The Seymour Locksmiths Blog
Arriving home or to the office to find your locked out can be distressing, especially when you don’t know where you left the keys. Did I leave them at home? Did I lock the door? Has someone picked my keys up? All sorts of questions start running through your mind.
Then the question arrives of what should I do? The first thing to think about is getting back in the house. Call a reputable Locksmith. Go onto Google and search for a locksmith for Shoreham, Worthing, Lancing or wherever your property is located, type in the place name followed by the service you require, this is good practice to search for any local services you require as it supports your local community. Then by checking before you call that the Locksmith is generally local to you.
How Do You find a Local Locksmith?
Once you have completed your search, ignore the paid ads at the top of your search results, most of the time these are national companies advertising as local but in fact, are miles away and will keep you guessing as to what time they will actually arrive. Plus, because they pay Google to be placed at the top of your search page that cost is often passed on to the customer, so not only are you being deceived your actually risking being charged over the top for the job of getting you back into your property.
Call the local Locksmith who is generally local to you, he/she will be at your property much quicker than any national locksmith, will not charge over the top prices as he/she has a reputation to keep within his working area.
How do I know he/she is a Local Locksmith?
Have a look around the website before you call, most genuine Locksmiths will have contact details on the company website, you can check the address, do you recognize the address and phone number? Is the dialling code the correct one for your area.
Calling the Locksmith
Once you’re happy that the number your dialling is for a local Locksmith, ring the number and ask the following questions.
- How much is the cost of getting me back in my property?
- Are there any additional fees?
- Will you be able to gain entry without damaging my lock or door?
- How can I pay you?
- Will I receive an invoice stating what work was carried out?
- How much is the cost of getting me back in my property?
How much is the cost of getting me back in my property?
Question one, it’s always best to ask what you’re expected to pay, Some not so reputable Locksmiths will charge extra for just turning up before they do anything.
Are there any additional fees?
Question two, Make sure to ask this, you know then that the price is fixed to what you have been told before they turn up.
Will you be able to gain entry without damaging the door?
Question three, in most cases any reputable Locksmith should be able to gain entry without any damage to the lock or door by using methods that he/she has perfected over many hours of practice and training.
How can I pay you?
Question four, It’s best if you can pay by card or check.
Why is this? All card payments are recorded, in the event of a problem your bank or building society can intervene. The same goes for paying by check, in the event of a problem you can cancel the check. If the Locksmith askes for cash only, I’d be suspicious, A properly run business should not have to ask for cash payment only.
Will I receive stating what work was carried out?
Question five, Receiving a properly written out invoice is important. It should show the Locksmiths details as follows:
- Company name.
- Company trading address and contact details.
- VAT number if registered for charging VAT.
- A description as to what work was carried out plus any materials used.
The Local Locksmith
The Locksmith you have called should ask you some questions, so he/she can determine what task they are doing, therefore being able to give you a fixed price.
Jeff at Seymour Locksmiths will ask you three questions.
- What type of door do I need to gain entry to? Wooded, plastic or metal?
- Do you have identification on you?
- The full postal address of the property.
What type of door do I need to gain entry to?
Question one, This is so I can determine what type of lock I need to gain entry too, being able to then give you a fixed price as long as no parts are required.
Do you have identification on you?
Question two, This is so I can determine if you have the right of entry to the property, you’d be surprised at the number of people who do try this when they have no right of entry. If you do not have identification on you but can prove that you live at the property then all is ok.
The full postal address of the property
Question three, This is so I can arrive at your property at the time I have informed the customer. I will be using satellite navigation to tell me the distance to travel.
The locksmith should then arrive at the property, preferably in a sign written van that is equipped with the correct tools and materials to get you back inside quickly and efficiently.
I hope by reading this simple guide to “Being locked Out’ will help you gain access to your property with as little disruption and cost you and your family.
Jeremiah and Charles Chubb first invented the deadlock as we know it today during the early 19 century. Previously the brother’s main work was ship fitting, the rapid urbanization of Europe brought on a crime increase in home burglaries. In 1817 a high profile burglary was carried out at Portsmouth dockyard prompting the government to organize a competition to produce a lock that could only be opened by its own key.
