Finding a locksmith in your area is usually quite simple, but locating a genuinely professional, high quality local service can be a little harder. It’s sometimes difficult to know which service to choose, so here are some tips to help you locate a high quality locksmith in your area.
Check their credentials
Locksmiths are unregulated in the UK, which means that anyone can operate a business using that title. That can be a worry, because setting up as a locksmith is the perfect guise for criminals and other underhand individuals who want to gain access to unsecured homes and businesses.
In the absence of a government-approved licence, we recommend finding a locksmith approved by the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA). This is an industry body that vets its members and ensures they are DBS checked, carries out regular inspections and makes sure locksmiths that are MLA approved have a qualification to prove their competency.
If there is no MLA approved locksmith in your area, do your best to check that the locksmiths you do find are genuine. Word of mouth recommendations are an informative and reliable way to whittle down your options.
Find someone local
If you’re calling out a locksmith, the chances are you’re in a hurry. It makes sense to find a locksmith that operates in your local area, so that they can reach you quickly. Even if it’s not urgent, local locksmiths are less likely to charge a steep callout fee, so the closer the better.
Old-style directories like the Yellow Pages and Thomson Local are still a good way to find a local service. Check the phone number listed though; national numbers will get you through to a call centre that could be anywhere, and the company may contract out its local services without vetting them too carefully.
Otherwise, search online for locksmiths near where you live. To get the most trustworthy results, search the Master Locksmiths Association or a site like Checkatrade, Which? Trusted Traders or Trust a Trader rather than going straight to a search engine.
Questions to ask
Once you’ve found a few contenders, it’s good to ask some questions before calling them out. You’ll want to know the terms of their service and how much they’re likely to charge. Here are some good questions to ask when finding a locksmith:
- What services do you provide, and can I have a breakdown of your charges? Are there any extra costs?
- Do you charge a callout fee?
- Are you fully insured?
- What is your response time – can you be here within 30 minutes for an emergency callout?
From their responses to your questions you should be able to get an idea of whether your locksmith is reliable and trustworthy. If in any doubt, try to find some online reviews or word-of-mouth recommendations.
Making the right choice
Home security is fundamental to your safety and wellbeing – so it’s important to choose the right locksmith for the job. A locksmith with the lowest rates may be a tempting strategy, but while value for money is important, protecting your home is even more so. If you have a choice between an accredited locksmith with positive customer ratings and one that seems cheap but doesn’t seem to have the right credentials, don’t take the risk. When finding a locksmith, choose a well-established outfit every time – it’ll be worth it.
Here at Fort Locks we offer a 24-hour locksmith service with no call-out charge. Call us on 07976 359552 or read more about the services we offer.