Shaun Gives The Background On Becoming A Locksmith
Inquisitiveness is part of human nature and finding out more about people’s jobs, the highs and lows as well as any interesting stories, only help to feed this curiosity. So to help provide a little further insight into the world of locksmithing, we thought we’d fire some quick questions at our very own locksmith Shaun
Shaun certainly gave us enough information to not only smile about but also some tips on how to make sure homeowners can stay safe.
When did you decide you wanted to become a locksmith and why?
I’ve been working in the trade since 2001. Starting off it was interesting to see the work and delicacy that almost goes into being a locksmith. It’s not only fascinating but I love a challenge, and being able to open locks and continue to learn how to deal with new locks and situations is quite interesting for me.
It’s also nice to be able to help someone when they need it most. Whether this be to get back into their house or their car. If I can help to achieve that with as little disruption, mess and cost as possible then great! It’s always nice to see the look of relief on someone’s face when you’ve managed to help them after they think breaking down the door is the only answer!
How would you describe being a locksmith in 5 words?
What’s the most common problem/security issue you come across?
New doors are being manufactured all the time and people have these new styles fitted but then aren’t necessarily shown how to lock them properly. So locks have a tendency to either not be used (big security risk) or they’re broken very quickly and in need of repair.
It’s also awful to think but locks should be on everything from your garden shed down to your downstairs windows. Most people place bikes, lawnmowers etc. in sheds and outbuildings and just like the valuables in your home, these should also be protected using the right locks.
I’m not saying you should never open your windows, but most UPVC windows now have security locks on them so windows can be opened but on a lock system. I would recommend that you make sure this is the case and they’re being used correctly.
What are the most important things homeowners can do to protect their property?
Install good locks! It seems like an obvious one but you’d be surprised by how many cheap locking systems are in place and which don’t do the job.
Again it seems obvious but if you have a security alarm in place, use it. Sometimes it can be a habit to forget or if it starts going off sporadically it becomes a bit of a hassle – but it can put off intruders and provide you with peace of mind that your home or car is safe!
Also, gone are the days where you can leave a spare key under your plant pot for your neighbour to check in and make sure everything is ok. I would recommend if you need to do something like this, to use the security boxes which need a code or key to unlock it.
What are the best and worst parts of the job?
The best part is definitely knowing that every day is different. You never really know what to expect and that’s the most exciting part. One minute I can be working on a simple lock repair for someone, before receiving an emergency phone call because someone has locked themselves out of the house and the dog is stuck inside tearing up the furniture! You also get to meet a lot of different people and even sometimes their families. Conversation is never boring when you’re a locksmith!
The worst part… (Struggling to think)… maybe if I help someone too quickly that I don’t have time for a cup of tea?!
Do you find a lot of people trying to “do it themselves” before calling a locksmith?
*laughs* erm yes sometimes. Sometimes when we arrive the homeowner has tried to pick the lock, or I’ve seen credit cards and store cards wedged and then jammed in doors. On very rare occasions the door has been kicked and the lock has completely snapped! I think what I would tell people is that we’re here to help. We do this kind of thing day in, day out and if you can do it yourself with no damage then great, but doing it yourself most of the time will cause more damage, which means it can become more costly to fix.
As a professional locksmith, what would your best piece of advice be?
Check your property. Find out where the security points are that maybe need adjusting. Also, don’t try to do it yourself, we’re really a friendly bunch so always happy to help and it’ll make things a lot less stressful for you!
… what’s been your most “interesting” locksmith job?
I don’t think I can write that for the internet!