Summer Home Security Advice

With the recent hot weather all over the UK, Locks in the City would like to offer some Summer Home Security advice. Whilst this is not an exhaustive list, we feel it covers the main points for keeping your home as secure as possible during Summer.

Lock Your Door

Locks in the City are the local locksmith firm for Dagenham, London and surrounding areas.This may sound like rather obvious advice. We all lock the door when we go out to work for the day. Do you lock the door if you’re out working/socializing in your back garden all day though? If not, you should do. Many of the jobs required in the garden over the Summer involve noisy equipment. Mowing the lawn, cutting hedges etc all involve tasks where your hearing is, at best, limited. The likelihood is, that you wouldn’t hear anyone walking straight into your home off the street. In the time it takes to cut, edge and dispose of the grass cuttings from an average sized lawn, a potential burglar could have stolen hundreds of pounds worth of your valuables. Locking your front/main entrance door, is a simple way to drastically reduce this risk.

Lock Your Windows

Locks in the City are the local locksmith firm for Dagenham, London and surrounding areas.Recent temperatures in London have been hot, really hot. Understandably, there is a temptation to leave first floor windows open, even when residents leave home for the day. Locks in the City’s advice is DON’T! Leaving a window (even first floor) open all day whilst you are out, is an open advertisement to a would be thief. If you are worried about the room getting too warm whilst you are out, draw the curtains to limit how much sunlight penetrates the room. Shut and lock the window before you go out. Ensure that you properly shut and lock all of your windows, not just the ones on the ground floor. If you have uPVC windows and absolutely have to let some fresh air in, lock your window in the ‘ajar’ position. However, we would not advise that you do this with any windows on the ground floor of your property.

Secure Your Shed

Locks in the City are the local locksmith firm for Dagenham, London and surrounding areas.Most garden sheds house a myriad of expensive items. Ranging from the lawn mower to the family bicycles. Consequently, it is worth investing in some worthy protection. Your shed, is after all, an extension of your home. Ensure that the doors are fitted correctly and that they both close completely flush to the hinge and to each other. If your shed has a window, consider boarding it up (from the inside) to make it more secure. If you don’t wish to board it up, at least obscure the view from the window to prevent prying eyes looking in at your property. Secure the doors with a sturdy padlock and chain. Check that the padlock and chain meet your home insurance requirements and that the contents of your shed are adequately covered.

 Security Whilst You Are Away On Holiday

Locks in the City are the local locksmith firm for Dagenham, London and surrounding areas.To successfully leave your home at it’s most secure whilst you are away on holiday, you need to make it appear as though you are still at home! Below are a few hints to help you with this process.

  • Under NO circumstances, state on social media that you are away on holiday! Anybody could quite easily find out where you live, depending on your privacy settings. A potential burglar would know how much time they have to safely remove all of your valuable possessions – without the fear of being caught, if you have just updated your status on Facebook with the fact that you are away and for how long!
  • Ensure that someone puts your bin out for you on the allocated day. If you don’t have any rubbish then ask the person helping you to wheel your bin out anyway. If you still have bag collections then ask your helper to put one of their bags out in front of your house.
  • Make sure that your post is either collected/removed from the letter box on a daily basis and put out of sight. Alternatively you can arrange with your Post Office to have your mail delivered to an alternative address whilst you are away.
  • Ask a friend/neighbour to water all pots & plants at the front of your home and if possible to mow the grass.
  • If possible, ask a friend or relative to open and close your curtains each day.
  • Give the illusion that you and your family are still at home by setting timer switches for table lamps at different times in different places, throughout the house/apartment.
  • Cancel your milk round. An ever increasing supply of pints of milk sat on your doorstep, clearly shows that nobody is at home!

Should you require any further help or guidance regarding the security of your home and/or business premises then please do not hesitate to call Locks in the City on 07921 000672 or 0800 955 8672. Alternatively you can email us from our contact page.

