What Should You Look For in A Locksmith Company?

There are several factors one must take into account when choosing a locksmith.  Like any skilled trade such as an automotive mechanic, a plumber, or an HVAC technician, Locksmiths can range in skill and specialty.  Some important things to look for would be their years of experience, availability of services provided, reputation, and of course the opinions and experiences of their customers.  These key elements are a good starting point to find a good locksmith, but also to help you avoid the hassle and headache of getting stuck with a less than desirable experience. The following is a guide to help you choose the best option for your locksmith needs.
Being a locksmith is a skilled trade that can take months, if not years, to master the library of knowledge and skill that will be an asset to you in a time of need.  There are many locksmiths out there. Most of which have learned from a trade that was passed down to them via immediate family. Whereas these individuals may do an excellent job, they may not have as much knowledge as an active professional locksmith who does it as a living. To ensure that your needs are met, it’s better to go with someone who has a continuous professional history and several active years of service. The better business bureau (B.B.B.) can help in finding the number of years that a company has been in business.  Do keep in mind that a company doesn’t have to be 60 or 100 years old to employ good, skilled, and knowledgeable locksmiths.
There are several types of locksmiths out there to choose from.  Locksmiths can specialize in one, or all of the following areas: automotive, residential, commercial, and emergency lockout services.  A good starting point is finding a company that can cover a wide array of these locksmith specialties.  This way, you can be assured that your need will be met by the proper technician. Checking for a larger organization will give you a better choice as they generally employ more locksmiths with a wider variety of skills.  Saving a few dollars to go with the guy down the road might not be the best tactic if he doesn’t have the knowledge or skill to work on your specific problem.
The reputation of the locksmith should be the most important factor when choosing who to do business with.  Have you heard any good things about the company or person you are about to call?  Word of mouth is one of the oldest, and best, forms of advertising out there.  Certain websites such as consumer reports or Angie’s list can be a good place to look for feedback on locksmiths. However, be warned that there is nothing on those sites that says the people posting are telling the truth.  Unfortunately, perception in these instances is key. Some occurrences or experiences can be tainted by the customers’ attitude or situation when they are dealing with someone in the service industry.  Remember, not everything that is posted online is always true.   Talking to someone who has had a personal experience, especially if it’s someone you know, would be the better route when trying to find someone to work with.  As mentioned before, the B.B.B. can be a more reliable way to see a company’s reputation as they are a regulated organization and have procedures in place for making reports on a company.
In conclusion, a good locksmith can be found as long as you take the time to ask the right questions and find a good and reputable company in your area that can accommodate your needs.  Be aware that when you call one of the larger companies, you should ask to speak to the actual locksmith if you have specific questions regarding what you need to have done.  Many companies utilize dispatch offices to take calls and assign the jobs to their specialized locksmiths. Be sure you get the locksmiths information and speak directly to them as they will be the ones with the knowledge, and who will also be performing the work.  Just keep in mind; it’s difficult to know how to fix a problem over the phone without seeing what needs to be done.  The more detail you can provide to the locksmith, that will help narrow down the problem and will make for an easier fix once the locksmith arrives on location. So take the time to ask the right questions, look for a company that has been around for a while or at least one that has locksmiths with a few years of experience under their belts, and you will do just fine.

Ask, Is that the total price?

When calling around to locksmith companies one of the most important questions that you can ask is, is that the total price? This is extremely important especially when price shopping. Most locksmiths split their estimates into two separate prices, a set service call price and then an additional fee which would include both parts and labor. When you are calling into a locksmith company and you hear a price that is somewhere between 15-40 dollars that is likely only the service charge portion. That is why it is important to ask, is that the total price? This will leave you from facing a much higher rate once the technician arrives on scene. Even if the dispatcher over the phone is unable to supply a total price then it is recommended that you speak with the technician himself before he arrives so that you may receive a ballpark estimate.

Most of all make sure to research prices online for mobile locksmith services so you have an idea coming in. No locksmith company can offer to make a car key for a total of 40 dollars, with a little prior research you can find that most car keys generally start around $120 and then vary highly depending on security. So remember to save yourself time or hassle when calling a locksmith to research before hand and make sure to ask all applicable questions for your service. Of course you can always cut the search for a professional locksmith and call Phila-Locksmith to handle your lock and key needs.

Improving Commercial Security Using a Master Key

Phila-Locksmith knows that security should be a main focus of business owners as they look to protect and prospering business from potential losses. Our professional locksmith technicians work with business owners to develop a plan of action that can fit your businesses needs and budget. A service that can help business owners not only protect their business but also make navigating your business less complicated is creating a master key system.

A master key system allows one key to operate multiple doors. This makes you job as the business owner a little more convenient because you would not longer be required to carry around a whole batch of keys and then deal with looking through them each time you wish to unlock a door. This convenience is only a minor benefit when compared to the security it provides from internal losses. By creating a master key system and recording which employee has access to each part of the business you are able to accountability for internal losses. This can also allow you to grant higher access to managers than other employees allowing them to access parts of your business which before may have been inaccessible.

