Any reputable locksmith in Belfast will tell you that having a spare key is essential – regardless of whether you’re a homeowner, business owner or car owner.

Surprisingly, so few people have a spare key – only to be left stranded when they, unfortunately, get locked out or lose their keys.

Here are the top 5 reasons you should have a spare kay for every important lock in your life.

  1. Prevent being locked out

There’s no disputing that lockouts can be extremely frustrating, but they can happen to anyone, so you should be prepared.

Although having a spare key can save you valuable time and money, it can also help in an emergency.

2.Avoid dealing with snapped keys

One of the main causes of lockouts is broken keys. It’s worth remembering that they aren’t invincible to time or the strain that’s put on them daily. Keys can easily break when they have been used over and over again.

If your key is sticking in the lock or doesn’t seem to be working as it should, be sure to take a closer look.

Having a spare will allow you to switch between multiple keys. This will reduce the risk of damage to the original key and preventing it from snapping inside the lock.

3.Save Money

Believe it or not, having a spare key can save lots of money. For starters, you needn’t worry about having to call a locksmith to come to your rescue when you’re locked out. You’ll be able to let yourself in.

You needn’t worry about missing an important meeting because your car key has snapped. You can simply pick up the spare and think about getting the original fixed (or replaced) once the meeting has finished.

Having a spare key will give you a piece of mind that you wont’t be having to spend out of hours fees either.

4.It’s more convenient

If a homeowner only has one set of keys and multiple people living under the same roof. This makes it difficult as everyone will have to depend on one person to always be there to lock and unlock doors.

Aside from this, it increases the risk of keys getting lost as so many people are sharing the one key and will likely put it down somewhere.

5.Save time

There are several reasons why you may consider a key replacement (e.g. your keys are lost, stolen or broken etc.).

Having a spare key, close at hand, is convenient for times when you lock yourself out and can decrease the amount of time it takes a locksmith to cut a new key. If the key isn’t present, we will have to disassemble the lock or resort to other measures to try and obtain the key code necessary. This can be a timely process. But, if you already have a spare key, and simply want a copy made, the key cutting process takes just a couple of minutes and will cost you a fraction of the price as less time and resources will be required.

belfast locksmiths

To avoid hiring an unethical locksmith or unskilled worker to solve your locked-out problem, take the time to research the company first. It’s best to use someone in anon-emergency situation. In that way you will get to know them and possibly use them when you are locked out of your home or car.

And follow these tips before you hire any locksmith in Belfast.

The best way to know whether a locksmith is trustworthy is to research them in advance. Call them, ask them detailed questions and check their reviews.

If you’re in a hurry, be wary of locksmith companies that answer calls with generic phrases like “locksmith services,” rather than a specific name. If a locksmith cannot or will not provide the business’ legal name, find another locksmith.

1.Make sure it’s a truly “local” locksmith

If you find a locksmith with a “local” address, search for that specific address online and see whether any other businesses use the same address. Ask them over the phone or via messenger where they are located.

Also, use extra scrutiny if a locksmith company uses an 800 number instead of a local phone number. It’s often a sign you’re dealing with a call center.

2.Ask the locksmith for a quote over the phone/messenger

Call center locksmiths typically quote prices that will also include service fees. They might be claiming, that the job is more complicated and will cost more. The call is normally answered by a person, that is reading from a script and might not have any practical knowledge of fixing locks.

It’s best to talk with the professional locksmith, who will be doing the work for you.

You are paying to get a locksmith shop at your home. And with that, there’s a bit of overhead.

A locksmith’s fee pays for tools, any licensing costs, continued training and transportation to and from a job.

Get an estimate before any work begins, including emergency service. Don’t hire a locksmith who refuses to provide an estimate.

3.Helpful questions to ask before you get the locksmith to your house/car

Ask these questions before hiring a locksmith. If a business can’t provide detailed answers, don’t hire them.

• Where are you located?
• How will you get into the house? Will you need to drill my lock? Can you tell me the exact process?
• Do you need a picture of the lock?
• Can you give me an estimate? What factors will cause this price to change?
• Do you require cash, or can I pay with a card?
• What’s the name of the locksmith who will be coming?

If you are in Belfast or the surrounding area you can call me.

My name is Mark and I have been working as a locksmith for over 20 years.I am based in Belfast and it’s where I live.

§ Call me or send me a message on Messenger.

Stressful Life!

You grabbed up the phone, bags and documents and headed out the door. You were thinking about the presentation at work you had to give to the district manager. You were thinking about the traffic, the weather and whether or not you had enough petrol to get to the office. You were thinking about everything except the keys to get into your car and get back into your house. 

It happens. It happens more times than you think and people call locksmiths more often than they call the local take-a-way restaurant. Not to fear. There are things you can do. There is a remedy. 

Don’t be ashamed to call for help. Most likely they are going to all do the same things, so why not learn about them and try your hand at them. If you manage to succeed, then good for you. But, if you fail then have your local locksmith on speed dial. 

You have to know what you are trying to do. The first thing to think about is how are you going to get back into the house to get your keys. That is the holy grail of survival at this point. You won’t have the necessary tools and implements the first time. But, possibly after reading this article you will find a place to stash them so you can apply them to your future delimma.   

Understand that we will be addressing a standard pin tumbler lock. This is the style of most of the locks placed in the front door of homes. This lock has two main parts: the bible and the plug. The bible holds the five driver pins which rest on a spring and are uniform in length. The plug holds the key pins which are a variety of heights. 