Jeremiah already had an interest in lock engineering inspired by Robert Barron and Joseph Brahma. He began his own design for a four lever lock that if picked or tried with the wrong key would stop working until a separate piece was used to reset the lock. When the model was perfected he presented it to the government and claimed his prize money, at the time this was £100, £10,000 in today’s money. This new locks effectiveness was tested by a convict at the time who was renowned for picking locks. He was offered a free pardon from the government and £100 from Jeremiah Chubb if he could pick the new lock design, after two months of trying he gave up.
By 1820 Charles had seen the expertise in his brother’s engineering and together they founded the Chubb company and set up a factory in Wolverhampton.
Chubb continued to flourish and produce the excellent safes and locks we still see today.
Early Chubb Deadlock
The Modern Deadlock
The principle of the deadlock design is still to this day the same as the early deadlocks produced by Chubb. Levers within the lock body are lifted by a key which in turn move a deadbolt out of the lock body and into a keep which is situated within the door frame.
The design of the Chubb has been copied by many other companies wanting to produce a deadlock for the market. The security market was huge in the late 19th century, other lock companies quickly made a very good profit and the deadlock became very widely used in commercial buildings and private dwellings.
This prompted new designs with better security for the general public throughout Europe. Crime statistics fell dramatically during this early period due to the deadlock becoming more widespread throughout Europe and the Locksmithing Industry was born.
Today I believe that it’s important to have good security on external doors, combined with a Nightlatch a deadlock fitted by a professional to a wooden door is still one of the best forms of protecting your property from unwanted entry.
Why Is It Important To Have A Good Quality Deadlock?
Because quite simply an opportunist thief will usually move on to the next door once he’s discovered that your door is protected by a good quality Deadlock.
Deadlock Fitted to Wooden door
Other forms of the Deadlock
The modern deadlock comes in a variety of forms. The Sashlock is commonly used throughout the UK on wooden doors. The Sashlock in principle is the same as a Deadlock, however, the Sashlock uses a latch as well as the Deadbolt. The latch is operated by a set of handles and keeps the door closed without having to lock the Deadbolt.
These are again the same principle as the deadlock however on the internal side of the door a lever is fitted which when used can lock or unlock the deadlock without having to use a key. These are mainly fitted to communal doors where escape needs to be made without having to find a key. Meaning no one can be locked inside.
Deadlocks for Internal Doors
Most Deadlocks for internal doors have 2 or 3 levers as opposed to 5 levers. This is so the deadlock case can be manufactured with the body of the lock being of smaller thickness, so it can be fitted into the thinner internal door. They come in a variety of sizes and finishes to suit different circumstances where a lock is required.
Three Lever Sashlock
British Standard Deadlocks
A British Standard Deadlock is mainly for external doors, they will have five levers sometimes six, they will have been tested and approved and therefore carry the British Standard Kite Mark. In today’s modern world it’s important to have these fitted to your front wooden door or rear wooden door to meet insurance approval and standards.
British Standard Deadlock
Bathroom Deadlocks are designed in a way that can be locked from the inside but not from the outside sometimes showing that the room is occupied. These come as Deadlocks or Sashlocks and can be integrated to use the handle to lock the door.
Rim Deadlocks are designed to fit doors where conventional deadlocks will not fit because the door is to thin. A conventional Deadlock can only be fitted to doors that are at least 35mm in thickness.
Mainly found on older doors that belong to builders that are under the rule of listed buildings.
They are also fitted to garden gates in a lot of circumstances.
What’s the difference between a cheap and an expensive locking cylinder?
The answer to this question is the same as a low-cost new car compared to a higher cost car. They will both take you from A to B as they should, but one will do it better and more efficient than the other. This is the same as locks, it really is the higher the price the better the product. Take a standard Euro cylinder as an example. Yes, it will lock your door and work as it should. However, will it protect you against unlawful entry to your property? Yes, it will, but only to a level that we in the trade consider being high risk. It will not keep intruders out who know and have learned how to bypass these cheaper cylinders. It will not withstand, snapping, drilling and picking.
