Call the police and inquire if they’ve had any complaints about the locksmith. They should be able to help you. If they do have complaints filed, it’s best to choose a different locksmith.
Poking at a key that has broken off in a lock can really make things worse. It is best to call a locksmith the minute something like this happens. The further the metal piece is pushed into the whole, the longer it will take to remove it. This can end up costing you quote a lot, so avoid it.
The locksmith should ask you for identification. Any reputable locksmith will want to ensure that you are the actual owner of the property. This may seem like an inconvenience, but you need to realize that a locksmith that asks for indentification is only trying to protect the community from theft.
Choose a tradesman who is an active participant of his professional community. This will ensure that you get quality work done. It will give you peace of mind that your locksmith is not a shady character.
Always get keys made by a locksmith that is close to your home. Sometimes keys are not calibrated correctly and they will not fit the lock in question. Going to someone too far means there will be a hassle if you have to take the keys back. Aim for a place that is a mile or two from where you live. Do not trust a locksmith that gives you a quote that is far less than any others you have contacted. In some cases, this is done with the intention of reeling you in. Once they begin to service you, they will start to add on additional fees for things like paperwork and the fuel they used to get to where you are.
To protect your safety when hiring a locksmith, be sure to check the locksmith’s identification before allowing him or her to enter your home. Several states, including Texas, Illinois, California, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and New Jersey, require locksmiths to be professionally licensed. Ask to see your locksmith’s license.
If it happens to be your car that your locked out of, pull out your insurance card and call your insurance company first thing. Your insurance company may have certain requirements about which locksmith is used. They may also be ready to handle all the details for you. It’s the smart first move to protect yourself. If you call a locksmith and they answer the phone with a generic phrase, you should definitely be a bit wary. Opening the call with “locksmith” or “locksmith services” means that they may be avoiding giving you a legal name. This is not acceptable for anyone that has the ability to access your home.
When you are looking to have a locksmith install a new lock, ask them to use one that has high security. These cost a bit more, but they will keep you a lot safer than traditional locks. You need to show an ID card as well as a card provided by the locksmith in order to have duplicate keys made. If you get a price quote on the phone, but are asked to pay more later on, express your dissatisfaction immediately. There are lots of locksmiths that will not be honest with you.
Choose a locksmith who provides a physical address for their shop. Locksmiths don’t just install locks or get you inside, they also sell locks, safes, key cutting services and more. If they have a storefront, you know where to go if you have any issues down the road, meaning they’re more trustworthy. If you are locked out of your car and you have AAA, call them and ask for a tow to a locksmith. Many times locksmiths charge you a bundle because they have to get to where you are. This is a great way to gain access to your vehicle for a lot less money. Look for a locksmith which not only offers a local phone number, but also a local address. Some unsavory companies use a local number but reroute the call to a national call center, sending out someone who may not be on the up and up. A local address means they really are in your town.
Make sure the locksmith you hire is properly licensed and insured. While this may not impact his ability to fix you up a new set of keys, it offers a lot in terms of credibility and trust. Make sure anyone you use is up to date on all the paperwork and as professional as possible.