A pin and tumbler lock works in such a way that allows the key you are using to lift the key pins. When these pins are lifted, they compress the springs and this moves the driver pins up and into the bible. When the key pins and the driver pins are in the bible, the pins have reached something called the shear line. 

The shear line is the gap between the plug and bible. When this area is cleared, this allows the plug to turn thus opening the door. When thinking about unlocking and opening a door with a standard pin tumbler, you must not think of the size of the door or possibly the intricacy of the lock. All you must do is simply get the pins to move in such as way as to release the plug. Easy peasy!


You will only need two tools to pick a lock. You will need a tension wrench and a rake. You probably won’t be able to find these kinds of tools in any big box store, but they may be purchased online. When you purchase, you will be buying a set that will come preset with a few different tools for many applications. (Note: Make sure it is ok with the local authorities to purchase these items and to pick the locks) If there are any laws preventing this, better to leave it to the professional locksmith in your area. Many of the tools that can be purchased can also be created out of household items you may have at hand. 

Insert the tension wrench into the keyhole just like you would a normal key. 

Turn the wrench to decide which way has more give. The way that gives way the most is the way the tension wrench will be turned when the lock is opened. You must apply tension in this same direction during the entire process of picking the lock. 

Insert the rake into the keyhole and place it against the side that touches the key’s teeth. Push and pull the rake in and out, thus raking the lock. 

You are now keeping tension on the tension wrench and raking the lock at the same time. 

You must attempt different ways to move the rake such as wiggling, vibrating, moving in and out in a variety of directions and way. 

You must attempt these movements until all of the pins reach the shear line. When you feel all of the pins at the shear line, twist the tension wrench just like you would a key. 

The lock should open.


If you find you have no facility or skill to pick a lock using the picking methods explained, you can try “bumping” the lock to open it. You will need a bump key to accomplish this method. You can buy one and you will need one that matches the brand and model of your standard lock. 

You will need a key blank, a file and the key of the lock you are bumping. 

Measure the depth of the key or the deepest groove. Measure the distance between each groove.

File the maximum depth at each point where a groove will naturally occur. If you have done these steps correctly so far, you should have something that looks like a saw blade. You will want to file the new teeth so that they match a 90 degree angle. It will also be required to sand the teeth so there are no rough edges. 

The next step in the process is to remove the “stop point” of the key. This is the part that aligns it and prevents it from going any deeper into the key hole. 

You will now have to fill the space between the front of the lock and the bow. You must fill it with rubber or a spring. 

Understand that the “bumping” process is similar to the movement you did while picking. The pins will have to be moved the same way. The only difference is that the bumping action moves all the keys at the same time. With each successive bump, the key will move the pins to the shear line. 

You may strike the key with a rubber hammer. You must turn the key as the key is being struck. This will turn the bible and open the door. 


This is a process that requires the use of a drill that is either manual or electric and several differenet sized drill bits. Understand that this method will destroy the lock. This procedure requires you to start with a smaller bit and gradually move to bigger ones. You increase the size of the bit until the pin and tumbler are destroyed. 

The process is the simplest of the three discussed here. Place the drill bit on the side of the lock where the teeth of the key would be. Drill through this area by applying steady and consistent pressure on the drill bit. 

When you have drilled through the complete depth of the keyhole, you may use a flat head screwdriver to turn the lock and open it. That is it! Job done!

Your Local Locksmith

Most of the time, your local locksmith will use these methods to unlock a door unless the system you have is keyless or relies on some sort of technology to open. When you call your locksmith, you will notice they are well practiced in these methods and will have the job done in no time. 

If you know you just can’t tackle this sort of thing and it is well beyond your ability, don’t hesitate to call me. My name is Mark. I can open many different kinds of locks and get you back to your day. 

Contact me at 07866 522422. 

First Step: Locksmith Entry Training

A person aspiring to become a locksmith must undergo some kind of formal training. This will give them the basic skill sets required to succeed in the career field. This training may be found through certificate and diploma programs both in brick and mortar schools and online. The training given will teach the new locksmith the proper way to pick many different locks and the repair of residential and commercial buildings. The educational process includes an understanding of the mechanics of locks and the installation of security locks. Paths of study may also include training in automotive locksmithing and courses of study regarding the legal and business aspects of locksmithing. 

As in other career fields, the area of locksmithing offers apprenticeships wherein a new locksmith may spend time on the job with a master locksmith learning the trade. Apprenticeships are most often unpaid but the skills learned are profoundly valuable and important to “setting the learing in concrete.” 

The amount of time needed for adequate training can vary from a minimum of three months or as long as three years depending on the certificate or diploma to be awarded. The complexity and sophistication of the area of locksmithing being studied will also determine the amount of time needed for proficiency. 

Step 2: Get Some Work Experience

Getting a master locksmith to allow you to learn the craft may seem daunting at first. However, many locksmiths began just as you might be starting and will be understanding of your need for initial experiences. So, ask around, navigate the marketplace and network until you find someone who will give you a go. Consider hiring on as a helping hand at first and as you gain the trust of your fellow collegues and the boss, you may find yourself gaining valuable time on the job. 

Always remember your locksmithing craft is a necessary part of the culture and an integral sector of the marketplace requiring a constant rejuvenation of the locksmith workforce. 

Step 3: Earn a Locksmith License

Many districts require a locksmith to be licensed by local authorities. The purpose here is to protect the consumer and keep the professional standards for the career high. Licensing requirement vary but most will require an application, a background check, possibly fingerprints and a monetary fee. It will be important to consult with your local locksmith associations or government agencies to make yourself aware of local expectations. 