Many business owners find that the convenience and accountability that a master key system brings them can be quiet beneficial. A master key system that is completed by a professional Phila-Locksmith provides you with peace of mind to know that your business is in the most secure position that it can be from intruders both internal and external.

Locksmiths from Phila-Locksmith are available 24/7, 365, to complete your commercial locksmith service. All of our technicians are licensed, bonded and insured. No one beats the quality of service or quick rate of response that Phila-Locksmith offers, so call today and our commercial expert will be happy to walk you through the many commercial security options that are available to you.

What is lock bumping?

Lock bumping is one of a multitude of lock picking strategies however it is actually one of the most dangerous to the safety of your home. For a burglar to attempt to bump a lock the lock must be a pin tumbler lock, which is actually extremely common on American households. The main component to lock bumping is  for the burglar to have a bump key. A bump key, which must be specific to the type of lock they are attempting to pick,  is a key with only small teeth on the key that slightly raise the pins inside of the lock.

pin stacks
View the picture to the left, in this case a pick tool is being used however a bump key is not much different it is only more discreet and easier for burglars to use. The red pins, key pins, are what allow each specific lock to be operated by a specific key. The blue pins, driver pins, are attached to springs and drive the key pins into place so only the key made for the lock will work. How a bump key works is that it has small “teeth” which are raised ridges which are just small enough to fit below the key pins however long enough to still be in contact with them.
Once the burglar has inserted the bump key into the lock all that needs to be done is striking the end of the bump key while turning the handle at the precise time to easily open the door. The way it works is that since the bump key is still in contact with the key pins the energy of the bump is transferred to the driver pins and springs which recoil slightly and allow the door to be opened for a split second. In order to bump locks practice is required however it does not take long to be able to figure out how it works.
Since this process is so simple, and after many times of practice a burglar can become quite skilled, it can be very easy for them to sneak into your home or apartment without drawing any suspicion.
So how can you protect yourself from break-in through key bumping? The best way to protect yourself from bump key burglary is to make sure that you purchase a bump proof lock. There are only a few bump proof locks available that are fully protected against bump key but the main difference they have from standard pin tumbler lock is that the tumblers are discs. Since the springs are replaced by discs any bump goes to waste because the discs are not elastic like springs are. Of course since bump proof locks offer such great security and there are so few out there they can be quite expensive but in some cases worth the money!

Local vs. Nationwide Locksmith Companies

There are two main types of companies that complete mobile locksmith services. That is your standard locally run shop, sometimes a family business, which operates specifically in your area and does not have much of a footprint elsewhere. The other type of company that you may also encounter are of the nationwide variety in which a large company that is based in one part of the United States and focuses on the business aspect of locksmithing and then uses independent contractors to complete the work in whatever area it is that you are in. Each type of company has its own benefits and draw backs that should be taken into consideration and we will tell you how Phila-Locksmith is breaking the mold that a normal local locksmith would fit into.

From a local side it is extremely easy for customers to see the advantages and drawbacks. One of the advantages to choosing a local locksmith company rather than a nationwide agency is that the locksmith technician completing your service is likely also the owner of the company which means that he will go the extra mile to give you a good customer service experience because local companies rely heavily on repeat customers and word of mouth. If a local locksmith company is called to the scene and they arrive late or unprepared it is likely that you would not choose them again for service and that owner has lost another prospective customer. Local owners also live directly in the area they serve and can more easily navigate the area and have a head start in getting to a customers location allowing these local owners to offer a faster response time. However, the main drawback to local companies are that they do not offer a full range of locksmith services and may only be able to complete lockouts or simple lock changes, which is fine in certain situations but of no help if you are looking for a new car key.

In comes nationwide companies, they are likely to have a large call center in one area of the country to field all phone calls. From there a job can be received and then sent to an independent contractor in that area to complete. This type of company is normally easier for a beginning locksmith to latch on to because the nationwide company can cover the advertising and call receiving that an aspiring locksmith may not be able to afford. In addition to this the larger nationwide company can use its financial backing, should it choose, to supply the independent contractor with more sophisticated tools and training to complete even more services that before. However, there are plenty of drawbacks to using a nationwide company. The first major concern is the line of communication since information needs to be sent between multiple people across the country when a technician from your area is finally dispatched it is likely a little while after you have called into their center. Once the technician arrives on scene there are a lot of instances that we hear of where independent contractors are rude or attempt to drive up prices to astronomical levels. While this could be anecdotal it is important to look at the facts. This independent contractor is not an owner of the company and is likely unconcerned with the brand image of the company and will not go the extra mile to make a customer happy. In addition this independent contractor is paid on percentage so he will attempt to raise the customers price as high as possible in order to get a better cut for himself. Prices for nationwide companies can actually be higher than local companies because there are so many different employees involved to getting that one locksmith to your home.

Phila-Locksmith breaks the mold of both of these companies by offering a “nationwide” range of services but while still maintaining our commitment to the tri-state Philadelphia area. We supply our locksmiths with the tools and supplies they need to get the service done and fast. To see the extraordinary service that Phila-Locksmith offers in person then call 215-554-6109 for your next locksmith service.