Locksmiths funnily are known to be extremely secretive in nature. They can go to any extent to protect their trade secrets and the concepts leading to the creation of a particular design or concept. Interestingly, Harry Houdini was a locksmith prior to his successful career in the world of magic. He was believed to have used his extensive knowledge of locks and safes to become the “Greatest escape artist of all-time”.
The profession got a modern outlook towards the end of the 18th century and a number of great designs were propounded during this period. Today, a number of great locksmith agencies and lock manufacturers exist who have taken their level of skill and competence to an altogether different level. Today, along with security, the focus is also on the convenience of the user. Moreover, many companies are trying to eliminate the use of keys altogether by offering smart solutions.
Some alarming facts about locksmiths
- The locksmithing industry is unregulated: Although locksmithing industry is unregulated, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are being cheated every time you use their professional skills. Locksmiths usually assess the level of difficulty of a job and then make a quotation. However, in some states and other countries, informal associations and bodies may exist that try to bring a formal touch to the profession and regulate the prices informally.
- A license if required in only 15 states in the U.S.A to practice this trade: There are 15 states which include Alabama, California, Texas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Connecticut, Louisiana, Illinois, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Oklahoma and Virginia where a license is required to practice the profession. In rest of the states, anybody can claim to be a locksmith and you will have to take their word. This makes the selection of a good locksmith a little tricky. You will have to make it based on trust and intuition.
- Many ‘locksmiths’ only know how to drill and replace locks: If you need to get a lock broken to get access to some extremely useful asset, you may be desperate and as a result willing to pay any amount. Many locksmiths exploit that moment of vulnerability. Even if a lock could have been picked without drilling it open, they would do that and then replace the old with a new one because it is the most expensive service they provide and because he understands that because of your desperation, you will probably never question his actions. Make sure to check whether a lock genuinely needs to be broken in order to open it.
- Locksmiths are not a monolith: All locksmiths don’t have the same level of expertise. Their area of specializations may also differ. But, since information availability in the public domain regarding the profession is scant, you may ask a locksmith to perform a duty, in which he is not comfortable. So try to ascertain that you have picked the right candidate for the job. However, it can’t be determined easily.
- Locksmithing industry is a promising sector and one of the bright spots in the labor market: Locksmithing may not be a very common profession but according to a report published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this informal sector is growing at a phenomenal pace. Unfortunately, this may not be good news for a consumer! That is because the industry today has unqualified “quacks” and “charlatans” who don’t have formal training or a license or a standardized pricing policy. All these can lead to cases of cheating and below par service.
However, it is a very useful profession. When you get locked inside a room or can’t get access to something important, you feel helpless and these are the professionals who can alleviate your worries.
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