What Does a Locksmith Do?

A London, Ontario locksmith is a skilled tradesperson whose days are filled with a variety of tasks.

Keys – Prepare or cut keys for residences, commercial buildings, vehicles, safes, or other items.

Locks – Provide and service locks for windows, doors, security safes and vaults. 

Installation – Provide and install all types of locks for windows, vaults, safes, and security.

Automotive – Opening vehicles when keys are locked inside.  Program and reprogram remote keys, transponder keys, key fobs, or prepare a new key.  For older vehicles, a “slim jim” or thin piece of metal can be slid between the window and weather stripping and release the lock.  However, newer models, especially those equipped with security systems, the auto locksmith will reprogram the code to gain access.

Emergency Service – Situations occur at all hours of the day and night, including break-ins, accidents, and unexpected occurrences.  Your emergency locksmith is ready to help you out of a jam day or night, or holidays. 

Commercial – When the locksmith installs locks in an office building or factory, they often become the person on call when something goes wrong.  That is because, as the installer, they are forward-thinking in keeping extra sets of keys for the owner or operator.  They keep records of the locks they install and will have access to repair parts or replacement units.  They are also frequently in liaison with security system providers for emergency entry. 

Some of the tasks involved in running a locksmith shop include:

  • Researching new locks and security systems available and in development
  • Dealing with manufacturers to maintain stock and replacement parts
  • Repairing or replacing damaged parts of entry and exit doors, home locks, and vehicles
  • Understanding and explaining security lock systems, keyless entries, key controls, window bars, deadbolts, etc.
  • Fabricating keys for replacement or duplication
  • Assisting owners to unlock doors
  • Replacing locks for new owners or in the event of damage from a break-in
  • Changing combinations by inserting new pins into lock sets
  • Working with commercial clients to develop master keys

▪   Banks

▪   Manufacturers

▪   Plants

▪   Warehouses

▪   Apartments

  • Electric strikes and electronic security hardware
  • Changing locks and combinations
  • Making keys from code
  • Duplicating keys
  • Open safes
  • Broken key extractions or removing debris 

With all of the electronic entry systems, a locksmith must be able to understand, install, repair, and service:

  • Remote systems
  • Apartment intercoms
  • Proximity and card readers
  • Keypad entry systems

Most commercial buildings are required to have panic exit devices or crash doors.  These are intended for the safe exit of all who are in the building in the event of an emergency.  While they prevent someone from entering through that door, they are easily opened from the inside to allow a speedy exit.  Many are designed to set off an alarm. 

As you can tell, a locksmith can perform various functions besides replicating keys.  With the many electronic systems in place in homes, businesses, and vehicles, this is a professional position that is valuable in the community.  It is best to familiarize yourself with the locksmiths in your area so that you are ready in an emergency.

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