The Hero Locksmith Blog provides information about latest work as well as helpful articles to help people understand the kind of work that we do and why it is important to choose a local and knowledgeable locksmith.
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Fully functioning locks are essential for protecting our homes and businesses. When there is a problem with a lock, it usually needs dealt with straight away. Some lock problems are serious and require the skills of a fully trained locksmith but others can be solved by following the simple guidance below. Here are 5 […] The post 5 Common Lock Problems and How to Fix Them appeared first on Hero...
Fully functioning locks are essential for protecting our homes and businesses. When there is a problem with a lock, it usually needs dealt with straight away. Some lock problems are serious and require the skills of a fully trained locksmith but others can be solved by following the simple guidance below. Here are 5 common lock problems and what you should do if they occur.
1. Key breaks in the lock
This is one of the most frustrating lock problems and usually occurs out of the blue without warning. There are some dos and don’ts if this happens to you. Don’t try to lock or unlock the door further with the broken piece of key. By doing this, there is a good chance you will insert the broken key further into the locking mechanism making it more difficult to retrieve. If there is enough of the broken key visible, you can try inserting the tip of needle nosed pliers into the keyhole to grab the broken key and pull it straight out. If the key doesn’t come out easily, don’t force it or you could make things much worse. At this stage you should call for the help of a trained locksmith. They will have the tools and skills to remove the key without causing further damage to the lock.
2. Lock is stiff and difficult to open
Dirt and dust can sometimes find its way into a lock and build up over time. This can clog up the locking mechanism making it difficult to turn. You can apply some graphite spay or silicone based lubricant in the lock, put the key back in and turn it a few times. Never use oil based products such as WD-40 to lubricate locks because although they may help initially, they tend to cause problems with clogging later on.
3. UPVC door is difficult to lock or open
If the door can be locked /unlocked easily while in the open position, but not when the door is closed, this usually indicates a problem with the alignment of the locking points. UPVC doors are designed to be adjustable but can sometimes slip or drop out of position. This is something that most people will find tricky to correct but is usually a quick fix by a trained locksmith. Unfortunately, if you discover that the locking mechanism has problems when the door is open this may indicate that the lock is faulty in which case new parts might be required. Again a quick call to a locksmith will have this sorted in no time.
4. Key is difficult to insert
First of all confirm that the right key is being used in the lock! The next thing to rule out is that the problem is not caused by a poorly cut key. Poorly cut keys will always be a problem in locks, which is why it is important to use a reputable locksmith when you get new keys cut. If you have another key for the lock, use it to work out if the problem lies with the key or with the lock. If the lock is at fault this will need investigated by a locksmith and may require a new one to be fitted.
5. Key won’t turn in lock
This problem can be caused by a few things. First of all it is important that you never try and force the key to turn in the lock as this could cause the key to break. You can try lubricating the lock with graphite spray or silicone based lubricant as mentioned above. If this doesn’t help it could be that there is a misalignment of the lock and door (similar to UPVC problem above) or there could be a problem with the lock cylinder. Unfortunately, both of these problems will usually require the skills and expertise of a locksmith to diagnose and correct.
Most of us don’t give a moment’s thought to our locks when they are working correctly, however as soon as we discover a problem we usually need to act quickly. If you find yourself in this position and require a fully trained Edinburgh locksmith to help, get in touch or give Richard a call on 0131 603 7329
Being a locksmith in Edinburgh is never boring. Every day brings new challenges and new locksmith problems to solve. This short video captures some of the tasks that I deal with on a typical day. The post A Day in the Life of an Edinburgh Locksmith appeared first on Hero...
Being a locksmith in Edinburgh is never boring. Every day brings new challenges and new locksmith problems to solve. This short video captures some of the tasks that I deal with on a typical day.
Many people who find themselves in the stressful position of being locked out of their home are happy for any emergency locksmith to come to their rescue. This is particularly true for people who are locked out in the middle of the night. However this can often be a costly mistake. This is because not […] The post What is Non Destructive Emergency Entry? appeared first on Hero...
