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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

I Need A Locksmith! What Do I Do?

by Hugo Reed April 17, 2017

It’s a bird… It’s a plane… no, It’s your locksmith on their way to save the day. Anyone who has ever had to call a locksmith can attest to the fact when you need a locksmith, a good technician is a far superior (and necessary) force than Superman. I don’t make that comparison lightly, but being stuck in a lockout scenario can be more nerve-wracking than battling super villains. If you’ve ever been in the position where you find yourself saying “I need a locksmith”, you will know that finding the right one is not always as clear-cut as one might think. Well, this is why we are here to help, so that it becomes much easier for you to know what to do if you ever find yourself saying “I need a locksmith!”. Let’s take a look at what you have to do when you need a locksmith.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the common reasons why people will even need to call a locksmith. The first step to knowing what to do when you realize you need a locksmith is to simply be able to identify the basic type of service that you need. In order to do this, we will look at some of the basic instances where you might find yourself in need of a locksmith:

Residential Locksmith Services – A locksmith can provide many different services, and some of their most popular services fall under residential locksmith services. When it comes to residential services, a locksmith can respond to calls about being locked out of your house or even being locked out of your safe. Essentially, any lockout problem that falls under the residential branch can be handled by a residential locksmith. However, being locked out is not the only time you will have to say “I need a locksmith”. A residential locksmith can also help you with rekeying door locks or with a broken key extraction.

Auto Locksmith Services – As I mentioned above, there are several different services that a locksmith provides. A basic understanding of each of these services will help you figure out the right course of action to take whenever you say ‘I need a locksmith’. Auto locksmith services consist of helping people out of car lockouts and also helping with any other lock and key related issues. For instance, an auto locksmith is the one you will call if you locked your keys in your trunk or if you need help with transponder key programming.

Commercial Locksmith Services – The services of a commercial locksmith are mostly geared towards businesses. They are meant to help people who have been locked out of their offices, or those who simply need someone to install commercial grade locks.

What To Do

Now that you have brushed up on some of your basic knowledge about locksmiths, we can begin to take a look at what you have to do when you realize that you need a locksmith. I am going to go through these steps to make sure you are as informed and prepared as possible. If you find yourself saying, “I need a locksmith”, then here is what you have to do:

1. Make Sure You Need A Locksmith

Forgive me if this sounds redundant, but it is important to be absolutely sure that you need a locksmith before you call one and say I need a locksmith. Allow me to explain. It is possible that you could be overreacting, without properly analyzing your surroundings. This usually applies to instances of lockouts. If you need a locksmith to help you repair a damaged lock, there is a very small chance that the lock isn’t actually damaged. However, when it comes to lockouts, there is always a chance that you might still have an alternative method of entry.

This is why it is important to make sure that you are actually locked out and that you need a locksmith. If you call a locksmith before you need one, you will be wasting their time, and your money as well. There have been numerous instances where people have called a locksmith only to realize that their back door was open, or that the door on the passenger side of their car was still unlocked. Once you find yourself in the position where you believe you need a locksmith, it is always advisable to take a step back and adequately analyze the situation before you make the call and say I need a locksmith.

2. Determine The Problem

It is important for you to determine the problem at hand (to the best of your ability) before you contact a locksmith. Please note that I said to the best of your ability because there are times where you will be unsure what you are faced with. If that is the case, the locksmith will help you identify the problem upon arrival. However, most of the problems that you might be facing are easily identifiable. Earlier on I took the time to run through some of the basic locksmith services, and this section is one of the reasons why I did so.

Once you are able to determine the root of your problem, it makes it much easier for you to reach out to the right locksmith and request the necessary service. Understanding that you need a locksmith is only one part of the equation. The other part of the equation is being able to understand the service that you require and then reach out to the appropriate locksmith. This also helps the locksmith come to the job prepared. For instance, if you call a locksmith and you do not tell them that you need help programming new transponder keys, there is a chance that they might show up without the necessary replacement parts. A basic understanding of your problem helps enhance the communication between you and your locksmith, and it will help them resolve your issue in a much more expedient manner.

3. Make Sure You Are In A Secure Location

This section mostly applies to those who are stranded in a lockout. As I addressed earlier, there are several different times you will find yourself saying ‘I need a locksmith’, and the most common of these is when you are locked out. If you happen to be locked out of your car, home, or office, it is important to always make sure that you are in a secure enough area to wait for your locksmith to arrive. Ideally, try and stay in a well-lit area so that you can see your surroundings.

