Covid 19 is affecting businesses and people all over the globe. It’s impact is already emerging rapidly.

Limiting physical contact with hard services, rethinking the flow of customers and people into premises and new ways of entering buildings are just the tip of the iceberg.

If you have to change a lock or a whole security system now is the time to possibly replace it with an upgraded version.

Since the Covid 19 Lockdown from the 23rd of March you may be wondering if locksmiths are open and working.

The short answer is “Yes”, excluding some shops depending on their location, but most of them offer a mobile service for essential services.

Which services are classed as essentials?

  • 24 Hour Emergency Locksmith Call Outs
  • Lockouts if locked out of house
  • Front and back doors not locking
  • Opening locked doors if locked in
  • Door Lock repairs
  • Replacement locks if locked out or locked in
  • Key Cutting
  • Safe opening
  • Emergency auto locksmith work
    • Lost car keys, vehicle keys not working
    • Auto work for Ambulance, Police, Local authorities & other key workers

All of the above services can be provided by your chosen locksmith including myself in Belfast and the surrounding areas.

There are some services, that might be considered non essential, but nevertheless less they might be essential for you. Here are some of them:

The following are types of locksmith work that may be considered as non-essential during the current COVID-19 lockdown.

  • Lock upgrades
  • Replacement door and window locks
  • Access control systems
  • Burglar alarm and CCTV system Installations
  • Fitting Security grilles, gates and shutters
  • Non-Emergency auto locksmith work
    • Car key cutting and programming spare car keys
    • Repair of intermittent fault on spare car keys

If you are self isolating a locksmith will be able to do all the work. Do let them know in advance so the appropriate arrangement can be made. I can complete the work on my own and I am happy to do so.

Each locksmith can consider work essential or not. When you are contacting me please tell me all the work that is required.

You can send me a photo or a short video which will help me to give you more accurate and detailed quote. It won’t take too much of your time and it will get the job done wright.

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What can a locksmith do?

Mark Burns  —  September 20, 2020 — Leave a comment

Most people never think about a lockout situation until they’re in the middle of an emergency.

Suddenly, you find yourself staring through your window at your car keys or wondering how you left your home keys in your room after you’ve walked out the door.

This is the time when it’s good to be familiar with a professional locksmith service. We operate in and about Belfast area, but we can be almost anywhere in Northern Ireland.

My name is Mark and I am a  professional technician who specializes in lock and key repair, can cut a new car key , can gain access to unlock doors, safes, windows, cars, and commercial business, everything that operates on locks and key tumblers system.

Locksmits can help you in many other ways. Your local locksmith in Belfast can do much more than simply replacing keys and repairing door knobs.

Here are some of them.

1.Security safes-open, supply, fit and repair. 

Safes offer both storage and security. If it has been installed properly there might not be any issues with it, but nevertheless problems may occur. That is when you can use the services of your local locksmith. They can help you with

Opening safes and vaults – from digital safes to dial lock safes
Repairing safes
Supplying and installing safes

2.24 Hour Emergency Locksmith 

If your locked out at an unsociable hour, lost your keys or only need the locks replacing & changing an out of hours service is available from some locksmiths.

We can help you with:

Emergency Lockouts
Burglary repairs
Help with lost keys
Spare key cutting


3. Car Keys and Locks 

We offer an auto locksmith service and can help you if you have lost or damaged your car keys.

Our work includes:

Copying and duplicating car keys
Repairing and replace car keys and locks


4.Window and door locks-supply, fit, replace and repair 

One of the most common areas of locksmiths is UPVC door and window locks on a domestic house.

UPVC locks and windows are a specialist area of locksmithing and we can fit, service and repair door and window locks.

Of course, it’s not only doors that need locks but windows too, which give you a little extra security and a pice of mind, too.


We can help you with a wide range of services to improve the safety and security of your home or business.

Some of the most common things you may need a locksmith’s help include repairing a broken lock, key duplication, re-keying, etc. We can do much more than that.


If you need specialist locksmithing work carried out, feel free to ask us if we have  experience in carrying out similar work.

I can give you a quote over the phone. Call me now.



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Life is unpredictable and sometimes your key is breaks inside the lock. What should you do? Most importantly WHAT SHOULD YOU NOT DO? There is no simple answer. It depends on where you are, what tools you have available (if any), how deeply is the broken key inserted,  and how much time you have in your hands.

Nevertheless, I hope you find some useful tips here and manage to get your key out of the lock without calling a locksmith in Belfast. 

One of the most important things that you should avoid is to insert the key again. This can push the other half of the key further and create further delays. Some people are under the illusion that if you place the other half of the broken key back inside you might still open the door. 

You should put the broken part of your key in your pocket and give it your locksmith. Sometimes the other half might stick out and in this case, I hope you have a spare key, too.

Before you start trying to get the broken key out of the lock you have to do a bit of preparation. This is optional and it will make your job easier. 

Begin with applying some kind of lubricant on the lock. You can use the most common one WD-40 but for better results, you can use a dry graphite lubricant. You will need a towel to wipe the access lubricant. Once you have done that you can try to get the half key out with needle-nose pliers.

