With a really busy daily schedule, it is quite easy to misplace your house or office keys. This has nothing to do with how careful you are. Even the most careful of us lose their keys and got locked out most of the times.
These days, there are many things that easily steal our interest just like our mobile devices. Whenever we get our hands on those devices, we tend to forget everything about our keys. We forget that they are the first security to our office and houses.
But when it happens that you lost your key or got locked out of your car. Or locked your keys inside the house, the right person to call is a locksmith. A locksmith is the only one that can rescue the situation before you lose your head. But when you are hiring a locksmith, it is advisable that you hire a professional locksmith. There is a huge difference between hiring a professional locksmith and an amateur.
In this post, you are going to be learning who a professional locksmith is, when you need one, and how to hire the best. So don’t stop reading until you reach the end of the post.
Who Is A Professional Locksmith?
A locksmith is someone who works with locks on doors, safes, windows or cars. They are skilled tradesman that specialize in installing locks. They also repair and adjust residential, commercial, and automotive locks and security devices. Locksmithing is an ancient act and dates back to as long as when keys and locks came into existence.
Professional locksmiths are usually trained and licensed to provide lockout solutions. And so, they carry the necessary equipment for performing various solutions.
When Do You Need A Professional Locksmith?
There are plenty of reasons you may need the service of a professional locksmith. Some of them are more common than others. Below are some of the reasons you may need the services of a professional locksmith.
#1: When You Are Locked Out
It’s a common thing to see people lock themselves out of their home, car, or office. It is a common mistake to make. However, this can make you lose your peace when it happens. It may cause you to stay outside in the freezing cold or pouring rain for hours. It can sometimes even force you to take matters into your own hands. And this often result in causing more damages to your properties.
Instead of trying to break the lock or smash the window, what you need to do is to contact an emergency locksmith. This is usually a cheaper and more convenient way of getting out the mess fast.
#2: When You Experience Lost, Broken, or Stolen Keys
Keys are small and easily forgotten, so it’s quite common to lose them. Probably when you are trying to remove your phone from your pocket, your keys also accidentally fell off.
Your keys can also be stolen. Even though it’s never a good feeling to fall a victim of theft, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. In order to prevent a potential burglary on your properties, it is recommended that you contact a professional locksmith right away to get your locks replaced.
When you have used your keys for many years, there is a probability that they begin to weaken. And this can cause it to break down someday or snap inside the lock. Then, you will need the service of a professional locksmith to help you extract the broken part. Trying to remove it yourself could cause unnecessary damage to the lock.
#3: When You Recently Have a House Break
Do you recently have your house been broken into? Or do suspect someone recently tried to tamper with the locks of your door? In that case, it is not advisable that you put your home at risk. The next thing you should do is to get a professional locksmith to change the lock immediately.
#4: When You Don’t Have Duplicate of Your Keys
Especially if you are living with someone, it is important you have duplicates of the keys. You might want to keep one in your pocket or bag should you accidentally lock the room with the keys inside. Getting duplicates of the key will save you money compared to hiring a locksmith during an emergency hour.
#5: When You Recently Moved
If you recently moved into a new house, it is recommended that you change all the locks. It is common for some homeowners to give extra keys to their neighbors or family members. In that case, it means your home can be accessed anytime by strangers even when you have the doors locked. So to prevent this from happening, you will need to change the locks. Hence, you will need the service of a professional locksmith.
#6: When You Have Damaged Locks
Imagine you are rushing to the office in the morning. You got to the door of your house and discovered the lock is damaged or broken. Definitely, you won’t want to leave the door unlocked while your valuable assets are inside. In this situation, you will need a locksmith to quickly do a repair or replacement.
#7: When You Forgot Combinations
These days, it’s common to see people go for electronic lock rather than the traditional key option. But it’s still possible to forget the code combinations even though no keys is required here. This often happens when you recently changed your code combination or keypad lock. This is when you will see how important it is to have a professional locksmith by your side.
What Are the Advantages of Hiring Professional Locksmiths?
As earlier said, it doesn’t matter why you need a locksmith, what’s important is that you hire a professional. Not sure why you should do that? Below are some of the advantages that come with hiring a professional locksmith.
- Fast response
Lockouts often happen when it is most inconvenient, and usually without backup keys. If you are locked out of your car in the middle of nowhere, a professional locksmith can get you back on the road in no time. They are trained to respond to every type of emergency situation as quickly as you can imagine. You can get a new set of home or office keys in a few minutes. That is a perk you can enjoy when you hire a professional.
- Round-the-clock availability
Your keys can get broken at any time of the day. You can also get locked out of your car during off business hours. Most professional locksmiths with their mobile units operate 24/7. They also work during off business times and public holidays. That way, you don’t have to lose your head if you get trapped in any lockout situation. You can always get a quality locksmith’s service any time when you search for a professional.
- It saves you money
Getting a professional locksmith for automotive, commercial, or residential door lock replacement will help you save some cash. Even though your friends may advise you to hire an inexperienced handyman to fix your lock, you shouldn’t fall for that.
While they may charge cheaper now, you will later discover they had delivered a substandard job. This kind of job can later incur an extra cost to get a professional to fix it. Why not pay a professional for the job once and for all, and enjoy rest of mind after a quality job is delivered?
- Qualified and experienced
Most professional locksmith providers work with a team of highly trained and experienced technicians. These experts can handle any type of job, from installation to repair to replacement. They have the required experience when it comes to solving different locksmith related issues. This means, when you call them, they will be coming with proper tools and equipment to get the job done.
- Very convenient and time-saving
One of the priorities of professionals out there asides providing excellent services is to ensure they don’t tarnish their company’s name. They have an image to protect. This means they will offer exceptional customer service because they want to attract more customer.