Step 4: Continuing Education Credits

Continuing your educational learning is not a licensing or credentialing requirement, but is necessary if you want to stay up to date with current knowledge in the field. Every field has continuing education units (CEU) that are available for learning. Doctors, lawyers and counselors all know that they must keep their knowledge base current if they are to remain an asset to the field. The same applies to locksmithing. Locks change, security systems change and the way these mechanical and electronic devices are installed, maintained and repaired require a constant upgrade or upload of new information. 

Locksmith associations, manufacturers and schools all offer continuing educational credits for locksmiths to stay current. You may also gradually expand your areas of expertise as you grow in the field. Should you want to increase the initials behind your name, you will need to continue study over time. 

Step 5: Earn Professional Certification

There are many levels and kinds of professional certifications available for locksmiths to earn. There are exams to take and many differnet study guides available for these tests. The study is worth it as any locksmith who is professionally certified will stand out above and beyond one that is not. Some of the categories of certifications may be Registered Locksmith (RL), Certified Registered Locksmith (CRL), Certified Professional Locksmith (CPL), and Certified Master Locksmith (CML). 

Step 6: Become Part of a Professional Organization

A professional locksmithing organization has many benefits. Membership in this kind of professional fraternity will introduce you to like minded individuals who will enhance your knowledge base and skill level. The organization you join may have conventions to attend where you will find the latest technologies and systems within locksmithing. You will also be exposed to professional journals and magazines that will offer other learning experiences and exposure to the latest tools for locksmithing. 

Professional organizations may also provide legislative representation at government levels that will allow you to directly impact the creation of policies governing the career. You may also have access to licensing, bonding and insurance programs that are more affordable. All of these exposures will serve to increase your customer base and grow your business. 

Do Your Best As A Professional

As in other careers, the steps taken to earn a credential and the work needed to keep that credential are respected by the general public. Earning your career title as a certified locksmith is important for your career and your personal self esteem. Knowing you are professioinally credentialed and have complied with all necessary laws will give you the personal power to work with the public in a safe, knowledgeable and professional capacity. 

When you are confident you not only know your career but are credentialed by all necessary entities, then you can feel satisfied knowing you are providing your customers with an unparalleled service. 

My name is Mark. I am a licensed and professional locksmith. Let me know how I can help by calling 07866 522422. 

Feeling Secure or Being Secure

In the world of home security, you can either feel secure or you can be secure. Feeling secure has to do with having locks, securing the keys, maybe having an alarm system. But none of these things by themselves will completely prevent a burglar from entering your home. They will slow them down, but these things alone will only give you that feeling of security everyone wants when they are in their dwelling. They may not actually make and keep you safe.

In the security field, professionals talk about layers of protection. Have you ever watched the personal bodyguards of a dignitary or presidential entourage? There are people positioned next to the dignitary, people in a greater perimeter and people in a greater perimeter still. The circle of protection actually extends out and into the surrounding neighbourhood where sophisticated technologies are scanning and probing the area for weapons, bombs and other devices. So, the person being protected is at the centre of a multilevel designed protection bubble. You have to do the same for your home. 

The Criminal Mind

Most people who commit burglary are after some kind of get a rich quick item that will take care of an immediate need they have. They will focus on the homes that are easily broken into and quickly escaped from should the authorities arrive. 

It may be interesting for you to know that studies have been conducted surveying those criminals in prison who committed a burglary and data indicates they made their decision as to which house to enter based on the factors of noise, time and visibility. 


The primary goal of a burglar is to get into the place as quickly as possible and get away with something as quickly as possible. Anything you can put in place that will add time to these two factors will increase your level of security. If it takes them a long time to get into your home because they have to neutralise a series of locks and electronic technologies, then the more time your neighbours will have to see them and call for help. Don’t disregard the locks you place on your entry doors. Keeping your doors locked and not forgetting lock them will add time to the process for the burglar and increase your chances of stopping their entry. 


In addition to their wanting to take the least amount of time to do the deed, burglars look for places where they can work without being heard or visibly noticed. Home security systems that use alarms or protection dogs that are trained to bark when danger is near are not the places they will make their first choice. The noise created during the burglary effort will deter them. Burglars will move on to more quiet and secluded homes rather than risk being discovered. 


A front porch light or lights lining your walkway or driveway are one of the best things you can do to make your place more visible to the world. Movement detection devices that turn on spotlights or “running” lights will deter a criminal. Remember that criminals like to work in the dark, away from people and as quietly as possible. If your home is poorly lit and your windows are covered by the limbs of trees, then you are creating the perfect scenario for a burglar. 

So, keep the three factors of time, noise and visibility in mind as you live in your home. Take a look at your own dwelling. What are your home’s weaknesses? Where are the areas that need more lights, more locks, and stronger deterrents?

Here are some questions to ask yourself. 

When I look outside my home and think about the perimeter, are there places where trees and bushes cover that would assist a burglar to be concealed? 

Are there plenty of well-lit spaces outside my home?

Is every opening in the outer shell of my home adequately secured? That is to say, are all windows, crawl spaces and doors locked completely? 

If I were to stand on the street and look at my home, what would I see? Is it possible for a passerby to see inside the home and know there is an expensive television or sound system? Do the windows in my home allow people to see expensive artwork? Can someone outside see people moving inside? 

