Your home's main entrance is a clear indicator of how secure it is. A weak and damaged front door will be immediately identified by burglars, who will then break in without difficulty. However, if you work with reliable locksmiths to bolster your door and security, you may be able to protect yourself and your family from theft and other threats.
But how do you find a reliable locksmith? Is a locksmith really police-approved? Let’s find out!
Are Locksmiths Police Approved?
It’s the middle of the night, freezing, and you are locked out of your house. You go online, search for a local locksmith, and see that they are approved by the police, so you call them. In emergencies, people don’t think about accreditations or certificates; they just want to be free from a horrible situation.
It’s completely understandable, but who is to say that the locksmith is not a fraudster, pretending to be someone they aren’t? Thus, staying informed about such information is important so you are prepared for the next crisis.
For instance, do the police actually provide the approval of locksmiths? Unfortunately, there are no locksmiths who have been approved or registered by the police, and anyone in the industry who makes such a claim is not being honest.
Therefore, there are no recognized organizations that certify and train locksmiths. To ensure that you receive trustworthy trade services, various US and UK organizations train and verify locksmiths, as we shall describe later.
How To Spot A Fake Locksmith
Since we now know that locksmiths are not approved or registered by the police, this makes it more difficult to distinguish between a fake and a reliable locksmith.
However, the following are some ways you can spot a fake locksmith.
One of the biggest red flags regarding rogue locksmiths is that they make false claims and display false certifications and accreditations on their websites. They will claim to be vetted by 3rd-party associations or certified by a trade association, but how do you determine if the locksmiths are working with the MLA or SSAIB?
Reliable and legitimate locksmiths will gladly display and show proof of their association with 3rd-party sources and link to their sites.
False advertising is a significant issue that most people succumb to. Rogue locksmiths will list prices that are incredibly low in their advertising. These are false charges; if you hire one of these locksmiths, they will ultimately charge significantly more.
Additionally, anyone can pay to have their advertisement appear on Google's top searches. Despite Google making it clear that the advertisement is paid for by placing the pre-text "ad" before it, some users choose to ignore it. Therefore, avoid falling for services that are offered at inexpensive prices.
As stated above, there is no such thing as a registered or police-approved locksmith. Thus, anyone claiming to be so is insincere and should be avoided at all costs. The police are also not accountable for providing any recommendations, but they might advise on working with MLA or SSAIB-certified locksmiths due to their rigorous vetting process.
Another warning sign is when the locksmiths are using subcontractors. The first reason is that they might not be nearby, and the second is that you have no idea who they are outsourcing your work to. Gather information on the locksmith or subcontractors doing the work and to whom you are paying when dealing with such locksmiths. In general, we would stay away from these locksmiths.
Poor skills are another telltale sign of fraudulent locksmiths. We could definitely handle it ourselves if piercing a lock and replacing it with a new one is the sole option for strengthening a door. Therefore, a locksmith is probably unreliable if they attempt to drill the lock on the first try without attempting any other options. But occasionally, the only option is to drill the lock.
How Do Organizations Help?
Throughout the article, we mentioned non-profit organizations such as MLA and SSAIB; these organizations train and vet locksmiths to ensure you get reliable trade service. Following are some of the reasons why the police might recommend working with MLA or SSAIB-certified locksmiths:
- Locksmiths undergo a strict vetting process.
- All locksmith companies registered with MLA and SSAIB are regularly checked to ensure their employees and working standards are consistent.
- All companies and individuals are registered and insured.
- All locksmiths hold a valid security license.
Finding a trustworthy locksmith is more difficult than it first appears, but if you know what to look out for then you will be safe. There is no such thing as being police-approved, so the lesson here is to not believe baseless claims that there are. Be careful out there!