You never know when you might need a locksmith. No matter how careful you are, there is a chance you can lock yourself out of your house or car. If not a locksmith, your only other option is to break into your locked property.
Breaking in doesn’t always work, and the neighbors might call the cops on you. So if you ever lock yourself out, then the locksmith is your best bet.
Apart from repairs, locksmiths also handle lock-fixing and maintenance. You can never have too many locks, so when you need new locks, you need to find a local locksmith. Get yourself some high-grade security locks.
Factor to Consider When Finding a Local Locksmith
Even with plenty of locksmiths in the local listings, you need to be keen when selecting a locksmith. Most people find a local locksmith online, choosing the first one they stumble on.
Reputation and trustworthiness are the guiding factors in finding the best locksmiths. So if you’re looking for a locksmith, here’s what to look out for.
1. Is The Locksmith Licensed?
A lot of people don’t know this, but some states require every locksmith to have a license. The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services is the body that issues these licenses. This bureau is part of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Before locksmiths get licenses, they must undergo a thorough background check. The process involves checking for any previous criminal history. So when you get a licensed locksmith, you can rest assured that your locks are in safe hands.
Cases of locksmiths changing the lock or staging burglaries aren’t uncommon. Some unscrupulous locksmiths may also sell your lock information to robbers and burglars. A licensed locksmith is a guarantee against these illegal dealings.
Apart from the safety of your property, licensed locksmiths also guarantee a bang-up job. Licensed technicians have passed a couple of tests to verify their credibility. In doing so, the bureau ensures only competent technicians practice this craft.
Licensed locksmiths aren’t as cheap as you unregistered locksmiths. They, however, do a way better job than your average locksmith.
There are plenty of fake locksmith licenses out there, so be careful. To verify the authenticity of a license, enter the license details here.
So next time you have a locksmith over, please ask to see their license. If you suspect any fraud, contact the authorities immediately.
2. What Do You Need From the Locksmith?
The locksmith is no-doubt a skilled technician. That said, you can’t have a locksmith over to fix your drain. Before choosing a locksmith, first determine the services you require.
Some locksmiths are skilled in only a particular set of locks. Some may have a knack for car locks but are clueless about door locks.
So before you settle on a locksmith, have what you need from the technician on lock. Do you need your lock replacement after a theft? Or a lock repair instead?
Be clear and concise with what you need from the locksmith. Don’t be hesitant, or the locksmith might suspect some foul play and decline to help you. Remember, a locksmith doesn’t want to be a crime accessory.
Knowing what services you require from the technician makes it easy to pick the right locksmith. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for the locksmith too.
3. Check the Locksmith’s Reputation
There are plenty of ways to verify locksmiths’ credibility. You can check the locksmith company reviews online for starters. Yelp and Yellow Pages are great internet resources for comprehensive reviews.
The best way to check a locksmith, however, is through the Better Business Bureau website. The BBB has great reviews for various businesses and not just locksmith companies.
If your locksmith has a portfolio, the better. Ask around your local area if they would recommend a particular locksmith. A good reputation is at the core of a competent locksmith.
4. Is the Locksmith Insured
Yes, insurance also finds its way to your locks. Before the locksmiths get their hand on your locks, ensure they are insured.
Insurance is something most folks overlook when choosing a locksmith. Insurance can help save you a bundle in case anything goes wrong.
The insurance covers any damages on your property in the event of repairs. Ask your locksmith if insurances cover their services.
Don’t settle for just word of mouth, also ask for some insurance documents. Find a local locksmith with insurance to avoid extra repair costs.
5. Referrals Are King
You don’t even need a computer to find a good local locksmith, ask the neighbor first. You most likely aren’t the only person with lock problems in your neighborhood.
Your neighbors and friends can have great referrals for good locksmiths.
Remember, a referral from a close friend almost always turns out to be great. A bad referral is damaging to both the technician and your friend’s reputation. So it’s hard to get a bad recommendation from the people you know.
If you don’t get referrals from friends, try your insurance provider. Your insurance company might point you to the right people to take care of your locks. Another great way to find referrals from friends is through Facebook recommendations.
6. The Locksmith’s Credentials
Have a look at your technician’s credentials before opting for a locksmith. Anyone can have the locksmith basics, but fail to possess the required skills.
Some locksmiths have a considerable repertoire in their craft. Others strive to expand their horizons to become experts in their particular field.
There’s no easy way to check the credentials of a locksmith. You might have to dig a bit deeper into the technician’s training and education.