This is not the same with an untrained amateur on the street. He only wants to make quick cash from you and walk away. This is why they often deliver poor services while charging very little. They spend longer time to get the job done, unlike professionals. The reason is that trained professionals are well equipped with the right tools for the job. This makes it easy for them to complete their jobs faster.
Important Things to Consider Before You Hire a Professional Locksmith
When people fall a victim of an emergency lockout situation, they are also more susceptible to locksmith scams. It is true that you can search online for a professional locksmith when you need one. But don’t forget scammers are everywhere on the internet looking for who to prey. So you need to be extra careful when hiring.
To help you choose the best locksmith that will serve you better, follow the following tips. They are the things you need to keep in mind whenever you are looking to hire a locksmith.
Don’t forget to ask for referrals from fellow homeowners
This is usually the fastest way to get help when you find yourself in an emergency lockout situation. As your fellow car owners or immediate neighbors for help. Let them refer you to a professional locksmith they can trust. Chances are that they would have worked with one before or know one that can do the job.
Conduct a quick Google search and compare rates
This is another great way to land yourself a true professional. Do a quick Google search. Try using some keywords like ‘locksmith near me,’ or ‘emergency locksmith’s service near me’. Google will bring up some registered locksmith companies around you. And from there, you can compare their rates and business ratings. You can also check sites like Fixt to get a professional locksmith you can trust.
Look out for a local
If you want to confirm the skills and authenticity of a locksmith, you will need to do some findings in advance. To do that, call them and ask some important questions while you listen carefully to their answers. Watch out for locksmith companies that refuse to provide a name and avoid them. Try getting a locksmith with a local address. You can ask them to confirm their location when you call them. Also, stay away from locksmiths who use an 800 number instead of their local numbers.
Check their ID and license
When the locksmith arrives, ask to see their license and identification. In most US states, it is a crime to work as a locksmith without getting a license. A professional locksmith on arrival may also ask for your identification. This assures him that you are truly the owner of the car or home. Watch out for and avoid locksmiths that arrive at your location in an unmarked vehicle or in a car with a different business name.
Demand a cost estimate
This is a smart way to detect a dubious locksmith. They often start by quoting a low price to get you enticed to their company. But when they get to the place where their services are required, they tend to increase the price. The average cost of a locksmith service in the US is $60. If you have anyone asking you to bring anything lower, you need to be extra careful. That is a potential sign of a scam.
Before allowing the locksmith to work at all, make sure you get an estimate. If your locksmith does not agree to provide an estimate before the job is done, do not hire such.
Watch out for fluctuating bids
If the initial quote the locksmith gave on the phone is different from the one demanded on site, stop them from doing the job. Some locksmith may inflate the bill later or demand payment for bad work. When you refuse to pay such money, they threaten you with taking legal action. However, don’t be scared or intimidated by this. You will be favored in the face of the law than them.
Don’t allow them drill your lock
If you are experiencing a lockout and your locksmith keep suggesting you get a lock replacement or that he drills the lock, don’t hire him. It is only high-security locks that need to be drilled before it can be opened. A professional locksmith knows his way around unlocking almost any lock. If you have a high-security lock on your homes, you may need to replace them for around $300.
One of the major keys you need to consider when hiring a locksmith is his level of experience. However, experience doesn’t necessarily mean the number of years. It is more of the skills the locksmith has when it comes to dealing with any type of lock issues. Hire the one who is conversant with the industry updates.
You need to also bear in mind the distance of the locksmith to your location. The distance must not be too much. You can consider going for the local locksmith who will be able to get to your place in minimum time. This will also help you save extra cost or fees.
Your safety should not be neglected
While you want a locksmith that will deliver an excellent job, you also need to be cautious of your safety too. You need to be sure you are not hiring a locksmith that will manipulate your door lock. That is why you need to look out for locksmith from a reputable company rather than hiring a locksmith involved in private practice. Safety and security are usually guaranteed when working with companies.
Some More Questions You Should Ask Your Locksmith before Hiring
Now, you know that a locksmith can help you solve issues while helping you avoid unnecessary spending on repairs. Above are some important things you should look out for before allowing a locksmith to work on your locks and keys. However, if you are still not sure that is enough to land you a great hire, here are some more questions you should ask your locksmith.
Question 1: Do you have a license?
This is a very important question to ask. It is will help you ascertain if you are working with a certified and legally recognized professional or not. The best way to do this is to ask for proof by checking his professional IDs and licensing papers.
Question 2: What is your response time?
All locksmith understands that lockout issues do happen, and so, their services will always be required. A professional locksmith or a reputable company usually has a 24-hour emergency team. This team is ever ready for switch dispatch. Generally, you will have a local locksmith arrive at your location faster.
Question 3: Do you provide 24/7 services?
It will surprise you to know that not all locksmith companies offer round the clock mobile locksmith services. This means if you hire such a locksmith on the day of lockout, you will definitely be stranded in the middle of the night. So make sure the locksmith company you are choosing works 24/7, including public holidays.
Question 4: How long have you been in the trade?
This question helps you gauge the level of experience of the locksmith. As earlier said, a long professional history doesn’t usually translate perfect services. But it will keep you assured that you are working with someone who has been around long enough to know their job.
Question 5: How much will the services cost me?
You need to ask this before the project starts at all. You need to get an estimate of the cost to allow you budget appropriately for the job. You don’t want to be caught unawares with an exorbitant bill after the work is done.
Providing good answers to these questions is usually a sign that you will get a quality service. At the same time, it makes you confident that the work will be finished in a timely manner. Therefore, allowing you to resume your normal daily activities as soon as possible.
Don’t be shy to ask questions. They will go a long way to make your hire a great one.