Wednesday, 30 November 2011

June / July 2011 @ Ipswich Locksmiths Neighbourhood Locks

June/July at Ipswich Locksmiths Neighbourhood Locks, was filled with the usual variety of Call-outs, many to deal with jammed UPVc Doors and windows.

There was a higher than usual rate of 'Lock-ins' during this period too. While somewhat rarer than the more classic 'Lock-out', a 'Lock-in' can be just as frustrating and a cause for great anxiety, especially (as in one or two cases), where there is only one door to the property. It can be a very surreal experience for the Locksmith, as in some situations, the initial preamble is conducted not face-to-face, but through the letterbox, with neither the Customer nor the Locksmith having any idea what the other party looks like!

One lady called me, to inform me that she was locked in, as her UPVc door was jammed shut, and although she had phoned her Insurers as the door was covered by her policy, they had said that they would get someone to her within three weeks. That was the point at which she called me, and after my arrival, within around 10 minutes the lady was no longer imprisoned within her home. Not every failed mechanism on a UPVc door actually requires a replacement, though there are some out there that would be only too glad to sell them one. Once the door is open, and the mechanism removed, sometimes all that is required is a 'service', and readjustment. But by far the hardest part, is actually getting a door with one of these systems
open, - some of which have hooks that run down the side of the door and latch into the frame. These things are really NOT meant to be opened easily, in order to deter the burglar, so getting them open is a highly skilled job.

As always, the moral of the story is that if you feel the handle on your UPVc door becoming harder to operate, or if the handles go really loose, then give Ipswich Locksmiths Neighbourhood Locks a call before the door jams, locking you out (or in), which will ultimately cost more as we then have to deal with a 'Lock-out/in' in addition to a Mechanism Service/Adjustment, or replacement.

I was also called to visit a Customer a considerable distance away from me, and out of my 'Usual Service Area', as I had been recommended by someone that I had carried out work for previously. I was surprised to hear that the Customer had called a 'Locksmith' (and I use the term loosely), a few months previously (before they had been given my name), who charged them a phenomenal amount, told them they needed a new lock (which they hadn't got, so never supplied), and didn't actually manage to resolve the problem door, which actually turned out NOT to require a new lock, but only some minor adjustment to the door/frame. The result was another happy Customer.

It is worrying to think that there are so many out there trading, and calling themselves 'Locksmiths' when they are nothing more than 'Handymen' and 'Fitters' who are willing to 'have a go' at sorting the lock out. Many are kitchen fitters etc., that see locks as an easy source of income, particularly as people tend to feel vulnerable regarding locks. The sad truth, is that most things 'lock-related' are highly complex, and take 100% dedication to be at the top of the Industry, and just 'having a go' usually ends up causing more problems. Several times each month, I am called to tidy up the mess that a well-meaning neighbour, or handyman has created in an attempt to deal with a lock-out, or remove a lock. What appears to be the very straightforward task of removing a lock, and setting up and adjusting the replacement, is actually quite involved. One lady phoned me in tears because she was locked-out, and her brother had 'only fitted the lock the day before, so it must be a faulty lock!' When I examined the lock, and the way in which it had been fitted, I was amazed it had worked even once or twice without locking the Customer out. There was nothing wrong with the lock, only that it had been fitted incorrectly. In these times of economic recession, I can understand the urge to save money where possible, but in all honesty, in all my time as a Locksmith, I have never come across a situation where a 'well-meaning' person, replacing a lock, or attempting to 'gain entry' has EVER done anything other than cost their friend or relative more money!

Although one of our main Specialist areas here at Ipswich Locksmiths Neighbourhood Locks is dealing with UPVc Door and window problems, we have also had the usual Safe installations, and problem solving on Digital Door Locks, which are becoming more popular recently. Though these are chiefly used for Access Control on Commercial Buildings, and Offices, they have applications on Domestic Properties as well, with requests for them to be fitted to Home Offices and Studies becoming more frequent. The general public is slowly realising the need to reevaluate their security, with increasing numbers taking up my offer for a 'Free On-Site, no obligation Security inspection.' Some now see good security as an investment, not an expense, - one even going so far as to call their security a 'Status Symbol', as it was 'better than their next door neighbours.'

Ipswich Locksmiths Neighbourhood Locks, are also often asked to supply keys to open windows, where no keys exist. We are able to supply many different window keys, and once again, something as small as this will actually add value to your property if you can show a potential buyer that all windows can be locked and unlocked. Remember also, that it is an Insurance Requirement that all windows accessible from the ground, must be lockable. If you are still relying on non-locking windows, this is something that really needs to be upgraded as soon as possible, as many unauthorised entries are made through non-locked windows, and because of this, Insurers are unlikely to make a payment for a claim, in the result of a break-in.   

If you have any concerns regarding security issues, give Simon a call on 01473 622461, at the Ipswich Locksmiths Neighbourhood Locks.
Until next time...
Stay Safe!

1 comment:

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