Whereas other areas of the security industry are government licensed (e.g. door staff, or even keyholding companies) the government sees there being no need to regulate the locksmith industry.
Criteria to become a MLA Locksmith
For this reason the MLA has its licensing scheme for MLA Approved Companies where by those locksmithing companies who are promoted on the MLA’s find a locksmith web page and use the MLA Approved Company logo have met 3 key criteria;
- They have been vetted (the MLA has been at the forefront of vetting for a number of years and recently got the law changed to enable the association to perform standard level CRB checks on members following debates in the Houses of Commons and Lords and being added to the exceptions order for the rehabilitation of offenders act.
- They are regularly inspected (The MLA has a team of inspectors who go to check approved companies on a regular basis, this inspection can include checking jobs done by the company, getting keys cut, checking audit trails for quality purposes etc.).
- And they employ a qualified locksmith (somebody who has passed an exam based proof of competence to ensure a minimum standard has been achieved).
It’s for this reason that we’d always recommend use of an MLA Approved Company.
There’s nothing to stop you BUT the question really is “should you”? After all how do you know what door lock you need? The correct type, correct size, does your door lock meet insurance requirements, will it be fitted properly? Research has proved that staff at DIY superstores don’t have the required technical knowledge to provide advice required. We performed an exercise sending secret shoppers into a range of large DIY stores and were not surprised to see that in a lot of cases not even the most basic of questions were asked by the staff.
Fitting a Door Lock capable to prevent Lock Snapping
There are numerous standards that relate to locks; EN1303, BS3621, BS8621, BS10621,TS0071 & 3 star, Kitemark, PAS3621, SS312 Diamond etc. How are you expected to know what you need, and just as importantly what your insurance stipulates you need in order to be covered? Remember some Cylinder Locks are prone to a crime on the rise known as ”lock snapping” and “cylinder snapping“, an MLA Locksmith will be able to help and give advice on fitting the correct standard Euro Cylinder lock to prevent any such crime happening.
Fitting you own Door Lock yourself is not advised
Your property not only keeps the most important thing in your world, your family and loved ones, safe, but what about all your possessions? Do you really want to keep all this safe and secure with a bit of DIY? A bit of hope and a prayer?
Incorrectly specified and/or fitted locks are pretty much useless so the best bet is to get advice from a specialist locksmith, as you do not want any security issues to arise.
Our Top 13 General Security Advice and Tips
In terms of some general security tips then we’d suggest the following:-
- Start by reviewing the exterior of your property to make sure there are no broken windows or access to your property through garages or conservatories. Lock any tools and items such as ladders away.
- Ask a vetted, inspected and qualified locksmith to review your doors and windows (including internal doors to conservatories and garages) to make sure all of your windows and doors have the most appropriate locks, they are in good condition, properly fitted and meet your insurance requirements.
- Opportunist thieves can often approach houses that look like nobody is at home, so consider installing a number of light timers around the house so it appears someone is home.
- Dusk to dawn or sensor lighting to the front and back door of your home will deter potential thieves and help you gain entry into your home in the dark.
- Alarms can be very effective, but you need to change the code regularly to gain the maximum benefit from them.
- Side windows can be smashed to reach keys and gain entry so consider adding reinforced glass or maybe even block up the window. Decorative grilles and bars can also vastly improve the security of a home without being detrimental to the aesthetics.
- Home safes are becoming increasingly popular too, so you may want to consider asking a specialist locksmith to specify and install one.
- You may also want to install top and bottom bolts on French doors or add sash jammers to UPVC doors.
- While you are reviewing your security it is also worth considering when your keys were last replaced, whether past owners or tenants may still have access to your home and whether anyone may have made copies of your keys without your knowledge. If you are worried ask a professional locksmith to change your locks and fit a patented system, whereby keys can only be copied with proof of ownership.
- Consider your own influence on the level of security for your home and make sure you don’t indulge in bad habits such as leaving keys in locks or in view that you and your family may have. Simple tips such as always setting alarms, changing codes on a frequent basis and locking any side or back gates can make a substantial difference and deter attack.
- Make sure you source a good quality lock to protect your garden shed and its contents, if you have one. (www.soldsecure.com) is a good source of advice on security products).
- Statistics show that thieves are increasingly breaking into homes to steal car keys so don’t make it easy for them by leaving keys in view.
- And finally, take a note of the number of your nearest MLA licensed locksmith by visiting the find a locksmith section of this site, and put the number in your mobile phone, so if you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being locked out someone will be able to help you get in out of the cold as soon as possible. Using an MLA approved locksmith ensures that locks and security equipment are fitted correctly and safely in accordance with current standards and regulation. The lock below has been fitted incorrectly and this leaves the lock vulnerable to attack and therefore the property at risk.
Free Security Lock Survey
Are you concerned about the level of security your existing locks afford your property and valuables? Unsure as the latest standards for uPVC door locks? Concerned when reading about the number of burglaries through uPVC doors but unsure as to how you can mitigate the chances of it happening to you?
Confused about Break Secure or Anti Snap cylinders (there are many different types/makes all offering different attributes and levels of security.
Access Locksmith Solutions Ltd offer a free, no obligation survey whereby we undertake an inspection of your property and advise where improvement can be made.
You can then decide whether to act upon our recommendations or not and even carry out the work yourself to save money.
The whole object of this free service is to highlight the vulnerability of some uPVC, composite and aluminium doors controlled by a cylinder (your key resembles what is generically known as a Yale key).
The Police know the weaknesses, (check any Police Authority Crime figures or telephone your local Crime Prevention Officer) so do the burglars, so why shouldn’t you? Its your property and its left to you to take action as necessary to protect it – as no one else will.
Telephone your Master Locksmith Steve Holt on 07737320547, we will be only too pleased to offer advice even if its just over the phone.