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How to Choose a Locksmith

Updated on June 15, 2009

Hiring a Locksmith Before the Emergency

When one thinks of hiring a locksmith it is often because they are locked out of their home, car, or workplace. And, while these are typical services handled by a Atlanta locksmith, as well as around the country, this is not the only job a locksmith can perform. Additional jobs may be home security systems, the extraction of broken keys from locks or ignitions or re-keying a lock.

Five Quick Tips When Looking for a Locksmith

  1. Talk to someone at a local hardware store, a bed and breakfast owner, or innkeeper for recommendations.
  2. Know how many locks a business or residence has and what kind of locks will be needed.
  3. Be sure to get enough keys for the family members
  4. Be familiar with the terminology: re-keying gets one inside if locked out; knob lock is the lock on the door, a dead bolt is a bolt that is operated by the turning of a key or knob, etc…
  5. Expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $100 per hour, plus the cost of new locks. Cost is generally determined by job needs, and region of the country.

Top 10 Considerations in Hiring a Locksmith

  1. What is the range of services offered by the locksmith?
  2. Do these services correspond with one’s personal needs?
  3. Are emergency services available?
  4. Are the emergency services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 12 months a year?
  5. What kinds of security services are available, if any?
  6. Do services like security features or emergency help cost extra or are they part of a set package?
  7. How skilled and experienced is the locksmith? Be sure to get a locksmith with several years of experience.
  8. Ask what the costs of jobs are before getting the work done. There is no standard cost, so it is wise to know how much is charged. In a study on consumer cost performed by Consumers Checkbook Magazine, a procedure like having deadbolts installed ranged from $150 to $350.
  9. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see what complaints, if any, have been made against the locksmith. One or two may not be a cause for concern, but multiple complaints are usually indicators of bad business practices.
  10. Be sure that the locksmith is bonded, certified and insured. To be bonded a person must pass a thorough background, fingerprinting and criminal check by the FBI; credentials should be from the Associated Locksmiths of America; and proof of insurance for the locksmith protects the homeowner from being responsible for any accidental material or property damage as well as any other incidental occurrences.

By taking the time to secure a professional locksmith before there is an emergency, one will prevent it from being so traumatic when there is a need. Find a reputable locksmith, and then be sure to put their number in your cell phone or wallet. This way, one’s locksmith is just a phone call away and the “emergency” won’t be as bad.


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