As a trained locksmith, you will often go to jobs where a customer has experienced a break in. Whilst in attendance, you will have carry out several jobs that vary depending on the type of break in and how the burglar gained entry.
Read through our blog to see what you may have to do as an emergency locksmith after a break in.
Make sure the customer has phoned the police
Its important to note that before you can so anything in a home where a burglary has taken place, the police will need to be informed. This is so they can assess the scene properly and take any evidence or fingerprints. If you replace the lock before the police have had a chance to do this could destroy evidence. So, when I customer phones you to book you for burglary repairs, the first thing you should ask is if they have called the police and have a crime number.
Calm the customer down
This might not be covered in your initial locksmith training, however the more jobs you go to the more you will experience people in high stress situations. This is especially true when going to someone’s home after they have experienced a break in. If the customer is distressed or upset, then you may want to offer some calming words before you start work. Reassure them that you can make their home secure again. It would be a good idea to talk them through exactly what you are doing, so they know what to expect.
To learn more about what might be covered in your locksmith training, you can look through our Locksmith Qualification Guide.
Changing the locks
The most likely situation you will find yourself in is that a burglar how broken the lock in some way to gain entry. This could be through lock snapping, bumping, drilling or it could be that they have picked it. Either way, you are probably going to have to replace the lock. Even if the lock isn’t broken, the possibility that a burglar has a copy of the key, means they will need replacing. You should talk to the customer about installing high security, anti-snap, or anti-bump locks. You should never pressure the customer into spending more money on a lock, but you can offer your advice on which lock would be best for them and keep them the most secure.
It could be that the burglar has gained access through a window but smashing it or damaging the frame. They could have also damaged the door or frame beyond repair in the attempt the get in, a new door and frame will normally take at least a few days to arrive. In these instances, you will need to do emergency boarding up. You will have learnt how to do this in your locksmith training. It’s important to talk through with the customer how much it is going to cost and how long it will take. You may have to leave the site to get extra materials, depending on what you need. So, you and the customer need to agree a price, so you don’t buy materials that you won’t be compensated for.
Once you have changed the locks, made the repairs, or boarded up the doors and windows, it’s a good idea to offer the customer a free security check. This would involve you looking around the house to see if you can see any areas in which they are at risk of another break in. This is especially helpful to those who may be elderly or vulnerable. This is another area where you may need to use your judgement on if a customer needs some support.
What does an emergency locksmith do after a break in?
The role of a locksmith is not just to replace the locks after a break in, its to make a person feel secure in their own home, after a traumatic event. Locksmiths that do this are more likely to get repeat customers or recommended to other potential customers.
We have lots of information and helpful tips about becoming a locksmith on our Advice Page.
If you are interested in becoming a locksmith, then look through our Locksmith Courses Page.