Locksmith Case Studies

We have been trading  since 2005 and have fixed, replaced and repaired over 20,000 locks over this period.  We have many locksmith case studies, here are just a few examples.  If you do not see your particular locksmith requirement here, please don’t worry and contact Tim direct.  The chances are that we have probably carried out a repair or replacement lock at some point.

British Standard Lock Upgrade – Chesham

 

Booked by a customer to upgrade a deadlock in Chesham. On arrival, it was discovered that the door had not been correctly fitted in its frame meaning that the slightly wider BS standard deadlock would need to be offset in the door. Fitting it this close the edge of the door could well weaken the door.

Discussion with the customer identified that the lock upgrade was needed for compliance with their home insurance policy so we suggested upgrading the existing nightlatch which did not meet British Safety Standards to a BS 3621 high-security nightlatch.

The customer was pleased with this solution as it meant they met the requirements of their insurance policy thus reducing their premium, their home security was improved and lastly, the integrity of the door was not compromised.

It’s tricky when a customer requires a type of lock that is not the best fit with their needs however we feel that it is important to provide the best service possible and in these circumstances to be honest and say that the customer’s wishes may actually be detrimental to their security. Our professional knowledge enabled us to suggest an alternative and provide it from the wide range of stock carried.  We have completed many locksmith call outs in Chesham of late, another happy customer.

Junior School Case Study – Tring

Quotation request received from a junior school in Tring. They had chosen Millennium Locksmiths on the strength of recommendations on Everything Tring a local community Facebook page – one of our favourite sites.

Another factor was the fact that we are Which? Trusted traders, and Buckinghamshire Trading standards approved in association with Checkatrade. Additionally, all our staff are DBS checked.

The school had undertaken a security survey of their premises – something I’m sure all parents will approve of and decided that a master key system was needed – meaning that different staff groups could be given access to relevant areas whilst a master key opened all locks for ease of the school management. There were also some old, poorly functioning door mechanisms which needed replacing.

We visited the school to assess the work and parts needed and on receiving authorisation to proceed with the parts order we are pleased to say that the job was completed a few days later on a single visit much to everyone’s satisfaction. The end result was that a large bunch of keys was no longer needed, access to various areas could be restricted meaning the school was better able to safeguard their pupils as well as keep their property secure.

Locksmiths are currently an unregulated profession in England and we find that many of our customers are understandably looking for reassurance when seeking a tradesman to work in their home. Unfortunately, we’ve all heard of rogue tradesmen and even seen them on TV! So, whilst membership of these bodies is costly and perhaps means we aren’t the cheapest quote you’ll get, we hope that validation through Which? Checkatrade and Trading Standards plus our own DBS checks mean that we have proved ourselves trustworthy so we are proud to advertise our status with these bodies.

Chubb Deadlock – Insurance Approved – Tring

 

This was an elderly couple who have a porch and front door with Keyed alike cylinders. The glazed (inner) front door also has a deadlock which had to be  upgraded for their insurance.

However, the current deadlock is a smaller than its potential replacement meaning more wood needed removing. Due to the thickness of the wood around the glass, this would weaken the door so a solution was to fit a euro cylinder deadlock which is smaller than the Era BS3621 insurance approved Euro-profile sash-case. Original lock was left and can be used as a 3rd lock

This Tring customer was very happy with the result.

The new lock is also on the same key as rim cylinder and porch door and back door. Side gate is a sub master so that a neighbour can water the garden whilst they are away

Estate Agent Locksmith Chesham

Estate Agents,  Furniture Emergency in Amersham

Called by an estate agent for an urgent job – to open a pair of patio doors on a rental property in Amersham as the keys were missing and the new tenant was moving in.

It turns out that the removal company had delivered the tenant’s furniture first thing this morning but been unable to access the patio doors as the keys were not available – the double patio doors were a more straightforward way to move in large items of furniture than the front door and porch which required an awkward corner.

The removal company had delivered the furniture at 8 am and left it wrapped it in plastic on the covered patio area but now it was raining so there was urgency in getting the doors open asap to prevent rain damage to the client’s belongings and it was decided to simply change the locks.