A Low-cost Cylinder will cost around £15 were as a high-cost cylinder will be around £65, not a great deal of difference when you consider what a lock actually does, keeping you, your family and valuables safe and secure.
Friendly, polite, quick worker. Had matching replacement lock with him, definitely recommend.
Mr Alan Leesmith, Hassocks | Checkatrade™
Make the opportunist thief move from your door to the next door.
The opportunist thief is just that, an opportunist. He will look for easy pickings, he will not choose a door that has a lock in place that he can’t manipulate within a few minutes. He’s after a quick entry to grab your car keys or anything that can be sold on quickly. Detering these types of thieves is always ongoing as they learn new tricks. Having a lock in the door that makes it very difficult to gain entry will simply make him move to the next easier door, it really is that simple. Combining a good quality lock or cylinder that has been tested and approved by the trade and other bodies with secondary measures such as a light that comes on when someone approaches will deter that opportunist. Other secondary measures to consider would be having a spy hole fitted combined with a door chain. These all help you keep those thieves out.
Every door can be broken into given enough time and skill.
This is very true, however making it as difficult as possible is what we are trying to achieve by having a lock in the door that will withstand snapping, picking, bumping and drilling. Choosing a cylinder that has been tested to withstand attacks is going to make them simply move on. They will not spend any more than ten minutes trying to gain entry, remember they are an opportunist. They will not work on a lock that is causing a lot of noise to bypass. This is why accredited bodies such as the Door and Hardware Federation and the Window and Doors federation have been working alongside lock and cylinder manufacturers to test and approve cylinders to withstand such attacks. By working together, these accredited companies are making life hard for the opportunist thief and allowing us to sleep more easily. In my day to day work, I have seen accredited cylinders that have been attacked and the thief has simply given up and walked away.
Prompt and polite. Very helpful.
Mrs Jones, Lancing | Checkatrade™
Opportunist thieves do their homework. They have to stay one step ahead of the lock manufacturers.
We all work at further educating ourselves in whatever line of work we are in. The opportunist thief is no different. They are always trying and working on new ways to gain entry and how to bypass new locks. As a locksmith I have to do the same when you call a locksmith out on an emergency because you’re locked out in Worthing, Shoreham-by-Sea or anywhere in our service area we need to be able to gain entry for you quickly and an efficiently without damaging your lock.
The manufacturer of locks and cylinders are trying to stay one step ahead of us all. It takes me some weeks of practice to be able to open a new lock that is accredited. The opportunist thief will not do this because simply there is still enough houses and business premises that are using the old style standard locks and cylinders. Don’t make things easy for them.
To gain a better knowledge and understanding of the different levels that locks and cylinder have been tested too and given accreditation such as the British Standard you can check out my other blogs.
The work was carried out very efficiently and the chap was meticulous about his work. He was careful to prevent dust spreading into other rooms and tidied up thoroughly. He also took the time to explain how the lock worked.
Mrs Tournoff, Steyning | Checkatrade™
Should I Change My MPLS Multipoint Locking System Cylinder?
MPLS (Multipoint Locking System) fitted to your front door, back door or Patio doors is a great locking system, but where a lot of these systems fail to meet insurance approval is the cylinder that has probably been in place since the system was installed. The cylinder is where you use the key and is separate to the MPLS. There are four Kitemark standards, one star, two star, three star and Diamond approved cylinders.
Is My MPLS Cylinder Secure?
The average time it takes to force a door with a standard cylinder is 2-3 minutes. In most cases, the cylinders are bypassed using the now common method known as Cylinder Snapping. You can read my blog about Cylinder Snapping here.
Most Kitemarked cylinders will withstand snapping, but they are not that difficult to bypass with the correct knowledge, and believe me when I say these opportunist thieves are always trying to be one step ahead.
A Kitemark cylinder with 3 stars will have been tested to a very high standard and if passed it will be awarded the TS007 3 star rating, meaning it will protect against every attempted break-in.
The easiest way to check if your cylinder is Kitemarked is to ID the cylinder and see if it is accredited. A standard cylinder is what most uPVC door manufacturers use because simply they are cheaper than a cylinder that has been manufactured and tested to withstand attack by a burglar.