Don’t put too much pressure on the lock just in case you accidentally further damage it. If enough of the key is accessible you can simply pull it out. Here are some examples of what you can use to do that apart from the needle nose pliers-hair pin, metal paper pin, safety pin, swiss army knife. 

What else can you use to extract the broken key? 

broken key extractor

1. Broken Key Extractor-This is a professional tool, that your locksmith will have. To use this tool you place it inside the keyway along the bitting of the key. To clarify further, you will be trying to hook the teeth on the key with the hook(s) on the extractor. Once placed along the biting, turn, and pull, and this should grab and remove the key. Of course, this may take several attempts. 

2. Jigsaw blade-If you don’t want to buy a specialty broken key extractor, you can make one yourself out of a small jigsaw blade. (This will also work with mini hacksaw blades.)

What you want is a thin piece of metal that will be able to fit in your keyway along with your broken key, so the smaller the better. If needed, break the blade with some needle nose pliers so that you can insert the serrated edge into the lock. If the serrations on your blade are on an angle, place the blade in the keyway so that the serrations are pointing back toward you. This will allow the blade to go in easier, and hook the key easier. 

Keys are subject to frequent use and the normal wear and tear happen, no matter how great the quality of the materials is. If you can’t get the broken key out of the lock by yourself, we are here to help you. Call us and we can fix your broken keys. 



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Introduction to Locksmith Courses of Study

Locksmith courses at the UK Locksmith Association are important for career entrance, upgrade, and continued competency. Courses at the UKLA run every 2, 3, and 4 days. The courses are intensive, hands-on and one on one. You must understand the course is directed toward those interested in being a mobile locksmith, starting a brick and mortar business or are just interested in the subject of locksmithing. There is nothing wrong with learning the craft to take care of those situations around your present business or home!

You will be happy to know there is no written work required during the courses. The hands-on experience has been found to be the most effective in really learning the hand-eye coordination necessary to be a good locksmith. Notes are supplied and are used for quick referral only. The UKLA believes there is no better way to learn something than to just do it yourself. Each skill set is learned, demonstrated by the student, and any questions covered before moving on to the next learning module.

The courses are limited to only four students at a time and two tutors. This allows personal attention to detail required to learn the skillsets necessary.

Courses start every Monday and class is in session from 0:30 hours to 16:00 hours. This is just a structured class time. Should you need to stay after class because something was not clear, then you can count on the tutors to stay with you until they are satisfied you have mastered that aspect of the learning.


UKLA Locksmith Course Syllabus

The course of study includes many dimensions of the craft known as locksmithing. You will work hard, but it will be worth it.

The following are the subjects and areas covered during the course.

  • Rim cylinder lock picking
  • Stripping and re-assembling locksmithing
  • Mortice lock picking
  • British Standard Insurance approved lock opening
  • UPVC lock opening and mechanisms
  • Lock opening tools
  • Rim cylinder lock fitting
  • Euro cylinder lock fitting
  • Mortice lock fitting
  • Key cutting
  • How to set up your own mobile locksmith business

Other benefits of the UKLA course of study include

  • Advice on how to set up a mobile locksmith business
  • Ongoing free 24/7 helpline
  • Food and refreshments are available throughout the day for free!
  • Course notes and information pack
  • Full drill point template manual
  • A list of companies who can give you subcontracting work
  • Advice on how to get other contracts and private work
  • A list of locksmith tool and stock suppliers with application forms
  • You will be a member of the UK locksmith Association upon completion.
  • Free advertising with the UKLA
  • Discounts for all students purchasing tools

This is a two-day course of study, but you may decide to add a third day. If you do, you will be actively dedicated to gaining access and picking open Insurance Approved mortice locks. You will fit many kinds of locks and drilling through locks and picking them as well.

You will start from scratch and completely fit a Yale Nighlatch. You will keep all the locks, drill bits, and associated wood bits. Keeping these will allow you to continue honing your skills after you leave the course of study.

After this three day course of study, you may elect to attend the fourth day. If you do, you will become proficient with UPVC mechanisms and how to identify them. You will develop skill gaining access to mechanisms that have failed. You will understand handles and setting up keyed alike pin cylinder lock systems. The fourth day also covers tubular lock picking and the use of three more lock snapping tools.

The fourth day may be accomplished in direct sequence or you may come back at a future time.

UKLA Certification

The certificate given upon successful completion of the course is a powerful one recognized by all locksmith suppliers throughout the UK. This recognition is necessary in order to purchase lock picking/opening tools and other necessary tools for your business.

Opportunities In Locksmithing

Locksmiths are well paid and you will be handsomely compensated for your skills. A professional locksmith will charge anywhere from £50-95 per hour for labor and possibly more for materials. Late-night call-outs often require a mileage reimbursement and sometimes double or treble the cost.

Cost of the Courses

The two-day locksmith course at the UKLA is £595.00 including VAT. This price includes all training for two days, 24/7 helpline, certificate, drill point manual, course notes, lock supplies, lunches, and refreshments.

