Do Locksmiths Offer A Car Unlocking Service

Do Locksmiths Offer a Car Unlocking Service?

Being locked out of your car can be a very frustrating and worrisome experience. Whether it causes you to be late for work or leaves you stuck far from home, it isn’t worth attempting to force a car door open yourself, as it will only damage your car. Calling an auto Locksmith usually means that problem gets solved quickly and without causing any damage.

Can a Locksmith Unlock my Car?

Auto Locksmiths are specially trained and have the equipment necessary to open a car without a key. They should be able to gain access to your car without causing any damage. It’s essential you call an Auto Locksmith as they specialise in vehicles and have the correct tools available to them to help gain access.

What Is the Difference Between a Locksmith and Auto Locksmiths?

A traditional Locksmith is a professional who fixes mechanical locks on business and residential properties, they generally work on wooden and UPVC doors, assisting with access, changing locks, and cutting new keys.

Auto locksmiths, on the other hand, specialise in electronic car door locking systems, ignition systems, and key reprogramming. They will be able to assist you if you are locked out of your vehicle.

It’s critical to choose the correct Locksmith and ensure they are specialised to help fix your exact issue.

How Long Does It Take for a Auto Locksmith to Unlock a Car?

Auto Locksmiths can use a variety of techniques to gain entry to your vehicle non-destructively and should be able to resolve your situation fairly quickly but depending on how complex the lock system is, it could longer.

Why Might the Car Not Open?

There are several reasons why your car door will not open. This might be due to a faulty connection inside the door panel lock assembly, signifying that the interior locking switch, handle, or lock cylinder has been damaged or has a broken portion that prevents the door from opening. This can occur if the door is slammed with excessive force or if the door is subjected to brute force as a result of a collision.

Furthermore, the car may not open owing to adverse weather. You’ve undoubtedly had your car frozen over during the winter months, where the door handle is exceedingly stiff and the lock is frozen over until it melts away.

Finally, your car may not start due to an issue with your car key. Sometimes the battery in your key fob has died or the signal has gotten too faint. This is frequent with older car keys and keys that have previously been copied. Furthermore, it is possible that the vehicle has a defective solenoid and the car keys are unable to connect with the vehicle in order to open the door.

If you are locked out and there is no problem with your car door, this might indicate that you require a new car key. Fortunately, whether your key is a standard metal key or a key fob, an auto locksmith can reconfigure and reprogram a copy of your key to help you regain entry to your vehicle.

Do Auto Locksmiths Damage Cars?

Auto Locksmiths will often use a non-destructive measure to gain access to your door and trigger the locking mechanism manually. These techniques cause no damage to the vehicle and are always the first option an auto Locksmith will try.

We recommend that you contact a professional Auto Locksmith to assist you regain access to your vehicle or to replace the lock if you’ve misplaced your car keys.

What You Should Consider Before Buying a New Safe

Protecting valuables is usually at the top of most people’s concerns when it comes to home security. Whether cash, electronics, jewellery, or important documents, losing any valuable item you own can be distressing. As a solution many people turn to safes to help secure their possessions, but what should you look for when buying a safe?

In this blog, we have gathered all the important aspects you should look at before buying a new safe!

 

Different Types of Safes

There are many different types of safes on the market, ranging from those that fit into the wardrobe, fitted into the floor and freestanding ones. All come with different price tags and features so it’s always best to do some research about what’s currently on the market.

Cash Ratings of a Safe

Safes have different cash ratings that affect how much the insurance will pay you back. For example, if you have a safe with a cash rating of £10,000, and £5,000 was taken from inside it, it will all be covered under your insurance. However, if you have £15,000 in the safe only up to £10,000 will be covered with the insurance.

Wall Safes

These are safes that are inside the wall so can be easily hidden behind a wall painting, cabinet, or panel. They can be easier to access as they are not on the floor and are easy to install but normally cannot hold a lot of content, and very few are fire-resistant.

Freestanding Safes

These are safes that aren’t inside a wall but can be anchored to the ground if required or just be hidden somewhere. Typically, their doors are heavier than a wall safe so are more secure and most are fire-resistant, but they can be trickier to open and conceal.

