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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!





belfast locksmiths

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







grocery people

I am the guy you saw standing in line at the grocers. I am also the guy who drove by your house the other day and watched you walk inside your house. Nice yard! You don’t know my name, but a lot has been written about what I do in the local newspapers. You know, its the kind of newspaper article you read and you shake your head about. You probably wouldn’t like me if we met.

I’m a burglar. I chose this career when I was 15 and have been steadily increasing my skill level for 29 years now. I did some time when I was a teenager, but I convinced them I wouldn’t do it any more. I don’t know much of anything except how to break into folk’s homes and how to get away without anyone finding me.

So, you might be asking yourself why I’m coming clean at this point in my life. Well, I ran into a detective who said he “had the goods on me” and I better clean up my act. I found a lawyer and he got the district attorney to do a plea bargain. My part of the bargain is I have to tell the public how I find places to rob and sort of like telling my mental process. This is so people can know how to protect themselves from people like me.

So, here goes.

Do you think I look familiar. Of course I do. I was probably at your house last week cleaning your carpets or repairing your roof. That’s how I manage to take a look around a while. While you are inside making a sandwich, I just casually walk around like I’m taking a break and discover where you keep the most valuable things. Yep. While I was delivering your new refrigerator last week, I happened to glance over at the counter and saw that lovely, new laptop you just bought.

moving people

Oh yeah. I want to thank you for letting me use your bathroom last week when I was there cleaning your gutters. Nice bathroom. While I was in there, I just released the latch on the window. Probably something you don’t check very often. The open window allowed me an easy access to your house. I had a good conversation with you that day and you told me you play bingo every Tuesday with your friends. So, guess which day I”ll try the window? Yep. Tuesday between the hours of noon and 4pm. That’s when you told me you would be gone.

I have been looking at your lawn a great deal for the last few weeks. Nice grass! Those flowers indicate you like nice things. Pretty good chance you have nice things in your house. Did you buy that statue on credit or did you pay cash! Doesn’t matter. The odds are you have even better taste for the things inside your house than you do outside. Oh yeah. The toys I see your children leaving outside are of such good quality and on the newer side. Looks like you bought them recently. I can pretty much gather they have some very expensive electronic toys inside also. Don’t all parents want their kids to have the latest and greatest electronic and computer stuff. Bingo. Keep buying those things Mr. Dad and Mrs. Mom. It’s a goldmine.

I was walking by your house the other day and I noticed a pile up of newspapers in the yard. Now, I may not be the sharpest pencil in the drawer, but even I understand that if five newspapers are on the sidewalk, you are probably not at home. Also, about a week ago I left a pizza flyer in between your screen door and your main door. I watched it every day. Did you know it took you three days to remove that flyer? What do you do all day? Not much activity around your house is there?

newspapers on front porch

By the way, I actually started “casing” your house last winter. I noticed after a snow, there were no footprints from the driveway to the doors of your house. Neither were there any changes in the snow in the yard.

In regard to your burglar alarm system, you need to know what I know. Let’s say you have the locksmith or security alarm company install the control panel close to the front door for your convenience. Thanks for that! You also like decorative glass and your front door is beautiful. But, I can see through it to see if your alarm system is set. Amazing how stupid people are. You spent all that money and all I have to do is understand the alarm system, get to it within 20 seconds and disarm it. All because you had to have decorative glass to please your sense of aesthetics and your neighbors.

decorative glass door

Here’s a tip for you. Whatever locksmith you call to install your system and install your locks, make sure they alarm the window in the kitchen above the sink. People often think that window won’t be necessary to either lock or alarm. They also think that it is not necessary to lock and alarm the upstairs windows because they don’t think a burglar will go to that kind of trouble. Hey, let me ask you a question. If I know you have a $2000.00 Mac Book Pro in your upstairs office or bedroom and I’ve been watching your house for six months, don’t you think I’m going to exert the extra energy to climb up a ladder and go through the upstairs windows. I can even just walk right out the back door wearing a set of coveralls from “Bob’s Air Conditioning” and your neighbors will never know what happened. Come on, dude. Think!

