Category: Locksmith Information

Home Security Check – Call Lock Solutions

A home security check on your property can be completed by Lock Solutions whether it’s domestic or commercial.

Home Security Check

Old Keys

As a locksmith covering the majority of the Thames Valley we see all sorts of properties with inadequate home security measures in place. Here are Lock Solutions top 10 tips for ensuring your home is as secure as it can be.

  1. The number of opportunists is increasing. If your going out ensure you leave lights on in various rooms around the home. Light timers are good for this purpose.
  2. Are your locks fitted correctly? The amount of times we have been to properties where locks are installed incorrectly causing vulnerability is hugely concerning.
  3. Have a look around your home generally. Are all your windows secure, is the glass in tact. When you look through your windows do you see anything of value that could be an opportunity for unwanted guests?
  4. Sensor lighting – do you have outside lights installed and more importantly are they working? Whilst not a guaranteed security measure they will deter thieves if the doors to your property are well lit.
  5. Do you feel safe because you have a burglar alarm installed? When did you last change the code? Alarms are extremely effective but you need to change the code on a regular basis to gain maximum benefit
  6. French doors are not automatic protection from unwanted visitors just because they are PVC. Consider installing top and bottom bolts on French doors or add sash jammers to uPVC doors
  7. Do you have a shed or garage that contain items that are valuable to you? Your outbuildings are just as vulnerable if not more than your home, ensure you have adequate locks.
  8. Statistics indicate that burglaries are increasing on properties in order to steal car keys – don’t make it easy for them by leaving your keys in view of windows and doors.
  9. Have you moved home recently?, are you moving home? Have you considered changing the locks to your new home to ensure that it is completely secure and there are no rogue sets of keys with old occupiers?
  10. Call Lock Solutions to come and complete a Security Home Check on your property. Prices from £20. For a free no obligation quotation contact us on our website

07711 906667 / 0118 336 0177

Debt Collectors

Chris lives in a house that’s been converted into three flats. I’ll leave him to take over the story.

The guy who used to live in the top flat until two years ago has left debts.

When the Marston Group (Debt Collectors) has called before in person and left notes I contacted them and told them he no longer lives here.

I have contacted them several times and on the last occasion I explained the situation they said it would be fine and they would continue looking elsewhere.

Debt Collectors

But now our property received a note from – in capital letters – MARSTON HIGH COURT ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND CERTFIFED BAILIFFS.

It said: I Mr Newby attended your address today to execute a distress warrant against you on behalf of HMCS. The amount outstanding today is £715. I have been refused entry to the address and believe that you are wilfully trying to avoid me. You should be aware that there exists a power under Schedule 4A of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act to enable us to enter your property BY FORCE using locksmiths if required to execute this warrant.

The following bit was written in red. I will be attending your premises with a locksmith within 7 days to conclude this matter. I will have the authority to use the above powers if necessary.

When I phoned him on his mobile he told me to fax my details to his office. I refused, on the grounds that I don’t want to give personal information to strangers, and in any case my details are nothing to do with this situation.

He was rude, aggressive and dismissive. I called his office number and spent ages on hold trying to get through to a human being and when eventually I spoke to a woman, she just transferred the call back to Newby’s mobile. Newby gave me more aggression – at which I’d been pushed too far and must admit that I told him where to go.

The trouble is when you phone Marston you cannot speak to anyone. There is an option to contact them in writing – they have a PO box in Waltham Cross, Essex – but again you have to give your personal details. Why should I go to any effort to help them when they are so rude and this debt has nothing to do with me?

Left Out In The Cold

Left Out In The Cold

Can someone tell me that I’m not the only victim of locksmiths from hell? having been left out in the cold.

First let me admit that I’m to blame for starting this disaster. My only defence for doing something as stupid as locking myself out of my house is that I’ve just moved and hadn’t yet worked out the new front door.

I searched on Google for locksmiths in my area as anyone would.

I called one of the numbers and spoke to a national company so I asked the obvious questions: how much and how long.

The answers were £55, which seemed reasonable, and “he’ll be there very, very soon”, which sounded great.

Both answers proved hopelessly wide of the mark.

That first phone call of mine was made about 9am.

At 10.45: I was told: “He’s ten minutes away.”

At 11.20: “He’s just around the corner.”

The locksmith must have been going backwards because at 11.45 he was “30-35 minutes away”.

Perhaps I should have told them to get lost and tried a local company like Lock Solutions.

After three and a half hours he finally arrived.

