Question-Why should I trust Dawson-Sawyer Locksmiths

Answer-Criminal Records checked (DBS-replacement to the CRB check). Spent 7 months on-site with HMRC (to November 2017) professionally consulting which should assure you that trust and credibility are assured.

Dawson-Sawyer Locksmiths will not say ‘Police Vetted, Police Checked or Police Registered’. After seeing others use these phrases I discussed with South Yorkshire Police to be informed ‘There are no Police Approved Locksmiths’. Although this is understandable as how would the Police check individual locksmiths and maintain that throughout the Locksmiths career.

Certified and trained locksmiths-please ask to see credentials of all locksmiths (Our team carry their unique photo ID locksmith card with them-be that a City and Guilds card and/or Corgi Fenestration skilled locksmith card).

Fully insured with public liability and professional liability insurance. 

Question-Why should I change my locks?

Answer-You shouldn’t unless

  • New Home-Did you ask the builder if a master key was used (often a master key is used to access all property from a single key rather than individual door locks).
  • Moved Home-Can you be certain all keys are accounted for (Gardeners, cleaners, friends, family).  Some new 3 star locks require key registration and keys can be cut from the number supplied with the key.  Ultion keys are registered to an email-did the previous owner de-register and give your credentials? There is a risk the previous tenant can simply request a new key by supplying the appropriate number and have it delivered to their new address.
  • Family Split-Does a previous tenant still have access to your property who you may not want to return into the home.
  • Lost Keys-Did the keyring have any identifiers such as a name that could assist the identification of your property. If lost how do you know it’s not nearby.
  • Old Locks-Standards have raised within the manufacturers and audit organisations such that 3 star locks are recommended. This is to address the raising standards of burglars who will drill and snap locks (lock snapping is not new but due to the ease it is most definitely on the rise). If you have an older property, chances are your lock are not equipped to deal with modern methods of entry.  Have you maintained your lock-locks should be lubricated with a graphite lubricant, as this does not attract dust or debris, every 6 months. Use this sparingly as this can leave an unwanted mark on carpets.  Using a liquid lubricant can allow debris to stick inside the lock and cause problems. Without proper maintenance your lock may be becoming stiff, need a wiggle to open or simply not operate as it should. All these should be taken as warning signs of potential failure.

Question-My door is new so therefore so is my lock, isn’t it?

Answer-There is no guarantee your new lock is up to a 3 star standard. Some kitemarked locks will not withstand lock snapping so please ask the installer or simply check the lock and you should see 3 stars stamped into the face of the cylinder lock.

You may have a composite/UPVC door with a multipoint locking system (and assured your home insurance company) but the cylinder lock may not meet modern standards. It does not matter how many hooks, latches and bolts fire out when the handle is turned if the cylinder lock has been removed then these will simply open when the handle is turned.

Clearly door manufacturers can choose to install cylinder locks of any standard and the higher the standard of the lock, the higher the price.

Question-Okay standards I’ve heard one star, 3 star and even 5 star-what does this mean?

Answer-Some locks have no marking and will lock the door. These operate and give you peace of mind that your door cannot be opened (will stop an opportunistic thief who will simply try the door). Some locks even have a kitemark but only 3 star locks have been tested by picking, drilling, snapping, bumping and plug extraction (all common forced entry methods). You can achieve the 3 star standard by installing a lock to a 1 star standard and a door handle rated at 2 stars (this counters the ability to drill and snap). This means a 3 star lock and 2 star handle would give you the 5 star level of protection. My personal view is that 3 star is recommended and is most cost effectively achieved with the use of a 3 star lock.

Question-My lock is 3 star, is there anything else I need to know?

Answer-Adopting a common sense approach to house security should be paramount. Its pointless having a fantastic door and lock when the key is under the plant-pot outside the back door.

Do not leave the key in the door as it is possible to extract the key (or even turn it) via the letterbox. Keeping the key close by is important in case of a fire at night but keep it out of sight from the exterior of the property.

Lock doors and windows. I’m sure the police have heard ‘well I was only in the garden’ or ‘I only popped out for 5 minutes’ but the statistics for opportunity thieves are high.

There are many more suggestions and Id suggest a quick internet search for tips especially whilst on holiday but common sense is key. Have a look at your own property and think if I lost my key how would I get in (yes you know the ladder is just round the back and you always leave your window ajar).