I love bad weather. People do strange stuff when they are distracted by the weather. They fumble around with all the stuff folks think they must have to make it through the day. Your fumbling around with an umbrella, a phone, atache case, bag of lunch and heaven knows what else. Your trying to listen to the weather report, get your kids in the back seat and text your Mom for the 27th time that morning. You forget to set your house alarm and you don’t even lock the front door. Yep. I love bad weather.

Let’s talk about your home safe. You know, that thing you bought off Amazon that is supposed to stay locked even during a nuclear holocaust. Well, I’m not going to try to break into it silly. I’m just going to get one of my buddies to help me and we’re going to carry it down to the garage and load it into the landscaping truck we have backed up to the garage. Piece O’ cake. That’s usually the last thing I do when I’m at a house. It takes more people, but my buddies are very accommodating.

You can stop worrying about your kids rooms. I don’t usually go in there unless I know they have some really cool electronics. But, if they are toddlers about all that’s in there is possibly an electric cradle. Not important. And while I am at it, I always check the medicine cabinet, the sock drawer, and the bedside table.


One of the things that will keep me out of your dwelling is the television. Think about it. It’s late at night, the neighborhood is totally quiet. I am sneaking about outside. I’m all excited and approach your house. Immediately I see the flickering of the television and as I get closer, I hear the sound of it. I am most likely not going to try an entry unless I have “cased” the place and know you are gone. But, if its a spur of the moment adventure, that television may just save you from filing an insurance claim for your family valuables.

Don’t ever think that just because your house key has the words, “Do Not Duplicate” written on it that I can’t get a duplicate made. All I have to do is slip the underpaid big box store employee a tener and job done!

Well, I hope some of these things helped you out a bit. Don’t think too harshly of me. We all make mistakes. Maybe you can rest easy knowing I’ll be spending the next few years locked away somewhere.

And oh, choose a good locksmith who actually knows what they are doing!

This look into the mindset and thought process of your neighborhood burglar is brought to you by Mark at

Let’s hope you never have to experience the intrusion and trauma of having been burgled.

To keep your home and valuables safe, contact me at

Telephone Number 07866522422


Email Me:


The first guy or gal to open a car back in the day, most likely threw a rock through the window. As things advanced and vehicles became motor driven and were designed with glass enclosures a new tool came into existence. They called it a brick and it was very effective in creating an access to the inside of the vehicle!

Somewhere around the 1930s when the coat hanger was becoming widespread, people began to sort out how they could use it to get inside cars. The metal hanger could be unfolded and pushed into the inside of the door. A hook fashioned at the end of the coat hanger got the job done. It was effective as long as the person was patient and didn’t over extend the ability of the hanger to keep its shape. The hanger also had a tendency to damage the rubber weather-stripping in the door.

Around the beginning of the 1950s, the Slim Jim was created. It’s actual origin is somewhat cloudy and the locksmith stories abound about how it actually came about. But, nevertheless it began to catch on and locksmiths along with the general public saw its practical use as important.

The original Slim Jims were designed and intended to push down or pull up something called the “lazy pawl” which is connected to the back of the door lock cylinder. Here is a picture of the “pawl.”



The strategy here is to insert the Slim Jim in line with the lock cylinder. When the “lazy pawl” was contacted and based on its design, one either pushed down or pulled up on the “pawl.”

After this, the pawls began to be made in a fixed position. This required that Slim Jims be redesigned. They had now to be bent to an approximate 35 degrees about 8” from the tip. This bent design was used to access a vertical rod. At this point, we begin to see the action typically associated with a Slim Jim. That of sending it vertically down and into the car door directly below the top button head of the locking mechanism.

After this, automobile engineers began redesigning doors to make the inside of cars more silent and access by thieves more complicated. This is when horizontal lock/unlock linkage systems came into use. The use of the Slim Jim changed. It was now necessary to insert it at the very middle of the door and angle it backwards toward the rear of the door. The lock could be opened by lifting up or going down on the horizontal lock/unlock rod.

