Let’s say that you locked yourself out of your home or car. What information do you need to show the locksmith before arrival? When requesting locksmith services, the locksmith may request specific information. While some of the information depends on circumstances, you should prepare to answer a few questions to get the most from your locksmith.
Many people get stuck on thinking about the main entry point and how they locked themselves out. Emotions run high during a lockout because you feel stupid, but remember, even locksmiths have had this unpleasant experience. In some cases, alternative entries allow for easier access because the door has a less sophisticated lock. On a home, you may want to suggest that he examines the alternate entry points to decide on the best entry. Open even one of these doors, and you can unlock the others from the inside.
Before you even call a locksmith, you may want to check a side entry door or a back door to see if you accidentally left it unlocked. In some cases, people call a locksmith only to learn that they left a backdoor unlocked. We never advise, however, that you purposely leave a door unlocked because you have criminals who would love to take advantage of this security flaw.
Locksmiths want to know the lock brand beforehand because some lock brands allow for special tools to open them. The special tools make the lock even easier to open. You can make your locksmith’s task much easier by informing him about the brand of lock that you have in advance.
To determine the lock brand, look at the bow or head of the key. Lock companies will often put the name on the bow or brand of the key. What if you can’t see this because you locked the keys inside the home? You can send a photo of the keyhole to the locksmith. In many cases, we can identify a key brand by looking at the keyhole because the key shape indicates the brand.
Locked out or Key Stuck?
At A1 Locksmith in Philadelphia, we have had customers call us because their key got stuck in the lock. Before we show up, tell us ahead of time if you locked yourself out or if your key got stuck in the lock. The tools that we bring differ for both scenarios. If your key gets stuck, we bring a narrow and barbed tool that rakes out the key. In some cases, you can rake the key out on your own, but this depends on how much of the key is stuck. We never advise this when most of the key is stuck because this can break the key. Jiggle the key out gently, but never pull hard or jerk it. That can break the key in the lock, which costs $100 to $150 to remove a broken key.
It should be obvious why you need to show proof of ownership for anything that you want to have unlocked. Reputable locksmiths will only open locks that you can prove ownership of.
How does a locksmith prove ownership? Most will ask you for photo identification. They use the photo ID to match with ownership of a residence. Other locksmiths will use more technical ways to prove ownership. For example, they might look at tax records to verify that you own the home. Verifying a rental offers more challenges. In most cases, however, you don’t need to call a locksmith if you live in a rental. Call the landlord, and in 99 percent of cases, they enter the property through a spare key.
To learn what you need as proof of ownership, ask the locksmith in advance. Usually, it won’t require anything too hard to provide. Understanding what process the locksmith uses can be a big help.
After you have put a locksmith on the phone, you will have to tell him what kind of lock you need opened. Because locksmiths specialize in certain locks, not every locksmith will have the right equipment or knowledge to unlock a door. Usually, they will refer you to a colleague, however. You have many types of locks that include:
Different locks will sometimes require a locksmith to use a different technique to open it. Because of that, you want to make sure that you tell him in advance about the type of lock that you need to open.
How Many Locks Need Opening?
In many cases, you only have to open one lock to get inside, but you do have situations where a locksmith will have to open multiple locks. For example, they have to open the deadbolt and the entry lock. Having this information ready ensures that the locksmith comes prepared with the right equipment.
Your locksmith requests this information because it makes for an easier entrance. In addition, your locksmith will have full awareness of the weaknesses that certain lock brands have. Never let a locksmith drill your lock without trying all the other methods first. This shows that you have hired a con artist if he requests that without trying anything else or does it without your permission. Don’t let him convince you otherwise. Any reputable locksmith company will try everything else and show what they have tried before drilling the lock. However, giving your locksmith the right information will usually be enough to help you unlock a door.