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Barnsley Locksmiths During COVID 19

3rd May 2020

Well, it’s May already then. Time is very peculiar recently. March seemed to last 87 years and yet April has flown by. Or so it seems to me, maybe that’s not universal. Regardless, we’re living in the strangest of times, and I hope this finds you as well as possible given the circumstances. Was thinking the other day how you would explain the current situation to a time traveller from 2010. “Well, the bloke from the Apprentice is US President, Boris Johnson is our Prime Minister, and we’re only allowed out of our house once a day for a state-authorised walk.” They’d have carted you away to the funny farm. 

 Moving on from that rare philosophical moment. It’s fair to say not a lot has changed in the last 5 or 6 weeks. Strange as everything is, most people seem to have settled into a new routine. It’ll be fascinating to behavioural scientists in years to come just how quickly the bizarre became the new normal, if only temporarily (one hopes). Yes, it’s frustrating for a lot of us and boring as heck for the majority as we find out that Morrissey’s “Every day is like Sunday” is not quite as appealing as it sounds, but at least we know we’re taking these actions for the greater good, keeping the vulnerable as safe as possible and protecting the key workers who are having to take much greater risks than simply staying in the house all day. I’m no pandemic expert (this may come as a shock, I know), so all I’d say is keep checking the government advice, and following the recommendations of the people who know far more about it than me. 

To give you an update about things here, I am continuing to work as a key worker in both senses of the word. And yes, I know I made that joke last month, but I’ll continue to do so until this pandemic is over. Locksmiths in Barnsley are classed as front-line workers, our services are still needed despite the shutdown, as broken locks, lost key emergencies and break ins still need to be sorted and leaving a house unsecure for weeks or months is not a viable option. A lot of our work involves other key workers too, helping them to help others, so if we stopped there would be a knock-on effect there too. So please, if you urgently need help with your property or business, give me a call, and I’ll help where I can, all the time keeping as safe as possible and following social distancing rules. 

Meanwhile, I just thought I’d take this opportunity to quickly mention a few home security issues that could raise their heads during this strange time we find ourselves in. 

Now, the bad news for burglars is that, despite the help that has been put in place by the government in terms of loans for small businesses and assisting the self-employed, these don’t seem to apply to the criminal fraternity. The poor dabs can’t even sign up to the furlough scheme. As a result, they haven’t got much option except to try to keep working through the lockdown. And that means doing what they do best (or worst, depending on one’s viewpoint) – burglary. 

Now it’s become a bit trickier to be a burglar in the last month or so. You see, what a burglar really wants is a nice empty house they can break in to, whilst obeying social distancing rules (they were ahead of the curve on that one), seek out the valuables, and then take them away, all the while remaining unnoticed. This is why most burglaries take place when the occupier is, well, not occupying the property. However, with most people having to stay at home during the day, the choice of houses has instantly been reduced for your neighbourhood burglar. 

As a result, burglars are having to do what the majority of them don’t want to do, and target occupied houses.  This means that we should all be extra vigilant of our home security, even when we are in the house.  I always advise that front doors should be locked during the day to prevent opportunist thieves popping in, grabbing car keys or the like, and then escaping in a matter of seconds. This advice holds even more during times like this, especially given the frankly ridiculously warm weather we’ve seen in April. This led to people spending more times in their back gardens which, whilst lovely, also makes the front of the house more vulnerable to an unnoticed burglary. Therefore, please do make sure you always have the door locked, and if you’re going to be out the back for some time, also check that windows are not accessible to burglars as a point of entry. 

We can’t all remain at home at the moment. Frontline and key workers continue to keep the country moving, going out to work each day, whether this be in the health and social sector, in retail, or helping to deliver the goods that we all need. In a horrible twist of fate, it is the houses of these workers that will be most at risk if they are left empty during the day. If you are one of these key workers, first of all thank you very much for all you do, but second of all, please do ensure you leave your house as secure as possible when going out to work. This includes locking all doors, shutting all windows, and making use of a burglar alarm if one is present. Perhaps also speak to a neighbour you know is staying in, just to get them to keep an eye out on your property or to leave their car on your drive. 

Ensure you also have the number of a locksmith handy just in case the worst does happen. That way, you can have the property made safe as soon as possible. We understand how important this is, and despite the current conditions, any responsible locksmith will still provide you with help in these circumstances so that you can sleep soundly again.

Although we are happy to give you this support, there are also precautions you can put in place to avoid any unnecessary callouts. Chief among these is to always remember to keep your keys on you when leaving the house, if only for a minute. As an example, the recent minute’s applause each week on a Thursday brings people together in a sense of community, but if you have a Yale lock, be careful that you don’t step out on your doorstep, get distracted by that neighbour you haven’t seen for a month, and then let the door close behind you leaving you locked out. This would be an instance of a call out for a locksmith that could have so easily been avoided, and that’s the sort of example where a bit of extra care would prevent it from happening. A worldwide pandemic is enough to be getting on with, so don’t make things even tougher for yourself by locking yourself out! 

Truth be told, we’ve had a weird 6 weeks or so. And as we enter the seventh week of lockdown, who knows how much longer we’ll have restrictions on our lives. Ever the optimist, I’m sure we’ll get through this, and soon be back to some sort of normal, whatever that is. But during this period, and beyond, if you need any urgent help with locksmith services in Barnsley or any other security matter, please call me on 07990 573857 for advice and I’ll see what I can do. Stay well. 

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