Data Safes

Data safes secure your personal and irreplaceable data. Most of these safes are protected against smoke, fire and water damage, magnetic fields and electrostatic phenomena to give your data the best possible protection.

Bespoke Safes

These safes are created especially for your wants and needs from a safe. Depending on your needs, a safe can be created for the size, security, and aesthetics that you want. Some bespoke safes can have drawers, shelves, and various interior or exterior finishes.

Fire Resistant Safes

These are safes that can last longer in a fire. For example, if you had a house fire, the items in your safe would be protected for longer. A non-fire-resistant safe may last less than an hour in a fire, depending on its rating, but most fire-resistant safes last upwards of an hour depending on the fire rating you’ve bought and how hot the fire is burning.

Gun Safes / Gun Cabinets

It is required by law in the UK for any gun in a home to be stored in a safe when not in use. They need to be robust and reliable and adhere to the strict guidelines for gun safety.

 

Price of Safes

Usually, the bigger and larger the safe is, the more expensive it will be. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t find a good bargain. You’ll need to consider your budget when buying a safe and how this will impact the type of security you’ll get.

 

Degree of Protection

Not every safe has the same level of security, much like higher security locks, some safes have higher security features. From fire resistance to more robust locking systems, different models and makes will carry different security features.

hand unlocking a locked safe

Size Of the Safe

A common complaint from customers is not having enough space in their safes for what they need it for. You need to consider what exactly you’ll be keeping in your safe before you buy it as that will determine what size safe, you’ll need to purchase

If you are unsure why we recommend buying a bigger safe from the beginning rather than having to rebuy another one when you run out of space.

 

Where Should I Put My Safe?

Even though safes are made for protection, it doesn’t mean you’ll want to advertise it out in the open! We recommend keeping it out of sight and hidden for an extra level of protection, so when buying a safe you’ll need to consider where you’re planning on putting it and might even need to take some measurements.

 

What Are the Best Safes In 2022?

Here are some of the top market safe choices you can consider:

Burton Safes Eurovault Aver

Arguably, the Eurovault Aver is one of the best choices. Not only does it have a digital keypad for locking, but it is also key operated with a left or right-hanging door. It provides high security especially if you are looking for a safe that could work in both commercial and residential properties!

Burg Wachter PointSafe

Burg Wachter PointSafe is one of the best biometric home safes on the market. It is very easy to set up and a perfect use for home security. One of its best features is its self-programmable fingerprint and pin code.

Master Lock Fire Resistant and Waterproof Chest

From its name, the Master Lock Chest safe is well known for being fire and waterproof. If you are living or are using it in a high-risk area of fire or water damage, then we recommend the Master Lock Chest Safe.

 

To conclude, to give you peace of mind in the long run after purchasing a new safe, we recommend considering the above tips. Safes are a great way to keep any valuables secured, however, there are some traps you could fall into. Make sure you are buying the right safe for you by considering all the aspects discussed above!

 

About the NGCL

The National Guild of Certified Locksmiths provides our customers with a platform to be connected to professional, expert local Locksmiths where quality is assured and customer service is the top priority. All of our Locksmiths are DBS checked, accredited and some of the top experts in the industry. Find your local Locksmith today!

Tips To Choosing a Deadbolt Lock

What Is a Deadbolt Lock?

A deadbolt lock is a type of lock that has a bolt which is moved by using a key or another access control system. A deadbolt lock does not use a spring, which makes it different from other lock types.

Traditionally, deadbolt locks are made from steel or brass and are not angled or rounded at the end of the lock and are a good way to advance your home security without having to spend an unreasonable amount of money.

 

How Does a Deadbolt Lock Work?

As deadbolts don’t operate using a spring, just turning the key slides the bolt in and out of the strike plate attached to the door frame. The lack of spring makes deadbolt locks harder to tampered with and prized open with a crowbar, or other tools. The locking mechanism, on a deadbolt is very strong, this offers you an extra layer of security compared to other types of locking mechanisms.

