Tampa locksmiths give tips on staying safe and secure
What's the most common request you get from customers?
Pat Sheehan: "Usually, it's to install locks or to rekey locks they already have."
Wayne Parker: "It's a variety of different questions every day."
Danny Franklin: "Lock or combination changes - the key changes, but the hardware stays the same."
Who we talked to
Wayne Parker, owner
A-1 Key & Safe Inc.
Are there any types of jobs you won't do?
Sheehan: "We don't work on safes or automobiles."
Parker: "Yeah, there are some jobs I won't do. It depends on people's attitude."
Franklin: "We're not licensed to do any kind of alarm system."
How do you charge?
Sheehan: "Most of the time, it's piece work. Each thing that we do has a monetary value."
Parker: "If it's a general residential lockout, we have a flat fee. If it's a lengthy job including lots of repairs or multiple locks, then we charge by the hour."
Franklin: "It depends on the job. We charge a service call. If labor is involved, we do sometimes charge labor."
What's the average fee for customers locked out of their house, their car or their safe?
Sheehan: "The average fee is about $80 during the day and $100 during the night."
Parker: "On general, it runs about $58 for a home. It's about the same for a car, unless it's exotic. It depends on the type of safe."
Franklin: "It's $55 for a house or car. The minimum for a safe is $150, and it can go up to $500."
Before you start a job, do you require some type of identification?
Sheehan: "If it's a lockout situation, we do ask for identification."
Parker: "It depends on the job. If they're locked out of their house, of course I do."
Franklin: "On a lockout, you have to prove that you have a right to be in the unit or that it's your car."
Do you have any funny or memorable experiences from your experience as a locksmith?
Sheehan: "A lot of people are mentally unstable and will call because they want a high-security lock put on, because they think people are coming in and rearranging their underwear."
Parker: "A person called and said, 'I have an emergency: My elderly mother is locked in the car!' So I haul butt. When I get there, nobody's locked in the car. They say, 'She's in the box.' She'd been cremated and they were taking her out to breakfast for Mother's Day."
Franklin: "I was called to do a lockout on the beach and the lady's passenger window was down. I walked up and just started laughing and said, 'Have a good day - your window's down.'"