Fortunately, on arrival, it was a straightforward case of opening the locks and changing the euro cylinders on each of the two doors for a pair of high-security anti-pick, anti-snap cylinders (a good idea for external doors with ground floor access). The tenant wanted the two locks keyed alike so that a single key opened both doors for simplicity of use so I measured the cylinders and ordered the parts which will arrive in a couple of days.

Wrought Iron Gate Locks & Wooden Gate LocksHemel Hempstead Playgroup

Change front door lock as a member of staff had left under a cloud at this playgroup in Hemel Hempsted. Whilst onsite, conversation came round to the wrought iron gate of the outside play area. It was explained that there had been a key broken off in the lock – could we extract it? On closer examination, it was identified that the key had broken because the lock was faulty and the key couldn’t be turned. We tracked down this unusual lock and obtained a replacement which was fitted on a second visit.

Customer very happy that we’d managed to source the exact same lock. New front door lock has renewed security for peace of mind whilst the gate lock means that staff and children can access the play area more easily meaning everyone is happy!

We regularly fit gate locks to wooden gates, but wrought iron gates are frequently secured with a padlock or a padlock and chain so it was interesting to come across a lock designed for use with this type of gate and we are pleased to be able to offer something more aesthetically pleasing to our customers since that job. That’s one of the interesting thing about being a locksmith – there are always new products on the market and its very satisfying to be able to find one that exactly suits a customer’s needs

I’ve attached the actual gate lock fitted plus some other gate lock photos are available on request. The wooden gates have a photo from each side whereas the metal on is the same both sides for this completed job in Hemel Hempstead.

Patio Door Bolts High Wycombe

Recently called to a home in High Wycombe where another Locksmith had fitted patio door bolts for additional security but the homeowner was unable to apply one of the bolts.

On arrival, I spotted that one of the bolts had been fixed at a slight angle on the patio door with the result that the bolt wasn’t at the same angle as the hole in the frame and therefore wouldn’t ‘go home’. Once the problem was spotted it was a simple job to refit the bolt and unsurprisingly the customer now found that it lined up and slid home beautifully.

We all make mistakes but my army background means that I have very high standards of work and my working practice means that I always check that a customer is happy with and able to operate any locks before I leave. Over the years this has stood me in good stead and results in minimal incidents of having to rectify a problem at a later date.

coffee-case-study-millennium

National Coffee Chain – Burglary, Little Chalfont & Thame

 

It’s always a shock to get a call at the crack of dawn. This one came from the local branch of a national coffee shop chain in Little Chalfont & Thame. The staff had arrived at 6.30am to open up and discovered that the shop had been broken into overnight.

When I arrived I found that the front door lock had been forced and so needed replacing – a simple and quick job to do as I had all the parts on the van but made slightly awkward as I was working in the doorway whilst customers were needing to enter and exit the shop for their pre-work coffees and pastries! Fortunately, everyone was very understanding.

One way of reducing the risk of this sort of break in is to use high-quality 3-star anti-snap, anti-pick anti-bump cylinders – these are a little more expensive (the good things in life often are!) but have been shown to deter burglars by making it more difficult to gain access to the property.

I’m chuffed to say that this isn’t the first time that this high street brand have used Millennium Locksmiths and whilst I wish them no further problems – if they do have lock problems in the future I’m happy to assist.  I have since jobs completed in Windsor, WatfordAmersham, Chesham and Tring.

One good thing about this job – the superb cuppa afterwards!

Key Wind Aston Clinton

“Key Wind” Locking Mechanism – Aston Clinton

Called to a house in Aston Clinton where the customer had returned from a shopping trip and found that they were unable to open their front door. After considerable effort, they managed to open the door but then couldn’t close it. So they called us.

Traffic was in my favour as I got there earlier than anticipated. On arrival, it was quickly established that the door was around 30 years old. This can mean that parts are no longer available but luck was on the customer’s side – in more ways than one.

It turned out to be an unusual mechanism – a key wind – where the hooks and bolts are operated by the turn of the key/thumb turn rather than the more common lever lift type of mechanism.

The second stroke of luck was that I had this lock on the van having been caught out before – I really dislike not being able to complete a job in a single visit if I have to order a part in.