With thanks for the use of the photograph of the shed to Tenchi uder the Public Domain licence.


Locks in the City, take the MLA exams.

Locks in the City are now MLA approvedSo it’s been a fair while since I wrote a post. It’s been a hectic few months. As I was preparing for my BLI exams. These are exams that once passed you are recognised as being a Master Locksmith. So I proud to announce that I passed all the exams on the first go and scored quite highly in all 4 modules.

It’s a mixed bag between locksmiths regarding the MLA. Some for it, Others against it. Then there is those who don’t really know much about it. Here is a link to the MLA, if you are interested in reading about them. The MLA
So I sat my exams on the 4th and 5th of December at the MLA Head office in Daventry.

I personally chose to become a member, and sit the exams. Mainly because I was able to do what was required to pass the exams. As well as becoming part of a recognised association for trusted and vetted locksmiths. An association who doesn’t want your money to sit a couple exams and then give a certificate on a piece of paper that is worthless. Thought and time and knowledge has gone into every aspect. The MLA is constantly striving, to up the standards, and bring awareness against rouge locksmiths. There is ongoing training and development in all aspects. They can provide help for all different areas of locksmithing.

So when I first arrived at the head office, I was greeted with smiles and a happy office of staff. I was made to fill welcome and offered tea and biscuits etc. There was 5 of us there that day, so we all had an hour or so to mingle and familiarise are selves with each other. Not all of us was doing all 4 modules. 2 of the guys were there to one of the 4. The first exam was the written exam. It consisted of 50 questions ranging from product knowledge, safes, general locksmithing and some technical knowledge.

Afterwards we had a break and a chat which always tended to be about work. We had a buffet lunch and was briefed on the second exam. This was to be fitting a euro deadlock case and cylinder including security escutcheons. Also fitting the keep was essential as the door was tested to ensure a nice fit. This exam tests and shows hand/eye co-ordination. Your thought process, as in. Centralising the lock, fitting it square and neatly. It showed your accuracy of measurements. When making the euro profile hole. As there is a tool on the market that speeds up fitting mortice deadlocks and it centralises and cuts the mortice pocket to the right depth and thickness. People feel that the fitting by hand is pointless. I can see why they are saying. Though at the same time I can see what the MLA are saying. If you possess the skills to do it by hand you then understand whats required to do the job. Those skills can then be utilised in other areas. Such as fresh fitting a nightlatch and rim cylinder.

After this exam we were able to go off to the hotel. Although we only did two exams it was mentally tiring. The following day we knew we had the Making a key by hand to a Chubb/Union 3G110 detainer lock and then the opening of a BS3621 Mortice deadlock. So After a spot of dinner and the odd couple of beverages at the bar it was time to settle in for a bit of practice in these areas.

The Friday morning came and although not nervous and anxious it dos cross your mind that you want the day to go to plan and pass these two exams. These are the two that are probably more feared by people. Once back at the head office and settling in with a tea. It was time to go over the next modules with the tutor/examiner. The next exam was the making of the key by hand. We was given tips and shown how to do it and what to look for whilst doing it with the examiner. I was quiet happy with this exam as I had done quiet a bit of practice. As I had a job a few days before where I had to make keys by hand. By the end of this I was happy with my key. It opened the lock from both sides, It was symmetrical and the spacings all seemed even. The key had radiuses and I had time to give it a clean up and polish.

We had a lunch break and prepared mentally for the next exam which was the dead lock opening. Thankfully I carry many of the decoders for pretty much all the most common locks. I also had my trusty curtain pick as a secondary measure and finally I had the drill as a FINAL OPTION. I hate drilling locks, it’s not that I think it’s wrong necessarily as we all need to drill them at times. Its more because I know I possess the skills and knowledge to open these without having to drill. Its such a satisfying feeling when that lock opens and it remains working and in tact. I ended up with an Asec deadlock, I opened the lock and a instant smile across my face appeared. I had a strong feeling that I had done well in all the other aspects but this is the one exam you know if you have failed or passed as the lock is either open or not in the allotted time, so long as you have fulfilled the criteria. The other exams are inspected and marked. So You leave that day not knowing.

