Baltimore locksmiths give tips on staying safe and secure
As a locksmith, what are some of the services you provide?
Chris Serbeck: "We provide lockout service, rekeying of homes, installation of deadbolts, replacement of existing door knobs or lever handles."
Chris Brennan: "It's a wide range - we do everything residential. We do automotive and safe work, access control systems and deadbolt installations."
Bob Easter: "Locks, keys, safes and all your basic locksmithing. We also do sales and service anything related to residential security. We do automotive work, too."
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How do you charge?
Serbeck: "It really depends on the job. Every job we do, we quote ahead of time. It's based on a trip, an hourly rate and the cost per cylinder."
Brennan: "Time and distance. There is a service fee, and it's by the hour after that. We're very competitive."
Easter: "We have a service-call fee and the further we travel, the more we have to charge. Most things are a set price."
What's the average fee for customers locked out of their house, their car or their safe?
Serbeck: "Locked out of a house averages about $91 to $103, depending on where they're located. That includes the service call and labor. A car lockout is about $55."
Brennan: "Locally, for places like Bel-Air, Abingdon and Edgewood, it's $55 for a house or car. The further out you are, the higher the price."
Easter: "Usually for a house or car it's $69. Safes get more expensive. It's a minimum of $209, which covers the first hour because you have to drill them open."
Before you start a job, do you require some type of identification?
Serbeck: "Yes we do, depending on the type of service. For opening a home, we require a driver's license and a piece of mail. A car requires a driver's license and registration."
Brennan: "On some things, like lockouts, yes. For cars, we require a driver's license and registration. For homes, we need a photo ID and some proof it's their property."
Easter: "If we have to open something for someone then we do."
Do you have any advice for people who lock themselves out of their cars or homes all the time?
Serbeck: "Check and make sure the person is a legitimate locksmith. There are a lot of national companies who sub out work, so I'd look for a local company."
Brennan: "Don't try to get in, because you'll usually break the lock or cause damage. Call a professional."
Easter: "Try to keep a spare key somewhere. It's a lot cheaper."