New Home, New Keys

One thing many people overlook when they move home or premises is the security of their new property. Stop for a moment and consider the possibility that you have not been supplied with all existing keys for the property. Commercial properties may have countless ex-employees who never returned their key to the property. If the previous owner or tenant of your new home was elderly it is highly likely that many of their friends and neighbours have been supplied with a key to let themselves in to feed the cat or keep an eye on the old dear.

Not surprisingly, the figure for burglaries where a key to the property has been used is nearly 1 in 10 for the UK as a whole. Armed with that statistic, it becomes abundantly clear that changing the locks is a priority as soon as you have exchanged on the property.

Call a local locksmith to do the job, their expertise will be worth the expense, as they will often pick up on other security shortcomings on their visit to your new property. Most, like this Market Harborough Locksmiths are more than happy to cast an eye over doors, windows, garages and sheds, or any other areas that need securing. Usually they have a pretty good handle on the current insurance standards expected for your locks and will be able to upgrade any items that fall short.

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Leicester Birthday Cakes

For fabulous Leicester Birthday Cakes try Jessica’s Sweet Treats, a new start-up offering the very best in celebration cakes, cupcakes, marshmallow pops and other goodies for your delectation.

Jessica is already garnering great reviews for her wonderful products, so if you are in the Leicester area head on over to her website to see her range of cakes and confectionery. She can arrange free delivery too within a designated area, subject to a minimum order.

A must for your special event is Jessica’s Candy Cart hire, which is decorated to your requirements and stocked with delicious treats for your guests. For a small deposit, the cart is set up and removed after the event and the charges include all glassware hire. Choose from a wide selection of cupcakes and sweet treats to keep your guests happy and make your event extra special.

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Home Security

As we enter a period of unease and civil unrest it might be a good time to check over your home security to check it is up to scratch and you are protected from potential home invasion. A good local locksmith, like my colleague Billingham Locksmiths can help you maximize the security on your doors and windows to deter even the most enthusiastic burglar.

All windows should have handles that can be locked with a key. Large panes of single glazed glass will need bars installing to prevent break-ins. Pay particular attention to glazed panels in doors.

Timber doors should have a mortise deadlock fitted as a minimum level of security, possibly two if you have high value contents on your property. Add extra bolts for peace of mind when you are inside the property. uPVC and composite doors are generally very good security but ensure you upgrade to the very latest and highest rated cylinders as cheap contract cylinders are an easy target for intruders.

Consider investing in a large and angry dog. Run electric fencing around the perimeter of your property, and keep an assortment of weapons to hand. Plan for every eventuality.

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uPVC doors

In the UK uPVC doors are a very popular upgrade to draughty and high maintenance wooden doors. Their multi-point locking systems seem very secure at first glance, which is a major selling point.

However, all the hooks, bolts and rollers on the door are only as effective as the cylinder which locks the mechanism. Worryingly the contract cylinders supplied with many new uPVC doors are cheap and have an inherent weakness which is being exploited by a new breed of household intruder. Armed with a couple of regular household tools, these burglars can unlock a uPVC door in seconds from the outside and gain access to your property.

Clearly it makes sense to take precautions against such an attack. A friend of mine, who is a locksmith in Chesterfield, regularly visits homes to inform householders of this new form of attack and to supply and fit high quality replacement cylinders that are not vulnerable to snapping or breaking.

There are several brands on the market, have a look online and see which are best. Look for a kitemarked cylinder which meets British Standards ideally with a 3 star rating which is the maximum and should give you peace of mind that the burglars will give your doors a wide berth. If you are unsure about ordering and fitting the cylinders yourself, consider calling on the services of a local locksmith. They may even offer you a discount if you are changing more than one cylinder at the same time.

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Locksmith Services

If you have ever lost your house keys while on a great night out in Leicester, then this is one time you would require the services of a local Leicester Locksmith.

One of the worst feelings is being locked out of your own home, especially if it is dark, cold and pouring down with rain! It is at a time like this that you would be straight on your smart phone searching for Locksmiths Leicester and hoping that you will get someone out who will be quick, professional and reasonably priced.

When your Knight in shining armour arrives aka Local Locksmith and gains entry to your home in no time at all, reunites you with all your lovely belongings, the sense of relief (I have been told) is euphoric!