Around a week later I received a letter from the MLA congratulating me, and my certificate was included. Not your typical cheap printed off your computer type either. I have since applied to become a company member and recently had my inspection carried out which all went without a hitch.

Within next couple week I should have everything through.

MLA Locksmith

Hi all,

It’s ben a while !!!!. I’ve been kept on my toes with work and training. Locks in the City is now training towards joining the Master Locksmith Association. As I am able to carry out the required standards, and fulfil the expectations they require, it makes sense. The perfect progression. In becoming a member of a recognised governing body who’s aim is to supply customers with locksmiths who are vetted and have past the exams in order to be classed as a master locksmith. This will give the customer peace of mind, and reassurance in their choice when looking for a locksmith.

Being a master locksmith is not just about the opening of the locks, but its about the understanding of locks, and their history. Proving you have good product knowledge. You can select an appropriate lock or hardware to help solve a problem or issue. Not only able to replace locks, but where possible repair locks. Make keys by hand to locks. This is a widely argued and criticised module taken by people as to why make one by hand when you can buy a new lock or replace internals. However what the skill is teaching is the ability to create a working key by understanding whats required to do it. You can’t just file at a key to make it work. It takes, precise attention to detail. Understanding removing material here will effect the lock in this way or that. It’s an art. It was not until a fair few months ago that I started looking into it. Having since learnt its been a great learning curve. Creating a key to a lock that could last for years to come, is very satisfying.

Another skill required is to fit a euro cylinder and euro deadlock case to a door including security escutcheons. All done without the aid of a morticed which is a modern day tool that aids in creating a mortice pocket in which the case would sit. This is done with a drill and then tidied up and finished using chisels etc. Another good skill to have. It’s a big part of my job from time to time, fitting locks from scratch. It’s always nice to have a nice clean professional fit when doing it. A customer is not going to want a slap dash job, where filler is used to fill unsightly gaps.

So hopefully in December this year I will pass the 4 modules and will be classed as Master Locksmith and I can use their logo, to inform my customers both new and old that I’m a validated member and more then competent to carry out the work they require.


Been a while since my last post. However we have been busy and keeping up to date with are picking and decoding skills. It is a dying art not practised by many. The rotary pick or the drill is used sadly. Then the locks replaced and hole filled with filler etc. This frustrates me especially when perfectly fine locks are damaged, when they could be picked open, re-keyed or re-levered. If the original keys were lost.
I carry a pinning kit that covers many of the current locks. So if a customer looses their key to their cylinder (yale) lock then I can pick the cylinder open then break it down replace the pins and supply a new keys. So the old key will no longer work. People will argue well its cheaper, quicker and easier to replace with a new one. When you have the ability to re-pin locks its handy as if your on a job and a customer has a a few yale cylinders you can offer keying alike, so that there able to use one key on multiple locks. Now I can do it there and then. Where as the next person who doesn’t offer this service has to contact supplier, order whats needed then re-attend a day or two later. So getting into habit of re-pinning pays off
Same with deadlocks. I attend many evictions where the landlord or agent want to spend the minimum on locks. So we can re-pin a cylinder and then if they have a deadlock we can re-lever in the same way. For saying sake we find they have a Legge branded deadlock. The lever pattern reads 24131 we can re-arrange the lock using the same levers for saying sake 43121. All it would cost me is the price of 2 or 3 key blanks. If I was to carry lever packs your talking about anything from £15+vat upwards from supplier. Or I have to carry large selection of deadlocks of various brands, sizes and finishes the same with sash locks. So instead of carrying 30+ variants I carry one decoder per branded lock. Which weighs around the weight of one deadlock. So i’m not dragging around dead weight. So I’m always saving money. The initial purchase of decoder is high. Though over a year others may spend 2-2.5K on deadlocks and sash locks alone. My decoders may of cost around the same. However year two, I won’t have to buy deadlocks or sash locks still. So potentially the next guy will have to spend 2-2.5k on deadlocks still, more on fuel, still carry lever packs etc.
Not only does it keep running costs low, it maximises profit and you can keep competitive for your customers and keep their costs low. Your be surprised the repeat business you get. Also the good thing is if i get a lock that I don’t stock. I can re-arrange levers cut keys and fit old lock. I don’t have to adjust mortice pocket, key hole and keeps. No need then to fill holes and and make things look good. As old lock will fit perfect.

