Wednesday, 30 November 2011

September 2009 @ Ipswich Locksmith Neighbourhood Locks

September proved to be quite a mixed bag for me here at Neighbourhood Locks. The life of a Mobile Locksmith is usually one of great variety, never knowing what the next phone-call will lead to, but the last month has seemed to be exceptional, with calls taking me all over Suffolk, and considerably outside of Ipswich, which makes for a nice change. (Maybe this is down to not charging VAT! )

Along with the usual emergency calls from Customers being locked out (all of which I dealt with, without the need to destroy their locks), lost-key incidents, lock-replacements for new-home owners, and a few stuck Multipoint Locking Mechanisms, I seem to have had to deal with a larger quantity of what I term 'generally worn out' locks. One of these was next to a busy main road, and the Customer had informed me that the lock (an old 5 Lever Mortice) had been progressively becoming harder to open, until the day she phoned Neighbourhood Locks, when it failed to unlock at all, breaking the key off in the lock. Once I'd removed it, and replaced it with one of the latest British-Standard Mortice Locks, I dismantled the original lock, only to discover that it had a considerable amount of mud and general debris inside, no doubt the result of the nearby traffic sending it into the lock, via the keyhole. The extra resistance had caused wear on the bolt-thrower over time, and this led to the locks failure. The Customer was extremely pleased with the very smooth operation of the new lock, which complies to Insurance Requirements, and to the latest upgraded British Standards of course, that require a 20mm-throw bolt, and a fully-boxed in 'bolt-keep'. Previously, the bolt was only required to be 14mm, so the new ones are considerably more secure.

Where at all possible, we try to repair, or service the Customer's lock in order to keep costs to a minimum for them, however, we need to consider both the safety, and security aspects that a lock has to provide, so naturally this is our top priority. Neighbourhood Locks would always recommend checking your Insurance Policy and locks (or ask me to do it for you, - I make no charge for a 'Security Check' in the area), in order to make sure they comply to your Insurer's requirements. If they do not, your Insurer may not pay out in the event of a break-in. The latest locks have come a long way from their predecessors of a few years back, both in security value (among which  6-lever locks are becoming more popular), and generally in the build-quality too, and may not cost as much as you think to upgrade.

In addition to the usual call-outs for fitting additional 'secondary security' items such as 'door chains', 'door viewers', 'patio door locks', 'sash jammers'  and ‘anti-letterbox-fishing covers’ etc. I've also had more than the usual amount of calls to attend to jammed Multipoint Mechanisms in and around Ipswich. These are the ones commonly found on UPVc doors, and occasionally wooden doors, and can be identified by the array of 'hooks' and/or 'bolts' etc. running down the edge of the door, that move into place once the door handle is moved. These work fine, but can be prone to wear. Just imagine how many times those hooks and bolts have engaged over the years that the mechanism has been installed! Once they become stiff, or fail to engage without knocking the handle up hard, then it would be as well to have it checked out. It's much easier and more cost effective to do this, while the door will still open, rather than to wait until it jams completely.

Neighbourood Locks is also proud to announce that we are now an Authorised Installer of 'Pickbuster'. I bet you're asking yourself 'What IS 'Pickbuster?'' There are a few security threats out there, - some enable a burglar to gain entry to a large number of homes easily, and often without leaving any obvious signs of forced entry. That means that the victim will have a hard job proving that there was ever a break-in, and that they hadn't simply forgotten to close the door on the way out. One such threat, is 'Lock-bumping'. 'Pickbuster' is the solution, and can be applied to existing locks, quickly and cost-effectively. It's shocking to see a video for the first time of  'Lock-bumping' being carried out on a lock, but I was even more shocked to learn recently, that a Police Force in another County were completely unaware of 'Lock-bumping'! These last few weeks, I have been asked to treat a increasing number of locks with ‘Pickbuster’. The Company that produce 'Pickbuster' are so confident of the product, that they will pay the first £ 2,500 of an insurance claim, in the event that your 'Pickbuster protected' property was entered by 'Lock-bumping'. While Insurance Companies tend to play-down ‘lock-bumping’, there are ways for Locksmiths to determine if a lock has been compromised by this method.

Remember too, if you are a member of Neighbourhood Watch, an OAP, Emergency Service etc. there are discounts available to you from 'Neighbourhood Locks'. We cover most of the 'IP' Postcodes and surrounding area.

Give me a call, for friendly advice, from a genuine Local Locksmith, on any security concerns you may have.  01473 622461

1 comment:

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