The three-day course of study would be £895.00 including VAT. This includes all the training, 24/7 helpline, certificate, drill point manual, course notes, lock supplies, all locks, and materials used on the third day, lunches, and refreshments.

Should you choose to add a fourth day, then the full cost would be £995.00.

You may come by the training center at an arranged time to check out the facility and talk to an enrollment person. There is no obligation.

The UKLA is all about producing excellently trained and skilled locksmiths for the UK public. We are a one-stop-shop. Start your career with them and see where the career may take you!

My name is Mark and I am a professionally trained and educated locksmith. Call me for all of your locksmith needs at 07866 522422

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Locksmith Tools

Mark Burns  —  June 20, 2020 — Leave a comment

Locksmith Tools

Picking a Lock

Have you ever wondered if you could pick a lock? Have you ever sat around watching a movie that included a person picking a lock and wondered exactly how they did that? Well, they had some well-developed skills, but they also employed the use of some kind of gadget or tool. Read on and see some of the tools that have grown from the field of locksmithing. Some of these tools have their origin in centuries past, at least versions of them. Others were created out of necessity lately as locks have changed over the years.

Simple locks require simple tools. Sophisticated locking mechanisms require more sophisticated tools. And so it goes.

When tackling a lock it is important to understand that the locksmith is approaching the lock many times as if he was dealing with a carpentry and metalworking problem. The tools chosen to resolve the problem will be based on the laws of mechanics and locksmithing science.

In addition to the application of sound science, present day locksmiths are called upon to have at their disposal a series of electronic and computer technologies that will open electronic locks.

Locksmiths these days will make use of grinders, milling machines, and cylinder crackers. Door cracking tools are also necessary to get into solid wood and metal doors. Air wedges may be used to open doors and windows. A plug spinner may be used on locks where customers may have damaged the locking mechanism. Other tools include electric lock picks, pick-guns and wafer lock pick tools.

Circular wrench tools are used and are a common tool. This kind of tool has a spring that causes a kind of circular rotation which results in a compromised locking mechanism.

A feather wrench has better features than a tension wrench and also comes with a spring. Tweezers are also a common tool used in the locksmithing industry.

The Ball Pick

These round tools are a staple of the locksmith’s arsenal. The ball pick will present in two different forms. In any locksmith kit, there will either be a single or double ball pick. These types of picks are used forward, wafer, and disc tumbler locks. The first tool to be chosen will be the single ball pick. The double ball pick is used on locks wherein the single ball pick was unsuccessful. Both of these tools have a flat rounded tip that is handy for bi-directional picking. The tip of the double ball pick has two different sizes of circles that make the tip look like a snowman.

Broken Key Extractors

This basic tool is used to get damaged key and lock parts out. Over time, keys may break due to infirmities in the metal or they may break because the user of the key was impatient when turning the key and caused the break! In any case, a professional locksmith will invest in a variety of kinds of key extractors. There are 3 tool kits, 5 tool kits, and 7 tool kits. Each of these kits provide a variety of styles and gripping actions that can remove most all keys from a variety of locks.





Hook Picks

A hook pick has a hook at the tip that is used for a variety of locks. Based on the style, a hook pick may also be known as a Gonzo Hook, Rocker Hook, or Gem Hook.

When locksmiths are attempting to pick a lock they will use one or more methods. They may choose to do single pin picking or raking. The type of method used depends on the lock being picked and the damage already caused. Single pin picking is considered to be the best method and the one requiring the most skill. This type of picking gives more control over the lock and can tell you more about what is going on inside the lock. Single pin picking with a hook pick requires the manipulation of pins individually. This method takes the longest amount of time and can be the most tedious of the two styles.

Pick Guns

Pick guns are used to open pin tumbler locks and are used in concert with tension equipment. They may be electronic or manual. They are also known as a snap gun, lock pick gun or electric lock pick. This device calls upon the use of a steel rod that is inserted into the lock. The gun fires the rod against all the lock pins at the same time. This frees the cylinder and allows it to be turned and removed by a tension wrench.

Half-Diamond Lock Picks

This tool is very versatile and is used for picking individual pins, raking, wafer, and disk locks. The head of this pick is triangular shaped and looks like half of a diamond. A set of these tools includes three half diamond and one full diamond picks. This tool will have several angles that are either steep or shallow allowing the locksmith to manipulate a variety of inward sections of the lock.

Tools for Automobiles

The most versatile tool used in opening cars is a single pinprick. The standard hook pick can move wafers and sliders. A disk detainer pick is necessary for controlled rotation. A decoder will be necessary should you encounter a wafer or car disk detainer. A decoder is a tool that has an easily taught system of opening locks by discovering the bitting of the working key. Jiggle keys are used on wafer locks along with some motorcycle starters. Rocker picks are made of thicker metal and work on different lock profiles than jiggle keys. Tryout keys are used in cars and are just generic keys that require the user to find the correct one to be used.

Tension Tools

Tension tools are used to keep tension on the cylinder so it can be removed. The tension tools for cars look like forceps and fit directly into the keyway. They place an outward pressure which keeps tension applied. Other tension tools will have different profile picks.