Cylinders that have been tested to a standard recognised by insurance companies and the police federation will have a star grading. 1 star to 3 star cylinders have all been tested and approved.
Having at least a 1 star cylinder fitted to all your external uPVC doors will make most opportunist thieves simply move on to the next easy door. The simple fact that you have now made it much harder to bypass your MPLS by manipulating the cylinder will prevent a lot of opportunist thieves from entering your property.
What’s The Difference Between One Star, Two Star, Three Star And Diamond Approved Cylinders?
A 3 star cylinder will have multiple layers of protection and will show a Kitemark with 3 stars above. The 3 star cylinder will have been tested to withstand, Drill Attacks, Snapp Attacks, Picking and bumping methods.
The 1 star and 2 star cylinders can be used in conjunction with approved hardware such as handles. Door hardware which has been approved in the same way that 3 star cylinders have will also have a 1 or 2 star approval. Using hardware that has 2 star and a cylinder that has 1 or 2 star will give you 3 star approval.
SS312 Diamond Approved Standard Cylinder
These cylinders are the top range when it comes to safeguarding your property. Approved by the Sold Secure’s Approved Diamond Standard. They have been tested and passed the 3star rating but because these are so indestructible a new Diamond rating has been created.
As of Jan 2019, there are 13 cylinder manufacturers producing the Diamond Cylinders. One cylinder manufacturer is so confident in its cylinder that it guarantees to the customer £1000 if the property was wilfully entered through their cylinder, very impressive I’d say.
Take A Look At A Diamond Cylinder
I’m going to explain in more detail what a Diamond Cylinder can do to withstand an attack. The Ultion Diamond Cylinder is, in my opinion, the best cylinder on the market today.
This video will show just how easy it is to gain entry through a standard cylinder.
Nine seconds to gain entry, unbelievable I hear you say while the Diamond Cylinder is 1.5 hours in, lots of noise and still no entry.
The Ultion cylinder goes into lockdown mode when under attack. This is because the Ultion has a hidden pin that when attacked goes into lockdown mode and is very difficult to bypass.
Lock picking technology is also used to prevent picking and bumping to gain entry, I know of plenty of Locksmiths who simply cannot gain entry using the traditional methods to gain entry.
Twenty point drill protection, each pin and plate is made from hardened steel, precisely positioned to protect against attempts at drilling. Keys for this cylinder are also restricted to you, meaning no one else can have keys cut. You are in full control of your keys.
Trusted to protect, Ultion will give you the customer £1000 if your Ultion cylinder is bypassed using the common method of cylinder snapping. That is some statement and the only cylinder on the market to do this.
Everybody approves the Ultion Diamond Cylinder. Locksmiths approve, the Police approve and British Standards approve.
For any queries or to book an appointment to have this professionally fitted please call Jeff at Seymour Locksmiths.
Should You Accept Bitcoin at Your Small Business?
As self-confessed Bitcoin enthusiasts here at Seymour Locksmiths we value the importance of decentralised ledger technologies. They have the power to change a lot of things, from financial transactions to unlocking your front door (yep, Bitcoin-powered smart locks are a thing).
In 2014 a large school of thought suggested that the main breakthrough use case for Bitcoin would be peer to peer transactions. That being customers and businesses paying for goods and services directly between one another without having to rely on payment networks such as Visa.
We decided to put this theory to the test. In September 2014 we officially started accepting Bitcoin for our locksmith services in Worthing, shortly after we also starting accepting Dash and expanded acceptance to our entire service area. Since that point over four years ago and the time of writing, we have not had one customer ask to pay in Bitcoin, Dash or any other cryptocurrency.
Why does no one want to pay their local locksmith with Bitcoin?
I could list 50 different reasons why but for us it boils down to two main facts. A very small percentage of our customers posses Bitcoin in a hot wallet ready to transfer and secondly, Bitcoin can be slow and expensive for small payments.
It’s not all doom and gloom.