In addition, the customer asked me to change the existing standard euro cylinder for a higher specification Insurance approved 3-star anti-snap, anti-pick, anti-drill, anti-bump euro cylinder.

When changing a lock mechanism it is advisable to change the cylinder at the same time – the parts are usually the same age and as many of us have experienced with our cars if you replace one part another often fails shortly afterwards!

I’m really happy to say that the job was all done and dusted within 45 minutes and I’m grateful to the customer for leaving a review on Checkatrade.

Loft Hatch 2

Loft Hatch Security, Aylesbury

Called to a Victorian terraced house in Aylesbury by a resident concerned that someone was getting into her house through the loft.

It’s not widely known but old terraced houses sometimes have a shared loft space – i.e. the party wall doesn’t go right to the roof meaning that someone can enter the loft space in one house and then gain access to other properties in the row through their loft hatches.

Once the seed of doubt is planted it’s hard to relax once you believe that the security of your home is compromised so the obvious solution was to fix a locking bolt to the underside of the loft hatch.

In this case, the loft hatch was hinged to swing down towards the landing.

These particular multi purpose locking bolts are ideal for this sort of unusual job as they easily can be attached in any orientation. They are suitable for most types of  outward or inward opening wooden doors and aluminium sliding doors can be fitted to UPVC

domestic lockout amersham

Domestic Lockout Amersham

This customer introduced me to a previously unseen situation, but one which could affect many people.

The customer had gone out of her front door first thing in the morning to pick up the post and so didn’t have the key to unlock the porch door. Unfortunately, she didn’t have the front door key either and it had shut behind her – leaving her trapped in the porch.

Regrettably, it took a couple of hours for her to raise the alarm with a neighbour (the garden was surrounded by hedges which screened the porch from sight).

On arrival, both doors were quickly opened and the customer warmed up with a much-needed cuppa!

The solution to this particular problem was to fit keyed alike locks to the front and porch doors so that only a single key was needed to open both doors – this takes away the risk of picking up the wrong key

To remove the possibility of being stuck between two doors with no key we fitted a thumb-turn lock to the porch door. This means that a key is needed to open the lock from outside but that the door can be unlocked from inside by simply turning a knob.  Another satisfied customer from Amersham.

Unusual Replacement Lock, Amersham

It’s not uncommon to find on arrival that a job is a little unusual. Yesterday I arrived at the Amersham home of a senior citizen who is a council tenant. I believe she had moved in quite recently but the standard fittings on the front door were making life difficult for her. This lady is particularly petite and the night latch (the main lock on the door) was too high for her to operate. The council contractors had declined to refit it at a lower height reasoning that if she moved, the next tenant would be unhappy with the unusual arrangement.

After some discussion with the customer I suggested fitting a second nightlatch lower down the door and disabling to upper one so that she couldn’t get locked in. Removing the upper lock would leave a large hole through the door. As the photos show the handle on the nightlatch is loose as its hanging down whilst the lower one is operational. From the outside it simply looks like there are two locks – some people choose to have two locks.

In case you’re wondering – The holes between the locks are where I moved the door chain further down the door to suit the customer’s needs

I like this type of unusual job where there is a challenge to overcome. There is a lot of satisfaction in resolving a customer’s specific problem in Amersham. As they say variety is the spice of life!

Wooden Garage Door Upgrade, Ballinger, Great Missenden.

 

This was an upgrade to one pair of domestic wooden garage door for insurance purposes. for a client in Ballinger, Great Missenden  The doors were secured with BS3621 Insurance Approved Rebated Deadlocks.  I turned up on time and was able to secure the doors to Insurance Approved standards with minimal fuss.  The customer commented how happy they were with the professional and polite service.  We aim to keep all of our happy and safe.

lLocksmith Denham Village

Replacement Lock, Back Door Porch, Berkhamsted

This customer contacted me as they were unable to enter into the back porch as the internal wooden door leading to it had a latch had jammed and couldn’t be opened.

I was able to cut the latch off without any damage to the door or frame, this allowed me to open the door and access the faceplate of the lock, I could then replace the mortice sashlock with a like for like insurance approved model.