Many people who find themselves in the stressful position of being locked out of their home are happy for any emergency locksmith to come to their rescue. This is particularly true for people who are locked out in the middle of the night. However this can often be a costly mistake. This is because not all locksmiths have the same level of training or expertise and many do not have the right skills to get you back into your home without damaging your lock or door. Even worse there are some rogue locksmiths out there who will deliberately make as much work for themselves as possible in order to ramp up the costs.
What is Non Destructive Emergency Entry?
In a ‘lock out’ situation, when an emergency locksmith arrives at your door they should always start by investigating ways to get you back inside your property without damaging either your lock or door. This is called Non Destructive Entry. A locksmith will need to have been specially trained in these techniques and will have attended several courses specifically aimed at improving their skills in these areas. There are several methods that can be used depending on the particular type of lock e.g. yale, euro lock, night latch or mortice. Some common techniques include trying to manually slide the latch back, picking the lock and using bump keys to ‘jump’ the pins, allowing the cylinder to be rotated.
However even the most skilled locksmith will tell you that the success of these methods very much depends on the type, age and brand of the particular lock. In fact it would be very misleading to say that drilling or forcing the lock is never necessary because sometimes nothing else will work. A general rule of thumb is Non Destructive Entry techniques are least likely to work on mortice locks (although other types of locks can be difficult too). This is because mortice locks are VERY SECURE. This is a really good thing in terms of home security but in a ‘lock out’ situation means it can be difficult to gain entry without completely destroying the old lock. However an experienced locksmith will always leave your door looking as good as they found it even if they have to use destructive entry methods.
So if you need emergency entry to your property and you don’t want to be ripped off, it is worth taking the time to check if the locksmith you call will at least attempt Non Destructive Entry techniques first. You can do this by checking their company website for mention of ‘Non Destructive Entry’ as well as reading their reviews on Google. Of course this cannot be done if you choose a national call centre to find a locksmith as you will know nothing about the skills of the particular locksmith that will be assigned to you. This is a very good reason for always choosing a LOCAL LOCKSMITH.
At the end of the day, sometimes drilling out the old lock and replacing it with a brand new one really is the best solution, particularly if the old lock is not very secure or you have lost your keys and are worried they have fallen into the wrong hands. However no one should be made to pay a hefty bill for an unnecessary new lock or damage made to their door because of an unskilled “I’ll have a go” locksmith. Instead, always do your research and find a local locksmith with good customer reviews and the right skills for the job.
Please get in touch with Richard if you need help with your locks or emergency access to your property. He is a trusted 24 hour emergency locksmith in Edinburgh and an expert in Non Destructive Entry techniques.
If you are locked out, or need your locks changed you need a way of quickly finding the best locksmith in your area. By best locksmith we don’t just mean the most skilled locksmith, we also mean someone who is trustworthy, fits genuine, good quality parts and charges honest prices. Here are some of our […] The post How to Find the Best Locksmith in Your Area appeared first on Hero...
If you are locked out, or need your locks changed you need a way of quickly finding the best locksmith in your area. By best locksmith we don’t just mean the most skilled locksmith, we also mean someone who is trustworthy, fits genuine, good quality parts and charges honest prices. Here are some of our top tips
1. Get personal recommendations from family, friends and neighbours
We trust recommendations from people we know well, so this tends to be the most valuable way of finding a good locksmith. A genuine locksmith will always work hard to build a good reputation in their local area. They understand that personal recommendations are a really important source of new business and will help their business grow.
