Charlotte locksmiths give tips on staying safe and secure
What's the most common request you get from customers?
David Helms: "Rekeying - it's probably 60 percent of our business."
Steve Stuhan: "Rekeying."
Burke Mckenna: "Rekeying locks."
Who we talked to
David Helms, owner
E S Security Locksmith Inc.
Steve Stuhan, owner
Action Lock & Key
Are there any types of jobs you won't do?
Stuhan: "I do almost everything, including vehicles."
What's the average fee for customers locked out of their house, their car or their safe?
Helms: "$65 is the base charge during the day. It's generally $85 during the night."
Stuhan: "For a car, it's $45; a house is $50; a safe starts at $125."
Are you licensed, bonded and insured?
Helms: "Yes, I have a state license."
Stuhan: "Oh, yes."
Before you start a job, do you require some type of identification?
Helms: "Yes, most definitely."
Stuhan: "It depends on the job."
What happens if the customer's ID is locked up and they can't get to it?
Helms: "Once we unlock, the first thing we do is get their ID or we call the police. It's a touchy situation sometimes with pet or baby sitters who get locked out."
Stuhan: "If I feel uncomfortable with the situation, I'll call a police officer to come down."
Mckenna: "We make a reasonable effort to ensure the work requested is lawful and request proof when we don't know the customer."
Is there a problem with fraudulent locksmiths operating in the area? What can customers do to avoid these?
Helms: "Yes, they're ripping customers off. They price gouge and replace people's expensive locks with cheap ones. It's scary. All advertisements should include a license number, and legitimate locksmiths drive marked business vehicles."
Stuhan: "Yes, it's a very big problem in Charlotte. There's one company based in New York that's overcharging people and replacing their good locks with really cheap locks. Find out if their main location is local. Don't hire someone just because they have the biggest ad in the phone book."
Mckenna: "Yes. Ask to see a state locksmith license, which is required to be with the locksmith at all times when they're working."