For most UK residents, the only time to call a locksmith is when they’ve been locked out of their home, office or vehicle. However, locksmiths perform various tasks. Some of the locksmith’s work includes installation of window locks, security systems, digital locks and car door locks, amongst others.

With development in security technology, the job of your local locksmith has evolved to cover a range of more advanced services like fitting remote locking mechanisms and advanced security systems. Locksmiths has become consumers of extensive knowledge for having to handle all the latest tools and skills required for such tasks. Some are 24-hour emergency locksmiths, while others excel at advanced security networks. When calling a locksmith, it’s important to know the different types of services they provide so you can choose the right one.

Skills and characteristics of a locksmith

To become a locksmith in the UK, you don’t need any specific certification but it’s better if the locksmith you pick is registered with one of the British locksmiths’ organizations and possess the following skills:

  • Attention to detail.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Good customer relations.
  • General understanding of metalwork and carpentry.
  • Trustworthiness.
  • Patience.
  • Love of puzzles.
  • Competitive spirit.

What are the different types of locksmith services?

24-hour emergency locksmith

If you’re locked out of your home at night or have lost your car keys in an unfamiliar area, an emergency locksmith will visit you on site, either during working hours or out of hours. The Locksmith must be MLA licensed and provide the following services:

  • Help you gain access to your property (home, car or office).
  • Fit and change locks.
  • Key cutting.
  • Burglary repairs.
  • Replacing lost keys.
  • Safe opening.

Residential Locksmith

Residential locksmiths are technicians who specialize in residential locks and security. It is the most common locksmith service available. Some also double up as emergency and commercial locksmiths. The main function they perform is to help you re-enter your home during lockouts. This includes situations where you’ve lost your entry door keys or are locked inside. The locksmith provides other services such as upgrading your locks, installing new door locks, copying your keys and changing locks on apartment buildings.

A residential locksmith is specialised in all services related to your door and locks. Some tasks are also including:

  • Panic hardware installation.
  • High-security keys duplication.
  • High Security Deadbolt installation.
  • Upvc Doors and lock installation.
  • Emergency Lockouts.
  • Keyless entry locks.
  • Installation of CCTV.
  • Installation of smart home security system.

For residential locksmith services in London and a quote contact Prime Alert Locksmith 24/7.

Commercial Locksmith

Commercial locksmiths work on larger buildings, such as office complexes, schools, hotels, garages, warehouses, production plants and more. These are places that usually require more advanced solutions like locks with different security clearance from specified groups of people, based on those with key-card access or master key systems. Installation of a biometric system or remote keyless system (which you’ll find in most office buildings) is installed by a commercial locksmith too.

Some buildings require high-security padlocks for filing cabinets, safes and storage outbuildings, where sensitive data is kept. It is essential for commercial locksmiths to stay updated with the latest lock and key technology if they are to provide knowledge that keeps their clients’ properties secure. When contacting a commercial locksmith service, ensure they employ experienced locksmiths who are trained to handle such complex jobs.

For further advice about your commercial locking and security enquiries feel free to contact our team and any time.

Automobile locksmith

Have you ever been locked out of your car in the middle of nowhere – perhaps an insecure, isolated area? An automobile locksmith responds quickly to your callout location and helps you unlock your car door.

Today, most cars have both an electronic and smart key to provide multi-access to car owners. If your vehicle uses a smart key, it makes it very hard to bypass. Only skilled personnel with the right locksmith technology can open complex automobile lock systems.

Beyond that, they help you gain access to your vehicle. You can use an auto locksmith service to duplicate or replace your car keys and update or repair your remote control. If the keys are stuck in the ignition, a locksmith certified by the Master Locksmith Association safely removes the key from the ignition and creates a new key for you if the old key is broken.

Key cutting

Some locksmiths are more skilled than others in key cutting. Most locksmiths offer services for cutting residential house keys, which is a simple process for those with the tools. However, some complex locks have special keys that require a locksmith who can provide this unique service. Such locks are found in automobiles with an electronic transponder or complicated commercial locks. For computerised auto keys, the locksmith has to obtain the unique key code from the car manufacturer.


Institutional locksmith

These are locksmiths whose services are required by government facilities, schools, hospitals, manufacturing plants and modular buildings. To perform the job, an institutional locksmith evaluates and understands the operational need of a premise before recommending security options to match the requirements. Other services include:

  • Key control.
  • Lock and key installation.
  • Installation of building management system.
  • Card access systems.
  • Visitor management system.
  • Key making and replacement.

Institutional locksmiths also require to possess some more certifications and some paperwork to be filled out for every job. The bureaucracies makes it a bit less appealing for locksmiths and therefore less locksmiths become Institutional locksmiths.

Forensic locksmith

This is the most delicate area of the locksmith industry. A forensic locksmith is described as one that uses scientific methods to understand and dissect a lock system. A forensic locksmith studies locks and other security devices using scientific methods of gathering and analysing data to determine how (or if) a lock was opened, bypassed or neutralised.

A forensic locksmith helps with crime investigation, security information and insurance claims. They possess the ability to combine the vigilance of an investigator with the skillset of a locksmith. They are not part of the team that solves crime cases, but they provide insight, facts and evidence that help with an investigation.

Techniques used include:

  • Photography and microphotography.
  • Metallurgy.
  • Microscopic examination.
  • Disassembly of a device.
  • Tool mark identification.
  • Evidence collection and preservation.
  • Crime scene investigation.
  • Locksmithing.
  • Written and verbal communication (investigative reports and expert testimony).



You’ve seen from this article that the services of a locksmith go beyond the installation of lock sets or opening doors when you’re locked out. Your locksmith should possess the required certification, skills and services based on the type you require.

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