2. Check reviews
If you don’t have access to any personal recommendations then checking reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp etc. is helpful. You can easily spot locksmiths who have a high number of 5* reviews from happy customers, as well as those that have none (or few). By reading what is said in the reviews you can also get a feel for the type of person who will arrive at your door, which can be reassuring if you live on your own
3. Check accreditations
There is currently no government based licensing of the locksmithing industry, so anyone can call themselves a locksmith. It is therefore a good idea to check if the locksmith is on any approved trade lists, as this generally means that the company has been thoroughly checked out e.g. Trusted Trader, Which? Trusted Trader
4. Listen carefully
A good locksmith will ask relevant questions when you call. They will have seen just about every type of lock problem, many, many times before and by asking the right questions can usually figure out the problem and give you an accurate quote over the phone. Always beware locksmiths who say they need to come to your property before they can give you a price.
5. Check they have insurance
A good locksmith will always have public liability insurance to cover costs in the unlikely event that they cause damage to your property.
6. Check they are local
It is always better to use a local Locksmith. Larger national companies often run advertisements that appear to be for a local business but when you call, connect you to a call centre in another city. They then subcontract work out to a locksmith in your area, without necessarily knowing anything about how skilled they are at their job. They usually cost a lot more too, as the fee they charge has to cover both the locksmith and the call centre!
7. Get a few quotes
It goes without saying that you should always get more than one quote for the job. However be aware that some locksmiths will give you a really low estimate over the phone and then add lots of extras when the job is complete. Always ask if the quote includes any call out fees, labour, parts, VAT and if there are any other surcharges that have not been included.
8. Ask about locks
Most good locksmiths will have a few different brands of lock which they prefer to fit. From years of fitting and replacing locks, they know which brands consistently perform best. Some of the most common brands include Yale, Era, Chubb, Union, Legge, Asec, Garison and Assa Abloy but there are many others. Unscrupulous locksmiths will try to save money by fitting cheap, unbranded locks bought off places like ebay, so always ask to see the packaging. Also, if you need a new lock for an external door always check that the locksmith plans to use an insurance company approved, high security lock (BS3621). This type of lock should have the BS Kitemark visible somewhere on the lock and on the packaging. In addition, a good locksmith should be able to offer you at least a 12 month guarantee on any new locks they fit.
If you follow these tips and find a good local locksmith remember to store their number in a safe place or add it to the contacts list on your mobile phone. This makes it easy to pass their number on to friends and family, as well as handy for you if you need to call them again in a hurry.
For help with all your locksmith problems 24 hours a day, contact Richard, a local and honest locksmith in Edinburgh.
As an Edinburgh locksmith I see many websites heavily advertised on the radio and television that claim to be about vetting tradesmen and making getting quotes easy etc. Obviously they can’t be named here, but these should be avoided. We can call them ‘Quote a Trade’. These are big businesses that make a HUGE […] The post What ‘Quote Finder’ Websites Don’t Want You to Know appeared first on Hero...
As an Edinburgh locksmith I see many websites heavily advertised on the radio and television that claim to be about vetting tradesmen and making getting quotes easy etc. Obviously they can’t be named here, but these should be avoided. We can call them ‘Quote a Trade’. These are big businesses that make a HUGE amount of money from people using the service. Customers don’t pay to use it but the tradesmen do, usually 10-20% of the estimated job cost. All 3 people who come to give you a quote pay this fee whether they get the job or not.
Why is this a problem for customers?
1. Skill of Tradesmen Not Guaranteed
What decent, busy, skilled tradesman whether it be a plumber, electrician or locksmith, would pay a fee to quote for a job? The unfortunate reality is that the people that come to see the job don’t have a steady stream of work from regular sources.
2. Higher Prices
When quoting for a job they have to first of all cover the costs of getting the lead from ‘Quote a Trade’ and also be cheap enough to beat the other 2 tradesmen who have also been sold the lead. This squeezes the profit margin and encourages the use of poor quality parts and corner cutting on the job.
3. Quality of Parts
I recently attended an emergency lockout where the customers had gone with the cheapest quote from one of these websites. They had 3 deadlocks installed on exterior doors of their home. The main entrance lock had failed, unsurprisingly; as it was a brand I’d never heard of and was most definitely NOT an insurance approved lock. After doing some research I found these locks are sold on eBay for £5.79 each…… a proper, knowledgeable locksmith wouldn’t dream of using parts like this on exterior doors, or interior for that matter.
