Wednesday, 30 November 2011

January / February 2010 @ Ipswich Locksmiths Neighbourhood Locks

The beginning of 2010 has provided a great variation of the type of call-outs we are getting here at Ipswich Locksmiths Neighbourhood Locks. Everything from a Commercial assignment that required a 32mm hole to be drilled through a stainless steel fire door in order to upgrade locking hardware, through to completely rebuilding, repinning and hand filing an initial new key for a lock, for a Post Office. On more than one occcassion, we were pleased to be told that we were the only ones that were agreeable to carrying out the work, because it was considered 'too specialised'. All this has made for a very interesting and busy few months.

We received a call recently to rebuild an ageing Church lock, which had become progressively harder to operate. This proved to be very interesting, with some fabrication needed in order to make the lock function again correctly. These old locks are truly remarkable to work on, even though the time taken to return them to their former glory can be considerable. It really is a labour of love.

Along with the more usual Mortice Lock fitting, and replacing after break-in/lost key scenarios, we have also seen an increase in being called to gain entry to vehicles for owners who have inadvertently locked their car keys inside. One Client we visited, had the misfortune to have done this twice in one day, but we were happy to gain access, causing no damage at all to the vehicle.

Neighbourhood Locks also received a call to gain entry to a property, after a lost key scenario, where a well-meaning neighbour had attempted to get the Owner of the property back inside, by hammering on the Yale-type cylinder with (judging by the amount of damage!) a lump hammer! When we arrived on-site, the front of the cylinder had pieces missing from it, as had the door and door frame. The latch bolt had been deformed so badly, that there was no hope to gain entry using the conventional 'non-destructive entry' methods which we use at Neighbourhood Locks Ipswich Locksmith whenever possible. We managed to get the Client safely inside, but what would normally have been a job of a few minutes, with no new lock parts needed, ended up taking somewhat longer, and the Client needing to pay for a new lock. In a situation like this, it is much more cost-effective to give us a call right away.

We have adjusted a lot more 'Rack bolts' recently too. These are the little bolts that are fitted into the edge of the door, and drawn across using a 'Star Key', until the bolt fits into a hole in the door frame. With all this damp weather, wooden doors can have a tendency to warp, and the bolt then does not line up correctly with the hole in the door frame. Sometimes the Client will then attempt to force the rack bolt across, and shear the teeth from the internal mechanism, making the situation worse, as these teeth are not particularly strong. If the bolt is working as it should do, then only a light amount of pressure on the 'key' is needed. Anything more, is a sign that all is not well, and should be corrected before something fails.

Tomorrow we have an early booking to replace a failed UPVc Window handle, and then on to remove a broken key from a lock!

If you have any lock, door, or security-related concerns, please give us a call on 01473 622461
Stay safe!
Simon - Ipswich Locksmiths Neighbourhood Locks

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