In the 1980s, locking mechanisms changed yet again. At this point, more insulation was placed between the driver and the outside of the door. In addition, engineers created lining systems that moved with cable locking mechanisms. There were not many moving parts in this kind of system and the design necessitated the creation of what we now know as a Multi-Car Opening Tool (MCOT). That design looks like this.

multi car opening tool






This multi tool can be used in a variety of ways and with many different automobiles. Once this tool is inserted into the door you may either depress the power lock button, depress the manual lock/unlock button, or manipulate the inside pull handle. Many redesigns of the MOCT have taken place over the years as car design changed.

As the 90s and 2000s rolled around, the inside locking mechanisms became so sophisticated the Long Reach tool had to be created. The tool is inserted just like previous versions, but is intended to manipulate the lock/unlock button, lock lever, vertical button or the pull handle. You may also retrieve keys with this Long Reach tool. It is pictured here.

long reach unlock tool

There is a tool that has been around for a good while that can still be used in cars that do not have electric locks. It’s called a Slim Jim and is also known as a lockout tool. It’s a strip of metal made of spring steel about 60 cm long and 2-4 cm wide. The first company to manufacture this amazing strip of metal was HPC Inc.

You can use this thing on your car when you are stranded. The long metal works on the levers and rods inside the door of your car instead of the locking mechanism. You just place one end of the metal between the car window and the rubber seal. Your goal is to catch the rods connecting the inner workings of the locking mechanicals. If you are patient and can reach the rods, you can move the rods which will move the portion of the lock you see through the window.

slim jim

You must be careful with a Slim Jim. If it is used incorrectly, this tool may alter the locking mechanism in the car door. If you are new to this device, make sure you consult with a locksmith and get the proper training for its use.

Here is a brief and beginning, step by step instruction for the use of a Slim Jim.

  1. Go to the passenger side of the car. You will be attempting to unlock this side of the car.

  2. Insert a wedge between the window and the weather stripping. You may purchase a rubber wedge from a hardware store.

  3. Slide the Slim Jim into the space created by the wedge. Your goal is to find a horizontally directed bar that runs across the inside of the door. Using the hook portion of the rod, attempt to move this bar.

  4. Observe the lock inside the window and see if it moves.

  5. You will either push down or pull up based on the model of the vehicle.

You see, it is actually very simple in terms of actual steps to take. The most difficult part, of course is finding the correct bar or rod to move. This may require several trial and error attempts. Just keep your eye on the visible portion of the lock inside the window. When you see it jiggle or move upward, you are on the right track.

Here is a video that will allow you to see the process in action.

If you don’t happen to have a Slim Jim handy when you are locked out, you may also use the windshield wipers as a Slim Jim.

Take a look at this…

Remember, if you, a loved one or a friend get locked out of your car and you don’t have one of these tools, you can always call me. I’m Mark and you can reach me by completing the contact form on this website or

Email Me At

Telephone Number 07866522422


Key Duplication

key duplication

The process of key duplication refers to the process of creating another key based on the key on hand. The process of “cutting” refers to the actual removal of material or the shaping of material that makes up the key. “Cutting” is the main method used to create a duplicate key and is done worldwide.

Essentially, the process is a matter of placing the key on hand in a vise while adding a “blank” at the other end of a guide used to align the two keys. The blank is moved along a grinding or “cutting” wheel that is made to be an exact duplicate of the original. The new key is then deburred, scraped or sanded to remove burrs. These small pieces of the key can prevent the key from working, so they must be removed immediately. In addition, without the removal of burrs the key would have sharp edges that would cut the user. Further, these burrs could break off and foul the inside of a lock. Tumblers can be enmeshed by the shards of metal and be rendered useless.

You may find key duplication happening in hardware stores, “big box” stores, individual retailers and locksmith mobile vehicles or shops. The cost is minimal for the duplication of house, free standing buildings, and older automobiles. You may even find key duplicators online these days.

