If you are planning on changing your locks, you need to make sure you get a licensed locksmith to do the job. Unless you’re a professional, doing it yourself could invalidate your home insurance, or leave your property vulnerable.
Unfortunately, choosing a good locksmith isn’t as easy as using Google and selecting the first option. There isn’t a law that regulates the locksmith industry, which allows some nefarious people to use this opportunity to pose as a locksmith. Unlicensed locksmiths are known for damaging locks, overcharging for their inadequate service and leaving customers more susceptible to burglaries. At the same time, neither is it wise to ask someone who’s simply proficient at DIY (even if you risk offending a family member or friend).
With 34 percent of burglaries using the front door to break in, it’s important your make sure your locksmith can be trusted and your front door is secure.
Choose a specialist with accreditation
In an guide on choosing a locksmith ahead of time, security professionals Banham point out that certain locksmiths specialise in certain door lock types. So, it’s important when researching for a locksmith, that you hire someone with the right skillset and expertise to deal with your front door lock.
One of the best indicators of quality is accreditation from the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA). If a locksmith has been approved by the MLA, they will have been thoroughly vetted and inspected. As well as seeing if a company has been MLA-approved, it is also advisable to check for other signs of recommendation.
Bad locksmiths have hidden costs
When you call a professional locksmith for a service, the price they quote should be fixed. An unlicensed locksmith may try and overcharge you for a simple job, sometimes quoting an extremely cheap phone estimate, and increasing the price once they turn up at your property.
One London-based locksmith ripped off dozens of customers: One case included a total charge of £1,160.90 for replacing two locks, with parts that only cost £47. The customer had already been cheated, yet still had to fork out an additional £110 to pay another locksmith to repair Makowski’s damage.
Unskilled locksmiths could seriously damage your door
Unlicensed locksmiths may insist on drilling off your door lock, sometimes even as the first response to changing a door lock. This can be a trick to pocket a good lock and replace it with a cheap option.
It is uncommon for locksmiths to drill locks for residential front doors, as drilling is mainly used to open high-security locks, and if a locksmith were to drill your lock it would be a last resort.
When a locksmith usually arrives to change your locks, they will have all the necessary equipment needed to pick or rekey your lock. A licensed locksmith will also ensure minimal damage is done to your front door and will assess the condition of your locks, before proceeding on to replace or even rekey your locks.