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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a locksmith Association?
Locksmith Associations are organizations committed to safeguarding the trust society has placed in Security Professionals, and the Security Industry. This is pursued in a number of ways, varying from Association to Association and from State to State. Some principle ways are:
Accountability - through security checks, fingerprinting, background investigations, licensing, etc.
Education & Training -
through ongoing hands-on classes at the local, state and
national levels, including Manufacturer and Distributor
sponsored classes and seminars.
How do I know if I am
getting a properly trained professional?
Some states require that every
locksmith business & each locksmith obtain a state issued
license. Other states do not. Most of the states that require a
license also require the applicant to pass a background check.
Business license are required in some areas. There are
several national organizations that offer certifications. These
national certifications require the person to pass a written
exam. You should ask it the person or business you are
interested in using, have anyone on staff that is certified. (RL,
CRL, CPL, CML, CPS, CMST, RST, CJS, CMS & others)
Do my locks need routine
Locks are mechanical devices,
and do require some routing maintenance. You need to check that
all mounting screws and hardware are in place & properly
secured. The latch or strike plate should also be checked to
make sure that it is properly secured & aligned. Locks are a
safety devise as will as a security devise, so annual checks of
the hardware should be done. If any problems are noted, then a
properly trained professional should be called to make the
When and how should I
lubricate my locks?
You should lubricate your locks
twice a year for preventative maintenance. This should be done
in the spring and fall and not in the middle of winter. The
keyhole (keyway) and the latch or bolt should be sprayed with a
non-oil type of lubricant such as WD-40.
What is the meaning of a code?
you see a number stamped into the face or body of a lock, or a
key, it might be a code number. Most code numbers are an
alphanumeric combination, (letters & numbers) and some are
only numbers. Several example of a code are 23423, L123, A234S.
A code helps the locksmith identify the proper operating key for
Can a Locksmith cut a key from a number?
many cases a Locksmith can make a key for a lock, based on a
code number when no key is available. This is commonly done for
vehicles, padlocks, filing cabinets, etc. Proof of ownership
& identification are generally required. This is done to
safeguard your property & security.
What should I do if I loose my
Call a properly certified locksmith. A locksmith can generally
open a locked door or vehicle, without doing any damage. They
also should be able to generate a new key for most types of
locks, if thatís required. This includes Autos, Motorcycle and
ATV's as well as house & business locks.
My keys have been stolen do
I have to purchase new locks, to change the keys?
No. You can have a locksmith
"rekeyĒ your locks. Rekeying a lock is the process of
replacing the tumblers (pins or wafers) in a lock cylinder with
new tumblers of different sizes. A new key will be made to match
the new tumblers and the old key will no longer work. Most of
the time itís not necessary to buy new hardware.
I have moved into a new
house, should I change my locks?
Yes, Re-keying of locks is
something that should be done, shortly after you purchase a new
home, or move into a new apartment. You donít know how many
keys were cut for the locks & to whom they issued. You may
find out that you new neighbors already have a key to your
house. Re-keying the locks is usually significantly less
expensive than replacing the hardware.
What is a Master Key?
a myth that there exists a particular Master Key that will open
all locks. A Master Key is created when a group of locks are
"custom" coded so each lock uses a different key, but
a combination is "added" so one key will open all
locks. In order to Master key a group of locks the locks must
all be made by the same manufacturer or at least have
"common" Keyways. If a group of locks are Master
keyed, then each lock will operate with it's own individual key
and the Master Key. The Master Key operates all the locks in the
I would like all of the
locks on my house to operate with the same key, can this be
Yes this can be done. This is
referred to as being "Keyed Alike". In most cases you
can keep your existing locks & hardware. An easy test to see
if your locks are able to be keyed alike, is to try a key, from
(1) door lock & see if that key will enter the cylinders
(keyway) of the other locks. Generally, if the one key will
enter all of the other locks, then they can all be "Keyed
What is the meaning of "impressioning"?
is one of the techniques used for fitting a key to a lock, when
no key is available. This is done without taking the lock apart.
This process begins with a properly prepared uncut key blank.
Some locks impression better than others. Not all locks can be