The only thing that prevents burglars and other unscrupulous individuals from entering your home whether you’re at home here in beautiful Franklin, TN (yes, it happens here unfortunately), or anywhere else, are your doors and windows, and the locks you have on them. And, if they break in anyway, the only other protection you have for keeping your valuables where they belong (that is, with you) is a secure safe that can’t be easily jimmied or tampered with.
Let’s face it: For as long as locks have been in existence, there has always been an element of the population bent on doing what they can to defeat them. While no one likes to think of unpleasant things such as being robbed, upgrading your doors, windows, safes and locks is vitally important – especially when moving into a new house. You just never know who really has accessed the home you’re moving into – or whether they still have access.
Let’s say that you are locked out of your home. It happens all the time. You forgot to grab your keys and didn’t think of it until you heard the door “click” behind you… and you got that sinking feeling. (Yes, many of us have been there!) For starters, don’t panic or think you have to call someone to replace your lock immediately. It will cost you lots of money. A professional can get your door open without replacing your hardware. Follow these guidelines about what to look out for when hiring a locksmith in Franklin or one of the nearby towns.
First of all, you should always be prepared even if you think that having a locksmith in your speed-dial is not necessary. So, if you are on this website today, and you don’t yet need one – prepare yourself anyway. Carry out a little bit of research beforehand to find a reliable professional you can call on in emergency situations. Add his number to your phone book and your cell phone contacts so you can call if you find yourself in an emergency.
Avoid extra charges by calling a contractor during his business hours. The cost of locksmith services after business hours vary widely. The cost can be more than double the standard fee in business hours.
Check the BBB (Better Business Bureau) to find out if the company or contractor you want to hire is reputable. This lets you know if he’s an established professional with a good record of client satisfaction. Customer reviews on line may also be available.
Get references or recommendations from family, friends or neighbors before letting anyone – in any trade – in your home.
Compare a number of locksmiths before hiring one. Make sure that you call at least three different companies before choosing one. Talk to them and find out what their terms of service are so that there are no misunderstandings when you call. This will not only help you find a better deal, but start a potential relationship on the right foot.
One thing that is important to ask is this: “If I call for service, and then find a way around my problem before you get there, what will I owe you?” There are numerous circumstances where someone will call a locksmith, only to discover, 10 or 15 minutes later, that they CAN get in their door, or car, or what have you. By this time, you realize that the contractor has already loaded his vehicle, and is en route to tend to your situation. Please understand that these are professionals – you may still be liable for a service call. Ask about this!
Before you hire anyone, ask how long he’s been in business. Make sure that the services offered are actually what you need – in other words, if you are locked out of the house, and one of the companies advertised is primarily a commercial contractor, that may not be the right person to call. A locksmith with several years of experience is more than likely to be reliable and trustworthy. Find out if he has always offered services from one place the whole time.
Be sure to verify the credentials of the contractor you want to hire. You can do this by cross-checking his contact information. You can also do a quick online search and find reputable websites with customer reviews. Read these reviews carefully before making your decision. And, in our area, locksmiths should have their license number ready.
Make sure you ask for identification whomever you’re going to hire. A reliable and trustworthy professional will readily provide his ID before he starts helping you get back into your house or car. He may or may not wear a uniform, but valid identification is a must.
Find out other people who have used the company or service you’re considering. Most legitimate businesses will gladly give you references to call. Find out how efficient he is at his work and also get the quotes.
Check the laws of Tennessee before hiring a local locksmith. Many states have set up regulations to protect clients from substandard work and fraud. Some states require that various trades be regulated and licensed, so find out if Tennessee is one of them.
Once the job is done, be sure to get a receipt. A receipt is a good form of legal back up. This minimizes the chances of getting additional charges after the service call is completed. Keep the receipt in a safe place. It will come in handy if questions about fees emerge later on, or if you need to refer to it in the event additional work is required.
Few people know who to really call if they’ve never had problems in the past. Consequently, they may end up with hefty bills. Use these suggestions for lining up a trustworthy and professional locksmith before you need his or her services, and you’ll get back to your home, business or car quickly.