Sometimes locksmiths will use a punch machine to duplicate keys. This type of duplication is more labor intensive and requires the locksmith to be highly trained and skillful. However, the knotches made by the punch can actually be more precise and the margins/depth of the knotches will not wear as much as keys that are ground. Further, the original key is not needed for this duplication process if the placement and depth of the knotches are known beforehand. Often, large institutions prefer this method as these demensions are known throughout the property and variety of keying is kept to a minimum to prevent theft and breakins of undesirables.

Using the punch machine method requires the key being duplicated have the depth of each notch measured with a depth gauge. The key is then placed in a holder that also contains a numeric slider. This slider is adjusted to match the measurements taken by the craftsman. The lever is pressed and this cuts the knotch. When the lever is raised the key advances to the next indexed/marked position and the punch cuts the next knotch. This process is repeated until the key is completed.

A dual cutting machine is sometimes used by locksmiths and hardware people. This machine allows for the duplication of both cylinder and mortise keys. A mortise lockset is a design for doors usually where a mortise lock is used inside a mortise at the edge of the door. They are usually more classical in nature and design. A cylinder key and lock system involve pin tumbler locks inside a cylinder that can be removed by the locksmith. This is handy as the cylinder can be changed without changing the bolt or other hardware.

A sensitive area of locksmithing surrounds the category of key known as the DND or Do Not Duplicate. The key might also say “duplication prohibited.” This is a category of key designated by the manufacturer to be used as a deterrent to dissuade retail key duplicators from offering this service to the general public. This key is not suppose to be duplicated unless the person needing the key has the appropriate authorization. It is a key control system that is often overridden by stand alone key duplicators found in “big box” stores. The stand alone machine does not “read” the master key and simply reproduces whatever is inserted in the slot found at the front of the machine. In addition, some store employees will just accommodate the customer to make the sale and overlook the words “Do Not Duplicate” clearly written on the key.

Restricted keys are then the way to go! This key comes with restricted levels of sales and the distribution into the public retailers and locksmiths. They are protected by a patent. Any customer may be asked to provide identification before the locksmith will provide the duplicating service. A restricted key may also be sold with magnets, computer chips, and manufactured with a variety of metals.

Key Types

Berlin Key

Berlin Key

The Berlin key is designed with two key blades. One blade is at each end of the key. The key was designed so that the user must retrieve the key after the door is locked. This ensures the locking of the door. After the door is unlocked, the key must be pushed through the lock and retrieved on the other side of the door. This kind of design makes the retrieval of the key impossible unless the door is locked again. In 1912, Johannes Schweiger created this key and the Albert Kerfin and Co began its manufacture.



Car Key

old car key

The car key is a key to the automobile that can open/close and start the vehicle. They are usually symetrical in design and contain grooves that activate the locking mechanism. In addition, the key can open the glove compartment and the trunk. More recently, car keys are designed with coded immobilizers that prevent theft by not allowing entry without a code or starting of the engine.



Skeleton Key

skeleton key

The skeleton key may be used in several kinds of locks and is usually viewed as a master key. The sharp or serrated edge of the key is removed. It is a key that has been reduced to the essentials such as the teeth at the end that innervate and operate the tumblers of a lock.



Smart Key

smart key

A smart key is an electronic device that functions as an authorization and deterent system. It is the standard these days in new car sales and has been a significant advancement in the security of vehicles. The key is kept in the owners pocket and is used to open, close and start the vehicle. A button is pressed to unlock, another to lock. The automobile may often be started remotely using this kind of system.

This system is also handy because it can remember settings such as steering wheel position, mirror placement, climate control, seat position, and stereo preferences.



If you happen to be in a situation where you are undecided about which key to use or you need a key duplicated, contact





Famous Locksmiths

admin  —  March 15, 2019 — Leave a comment

Famous Locksmiths

The Famous Ones

Did you know that locksmiths have never wanted to be famous? The very nature of locksmith is that they know something that nobody else knows and are in possession of a set of skills that no one else has mastered. Locksmiths like to keep a low profile and have done so for centuries. The skill set they hone to a striking point is one that the average citizen neither has or cares to have. Here in the 21st century, locksmith still has that air of secrecy about it, but we have become interested in knowing who is providing the service.