Gaining an honorable mention here is the airbags necessary to open the doors of cars. This bag is deflated and inserted into the gap between the frame of the door and the door. It is then inflated gradually, thus widening the gap so that equipment may be manipulated.


If a lock is beyond repair and there is no way to pick it, the final solution is to just drill it out. Most often, a cordless and battery-powered drill is used for this action. It should be mentioned that drilling out a lock is always a professional locksmith’s last resort. Locksmiths pride themselves on being able to open any lock. If a locksmith chooses to drill out a lock, it is not so much because he/she cannot open the lock but that the lock has been damaged and can only be drilled.

Locksmiths use important tools to do important things for you when you need it. A professional locksmith invests in his arsenal of tools often on a monthly basis. Anything can be mastered and any locked opened if the right tool is at hand.

If you have a lock that is giving you trouble, contact me.

My name is Mark and you can reach me on 07866 522422.

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Tips From a Locksmith that Will Help You Know When To Change Your Locks

Locks Are Required!

Changing the locks on your house or in your business is not an extremely expensive endeavor, nevertheless the cost can run into the hundreds of dollars. This type of expenditure must not be done lightly and without consultation with a professional locksmith. The locksmith will be able to tell you what kind of lock is needed, where to buy it and how much he/she will charge you to install it. Your locksmith will also be able to tell you when certain locks should be replaced.

The locks you have are awesome deterrents to crime and unwelcome people in your home or business. Locks have been around for centuries and allow us to have a sense of peace regarding the safety and security of our own selves and the possessions we have made part of our lives. Locks keep the bad guys out and give the good guys inside a sense of calm. Locks are necessary!

You will want to make sure the locks you have are in good working order and are still able to do what they were originally intended to do. The keys used for these locks or the electronic openers must be in the hands of people you know and trust.

Locks in your Business

There are many entrepreneurs these days and the number of businesses is always on the increase. The idea of making one’s own way in the world is still very attractive to a great many people. Keeping your business and the people who work for you safe is an important consideration. You are adding a great deal of value to the marketplace by having this business and the value you add to your customer base is tremendous.

So, keeping it all secure and safe is the very basic foundation upon which everything else rests. The equipment you have invested in sits everywhere in your business and it makes your business work every day. Keeping your equipment safe and secure is a must if you are going to continue to make an impact in the business world.

Changing the locks on a regular basis keeps the bad guys on their toes and makes it a great deal more complicated to break into your place. Not only will it keep the thieves out, but your employees will be calmer, get more work done and just be better employees when they know they are safe.

Contract Labor

Businesses and homes require the employment of certain service providers such as landscape workers, cleaning crews, roofing teams, irrigation companies and others. You may also need the services of a gardener, housekeeper, driveway cleaner, landscape company and others. Sometimes these companies will need to be at your home or business when you are not there. You will have to give them a key or a security pass. Even if you absolutely know you can trust the people you contact, the fact is labourers that work for these kinds of companies change jobs often and without much notice. Because of this change in the workforce, it will be necessary to change your locks periodically.

locksmiths belfast

Somebody Has Lost a Key or a Key Has Been Stolen

Replacing locks whenever a lock is stolen or lost is necessary. Even if you find the key that was lost/stolen, you will not know if they were duplicated. It may interest you to know that the number one reason people call a locksmith is to replace a lost key. We, humans, lose things and a key happens to be at the top of the list.

Many people have switched to some sort of system that doesn’t require a key, but a passcode such as a series of numbers, letters and symbols. We are accustomed to using passwords with our computers and phones, so it is natural that the use of a password for an electronic locking system is more in use these days.

Moving Into a New House or Flat

Another good and appropriate time to change locks is when you move into a new place to live. Not only will it give you peace of mind, but just in case the previous tenants were friendly and gave some neighbours a key to their flat you can halt that activity by just changing the locks.

Moving into a new home is a big investment and major life-changing event. You will be moving all of your possessions into this home and those possessions may be worth a great deal of money. You will want to change the locks on any new or used home before you move into it. Secure your home and it will secure you in the future.

Roommate Change, Divorce and the Firing of An Employee

Another reason to change your locks on your house, apartment or business is when someone leaves your life on less than perfect terms. Especially if there were some hostile or angry words spoken during the separation phase. Even if everything was done with a “velvet glove,” and everyone parted ways amicably, it is a wise thing to go ahead and change the locks.

Divorces can be nasty. When one party is emotionally hurt, there may come a day when retaliation is considered. You don’t want your “Ex” getting into your home or business and taking things that were not allocated by the court system.

Losing a job is traumatic. The person losing their employment is losing their income and very possibly their lifestyle. Emotions can run high so change the locks in the areas that this previous employee had access to and everyone will sleep better.

Locks That Are Old, Worn Out or Malfunctioning

Locks are mechanical devices made of metals, alloys, and hardened plastics. The metals can change properties over time and the inner workings of the locks can wear out and not work as well as they did when first purchased. If locks are used outside, they are exposed to a variety of weather scenarios that cause damage to them. They must be cleaned, maintained and lubricated on a regular basis. If they are not, they will break down and become ineffective.

