands
All of the lock brands your technician uses must conform to British Standards. And they ought to be able to repair and service all lock brands, including Yale, Abloy, Mul-T-Lock, Ingersoll, Chubb, Union, Evva, Slica, Banham, Tigris, Primus, ASSA, Kaba and Cisa.
The upshot? Use licensed, insured, and bonded locksmiths. This way, you can be sure they’ve gone to the trouble of acquiring the right education and that their work is guaranteed, should anything go wrong.