It’s often said that good fences make good neighbours, but how safe is your home without dependable locks on your doors and windows? Residential locksmiths in the UK provide a wide range of valuable services that keep property owners safe and sound.
Home burglary is a real threat to homeowners in the UK and one of the best forms of defence is keeping your property locked to prevent unwanted entry. In addition to deterring home burglary, good, strong locks are also essential for letting agencies to keep their tenants safe and to control access to their property.
Table of contents:
What is a residential locksmith?
We all know what the oldest profession in the world is, but it’s fairly safe to say that locksmiths date long back in history as well. Ancient locksmiths were commissioned by princes and kings to safeguard their belongings, using wooden lock systems that evolved gradually through the millennia to the high-tech electronic keyless systems sometimes used today.
Through the millennia and especially in recent centuries, locksmiths began to branch out from a common root to developing specialisations in various lock and key technologies. A residential locksmith is a specific type of locksmith capable of installing, repairing, and maintaining residential locking mechanisms such as window locks, door locks and deadbolts, for example.
Moreover, residential locksmiths can help homeowners regain access to their property, cut and replace keys, relocate home safes, and install and maintain burglar alarm systems.
Many of the services offered by residential locksmiths overlap with services provided by commercial locksmiths. Colloquially, domestic and commercial locksmiths are often simply referred to as locksmiths and many independent locksmithing businesses provide both services.
Residential lockout services
What services does a residential locksmith provide? Residential locksmiths in the UK provide a comprehensive range of services, including:
- Emergency lockout services: 24/7 property lockout services to help residents regain access to their property.
- Key cutting & duplication: creating new or duplicate sets of keys for property owners.
- UPVC window locks: installing UPVC window locks or full length window locks (Espagnolette or ‘espag’ for older windows).
- Door locks & deadbolts: installing, repairing, or replacing door lock mechanisms and deadbolts, including multipoint UPVC door locks and gearboxes.
- Burglar alarm installation: installing and calibrating home security systems, including motion sensor spotlights, burglar alarms, CCTV, and more.
- Home safes: installing, opening, resetting, and relocating traditional and electronic home safes, including fitting the safe in an incognito area, e.g. behind a wall, under flooring.
- Other services: residential locksmiths can also provide services such as installing and repairing keyless remote entry systems, front gate locks, garage door locks, mailboxes, lock replacement during eviction notices (accompanied by a bailiff), boarding up windows.
Why do you need a residential locksmith?
A well-protected home equipped with secure door and window locks serves two important functions: it keeps the property safe from unwanted entry, and; it acts as a deterrent for burglary.
It is not sufficient that you may live in a safer neighbourhood - you most likely would never knowingly keep your doors open for anyone to come into your home without your permission. For individuals living in safe and unsafe neighbourhoods alike, a residential locksmith can help keep your property safe.
Home burglary in the UK
Although home burglary rates in the UK have fallen by 10 per cent during the 2020-2021 pandemic years as a direct result of the pandemic and most peoples’ movements being severely limited - as identified by former PM Boris Johnson in the Beating crime plan - domestic burglary still makes up 30 per cent of all neighbourhood crime.
Residential locksmiths play an important role in helping keep homes safe, which directly keeps residents safe and indirectly contributes to making neighbourhoods safer as well.
Being locked out of your home
One of the most common reasons to call a locksmith in the UK is if you’ve forgotten or misplaced your keys and need to regain access to your own home. It can be embarrassing, but it could also be quite urgent, which is why it’s imperative that you phone a reputable residential locksmith near you.
Qualified locksmiths in the UK must have a robust knowledge of the various types of residential locking mechanisms from brands such as Yale, Chubb, Multlock, and Ingersoll. More often than not, solving the problems of homeowners can be done without having to physically remove the lock. Not only is this cheaper and less laborious, but it’s also a good sign that you’re dealing with a trained professional and not a rogue trader.
For residential lettings
If you’re a property owner with a house or flat to let, a residential locksmith is essential for ensuring that your tenants have access to the property as well as for changing locks in the event of an eviction or if the tenant has not returned the keys after vacating the rental unit.
Many locksmiths also provide services that can secure abandoned properties to avoid insect or rodent infestations and to deter squatters from inhabiting the property. This includes changing and replacing locks, boarding up windows and other points of entry, including securing the property from the exterior.
Benefits of hiring a residential locksmith
Locksmith services provide a wide range of benefits for property owners, including:
One of the most important ways of securing your property is under lock and key, including locks on your doors, windows, and any other points of access to your property. Residential locksmiths help by installing, repairing, and replacing various types of lock mechanism.