 

What Are the Most Common Types of Deadbolt Lock?

Euro Cylinder and Turn

This is the most common type of deadbolt lock and contains the simplest mechanism. From the exterior side, you open it with a key, extracting the bolt as you turn it. On the interior side they can be opened without the use of a key but with the use of a thumb turn mechanism. We do not recommend that a single deadbolt be installed on a door with breakable glass windows or a large letter plate. This is because a key isn’t required to open it from the inside, so an intruder could simply break the glass, reach in and turn the thumb screw mechanism to gain entry. For more tips on stopping break ins, read our security tips blog.

 

Double Cylinder

Where a double cylinder differs from the Euro Cylinder and Turn, is that it requires a key to be opened on both sides of the door. This makes it more secure than a single deadbolt as it can be placed near breakable glass, as it’s not possible to open it from any side without a key. One downside of a double cylinder deadbolt lock is that they can pose a fire risk. In an emergency you will need to locate the key to open the door, and in a panicked sate you might not be able to do that. You can read more about fire safety on the Keytek Website. 

 

5 Lever BS3621

If you are looking for the most secure option, then the 5 Lever BS3621 might be the deadbolt for you. They are insurance complaint and use a lock on both sides to gain access. They can be used in conjunction with a yale type night latch on a wooden door, for extra security.

 

How To Choose The Best Deadbolt

Try to find a deadbolt with key control

Key control is a security method for making sure your key is only used by the people you choose. This has many different levels and is unique to each company that issues them. But essentially, it should stop your key from being copied without your knowledge. It can be as simple as having a key that has ‘do not copy’ printed on it. These means if anyone wanted to copy it without your permission, they shouldn’t be able to find a key cutter who will copy it. The next level is installing a deadbolt that comes with ‘patented keys’ this means that any person or company that is found to have copied this key will be at risk of receiving financial penalties. This prevents your key being copied without your knowledge, it will not stop someone giving the original key to another person.

 

Look for saw resistance

You can find deadbolts that are resistant to saw attacks. This makes it a lot more difficult for an unskilled burglar to force entry to your home. Burglars like to work quickly to avoid detection and this type of lock will delay them. The hope is they will give up and be unsuccessful at gaining entry.

Think about a deadbolt with a hardened case steel

As well as sawing, burglars will use a number of tactics to gain entry to your home; that include pilers, hammers or other similar tools to remove or damage the lock. Choosing a deadbolt with a handed steel case should hopefully protect you from these kinds of break-in attempts. Casing like these will also stop a burglar from tampering with the lock’s mechanism itself, giving you added security.

 

Get a double cylinder

As we have spoken about, some deadbolts only require a key for the external lock. This can cause security issues if your door has breakable glass in it. A burglar can simply smash the glass, reach in and open the door. A double cylinder deadbolt means that you need a key to work the lock from both side, this would stop a burglar from gaining entry via smashing the window and engaging the lock.

 

Choosing the right deadbolt for you

It’s important to do your research before buying a deadbolt. You need to consider your budget, the type of door you have and the amount of security you require. Installing the wrong lock could be detrimental to your home security, so always seek out advice if you are unsure. We would never recommend that you install new locks yourself, as if installed incorrectly, your home is at risk of a break in. installing the locks yourself can also make your home insurance invalid, as often insurers require locks to be fitted by a professional locksmith. To find out more about keeping your locks insurance complaint, then read our insurance article.

What Can Affect Locksmith Prices?

Locksmiths provide lots of different services to customers, the most common is in emergency situations when you are locked out or when keys have been lost. However, calling out a Locksmith isn’t a regular occurrence for most so knowing how much they can cost can become confusing.

It’s important to have an estimate of how much a reliable Locksmith might charge for Locksmith services, so we have created this blog to answer some of your questions about Locksmith prices and what can affect them.

For in-depth information about Locksmith prices, our Locksmith Prices and Cost Estimates Guide provides more information or call us on 0808 164 2928 for more accurate quotes.