While none of our customers has actually paid a locksmithing invoice with Bitcoin we have had lots of interested people wanting to discuss the subject in depth. Over the years we have noticed a steady uptick in customer awareness of Bitcoin with a huge surge during the bull run and news cycle during mid to late 2017.
Will Seymour Locksmiths keep accepting Bitcoin?
Yes! We are looking forward to trying our new technologies that are being built on top of Bitcoin such as the Lightning Network. We are expecting to see a dramatic improvement in Bitcoin’s ability to serve the small payments markets such as the one of a Shoreham locksmith. We are also looking at adding other cryptocurrencies as payment options, if you have any suggestions we’d love to hear from you. This time we will trial new currencies for our Locksmith services in Hove before introducing it as a payment option to our entire service area.
Should my small business accept Bitcoin?
We think accepting Bitcoin is a positive move for your small business. While you may not get anyone paying in it now, it does come with other added benefits:
- You are helping spread awareness and understanding of Bitcoin to your local community
- It can bring traffic to your website. Sites like Cryptowisser have pages dedicated to listing businesses that accept Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies.
- It shows your customers that you are a forward thinking company.
How does my business accept Bitcoin?
If you’d like us to write a write a blog explaining how to start accepting Bitcoin at your local business please let us know on our Facebook page or by using the contact form on our home page.
As a qualified locksmith, I’m often called out to residents who have locked themselves out. However, I’m seeing more and more residents actually not locking the the door correctly. If you have a uPVC door with a Multipoint locking system then please make sure you know how to operate it correctly. Below I will explain how to lock one type of system that many residents do not lock correctly.
There are mainly three types of Multipoint Locking Systems (MPLS) used in the UK.
Lift Lever system, Nightlatch system and Key Wind system, These are mainly fitted to uPVC and composite doors.
The Nightlatch system is the one I’d like to explain how to operate them correctly.
Many customers are unaware that simply closing the door and lifting the handle on either side of the door does not actually lock the door.
Yes, you still need to use a key to open the door from the outside which is only closed in Nightlatch mode, this means the door is closed on the latch only, not the locking points. The latch can been seen on the leading edge of the door, with the door open; operate the inside handle downwards, you will see the latch retract into the door. The outside handle will not retract the latch back, only the key will. This is a sure way to determine which MPLS you have.
The correct procedure to locking and unlocking a Nightlatch MPLS can be seen on the diagram below.
From the outside of the door the key will retract the latch and the door will be open. On the inside of the door the handle will retract the latch. This is known as split spindle operation.
Leaving your property whilst not using the key to lock the system will leave the property vulnerable to opportunist thieves, who know what to look for on these types of doors to show them that the door is actually not locked and is only closed in Nightlatch mode. With the correct tools the door can very easily be opened in less than a few minutes.
In some cases Insurance companies will consider this negligence on the proprietor and will be reluctant to pay out on any claims because the door was not locked and only closed in nightlatch mode. Insurers can soon determine that this is the case because there will be no forced entry at the property.
I hope by reading this blog that you will have a better understanding on how to operate these types of Multipoint locks. If you would like to discuss any of the above then please feel free to give Jeff a call at Seymour Locksmiths.
Ways to Secure Your New Home
For my latest blog I thought I’d give you the reader some guidelines of jobs to do when moving house and ways to secure your new home.
Finally after weeks of making sure everything is done, you’ve now received your keys for the new home. You can relax now, there’s still a few boxes to unpack but they can wait, it’s time to put your feet up. But wait! Are you done with all the essential things that need doing when moving? You’ve moved in and all your worldly possessions are in the house. There’s one question I’d like to ask. Are you secure in your new home?
Ive put together a little checklist, that if you follow you will be able to answer that question shortly. Or give Jeff a call at Seymour Locksmiths for a free no obligation Home Security Check.
Change The Locks
You’d be surprised at how many new occupants don’t change the locks on external doors when moving into a new property. The previous occupants will have provided you with a set of keys, but do you know if these are the only keys for your new property?
Often keys are given to tradesmen, house sitters, dog walkers etc. In some cases the previous occupants keep a set of keys. All these keys mean anyone can gain entry to your new home using none destructive measures. If the worse did happen and you were burgled, your home insurance may default on paying out any claim that you make because the locks have not been changed.