Although most callouts to locksmiths are for emergency lockout services, they can also provide a wide range of other valuable services to keep your property safe and secure.
Minimal damage to property
Under most circumstances, a qualified and vetted locksmith will be able to open locks without physically having to dismantle it. Even when this is necessary, a good locksmith can do so safely without damaging your property.
For urgent access to your property, a dependable locksmith can help you open your door on short notice. Many locksmiths work 24/7, including on bank holidays, to help out customers in need.
Full home security to keep you safe and sound
As locksmithing evolved over time, it has become increasingly complex to encompass all of the new technologies in home security beyond old-fashioned locks and deadbolts. Residential locksmiths can provide homeowners with home security services, including:
In the event of a burglary or an attempted burglary, a burglar alarm can deter any burglars outright and alert the property owner. Many modern home security systems can directly alert police to respond to the crime, and more complex home security systems can also be integrated with smart home systems including mobile phone apps, live streaming footage from the door or other key access points, and much more.
Residential locksmiths can help homeowners install burglar alarm systems, simple or complex, and calibrate them so that they function properly when needed.
Whether successful or not, a home burglary attempt can be mitigated with CCTV footage as this can help you and the police identify the criminal. Moreover, a functioning CCTV camera has a deterring effect on would-be burglars much like a well-secured home with strong locks.
A residential locksmith can help install all manner of CCTV equipment on your property and align it so that it captures key access points within the confines of your property.
What to look for in a residential locksmith
If you’re in need of a residential locksmith in the UK, what should you consider before giving them a call?
- Qualifications: locksmithing has long been completely unregulated in the UK, but efforts were made to regulate the industry in 2019. By and large, locksmithing remains unregulated and anyone can call themselves a locksmith. By choosing a locksmith with official or unofficial qualifications from the major locksmithing associations and colleges, you are far more likely to be dealing with a legitimate and skilled locksmith.
- Trust & reputation: there are still many rogue traders operating as ‘locksmiths’ that prey on homeowners by gouging prices and performing ropey work. Always spend a moment to ensure that your preferred locksmith has been vetted and approved, such as those found here on Rated Locksmiths.
- Price: prices for locksmithing can fluctuate significantly from business to business and depending on the type of service required. Always obtain a free, no-obligation quote before engaging in business with your preferred locksmith.
- Availability: if you urgently need a locksmith, only call a locksmith that operates 24/7 and that covers your postcode.
- Franchise vs local small business: there are advantages and disadvantages to calling a franchise locksmith versus a genuine local locksmithing business. One of the biggest disadvantages to calling a local locksmith is the risk of hiring a rogue trader, which again emphasises how important it is to only choose vetted and approved locksmiths such as those found on Rated Locksmiths.
Frequently asked questions about residential locksmiths
What services do residential locksmiths offer?
Residential locksmiths in the UK offer a wide variety of services for homeowners and landlords, such as emergency lockouts, lock installation and replacement, lock repair, key cutting, key duplication, and rekeying. Moreover, locksmiths can help consult with homeowners regarding security features, including CCTV and burglar alarm installation.
How do I know if I need a residential locksmith?
The most important time to contact a residential locksmith is if your home has been burglarised or if your locks have been damaged. If you’ve been locked out of your home or have lost or misplaced your keys, residential locksmiths can provide emergency assistance.
How much do residential locksmiths charge for their services?
It depends. The cost of hiring a residential locksmith can vary widely depending on which services you require, the amount of labour required, and whether or not you require emergency assistance. Generally, locksmiths in the UK will charge more outside of normal trading hours and in large metro areas such as London.
Are residential locksmiths available 24/7?
Not always. Most residential locksmiths in the UK provide 24-hour assistance, 7 days a week, including on bank holidays to better serve their customers. It is strongly recommended that you try to contact a residential locksmith using Rated Locksmiths and enquire about their availability before agreeing to any work.
Can a residential locksmith open any type of lock?
Most experienced and qualified residential locksmiths are capable of handling just about any problem you may encounter with your lock or keys. This includes all traditional locks such as deadbolts, sashlocks, mortice locks, and safes, as well as electronic keyless systems.
What should I look for in a residential locksmith?
The most important traits to look for in a residential locksmith in the UK are experience, reputability, and response time. The former two are especially important as locksmithing is not a regulated industry in the UK and an experienced and reputable locksmith is most likely not a rogue trader. Choose a locksmith from the Rated Locksmiths network for vetted and approved residential locksmithing services.
Find a residential locksmith near you
Rated Locksmiths is a nationwide network of vetted and approved locksmiths covering towns and cities in the UK. Get a no-obligation quote from a local residential locksmith today.