Securefast lock decoding

Locksmith for South East London & Kent

Emergency London Locksmith

I pretty much cover most of London within reason of time or type of job. It’s no good driving across London at rush hours in morning or evening as your be sat in traffic burning fuel. So we have to justify whether its economically viable. Luckily if we can not make it we have a network of other locksmiths nationwide that you meet via exhibitions and forums. So even if we can not attend we will always aim to pass the job or give details of another trust worthy locksmith.

Being a Locksmith in London can be a testing game as there is a lot to contend with. Traffic, parking if any at all, carry a wider range of specialist tools for dedicated locks, in general higher cost of insurances, congestion charging. For saying sake if we get a job in West London, we are looking on a good run of at least 45-60 mins. Before we get there we have to include and remember to pay the congestion charge of £10. So potentially you will be tied up for 3 hours, for attending, carrying out work and then return journey home. So you could potentially loose more local work. One smaller job locally could possibly earn you the same in profit. The locks west London have a tendency to be of high value and high security. As there is a lot of wealth in West London. So you will typically find Banham locks, Ingersoll, Bramah and Chubb commercial grade 3g110 detainer locks. All these can present problems and are not cheap to keep stocked on van in their various finishes and sizes.

Other areas are London can then present other locks that are more common in one area. You may go to one postcode for saying sake SE28 Thamesmead my own postcode. The area is predominantly secured by euro cylinders, in the older parts and in the new parts they are succoured by thumbturn euro and rim cylinders on Roller nightlatches. So we try to stock keyed alike pairs so that if we need to change them we are not taking away the benefit of the one key solution. The roller nightlatches are fitted so if they fail we need to carry them to enable a like for like replacement. Fitting something else is not always a good idea as it may not cover the same footprint of old lock meaning then the door may have different paint showing or part thats not been stained or varnished. All to often I visit properties were other locksmiths have attended and not always had the varied selection, so they fit what they can make work. So you find frames with chiselled out chunks from previous old locks and screw holes. Not very professional.

You may go to another postcode and find it flooded with say a 3″ sashlock all branded Era. Another area maybe Scandinavian cylinders on old councils blocks, a mile down the road your find another council block that are fitted with mul-t-lock cylinders. A mile in another direction your find the area flooded all with upvc doors and windows. This again then can open another market of what you carry on the van. Not just the cylinders in different colours but the profile and offset. The cylinders typically go from 30mm/30mm up to 60mm/40mm. you can get 30mm/40mm so many varying combinations as the cylinders go up typically at 5mm each end. Then on top of the the central gear boxes come in many sizes and combinations as well as different makes.

You will be looking at a large investment in just the locks alone before the tools, advertising, insurances, fuel etc. We carry as much as we can to ensure everything is done in one visit as it makes more sense for the customer as well as us the locksmith. If the job is done in one go the customer can rest easy. They will be grateful and will remember you from the service you provided. Another reason as to why we install alarms as well as cut keys on the van. Its about supplying the customer with services there and then. Having that edge in a competitive market. Having that one call solution for the customer. Who will recommend you to their friends and family. On top of this its how you conduct and present yourself to the customer. Its all well and good carrying everything but you turn up in a battered old van thats rusty and your wearing jeans and trainers and a t-shirt with your lunch down the front of it. Customers will not be at ease. So we wear a uniform that is branded and matches the van and our business cards and stationary all tie in together. The same with having a professional website. If you can talk with your customer and engage with them and build up a trusted relationship and you explain what you are doing and why. You talk to the customer, and not at them. All this can help to be known as a reputable tradesman to your customers and those around them. Neighbours, friends, relatives. So to be a successful locksmith in London, having these traits definitely help.
Should you wish to try are services then we can be found at