 

Time of Day

Time of the day is a  factor of how much you could pay a Locksmith. If you have called out a Locksmith at 11pm, the cost is most likely going to be higher than if you called them out at 11am. This is because outside of normal working hours (6am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) you can expect to pay a premium.

 

Day of the Week

Most Locksmiths in the UK operate 24 hours, providing their services at times including bank holidays and weekends. As these days are outside of normal working hours, Locksmiths will usually charge a little more than usual for working these extra hours.

 

Call Out Charge

Some Locksmiths will apply a callout fee, which is a fee for physically arriving onsite and then will charge a labour rate on top. A labour rate is a charge for the time a Locksmith spends on site actually fixing the issue.

Some Locksmiths will charge for both, but most will only charge for the labour rate, but it can significantly increase the price of a Locksmith service if a call out charge is added. It’s worth asking the Locksmith on the phone before they attend if they charge a call out charge, most reputable companies do not charge these.

 

Location

Where you live can also affect the cost of services. It’s no surprise that services in larger cities, like London, come with a premium charge and the Locksmith industry is no different. The price of a Locksmith is reflective to the area in which you live and the general costs of the area.

how much does a locksmith cost and what affects locksmith cost in UK

 

Type of Job

Every type of Locksmith job will differ in its costs. The cost to replace a lock will be different from replacing an entire mechanism, and again, will differ from burglary repairs and boarding up!

 

Required Parts

The parts needed for the job will affect the overall price you will be charged, for example a euro cylinder (commonly found on uPVC doors) can cost £30+, whilst a mortice lock (commonly found on wooden doors) can cost £45+.

 

Size of the Job

Most reliable and trusted Locksmith companies will try and get all work done within the hour where possible. However, it’s worth noting that the size of the job can affect the cost of the Locksmith service.

how much does a locksmith cost and what can affect UK locksmith cost

Most Locksmiths will charge an hourly labour rate and if you were looking to get a single lock changed then this will most likely just be a single hours’ worth of labour, however if you are moving home and were looking to get all your locks changed then you might have to factor in a couple hours of labour.

 

About the NCCL

The National Guild of Certified Locksmiths provides our customers with a platform to be connected to professional, expert local Locksmiths where quality is assured and customer service is the top priority. All of our Locksmiths are DBS checked, accredited and some of the top experts in the industry. Find your local Locksmith.

*where possible

How to Open a Locked uPVC Door Without a Key

Whether your key isn’t turning, you’ve lost the key or you managed to lock yourself out, you may find yourself wondering how to open a locked UPVC door without a key?

If you go to Google and search ‘how to open a locked UPVC door without a key?’ then you are going to see a lot of YouTube videos and articles showing and telling you different ways to open a door without a key. However, all these methods tend to be destructive and will mean that you need to pay for someone to fit a new lock afterwards. So, its quicker, easier, and safer to just call a professional Locksmith to do the work for you.

If you need a locksmith then go to our Find a Locksmith Page to find an engineer near you.

 

How to Open a Locked UPVC door… with a Drill

This will be one of the most popular techniques you will see explained. However, likelihood is if you are locked out, you won’t have access to your drill. Even if you do have access to a drill, drilling your lock will definitely break your lock, meaning you will have to pay for a lock replacement. The other most likely thing to happen is that it won’t work because locks are made to withstand forced entry methods like this, especially if your locks are British Standard.

Also, unless you are a professional Locksmith, you probably won’t drill in the right place. If you call a Locksmith instead, they may be able to get you back into your home without breaking the lock.

 

How to Open a Locked UPVC Door… with a Screwdriver

This is another popular way to try and get your door open without a key and involves removing the escutcheon plate from the door. This technique will not work for you if you are locked out, however, as you need access to both sides of the door.

how to open a locked upvc door without a key

It also calls for you to fiddle with the pins inside the lock with a hair pin or another thin object. However, juggling a lock with a bobby pin is not as easy as it seems in the films, it’s unlikely that you will be able to expose the pins and move them to the right position to get the door open. It’s likely that you will break your lock or get something stuck in there.

As before, we would recommend you call a professional Locksmith to open your door, as you will probably end up calling them to replace the lock anyway.

