San Diego locksmiths open up about their businesses
As a locksmith, what are some of the services you provide?
Henderson: "I do rekeys and perform home installation of dead bolts, peepholes, windows, patio doors and security systems."
Dryden: "We work commercial, military and residential doing rekeys, access control and lockouts."
Who we talked to
Cliff Henderson, owner
Discount Deadbolts Rekeying
9424 Alto Drive
Kim Dryden, owner
San Diego Lock & Safe
1765 Garnet Ave. # 1
Winston Miller, owner
Miller Lock & Key
1175 N. 2nd St., Ste. 101
Miller: "Anything you can do with security for buildings, cars or safes."
What's the most common request you get from customers?
Henderson: "Rekeys — I probably perform 1,500 rekeys a year."
Dryden: "It's rekeying locks."
Miller: "Letting somebody in a home they've been locked out of."
Are there any types of jobs you won't do?
Henderson: "I don't do cars or safes."
Dryden: "There isn't a job we'd refuse."
Miller: "I won't work repossessions."
How do you charge?
Henderson: "If it's a simple house lockout, its $60 and $13 a cylinder after the first cylinder."
Dryden: "They're simple flat rates, depending on the job. For example, a rekey has a $49 service call charge and $18 per cylinder charge."
Miller: "There's a trip fee plus a per keyhole charge. For example, a house rekey would cost $60, plus $10 per keyhole."
What's the average fee for customers locked out of their house, their car or their safe?
Henderson: "I never work on vehicles or safes. A house lockout is between $60 and $75."
Dryden: "If it's a lockout of a home or automobile, it's $85. Safe lockouts will cost between $700 and $800."
Miller: "For a house or car, it's $50. A safe will cost between $40 and $60, depending on the safe."
Before you start a job, do you require some type of identification?
Henderson: "It depends on the situation. Sometimes I ask to see their lease or a drivers license."
Dryden: "Yes. For anything the law would consider breaking and entering, we have a positive identification policy."
Miller: "It depends on a job, but if I'm opening a house, then yes."
What happens if the customer's ID is locked up and they can't get to it?
Henderson: "We'll open it as long as they'll eventually show us."
Dryden: "We can't break in their house to look for their license."
Miller: "Once I get inside they're going to need to show me some identification."
Do you have any advice for people who lock themselves out of their cars or homes all the time?
Henderson: "Always have a spare key placed somewhere in the garage."
Dryden: "Always have your drivers license on you. We love you, but can't help you if you can't prove who you are."
Miller: "Give a key to a neighbor you can trust."