Take a serious look at the patterns of your family members. Do the folks you love have routines that can allow a burglar to know when everyone is out of the house and when they will return? If so, then consider changing it up from time to time. 

Practical Matters of Security

Home Security System

Install a home security system and install it after consulting with a trusted locksmith and/or security company. Homes that do not have a security system are more likely to be burgled than those without them. Home security systems make noise and that noise seriously inhibits burglaries. The system also automatically dispatches the police and possibly other first responders to your home when activated. Depending on the system you have installed, you may also be able to control your lighting, home appliances, carbon monoxide detection and other factors in your home. 

If a home system is financially out of reach right now, go to one of the “big box” stores or get on Amazon and buy a noisemaker. You want to get a device you can place at your doors or windows that will make a loud noise and alert your neighbours that something nefarious is underway. If you just can’t spend any significant money, get some fake security company signs and place them in your yard or near your front door. 

Know Your Neighborhood and Your Neighbors

You will want to know how many houses are in your immediate neighbourhood, how secure are they? Are the lawns cut and do the houses looks like people are regularly taking care of the grounds. How likely is it that a burglar will target your area of the city? 

One of the best ways to protect yourself is to get to know your neighbours and make friends with them. It will give you a keen sense of peace and well being to know you can simply call up a neighbour and ask them to watch your place while you are away. Remember, if burglars know they are being watched they will most likely just move along to the next house. That neighbour who often takes a walk through the area or that lady who walks her dog could end up being your best deterrent to thievery. 

Landscaping and Cleaning

Keeping your grass cut and your hedges/bushes trimmed will send a message to everyone that some lives at this location and is regularly outside doing something. Choose different days of the week and times of the day to cut your grass or do the trimming. Change up the schedule to include working into the early night using your well-placed lights. 

Home Pets

Getting a dog that will respond to strangers with at least a bark will add to your protection arsenal. If your dog yelps and barks at the slightest provocation, then all the better. A burglar will hear the dog from afar and decide early on to bypass your home. 

Police Your Trash

Don’t throw away credit card receipts or any kind of receipt in your bin. Don’t go out an buy a new expensive appliance and then place its packing container on the sidewalk or near your bins. This is a signal to burglars that expensive items may be found at your location. Cut the cardboard box up and place the pieces inside plastic bags. 

Know the People You Allow Into Your Home

If someone knocks on your front door and they want to sell you a new roof or want to give you a home inspection, then ask for some kind of official identification. Don’t allow anyone in your home that you don’t know or trust well. One of the favourite tactics of burglars is to send in an innocent and sincere acting salesperson who is just in your home to “case it” and discover what can be stolen later. 

Salespersons, repairmen, general contractors, cleaners and babysitters will enter your home and return later with their colleagues to steal from you. Ask for references and make sure you contact the companies for which they work. Also, if someone unsolicited lands at your door and wants to sell you some tree trimming or yard work of some sort, be aware that while you are outside showing them what you want them to do their cohort may be inside stealing from you. The general rule here is if you did not call a company to come to your house, then don’t answer the door. 

Consider doing a background check on anyone entering your home. There are many websites available these days where one simply pays a fee and the check will be run. If you are considering the hiring of a homeworker on a regular basis then consider the use of a fidelity bond. This bond is issued by an insurance company protecting you from any theft committed by that person while in your home. 

Secure Your Doors

Make sure all the hinges on your doors are inside. Outside hinges can be taken off rather quickly with the right tools. If you have an older home, check the strike plates at your doors. Older strike plates will give way with little resistance. Replace them with new ones. You might consider installing a security film on the glass you have indoors or windows. This film will hold the glass together when thieves attempt a break in. If you have French doors, the split in the middle is the security issue. There are kits to be purchased that can reinforce these doors. If you have sliding glass doors, then consider the use of a metal rod or wooden dowl placed in the running track to prevent the door from opening. 


Always lock your windows and consider the use of security film. Use security bars across your windows. Make sure you use bars that can be released from the inside as any other may prevent you from escaping in the event of a fire in your home. Use shutters and curtains to prevent seeing in and an added measure of protection at the window opening. Consider planting some bushes with thorns directly under your windows. In addition to making it more difficult to a break-in, the bushes may also become evidence collectors as the burglar is escaping. DNA, blood samples and bits of torn clothing have been found in thorny bushes. 

The Garage

Keep your garage door closed and locked. If you are working in the yard all day long and your garage door is open all day, then you are telegraphing the contents of your garage to the neighbourhood. Make sure all access doors to your garage are locked also. If you park your car in the driveway make sure you don’t leave the garage door opener in the car. If your car is unlocked and you go inside the house for any period of time, the burglar simply has to get into your car, activate the garage door opener and steal your possessions. 

Vacation Times

When you go on a vacation or should you be visiting relatives for a period of time, you will want to have someone looking in on your home from time to time. Ask them to collect the mail, pickup any flyers or papers left on the porch and remove anything left on the door. Burglars like unoccupied homes, so do your best to have someone there. Ask a neighbor or have a friend or relative place trash bins at the normal place and remove them also. This continues a sense of normalcy. Ask someone to fee and walk your dog so you can leave Fido watching the property. Consider putting your inside and outside lights on a timer that will turn lights off during the day and turn them on at night. Leave a television running with the volume up loud enough so anyone can hear it from a door or window. You may consider leaving the A/C. When the compressor turns on, a burglar may hear it and think someone is inside. 