Proud members of Checkatrade and AGE UK

Hi All,

It’s been a while since I’ve been on to leave a post. We have been kept extremely busy with day to day locksmithing duties. We have been pushing our services and getting ourselves out there. We want people to choose us over the National companies as well the small independents that have been going around causing grief and leaving customers in far worse conditions then they originally were. We are working tiresomely to get these people away from potential customers who are unaware of potentially the risk they are putting themselves in getting these people in.

We have invested lately in putting ourselves out there on sites that recommend reputable and monitored traders. We in November signed up to Checkatrade, check the link to view our page: Locks In The City . With Chckatrade we we’re visited by a rep who come and personally met me and discussed what they offered and how it worked. They went through the options and explained how they worked and the importance to them to only have reputable tradesmen using their name/brand. They throughly go through your details. They check your insurances are in place and meet the minimum requirements. They ring previous customers to get a reference. Any job you complete and a card is filled in, is followed up to ensure genuine info is being given. We are proud to currently be running at 10 out of 10 overall on our ratings. We find the customer is becoming more aware of Checkatrade as it is advertised well on TV.

We have also lately managed to become AGE UK registered trusted traders on their business directory. Again a thorough inspection was completed on insurances and certificates, as well as contacting previous customers to ensure credibility and workmanship was up to standard. Here is a link to our page: We want people to use us, on the basis of our standards and what others review us to be. As apposed to picking a number of internet or phone book. You don’t known what your getting or who you are getting. With us your getting a service thats on going. We are not a one stop visit and take your money and run.

Expect the unexpected

Since the job i do involves visiting many properties all over the place, we come across many scenarios and situations that if your not prepared you can be caught off guard. With experience you gain this knowledge and experience though sometimes stuff will catch you off guard and its these situations were you have to be quick at decision making.

A few situations off the top of my head that I can think of is:
Firstly I was called to a property by an owner in a bit of distress. They believed their property had been burgled and they couldn’t get into their property. I attend and within 20 mins I’m on site. I look at the front door and find no obvious markings of break in or forced entry. I ask the lady what made her believe she has been burgled. She said my key won’t open the door and her curtains were shut. Even though she opened them when she got up in the morning. So it appeared that maybe the property had been broken into and the burglars have locked the door from the inside and shut the curtains so no neighbours could see what was going on.

I asked the lady had she spoke with the police, as burglars could be inside still. She said no. So I advised that she should for safety reasons. The lady did and to be fair within 5 mins the police arrived. They bang on the windows knock on the neighbours who all advise they not seen anything strange having gone on. The police climbed into the garden via neighbours house. Again no obvious signs of entry or break in. The police then asked if i’d be able to open the door. So i take the lady’s key and test the top lock. The key entered and partly turned but wouldn’t retract the latch. That tells me that the internal button/snib had been pressed. In effect deadlocking the door from inside. The lady is distraught with worry. I carry out a technique to bypass the lock to open it. The door opens, the police take over. They go in and you can hear them shouting out police. After 5 mins the police come out with a smirk on their face. They advise that they had found the ladies husband in bed. He had come home from work feeling ill. He had gone into the front room and shut curtains to get some rest but couldn’t get comfy so went to lay down in bed. He said he wasn’t with it so must of pressed the button on the door by mistake. thankfully all was good in the end but you just never know. It could of been so easily different.

