Many people don't bother to have a go-to emergency locksmith until they're in some kind of crisis, by which time they are frantic and hence are unable to apply any cost-cutting measures. Depending on the nature of your lockout emergency, locksmith services can come at a high cost, but prior planning can help you to reduce costs or avoid them altogether. Read on to learn more.
1. Always have spares
House keys often come in pairs, but you can take time to make a few more copies for convenience in larger families and to have one that can be kept near home in case of loss. If you're friends with a neighbour, you can exchange spare keys. If not, come up with a creative hiding spot known only to your family members (ensure you're not seen retrieving the keys).
Cars are more complicated, as some sellers will only provide a single key. If getting your vehicle from a dealership, however, always request for a spare key. For the former case, take time to make a spare key for the car, because key duplication will be much less costly and time consuming than creating and programming a brand-new key.
2. Change locks in bulk
You may need to change locks for various reasons, such as being locked out because of damaged keys, moving into new premises, break-ins, etc. The cost of piecemeal changes can be fairly prohibitive, depending on the type of lock and security system you have.
For instance, if you're moving house/business premises, consider replacing all major locks together. This way, you can purchase your locks wholesale from a distributor and simply have a technician do the installation.
Consider whether changing the lock is absolutely necessary; sometimes, rekeying can be just as effective. In rekeying, the locksmith changes the configuration of cylinders inside the lock in order to render all existing keys useless, which is important when moving to previously occupied properties.
3. Inspect your locks
Sometimes, you spend more on locksmith services because you're already in an emergency and need immediate attention. This means you'll either need a locksmith located further away (which is costlier) or you'll pay an express service charge to get immediate attention.
Except for cases of loss or burglary, locks often don't fail without warning. If you notice that your keys are jamming when operating a lock, troubleshoot possible causes or make an appointment for professional inspection.
Car keys are a little more complex, but you can tell there's looming trouble if the locks don't automatically unlock when the key is inserted or if the car doesn't start on insertion. Watch out for delayed responses as well as physical damage on the keys (wear, cracking etc.). If the fob fails, first try to replace the batteries (keep some on hand) before contacting a locksmith.Share