This month we continue our look into the wide range of security related services now being offered by modern independent locksmiths all over the UK and we’ll also look at why using a large national locksmith company over a small independent locksmith is always a bad idea and can leave you with a large bill for substandard work.
Continuing on from our last article we look at other services now being offered by many independent locksmith that are not what you would consider core locksmith services such as emergency call out, lock replacements etc.
In our article last month we mentioned Emergency Boarding Up services and Automotive Locksmith Services that many locksmith now offer, this month we touch on even more obscure, seemingly unrelated services such and burglar and intruder alarms, CCTV systems, Door Entry Systems and UPVc window repair. Today we’ll discuss a couple of these services; burglar alarms and CCTV systems.
Burglar and Intruder Alarms
Burglar and Intruder Alarms where once considered the ultimate deterrent when they became affordable and more popular with the UK homeowner back in the late 1990’s, early 2000’s but over the last two decades they became less effective and not because the burglars devised ways of circumventing the alarm system so it wouldn’t “go off” but because the sound of a house alarm going off became so commonplace in suburban areas that neighbours and other local residents simply began to ignore them.
This is fine if you’ve paid for a top of the range monitored system where the alarm company is able to either alert the local police or send round their own security people, but most people simply had an unmonitored alarm that just “went off” and because of this the alarm industry suffered and a house alarm was no longer at the top of every homeowners list of things they must have.
However, today it’s a totally different story and due to new affordable technology, mobile phones, the internet, low cost broadband etc and homeowners are now able to do their own monitoring from anywhere in the world making burglar alarms popular again.
Many locksmiths now supply, fit and maintained burglar alarms are part of their service.
Residential CCTV Systems
Just like the home burglar alarm, The home or residential CCTV system has become more affordable for British homeowners over the years and what once only used to been seen monitoring businesses, offices, shops, factories etc could now be seen monitoring private homes too.
But, just like the burglar alarm, the CCTV system had one problem! Without 24 hour monitoring the systems where more or less useless with their only redeeming feature being the fact that most CCTV systems recorded and the burglar didn’t want their face recorded, thus identifying them, however, this was easily remedied simply by the burglar wearing a mask, stocking or balaclava over his/her head.
Fortunately CCTV technology has come a long way over the last 20 years and just like the burglar alarm you can now do your own monitoring from your mobile phone, tablet or computer from anywhere in the World and many systems even have motion detection so you can be alerted by email or text message should movement in your so called empty home be detected.
Many independent locksmiths in the UK now supply, fit and maintained home CCTV systems as part of their service and large UK cities such as Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield have an abundance of locksmiths and security companies offering CCTV installations.. Simply search for CCTV installers in your area i.e. CCTV Installer Derby to get a list of local companies rather.
Independent Locksmith or National Locksmith Company
At the beginning of this article we mentioned the dangers of using a large national locksmith company over a professional independent locksmith.
An Independent locksmith is typically self employed and has undergone proper locksmith training at a certified locksmith training college, the largest in UK being Train Locksmiths near Manchester. The locksmith industry is a professional pursued by many different people from all walks of life, young people just starting out, semi-retired people and many ex-armed forces train as locksmiths when they leave the army as it’s a respected professional and the MOD on occasion has been known to supplement or even pay for the training course.
Are you ex armed forces looking for a new respected locksmith career? Visit Train Locksmiths to find out what they currently have on offer for ex armed forces locksmith training courses
Unfortunately not everyone touting themselves as a locksmith, burglar alarm installer, CCTV system installer has had the required professional training, this is because the Locksmiths industry is unregulated and there is no official accreditation or certification required meaning that anyone can set up as a locksmith regardless of their skill level and training. This means that there are many rogue, unskilled, amateur locksmith out there touting for work so caution must be taken when choosing a locksmith online.
With many industries it is advisable to simply choose a large national company to make certain that you are getting skilled workers, the locksmith industry however, is the complete opposite, never choose a national/nationwide locksmith company, they are not what you think.
A genuine, professional, fully trained locksmith with usually set up on his/her own, have a website and tout for their own business… They will generally have reviews and feedback both on their own website and on their Google business page and maybe of independent review websites such a Trustpilot and TradersReview.
The amateur locksmith can’t do this because their lack of skill is apparent and bad reviews and feedback are commonplace, so they join a national or nationwide locksmith company to get work.
Now there is a common misconception about what a national or nationwide locksmith company is; most people believe they are professional locksmiths with engineers based all over the UK when in fact this couldn’t be farther from the truth. These national companies are basically call centres who sign up amateur locksmiths with the offer of work, the locksmith pays and annual or monthly fee and the call centre sends them work when they get a call in their area, the call centre also takes a cut of the final invoices. Invoices from national locksmith companies are typically 4 to 6 times higher than those of independents.
Most of the locksmiths who signed up to these national call centres are unskilled “have a go” amateurs who do so because they can hide behind the company, know one knows who they really are or their real contact info. It’s rare you’ll get a professional independent locksmith signed up to one of these companies.
Bad reviews and overcharging are routine with these companies so is bad service, poor workmanship, extortionate call out fees and long waits.
A tip is to not to click on the top sponsored links in a Google search for a locksmith, the independent locksmith can’t afford this level of paid marketing so just scroll down until you get to the organic results that show genuine, local locksmith and you should be OK.