Another unexpected job was I was asked to attend a house within a gated community. It was being rented out but the tenants had not been paying the rent. So the landlord had to go down the route of evicting them. So at 11:15am this particular day myself the landlord and bailiff all attend. The time comes and the bailiff knocks at the door. No answer. I go ahead and open the two locks on the door. I push the door open and step back just in case. I then get a strong whiff of a chemical smell. Also can see fans and plant pots in the hallway and scatters of a soil looking substance. It was a cannabis factory, set up properly. This was no, personal consumption growing this was almost on parr with what you’d call commercial growing. The bailiff called the police and there was swarms of police and activity. The neighbours were all out watching. They were filming and everything as at first I think they believed it may of been a murder scene or something.

Just a couple of random jobs that can crop up. One minute you think your attending a typical lockout, and once on site it twists and becomes a crime scene potentially

Emergency Locksmiths in Thamesmead SE28

Well again it’s been a while since we posted a blog. We have been busy and trying to fit in all the bits and pieces that add up to hours at the end of the day. Before you know it one day has lead into the next.

So basically we have been kept fairly busy locally with general locksmithing duties and emergency call outs. One job we attended was a UPVC door in Thamesmead where in the high winds someones door was damaged and taken off its hinges as it was worked back on its self shattering hinges. The customer called and we were there within 15 minutes of their call. It was really dark, windy and the rain was unreal. Though we still attended to make secure. We had a break in the weather of about 40 mins and luckily we were able to fit new hinges that we actually carry on the van. Not like some who claim to be locksmiths and carry just locks, and a limited selection at that. We at Locks in the city carry a varied selection of not just locks, but other hardware and ironmongery associated with doors and windows. We got the hinges fired and the door hung back in place. Due to door being blown off we needed to replace the handles, as they got badly damaged when the door hit the floor. Again we were able to supply and fit handles of a similar style and colour. All in the same visit. No going back and messing about. With some adjustments the door was like new. The owners were extremely happy they could secure their door and go bed. The house was back to being water tight. No wind howling through the house. We left knowing the customer was more then happy now. I was finally able to go home and warm up. It’s safe to say I prefer the summer months.

Well I got home dried up, warmed up and was about to settle hopefully for at least a few hours but that wasn’t to be. Again due to the winds I received a local job from a previous customer of mine who had been locked out of their home. The wind had blown the door shut with their keys on the inside. This time in 5 minutes I was at their address and took my tool that I use on upvc doors and had the door open in seconds. Simply because it was not double locked. Another happy customer.

Well I got home once again and hoped I would get a few hours to unwind and I did. Though come 00:30am I was contacted by a lady on the phone who managed a block of 24 flats. She had been contacted out of hours from one of the residents complaining that they had water poring though the ceiling. They believed it was from the flat above. The owner of flat above was not their it was believed they were away on holiday in Turkey. The lady on the phone advised that the fire brigade had attended but said they would cause too much damage opening the door as they would have to use destructive methods.

The lady advised that another locksmith had attended see what was on the door and made excuses to leave saying that he would also have to damage the door. I advised the lady that I would attend but I couldn’t guarantee 100% that some damage might be made but it would be put back to normal should I have to. It would not be permanent damage. The lady agrees for me to attend. Upon arrival the tenant who was sadly suffering the flood in to their flat met me and showed me their flat. Water was gushing through the ceiling. The plasterboard had blown the damage was done.

I went up to the flat above and where the leak was suspected to be coming from. I banged on the door. Rang the bell etc. No movement or signs of life. Eventually the managing agent arrived with the police. They gave me the nod to go ahead. Now the flats were all fitted with high security handles, the cylinders were high security cylinders. Even picking open would result in the lock jamming up due to a security feature called trap pins. This would of rendered the cylinder as good as useless if trap pins are activated. There was no letter box to use alternative method. Though I had another tool and technique to use that I acquired from another locksmith who makes high quality tools. I used this specially adapted tool and released the mechanism within the door. Pushing down on the handle opened the door into the flat. The silence from the people around was deathly. They were all so shocked at how quick this door was opened. It was opened quicker then had the key been used.

