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Locksmiths FAQ's

Anytime Locksmiths answers all your lock, key and security related questions and helps you understand the terms used by professionals so you understand the possible home security options and various lock types when trying to secure your home or property.

Below we list the most frequently asked questions our locksmiths get as well as explanations of commonly used terms. We welcome your questions or comments.

What does a locksmith do besides opening locks?

 Although many think of a locksmith as one who helps with lockouts and that indeed is one of the most popular job call outs, a locksmith provides other lock and key services including lock change, fixing and installing new locks, duplicating keys and re keying - a method where the lock system is altered and a new key made, a cheaper alternative to completely changing the lock also used if one specifically wants the original lock but requires a new one for security reasons. Locksmiths also provide security advice as well as fixing and installing security systems such as alarms, CCTV and entry access systems. A locksmith should be insured and provide a guarantee on work carried out. Auto locksmiths can help with car lockouts, car key duplicating and copying and programming car transponders systems. Always provide the make and model number of your vehicle as well as the production year to ensure the technician brings the necessary locksmith tools if calling for auto locksmiths.

What is the difference between a single and double Cylinder lock?

 A single cylinder lock as its name implies has only one lock cylinder meaning that from the outside a key is required to open the lock but from the inside a simple thumb turn will open it. Double cylinder locks require a key from both the inside and outside to unlock the double cylinder and therefore provide more security. Particularly where the lock is near a window, single cylinder locks poses a security risk as an intruder can easily smash the window and turn the lock from the inside. On the other hand the double cylinders can be a fire hazard risk in the event a quick escape is delayed or prevented because the key is not found and the door cannot be opened.

What is British Standards BS3621?

 BS3621 is a British Standard grade for locks, recommended by the home office and police for home security and required for entry and exit doors by most insurance companies in the UK. Commonly referred to as Chubb locks although many manufacturers produce BS 3621 locks, the term refers basically to 5 lever mortice deadlocks with anti drill plates on either side of the lock case and a larger reinforced dead bolt. The BS 3621:2007 also requires a bolt throw of 20mm as opposed to the previous 2005 standard which required only 14mm. BS standard locks should be stamped with British Standard kite mark.

What is Lock snapping?

 Lock snapping is where the cylinder has been snapped into two by applying force to it. The double euro cylinder locks are inherently weak at the centre due to the way they are designed and burglars have taken advantage of this fact to gain easy access in a matter of seconds by applying torque using only a minimal number of tools. There are numerous ways to snap the cylinder and since one can still operate the lock to open the door, once the cylinder has been snapped thieves can get in and out in no time at all. Police estimate that at least 22 million doors in the UK are vulnerable to this type of break in, in less than 5 seconds! Lock manufacturers have tried to combat this by producing anti-snap cylinders which provide extra strength where the previous locks were weak as well as providing a predetermined breaking point so if a snapping attempt is made the cylinder will snap in a way that a part of the cylinder will still be left intact and the lock will still require a key to open.

What is Lock bumping?

 Lock Bumping is a commonly used to technique to open pin tumbler locks using a specially-crafted bump key and the knowledge of how to apply pressure and bang the lock such that the pins inside the lock align for a split second enabling the lock to be turned and opened.

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