Burglaries, Break-Ins and Other Shenanigans

No one wants to be a victim of a burglary or be on the receiving end of a breaking and entering crime. If this does happen you, make sure you call the authorities. After they have done whatever is required for the break-in, begin to change your locks.

When a burglar attempts to break in, they are usually using force or prying something open. This will compromise the structural integrity of any lock and render it useless. Even if they were not successful in completely opening a lock, the damage will have been done during the handling of the lock. They may have done enough damage to come back later and finish the job. Go ahead and replace whatever lock was impacted by the burglary.

Keep in mind that technology is changing every day and people who commit burglary are able to make use of technology to break into your home or business. IF you have old locks, it may be easy for a 21st-century burglar to pick it. You will want to have the latest locks with the latest technology keeping your property and self safe.

So, How Often Should You Change Your Locks?

It really is a simple thing.

If you own a business, it is recommended you change the locks once per year. It is also suggested you change up the month during which you change the locks.

For your home or personal items that you secure, it is recommended you change locks anytime you feel like you need to do so. Your peace of mind is at stake here. If you feel you must change the lock, then do so. Nothing lost if you do.

Knowing when to change your locks and changing them is the very basis of security. If you would like to consult with a professional about your locks, then contact me.

My name is Mark and you can reach on 07866 522422.

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Locksmiths are specialized professionals who belong to a fraternity of craftsman that hearken back for centuries. They possess a highly focused set of skills and render to the general society an measurable gift of safety and security in a variety of ways. Here are some things you might not have known locksmiths do in addition to making keys or getting you back into your car.

Check the Work of Other Craftsman

It is possible for locksmiths to become a regular and trusted member of your home or business “go to” list for products and services. We all know that over time, people learn who to do business with and who can be trusted to give unbiased advice for a variety of issues. If you have done business in the same district or lived in the same neighborhood for several years, then you have no doubt begun to make a list of businesses and individuals you would call.

Having a professional and honest relationship with your local locksmith can prevent your being taken advantage of by unscrupulous, fly-by-night companies that seek only to line their pockets with your hard earned cash! You will have a deeper sense of security and peace of mind if you employ the same locksmith over time and work on developing a bond of trust between the two of you.

Through consumer research, it has been determined that the most often issue that homeowners run into are poorly installed locks. A deadbolt lock is most often the lock that was not matched to the door or installed according to the manufacturers specifications or builder’s requirements. A dead bolt lock should be installed with a security plate using three inch screws. Further, the bolt must have a “throw” of at least one inch in order to secure the bolt will hold. The door will not be protected and the keys used for the deadbolt can be damaged if turning mechanisms become misaligned.

Another area in which consumers are sometimes misled is in the area of automobile security. A person goes out an purchases a new car and gets told the key fob they are being given cannot be duplicated. Indeed, coming back to the dealership is the only way to gain entrance to their car should they misplace the electronic key fob. Your local locksmith can duplicate these keys and a lock professional can even provide a key that will prevent future duplication.


locksmith services Belfast

They secure windows.

It is common to think of securing doors because after all, these are the primary gateways of entrance to a home or business. However, windows are often the preferred method of entry, especially for those ne’er do wells who want to break into your dwelling. Windows do not offer much resistance to blunt force objects or a specialized set of tools. So, it will be important to your security to employ the services of a locksmith to evaluate your window situation and provide solutions.

Remember that glass is an easy substance to break and offers very little resistance to intruders. Many people make the mistake of thinking there is no purpose in installing a sophisticated lock when a would be thief can simply crash through the window and open the window from inside. This is a mistake in thinking and a lack of understanding regarding the advantages of allowing a locksmith to investigate the situation.

A locksmith can determine if a security screen would do well for your situation. This is a cover that prevents windows from breaking. The screen may limit your vision through the window and may change the aesthetics of the room and this must be taken into consideration. However, the advantage of knowing a thief would not be able to easily break through the window will help you sleep better at night.

A locksmith can also install locks designed to work with windows. The locks designed for windows are not easily sprung and resist tampering. A double bolt lock or even a double cylinder lock may need to be installed.

Some of the window locks that can be installed by a locksmith and with which you should become familiar are as follows:

Check Your Safe 

Marketing of a product is a well thought out process of convincing people to buy a product or service. People who advertise through the internet, television or mailers are educated to understand human behavior and apply psychological mechanisms to draw more buyers. Therefore, having a locksmith to recommend the purchase of a safe or checking one you may have already invested in will be a great advantage to you.

The Master Locksmiths Association of the United Kingdom has recommended consumers to consult with locksmiths about their purchase of a home or business safe. The locksmith can advise and suggest brands or types of safes based on your particular circumstances. You will want the safe that best suits your needs and accomplishes the degree of safety and security you wish to provide for your personal belongings. Locksmiths are adept at suggesting where to place the safe based on architectural drawings and exactly where the safe would be the most secure in your home or business.

If you need to get into a safe, again a locksmith can come to your rescue. Locksmiths are in possession of the tools and skillset required to open a variety of safes.