Use these tips and your home will be less of a target to those who would seek to steal your possessions or simply violate your personal space by breaking and entering into your most special place, your home. 

We use locks in a variety of places and in many different ways. Knowing which lock to choose or understanding just what a type of lock was created to do will determine its placement and use. We use locks to protect and safeguard items that are special to us such as possessions and property.

Most locks are fundamental and operate based on some very old principles of locksmiths and mechanical engagement. Knowing which is which will save you a great deal of time and confusion when deciding where to put a lock either in your home or your business.

You may also save some money when you head out to that big box store or are shopping your way around Amazon for just the right lock. Understanding how locks work is a simple process, but there will be some basic knowledge you will need.

A Regular Lock in Your Door

For the purposes of this beginning look at locks, a “regular” lock is one you will often find in your front door. These are locks that always require a key. The mechanism called into play include a bolt that moves inside a door into the frame of the door. These are called spring dead bolts.

The Main Body or Cylinder

The place where you insert the key is known as the cylinder. It is a small vertical opening in the front of the lock and usually has some irregular edges. The shape of the key matches the shape of this opening allowing only just the right key to be inserted into it. This shaping of the key is a built in security measure that confirms it is only your key and will not function in any other lock.

The Pin Tumbler

The pin tumbler is used inside cylinder locks and involves the engaging and disengaging of a set of pins. These pins are spring loaded and keep the cylinder from moving. When the key is inserted into the cylinder, the specific shape pushes the pins up toward a set of grooves. When the pins are placed into the correct groove, then the cylinder will turn, usually clockwise. When the cylinder turns, the door will open.

There is a section of the cylinder that meets with something called the “plug.” If an unusual or incorrect key is inserted into the front of the cylinder, then the pins do not match. This mismatch causes the cylinder to stay where it is and no rotation occurs. When the correct key is used, the “plug” will freely move and the door will open.

It is handy to only have a cylinder in use inside the dead bolt. If a key is lost or damaged and a lock needs to be re keyed, it can be done by simply changing the cylinder and not the whole locking mechanism. If you are a “do-it-yourself” type then this design is great for you. All you have to do is replace the cylinder!!

locksmith services Belfast

The Bolt and Latch

There is a piece of metal that extends from the door into the frame. This metal is what locks the door and keeps it secured. For our purposes, when a spring bolt is in use a spring clip is employed to propel the bolt into the door frame. When the bolt lock is unlocked the spring it compressed and therefore full of energy that can be released. When released, the energy propels the bolt forward and into a locked position.

Of course, you may also just use a complete deadbolt that can be secured by turning the key or operating a knob on one side of the door.

Tubular Pin Tumbler Locks

This type of lock is also known as the radial or circle pin tumbler lock. They work basically like the spring loaded pins, but have a circular pattern to the pins instead of pins aligned linearly. In this type of lock, the pins are pushed toward the front of the lock and this action prevents the plug from rotating. There are indentations on the key that are pushed against the pins which releases the cylinder.

The Strike Plate

In this lock, the bolt extends from within the door into the frame or wall. The bolt is extended into something called the box. The box is designed and placed in such a way as to hold the bolt, thus rendering the door immovable.

The strike plate is attached to the wall or door frame and functions as a guide for the bolt. The strike plate must be placed over the bolt hole in such a way that allows the bolt to find the hole every time. The strike plate also adds an extra dimension of stability to the entire locking mechanism and its location in the door and door frame.

The sophisticated designed locks we know about today had their start centuries ago in Egypt. Around 1848, the pin tumbler lock was created and the design has held true since then. Today, we have timed locks, electronic locks, locks operated by apps, and locks that involve the use of highly complicated software algorithms. You can feel confident when placing a spring lock or dead bolt in your home or business. They have proven their worth for years.


However, if you have many locks to replace or you simply don’t want to do it yourself, feel free to contact me here at Whether you need a recommendation regarding what kind of lock to use, replacement of one or more locks or just need to ask some questions, I am here to help.

My name is Mark and you may email me by using

Alternatively, you may call me at 078 665 22422



Five Top Lock Brands

Mark Burns  —  November 14, 2019 — Leave a comment


This brand is well known and is distinguished by the key used which is changing into a strong man. The bicep on the brand’s image really lets you know there is some strength behind this product. This lock is very secure mostly because it is combined with an active element within its structure that makes it more difficult to pick. The lock is pick-able as all locks are, especially if the person doing the picking is a master at what they do. A Mul-T-Lock will take an extra set of skills and knowledge set to actually be picked though. They are made with excellent cores and are solidly constructed.

RR Brink

You know you’re good when prison systems trust your product. Many prison systems use RR Brink to keep the bad guys locked away from the rest of us. This endorsement alone has been enough to propel this company to the top of the profit earners for locks. The lock itself is a strong mortise cylinder that is large enough to accommodate 2 normal sized keys in the key way.

The company was founded in 1976 and specializes in the design and manufacture of high security electromagnetically and mechanical locks. Their locks work especially well in correctional institutions because they can be remotely controlled from a central base.

There is a well documented history of incarcerated inmates attempting to pick a lock to gain their freedom. Unfortunately they have overestimated their skill and knowledge and underestimated the masterful craftsmanship of an RR Brink lock.


This lock manufacturer and security solution provider is a subsidiary of the Swedish Assa Abloy Group. The company’s humble beginnings were in a tool and die shop. One of the owners of that shop, Mr Roy C. Spain set to work designing a new lock that included angled key cuts with elevating and rotating pin tumblers. He was eventually awarded a patent by the US Patent Office.

