When you think of locksmiths, you probably think about being locked out of your home, car or place of business. Although this is part of the job, a locksmith does a lot more than just rescue people who have been locked out. A professional is knowledgeable and efficient at a variety of locking mechanisms and security systems.

Tips for hiring a locksmith

It is important to find an honest and reliable locksmith.  Some companies run a criminal background check on all employees to help ensure their people are trustworthy. If you are nervous about hiring a locksmith, ask about the background check policy when you call a company for help. Like other contractors, qualities of a good locksmith include professionalism, efficiency and reliability.

Be aware that most professional locksmiths will want to check you out as well. They will want to be sure you are the property owner before helping you break into a house. Don't get offended by these questions. You should want a professional who will take the time to verify ownership before allowing access to your home, business or vehicle. The locksmith doesn't want to be responsible for helping a criminal break into a home or steal a car.

How do locksmiths set their fees?

The fees you will be charged depend on a variety of factors. One is the type of work that will be done. For example, a simple job like opening your car or making a replacement key will be much less expensive than re-keying a lock or replacing locks on your doors or windows. Installing and maintaining security systems or closed-circuit television systems will be even more expensive.

Some companies have people ready to respond twenty-four hours a day for emergency situations. Some companies may charge an additional fee for responding in the middle of the night, compared to responding during the regular work day. You should be made aware of any additional fees on the telephone before the person responds. If you have any questions about fees, the time to ask is when you inquire about services by phone, not after the job is done.

Locksmithing is not a do-it-yourself job

You may be tempted to try to do the job yourself to save money on a professional locksmith, but this is often a big mistake. Often, you can do more damage by trying to do it yourself. Even trying to break into your home or car, you can do extensive damage to the lock, which will then need to be replaced. This is much more costly than just paying the locksmith to open the door in the first place.

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The Missouri - Kansas 
Locksmith Association
P.O. Box
N. Kansas City, Mo. 64116