Electronic Locksmiths

This is a digital age and most everything may be operated by computer, smartphone or the installation of apps. Locksmiths have had to upgrade their equipment and in some cases reeducate themselves regarding recent development in “smart” technologies.

The modern and local locksmith can provide you an electronic pad that will allow you to input numbers and letters as opposed to the use of a key. A code or keycard is also used in some circumstances and depending on the preferences of the customer.

The tools necessary to work with these electronic devices have also changed over the years and your local locksmith had had to become quite computer literate in addition to remaining acquainted with the developments in lock technology.


locksmith services Belfast

Advice, Suggestions and the Answers to Your Questions

Everybody needs a friend in the business world. The world of locks, keys, locksmiths, electronic technology and security in general can be an overwhelming subject to the average homeowner and small business entrepreneur. Your local locksmith can solve your problems and answer your questions.

If you are having a hard time locating a trustworthy locksmith then get in touch with the Master Locksmith Association which can provide you a list of credentialed, licensed and trustworthy locksmiths in your area. You can check a host of online resources to find comments regarding a particular locksmith business and make a determination that way. Check with your neighbors, coworkers and friends in general to see who they have used. Listen for comments such as “They did good work,” “Their price was reasonable,” “They responded immediately to my problem,” etc. Check the locksmiths website for comments left by previous customers and do not hesitate to leave your own comment based on your personal experience with that locksmith.

You will want to begin your research into finding a reputable locksmith before you need them in an emergency. In the event of an emergency, you will be driven by emotion and solving the immediate problem at hand. Do your research, find your locksmith and develop some degree of beginning rapport so that the locksmith will know you during the actual emergency event such as a home or car lockout.

Locksmiths provide a variety of services that the average homeowner does not know about or may need very often. But, it is good to know they don’t just install locks, get you back in your dwelling or make duplicates for keys. Your local locksmith is a “go to” guy for many reasons.

If you need a locksmith, don’t hesitate to contact me.

My name is Mark and you can reach on  07866 522422




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  1. AVOID DAMAGING THE LOCK. Whether it’s your car or your house, the worst thing you could possibly do is violently try to force your lock open like an angry, confused bear. The reason you don’t do this is firstly, because it’s useless and secondly, it’ll make the job for whoever has to pick/open the lock a lot harder than it needs to be because by damaging the lock you could make it either more difficult or impossible for it to be opened. If they do somehow manage to get it open, it will likely result in some sort of damage to your car/door/safe etc.


2. KNOW WHO TO CONTACT. If all else fails and you can’t pick locks, your first instinct may be to call the authorities. Sadly, most police officers and firefighters aren’t put under the sort of training that would allow them to assist you without battering the door until it comes down SWAT-style. You should instead contact your nearest locksmith which will likely be able to come to your location. Make sure the locksmith you call is from an official business and is authentic; you don’t know who you may be letting into your home. The locksmith will then come with specialist equipment to make sure that the lock is picked quickly and properly. Some locksmiths charge you for services like this, others don’t. What matters here is that you have access to your house/car again without any collateral damage. 

3. If it’s a house that you’re locked out of, LOOK FOR UNLOCKED WINDOWS. Getting back into your house may be as simple as seeing a window big enough and accessible enough for you to climb through and let yourself in. This saves not only your time (maybe in the freezing cold) but also the time of whatever locksmith or friend you may have to call for help. 

4. DON’T FORGET ALTERNATE POSSIBILITIES. If you can’t find any unlocked windows possibly because you live in an apartment that doesn’t have any accessible, if you have a roommate or a family member who might have a key to help you get in or are just already inside and can open the door. If you live in a house that you pay rent for then call the landlord. They’ll likely have a spare key just in case and if you’re lucky enough to have them in the area at the  time then you may be out of that sticky situation quicker than you think. 

5. IMPROVE YOUR LOCK/SITUATION ACCORDINGLY. Maybe your lock was an off-brand, unreliable lock and the best thing to do for your home is to buy a more durable, reliable lock. Maybe you just made an innocent mistake. For example; you have a door that locks when it’s shut, and you’ve left the keys inside. An easy solution for this problem is to simply have a spare key hidden somewhere outside your house/apartment at all times so you never have to worry again about being in a rush for work and forgetting your house key. 





#These solutions are only for situations that stop you from being able to get inside for several hours. E.g. you’re locked out very late at night and have no one to call who will be up# 

  1. SLEEP IN YOUR CAR. This is something that a lot of people have probably had to do at one point in their life or another and is probably more comfortable than you might expect, especially if you have one of those chairs in your car that goes all the way back. Another thing you could do to improve your comfort would be to have a backup blanket and pillow in your car at all times, just in case of an emergency like this one. (Or if you need a power nap during your lunch break at work.) 

2. ANY FRIENDS WHO ARE MAD ENOUGH TO ALSO BE AWAKE??? It may or may not be a bit awkward asking but if you explain your situation and be polite you may be lucky enough to stay at close friends house for the night until you can call a locksmith (or whoever may have keys) and get back into your home. It’s worth a try because worst case scenario they say no. There’s not much to lose. 

