Raleigh locksmiths give tips on staying safe and secure

What's the most common request you get from customers?

John Lastrapes: "Car door unlocking."

Laura Busse: "Rekeying locks and copying keys are probably our most common tasks."

William J. Thomas: "Rekeying and dead bolt installations."

How do you charge?

Lastrapes: "It's by the job."

Busse: "For routine tasks, we have a fixed price. For more open-ended tasks, we charge by the hour but can give an estimate."

Thomas: "We have a service charge and then it's per operation unless it's custom work. Custom work is $75 per hour."

What's the average fee for customers locked out of their house, their car or their safe?

Lastrapes: "The average fee for a car would be $39 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. From 6 p.m. to midnight, it's $49, and from midnight to 6 a.m., it's $64."

Busse: "A house lockout near our shop during business hours might be around $80."

Thomas: "Home lockouts are $50 to $85 and cars are $40 to $75 depending on location and time. We do free emergency infant lockouts (if someone were to lock their baby in the car) as long as it's in Apex."

What happens if the customer's ID is locked up and they can't get to it?

Lastrapes: "There is a disclosure on our invoice that says they have to provide ID at the end of the service. If they can't provide ID, we call the police."

Busse: "Actually, we're required to verify it before we leave the client in possession of the property."

Thomas: "I go ahead and unlock the car or house, and then they can produce the documents after I open it."

Do you have any advice for people who lock themselves out of their cars or homes all the time?

Lastrapes: "Call a recognized name and a professional company. Look for someone who is licensed, bonded and insured that will guarantee their work."

Busse: "For people who lock themselves out of their homes, I recommend replacing the locking knob with a passage (nonlocking) knob and rely only on the dead bolt for security."

Thomas: "Always have a licensed locksmith. People can check to see if a locksmith is licensed by going on the North Carolina locksmith board website." 


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