Dallas locksmiths give tips on staying safe and secure
As a locksmith, what are some of the services you provide?
Steve Huber: "I rekey and change locks, and I have 24-hour emergency service."
Austin Chance: "Everything. We unlock cars, do rekeying and installations, change safe combos and make keys."
John Murphy: "I do rekeying, install deadbolts and I do some home lockouts."
Who we talked to
Steve Huber, owner
Austin Chance, owner
Fred's Pick-A-Lock Inc.
John Murphy, owner
Lone Star Locksmiths
Flower Mound, Texas
What's the most common request you get from customers?
Huber: "Opening a house or car or rekeying a house."
Chance: "Lock rekeying."
Are there any types of jobs you won't do?
Huber: "I don't do really big jobs myself because I don't like to get tied up. I give those to a larger company."
Chance: "No. We do it all."
Murphy: "I don't do automotive."
How do you charge?
Huber: "Most everything is a set service call and a set price for what needs to be done."
Chance: "We charge a service call and we charge per individual lock when we're rekeying. When we install hardware, we charge by the hour."
Murphy: "I get a service call and charge per lock."
What's the average fee for customers locked out of their house, their car or their safe?
Huber: "A house is $75 unless it's late - like 3 a.m. - or a holiday. A car is $65. Safes are all different - you can't give a standard price."
Chance: "Houses and cars are $45, and a safe is $175."
Murphy: "Homes are $45 to $65, depending on what I need to do. Safes can vary. My minimum on safes is $125 per hour."
Before you start a job, do you require some type of identification?
Huber: "Any time something is opened, I need an ID before I do anything. If I'm rekeying their house, I don't usually require ID."
Chance: "On automotive and house unlocking, yes, but if we do a service call and the person is already in the home, we know they belong there."
Murphy: "Absolutely. If it's rekeying or something like that, I don't, but for lockouts I make them sign a form, and I have to see a Texas driver's license."
What happens if the customer's ID is locked up and they can't get to it?
Huber: "I usually get someone, like a neighbor, to verify they belong there."
Chance: "If they look trustworthy, we unlock it, and if they can't provide proof of ownership, we call the police."
Murphy: "Once they sign the form, I get in the house and if they show me ID, it's not a problem. If they can't do that, I'll file charges, and they'll probably get arrested."