At the time, Mr. Spain offered an award of $50,000 to anyone who could pick the lock. The only person to succeed in this was a detective who could only accomplish the task once. The lock Mr. Spain had created proved to be a profound safeguard against the lock attacks of the time making the company wildly successful.


Although not well known by the general public, this company has gained its reputation by providing secure locks. One of them, the MCS model has never been picked! It is a locking mechanism that uses a magnetic key system in the key way making it incredibly difficult to pick.

Evva enjoys a great deal of trust from other lock building companies and locksmiths alike. When the experts give them their trust, you know they are doing something right.

Evva has also given us the patented EVVA AirKey which is a simple and smart solution to security. This is an electronic key that allows the user to lock and unlock it using their smart phone. An electronic key may also be sent to guests, visitors to businesses or contractors who require entrance to perform work.





Have you ever heard of or used the locks by Yale, Mult-T-Lock, Medeco, Abloy or ASSA? If you have, then you owe their quality and unsurpassed security to ASSA-Abloy. This parent company also has their hands in the likes of Chubb, Sargent, Emtek, Union, IKON, ENOX, Pemco, Fargo Electronics, Traka, FAB, Ameristar, Elsafe, Besam, Rixson, Adams Rite and Lockwood.

ASSA-Abloy is a Swedish conglomerate that designs, manufactures and sells locks, doors, gates and other entrance lock automation. They have their hand in controlling identities with cards, keys, tags, mobile and bio-metric identity verification systems.

The beginning entity known as Assa AB acquired a Finnish high security lock creator called Abloy Oy. The company has since made over 200 acquisitions of other companies within the lock and security realm.

locksmith brands

To Conclude!

Use a company with whom you feel secure. The locks, doors and smart systems you choose must give you that sense of real security you want for yourself and your family. You can see here that most of the companies competing for your “secure” pound are owned and guided by one parent company. This is good news for you because the standard is set very high. The parent company will see to it that all products created by their subsidiaries meet their stringent guidelines for quality. So, any lock you choose from this group will do the job you want very well.

One of the ways you can make your choice is to actually know what you need. You need to have a very clear understanding of your property and what it is going to take to keep it secure from entry by the bad guys. You may not have the expertise needed to make these kinds of judgement when it comes to security.

That is where your local locksmith comes in. Your local locksmith can evaluate your situation and make suggestions as to which doors and locks are appropriate for your situation.


If you need assistance in evaluating your security needs and understanding the options available to you, contact 24 Hour Emergency Locksmiths My name is Mark and you can reach me by dialing 07866522422 or email me at






Why Garage Doors?

Locksmiths are concerned with the locks placed inside doors. They concern themselves with all the locks that are used in your home. Houses have many kinds of doors. There are front and back doors, doors to attics, doors to outlying buildings and in this case we focus on the concerns related to probably the biggest door in your house…the garage door.

That garage door goes up and down countless times during its lifetime and understanding some of the things it needs to maintain its ability to enclose your garage is important and will save you money in the long run.

We like to install things and let them do what they do for us. However, the garage door will require certain maintenance procedures over time. Here are some tips to keep it operating in a suitable manner.

The garage door is the most often used door and is the largest one as well. Keeping it in good shape will leave you confident that area of the home is secure.

Keep An Eye On It

Inspect the door as you come and go. Every now and then when you are entering or exiting the garage give the door a good looking over. Notice if there are any odd sounds being emitted from parts that may have come loose or fasteners that have lost their ability to hold over time.

Don’t wait until a disaster happens like the garage door getting stuck when you are tired and just want to get inside the garage. If you have a maintenance plan with the installer of the door, then by all means take advantage of that. If you did not purchase a maintenance plan, then getting your local locksmith involved is your next option.

Inspect the Locks

Burglars will attempt to gain access through the garage either entering the windows or tampering with the garage door locking mechanism. The lock in the garage door is a critical component that can keep evil doers from gaining access to your home and meaningful possessions. Because garage doors can be around for decades, the locks inside them will begin showing the use and replacing them from time to time is a good idea. These locks may also be easily broken so special consideration must be given them over time.

Check with the supplier or manufacturer of your garage door before purchasing a new lock. Consult with your local locksmith to learn about the latest developments in this area of home security. You will be surprised what has happened in this area!

Tighten Up Things

If you open the garage door in the morning to get out and open it again in the afternoon or evening to get back in…..and if we consider there are 365 days in a year….365 x 2 =730 times per year at a minimum the door goes up and down in its tracks. If you add in the times you just open the garage door during the week to retrieve a tool, do some handiwork or clean the area then you have a door that may well be opening and closing over 1000 times in one year.

Each of those openings and closings create a situation where nuts, bolts, fasteners and pulleys may become loose. Keeping these kinds of things tightened will ensure the door is working at peak levels and not becoming a safety hazard for the members of your family. Breakage at inopportune times is limited if all moving parts are tightened according to the manufacturer’s standards.

Check the Cables

If your garage door contains cables, chains or wires of any kind you will want to inspect them for fraying, dents, and potential breakage points. It is often beyond the scope and experience of a homeowner to know exactly what can produce a break in a cable. Call your local locksmith and let him take a look at the situation. They have experience with various metals and cables. They will be able to recommend correct thicknesses and tensile strength to keep your door safe.

