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Locksmithing

General Information

In most countries, the traditional trade of locksmithing requires the completion of an apprenticeship. The formal education level varies depending on the country – from a simple training certificate awarded by an employer to a full diploma from an engineering college. Locksmiths come in a variety of types: commercial (working from a storefront), mobile (working from a vehicle), institutional, or investigational (forensic locksmiths). They may be specialists in one aspect of the skill, like automotive lock specialists, master key system specialists, or safe technicians. Many locksmiths are also security consultants, however not all security consultants have the knowledge and skills of a locksmith.

In the past, locksmiths repaired or constructed entire locks, including their parts, however, with the advent of cheap mass-production, this has become less common. Most locks are simply replaced if damaged. This excepts most high-security safes and strongboxes. Locksmiths also frequently work on existing door hardware such as door closers, frame repairs, electric strikes, and hinges. They also service electronic locks, for example making transponder keys for vehicles, and implementing access control systems.

While fitting and replacement of keys is still an important aspect of locksmithing, these days locksmiths are mainly involved in the installation of high quality lock sets, and the management, implementation, and design of keying and key control systems. Locksmiths are frequently needed to ascertain the level of risk to an institution or an individual, and then advise and implement correct combinations of policies and equipment to create a security layer that surpasses the reasonable threat of a potential intruder.

Out and About Locksmiths

Here at Out and About Locksmiths, we offer a mobile locksmithing service that is available 24/7. We install locks, cut keys, advise about security systems and general home security, cater to commercial clients, cut car keys (including transponders), and we are an SCEC approved locksmith. Contact us today!

How to Look After Your Keys and Locks

Ever wondered how to properly look after your keys and locks? Here’s how.

Look Out for Extreme Temperatures

Very high or low temperatures can cause problems with locks. This is due to the fact that extreme temperatures cause metals to expand or contract. When it’s very hot, the lock, key, and door frame can expand, making the lock difficult to turn. One thing you can do to avoid this is to lubricate your locks on a regular basis. If your lock is properly fitted to the door frame, this will lessen the chances of any issues.

Clean The Locks

Over time, dirt and debris builds up in the lock. This can make it a lot harder to open. Compressed air blown into the lock is one solution, but for a deeper clean, take off the cover and use a brush to remove any foreign matter.

Don’t Force It

Sometimes a lock won’t turn easily. If this is the case, don’t try to use force. You might bend the lock mechanism and your key. If this happens, the problem will get worse. If your lock doesn’t respond to gentle pressure, maybe it’s time to call us.

Clean Your Keys

A dirty key makes a dirty lock. Eventually it will become damaged, and jam. Avoid this by wiping down your keys from time to time, and try not to store them where they will gather dust.

Check Your Door Position

Sometimes doors can hang down and sit in the wrong position. If a lock’s bolt is incorrectly aligned with the hole, this can damage it in time. If your lock rubs or grinds when you turn it, this might be a sign that your door’s out of position. If it’s only a minor misalignment, you can file the hole slightly. Otherwise it’s time to adjust your door.

Contact Out and About Locksmiths for any help and advice regarding these issues.

New Youtube Video

Car Keys – Being Prepared

Will You Lose Your Car Keys?

We all tell ourselves that we will never lose our car keys – or lock them inside our car. You might have a great system of reminders in place, but unfortunately, sometimes the unthinkable happens. A distraction at the wrong moment might be all it takes – or sometimes, you don’t even know how something goes missing, it just does. It might not even be you that loses the keys or locks them in the car – it could be a family member or a friend. Sometimes these things are out of our control. The question is – will you be prepared for the worst?
If you lose your car keys or lock them in your car, it could cause all kinds of upsets in your life. For example: Getting to work late, getting stranded, missing important appointments, leaving other people stranded, or having important items stuck in the car.
What if you lose your car keys or lock them in your car on a bad day when you’ve just spent all your money on bills, and you can’t afford a locksmith? You’d be facing a huge problem. No one can afford being without their car.

What is the solution?

To avoid all the aforementioned problems, you should get a backup car key made. Did you know that Out and About Locksmiths can copy transponder keys (transponder keys are special car keys made for most post 1995 cars that switch off an engine immobiliser)? We can also code new car remotes, so don’t worry, that one key doesn’t have to be the only one. Having a spare key in your wallet, bag, or hidden under the car would make all the difference. If you take action and contact us today, you could save yourself from a world of grief tomorrow.

What is a Transponder Key?

The Key

A transponder key is a car key with an inbuilt chip that is needed to deactivate an engine immobiliser. Most cars post-1995 have these immobilisers.

The engine control unit (ECU) of the car sends an electronic message to the key when the ignition is turned to on or run. The car will only start if it receives the correct message back from the key.

The Technology

Transponder is the words “transmitter” and “responder” combined. The word emerged at around 1945. A transponder is a small electronic chip that has what’s called “non-volatile memory” which doesn’t need constant electricity for data retention. A transponder also features a set of windings, or coil, which is made of fine wire wrapped around a tube – similar to the windings in an electric motor.

Basically, there are two kinds of transponders – electric coupled systems, and magnetic coupled systems. Electric coupled systems can transmit data anywhere from a few inches to many miles, such as those used in aeroplanes and satellites. They require significant amounts of constant energy to function. Magnetic coupled systems, in contrast, are passive – they do not need constant energy or a power source. They transmit and receive data on the 125kHz bandwidth. Because they are unpowered, they have a limited transmission range – anywhere from 1 to 15 centimetres. This radio transmission can penetrate certain materials such as the plastic surrounding the chip built into a car key.

How it Works

Most car transponder chips have a similar process for key identification. There is an induction coil mounted around the ignition lock that generates an electromagnetic field when a key is inserted into the ignition and turned. The windings in the key absorb that energy and use it to power the transponder chip which then emits the code signal to the ECU. The signal is most often an alphanumeric code. This process allows the electronic components in the car to function which in turn allows the engine to start or continue running.

Transponder keys can be cut and programmed using our special equipment here at Out and About Locksmiths.

Interested in a Career as a Locksmith?

Trustworthy Locksmith

It’s important to choose a Trustworthy Locksmith, to feel comfortable with the company and technician who will be providing you with their locksmith services. At Out and About Locksmith we strive to be trusted and offer 100% satisfaction guaranteed. These services will require access to your home, vehicle and your business which means it’s critical to choose a locksmith you can trust.

Call Out and About Locksmiths for a Trustworthy Locksmith.

Here are a few tips for selection criteria:

  • Make sure company is Insured and has a licence.
  • S.C.E.C (Security Construction and Equipment Committee) certified employees.
  • Be wary of locksmith companies that answer calls with generic phrases like “locksmith services” rather than a specific name.
  • Ask for identification when locksmith arrives – Don’t be afraid to do this as there reaction to your request will immediately tell you if they are legit and will make  believe you are to be taken seriously.
  • Get an estimated Quote before work begin. This is highly important, if you get an estimate before beginning then the Locksmith can’t just throw out high paying price once they finish the job. Most Reliable Companies will have a free quote section on there websites.
  • If you are locked out, be cautious of companies that recommend or insist on drilling or replacing your lock upfront. Most experienced locksmiths have the skills and tools to unlock almost any door.
  • Legitimate locksmiths will arrive in a clearly marked vehicle and an employee in a uniform.
  • You trust your friends right? Get a recommendation of a Locksmith they have used in the past that has been a successful service.
  • If you also have friends who have had bad experiences with locksmiths then learn from their mistakes, see where they went wrong in deciding on which company they use.

Out and About Locksmiths Canberra is here to help with all your locksmith needs!

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