Expert Locksmith Advice

15 November

Real world locksmith security advice in Barnsley

As a locksmith, my prime concern is with security of the physical variety - locks, bolts, doors, windows, fittings and the like. However, today I'll be going a little off piste, with a nod towards the subject of online security. This was sparked off by the TalkTalk data breach that has been all over the news recently, but mainly about potentially compromising posts I've seen on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites

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11 October

Security tips in Barnsley

In the spirit of the time of year, and also with a nod to the BBC's current poetry season, cast your minds back to school when you may have been forced to study/enjoy (delete as appropriate) the poem, Ode to Autumn, by John Keats. Most of it now escapes my memory, lost in the distant past, but I do still remember the first line which went: 'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' sounds good, doesn't it, and even to me, a non-poetry loving locksmith, it really invokes the atmosphere of this season. However, also as a non-poetry loving locksmith, I see another , less evoking side to Autumn, as the nights draw in and the evenings becomes progressively shorter. To represent this not-so-glorious side of the season, I've come up with my own alternative first line (with many apologies to Keats.).

'Season of thefts and callous lawlessness'

Okay, you can probably see why poetry's loss was locksmithery's gain, and, truth be told, it was unlikely I was ever going to be called on to be Poet Laureate, but despite all that, there is also a reality contained  within those clumsily edited words. For burglars love this time of year, stretching from now until Spring. Shorter days, longer nights - the cloak of darkness is one of their greatest accomplices, for them to carry out their thefts and lawlessness. So here's a seasonal reminder of things you can do to try to ensure you're not the one ending up reciting a bloody awful homage to Keats.

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19 July

Garden shed security advice

It's been a funny few weeks here in Yorkshire with the most extraordinary happenings taking place. The de-icer is no longer required on my van windscreen, the heating bills have dropped, and a mysterious fireball can frequently be seen overhead. Not to mention the blankets coming off the bed, and windows opening all over Doncaster. Yes, without wanting to put the mockers on it, it seems that we may finally be in the midst of a British summer.

As with most things in life though, you have to take the rough with the smooth. Yes, we'll save on heating, perhaps we'll plan a trip away, and of course we can spend the evenings cheering on a British tennis player at Wimbledon until his inevitable exit at the hands of a Swiss or Serbian in the semi finals (delete as applicable here). But sadly the warmer weather brings with it other uninvited effects that are less than ideal. And I'm not just talking about the wasps and mosquitoes, God bless them all, or the questionable clothing choices made by some amongst us. 

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17 May

Burglary in Barnsley

As a locksmith I'm always on the lookout for news stories concerning burglaries so that I'm up to date with the location of the latest hotspots and am best able to advise my customers of this information. Last week I happened upon a story on a local news site which told the story of a man being charged with carrying out three break-ins on the same day in Ardsley and Birdwell.

This painted a very sinister picture - less Four Weddings and a Funeral, but more like Three Burglaries and an Angry Locksmith. And like the Hulk, you won't like me when I'm angry! Yes, stories like this really get my goat (he'd probably have nicked that too) as I know all too well the consequences of these break ins - after all, I'm witness to them on a daily basis. 

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10 April

What do Barnsley locksmiths do?

It's nearly Easter, so how about a little bit of religion-related trivia? Did you know, for example, that there is actually a patron saint of locksmiths? Because there is, and although you might think it would be St Peter, it appears he's only the chap who stands by the pearly gates, allowing or refusing (if you've been a lock breaker, perhaps) entry. If your man Peter has any issues with broken lock mechanisms or snapped locks, he'd have to escalate the problem to the Saint with all the locksmith knowledge - the snappily-named St Baldomerus. For it is St Baldomerus who holds the respected title of the patron saint of locksmiths. Old Baldo, as his friends undoubtedly called him, was a 7th Century French monk who plied his trade as a locksmith for many years before entering the monastery of St Justus.