The flat was inspected and no flood was found to have been coming from the flat. The police and fire brigade looked around the flat, checked anything that was water related and definitely no flood or leaks from this flat. I was asked if the lock needed replacing so I advised no as no damage was caused opening it. They asked would I be able to lock it again. I told them I could and that the owner or tenant would be able to use their key as normal. They were all so impressed and taken back. The managing agent took my cards and details as she informed they had to gain entry to a flat in their before. The locksmith who claimed to have years of experience and was well respected in the locksmith industry took two hours to open the door. With that new handles, cylinder and door stop needed to be replaced. The door was damaged and needed to be repaired and painted as was a portion of the frame. I am now their chosen locksmith and since have had to attend to open another flat for them after a tenant left. No damage and lock changed.

The cause of the flood was put down to the rain. As it was being blown sideways into the building due to the wind the rain had found a path through the breathing bricks located at various points and this happened to be between floors. The water then took the path until it built up above this couples ceiling and it gave way flooding the flat. So had the fire brigade smashed open door there would of been huge amounts of damage. A new door would of been needed. Repair to plaster work etc. Then once in no fault would of been found so a huge bill would of been left for no reason. So for the sake of an attendance fee by me it was a small price to pay.

So if you need a locksmith in and around Thamesmead look us up here.

Locksmith South Wales

Locks in the City joins Checkatrade

Well as of December 2013 we are pleased to announce that we became Checkatrade members. We were interviewed in November and accepted as a member. We went live on their website earlier this month and so far have completed 5 jobs with 100% satisfaction from customers who all scored us 10 out of 10. Checkatrade is a online directory of trades and services who have been vetted. Insurances are checked, as well as qualifications and memberships to organisations.

This gives are customers an extra line of security when using us. They know we are not back street traders trying to make a living on others misfortune by charging extortionate charges and supplying inferior quality products. We like our customers to ask for are qualifications and certificates as we are proud of them. We have work hard and continually increase are knowledge and tooling. this benefits both us as a company, and the customer as a consumer.
If we have the correct knowledge and experience we can gain access to your property with no need to drill or damage locks. This proves are professionalism, and the cost are kept to a minimal for the customer as they are able to continue using their old locks.

Calling us to attend a job, over a call centre or a rouge has more benefits then customers realise. Firstly we will be local. Time is of the essence when your locked out or your safety is at risk. We cover a radius of approx 5 miles. So realistically we can be at someones door within 20 mins of a call. Most of time we are on site within 10-15. A call centre may take your call and spend 15-20 minutes finding someone local enough or willing to travel to you. So realistically you will wait 40 mins plus. A rouge can come from anywhere, and they will be willing to travel miles if they feel they will charge you for it.

Secondly, we will turn up in a sign written van. Showing our company detail and professional image. We wear a matching uniform and can provide ID. You will know its a locksmith your dealing with. A call centre will send anyone who is willing to cover the job. As long as they have your card details, and they can get their cut of the money their happy. you could potentially end up with a guy in a car, wearing jeans, t-shirt and trainers. He may supply you with second hand locks and keys. The same with a rogue trader.

Thirdly, we charge you accordingly and fair. We want you to keep you as a customer and refer us to your friends and family. Overcharging will only put you off. We will quote you a price on the phone, for a minimum of an hours labour. Call centres avoid telling you their charges. A couple we have been made aware of charge a half hours call out fee. Which start at £130.00 just to turn up at your door. We charge half that, they also charge way over the RRP on the stock. So that they can profit on the stock also. So effectively you will pay twice. No one will want to take responsibility

So when looking for a locksmith, look locally. If looking online, don’t always go for the first one. They are normally paid advertising. So generally you will find that they are national companies offering local services but they are not. If you do ring and its a call centre be weary. If they have a local locksmith ask where they are based. If they stutter or can’t give a straight answer again be weary. Ask what there call out is. Ask what that call out covers, i.e. time on site etc. Ask if they offer non destructive entry techniques. Ask is they carry identification and proof of experience. Ask if they are insured and offer warranty on parts if they are required to be changed.