If you can’t name some locksmiths from history, it is no major surprise. The very famous locksmiths who became well known for their skills started as purveyors of entertainment to the public by opening seemingly impossible locks made of wood, stone, brass, rope, and leather. The method by which they would either loose themselves or gain entry was kept a secret and the general public went away stunned, confused, and amazed with the skill and showmanship of the locksmith on stage.

Robert Barron

Consider Robert Barron, an Englishman made famous by improving the security of a lock by creating the double tumbler. He did not have the advantage of computers, technology, or electronic means to increase this level of security in locks. He did so by the power of his mind and the work of his hands to create a device that would be viewed as an 18th century masterpiece.

locksmiths belfast

The lever tumbler lock is a lock that uses levers to stop the bolt from moving. The tumbler is lifted to a certain height which allows it to slide past the tumblers. The number of levers vary depending on the level of security needed. Locks with levers use a bitten key that is either singular or double. These can be found in southern and eastern Europe in doors, barns, and other types of buildings.




Jeremiah Chubb

In 1818, Jeremiah Chubb received a patent for the detector lock. The Chubb detector lock is a variation of the lever lock and has as its major goal to detect and prevent picking by others who would gain entry for less than honorable purposes. This detector lock is also fitted with a relocker which serves to stop entry attempts and gives an indication that entry has been attempted.

The brilliant part of this kind of lock is that when someone attempts entry, it is designed to jam in a locked state until a regulator or original key is used to turn it in a different way. When the owner of the lock finds it in this state, it is a clear indication that the lock has been tampered with. Further, when the lock is tampered with the picker is faced with the added problem of having to reset the detector mechanism to attempt another entry. This level of complexity slows down the entry process significantly and often exceeds the skill level of the person attempting entry. This kind of lock remained unpick-able for 33 years and came into existence after a government sponsored competition.


King Louis XVI

Louis XVI,  the King of France was also an accomplished and famous locksmith.

During that era, children were encouraged to pursue both liberal arts interests and interests in practical matters. King Louis-Auguste was influenced by his parents to pursue the science of locksmiths and as a result the king became quite proficient at design, implementation and entry into locks.






Harry Houdini

Just the mention of this man’s name conjures up memories of consummate entertainment and masterful skill in escapology. His fame continues into this century and he remains the quintessential locksmith and escape artist that modern entertainers seek to emulate.

In regard to locksmiths, Houdini started learning these skills at an early age. Born Erik Weisz in 1874 and hailing from Hungary, he started as a vaudeville and circus performer. Originally known as “Harry Handcuff Houdini,” who challenged police departments all over Europe to contain him. His skill set included the use of ropes, hanging from skyscrapers, straitjackets, chains, being buried alive and holding his breath for long periods of time while submerged in water or milk!



Mark in Belfast

Moving now all the way into the 21st century we find an equally skillful and famous locksmith set to make his own mark in the emergency locksmith service field. With over 20 years experience with a variety of locks and providing prompt service to the Northern Ireland public, Mark is ready, willing, and able to provide you 24 hour locksmith services.

mark burns belfast

Some of his areas of expertise include locks repair, key cutting, locks changing, locks fitting, car key service and 24 hour service. His work is always done with a smile and friendly demeanor. His name may not be written in the locksmith hall of fame as others have been, but his level of locks mastery is on par with any previous centuries famous locksmith.

Mark is devoted to constantly learning about technologies and techniques for both gaining entry through locks, preventing others from gaining entry, and providing the public with a variety of services needed in the 21st century. His career enjoys a history of famous and dedicated professionals of locksmithing and Mark is no exception.

You may contact Mark and engage him for locksmiths services by navigating to


Call him anytime at 07866 522422!


Should you prefer email, address your correspondence to

Emergency Locksmith For Your Car In Belfast: Locked Out?

Oh No! You Are Locked Out of Your Car!