It is also crucial to make sure you do not stray too far from your vehicle, office or home. I know that sometimes it is hard to stay secure, especially when it comes to car lockouts. This is usually because they can occur at inopportune times, and you cannot always plan for them. If this happens, just make sure that someone is aware of your location and aware that you are stranded. Your personal safety is important and this should be handled before you call saying ‘I need a locksmith’.

4. Find A Locksmith Near You

Although I likened locksmiths to Superman earlier on, it should be stated that they do not possess all the superhuman qualities that Superman does. If you walk outside and yell ‘I need a locksmith’, they will not just show up. Locksmiths do not travel at the speed of light, so do not call a locksmith that is 2 hours away and expect them to be there in half an hour. In some extreme cases, a locksmith will travel the distance to come help you. This usually happens when people are stranded in remote locations.

If you are not stranded in a car lockout in a remote location, it is always advisable to try and find a locksmith nearest to you. This ensures that they are able to help you in a fast and efficient manner, and it also saves you money. If you call a locksmith from a farther away location, the service call will be much higher than if you reach out to a locksmith near you to say that you need a locksmith.

5. Tell The Locksmith What You Need

This section goes hand in hand with what was discussed in section 2. As I pointed out in that section, it is crucial to have an open line of communication with your locksmith to ensure that the job goes smoothly. This is why it is important to be clear with your locksmith about what you need so that they know how to appropriately help you out. A locksmith cannot properly do their job if they have no idea what kind of service it is that you require. Not only does this help the locksmith come to the job prepared, but it will also help them give you a starting price quote on the service that you need.

If you need help with a new residential lock installation, make sure that you let your locksmith know, so that they do not show up to the job thinking they are about to help you with an ignition cylinder replacement. Telling the locksmith what you need from them will also give them the opportunity to provide some insight into the issue at hand. For instance, if you tell a locksmith that you need help changing residential door locks, they will be able to offer you advice on the type of deadbolt locks you should use, as well as other measures that might help increase the effectiveness of your locks.

6. Wait For The Locksmith To Arrive

Once you have gone through all the steps above, the locksmith will most likely be on their way to help you out. If you have never had to call a locksmith before, it always helps to brush up on the process and expectations of calling a locksmith so you know what to expect. It is crucial for you to wait for the locksmith rather than to go wandering off. This is mostly because locksmiths are very busy people, and they receive many calls a day to help people stranded in lockouts, or with other lock related needs.


If they arrive to answer your service call, only to find that there is no one in sight, they will most likely have to move on to the next job. Not only does this lead to poor use of their time, but it is a waste of money and resources. Also, it means that you will still be in need of whatever service you required. The locksmith will make you aware of their potential arrival time, and they will also update you on their location as they make their way to the job. This means that you will be well aware of how far away they are so that you can plan accordingly and be present by the time they arrive.

Additional Tips For When You Need A Locksmith

  • Once you call the locksmith, it is always advised to stop fiddling with the problem at hand so that you do not end up causing further damage. For instance, if you called a locksmith to help you get a broken key out of a lock, make sure that you do not continue to tamper with the lock as this could end up leaving the lock damaged. This will cost you more money in the long run.
  • If you are calling a locksmith to help you in a lockout situation, make sure you have the proper documentation on hand to show that you have the right to gain entry to a specific place. This is usually not a problem for most customers. For instance, if you need a locksmith to unlock your car, make sure that you take the time to show them your license and registration (once you have gotten into the car) as proof.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your locksmith questions while you have them around. However, make sure that your queries are not interfering with the job they are trying to accomplish. Locksmiths are great resources for knowledge, and some of the things they might impart to you will help you better your security habits.


There are times where needing a locksmith will come with the anxiety of being locked out or stranded, and I know how annoying of an experience that can be. If you come to the conclusion that you need a locksmith, make sure you walk yourself through these steps and then contact a locksmith near you. Regardless of whether you are in the midst of a lockout or you simply want a locksmith to rekey all the locks in your house, keep in mind that patience is always key. This helps you analyze your situation and adequately convey the service that you need to your locksmith.

Category: Automotive, Commercial, How To's, Residential, Safety & Security

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