Lots of locksmiths advertise 24 hour emergency locksmith and boarding up services but how many are fully qualified in the said skill and how many are actually on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week when you really need them.
Being a locksmith, especially an emergency 24 hour call out locksmith can be a very lucrative and rewarding career that isn’t really effected by a turn down in the economy or the stock markets, people will always need locksmiths because people will forever lose or misplace their house, office or cars keys, get locked out of their house or office and regrettably buildings will still get broken into and burgled whether it’s a residential or commercial building.
Unfortunately the locksmith industry isn’t really a regulated industry, sure there are groups you can be members of but there is nothing in the law that stops un-skilled people watching a few YouTube videos and then touting themselves as a professional locksmiths, these people will probably successfully gain entry to you home, office or vehicle but usually take a while and cause lots of damage in the process.
So what should you be looking for when choosing a locksmith?
Look for any recognised bodies that they are members of and see if their website states who trained them and what level of training they received. One of the top Locksmith training colleges in the UK is the Train Locksmiths, Training College in Manchester who train locksmith to a high Level 3 Enhanced recognised standard, if their website states this, then you are usually in good hands, although a quick telephone call to the training college can confirm the validity of their claim.
A good locksmith will tend to advertise ‘non destructive entry’ as one of their services meaning if you are locked out they can gain entry to your home, office or vehicle without breaking your locks, thus saving you money, remember, anyone can break a lock but it takes a highly skilled professional to pick a lock and gain non destructive entry, also beware of the unscrupulous charlatans who will break your locks on purpose just so they can sell you new ones, usually at higher than retail prices.
So what about 24 hour call out?
This is a term that you see on almost all locksmith websites and in fact it has become a bit of a trend to display this claim, yet a large number of local locksmith do not actually offer this service, some will out right tell you that they can come out first thing in the morning while the worst ones will keep on answering the phone and stringing you along telling you they are busy and on another call. Locksmith call centres do this a lot, stringing you along while they themselves ring local locksmiths on their books trying to find one that will come out to you at 3am. Some locksmiths have started to put messages like “Speak directly with the locksmith and business owner, No call centre means no delays” on their website due to bad experiences many people have had with large call centres.
At the end of the day it’s up to you to do your research, check out a locksmiths website, does it have all the information you need, is the locksmith local, professionally trained, does the locksmith have feedback, being vigilant is paramount.