Check fitted door and window locks
Walk around the house, checking all external doors. Do the doors close properly?
If you have uPVC doors fitted, does the multipoint locking system work as it should?
Can the door be easily locked?
Check your windows. Do they close securely and does the handle lock? If sash windows are fitted, can they be opened from the outside? Do the sash window locks work?
Heres a simple infographic that explains quickly how to spot if your multipoint lock isn’t working as it should.
Most Multipoint locking Systems require a 5 year service and adjustment to keep them working as they should.
You can read my previous blog regarding Multipoint Locking Systems.
The front door, does it have a letter box? A lot of opportunist thieves fish keys through the letterbox. Don’t leave your keys in view of an open letterbox. You can have fitted a letterbox cowl, this makes it difficult to fish anything through the letterbox, a very cheap solution.
Consider Home security systems
More and more homes now have a security system in place, this can be a simple DIY system or a fully monitored secure system fitted by experts. You can evaluate your area and choose a system that works for you. Some basics to consider are an alarm, motion detecters for the doors and windows, carbon monoxide and smoke detecters.
Redirect Your Mail
Ensure your post is redirected to your new address. Lost or missed mail is a security risk.
You don’t want sensitive letters like bank statements falling into the wrong hands.
Secure Your Wifi Password
It’s easy to forget this one, most people stick to the password provided by their internet provider. An easy search will show anyone which network you are with. With the correct knowledge your password can be gained and access to your wifi and internet usage can be seen.
Checking Trades People I.D.
Moving home usually means calling on some trades people. Check there I.D. before letting them in. Criminals are known to target new home owners using false I.D. to gain access to your property. If your unsure about the I.D. do not let them in until you have verified they are genuine.
Get To Know Your Neighbours
Knowing your neighbours is a great way to make your property more secure. Your new neighbours will keep an eye on any strangers and in return you can do the same for them. If they know you and your family and recognise you they may just ask a stranger what they’re doing.
So pop round with a bottle of wine and introduce yourself. You’d be amazed at how many new occupants to a property don’t even know their immediate neighbours.
Great now you’ve gone through all the above, do the rest of the family know about all the measures you have put into place to secure your home? Sit them down, go through how the alarm system works, make sure the children know to lock doors and not leave keys lying around. I’m called out often because one of the family has lost their set of keys. Do you have the local police contact details and your local locksmiths details?
Thanks for reading my latest blog, I hope by simply following this easy check list you make your new home more secure for you and your family.
As part of my job, I feel its very important to not just get people back in their home when locked out, but to try and make sure that they don’t carry on locking themselves out and find the best solution for thier circumstances.
I received a call from the son of an elderly gentleman in Worthing, the son was in London that day and was concerned for his father. After searching Locksmith Worthing online and giving me a call, he explained that his father is suffering from dementia and he was very confused as to why he was locked out.
Having arrived at the house to see the gentleman in such a confused state, it was clear that I would need to get him back inside as soon as possible. He had three keys on his keying, one for the front door porch, one for the inside front door and one for the back door, that amount of keys would confuse anyone!
For my latest blog I thought id keep you up to date with new products on the market.
ERA window and Door Restrictor
This latest window and door restrictor is a great and very simple to use device and for the first time a window and door restrictor meets standards set out by the Door and Hardware Federation. A great device for balcony windows and doors were young children are in the house.
Nightlatch – What To Know
When it comes to locksmith security, it’s easy to be blinded by new technology. Although some of the modern security solutions have proved to be popular, there’s no denying that the conventional measures of yesteryear are still as popular today.
The nightlatch is commonplace in many homes and businesses, and this blog will explain what a nightlatch is, and the safety measures it can offer both businesses and homeowners.
If your nightlatch question isn’t answered by the end of this blog, please leave a comment and I will update the blog to include an answer for you. Or, if it’s urgent, get in touch directly.
Brilliant, Jeff came to my house within 8 mins of me calling, I am delighted with what he did.
Mrs Janice Johnston, Southwick | Checkatrade