Most likely, you have experienced the awful feeling you get when you realize you locked yourself out of your car or house. One of your first thoughts is to call a locksmith, wondering how much this mistake will cost you.
However, perhaps you haven’t locked yourself out of your house or car. Instead, perhaps, you are looking to increase the security of your home. Whether you are needing help or simply looking for a locksmith in Philadelphia, there are some important things to know.
1. Stuck key
Most everyone knows the heart-stopping feeling you get when your key is suddenly stuck in your front door. The fear of snapping the key off in the lock is real and should be taken seriously. However, a stuck key does not necessarily mean you need a locksmith’s help.
In fact, it is most likely not a problem with your key, it is probably only temporarily caught because the actual pins within the lock are stuck. Lucky for you, this is typically a simple fix. All you need to do is grab a silicone spray, such as WD-40. Once you give the locks a good spray, the pins will loosen, and you will avoid paying a locksmith to do the exact same thing.
2. Do not duplicate
You may have seen a key that says “Do Not Duplicate” and thought that it is a super-secure key. You may have even thought about getting one for yourself. However, this type of key is not secure. In fact, this type of key is duplicated — a lot. Luckily, locksmiths are trained to install locks that provide high-level security and include keys that your hardware store cannot duplicate.
3. Best lock
The absolute best lock to stop intruders is a deadbolt. However, it is of utmost importance that the deadbolt is properly installed otherwise it is useless. In fact, it is quite common for homes that have had their deadbolt installed by a general contractor to be, in essence, a home without a deadbolt. This is because most general contractors do not know how to properly install deadbolts.
When choosing a deadbolt, you should choose one with the following specifications:
- a minimum of one-inch throw
- security plate on strike side
- throws a minimum of three inches long extending into door’s frame
4. Automotive keys
You do not need to rely on your car dealer to provide you with a duplicate car key. Additionally, car dealers charge unnecessarily high prices for duplicate keys.
Any good locksmith is able to duplicate a car key, including the technologically advanced fob keys. Moreover, a good locksmith can provide you this service for up to half the price many car dealers charge.
5. The locked safe
The allure of the mysterious, locked safe evokes dreams of luxury and lost, exotic treasures of yesteryear. The draw of discovering such treasures leads many people to purchase a locked safe from a pawn shop—often for several hundreds of dollars.
However, as any locksmith can tell you, these dream-evoking safes typically contain nothing more than papers, debris, or nothing at all. That said, it is still fun to dream, and you may just find one filled with treasure.
6. Double cylinder locks
Properly installed deadbolts are a crucial part of the first line of defense against intruders. However, it is equally important that you choose the correct type of deadbolt.
For instance, doors with windows on or near them should use a double cylinder lock because they require a key on the inside, too. You should also consider having it installed by a locksmith.
7. Cheap locks
Most inexpensive locks available for purchase from local hardware stores or super marts are the best friends of burglars. They are typically very easy to bypass, leaving you and your valuables vulnerable. Fortunately, you do not need to break your budget to ensure your security. Make sure to look for a lock with a security grade of “2”.
8. Try before you call
It is extremely common for locksmiths to arrive at a car or home lock-out only to find the person was not actually locked out. Consequently, before calling a locksmith, you should always try to gain access via every door and window because if the locksmith shows up and finds you are able to enter via another door, you will usually still have to pay for the service call.
As with anything, the saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” applies to locksmith services. You should be wary of a locksmith that quotes you a low price before seeing your lock.
Unfortunately, there are locksmiths that will give you an inaccurate, seemingly great, initial quote. However, upon inspecting your lock, the locksmith will report that the lock cannot be picked. In this instance, you will be overcharged for a replacement lock that you could have bought yourself–at a much cheaper price. To avoid this type of scam you should look for a locksmith that is a member of the Associated Locksmiths of America.