A Day in the life of a Locksmith

My day is filled with all sorts of locksmithing treasures both good and bad. So I thought I would share an average day with you all so you can see what the working life of a locksmith is all about.

Like most working people I get up early and have a nice cuppa in the morning with the family (if I haven’t had any midnight emergency callouts) and prepare for the day by loading all my gear into my van. If I haven’t got any prearranged appointments I will do some things in the workshop like key cutting or cleaning my locksmith tooling after seeing the little ones off to school. Today is mostly prearranged call outs so it’s easier to plan what I am going to do.

I am not due at the customer until 11:30 so I spend some time cleaning and maintaining my decoders and also decoding some locks to make keys. This lock decoder is a Fortress mounted in a Bernstien Swivel Vice and is a neat bit of kit.

A decoder basically allows a locksmith to determine the correct positioning of components in a lock by manipulation, measurement and looking at what the lock is doing while moving it around. It doesn’t always pick the lock as such but gives me the information I need to produce a key.

I also spend some time practicing lock “bumping” on a euro cylinder lock. Bumping is an old and traditional way of lock picking. Like all things, its best to practise as you keep your skills honed and it’s better on the job if you are fast and efficient. The last thing you want to be doing is spending ages opening an exterior lock when the customer and you are stood out in the pouring rain.

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Summer is when most burglaries happen

Now that summer is finally here I am sure most of you are happy and excited. Thieves are happy and excited too as summer makes it easy for them to apply their unwanted skills to our homes and businesses.

As is normal in summer it is very warm and as most of us live in homes that do not have aircon, we like to keep our windows and doors wide open to let in the fresh breezy air coming in from the coast at Felixstowe and up the River Orwell.

Mr Burglar takes this as an open invitation to go and treat your house as a car boot sale. Not because they will just walk in, but more due to the fact that when we go out to the shops or go into the garden we forget to close the windows or lock the back door. All they need is one point of entry and 20 seconds later your games console or expensive hi-fi or entertainment centre has gone along with all of nans’ precious gold.

If you have a home security or alarm in place that warns you if you leave windows or doors open then you are lucky but what do you do if you do not have such a system?

Paul has compiled a handy checklist for you to look through to keep you safer through the summer:

  1. When you go out check all the doors and windows are closed and latched correctly. If you have door bolts, then use them, along with any security chains.
  2. Check that any dark areas are well lit if its in the evening. Light areas deter burglars.
  3. Set the house alarm if you have one.
  4. Buy a small safe and put your spare keys,

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Don’t become a victim of crime

It is shocking to come home and find out you have been burgled, all your possessions broken or stolen and your personal space violated. It can take years to get over and some don’t get over it and decided to move. It is a horrible experience to go through. To help keep you safe Paul gives you some tips on how to avoid being burgled.

  • Change your Locks – When you move into a new house always have the locks changed. Even if it is not a new house and you have lived there a while get them changed anyway. Getting locks changed ensures you have the latest technology in security. If you get your keys stolen or you lose them whilst out, get your locks changed as soon as possible.
  • Get your keys registered – Buy high security locks which require that you register them. This means that only you can have them copied by providing adequate proof and identification. This is particularly important if you run a bed and breakfast, a company with many keyholders or a similar establishment.
  • Install an Alarm – Install a burglar alarm, even if its a fake box. Having some form of visual deterrent can mean the difference between being broken into or not. A burglar may choose to rob another premises without a burglar alarm
  • Have better locks than those next door – Having better locks than your neighbours can mean the burglar chooses to rob them instead of you. A burglar will always choose the house or premises that is easiest and quickest to get into. It might just save your life one day.
  • Security Lighting – If you have a house with a dark back garden install Security Lighting or Lights with PIR detection.

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