 

How to open a locked UPVC door…by Lock Snapping

This is a favourite technique of burglars, as it essentially uses brute force to snap the lock and leave the mechanism exposed, so it can be tampered with. This will leave you needing to have your locks replaced, even if it’s done by you. This technique won’t work if you have anti-snap locks installed, as these are designed to snap in a certain place, without exposing the mechanism. There is also the risk that if you are seen trying to enter a home this way, then passers-by will be suspicious and call the police.

To find out more about lock snapping then visit our blog on lock snapping here.

If you are interested in having anti snap locks fitted to your door then find out more information British Standard.

 

How to Open a Locked UPVC Door Without a Key

Our advice is that you call a professional locksmith to gain entry to your home, or to replace the lock if you’ve lost keys.

This is the most effective and straightforward way to open a UPVC door without a key. Any method of entry you try yourself is most likely going to end up with you calling a Locksmith anyway, so why not just start by calling one out. The more damage you do to your lock yourself, the more you will need to pay the Locksmith to fix and/or replace your locks. This price will sky rocket if you do so much damage that your door needs replacing.

For more information on locksmith prices visit our locksmith prices page.

The Best Ways to Find Lost Keys

So, you’ve gone out and had a good time with your friends, but you’ve come back home and realised the worst has happened… You’ve lost your keys! Or maybe you’re getting ready to go out but can’t find them, and now you’re running late! Here are the best ways to find your lost keys, in and outside of the house.

Have a read of this Ultimate Guide to Home Security for extra advice to keep your home safe. Have you checked your home security recently?

 

Look in the Last Place You Saw Your Keys

If you can, retrace your steps from when you last had them to try and find them again. Whether your lost house keys were last seen inside or outside of the home, try going to the last place you saw them to find them.

Look Around Your Home

Keys often get lost, sometimes they can be easily found, sometimes they get found in bizarre places. First look in the most common places such as where they are normally left, or the closest surfaces such as tables and chairs near where they are usually left. Also try looking where you’ve used them – the doors you’ve used them in or in your car ignition!

Still can’t find your lost house keys. Try looking under paper stacks or in coat, jumper, and trouser pockets. Have a look in your shoes or on the floor around your front door, coat, or shoe racks? Check in your bedroom or in your drawers. Even take a peek in the fridge or freezer to see if they show up there!

Don’t Forget to Look Outside

Did you lose the keys outside of your home? Then call up the places you’ve been to see if they have found anything or go back and have a look around yourself if you’re able. If they find your house keys, then they can hold them for you to get back.

 

Keep a Spare Key or Two

Keep a spare key or two in a safe space so if you can’t find your keys you can use the spare keys and look for your lost ones when you get back. This will save you the rush of having to find your keys before you go out and making yourself late.

You will still need to find your lost keys, but you won’t be late if you need to be somewhere, and you will have more time and less stress if you wait until you come home. Sometimes all it takes it a bit of time and a calm mind to find them in the most obvious place.

 

Clear Away the Chaos

Keeping your home tidy and getting rid of clutter will make it easier to find your keys, as there will be less places for the key to hide. If you’ve lost your keys, try getting rid of some clutter and you may find your keys hidden behind a stack of papers or they may have fallen off a busy shelf.

 

Still Can’t Find Your Keys? Call A Locksmith to Change Your Locks

The safest way to get in your home if you’ve lost your keys is to call a professional Locksmith as they will usually be able to gain entry, change your lock and give you new keys all in one visit. If you’re sure you’ve lost your keys outside your home, it’s always best to change your lock to protect you home from a break in, as you don’t know who may have picked them up.

If you need a locksmith, then visit our find a locksmith section to find a local locksmith near you.

locksmith man in van

Prevention Is ‘Key’!

Here are some useful tips and tricks to put in place ready for when you next misplace your keys:

  • Buy a smart key finder to track your lost keys. This can link and send alerts to your phone of its whereabouts or make a loud noise to make it easier to find. Here are the top key finders.

