Anybody can be a locksmith

Duplicate keys, change locks, open locked doors, install alarms… it’s all in a days work of a locksmith. And, unless you live in one of the fifteen states that require licensing, anybody can open shop and call themselves “locksmith.”

You’re just going to get the newspaper by the front door and your toddler or pet decides the door should be closed. Slam, the door is locked and you’re standing outside, with the keys on the kitchen table. A familiar scenario that happens every day in all parts of the country. The only thing that can help you now is calling a locksmith which can quickly become very expensive if you call the wrong company.

Often the situation will be used to rip off the consumer. In an emergency there is no choice but to pay the totally over priced fee. Occurences like this have given the locksmith profession a bad name.

Although a few technical colleges offer locksmith training programs it is not required to be certifiied, making it extremely easy for shady individuals to set up a locksmith business. They lack the skills a true professional locksmith offers: key duplicating, installation and repair of locks, electronic lock installation, and product knowledge that helps the consumer to decide which product will be the best fit for their particular needs.

So how do you recognize a good locksmith? Well, if you live in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia or Nassau County, Long Island, New York City, Hillsborough County, Florida, and Miami-Dade, Florida – ask to see the locksmith’s license. These states, counties and city require licensing. Often a serious locksmith business will also belong to a professional association such as the NLA (National Locksmith Association) or the Better Business Bureau.

The best recommendation will undoubtedly come from family, a friend or neighbor. Ask around for the name of a good locksmith, somebody they used before and were happy with. Then keep the contact information handy in case of an emergency.

Jim Arsenault is a Connecticut licensed Master Locksmith with over 30 years experience. He’ll repair or install a new lock at your Connecticut home or business and you’ll always be charged a fair price. Email Jim or give him a call at 860-678-9797.