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31 January

Home security advice from a Barnsley locksmith

Alan Titchmarsh, Monty Don, Charlie Dimmock...names that bring to mind one subject. No not THAT one (and you shouldn't have been looking at them so much), but rather gardeners, or less specifically, gardens. Or even less specifically, gardens and the exterior of your house, and how to improve the security. Which admittedly doesn't have a lot in common with Titchmarsh, Don, and Dimmock, but I needed to find a way to start off this blog and that was it. In the blog, I'll providing tips on how to beef up the security of the surroundings of your house, including sheds, gardens and garages. 

Improving the exterior of your house  not only decreases the chance of a break in to your shed/garage/bomb shelter etc, but making your boundaries secure also has the knock-on effect of increasing the security of your house itself. After all, if you're a burglar and you have the choice of two similarly secure houses, but one of them is surrounded by a garden of landmines, which one are you going to choose.  (Please note, we do not in any way recommend the use of landmines in your own garden -apart from anything else it's going to take quite some explaining when the neighbour's cat steps on one.)

So anyway, my tips, in a pithy, or pithy-ish list form.

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09 November

Tips on keeping your home safe and secure

A question I frequently hear as a locksmith is "Hey Stephen, who won the FA Cup in 1946?" To them, I reply "Derby County," and continue tucking into my pork scratchings. Okay, I guess technically that only happened the one time during a pub quiz, but even so, it was one of my finest moments.  Back in the real world, the questions people generally ask me are concerned with how they can protect their house contents from the hands of burglars. 

Once I've told them that the best step they can take is getting me in to check their home security is all up to date, and they've rolled their eyes at my blatant self-promotion, I explain that there are other simple steps they can take to protect their belongings. And so, as we're leading up to the season of goodwill and as we've just waved goodbye to Home Security Month (it was in October, don't you know), I've scribbled down some tips on how to keep your properly a touch more secure over the festive season and beyond. 

These pointers assume that you've taken the essential step of ensuring your doors and windows are as secure as possible. For this task, I'd advise you call on the expertise of your friendly, local locksmith. I've heard the one that's writing this blog now is the very model of professionalism in this field. Okay, that's the advert out of the way, now onto the advice. 

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20 October

French door repairs in Barnsley

The perception of a locksmith 's work often means picturing us dealing with huge metal locks fixed on hefty wooden doors, and carrying a mass of assorted keys clanging on a chain from our belts. One might also think of the classic scene in Police Squad where Frank Drebin, working undercover as a locksmith to uncover a neighbourhood protection scheme, is challenged over who he is, and how he gained access to the gangster's office. His reply of "I'm a locksmith and...I'm a locksmith" is one of the finest lines from the series. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRva7z8pvwc)

Back in the real work, a lot of my day-to-day work revolves around the repair of UPVC doors and windows in their various forms. Sometimes the doors are the property's main entrance, but more often than not they are patio or French doors  at the rear of the property. The UPVC windows can, of course be situated anywhere in the property and I frequently provide help with these too.

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28 September

Choose the best antisnap locks in Barnsley

If you happen to be one of those people who still actually watch TV adverts these days rather than fast forwarding through them, thus missing the delight of ex-reality show stars desperately trying to flog frozen fish fingers, then you may have noticed a commercial that's been doing the rounds. It's for a car manufacturer, let's give it the codename  of Molkswagon as no-one will ever crack that code. 

So in the commercial there's a couple of men buying parachutes from a flying school, but one of the men, unhappy over the prospect of shelling out a bit extra on a quality product, enquires about a tattered one he spots in the "Reduced to Clear" section.  The assistant describes how this particular parachute "isn't as rigorously tested" and "the stitching isn't as good," but this isn't enough to deter the shopper, and his eyes light up when he's also offered a free clock radio with the purchase.

 

 

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15 January

Antisnap locks in Barnsley

Lock snapping is on the increase significantely in the Barnsley area now!

Originating in the West Yorkshire region it has crossed the border into South Yorkshire in the last few years. 

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