There was once an old, jolly locksmith in my neighbourhood who used to call himself a tinker. Indeed, there wasn’t much difference in the work of the two; the man would spend hours tinkering on metal and stuff to create and mend things.
He would often reminisce about his early years when locksmiths used to repair everything from locks to motorbikes to lawn mowers. ‘Our work would mostly be manual because there weren’t much of technologically advanced tools available then’ he says.
He once told me how a cop had called him up to assist a man who has accidentally locked himself out of this house. Only when he visited the scene did he come to know that it was actually his wife who had kicked him out. Ah, what humour!
He says present-day locksmithing has come of age. ‘It is way different from what it used to be. The locks have changed, turned more complicated. Their installation, replacement, and repair demand expertise.’
Today, he would get a call only if any of the following situations arises:
- When people lock themselves out of their house or car
This is the most common and obvious situation when a person needs locksmiths in Orpington, according to my old mate. ‘During the daytime, this might not look like much of an emergency. You could go about asking help from your friends, neighbours, or anyone who’s willing to help. However, if you’re in hot waters during odd hours, hiring the experts is the only option you have’ he quips.
- When someone has lost his keys.
‘Keyless locks are dangerous,’ says he. ‘The keys could land in the wrong hands and cause troubles like burglary or other perilous situations. It’s frustrating to get your lock rekeyed. Of course, changing the lock is another option as well. But, whatever be the circumstances, you’ll have to call in the professionals.’
- When a lock has malfunctioned.
‘Defunct locks are much like keyless locks,’ he adds. ‘They can no longer protect your real property, be it your residence, office, or car. To top that, operating them is extremely annoying. The sooner you get them repaired or replaced, the better. However, this is not a DIY thing. You’ll have to rely on experts anyway.’
- When a person would be out of town for some time.
My old friend says he often gets calls from people who want him to ‘check’ the locks of their homes and offices. ‘If you are planning to go on a vacation or be out of town for business needs, you must get your locks examined by locksmiths in Bexleyheath.
If there’s a need to change the locks, you can ask the professional to do it so that you can go on your trip without worries. You don’t want to come home and find thing stolen, do you?’ he says and laughs.
- When an emergency is witnessed.
‘It could be anything — a fire outbreak inside a confined space, a vehicular accident, and the like. If someone is trapped inside the building or car, people call up professionals like me, because they believe we can break open jammed doors and save lives,’ says the old fellow.
He has served for over four decades now, and he isn’t tired yet. He says the profession is never going to die as long as people manage to lock themselves out of their homes. What spirit!