Have you ever noticed that you forget things? We forget our attache cases, computer bags, house keys, car keys, phones and a sense of what we are going to do next. The intricacies of what the average person has to do in any given day will boggle the mind. It is understandable then that a locksmith is an important and integral part of any cities’ services.

No matter the reason you are locked out, an emergency locksmith in Belfast can help you get on with your day or night. Don’t stress! Help is on its way.

Oh, and all that forgetting of things, places, and general stuff are pretty normal for the average 21st-century human. We have so many things to keep up with, it is no wonder we remember where our car is parked!

HYPERLINK “” will be there for you when you, for some reason are locked out of your vehicle. Through the years, we have learned what it takes to open a variety of automobiles. We are also keeping ourselves educated in regard to recent changes in lock technology. We are confident we can answer any question you may have regarding your particular transportation mode and locks.

We are also open 24 hours a day, which means we can assist you at any time to gain access to your car, truck, or SUV. We can usually respond immediately to emergency situations and will be at your service as fast as traffic and the laws of the land will allow. You can expect and receive excellent service and we will always be friendly while rendering it.

I’m locked out! What do I do now?

Don’t panic! First of all, if you can gain the presence of mind to remember where you may have stashed a spare key, then remember. Call a taxi or a friend to get you to that extra key. That is the first step. (That means you would have had to have the foresight to make an extra key and store it somewhere.)

It is also important at this point to begin to consider your options. Remember: Calling relatives and friends might make you feel better and one of them may come to get you, but they are not locksmiths and will not be able to get you back into your house, car, boat, etc. (If you can remember where you put that spare key, ask your relative or friend if they will get it for you.)

Make a determination if you will require the talents of a roadside service. Insurance policies can provide this service, but it is often an add-on. The policy will cover lockouts and may also include the provision of gas, battery jumps, and towing.

The next step is to make a phone call to  HYPERLINK “” Our lockout services are on par with any other company. When we get the call our first goal is to get to where you are.

locksmith belfast car keys

Why Should You Call Us?

Fast and Dependable. It doesn’t matter when you call, we will always make your emergency situation our top priority. We know what it is like to be standing next to your car in an unfamiliar area and wondering what is going to happen next. We will be there quickly and with your safety in mind.

Experience. After all these years of being in the business of understanding lock technology, we can arrive at a solution for your state of affairs. Knowledge is important in this kind of situation and knowing how to apply that knowledge is even more important. At  HYPERLINK “” there isn’t much we haven’t seen or had to figure out in the past.

You Can Afford It  The national average cost for changing a lock in this area can be between 30 to 300 euros. The cost varies based on the type of lock, fees for the locksmith, and the security level of the lock itself. Of course, the time of the lockout occurrence is important. Prices may vary if the occurrence is at the weekend or some major holiday. You must also understand the distance to travel to your car will figure into the cost. Not to worry. Our professional goal is to protect your property, possessions, and self. Our price will be well below the national average and in line with reasonable price points.

Areas of Car Lockout Service

At  HYPERLINK “”, we have knowledge and experience in several service areas. From reprogramming to making new keys, you can trust us to provide a solution. Here are some things we can do for you…

Provide vehicle lockout service. We can also get you into your trunk!

We can extract a broken key.

We duplicate keys.

We replace or repair your automobile door locks.

We can replace the ignition key.

We can assist you by replacing transponder chip keys.

We can provide keyless entry reprogramming.

So, why should you trust us with your car lockout recovery?

HYPERLINK “” is licensed, bonded and insured. Our pride shows in our full-service locksmith service areas and capabilities. We like to think we treat your situation with respect and care. That is a rare occurrence these days in any area of society. It is our goal to provide you with what you need and do it at a reasonable, affordable price.

We are comfortable and skilled in commercial, industrial, automotive, and residential areas. We will respond on any day and at any hour. So, contact me. My name is Mark and I will help you get back into your house or car and back on your road to a good day!


Emergency Locksmith For Your Car In Belfast: Locked Out?


Your external doors serve two purposes – making your house look good and keeping your home secure. Usually, when most people are looking to purchase new doors, they focus mostly on the price of the doors and the appearance of the door. But these are not as important as how secure the door is and how well it can keep intruders out of your home. These factors are especially important when buying French doors which are usually big and are made with mostly glass.

