In an emergency, you need to know a local locksmith you can trust around the clock. Here are some situations that call for a 24-hour emergency lock service and advice on how you should proceed:
1. When the Keys to Your House Won't Work
If you leave your keys in your house or if your key breaks off in a lock, you will probably have to call a 24-hour emergency locksmith. If you have a landlord or friend with a spare key, try them first. If not, make sure you have a relationship with a trustworthy local locksmith available at any hour. If you don't already know a commercial locksmith, ABC News suggests some vetting techniques you should use in an emergency.
When searching for a 24-hour locksmith service, you need to make sure it has a local address. Commercial locksmiths should answer the phone with a business name and not a vague description of services. When they quote you a price over the phone, ask for any additional emergency service costs.
All honest commercial services should first try picking the lock before drilling. Dishonest companies immediately remove the lock and overcharge you for a new one.
2. When You've Lost Your Car Keys
If you left your keys in a locked car, Consumer Reports advises you to check if you have roadside assistance services before reaching out to a 24-hour locksmith. You can call a local locksmith to help you get into your car but police will perform the service for free if there is an emergency. Commercial locksmiths are better utilized when you can't find your car keys.
Even though dealerships claim some car keys are duplication-proof, most 24-hour locksmiths can make keys for any vehicle, especially if it is an older car. Some complicated modern keys will require an expensive trip to the dealership. Call in the make and model of your car when requesting emergency key replacement.
If a 24-hour locksmith pulls up for road service, make sure he or she is driving a vehicle with the name of the business on the side. If you don't see a name, ask the locksmith for a business card.
3. When You Have to Get Into a Neighbor's House in an Emergency
The Federal Trade Commission states 24-hour commercial locksmiths should ask for your identification before opening the lock to your home or replacing your keys. So what do you do when you need to get into a house or building that isn't yours?
If you need keys to a neighbor's house in an emergency or you are locked out of a building you are staying in but don't own, first call the owner and see if they have a working relationship with a local locksmith. The owner may know a 24-hour service that will accept his or her validation over the phone.
If the owner isn't available or doesn't have a pre-existing relationship with a local locksmith, you need to call a 24-hour locksmith and ask for advice. They may have strategies for you to validate your identity during certain emergency situations. You could also also call the authorities if the situation is dire enough, such as when you suspect an intruder or gas leak is present.
4. When You're Changing the Keys During a Divorce
Some emergencies may require you to change your locks in the middle of the night. Commercial locksmith services should be utilized if you feel threatened by someone who has the key to your home.
The Lock Lady, a commercial locksmith in Arizona, says many people going through divorces, breakups or roommate troubles call local locksmiths to prevent damage to their home or person. It's rare to need to change locks on someone in the middle of the night, but you can call a 24-hour locksmith to restrict other's access so you can sleep with a sense of security. Once again, you need to have identification ready and call police if you feel like you are truly in danger.
5. When You Have a Security System Problem
Consumers may prefer using local locksmiths to create a home security system over commercial security companies. Some corporate security options don't offer the hands-on services local businesses provide.
When searching for a locksmith security provider, be sure to find a business that operates around the clock and will respond to security problems in the middle of the night. The Federal Trade Commission suggests asking your friends or neighbors for recommendations of locksmith security services. You can also ask your town's police department which local locksmiths they use in emergencies.