Understanding The Locksmith Business – The world we live in now is one in which security and being secure is a topmost priority. Break-ins, robberies, burglaries, and many forms of crime against property or device owners are few of the occurrences that have made it absolutely necessary to have security of some sort on a property or possession.
Who is a locksmith?
A locksmith is a person who works primarily with steel to produce locks and their attendant keys. They fix locks, make keys, and also install and maintain electronic security systems. Locksmiths provide intelligence and services for gaining access into a locked device such as a house, car, mobile phone, room, and the rest. They also recover keys when they get missing or make new ones for the lock. Sometimes a key is broken inside a lock. Locksmiths provide the technique required to extract the broken key from the lock.
What does a locksmith do?
Below is the summary of the job description of a locksmith:
1. A locksmith cuts keys for locks to be used in residential buildings,, safes, doors, windows and the like.
2. Locksmiths provide locks for windows and doors and various access points for devices and properties. They also service and repair them when they go bad.
3. Locksmiths provide auto locksmith services for devices that require electronic access like cars, security doors, gates. Auto locksmith services include reprogramming keys, repairing car key fobs, providing transponder keys for motor vehicles, and providing new keys for a vehicle.
4. Locksmiths (a specialized few) provide access control systems for various grades of clients.
5. Specialized locksmiths provide emergency locksmith services for their clients. When a locksmith installs a security system, he becomes the system’s default locksmith, since he is presumed to be familiar with the system’s locks. Because of this, they retain extra keys, passwords, and codes that make them to be able to gain access to the property or device when there is a breach of security or a lock-out.
They also have records of the all the locks and keys used in the building, as well as the timeline of replacement and repair work done on the systems and access points.
Locksmiths are generally employed in traditional locksmith companies, security agencies and outfits, or sometimes working as freelance security locksmiths. They tend to be excellent engineers and problem solvers who are required to, and are usually discreet since they handle sensitive security details about their clients’ houses and properties, or devices.
Security and locking in recent times have greatly evolved over time. Because of the increasing ingenuity employed by hackers and other criminals which bedevil properties an devices, there is need for more and more sophistication and upgrade in the manner of security apparatus being employed. The traditional material a locksmith works with is steel, for padlocks, safes, and for locks for doors and windows. This had however improved to electronic codes, swipe cards, even voice codes, face codes, fingerprint sensing, remote sensing, and a host of them all. The locksmith is required to keep abreast of the unfolding technology to be able to measure up to the standard required so as to be in business.
How to become a locksmith
To be able to provide optimal services to clients regarding locks and keys, to help a customer or client to be able to choose locks for their homes or business premises, to be able to provide emergency services to a client, a locksmith needs to:
– Be familiar with the various kinds of locks they encounter in the course of their work.
– Be comfortable with using hard tools like lathe machines, grinders, drillers, knurlers, and even welding machines.
– Also experienced in carpentry and electrical operations, so as to be able to rise to the occasion when such demands arise in the course of the services they provide.
– Be ready to work irregular and or late hours, especially as the nature of the job is that of emergencies and eventualities.
– Be also ready to work in a variety of locations and weather variations as well.
To become a locksmith, there is a variety of training and learning one needs to undergo. It involves some classroom learning and some on-the-job experience. There are a variety of locksmithing training programmes and learning outfits scattered across America and the world, which offer in-person and online courses on locksmithing and related material.
Courses offered include key identification, key making, commercial locks, automotive locks, lock installation, electronic access locks, home security systems master key systems, vault locks and high security locks. For in-person training, there is room for practicals.
Where the need arises, there may be provision for apprenticeship under seasoned locksmiths and security experts.
Because security is a high end profession, and because of the sensitive nature of the business, clients need to be reassured that they are in safe hands. Cases have been rife of robberies and break-ins that have been aided and abetted by security details.
In the light of that, various states and counties have been pressured to require that locksmiths to produce a license to practice their trade, after attaining the required level of certification, expertise and registration with the authorities. Some of the licenses may be renewable, some may not be. In some states, locksmiths may just be required to pass a criminal background and record check. In some, there must be a form of testing and examination which may be one off or repeated every stipulated number of years. For apprentice applicants, they must prove to have passed through the tutelage of a licensed locksmith.
To boost their profile, locksmiths can pursue relevant certifications and qualifications in the particular field, to increase their level of proficiency. In America, the Associated Locksmiths of America, LCA, offers certification for Americans at various levels of expertise, beginning from the Certified Registered Locksmith to Certified Professional Locksmiths to Certified Master Locksmiths.
The time taken to become a registered locksmith ranges and varies, depending on the level of proficiency needed and required. Some take two months, others take four or more. On-the-job training usually takes more months to complete, while apprenticeships last a maximum of three years.