French doors have huge frames, and the glass is doubled all the time, which means the level of security is high. In spite of the robust frames and double glazing, the handle and locking mechanism of the door must be of the best quality. , and if your French door is an older model, the handle or lock may not be of modern standards,  and you may need to have your French door locks replaced Belfast.

24 hour belfast Locksmith

Why should you have your French door locks replace Belfast?

The most common reason why you may need your French Door Locks replaced Belfast is if the door handle or lock is broken. Your French door gets used a lot, and since it is the door at the entrance of your home, it constantly is exposed to the elements. These factors are bound to affect the functionality of your French door locks at some point in time which may warrant requiring you to change the lock.

You might also have to change your door handles if you are looking to change the look of your old French door and make it look fresh. A new handle will save you a lot of money, and the change will be easily obvious as well. Replacing door handles does not take time, so if you would like to revamp your home’s exterior, a good idea is to change your French door handle. If you are also looking at security, changing your door handle can also help you achieve this. There are different types of door handles with varying levels of security. The modern ones are more advanced and secure than the older ones. Their locks are more robust; they have double locking systems; are generally stronger, secure and harder to break into. The exterior doors of your house should keep your mind at rest every time you are away from home. You need to be able to be away from your home and be rest assured that your door can withstand any attempt to force it open.

Types of French door Locks

For you French doors, you will find different types of lock that you can use. Find out the one that suits you the most;

  • Key-Operated Locks (Top and Bottom) – These are most commonly used on patio doors.
  • Key-Operated Locks (Central Rail) – These are found on patio doors and not exactly peculiar to only French doors. They are however more secured than basic locks.
  • Key-Operated Locks (Multi-Point Locking Systems) – This type of lock is the most secure type of lock you can use for your French door. The rim-locking system bolts the door securely into the door frame or the supporting door. This makes it very difficult for intruders or burglars to force the door open.

How to have your French door locks replaced Belfast

For your exterior French doors, there are usually two doors, latched to each other, which open away from each other outwards. The doors are not latched to the door frame; therefore, you make sure you use a secure locking mechanism so that no one will find it easy to force the doors open.

The two doors each have their handles where one is active while the other one is a dummy handle. The active handle houses the lock while the lock is held in place by the dummy handle. First, you need to decide where the active handle will be then you identify the lock cylinder pin. The cylinder pin is a long piece of metal that goes through the door to the other side. Turn it anti-clockwise if you will have the active handle on the right and clockwise if you would like to have the operating handle on the left door.

You can create new holes in the doors if they are new and if there are existing handles, the holes might just fit. If the holes don’t fit, you can make use of the hole-boring template to know where you will bore the holes. The holes you will need include two holes for the latch and the lock mechanism, and one for the doorknob. The locking mechanism hole will hold the actuator slot on the active door. Put the lock bolt in the door’s edge through the hole and connect to the actuator. You may have to insert the bolt before the actuator depending on the handle design, so you have to follow the instructions in the user manual.

You will then have to position the face plate on the door and pass the lock cylinder pin through the actuator slot. The process of attaching the face plate to the door involves screwing it into position then you will need to screw the inner plate after sliding it over the lock cylinder pin. Then attach each of the handles and screw them tightly with a set screw.

Take the latching mechanism and slide it through the latch hole in the edge of the door. Screw the plates, including the outer plate securely. The outer plate is the one that covers the locking mechanism and latch. Test both the latch and lock to see if they both work properly and tighten all the plates.

Having your French door locks replaced Belfast can be a simple task if you follow the instructions to the letter but to save yourself the stress, you can contact a locksmith in Belfast instead. Emergency Locksmith Belfast can help you deal with issues like this. All you have to do is put a call through to 07866 522 422 today.