Should they have been unfortunate enough to be burgled their insurance company would not have paid out. This is sadly what happens all too often when customers use these quote finder websites.
4. Quality of Website Reviews
These quote/lead finder websites advertise that the tradesmen are rated by customers, but in reality the online review system is easily and very often manipulated by tradesmen to try and get more work.
To be clear, it’s not all bad. There are good local tradesmen on these websites but RARELY will you get a better deal than if you find them on your own.
The only winner is ‘Quote a Trade’!
My advice to all customers is to call your own local trusted trades people – you’ll still get quotes for free, but they’ll probably be the same price or cheaper and include better quality materials and a more comprehensive job. After all, who would you rather give your money to? A friendly, local business or a greedy company feeding off honest tradesmen that you’ll never see face to face?
Hero Locksmith is a trusted, local locksmith in Edinburgh. We always use good quality branded parts that come with a 12 month guarantee and our prices are always honest and affordable. Please get in touch or Tel: 0131 603 7329 for a free, no obligation quote.
The post What ‘Quote Finder’ Websites Don’t Want You to Know appeared first on Hero Locksmith.
When you need a locksmith in an emergency it is tempting to choose the first one you come across on Google. Unfortunately this can sometimes be a costly mistake. There are many good, honest decent locksmiths in Edinburgh but unfortunately there are also some rogue traders out there too. As well as this, many people […] The post Why You Should Choose an Edinburgh Trusted Trader Locksmith appeared first on Hero...
When you need a locksmith in an emergency it is tempting to choose the first one you come across on Google. Unfortunately this can sometimes be a costly mistake. There are many good, honest decent locksmiths in Edinburgh but unfortunately there are also some rogue traders out there too. As well as this, many people still believe that you are more likely to get a good locksmith if you call a large national locksmith company. Unfortunately these companies usually just subcontract to smaller locksmith companies, so this is not always the case. As well as that, national locksmith companies are usually much more expensive, with high call out charges and hourly rates as well as inflated prices for parts. This is because the prices charged have to cover the cost of a locksmith plus the cost of maintaining a call centre. Instead, it is usually much better value to use a Local Edinburgh locksmith.
But how do you find a good local locksmith that you can trust to do a good job and charge a fair price? One of the best ways is to look at online reviews e.g. Google reviews. This is a really good way of finding out how other customers rate the quality of their work, customer service, knowledge and prices. Another good way is checking to see if they are a member of Edinburgh Council’s Trusted Trader Scheme.
What is Edinburgh Council’s Trusted Trader Scheme?
This is a scheme which provides a list of fully vetted traders, backed by The City of Edinburgh Council and supported by Police Scotland. All locksmiths who are part of this scheme will have been fully vetted by Edinburgh Trading Standards. Background checks will have been carried out on both the locksmith owner and the locksmith business, including their trading history, to ensure that they meet the high standards required by the scheme.
Locksmiths in this scheme must also comply with its ’Business Code of Practice’. This covers such things as having adequate liability insurance, dealing with complaints promptly, not using second-hand parts unless agreed by the customer, leaving all parts replaced available for customers to inspect (if requested) and providing a receipt showing full details of the work carried out. In addition to this all traders in this scheme must have feedback from genuine customers broken down by: value for money, customer service, quality of service and likelihood of using again. Once a locksmith is accepted as a member of the scheme, they are then authorised to use the logo on their van, website and emails etc.
Unfortunately some rogue locksmiths use the logo on their vans and websites fraudulently. To check if a locksmith really is a member of this scheme (and to look at their customer feedback) it is always worth going to the Edinburgh Trusted Trader website and entering the name of the locksmith as shown below.
The post Why You Should Choose an Edinburgh Trusted Trader Locksmith appeared first on Hero Locksmith.
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