A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals
A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals
In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, locksmiths must take steps to protect our customers from the transmission of this virus. That means the criteria to help locksmiths provide better customer service have expanded along a new dimension. You used to call a locksmith to fix or improve your security, but with any human interaction creating the opportunity for the spread of this deadly virus, you might wonder if you are safer receiving no service at all.
In this case, security does not have to be a trade-off. You can receive locksmith services, as your locksmiths take precautions to ensure you stay as healthy as your locks. Thanks to insight from a variety of governmental institutions and medical professionals, we have a road map that will help locksmiths deliver the best service possible while still preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Here is an overview of the safety a locksmith can offer in the COVID area:
Wearing a mask can now be added to the list of what to expect when you call a locksmith. This is one of the most basic precautions a locksmith can take to stop the spread of COVID-19. Studies have shown that the use of a mask helps reduce the reach of respiratory droplets generated by coughing, sneezing, talking, or breathing. These droplets have been determined to be the predominant means of spreading SARS-CoV-2. Of course, the best masks are multi-layered cloth masks without valves.
We hope that customers will also do their part to provide locksmiths with better security by wearing a mask of their own. This has become the status quo for almost the entire world over the last year, but we still want to thank our patrons for doing their part to keep our technicians safe. Not only are our locksmiths thankful, but so are the next customers who have had their risk of exposure minimized by your mask.
Though the CDC states, “surfaces are generally not directly associated with transmission of infections to either healthcare workers or patients,” there is still risk worth mitigating with gloves. When a technician is wearing gloves, it reminds them not to excessively touch their face, which could result in self-contamination. By locksmiths taking this step to mitigate their own risk of exposure, they limit their chances of contracting the virus and spreading it to customers.
Customers don’t need to wear gloves as the items they interact with can be sanitized. Technicians may need to remove gloves when picking locks due to grip and feedback concerns. This will not be done in every circumstance, but full tactile sensation can be important for manipulating the lock as precisely as possible. During these instances, the locksmith will only be handling their own lock pick set and tools.
Though being sociable is one of the important characteristics of a great locksmith we now have to take measures to social distance as much as possible. Customers are often curious how lock picking works or about the specialty tools for opening a locked car, but for everyone’s safety, close-up tutorials will have to be put on hold. Maintaining a distance of at least six feet between the customer and the locksmith is still the prevailing rule.
Even outdoors where the virus is less transmittable, keeping your distance is still a good idea. The air may be circulating, and masks are reducing the chance of respiratory droplets even getting into the air, but locksmiths have to interact with a lot of people in a day. That is why we believe in taking this precaution when it is sensible to do so. This practice does not interfere with the quality of your service, so it is something we feel confident offering.
In the case of a mobile locksmith service, your locksmith is coming to you to provide service. But before that visit, you can get a locksmith to look at your issue and give you an estimate that would have been in person. With the prevalence of smartphones, it is now more possible than ever to offer customers video estimates. These digital evaluations allow a locksmith to potentially get all the information they need about broken locks, safe lockouts, and specialty issues, where parts or specialty tools may be required.
Reduce the chance of multiple visits or rejected servicing by learning as much as you can before the technician ever arrives. Limit exposure and allow customers the convenience of a video estimate. Of course certain emergency services customers may value a technician to arrive in person as soon as possible, but this may work out best for all parties when it comes to appointment-based services.
Though there were a lot of issues with the Uber of locksmithing, one of the ideas that are likely to stick would be the contactless payment. This minimizes the hassle of cleaning and reduces the number of close-up interactions between the locksmith and customer. There are still some growing pains with this as payment methods need to be as broad as possible for customer convenience. Certain services may require signatures that not every customer is ready to provide digitally.
Digital and virtual seem to be the future of most industries. And it can be a boon for locksmiths and customers alike. Just as the online resources to improve locksmith skills have allowed technicians to learn and grow in their abilities with greater ease and convenience. In this case, COVID-19 is just speeding up the adoption of industry standards that were inevitable anyway.
The most common and effective method of spot-checking your health is with daily temperature checks. Other than that, employees should be kept up to date on the common symptoms and not report-in unless they are feeling healthy. With a healthy staff of technicians, you minimize the chances of your customers getting infected, and prevent sub-par service from workers who are even slightly impaired by illness.
Most locksmiths are solitary workers, so they will be responsible for self-reporting. If there is a concern about whether employees will accurately and ethically reporting their health, then you have a much larger issue than just transmitting the virus. When customers are choosing the right locksmith, they need someone that they can trust. Giving someone access to keys, locks, and codes requires them to be ethical. You know you can trust your technicians because we know we can trust our technicians.
Sanitizing services after a technician or customer interacts with them is no problem at all. Locksmiths are no stranger to cleaning up after themselves. Plenty of services require locksmith tools that make some kind of a mess, whether it is having to drill a lock, adjusting a door, installing a lock on a door without a lock, etc. Just add a disinfectant and a cleaning cloth to your tool kit, and use generously.
A locksmith will also be cleaning surfaces they have not interacted with. For example, for a locksmith to open a safe in the area of COVID, they are going to wipe down the handle, dial, door, etc before beginning the work. With a simple wipe down before and after service, the chance of transmission from these surfaces becomes near impossible.
Minimizing service time is a part of everyone’s introduction to locksmithing, but now there is an additional incentive in regards to limiting the exposure time of all involved parties. Data seems to suggest that if you can limit the amount of time you spend in proximity to others, you can minimize your risk. As reported by the Miami Herald, how long you are exposed to the virus can affect how sick you get.
Limit your viral load and maximize your efficiency by working as quickly as possible. Of course, some tasks, such as making a new key from a lock may require a bit of time, but when possible do not delay or make small talk. The in and out approach is the best way to service customers during this pandemic.
When you need a locksmith during this pandemic, reach out to the professionals that value your safety, security, health, and patronage. As a locksmith company, United Locksmith is committed to safety and security in all areas of life. Whether we are keeping you safe from a pandemic or securing your home after a burglary, United Locksmith is committed to your protection no matter what threats you are facing.
Category: Safety & Security, Tools of the Trade