There is a popular misconception about locksmiths in Garforth. Many people think that if they lose their keys then the local Locksmith can come to their location, look at the lock, make a mould somehow and then produce a new key. Unfortunately, this is just not the case. If you lose your keys and you don’t have a spare, then the only option that the Garforth locksmith has is to replace the lock. This is where the real cost comes in for a locksmiths services, you are not only paying them for their time and labor, you are also paying for the products that they use to replace your lock.
In most cases locksmiths will carry around everything they need to service their customers. This means that their trucks or cars have replacement deadbolts, doorknobs and even key columns for your car. There may be some occasions that they do not have the necessary items to replace a lock, but overall they will have everything that they need. This does not mean that you have to use them to replace the locks. You can have them remove the old lock and you can do the rest if you like. However, if you aren’t handy, this isn’t recommended.
Now, if you are in a situation where you have broken your key in your lock, then this might be a salvageable situation. Most Leeds Locksmiths can piece together a broken key and make a new key from the broken one. However, the condition of the key is important. If you break the key and there are several pieces and some are slivers, then even the best locksmiths may not be able to do anything with it.
Bent keys are also able to be copied by Mobile Locksmiths. However, in most cases you can take a bent key into a locksmith shop rather than calling a locksmith to you. This depends, of course, on whether the bent key is for your transportation. It is important for you to not attempt to straighten the key yourself as you may end up breaking it or causing enough damage to it to prevent a copy from being made.
How Do Locksmiths Work?
Keycodes are used by locksmiths to create keys. These key codes are made up of characters that have both numbers and letters; hence, they are called alphanumeric key codes. If you observe the locks on your desks or filing cabinets or their keys, you will notice that they have certain letters and numbers stamped on them; these numbers and letters are key codes. Key codes are generated in a random manner and provide an identity to a key that is different from that of other keys. Locksmiths have the skills to decipher any lock's keycoder and make a key to fit the lock.
There are several types of key codes used. One type is the direct digit keycode. Each digit on this type of key coder corresponds to a cut in the key. The value of the digit indicates the depth of the cut. Many lock manufacturers print the kay code on the key. Since each digit corresponds to a pin on the key, digit key codes are generally long codes. The second type of keycoder is one in which there is a pattern between the code and the key. Mathematical tricks are used in this type of key code and hence this code isn't a straightforward one where each digit corresponds to the depth of the cut. There is a third type of code which is quite complex and requires a codebook to decipher it. Since there is no pattern to the cuts on the key, the locksmith must have a codebook. One example of a codebook is the Reed Codebooks. This particular brand has a volume for each type of lock. In this day of computers, locksmiths can buy computer programs that have information on keycodes. This software is quite secure as it's copy-protected. There are different types of computer programs with different features and they come with demo disks to assist the locksmith in understanding them.
Locksmith key codes are usually categorized into 2 types; blind codes and bitting codes. Most key codes are blind key codes and a codebook or computer program is required to translate this blind code into a bitting code. However, for security purposes, only licensed locksmiths can have access to these codebooks and computer programs. Locksmiths can also create their own blind code systems for high security clients by using the technique of blind coding. Bitting codes are those codes that are translated by the locksmiths from the blind codes. Locksmiths use the bitting codes on blank keys to make the new key. The blind code provides the setting and information required for the bitting code. Once the locksmith gets the bitting code, he can then set his code machine to that particular setting and cut the new key.
The locksmith key coding system is in widespread use. It provides maximum security as this system ensures that there is only one code for one key. Computers will never generate a code that has been created once and, hence, keys cannot be duplicated by error. You are this way assured that your property is safe as only you have the keys to the locks that protect it.
The Locksmith Trade - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Before we can discuss ways to prevent a home burglary, it's important to have an understanding of when the burglaries occur, who commits the crimes, and what is usually taken. Almost all home burglaries happen during the day, when people are at work. The summer months see a lot of burglaries, especially in July and August. February actually has the fewest number of burglaries compared to the other months.
Home burglaries are usually committed by males under 25 years old. These guys are usually trying to grab small things that are easy to carry away and sell for quick cash that is needed for living expenses an most often, drugs. The favorite items of theft are cash, guns, jewelry and watches, computers and DVD players, and CDs. These things are easily concealed in a duffel bag as the thief exits the home, and are easy to convert to cash.
Thieves never like to do any extra work if they don't have to, so they first look for an open door or window. And, unlike most movies where the bad guy carries a fancy lock pick kit, burglars prefer to use common household tools like screwdrivers, pliers, pry bars and hammers. Although it may seem like burglaries are random and happen on a whim, this is rarely the case. Burglars will always go for the easiest target. This is the house with the easiest access, good places to hide, and a good escape route.
Burglars always go for the easy target! Most burglars will skip your house if it seems too difficult to enter. So the best way to help prevent a home burglary is to make it difficult for a thief to get in. Most burglars pick a point of entry that has the most cover, and usually has the weakest lock. This is typically the garage door, followed by the back door, and then the front door.
Now let's take a look at some pointers for the types of locks you should consider:
- Use a high quality, heavy-duty, deadbolt lock that has a one-inch throw bolt (The part that goes into the door when locked)
- If you have to use a "knob-in-lock", make sure you get one that's high quality, heavy duty, and has a "dead-latch" feature.
- A "dead-latch" mechanism prevents a credit card or shim from being used to pop open the lock
- A high quality deadbolt will have what's called a beveled casing. This usually stops the use of channel lock pliers to break off the lock pins and gain access.
- Always spend the extra money and get Grade One or Grade Two locks for exterior doors, as these resist prying, hammering, and lock picking.
Expert (But completely obvious) Tip:
Most people leave an extra set of keys in the car. Burglars are wise to this and first look inside your car for house keys and valuables. Make sure you lock your car, even if it's in the garage.
Now let's talk about Doors. Follow these tips below when considering doors in your home.
- Always spend the extra money and buy solid core or metal doors for all exterior entrance points. Many cheap exterior doors have hollow cores, and can easily be kicked through with not much effort by a determined burglar.
- If the door doesn't come with one, install a peephole that is a wide-angle 160°, mounted no higher than 58 inches from the floor.
- Make sure the door comes with a heavy-duty, four-screw, strike plate with 3-inch screws to penetrate deep into a wooden door frame. The strike plate is almost always the weakest part of the door, as it is where the deadbolt secures the door in place with the door jamb. Cheap doors come with very soft wooden moldings that are usually tacked onto the door frame. It just takes a strong kick or shove with a shoulder to tear the lightweight molding away and burst the door open.
- Also make sure that the screws that hold the door hinges in place have at least two 3 inch screws per hinge plate.
- Make sure that the screws holding the knob lock strike plate are longer ones as well.
We always recommend spending the extra money to get good solid core or metal exterior doors, and strong, heavy duty locks. Remember that an experienced burglar can identify good doors and good locks. It is very likely that the mere presence of these upgrades will cause the burglar to think twice and move onto an easier target.