Why you should have a locksmith on speed dial

In an emergency, we all know the first number to call is 999. But we also have another set of numbers on our phones, or stuck to the fridge. Numbers that we know that we can call if we’re in a jam. It might be our GP, a roadside recovery company or the number of a trusted babysitter. Whoever they are, we know that when we need help we just need to call them to get help if we’re in trouble.

 

How many of us think about having the number of an emergency locksmith to hand though? It doesn’t enter our heads until it’s too late and we need one! Steve Harrison, who’s just expanded his Corby based 24hourlocksmith.org.uk business to offer locksmith services in Nottingham, Leamington Spa, Kettering and Rugby, tells us why we should add the number of a local locksmith to our list of ‘must have’ contacts. 

What is an emergency locksmith?

As the name suggests, an emergency locksmith will be with you quickly in an emergency. More specifically they will be with you whenever that emergency occurs because they work ‘out of hours’. They can be at you home or business premises at times when other locksmiths may not be available. Out of hours services tend to be defined as:-

  • Outside ‘normal office hours’: Lots of us no longer work a regular 9-5, but for an emergency locksmith ‘normal’ hours refers to Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm.

  • Weekends: Even if lots of us work at weekends, weekend locksmith services come under the umbrella of ‘out-of-hours’ work.

  • Bank holidays: Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, or New Year’s Day, you’ll find that it’s only an emergency locksmith who will even consider coming out on a bank holiday.

When can emergency locksmith help?

You might think you’ll rarely if ever need an emergency locksmith. However, you may be surprised at how frequently you could. Common problems can occur at any time day or night.

Burglaries or attempted burglaries

Locks are often damaged during break-ins, even when they’re not successful. When this happens it’s unlikely they will work properly and you’ll need an emergency locksmith to either repair or replace them, and make your home secure. 

You might feel anxious after a break-in even if your locks aren’t damaged. In cases like this changing or upgrading your locks quickly can help to give you peace of mind.

You’re Locked out

It happens to the best of us. We step out of our home or office and, as the door slams behind us, we realise we’ve left our keys inside and can’t get back in. An emergency locksmith can help you gain access. The best locksmiths are skilled at ‘non-destructive’ entry – minimising any damage while still getting you inside.

Keys that are lost or stolen

Whether your keys have been lost or stolen, you’ll want to ensure that they are no use to anyone else. As soon as you notice your keys are missing talk to an emergency locksmith about changing your locks, and make the lost keys useless.

Keys that break in the lock

This is surprisingly common and can happen for many reasons. If you’ve replaced your original key with a duplicate you may discover that the key isn’t very strong, making it more prone to snapping when use. Even if your key started off stronger, wear over time can start to weaken the metal. You might also find that if a key sticks you’re tempted to force it, again increasing the risk of the key breaking.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter why your key broke. What you need is a locksmith who is available to retrieve the key, and get your lock working as soon as possible. If the problem was an old or faulty lock, a locksmith will also be able to recommend upgrade options.

How to find an emergency locksmith

The temptation is not to think about finding an emergency locksmith until a problem arises. This is less than ideal, as you’ll often have to settle for the first locksmith who is available, which is certainly no guarantee of their ability to the job.

You’ll be inviting a stranger into you’re a home, possibly at a time when you are already feeling vulnerable, without knowing that much about them. You won’t know whether they are qualified, whether they have been police checked or how much they might charge you. You’ll call an emergency locksmith when you are desperate to get work done quickly, at this could put you at the mercy of more unscrupulous operators. It doesn’t have to be like this though.

Taking a little time to do some research before you need an emergency locksmith will let you make sure you’ve found one that you can trust and rely on. So, what should you look for?

Geographical Area covered – Make sure the locksmith covers the area your property is in

How quickly can they get to you? – Most locksmiths will be able to tell you what their average emergency response time is

What do they charge? – Some locksmiths don’t charge anything for a call out. In addition, try and find a locksmith who won’t charge you anything unless you’ve agreed to the work upfront.

Are they trained? – You can find out what standard a locksmith is trained to by looking on their website, or just give them a call

Do they have any reviews – A good locksmith will have a number of strong reviews from independent sources like Google highlighted, check for these and that they are recent 

DBS checked – For added peace of mind, double-check that any locksmith entering your home or business is police-checked – known as a DBS check

When emergencies happen, we can panic. One way to help to keep calm is to have a plan in place for when the unexpected does occur. Doing some research and finding the number of a reliable emergency locksmith before you need it is one thing you can do to give you less to worry about. Don’t let an emergency become a full-blown crisis.

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