When it comes to fixing or installing any type of lock on your home or place of business, nothing beats hiring a qualified and reputable locksmith. Your regular handyman will not have a good grasp of the intricacies of making sure that your locks and door hardware provide the level of security their manufacturers wanted them to offer.
Common issues include lock installations where master pins allow other unauthorized keys to operate the lock; entry locks that do not perfectly align with the strike; and jambs that are not mortised well enough, such that deadbolts do not actually lock.
Below are tips that can help you avoid these situations:
Where To Start with Professionals and More
Dishonest persons and companies with no training operate all across the country, flooding phone directories and the Internet with ads meant to keep the gullible away from reputable local locksmiths.
Even as these companies typically prey on those looking for emergency service, – for instance, folks who’ve been locked out of their homes or vehicles – they have also been noted to offer other locksmith services of extremely poor quality at prices well in excess of what a qualified locksmith would have collected from them. They attract their targets with advertising, claiming very low service call rates and impracticable response times.
If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Always look for a local company.
2. Consider reviews and referrals.
Independent consumer websites are a great starting point. Since paying members write their reviews, these sites are less susceptible to manufactured testimonies. Definitely, referrals your friends and relatives provide are also usually reliable.
3. Look into credentials.
Even as some locksmiths are satisfied with learning a few skills and limiting their work to those areas, most will take the extra mile to learn more about the business, and this allows them to grow and be of better service to their customers.
A lot of manufacturers offer product-unique training, but ALOA Security Professionals Association and the Society of Professional Locksmiths (SOPL) – two big organizations – are providing ongoing locksmith training. Both also run directories where customers can find local members.
Once they have passed all background checks and membership requirements, SOPL members are given photo ID cards that include a QR code, allowing customers to verify their updated membership status.
Note that most professional locksmiths are glad to answer questions regarding locks and door hardware, and will probably ask you a few questions themselves as to your needs. By doing so, they can come to you prepared for the job – not something call center agents representing less legit organizations can do.
In any case, it is important that you are comfortable with any person or company you choose. Of course, that after you have looked into their credentials and reputation.