However a Locksmith is not just there for emergency situations like this. The majority of Locksmiths are always at the end of a phone for advice on your lock issues. Many Leicester Locksmiths will be willing to attend and give your home a free security survey, and offer advice on your home security. Locks may need upgrading or adding to bring your home up to insurance standards or to act as a deterrent to your common garden burglar.

UPVC problems may arise, for example your door jamming shut and on some occasions open! Which at 2am in the morning is not a good thing. Many customers believe they need a new door but many locksmiths in Leicester offer the service of replacing broken mechanisms or gearboxes, at a fraction of the cost of a new door, and many work 24/7 so you don’t have to camp out on watch in your hall way all night waiting till 9am to call someone out.

So really what this article is trying to say is, Leicester Locksmiths are not just here to help anyone locked out! We are here for a lot more than that, so give us a call for some friendly FREE Locksmith advice.

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The Evolution of Locks and Locksmithing

Locks have been around in one form or another since the earliest times. Archaeological excavations in Yemen revealed simple wooden locking mechanisms dating back thousands of years BC. In roman times locks were used to protect valuables, and were seen as a status symbol. Wealthy roman citizens took to wearing them to proclaim their wealth.

In Britain locks were manufactured from iron by the local village blacksmith. Examples of these locks can still be found in centuries-old cottages throughout the country. A friend of mine, a Nottingham Locksmith, has a small collection of these interesting articles.

It wasn’t until the industrial revolution that mass produced locks appeared and the role of locksmith was created, as more and more people found they could afford to implement locks to protect their homes, businesses and possessions.

In the 20th century, although many basic lock designs have remained the same, higher manufacturing quality and increased levels of ingenuity have greatly increased the levels of security on offer and the modern locksmith has had to expand their skill levels to cope.

Branching out into vehicle locks bring increased trade, but also requires a great deal of technical and electronic know-how, as does Access Control which brings security bang up to date with retina scanners and fingerprint recognition being used to electronically grant access.

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How to Recognise a Mortice Lock

A common question that locksmiths are likely to hear is ‘what type of lock is a mortice lock?’ A colleague of mine who runs a locksmith in Northampton once told me that while everyone can identify a Yale lock, many people do not know what mortice lock looks like.

mortiselockMortice locks (or mortise locks in the US) require the locksmith to chisel a hole into a door frame. This is a complicated, skilled job, and should not be attempted by anyone who does not have full training, as any slip will decrease the level of security that your lock will provide. I would strongly advise that you choose an experienced, professional locksmith service to do this work for you.

Mortice locks are different from other locks because they are installed on the inside of the door frame instead of on the surface. This provides much more security, particularly if the lock you choose has 5 levers. British insurers often stipulate this style of lock as a minimum requirement, and by complying with their requests, you may be able to save money on your premiums.

The keys for mortice locks are easy to identify. In contrast to the modern Yale-style keys, keys for mortice locks are designed in a way that many people would say is ‘old-fashioned’. The keys have a long, narrow stem or shank with a square shaped ‘bit’ moulded on to the end. The bit is then cut in a unique pattern to allow the lock to be worked, with the unique profile lifting individual levers. Highly skilled locksmiths are often able to manipulate the lock by picking these levers, although this is a talent that can take years of practice.


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Getting the Best Security for your Home

As crime rates increase, many people have growing concerns about the security of their property. But as some security systems are excessively confusing and expensive, choosing your locks and keys can be a difficult process. Many locksmiths say that people prefer low-cost solutions that are simple to operate and install.

UntitledBolts are a fantastic, inexpensive addition to home security, and are often enough to boost the home owner’s sense of safety. Simply sliding the bolt into place makes people feel that their door will be too difficult to access for an intruder to bother with. They are effective deterrents for potential burglars, but only if they are sited in the correct place. My colleague, who runs a Coventry locksmith service, advises that bolts should be placed more than an arm’s length from windows. This prevents intruders from smashing windows and stretching up to release the bolt.

Bolts are not suitable for use on uPVC doors or windows, but there are similar products that are just as effective. Sash Jammers can be installed cheaply and easily by any professional locksmith, and are designed to slide over your window or door frames. This makes it impossible for intruders to open the window or door from outside of the property. They are constructed with an extremely strong and durable metal lever and a uPVC coating, making them a subtle, unobtrusive choice.

For optimum security for doors, many locksmiths suggest that the combination of a five lever mortice and a Yale-style rim latch is the best choice. You could consider an additional, second mortice lock, placing one at the foot of the door and one at the top. This has the effect of distributing any impact on the door, making your house extremely difficult to access through force.

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