There are two reputable locksmith training institutions you should look out for. They are the Society of Professional Locksmiths (SOPL) and the ALOA Security Professional Associations.
These two organizations provide comprehensive and extensive locksmith training. If your locksmith has passed through these two organizations, then you’re in good hands.
These institutions guarantee professionalism in locksmith practice. Apart from their training credentials, you should also look for a significant amount of experience. Checking locksmith credentials isn’t easy but it will be worth the hassle
7. Is the Locksmith Bonded
Bonded locksmith services are rare, so you’ll have to dig deeper into the directories. A bonded locksmith will have to reimburse you for any damage during the repair process.
So long as nothing else apart from the locksmith damages your lock, you’ll get your cash reimbursed. So don’t go damaging the locks yourself.
You need to have an agreement between you and the locksmiths before they get to work. After a reasonable agreement, each party is protected from any liability in case things go wrong.
Most licensed locksmiths are affiliated with associations that offer affordable bonding. All in all, look for an insured, licensed and bonded locksmith and you’re good to go.
8. The Locksmith’s Availability
You can’t plan on locking yourself out of the house, so you never know when you might need a locksmith. Most times you realize you need a locksmith when it’s too late.
Check whether the locksmith is available all day. Some locksmiths don’t work odd hours, which is understandable. If possible, when looking for a good locksmith, look for 24 hours availability.
A locksmith service that’s available for 24hrs will always come to your rescue at any time. The technician is also bound to have amassed a great deal of experience working all those hours. Look for a 24-hour locksmith company and stick to it for good.
9. Look for Specialties
Specialty locksmith services are always a good indicator. So don’t go looking for a contractor or an engineering firm to fix your locks.
Don’t get it wrong; these professionals are undoubtedly masters in their fields. They also know a great deal about locks. It is, however, best to leave the work to a professional locksmith company.
Find a company that specializes in locksmith services. In doing so, you get the triple combination of licensed, bonded, and insured locksmiths.
Also, never settle for your local handyman. You may end up damaging your lock, and you’ll have to pay a professional to make the necessary repairs. Save yourself some time and money and look for specialty locksmith services.
10. Check for Any Red Flags
Have an eye for red flags when finding a local locksmith. There are so many red flags to look out for. It might be hard to keep track of all of them.
Lack of certification is one red flag you should never ignore. If the locksmith doesn’t have proper identification, you’re better off with a broken lock. If they have unmarked vehicles, that’s another red flag.
Before getting to work, a locksmith must verify that you own the property in question. Basic training dictates the first step in any locksmith practice is to verify ownership.
Also, check the body language of the locksmith. Any hesitation, stuttering or speech ambiguity is a bad sign.
Be keen on spotting these red flags. Remember, robbers or burglars might pose as locksmiths and gain access to your property later.
It’s just not your look that’s at risk, but your belongings too. Check for any red flags and act accordingly in case of any.
11. Are They a Local Company?
Always go local with your locksmith. In doing so, you’ll be supporting the community and you’re also safer.
It’s easy to get recommendations and reviews of a local locksmith. Local locksmiths also have a firm understanding of the basic area locks and such. They’ll get the job done quickly and give excellent tips on securing your premises.
When you go local, the locksmith will get there fast and serve you. You don’t have to wait for hours for the technician to get to you. In case of any foul play, the authorities will track local “locksmiths” much faster and easier.
When you go local, you’ll also be great at giving referrals. Do the neighborhood a favor and go local with your locksmiths.
12. Get an Estimate
After knowing what you want specifically from the locksmith, get an estimate for the services they render. If you have checked out the above factors, all you need now is a good quotation.
You may be surprised just how much some companies may charge for their services. To prevent problems when paying for the service, get an estimate first.
It’s outrageous that some companies might charge you for a quote. So be very keen with the quotations to ensure you get your money’s worth. Take note of any hidden charges— they’re a clear red flag.
An estimate ensures you know how much you’re paying for the services. It would be embarrassing to have a row with the locksmith over the pay. Get the estimate first and save yourself the embarrassment.
Find a Local Locksmith Now With These Tips
Hopefully, you’re now confident about finding the right local locksmith company. Next time your locks put you in a fix, you’re one step ahead in solving the problem.
Bonding, insurance, and certification portray excellent servitude and professionalism. You should always keep your eyes open for the red flags highlighted above.
Remember expensive doesn’t always mean good. Have an estimate, before settling on a locksmith. Finally, always try to find a local locksmith.