Introduction to Locksmithing
Locks come in all shapes and sizes, from the most basic of padlocks to electronic locks that use technology such as retinal scanning, but even a minimal lock can defeat an intruder. Indeed, a good lock – such as the standard mortise lock installed on the external doors of many homes – is a requirement for homeowner's insurance. Given that we are all keen to safeguard our possessions, it's no wonder that locksmiths have always been in demand.
A locksmith is skilled in the art of making (and defeating) locks, and will provide locks and keys for everything from your doors and windows to your garden shed and your car. Many are also general security specialists.
Locksmiths will replace lost keys or make duplicates of existing ones. They will also replace locks that have been worn or damaged. A locksmith will fit high quality locks to meet insurance requirements, and door bolts to give you extra locking points, hinge bolts to protect the hinge side of your door, and window bolts to give your windows extra strength.
Locksmiths will be able to accomplish door lock repairs when mechanisms have suffered wear and tear over time, and can even renovate old locks that cannot be removed. If you've experienced a burglary, locksmiths can often repair the damage, fixing locks (or fitting new ones) and even supplying items such as split doors and damaged frames. If you lock yourself out, many locksmiths provide an emergency locksmith service. A locksmith should be able to defeat the lock on your door, open without damage to the door itself, and then fit a replacement lock for you – very handy when the alternative could mean an undignified entry into your property through a window.
Locksmiths don't just stop at doors and windows. How about padlocks for the shed, or safes for storing valuables? Some locksmiths are also high security specialists, who can provide advice on hi-tech-security, restricted keyways such as medeco or multilock, and will install security measures such as alarm systems, bars and grilles, CCTV, and secure access systems for communal doors in multi–occupancy buildings.
There are hundreds if not thousands of listings for locksmiths, so how do you go about finding the right one? First, check if the name they are presenting themselves as is registered in the State of Maryland. If you enter the trade name they present themselves as in the search box and you get no results, or the person on the phone when you call cannot tell you who owns the company, you have found one of the thousands of phony locksmiths that are ripping off consumers in the State of Maryland. We proudly display our credentials in an effort to thwart efforts by thieves to use our valuable name, and the goodwill associated with it. The owner of Kensington Wheaton Lock Service is Harold Fink, CRL, CPS. When you query the charter records enter the business name exactly as it appears and you will see Mr. Harold Fink is the owner.
I answer my own phone. If I don't answer, my wife will. There is never anyone else that will answer the phone other than my wife or myself. It is sad that it has come to the point that unscrupulous "companies" will go so far as to say "we have a lot of people" or "he's not available" when you call the phony locksmith company and ask for Harold. I remember all my customers and anyone trying to get back in touch with me can rest assured that I know the area around your neighborhood very well, able to identify landmarks, which a dispatcher from a phony locksmith company with a call center in New York or Georgia won't be able to do. Don' t make the mistake of getting ripped off by one of the many, many ripoff locksmith "companies" that refuse to tell you where they are located even though you thought you were calling a local company. That is part of the whole scam, you think you are calling a reputable local company and it turns out you did not. Protect yourself by asking questions about the local area and verify that you are dealing with a local company. Be very wary of addresses in the phone books or in Google maps. 90% of Google results for locksmiths now return phony locksmith companies with non-existent addresses or addresses being used fraudulently in an effort to make you think they are quite close to you and everywhere. Part of our effort to get rid of these phony locksmiths is to help you if you have been a victim of one of these companies. We can lock out anybody you want, especially someone claiming to be a "locksmith" that has harmed you as a consumer.
Locksmiths can be based in a shop, or a vehicle, and can work alone or as part of a larger organization. Many specialize in one aspect of the trade as, say, master key system specialists or master safe technicians. Many, like myself, are able to answer lock questions online in a blog such as safequestions.com If there's a simple request like how to dial a safe or a specific job you want doing, you might be able to find a locksmith who is an expert in that field, and locksmiths are frequently certified in specific skill areas or to a certain level of skill within the trade. Many are specialists in interchangeable cores, which allow you to change your locks yourself. Always consider a locksmith's level of proficiency and whether or not he or she has the skill to do the right job for you. If you want to install new locks or a security system, a locksmith should provide you with good, friendly advice as to what product would most suit you and your property.
Obviously, the cost depends on what you want. We can lock out everybody with a police lock, or we can install tremendous value with affordable locksmith grade hardware. Even so, there are some useful pointers to bear in mind. Always ask for a quote, and make sure that any estimates you are given are provided by fully qualified locksmiths. Comparing quotes from different individuals and companies will give you an idea of who could give you the best value for the money, but be aware that the worst offense with regard to phony, fraudulent companies is the bait and switch. You will be quoted an extremely low price when compared to ours on the phone, and then suddenly three and four times more expensive when they hand you the bill! One of the worst offenders with this is ServiceMagic. Service Magic purposely uses trade names owned by reputable companies such as ours in the State of Maryland and presents unscrupulous, unlicensed companies as being "pre-screened" in a radio ad or in Google search results. Be careful! Ask who the owner is, and ask them to show proof that they own the name they claim to be trading as. Anyone else is a fraud and a phony locksmith. When buying products such as locks or alarm systems, seek advice before you buy as to which product might suit you best, check to see which represents the best value, and compare prices between locksmiths and locksmith companies to get the best deal. And remember, personal recommendations are often a good way to discover whether or not a locksmith service represents value for money.