  • Put bright and obvious decorative keychains into your key. They will be much easier to see and find if you make them noticeable. Something like a big pink fluffy keychain ball or a large leather tag that is easy to spot will make it stand out from the rest of your stuff. If you’ve lost your keys outside of your home, by having a unique decorative keychain it will be easier to describe and identify them.

  • Always put them away in the same place. Having a safe space to place your keys will create a habit so they will always be put away there. This could be a key bowl or key hooks near the front door, so you know where to leave them and where to look first.

  • Get a key safe outside. Having a key safe somewhere that you can access when locked out can help you easily get back in if you’ve lost your keys when you’re out and about. If you can’t find your keys before you leave, by knowing you have keys in the key safe it means you can go out without the anxiety of having to figure out how to get back in. Have a look at the best key safes available.

How To Open a Locked Window Without a Key?

It’s very difficult for someone to open a locked window without a key without breaking either the window or the lock mechanism. If you Google how to open a locked window without a key, you’ll find lots of videos with titles like ‘how to open a locked window with a paper clip’ or ‘how to open a locked window with a knife’ however the technique shown in these videos is often fake and won’t work.

If you need a Locksmith urgently then go to our find a Locksmith page to search for a local Locksmith near you.

How to Open a Locked Window Without a Key….and Without Damaging the Window or Lock?

The only answer to that is to call a professional Locksmith who will have the tools and knowledge to open your window non-destructively. Locksmiths are highly skilled and are trained to open a locked window without a key, without breaking or damaging it. However, depending on why you can’t open your window, for example it’s broken or jammed, then a Locksmith may have to cause damage to force entry.

If you have lost your keys, or suspect they have been stolen*, then a Locksmith can replace your window locks and provide you with a new key.

*If you believe your window key has been stolen we suggest you inform the police on the non-emergency line.

 

How to Open a Locked Window using a Knife

Short answer is… you can’t. Opening a locked window with a knife is not something we would recommend. There are some videos and articles claiming that you can open a locked window with a knife, but these are misleading.

Once you read the article or watch the video, you will realise that they are only talking about one type of lock and even if it is the type of lock you have, it’s doubtful you will be able to successfully follow the technique. Using a knife to open a locked window, is dangerous for both yourself and the window, one slip of the hand would mean you could injure yourself or break the window. Your safest bet is to call a Locksmith and have the window lock opened or replaced professionally.

 

How to Open a Locked Window Using a Screwdriver

Again, this is not something we would recommend. If you are seen trying to open a locked window from the outside, using a screwdriver, then its likely someone will call the police. You are also likely to damage either the window, or the lock itself, if you attempt to open it using a screwdriver. If you have lost the key for your window, then your best bet is to call a professional Locksmith to have the window lock replaced.

 

How To Open a Locked Window With a Paperclip

The principle of this technique is that you would pick the window lock with a straightened paperclip. However, lock picking isn’t as easy as it looks in the movies. Locksmiths spend a long time training and practicing their lock picking skill, so it’s unlikely that you will be able to open a window using a paperclip. There are videos online showing you how to do this, but the validity of these videos comes into question, as many people have found the process impossible to follow to successfully pick the window lock.

 

How to Open a Locked Window Without a Key…in an Emergency

If an emergency occurs, such as fire or a small child is trapped inside your house, then it could be your only option is to smash the window itself.

We would not recommend this, unless the situation is life threatening and you cannot wait for a Locksmith. We do suggest that you firstly call the emergency services if you are able and wait for them to respond. When any emergency event occurs, you always need to call the relevant authorities such and the police or the fire service.

Smashing the window should ONLY be done in an emergency. For all other situations we would advise calling a professional Locksmith to gain entry and replace the window locks.

 

Call a Professional Locksmith

The only guaranteed way to open a window without a key, is to call a professional Locksmith. Even if you need to gain access quickly an Emergency Locksmith is still your best option.

They can often get to you quickly and fix or change the lock in one visit. To find out more about locksmith window service then go to our Locksmith services page.

If you need a Locksmith, then visit our find a Locksmith section to find a local Locksmith near you.