San Antonio locksmiths give tips on staying safe and secure
As a locksmith, what are some of the services you provide?
Dan Herald: "We do commercial and residential work for safes, and we do rekeying and install hardware."
Sam Tornabene: "We rekey locks and safes, install cameras and security devices, open up cars, supply remotes and make keys for cars."
Justin Hitchcock: "We're a full-service locksmith, we do anything."
Who we talked to
Dan Herald, owner
Accurate Lock And Key
Sam Tornabene, owner
Access Key Service
Justin Hitchcock, manager
Alert Lock & Key
How do you charge?
Herald: "I charge a trip charge, plus $10 per cylinder, and $50 per hour for labor like installing locks or boring holes."
Tornabene: "We charge by time, by the lock and by distance."
Hitchcock: "We charge by the job."
What's the average fee for customers locked out of their house, their car or their safe?
Herald: "For a house, it's about $50 to open one lock, including the trip charge. I don't do cars. Safes can run from $75 to $300."
Tornabene: "The average fee for a house is around $55. For a car it's between $35 and $45, and for a safe it's about $175."
Hitchcock: "It's probably $100 for houses, and about $75 for cars. Safes are expensive and are probably between $300 and $400."
What's your experience as a locksmith?
Herald: "I have 20 years of experience."
Tornabene: "I've been a locksmith for 25 years."
Hitchcock: "I've been in the business for eight years. The company has been in business for over 30 years."
Before you start a job, do you require some type of identification?
Herald: "For lockouts, yes. I'm not going to open up a house if they don't live there. I've got to have proof they live there."
Tornabene: "To open somebody's house at night, they're required to have a drivers license with the address on it."
What happens if the customer's ID is locked up and they can't get to it?
Herald: "Most of the time, I'll ask the neighbor next door."
Tornabene: "If they don't provide it, we'll call the police."
Hitchcock: "We'll open it and get their ID immediately after."
Do you have any advice for people who lock themselves out of their cars or homes all the time?
Herald: "I always advise them to have an extra key and hide it in a tree, in a rock or in the ground."
Tornabene: "For your car, get a keypad that sticks on your door. For your house, put the key in a fake rock and hide it."
Hitchcock: "Not really. Call us when you're ready."