Austin locksmiths give tips on staying safe and secure
As a locksmith, what are some of the services you provide?
Zachariah Earle: "We install door locks, rekey locks on new homes and rental properties, and install and service alarms and safes."
Ken Jennings: "We do residential rekeying and install, repair and service locks such as dead bolts. We're a mobile service."
Pam Smith: "We rekey, perform lockouts, replace locks, open car doors and duplicate keys."
Who we talked to
Pam Smith, owner
Are there any types of jobs you won't do?
Earle: "Automobile lockouts and commercial burglar alarms."
Jennings: "We try to stay away from car lockouts."
Smith: "We won't drill safes anymore. That only happens if they lose the combination."
What's the average fee for customers locked out of their house, their car or their safe?
Earle: "For a house lockout during standard business hours, it's $70. We never work automobile lockouts. It's a minimum of $210 and a couple hours of work for a safe."
Jennings: "For home and vehicle lockouts, we charge the trip charge of $39, and that's it. There's no additional charge unless it gets complicated. Safes are bid on a case-by-case basis."
Smith: "There's a $35 service call fee and then it's $8 per lock. If it's a simple lockout of a car or home, it's only $35. A safe will be more than $300."
What makes you stand out from your competition?
Earle: "We concern ourselves with their overall security needs, not just the locks."
Jennings: "It's our level of service. Unlike other large outfits, we offer competitive rates for superior service."
Smith: "Location, location, location. We're the only reliable locksmith in Lakeway."
Do you have any advice for people who lock themselves out of their cars or homes all the time?
Earle: "A great idea is to get an electronic keypad lock and put it on just one of your doors."
Jennings: "Every key has a numerical code. Keep the code written down in your pocket. Any maker can duplicate that key for you from that code."
Smith: "Keep my number handy. I'm serious. Never hide a key. Anybody could get in your house that way."
Do you have any funny or memorable experiences from your experience as a locksmith?
Earle: "Once a guy who'd taken LSD called me because he'd gotten locked in his own car. When I started laughing, he freaked out, said he couldn't believe I was laughing at him, and hung up."
Jennings: "It's always the couples messing with handcuffs. It happens quite often, but I'd prefer not to share specific examples."
Smith: "I received a call from a guy who locked himself out of his car. When we arrived, the keys were hanging from the door. It happens once a year."