Lubrication is Necessary

You will want to purchase a lubricant of good quality. Again, consult with the manufacturer or your local locksmith to see what kind of lubricant is recommended. Some possibilities will be WD-40 Specialist, 3 in 1 Garage Door Lubricant, Lubrimatic Lithium Grease, 3 in 1 Silicone, and 3 in 1 mineral multipurpose oil.

A good rule of thumb is to lubricate at least every 3 months. This will go a long way in keeping all the parts operating smoothly and decrease the number of faulty, mechanical breakdowns over the lifespan of the door.

Keep it Clean

Keeping anything clean does several things. A clean mechanical part can be inspected precisely and determinations made related to length of life and possible replacement. If an item is clean of debris, dirt and grime then it will operate more smoothly and last longer. A clean garage door adds to the aesthetics of your home. Rust and rotting can be prevented if garage doors are kept clean.



Belfast Locksmith Garage Door Services

Some of the services offered by locksmiths related to garage doors include;

+Creating new keys for garages

+Overhead garage door repair of locks

+Reprogramming garage door transponders and remotes

+Repair or replacement of keypad locks

It has been determined that over 70% of homeowners enter their home through the garage area. This places an even more profound importance on keeping these locks in top shape.

Some of the kinds of locks used in and around the garage area include;

T-Handle Locks: This lock is operated by a handle shaped like the letter “T.” There is a cable system attached by two bolts that are released with the “T” handle is turned.

Slide Locks: This lock is also known as a latch lock and uses a latch that slides from the garage door into a hole inside the track.

J Arm Locks: Most every modern garage door comes with this pre-installed. An operator arm can be locked when the door is closed. This device ensures the door cannot be opened.

Electronic Locks: The market is full with various electronic locks. They can be operated from computers and cell phones from remote locations.

Think of your garage area as important as any other area of your home. Employ the services of a local locksmith. The technician can help you keep your garage area secure and operating in a safe way. Locksmiths can also recommend which lock is appropriate for your situation.

At we will inspect your garage door and the associated hardware. We want your home safe and suggesting appropriate locks will be part of the inspection.


Contact Mark at 07866522422

or email

We look forward to serving you!





Door Chain Locks

admin  —  October 11, 2019 — Leave a comment


At the risk of insulting your intelligence, it is important to know that a chain is a serial assembly of connected pieces that are commonly called links. A chain is usually made of metal but can be made of bamboo, rope and wire. It is usually flexible and a length of linear material that can bear up under tension and hold a load.

The links within a chain are usually fixed in dimensions and shaped in such a way that tension can be placed throughout the length of the link and consequently the entire chain itself.

Chains may be used for a variety of purposes.

They may be used for decoration such as a piece of jewelry, a chain of office worn around the neck and upper torso, decoration for clothing, and may be mounted on a backing. Chains may also be used for the transfer of power such as timing chains in automobiles, chainsaws, bicycles, chain drives, and chain pumps. The ball and chain has long been a form or restraint and chains have been used for security purposes. Chains may also be used for traction and pulling. Some weapons in military applications were made of chains.


Mechanical locks appeared in the human experience about six thousand years ago in Egypt. They were made of wood and consisted of a wooden post affixed to a door and a horizontal bolt that slid into the post.

The English are credited with forging and creating the first metal locks.

Door Chain Locks

A door chain is also known as a security chain or a security door chain. It is a small chain attached to a door frame that is then attached to a track for security. They are usually not the primary lock on the door but are used in conjunction with keyed locks and dead bolts to add an extra degree of security.

A door chain lock allows a person to open the door slightly without unlocking the door. It is also possible to communicate with the person outside the door before allowing them entry. Small packages, letters or notes may also be passed through the door opening.

Door chain locks are easy to install requiring a screwdriver and possibly a drill gun for the drilling of pilot holes. If there are any downsides to door chain locks it is the fact that they are usually installed with short screws that can be pulled out of wooden frames. Another potential negative about this kind of lock and chain mechanism is that it is usually a small chain that require some degree of manipulation by human hands to use. The elderly or anyone with a central nervous system disorder causing tremors may find it difficult to place the end of the chain in the track. In regard to the track, it is straight and it is not hard to separate the chain from the track. Door chains may also be broken if forced and torque are applied appropriately.

Sometimes the best option is to go with a door bar that gives you a U-shaped bar that attaches to a hinge and a knob on the door. A door bar is easier to use for any physically challenged person and are more sturdy than a chain.

Consult with your locksmith to determine which is best for your situation.

If you decide you want to use a door chain lock and want to tackle the job of installation, here are some steps to take.

1. Go to a hardware store or your local big box store and see what they have. You might want to read about this device on the internet before shopping for it or you can consult with your locksmith to see what you need to purchase. Do yourself a favor and choose a door chain lock that comes with a template.

2. Get the tools you need. This will be a good drill with a bit that is smaller than the size of the screws. You will want to have a correctly sized screwdriver to get the screws down into your wooden door frame.

3. Remove the template from the packaging and tape it to the spot you want to place the door chain lock. You will want to place the lock approximately 3 to 6 inches above the deadbolt or the same distance above the door handle.

4. Using the template make the marks where the door chain lock will go. After making the marks, the template may be set aside.

5. Pre-drill the holes for the screws that came in the package. Drill the holes keeping the drill completely vertical and at right angles to the surface of the door. This will ensure maximum hold as the screws will be as deep as possible in the wood.

6. Now you can attach the lock plate using the screws supplied.

7. The next step is to tape the chain mount template to the wall. It should be positioned just outside the door frame and should line up with the lock plate.