Dont be frightened to ask questions. You are paying for the service. So you have a choice also. Don’t be forced into or pressured into making a decision. If it feels you are being pressured then end the call. Also if you google numbers, or companies they will typically show up any other links they are involved with. Some companies have multiple listings in the same area, in different names and different numbers. If a voice sounds familiar, it quite possibly is. They will likely then over quote in the hope you go for their first quote.

So in all be careful and do a little research

Blackheath Locksmith

Well it’s been a while since I’ve managed to get on here, to write a new post. Locks in the City have been kept busy with numerous jobs. Most commonly lately has been swollen doors, and a spate of keys stuck in locks or not operating locks properly.

With Christmas only weeks away, work typically starts to slow down. Especially the repossessions and forfeiture of leases. One reason being is the courts have an amnesty for two weeks. Though there is often an increase in late night calls especially from people going out over the festive period and losing keys,being pick pocketed or worst still being mugged or robbed. This sadly is the time of year, where thieves see it as an ideal opportunity to go out robbing. Knowing there will be many expensive purchases made for friends, family and loved ones. Jewellery, watches, gaming consoles and other electrical items.

Recently I attended a property in Blackheath, South East London. I was called by a guy informing me he had been broken into and needed his locks changed as his spare keys had been taken. Upon arrival I was met by the family and the police. Obviously the family were deeply upset and in shock. It is apparent the thieves targeted a few houses in and around the close area. The police gave me the ok to change the locks. My main concern was to see where the thieves entered and to make that my main point of interest. This case it was the front door. The owners had been in bed but had not double locked their upvc door. So there was markings to the frame consistent with forced entry. This attack can be relatively quiet. They then had access to the property and had ransacked the downstairs portion of the property. Taking two laptops, an iPad, handbag with a purse, other electrical items and also the car keys. Though they did not actually steal the car. Maybe they had intentions of returning to take it.

I changed the front door lock and added some extra security. I upgraded their cylinder to a British Standard kite marked lock. Including fitting security handles. I also fitted two sash jammers on the internal side of the door. More for the wife who was worried it could happen again. So being able to see physical security holding the door closed helped put her mind at ease. They asked if a chain could be fitted though the type they were contemplated is what is typically fitted to wooden doors. These are not to good for upvc doors. So I showed them a great alternative designed purposely for upvc. They decided they wanted one of these fitted. I have fitted a few, and they are well made. So having sorted that my thoughts turned to the over entrance and exit points to the property. This particular property had two other doors. Again both UPVC, so another x2 sash jammers on both doors. With a change of cylinder and handles again. I then mentioned windows and the family were taken back as they had not really thought about them. Though once I mentioned they advised they never locked them all. As they had lost the keys and 2 of handles were broken. A thief will enter by any means, so a window open is as good as a door to them. As once in they will likely be able to open doors as typically people leave the keys in the door anyway.

I have a selection of keys on the van, for windows so was able to source the correct one. Enabling the windows to be locked again. I replaced the two damaged handles with new ones. The proper was now as secure as it could be with out going to extreme limits. The husband asked on an alarm and a gave a quote for him to consider. A few days later the guy decided to have one fitted and went for the telecommunication option. So if alarm was triggered when no one was at home, he would receive notification by phone. Not only that he could set the alarm to home mode when in bed and the entrance and exit points are armed. So if a door is opened or a window the alarm is triggered.

The family were happy and now feel safe in their home. All though the initial cost is considered a lot. Loosing your belongings or feeling like your home has been invaded is a higher price mentally, physically and finically. Your home is always going to be the one biggest expense you ever make. It also contains thousands of pounds of belongings and priceless sentimental irreplaceable items. So the cost of securing your home is minute in consideration and theoretically a one off payment