3. SLEEP IN YOUR SHED/GARAGE. Yes, you probably don’t have the proper space or materials to be sleeping your shed or garage but on the off chance that you do it’s certainly better than staying outside in whatever harsh, unforgivable weather there may be that night. Personally, I think that the cars a better option but not everyone has a car so a shed might be your last option. 

4. It may seem a bit over the top but if you’re one of those people who can afford it and need the luxury of it CHECKING INTO A HOTEL might be a good option for you. Maybe even just a B&B. This is probably only worth it if you can find somewhere to stay at an affordable price and maybe have work or something important the next day and need to make sure you have the opportunity to shower, brush your teeth etc. which would only be possible in a  hotel/B&B. 

5. GO ON A WALK. This might sound ridiculous but maybe its 6 or 7 in the morning and the locksmiths open in an hour or 2 so the best thing to do is just wait it out and assuming the weather isn’t miserable then a leisurely stroll is the perfect option for you. Not only just to pass the time, but it’s also good for your health and gets your muscles moving.  

Hopefully you now feel more prepared for when a situation like this may come up at some point in your life whether it’s next week or in 10 years. Remember to always have a backup plan no matter what the situation is.  Whether it’s spare blankets in your car or a spare key under a plant pot. 

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Biometric Locks

admin  —  October 27, 2019 — Leave a comment

In this 21st century, the advances in technology have entered the world of locksmiths. Locks are no longer just mechanical devices operated by a physical key. No! They are highly sophisticated things that call into play the latest in biometric technology and the science of things.

Locks can now detect a humans walk, their respirations, the makeup of the eye and the final designator that is unique to us all, our fingerprint.

Biometrics heretofore has resided in the military domain with only the elitest few at the top understanding its capacity for identification and the security applications. This field is the technical term for the use of body measurements and the resulting calculations necessary to identify individuals and groups of people.

People involved in biometrics take into consideration several distinctive, calculated and measurable human characteristics that allow them to lable, decribe and authenticate humans. Further, the process of using identifiers is classified into both physiological and behavioral characteristics.

Physiological characteristics include the size of a person’s body, the shape, fingerprint, veins in the palm, facial structure and recognition points, the geometry of the hand, iris and retina recognition and even the odour or scent of a person.

Behavioral characteristics include an understanding of the daily patterns of a given person, their walk/gait, frequency of the voice and even the rhythm of their fingers as they type on the control panel of a lock.

It is important to note that other identification systems such as the use of passports, passwords, a personal identification number or a driver’s license have proven faulty and in need of further sophisticated features that counterfeiters cannot copy. All of these items can be duplicated and passed off as authentic with what are known as token based identification systems. Biometric identifiers are more reliable and cannot as easily be duplicated, thus increasing the security potential of a given lock and location.

The issue that has arisen with biometric data and identifiers is the possible invasion of privacy that could occur. How the information is used is of utmost importance as we increasingly live in a world of technology that seems to every day drive us toward “group think” as opposed to strong individualism.

Biometric Authentication

Biometric locks and their built in authentication methods take into consideration the chemistry, physiology and behavior of human beings. The suitability of each trait for any given lock is built around seven basic domains of understanding. (1)These domains or factors in authentication include the universality of a human trait that all humans possess. (2)Uniqueness is perceived to be different for each human requiring access through the lock at any given point. (3)The concept of human trait permanence is taken into consideration as a trait may change over a period of time. (4)Measurability is viewed as a factor determining the ease by which a trait is measured. (5)Performance is measured and determined in relationship to the speed, accuracy and robustness of the technology being used in the lock. (6)Acceptability is an algorhythm factor that is based on the human populations relative ability to accept the lock-biometric-technology as acceptable. (7)Circumvention is a word describing the ease with which a trait might be imitated thus compromising the lock.

Features to Look for When Purchasing a Biometric Lock

There are a few features you will want to make sure your lock has before laying out some cash. Take a look at each feature and see which ones are important for your application and need.

Live Finger Detection: Fingers can be duplicated using silicon casts. You will want a lock that has technology able to detect a finger that is actually human and alive.

Source of Power: Most biometric locks are powered by the house electrical grid. If the electricity into the house is compromised, then you will not gain entrance. Still other locks are powered by batteries. You will want to have a lock that has multiple power sources and a variety of ways to bypass it and enter.

Multiple Fingerprints: Consider the purchase of a lock that allows you to enter the fingerprints of a good friend or family member. This is in case you are inside your home and having some medical emergency. You may also need the fingerprints of a family member so emergency responders can enter your dwelling should the occasion call for it.

Built-In Alarm: If someone is tampering with the lock, you will want an alarm to sound. In addition, a sound such as a chirp to indicate a successful entrance will let you know if someone else is in your dwelling.

Mechanical Key: A biometric lock is the latest achievement in lock technology, but it can still fail from time to time. You will want to have a practical and mechanical means by which you can activate the locking mechanism in case of catastrophic failure of the algorhythm or changes in biometric data over time.