Delighted to receive a great review on Checkatrade from this customer in Berkhamsted.

Internal Classroom Door Lock Replacement, School for 11 – 16 Year Old Children, Windsor

I was called by the school bursar as one of the classroom doors was jamming and resulted in the door not opening without fuss. This posed a Health and Safety concern and in the case of an  Emergency or fire could have proved fatal.  I was able to turn up within 30 minutes and was able to resolve the problematic lock.  Whilst I was there, i offered to do an assessment on the other doors and highlighted the maintenance issues and problems with door and cabinet locks.  After getting approval from the headmaster, we booked another visit to complete the other doors armed with the relevant parts.  The school head and bursar were both happy with the prompt and reliable service provided and in turn the children were safe in the classrooms. Another happy locksmith customer in Windsor

Emergency Lockout, Front UPVC Door, Amersham

Customer locked out of her home. She was unable to find her house keys and had searched her bag and car thoroughly and could only assume that they were actually still inside the house and that she’d slammed the door without thinking on her way out this morning.

Door was a uPVC  and it was a mixed blessing for the customer when I told her that she had indeed just shut the door without locking it – it meant that her home had been vulnerable to break-ins all day but also that it was much easier and quicker for me to gain entry without any damage.

I had the door opened in moments much to the customer‘s delight and to her relief her keys were safely inside. A happy Amersham customer.

Whilst it wouldn’t have helped this customer one idea to avoid being locked out is to put up a keysafe where a key can be safely stored and accessed with a numerical code – these are often recommended where carers require access to a client

Replacement External Locks for Residential Property, Amersham

Customer in the process of moving to the Amersham area and wanted to change their locks to ensure that they knew exactly who had access to their property. This is strongly recommended.

The original contact from the customer was an email submission form through our website asking me to go and look at the Banham locks on their new property. I advised them that these very high security locks can only be ordered through Banham themselves – fortunately there is a branch fairly nearby. So I attended with a view to measuring the existing locks and identifying exactly what the customers needs were and then returning to fit the locks at a later date.

Whilst on site I surveyed the whole property and was able to give advice on window locks and anti-snap cylinders for other doors to suit the customer’s particular needs.

The customer requested that the front and back doors be keyed alike – so with 2 locks on each door this meant ordering matching cylinders for Banham high security nightlatches and deadlocks.

On the return visit the replacement cylinders fitted straight in and I was able to leave the customer with their high security locks all opening on one key as requested.

Commercial  Repossession at Entertainment Venue, Enforcement Agency, Berkshire

This was a 6am appointment to meet a bailiff for the purpose of gaining entry to an entertainment venue in Berkshire, changing the locks and then securing the premises afterwards

The time was set to ensure that the venue was empty – a late night appointment might have encountered customers and it would be unprofessional to inconvenience them. The  warrant of possession had been sought by the landlord because of non-payment of rent  and its timing  arranged with the bailiff and Millennium Locksmiths. Occasionally police are notified or even in attendance if it is anticipated that the tenants will challenge the warrant.

As usual with these jobs I arrived early – there is plenty of pressure to get these jobs done smoothly so being late would simply add to that.

The Bailiff had given me as much information as they could about the type of doors for this repossession  so that I could anticipate what locks might be involved.

I was able to open the front doors easily so the next challenge is to see what doors and locks are inside. Fortunately there were only a few areas with locked doors (offices etc) and these were straight forward to deal with – in fact one set of double doors was only secured with a chain through the handles. All door locks were changed and the keys handed to the Bailiff for them to pass on to the landlord.

This turned out to be a technically simple job but always a little more challenging as there is pressure to work swiftly and get it over and done with.

Domestic Repossession for Enforcement Agency, Slough

The most difficult aspect of being a locksmith is domestic repossessions but I feel that it is important that these jobs are undertaken with the utmost professionalism. In this case I was booked to attend by the Enforcement Agency who in turn had been appointed by the High Court. The Warrant of Possession was to be served at  a set time. I was advised by the Enforcement Agency that the premises were a 2nd floor flat  – meaning that realistically the front door was my only access point.

As normal for these job I arrive early and was able to see the type of door on the ground floor which meant I could take the right gear up to the 2nd floor.

