I have been a mobile locksmith for the better part of 10 years. I have worked in and alongside all facets of the locksmith industry. Locksmithing is a critical trade that is often underrepresented in the trades community, and the people at large. But what is a locksmith, and why is it important to know? As one locksmith I spoke with frankly stated, “a locksmith works with locks.” The essentialism is quite true, yet fails to engage with the dynamic variety within the industry. Locksmithing comprises specific knowledge and skills designed for maintaining access control. Access control ensures that those who are allowed entrance to a specific area or building are permitted, while those who are not allowed entrance to a building are denied. Access control is everywhere – be it the locks on your house or store, your vehicle, parkade or gated community. Many locksmiths I have sat down with were either owner and operator of their own business, or they owned a locksmith shop from which they dispatched mobile technicians. Locksmith technicians operate in many forms and often take on a specialized roles in the industry.
Automotive technicians specialize in automobile locks. For vehicle locks, each year, make, and model often has different internal mechanisms, unique and specific electronic and mechanical hardware. Thus automotive locksmithing has a steep learning curb and requires a large base of specialized tools and Locksmith In East London knowledge. This work largely involves opening locked cars, cutting specailized keys, and occasionally tearing out steering coloumbs, door panels and reporgraming onboard computers. Most often however, automotive technicians open locked vehicle doors. Automotive technicians often intercede the dealership-client relationship to provide automotive services at a better price and by more reliable technicians.
Another specialized role is the emergency locksmith. Emergency technicians are on call 24 hours a day. They respond to lockouts, fix break-ins, and repair broken doors. They also engage in basic locksmith work, such as rekeying locks and installing door hardware. Emergency technicians deal with a plethora of moral and ethical crisis. Thus it is important to ensure that your emergency technician be licenced, bonded and insured. Emergency technicians are called in to change the locks when a spouse has been abused. They open the door into grandma’s house when she hasn’t answered the phone in two weeks, and they change the locks on your door when someone you don’t trust has the keys. Emergency technicians work with people who are scared, angry, and vulnerable and often in conjunction with the police.
A less exciting but equally important aspect of locksmithing is on the commercial industrial side of business. Commercial locksmiths work on construction sites and developing buildings. They install doors and door hardware. They assign master key systems for the building and integrate construction masters for the workers. Alternatively, locksmiths can reside within pre-existing institutions. Hospitals, prisons, schoolboards, are examples of institutions which keep full time locksmiths on their payroll. High security specialists work with high-security locks, exclusive keyways, electronic locks and safe work. They control access to highly exclusive areas and possess sensitive knowledge of those areas.