We all know that in an emergency the first number to call is 999. Most of us also have another collection of numbers on our phones, or stuck to the fridge, that we know that we can call if we’re in trouble. It might be our doctor, a roadside assistance company or even the number of a reliable babysitter. Whoever these numbers belong to, we know that when we need help we just need to pick up the phone and we can get it.
However, how many of us think about having the number of an emergency locksmith to hand? It doesn’t really enter our heads until it’s too late and we need one! Steve Harrison, who’s just expanded his 24hourlocksmith.org.uk business into 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 do we mean by an emergency locksmith?
An emergency locksmith is any locksmith who will attend your home business ‘out of hours’. Generally, an out of hours service will be available at the following times
- Outside ‘normal office hours’: while many of us now work flexibly, in terms of normal hours we’re still talking about Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm.
- Weekends: Again, many of us work weekends as a matter of course but again they’re not considered ‘normal hours.
- Bank holidays: Christmas, Easter Sunday, New Year’s Day, whatever the bank holiday you won’t find anyone other than an emergency locksmith willing to come out on these days.
What do they do?
The circumstances when an emergency locksmith could help you are remarkably common, and even though we may not think that they will happen to us, they often door.
Locks are often damaged during a burglary and consequently won’t work properly. In these cases, an emergency locksmith can either repair or replace them quickly to make your home secure.
Even if your locks are undamaged, many people feel nervous after a break-in. Changing or upgraded your locks can help you to feel safer in your home.
If you’ve locked your keys inside your home or office and can’t get back in, you’ll need to contact someone who can get you into the building with the minimum amount of damage. A good emergency locksmith will be skilled in ‘non-destructive entry’, getting you into your property quickly and with as little damage as possible.
Lost or stolen keys
If your keys have been lost or stolen, whether you have been able to get into your property or not, you’ll want to make sure that your old keys won’t be of any use to anyone. Calling an emergency locksmith as soon as you notice your missing keys ensures that locks can be changed, and your old keys will be no use to anyone.
Keys can break in locks for a number of reasons. If you’ve had a duplicate key cut at some time it’s possible that the material used wasn’t particularly strong, making key more prone to breaking. However even stronger keys can get worn down over time making them inefficient. The temptation when a key is not working properly, is to try and force it, which leads to breaking. Similarly, a faulty lock can mean you use too much pressure when locking or unlock, again resulting in a broken key.
Whatever the reason, it’s important that you get a locksmith out quickly to retrieve the key and make any necessary repairs. If wear and tear is the problem, the locksmith will also be able to recommend suitable new alternatives.
Finding an emergency locksmith
The problem is, although there are lots of times when we might need an emergency locksmith. We don’t always think about them until a problem arises. We then often end up just using the first emergency locksmith we find.
The problems with this are obvious. Firstly, you are inviting a stranger into your home, possibly at a time when you are vulnerable. Secondly you have very little idea of how reliable or skilled the locksmith is you have called. Finally, you may end up calling someone who will charge you for all kinds of work you really don’t need or charging you over the odds, and because you are desperate, you’ll probably pay off.
Doing your research in advance then can save you money and give you peace of mind. You can find a locksmith who will not only be there in an emergency, but who you know you can rely on. These are some of the things you should check.
Area covered – Check the locksmith covers the area your property is in
Response time – Most locksmiths will give you an idea of their average emergency response time
Call out charges – Some locksmiths won’t charge you for a call out, so you should check this. You should also try and find a locksmith who guarantees they won’t charge you for work you haven’t agreed to.
Fully trained – Look on a locksmith’s website or give them a call to find out what standard they are trained to
DBS checked – Check that the locksmith you use is DBS checked (also known as police-checked for added security
In an emergency situation we often panic and don’t make good decisions. Making sure that you have the number of a trustworthy emergency locksmith before the worst happens gives you one less thing to worry about and ensures that an emergency doesn’t turn into a crisis.