Have you recently moved out and into your own home for the first time? Do you know what you'd do if you were locked out of your house or apartment? For many people, the answer is obvious: call a locksmith. This is a good idea but you should definitely find a trustworthy one now, before you actually need their services, rather than try to locate one after you're already locked out. As with many other types of services professionals, there are people out there who claim to be locksmiths but who will actually cause damage to your property before charging you an unreasonable fee. In order to avoid these types of scams, here are some questions you should ask before considering hiring anyone:

What do you charge? A true professional locksmith will never quote you a flat rate for anything. Instead, look for a service where there is a "call out" fee and then a fee per hour. No two locks are the same, so a professional will never charge the exact same fee twice. Dealing with a key that has broken off in the lock is likely to be more difficult and time-consuming than you simply having forgotten your keys inside and is going to be charged accordingly. Beware of any service that claims otherwise.

Will you drill out the lock? Drilling out a damaged lock is sometimes necessary in order to get it open. It's also the quick and lazy way of dealing with a lock. A scam locksmith will spend 5 or 10 minutes looking at the lock before pulling out a drill and using that. Once the lock is drilled out, they will charge you many times the going retail rate to replace the doorknob in question. Since they are not actually trained in locksmithing, they could cause damage to the area around the lock while they do this. A legitimate locksmith will usually spend at least half an hour, if not more, trying to unlock the door by means other than with a drill. 

Where are your offices? A legitimate locksmith service should have a physical location that you can visit. At this location, they will often do things like duplicate keys for you. You should always visit this location when possible, in order to verify that they exist. On the other hand, scam locksmiths always work out of their vans. They may have an office somewhere in order for them to answer phone calls, but the public isn't allowed to visit. This enables them to change their name frequently, whenever people in the area start to catch on that they aren't legitimate locksmiths.

To learn more, contact a locksmith company like Key One Locksmith.