Questions to Ask When Calling an Emergency Locksmith

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Kelly's Keys, Locks and Safes Blog: Tips, Ideas and Strategies

Welcome. My name is Kelly. I know a lot about keys, locks and safes, and I want to share that information with you. My father was a locksmith, and as a single dad, he ended up taking me to work with him a lot. Later, I learned more about safes in particular when I studied criminal justice briefly. Ultimately, I decided to take my professional life in a different direction, but I love these topics, reading about them and writing about them. If the info in these blogs helps you -- and I certainly hope it does -- please share these posts with your friends. Enjoy!

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Questions to Ask When Calling an Emergency Locksmith

31 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog


If you're calling an emergency locksmith because of being locked out of your home or car, you want to ensure you know everything involved in hiring their services and what to expect. You also want to make sure you've told them everything they need to know to be prepared for your type of lock and your situation. Note a few questions to ask so nothing gets overlooked when you need an emergency locksmith.

1. Ask if they handle your newer or foreign model of car, or safe

If you've been locked out of your car, especially if it's a newer or foreign model, be sure you ask the locksmith if they can open it. Car manufacturers often upgrade their security features with every new year model or try to do this every few years, and foreign model locks may be different than those on other brands, so a locksmith may not be experienced on the locks and alarms you have with your car.

If you've locked your home or office safe and don't remember the combination or cannot find the keys, you also need to ask if they have experience with that type of safe. As with cars, newer models of safes may have more complicated locking mechanisms that a locksmith may not be familiar with, so never assume that they can open anything and everything.

2. Ask if they can work very old locks

As with newer locks on cars and safes, older locks may pose a challenge for some locksmiths. This is because they may be so out of general use that a locksmith may have never trained on how they're constructed. If you have a very old or antique safe, a classic or vintage car, an old pair of handcuffs, and other such pieces, you also don't want to assume that a locksmith will be able to open them easily, and especially not if you want to ensure the older locks stay intact. Note the locksmith might need to actually break the lock to get in, and you would then need a lock replacement in these cases.

3. Ask if something can be re-keyed

Re-keying a lock means setting the pins and tumblers inside so that it fits a new key. You might ask about this as it's often a cheaper option than replacing the locks altogether, but if a lock has been damaged, then it may not be salvageable. Tell the locksmith if you tried to pick the lock yourself, as this often means you cannot have it re-keyed; otherwise, it might be a cheaper choice for you.