Once the Enforcement Agent arrived we went upstairs together to the property. No-one was home – Obviously its easier for the Agent if the tenant is present as keys can simply be handed over but it is completely understandable that in most cases the tenant is not present. The process involves the tenant being notified of the intention to serve the Warrant of possession so they can make arrangements. I was able to open the front door quickly with no damage and proceeded to change the locks. I was then asked to change the lock to the Balcony door just in case someone climbed up that way. Keys were handed to the Enforcement Agent  to pass onto the landlord

The whole job was done very quickly and smoothly with no upset – the best way.

 

Sliding Door UPVC Door for Front Porch, Residential Lock, Maidenhead

Following the heavy storm the other night I got a call from a previous customer in Maidenhead to say that they were unable to lock their sliding porch door would if  I take a look.

The house had a sliding upvc door on the porch to the main front door.

On initial assessment I could see that the lock and lock mechanism were functioning normally with the door open but when the door was closed although the key would turn the lock it was clearly not aligned properly.

This is where I realised that the deluge of rain in the storm had washed a tiny piece of gravel into the bottom groove of the door – the customer told me that the door hadn’t been fully closed overnight – but that’s another story! The stone was so small that the door appeared to close fully but just wouldn’t lock

Closing the door had pushed the stone up against the frame where it couldn’t be seen and it was preventing the door from closing the last few millimetres and therefore stopping the lock from engaging with the frame.

It took a while to get to solve the mystery but its definitely one to keep in mind when faced with a similar situation in the future – the customer was relieved that no parts were needed. I think the combination of the locking problem and having to mop up the water means that they will make sure the door is properly shut during any future heavy downpours!

Its worth regularly checking the smooth running of sliding doors to ensure that tiny pebbles and grit don’t get into the groove and foul up the movement of the door – this was simple to solve but if left it could work its way into the bearings that make the door move smoothly and cause a bigger and therefore more costly problem

Swimming Pool House Replacement Lock Maidenhead

Some people are lucky enough to have their own pool in which to keep cool on those increasingly frequent warm summer days. However for one customer it meant another problematic door.

Customer had arranged to have some work done on his swimming pool pumping equipment (I’m no expert on these so I’m generalising!), but had discovered that the door to the pool room in the garden wouldn’t open.

I found that the Sashlock had seized up – probably as a result of infrequent use and being exposed to the elements. I wasn’t able to turn the key either but was able to gain entry and could then replace the lock. Having discussed the various lock options which could be fitted, the customer chose to have a Euro cylinder Sashlock ie the lock operates with a  euro profile cylinder meaning that with the likelihood of future problems from it being exposed to the elements the cylinder could be changed quickly and easily at a lower cost than changing the whole lock.

We have experience working with locks for all types of out buildings including swimming pool rooms, garden offices, garden workshops, Garden Gyms and all other types of outdoor buildings.

Lock  Problems due to the Hot Weather Residential Lock, MaidenheadBeaconsfield and Denham

I’ve had a many of these jobs since the warm weather arrived this June (2018)

Customer’s door front lock was proving very difficult to turn. On arrival I could see that the front of the house had been in the sun for most of the afternoon with the result that the plastic door and its metal lock had heated up and expanded.

I adjusted the lock mechanism and its alignment with the keeps in the frame to allow for the expanded metal (of course this may make the door loose when it shrinks in the cold weather) and applied some lubrication. The customer was relieved that it was not a faulty lock or mechanism and made a mental note to be alert to this problem happening again.

There is no easy way to avoid this without going to drastic measures such as rigging up some shade for the door – in countries with a hot climate verandas and shutters keep doors and windows shady. With the British climate changing it may be something for architects and builders to consider. If you have an enclosed porch it would help to keep a window open to reduce the temperature in the porch.

UPVC Front Door, Residential Locksmith Denham

We were called out over weekend to Denham to service a UPVC in a residential property.  The customer was experiencing problems with their uPVC  front door .  I was able to diagnose that there was a fault on the door lock mechanism.  luckily I had one on the van so I was able to complete the replacement lock there and then meaning not having to return after the weekend and inconveniencing the customer.

