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A locksmith is a professional who works with locks on doors, windows, safes, cars, etc. Locksmiths install, repair, and adjust locks in everything from cars to office buildings, and they also offer services to people who are locked out or individuals who want to consult with someone about their security systems. This profession is quite ancient; as long as there have been locks and keys to fit them, there have been people who specialize in them.
Locksmiths are skilled tradesman who install, adjust and repair commercial, residential and automotive locks and security devices. Locksmiths fabricate and duplicate locking keys, change lock combinations, and bypass locks when authorized. Their skill and knowledge in installing and repairing conventional security hardware and locksets take them to work in residential, commercial and industrial establishments that require varying levels of physical security to protection them from unauthorized entry.
There is a common misconception that locksmiths only pick locks. While it is true that this is their best known task, they also do several other things:
Key Cutting - A locksmith will be able to cut keys for any type of lock (cabinet, garage, back door, padlock etc.)
Window & Door Locks - One of the most common areas of locksmiths is the standard door and window lock - most locksmiths will be able to supply, fit, service, and repair door and window locks
Security Safe Services - Locksmiths are able to open safes, repair, supply and install and even move large vaults and security safes
Auto Locksmith - Some locksmiths offer an auto locksmithing service whereby they can get you into your vehicle if you’ve locked the keys in the vehicle, repair car key fobs, program remote keys and transponder keys which is a specialized area of auto locksmithing, or simply provide a new key for your vehicle
Access control - Some professional locksmiths will be able to specify, supply and install electronic access control systems
24 Hour Emergency Locksmith - If you are locked out, lost your keys or just need the locks replaced & changed, after hours service is available from some locksmiths
When a locksmith installs locks in a building, he or she usually becomes that building's default locksmith, because of his or her presumed familiarity with the building's locks. Some locksmiths retain extra key sets, by request, to gain quick entry when needed. They also keep records of the types of locks used in a building, replacement or repair work undertaken, and any other relevant information, such as connection with a security system which demands that a code be entered when a door is unlocked.
Locksmith Duties and Responsibilities
Locksmiths can be found employed in traditional locksmith companies, in security agencies, or working as freelance locksmiths. Good locksmiths are excellent problem solvers who are willing to work unusual hours, and they are of course discreet, as they often handle confidential or sensitive information.
To become a locksmith, most individuals train as apprentices. It helps to have metal fabricating, construction, and electronics skills, but these are not required; locksmiths perform such specific tasks that these skills can be learned on the job. In some regions, locksmiths are licensed, and legal codes may lay out the term under which titles like “Master Locksmith” may be used.