When you need a locksmith, it’s not usually a situation that can wait. Most people call a locksmith when they have some sort of urgent problem – such as they have locked their keys in their car or have somehow locked themselves out of the house. Or perhaps you have broken a key off in a door lock and need to get it out. These types of lockout services are among the most common assignments locksmiths receive.
But there also are other times when you need a locksmith when the situation isn’t an emergency. For example, if you have simply lost your keys or you need to have the locks on our home, office or car changed to keep unwanted people from being allowed entry. Or perhaps you just want to create a set of duplicate keys that you can give to someone else, or have for backup.
Locksmiths also can help if you want to upgrade the quality of the locks on your home or business. You might want to put deadbolt locks on your apartment door or install high-security locks armed with a burglar alarm on your storefront door.
Regardless of why you need a locksmith, it’s probably a job that requires you to put a lot of trust in the person you hire to do it. You want a locksmith who will do a good job while protecting the security of your home, auto, business or other valuables. Your locksmith essentially holds the keys to your entire life, so it’s important that you choose one you can trust.
Tip Number 1 – Get Recommendations from People You Trust
In some instances, you need a locksmith and you don’t have time to shop around for the best one – such as when you are on vacation or traveling for business to a strange city and have locked your keys in the rental car with the engine running or, worse yet, with a child or pet locked inside the car.
Other times, however, you may have a little more time to pick and choose the right locksmith for your specific needs. If so, it’s always a good idea to get recommendations from other people whose opinion you value and who recently have used a locksmith.
This can include family members, friends, or business associates. If you are a business owner, you might even consider asking the owners of your competing businesses which locksmith services they use because they probably are already familiar with the particular circumstances of your type of business.
Tip Number 2 – Get an Upfront Quote in Writing
Most reputable locksmiths have set pricing for the type of services they provide. If they have to buy new locks, keys, or other items, obviously they are going to pass the cost of these items on to you. But beware of any locksmith who won’t give you an estimate in writing prior to performing the job you need.
A written estimate protects you against being overcharged. Don’t be shy about asking for one. Most locksmiths expect their clients to want to know how much they are going to pay for their services.
If a particular job involves unanticipated complications, the final cost may end up being higher than the estimate. But most of the time the locksmith will let you know if they run into anything unusual that is going to cost you more before doing any unexpected work.
Tip Number 3 – Check Them Out
Before you allow a locksmith to perform work for you in your home, at your business, or even on your car, it’s always a good idea to do a little checking on their credentials. For example, are they licensed and bonded? Do they have insurance in case something unexpectedly goes wrong and their work results in property damage or personal injury?
These are the types of questions that need to be answered before a job goes sideways, not after. Any reputable locksmith company will be insured, bonded and licensed and will be more than willing to provide proof upon request.
Tip Number 4 – Make Sure They Can Do the Job
Some locksmith jobs are bigger than others. For example, changing the locks on the front and rear door of a home is a relatively simple task, but installing dead bolts on every apartment in a high-rise building is much more complicated.
Before hiring a locksmith for any job – large or small – you want to make sure they are competent enough to complete the task to your satisfaction.
Tip Number 5 – Ask How Long It Will Take
Locksmiths are generally very busy and their services are in high demand. So when they are performing a job for you, it’s in their best interest to complete it as efficiently as possible. Still, it’s always a good idea to find out:
- How long your job is expected to take?
- When they can start?
A relatively simple job may take only a few minutes, but a busy locksmith may not be able to get to it for several hours, or even several days. Your time is valuable, too. So make sure you hire a locksmith who can get the job done as quickly as possible.
Image courtesy of vectorolie/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Author Bio – This article is written by Eli Shoulklaper on behalf of Speed Locksmith & Security Inc., a trusted locksmith in West Palm Beach area.