Auto Locksmith Belfast

admin  —  October 6, 2018 — 1 Comment

7 Reasons Why Your Car Key is Refusing to Work

One thing virtually all car owners have experienced is their car keys refusing to work. Imagine you are rushing out to work and you are unable to unlock your car or start it. You check what the problem is only to realize that your car key has stopped working. While you are locked out of your car trying to figure out what the cause of the problem is, you should also be thinking of the auto locksmith Belfast that you can call. The truth is, we have all been there, and it is a pain that we all share. To make this problem less of a problem, we will be looking at some reasons why your car key may not work.

24 hour belfast Locksmith

First off, if your car key is broken or if it breaks inside the lock, these reasons do not apply to you. Your problem is different, and you should reach out to an auto locksmith Belfast to check it out for you.

Is your lock damaged?

If, when you try to unlock your car, the car refuses to open, the problem might be with your car lock. If your car is a fairly recent model, you probably will never have this kind of issue as most new cars come with keyless entry remotes and key fobs. But if your car is an older model that requires opening the door with the key, this issue is quite possible. The lock gets spoilt over time after constant use, and in this case, the internal mechanism of your car lock may have worn down. Sometimes, it may be dirt or dust clogging up the lock, and all you have to do is clean the lock. In more extreme cases, an external collision could damage your car lock as well. The bottom line is if your car refuses to open, try and figure out whether the problem is with your lock.

lost keys belfast

Is your key damaged?

If your car lock is not damaged, it is possible the key is damaged. A damaged key does not necessarily have to be a key that is broken into pieces. Your car key has grooves embedded on it which must correspond with the internal mechanism of your car lock or the ignition. If these grooves or any other element on the key have gone through some wear and tear, that key will not work. So, you need to pay attention to your key and if you do not know what to look for, an auto locksmith Belfast can take a look at your keys and give you a report on its current state.

Damaged Ignition Cylinder

The way it is possible for the internal mechanism of your car lock to be damaged, it is also possible for the internal mechanism or cylinder of the car ignition to be faulty if the car refuses to start. Get an auto locksmith Belfast to check it out for you as this is not something you can check by yourself.

Are your key fob batteries worn out?

If you drive a modern car that uses a Key fob or keyless entry remote, it is possible your key batteries have run out of juice. It is normal for batteries to run out after a certain period of use. This is a common issue, and it has a simple solution. Find new batteries and replace the old batteries with the new ones. You should be good to go afterward.

Is your Key Fob or Keyless Entry Remote Damaged Internally?

After replacing the batteries, if your keyless entry remote still does not unlock your car, then you have a much serious problem on your hands. The key fob works on the principle of communication between a transmitter and receiver. If any or both of these components are damaged, the car key will not work. The damage could be caused by frayed wires, dropping the key or even moisture. You need to have the key fob checked so you can ascertain what exactly is the problem with it. 

Is the key programmed?

This is another issue that may prevent you from being able to unlock your car. Usually, there is no need to pair traditional keys, but for transponder keys and keyless entry remotes, they have to be paired with the car for them to work. This hardly happens with keys that come with the car originally; it is more common with people who get duplicate car keys or replace their car key remotes. The new key has to be programmed to work with your car, and this fact is one that most people forget. An auto locksmith Belfast can do this.

Did you get aftermarket car keys?

When people are looking to replace their car keys, they go for cheaper options known as aftermarket car keys. Aftermarket car keys are usually not designed for your specific car model and brand, or they may not be fully programmed to work for your car. So, you may need to do some additional work on the key so it can be paired with your vehicle. If you buy an aftermarket key, do make sure all the programming and pairing work is done on it to avoid any future headaches.


Your car is useless without its key and if your car key refuses to work on a particular day, your activities for that day may be hampered. The points above are the most common reasons why your car key may not be working to either unlock or start your car. So, take your time to digest them keep them in mind and should you ever find yourself in such a situation, you would be able to do the necessary checks on your car’s components. And of course, to solve any car keys or lock problem in Belfast, you should not hesitate to get in touch with an auto locksmith Belfast to check it out for you instead of tampering with things and potentially causing further damage. You can get in touch with 24-hour Emergency Locksmith Belfast by calling 078 6652 2422.