The customer was extremely happy as she was due to fly our on a business trip the following week.

Sliding Door UPVC Door for Front Porch, Residential Lock, Maidenhead

Following the heavy storm the other night I got a call from a previous customer in Maidenhead to say that they were unable to lock their sliding porch door would if  I take a look.

The house had a sliding upvc door on the porch to the main front door.

On initial assessment I could see that the lock and lock mechanism were functioning normally with the door open but when the door was closed although the key would turn the lock it was clearly not aligned properly.

This is where I realised that the deluge of rain in the storm had washed a tiny piece of gravel into the bottom groove of the door – the customer told me that the door hadn’t been fully closed overnight – but that’s another story! The stone was so small that the door appeared to close fully but just wouldn’t lock

Closing the door had pushed the stone up against the frame where it couldn’t be seen and it was preventing the door from closing the last few millimetres and therefore stopping the lock from engaging with the frame.

It took a while to get to solve the mystery but its definitely one to keep in mind when faced with a similar situation in the future – the customer was relieved that no parts were needed. I think the combination of the locking problem and having to mop up the water means that they will make sure the door is properly shut during any future heavy downpours!

Its worth regularly checking the smooth running of sliding doors to ensure that tiny pebbles and grit don’t get into the groove and foul up the movement of the door – this was simple to solve but if left it could work its way into the bearings that make the door move smoothly and cause a bigger and therefore more costly problem

UPVC Front Door Lock, Weston Turville

Millennium Locksmiths was recommended to this customer by their neighbour – whom I had previously done some work for. Its great to know that someone is so pleased with your work that they recommend you!

The customer was experiencing problems with their uPVC door – this was easily established as a faulty mechanism ad fortunately it was a part that I carry on the van so I could replace it then and there. Chatting with the customer identified that they weren’t entirely happy  with the way the door had always locked/opened. From new it had been set up so that it opened from the outside unless manually locked with the key. I suggested that they change form a single spindle to a split spindle which would men that the two side of the door operated differently ie from the outside a key would always be required to open it but from the inside it could be opened simply by turning the handle but still locked with a key or thumbturn. The customer was extremely pleased with this solution and again I had the parts on the van so was able to make the change. The customer also decided to change their cylinder to a thumbturn meaning that they didn’t need to hunt for a key to be able to lock and unlock their front door (also a good idea s that you have an easy escape in the event of a fire).

I came away with a real buzz knowing that the customer was delighted with the work – and satisfied that I had sorted the initial problem and then been able to resolve a couple of niggles that the customer had with their upvc door lock which they had mentioned in passing.

Residential Locksmith – Language Barrier Slough

Met a customer today who had experienced problems getting their lock sorted – not because it was anything complex but simply because English wasn’t their first language.

The family were renting their home and were having trouble with the front door lock. When they called I was actually just ½ a mile away, so realising that there was a language barrier, I went round so they could show me the problem rather than struggle to understand. It turned out that the spring in the door handle was worn, resulting in a “floppy” handle. This was easily fixed as I routinely carry this part.

The customer was delighted that after a several frustrating but unsuccessful calls to other companies they had got the problem solved quickly and at a low cost. I was able to discuss the job with the landlord and they agreed to the price so I replaced the spring cartridge then and there.

What a difference the personal touch can make – Taking the time to visit meant that although verbal communication was tricky I was able to solve the problem – to the satisfaction of the tenant and their landlord

Emergency Locksmith for Large Garden Office – Maidenhead

The summer has seen us enjoy some  fabulous weather, however it has caused problems with alignments and locks. I was called out on an emergency when one client was unable to secure his garden office and leave for a business appointment.  I arrived within thirty minutes to this beautiful property in Maidenhead, the customer was really pleased as he was in a hurry.  The garden office/ outbuilding had thousands of pounds worth of Computers (2 Apple Macs), so i could understand why he did not want to leave the office unsecured.  The weather had resulted in the plastic doors expanding in the heat and jamming in their frames.  I was able to resolve the issue quickly. on leaving the property I also advised that the garden side gates should also be replaced due the condition of the locks. The customer agreed and I will be returning next week to complete this due to the time commitments.