False Rejection Rate (FRR): You want a lock with a low FRR. No technology can be perfect 100% of the time. So, you want the number of times a particular model has failed to allow access to be low. Lock Construction and Materials: Choose a lock that is strong and made of titanium steel. Check its construction and ensure solid and cohesive strength in all areas.

LCD Display: Locks are known to be plain and without any significant indicators. An LCD display can show things such as access attempts, a readout of how many times access has been granted and time of access. You will also want a lock that will tell you why you have not been granted access, should that happen.

Low Battery Indicator. If you are using an isolated power source for your lock, then you will need to know when the battery may be low. If you let the batteries completely drain out, you will not be able to gain access to your home!

So, choose your biometric lock wisely. There are many from which to choose. But, if you just cannot make a decision, contact us here at We will be glad to assist you.

You may also email us by using

Alternatively, you may call us at 078 665 22422






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Turning a house into a home starts from the front door. Home security is a present and ongoing concern for homeowners and tenants.

Choosing a front door lock can be a minefield of information. You are spoiled for choice but sometimes you can feel overwhelmed. Here are 10 important things to consider when choosing a front door lock. 


1.Consider Function

Since you are choosing a front door lock the primary use of the lock will be for entry. This means high level of security and daily use, which will require durability. 


2.Consider Grade 

Lock grading varies from 1 to 3, with level 1 being the highest level of security. Naturally this will be the one you might choose for your front door. 

Deadlocks are a typical choice for a front door. A deadlock is a type of steel bolt, that extends into the door into the jamb of the door and strike plate of a door frame. To ensure a proper function the bolt must extend fully into the hole on the door jamb. 

The security benefit of a deadlock is that it can be locked from the outside and the inside.

3.Consider a nightlatch.

A nightlatch is a type of lock which was historically used during the night-time, hence the name “night”-latch. Night latches are commonly very sturdy and durable and are a mechanism which consists of a lock fitted onto the surface of a door and can be opened one of 2 ways. 1 being a key on the outside of the door and the 2nd way is automatic and locks when the door is closed. This can then be further enforced by flicking a switch up or down to prevent the knob from being turned to unlock the door. This switch would normally be turned at night before people went to sleep as it is the most secure way to use this lock.


4.Consider what material is your door

There are 2 common features in a standard door. 1 is that it’s hollow and the 2nd is that it has a molded skin or texture on it. Doors like these will likely be made out of wood and may have glass too if it’s a partially see-through door. Something that’s less obvious may be the strength of the wood that was used for your door. Check this either by simply pressing down into the middle of your door and seeing how easily it bends, if it bends unnaturally easy it’s likely that it’s quite thin and isn’t made out of a very strong wood.


5.Consider what type of door it is 

Linking back to the 4th point, depending on what type of door it is and how strong or durable it is you may want to consider the type of lock you’re using. For example, there’d be no point in spending a ridiculous amount of money for an incredibly secure heavy-duty lock when the door can barely stop a kick. With the same logic in mind there’s also doors that only reach their true potential when paired with a strong lock to make a perfect match and to give the user maximum security.


6.Consider A Rim Cylinder Lock

Commonly used on doors for apartments, rim cylinder locks are usually for front door locks and are also commonly used for emergency safety and panic rooms. The mechanism in this lock consists of a lock in which a cylinder rotates to move a bolt; tumblers are pins; inserting the key lifts and aligns the pins to free the cylinder to rotate. lock – a fastener fitted to a door or drawer to keep it firmly closed. If you have a panic room or just think that this is the lock for you then a rim cylinder is perfect.


7.Consider your budget 

I’m sure you know as well as the next guy that nothing in life as free, locks included. Certain locks compensate with loss or addition of features depending on price. Before deciding on which lock will benefit you most. It’s important to first make sure that the door that you have is durable and will pair well with whatever lock you decide to get. Things to consider would be, the size of the door that you’re getting, the material in which the door is made of, the price the door is, whether or not it’s customizable in a way that benefits you in a positive way and whether or not it looks nice with your home because no matter how safe you may want to be, no one likes an ugly front door. Now to help you figure out which lock you want would probably depend on the area that you live in (how rough it is, crime rate etc.) I personally think a nightlatch is the perfect front door lock as it has the versatility of being a very welcoming door as you can have it set to be permanently unlocked but then it also has the potential of putting your house under full lockdown.


  1. Consider strengthening your door frame and hinges


It is worth remembering , that hollow doors will give away possibly before the lock itself. Regardless of what type of lock you choose to install remember to use a heavy metal strike plate and install it properly. Your other option is to insert 3 inch screws into your existing strike box.


The hinges should be secured with at least 3 inch screws. This will ensure your front door itself is strongly attached to the wall and it will prevent easy unwanted access. 



The unfortunate reality is that nearly 70% of all bulgrals gain access through the front door. Choosing the best lock for the front door of your home is an important decision. Keep this in mind when shopping. Obviously there’s also a back door so there’s no harm in doing some research into finding one of those that you like too and If I’m going to be real with you, if someone really wants to break into your house, they’ll find a way. Life’s short so pick a nice door and lock that makes you happy.


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