Only then was I told the full cost of the service.

£55 was just the call-out fee. Drilling the lock and replacing it, plus VAT, would bring the total bill to £293.

Yes, £293.

I don’t know why I didn’t ask him politely to leave. Sticking a brick through a window and then calling a glazier would surely have been cheaper. Perhaps I was suffering from borderline hypothermia (it really was a very cold morning).

Or maybe, like so many people who’ve locked themselves out of their own house, the desperation to get back inside over-rode my normal critical faculties.

The first thing I did when I got inside and the feeling returned to my frozen fingers was to call Lock Solutions who Quoted me £75 to come and do the job. He also said the original lock won’t need to be changed.

3D Printing Key

3D Printing Key

Lock picking just became a whole lot easier. Engineers can use 3D printing key technology to produce ‘bump’ keys capable of opening millions of locks.

Their software requires only a picture of the lock in question, and couple of pieces of readily available information such as lock’s depth, to design a key that can pick even the most sophisticated of security locks.

“You don’t need much more to make a bump key,” security consultant’s announced as the Hackers On Planet Earth conference in New York City last month. Basically, if I can see your keyhole, there’s an app for that.

The technique of bumping has been practiced since at least the 1920’s and involves inserting a key into a standard lock and using a hammer to then knock the lock’s pins into place. With 3D printing key technology, the game has changed, and now even carefully designed high-security locks can be compromised.

Should aspiring lock pickers have neither a 3D printer or the know-how, they can theoretically order their bump key from 3D printing key services.

Assa Abloy told Wired that 3D printing key technology is very expensive. It’s also an unreliable trick that doesn’t work on some locks whose keys have hidden or moving parts.

Weyers and Holler claim that they’re not trying to teach thieves how to break into properties, but rather warn lock makers that traditional lock security is no longer secure. The complex key profiles upon which locksmiths have long relied is a false sense of security, according to Holler. If a protected profile is your only protection, you should be aware that’s no longer enough.

Weyers said that lock makers should be producing more modern locks, with electronic or unprintable parts: “The sky isn’t falling, but the world changes and now people can make stuff. Lock manufacturers know how to make a lock bump-resistant. And they had better.”

They have no plans to publicly release the Photo Bump software.

Locksmith Training Offered To Burglars

Locksmith Training Offered To Burglars

Got a criminal record?

Want lessons in how to open secure doors? This is your Lucky day!

Locksmith training is now available to everyone, good or bad

A LEADING locksmith training association is offering convicted criminals a crash course in lock picking.

(Company A), which advertises in recruitment magazines, charges £595 for two days’  locksmith training.

Students learn how to strip, reassemble, fit and pick an array of locks including mortice and cylinders.

Afterwards they receive a certificate that enables them to buy specialist tools.

Amazingly, staff at (Company A) claimed convicted criminals were not barred from locksmith training.

One said a criminal record would be “no problem” and then boasted to our reporter: “We’ll have you picking locks in no time.”

But (Company A) claimed last night the reporter had been misled.

He said: “I don’t know you spoke to but you have been misinformed. It’s one of my roles to decide who can join the association and who can’t. If anyone discloses a criminal conviction, we will not accept them as a member.

“And if someone does not disclose a criminal conviction, we’ll do checks on them.”

A jobseeker, who did not want to be named, said: “I’m a homeowner and hate to think there are criminals being taught how to burgle.”

“Virtually no lock seems safe if anyone can go on the course. A determined thief could do the training and be free to burgle you within 48 hours.”

To test the claims we contacted (Company A) twice posing as a potential student with convictions for theft and burglary.

The first conversation was with Staff Member 1: “Hi mate, I’m interested in going on the two-day course but was wondering about criminal records. I’ve got a record, you see.”

(Staff Member 1):”What’s the record for?”

“I’ve got drink driving, theft and burglary but they’re four years old now.”

(Staff Member 1): “To be honest, it’s not a major problem. You can still do the course and get the certificate. All the criminal record prevents you doing is becoming a member of the our organisation or advertising through our website.

“Oh, so I’ll still be able to pick locks and everything?”

(Staff Member 1): “Yeah, no problem. We teach you everything and we’ll have you picking locks in no time. It takes two full days and after that you’ll be fully qualified.

“You get a certificate recognised by us and you will be able to set up your own business or get a job.

“Like I said, you can’t advertise on our website or use our name but it doesn’t stop you advertising elsewhere.”

A call to second employee confirmed what (Company A) had said.