Like the name implies, a locksmith is a professional contractor who specializes in entry systems such as locks, door knobs and other security features. Once strictly tradesmen of all things related to locks, keys and safes, a modern locksmith may offer much more expansive technoligically advanced products such as closed-circuit TV monitoring systems, residential fire and burlgarly alarm systems, remote keyless entry fobs for cars and digital access systems.
For most homeowners, there are only a few life events that call for the services of a locksmith: 1. When you're moving into a new home (or someone in the home is moving out) and 2. When you've accidentally locked yourself out of your home or car.
In most cases it's relatively easy to shop around for a locksmith for the former event but the latter event is almost always an unexpected one. Before you're ever locked out of your home or vehicle, Angie's List recommends that you find a reputable locksmith before you need one. It's much easier to be taken advantage of when you're in need of quick help and at the mercy of the first locksmith you call.
Check reports on Angie's List, rather than relying on the phone book, an Internet search or directory assistance. Then, call the company to get an estimate on their services before you agree to have work done. Ask details about their pricing and available hours. Do they have emergency hours? Do they charge for mileage or have service-call minimums?
Once you find a service provider you're comfortable with, store that company's information in your purse, wallet, or cell phone — some place you're likely to have access to if locked out.