8. Mark this template as you did before with the lock plate template.

9. Pre-drill the holes for the chain mount.

10. Use the screws provided and screw in the chain mount.

Try your work. Attach the chain to the straight slot and see if it holds. Check your handywork and make sure you are convinced it will all hold correctly and in a secure fashion. The door should not open more than an inch.

mark burns belfast

As always, if you are not comfortable with this kind of installation or if you have any other security concerns, feel free to contact me.

I’m Mark and I can be reached at 07866522422

Or email me!




Broken Key Extraction

admin  —  September 20, 2019 — Leave a comment

The Broken Key Event


So, there you are. You hurried everyone up and the family is waiting on you in the car. You reach for the bundle of keys in your pocket and locate the key to the front door. You push it into the lock, twist it and BAM! The key breaks off inside the lock and your left with the business end of the situation and a whole lot of regret for being in such a hurry.


You’ll have to do something if the family is going to get to their beds tonight. The key hole is filled with the remains of your key and in your hand is a useless piece of metal.


First Things First

Try to think about what just happened and why it happened. A lock and key can be delicate things and they are intended to be used with care. Always insert a key into a lock with a slow and precise movement of the hand. Allow the key to go in without forcing it. Don’t force the tip of the key against the depth of the keyhole, but allow it to gently come to a stop.


This kind of situation can feel like an emergency and it does cause some stress. Your first instinct will be to call a locksmith and that is fine. Locksmiths can retrieve broken keys and have you back in your home in no time.


If you are one of those “Do it yourself,” then here are some tips for you to handle the situation.


Make an assessment regarding how much of the key is in the keyhole. You might be able to extract the broken key part. You can either pull or rake it out. Locksmiths use specialized tools to accomplish this, but you might have something such as a scroll saw blade or a jig saw blade that may do the job. If you can get the broken bits out, then all you have to do is locate your spare key or have one made and you are back in business!


Don’t despair. Call forth that “can do” attitude and you will soon be laughing about the whole experience.


Vertical Keyhole Position

Take note of how much of the key is in the lock and how much is in your hand. Important Tip: If the key has broken in the middle and the part in your hand also includes some of the shaft or “key cuts,” then the lock is still aligned vertically allowing you to move parts in and out. If you are only holding the head of the key in your hand, then you probably turned the key toward a horizontal position as it was breaking. To correct this position, you can insert a screwdriver into the key hole and turn it back to a vertical position.


Lubrication Helps

Get some penetrating oil, WD40 or any household oil and get it into the keyhole. If your lock has been stiff or difficult to operate lately, then adding the oil will serve also to lubricate the tumblers for ease of future use. You can also get some graphite and add it to the inner workings of the lock. Graphite is a crystalline form of carbon and acts as a lubricant in high friction circumstances.


Household Tools

You may attempt to use a pair of “needle-nosed” pliers. Your goal is the grasp the broken parts on each side equally. There may be room inside the keyhole and their may not. Insert the tip of the pliers in the keyhole and try to grip the broken key. If all of the shaft of the key is broken inside the keyhole, then there will be some cuts for you to try to grab. Of course, if only a few centimeters are left in the lock, then you may not be able to retrieve anything.


You may also try to retrieve the broken bits by using the blade of a scroll saw or jig saw. You will want to insert the blade into the keyhole with the teeth pointing downward. Push the blade into the keyhole until you feel or hear the blade grap one of the cuts in the shaft of the key. Gently but firmly pull the blade out of the keyhole and very possibly the broken section will appear.


One of the first things folks like to use in a situation like this are the tweezers. You will want to make sure the tweezers you are going to use will both fit the keyhole and be able to get around the bits that are stuck. Most homeowners find the thickness of the tweezers does nothing but make the situation worse by pushing the broken part deeper into the lock. Watch for this and avoid it if you can. Tweezers may work if a bit of the broken key is sticking out.

Super glue will work in certain situations. If you can see the broken section of the key and can touch it with a straight object such as a match or small rod, then very possibly you can be successful with this product. Place a drop of the glue on a wire or match and touch the part you can see. Be careful not to let any blue drop into the lock as this will either glue the broken key shaft to the lock or glue the inner workings of the lock together.

You might try tapping the cylinder of the lock. If the key is broken inside a door, then you will have to remove the locking mechanism from the door. This action only works if you are able to face the lock downward toward the ground. While the lock is faced downward you will strike the lock with a hammer. You must ensure the lock is held tightly and does not move when struck. The goal here is the make the lock immovable so that the shock of the hammer blows will assist gravity to make the key fall out. Unfortunately, this use of a hammer may also cause structural damage to the lock requiring the purchase of a whole new lock for the door.

List of Handy Items for This Task

  1. Bobby Pin
  2. Paper Clip
  3. Safety Pin
  4. Metal Hair Clip
  5. Button Pin
  6. Swiss Army Knife
  7. Jig Saw Blade
  8. Scroll Saw Blade
  9. Super Glue
  10. Graphite
  11. Penetrating Oil
  12. Match
  13. Small Wire


Locksmiths have some well developed tools to get this job done. Key extractor tools have been around for a good while and a good locksmith can have you back in your house in no time at all. Give it your best shot and if you just can’t get that pesky piece of a key out, then call a professional and let them do what they do.

mark burns belfast

I’m Mark and I’ve been removing broken key bits for years.

Give me a call at 07866522422 or email me at

Broken Key Extraction