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1st Metropolitan Locksmiths Ltd

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7 Vestry street
London
N1 7SS
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website
Phone: 020 7608 0809
Fax: 020 7253 8038
Hotline: 020 8503 8888

1st Metropolitan Locksmiths are one of the very few firms to offer local assistance, wherever you are in Greater London and beyond. Our many locally based skilled and vetted locksmiths pack a powerful punch to get your security problem sorted out.

Security Solutions

Locks are ubiquitous. An old locksmith adage says that in London, one is never more than three yards away from the nearest lock.

Plenty of locks can cause plenty of issues for their owners and users. The enormously wide spectrum and ubiquity of today's locks are testament to the scope of a locksmith's daily life.

Versatility, dexterity and also mobility are the keys to success for any locksmith on call.

Here is an eclective non-exhaustive list of issues and problems a locksmith can solve.

Plastic used to open locked door

The standard "slammed-shut door"

Keys left in the hallway, the wind blew the door shut, maybe the dog or a child did it. No reason to feel silly about it - it happens, by some estimates, a good 300 times/day in Greater London alone. In most cases the locksmith will be able to open the door without damaging the lock

A piece of plastic can, in some cases, help you to open the door yourself. The plastic will push the latchbolt back into the body of the lock, thus freeing the door.

Person reaching through letterbox to open door using a wooden spoon

In other cases, occasionally, one can reach through the letterbox to open the door. Both these methods may in fact be trickier to implement than they appear.


Keys are lost, stolen or simply not available

The job description for a locksmith depends on one question: "What was locked when the last user left through that door?"

The door could have been simply pulled shut, or properly locked by turning the key in one or several deadlocks

In this situation, no self-help proposal will work, the locksmith will have to pick or drill the deadlocks on that door open. If he drills them open, they may have to be replaced.

The key won't turn in the lock

This can have many reasons:

  • a) It is the wrong key
  • b) The lock needs lubrication
  • c) The door is binding, thus preventing the key from turning
  • d) In the case of a Yale style lock, the button (snib) on the inside could be in the wrong position, thus locking the lock completely.
Yale locks

A more sinister reason would be a burglary, whereby the burglar pushed that button down to ensure some privacy. There could then be an opening elsewhere, at the rear of the building for example, which would have granted access to the burglar.

  • e) In the case of a uPVC door, there could be a key stuck on the other side of the lock. That will prevent the key on the outside from going in fully. You could try and remove the key from the inside via the letterbox.
  • f) The lock could be broken due to wear and tear, misuse, or just plain bad luck.

We need new locks...

This request often results from a stolen bag, a break-in (or a break-up) or from moving into new commercial or residential premises.

Locks can be changed without the intervention of a locksmith - most locks are sold with fitting instructions. It is important to get the correct lock for the purpose. When replacing locks, the new lock should be identical to the old one. Otherwise a simple DIY job can turn into a very time-consuming nightmare.

A typical mistake is this:

is not the same as

The lock on the left is 20mm longer. Both locks are otherwise identical, but can't replace each other.

In short: If it needs to be done properly, a locksmith will normally win hands down.

When uPVC and double-glazing door locks go faulty

Problems with uPVC doors tend to be more disruptive than problems with locks on wooden doors: A uPVC door has just one lock on it - if that stops working, then there is no way to lock the door..

The older the door, the nastier the problems can become.

Typical problems with uPVC doors include:

  1. The handle works correctly on one side, but just spins round on the other side. The solution is to reposition the spindle and fix it in place.
  2. The locking system in the door works fine, when the door is open, but the various bolts do not engage correctly, when one tries to lock the door. The solution is to re-align the locking strip with the various bolt-receptacles on the door frame. A fiddly job alright, but a daily fare for a locksmith
  3. BoltsThe handles just spin round on both sides. That may (but need not) mean you need a new locking strip. The locking strip sits in the edge of the door and operates all the bolts which shoot out:

This may not be cheap and, at times, may even not be a same-day job. Many of the locking strips are special-order items and can take a day or two to come in.

 

Access Control

In physical security, the term access control refers to the practice of restricting entrance to a property, a building, or a room to authorised persons. Physical access control can be achieved by a human (a guard, bouncer, or receptionist), through mechanical means such as locks and keys, or through technological means such as access control systems, which control electronic or mechanical locks.

The most commonly used access control devices are

1) Keypads:

Key pad

Typing in the correct code will allow the lock to open. A keypad works in conjunction with an electronic door release or an electronically operated lock. This solution usually looks nice and is suitable for heavy traffic.

In this category, one also finds the widely sold digital mechanical latchlocks. Three locks dominate the market:

  1. The Lockey-type medium duty latchlock

    Mechanical lock

  2. The Unican 7000 series medium duty latchlock

    Unican 7000

  3. and the Unican 1000 series heavy duty latchlock, suitable for heavy traffic

    Unican 1000

2) Fob-reader systems:

Fob Reader

Holding a small fob or token up against the reader plate will send an electric impulse to the door lock to release. The fob readers can be tailored so that the door would release simply by sensing the presence of the fob your pocket or handbag. A fob-reader works in conjunction with an electronic door release or an electronically operated lock. This solution usually looks nice and is suitable for heavy traffic.


Swipecard Reader

3) Swipecard systems

Swiping the card through the reader will send an electric impulse to the door lock to release. A swipecard reader works in conjunction with an electronic door release or an electronically operated lock. This solution usually looks nice and is suitable for heavy traffic.


4) Biometric readers:

Biometric Reader

The only commercially widely available form is the fingerprint reader. Upon installation the prints of 1 or 2 fingers per user are programmed into the reader. Presenting the correct fingertip to the reader plate will send an electric impulse to the door lock to open up. A biometric reader works in conjunction with an electronic door release or an electronically operated lock. This solution usually looks nice and is suitable for heavy traffic.

The headway this product makes is slow, mainly because solutions 1, 2 and 3 work quite satisfactorily.


5) Access control with computer feedback

If within your organisation you control more than just a few fob- or card-readers, then it may be suitable to have them administered centrally by wiring all readers to feed back to a central computer. This will make it very easy to add or delete fobs/cards or, for example, to set them up to work at certain times on certain readers only. While the installation and cabling tend to be involved, the end-result is usually incredibly well received

 


 
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