Expert Locksmith Advice

13 December

The beginnings of locks

The Ancient Egyptians, hey? What did they ever do for us? Well actually they did a Pharoah amount when you really Sphinx about it, and I’m not just talking about the terrible puns they enabled to occur in this sentence which I’m sure you’re already (King) Tutting about. Sorry, I’ve finished now, Mummy’s the word. 

But anyway, they did A LOT. As well as the Pyramids, hieroglyphics, Mathematics, and even toothpaste; one of the Ancient Egyptians’ most exciting inventions from my point of view was the humble lock. Yes, next time you turn your key in your front door, secure your bike outside the shops, or lock your car in the multi-storey, spare a thought for  the ancient Egyptian inventors who, it is believed, came up with the very first example of a lock, created around 4,000BC. 

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15 November

Rotherham locksmith advice on social media

If you've been following my blogs for a while (and if you have you probably deserve some sort of medal) then you're realise that the main topics I cover have been those relating to the security of property - doors and windows, locks and fittings and what not. That's pretty much a no brainer, of course, what with me being a locksmith - after all, a blog concerning the life cycle of a butterfly would probably have raised eyebrows. I won't be quite going that far today as lepidopterology isn't quite my thing, but I will be veering a little away from my usual path as today I talk about online security. 

Following the recent Talk Talk data hacking, online security has been much in the news, but the topic I'm addressing is that of social media and what we share on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.  Fear not though, I won't be going too deep into the technological stuff - the only geekery in my life is lock-related, and I can barely differentiate between a terabyte and a terrapin, other than to know you'd rather the former dwelt in your laptop than the latter. 

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12 October

Rotherham security advice

I don't know about you, but I've been enjoying the series of poetry programmes on the BBC recently. Yes, really! Just because I'm a locksmith it doesn't mean I'm not allowed to like poetry, y'know - don't judge a book (or poetry anthology) by its cover!

Anyway, the programmes got me thinking about poetry related to this time of year. There is of course the famous mists and mellow fruitiness of Ode to Autumn by John Keats, for which I, as a renaissance locksmith obviously have a soft spot because the author's name sounds rather similar to  keys. But moving on, another of my recommendations is Autumn Song by Dante Gabriel Rossetti  I find the whole poem really quite evocative, full of metaphor and meaning. Google the whole thing if you've never read it, but the first two lines go:

Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief

"Hang on," I can sense you're thinking. "Isn't this a locksmith blog? If I wanted poetry I'd switch on chuffing  Radio 4." Well wait a second, I'm getting there. Because I'll now seamlessly (or not so seamlessly) segue to the subject at hand - Autumn, and more specifically the more unsavoury aspects it brings. To illustrate, I'll dreadfully mangle Rossetti's first two lines above to the following:

Know'st thou not that the sound of a thief                                                                      Will cause a household misery and grief.                                                                          

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19 July

Security advice for garden sheds

Like me, you've probably noticed an odd phenomenon the last few weeks. A burning ball of fire has appeared in the sky, the garden frost has disappeared, and central heating systems throughout the region have mysteriously been deactivated whilst a whole range of scarves and gloves have disappeared into hibernation for the next two months. Yes, whisper it quietly but an actual British summer has emerged. 

However, as well as the reduced heating costs, daydreams of holidays, and evenings spent in the garden sledging the Aussies as you listen to the Ashes, the summer does unfortunately herald some not so welcome happenings. And I'm not just talking about the topless men in ASDA sweating over the fruit and vegetables. (STOP doing that by the way, and put on a shirt). 

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17 May

Avoid becoming a victim of a Rotherham burglary

Flicking through the local news sites this week, a story in the Rotherham Advertiser caught my eye. It described a recent case at the Magistrate's court which saw a man charged with carrying out three burglaries in Doncaster on the same day - one at a property in Brinsworth and two in Herringthorpe.

Now, whilst I rather enjoy kicking back to the strains of Crowded House's Four Seasons in One Day, Three Burglaries in One Day is a far less appealing prospect. Reports such as these immediately cause my blood pressure to spike, not only due to the usual human empathetic reaction we all feel, but also because I see at first hand the effects that these burglaries have on the victims. 

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10 April

What do locksmiths do?

We're rapidly approaching the Easter period so here's your theological starter for ten - Who is the patron saint of locksmiths? Yes, there is one, honestly. If you buzzed in and said St Peter then I'm afraid you've lost ten points. He may be the doorman at the gates of heaven, ticking you off his list, or ticking you off and sending you away, but if he has any problems with the blessed locks sticking or snapping, that's well above his pay grade.

In this instance he'd have to call upon the services of the actual patron saint of locksmiths who, as I'm sure we all knew, is St Baldomerus. Old Baldo (as he was almost certainly known amongst his social circle) was a French monk of the 7th Century who was a locksmith by trade before being called from above to devote his life to prayer and contemplation.

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31 January

Security advice from a Rotherham locksmith

Percy Thrower, Geoff Hamilton, Capability Brown...if you know what I'm talking about here then, a) you're probably of a certain age, and b) those names will have hopefully steered you brain towards the subject of gardeners. Which then, through some sort of hypothetical name association game, may lead you from gardeners to gardens, then the wider subject of the whole of the outside of your house, and, unlikely as it may seem, the leap to how to improve the security of your garden and home exterior. Okay, that's a bit of a jump from Thrower, Hamilton and Brown to garden security, but it was the best way I could think of to start this blog. Sorry about that. Anyway, in the following paragraphs I'll be giving tips on how to defend your property from the outside - this will also cover garages, sheds, and gardens.

Making the boundaries  of your home more daunting a burglar has the dual effect of decreasing the probability of your garage/coal shed/greenhouse being broken into, and also increasing the security of your house itself. Consider yourself a hypothetical burglar for a moment; there are houses you have identified as break-in targets, both with similar locks and alarm systems. However, one of them also has a series of landmines dotted throughout the garden and pathways - which house is going to be the unlucky one? (As a disclaimer, this was an illustration - we are not actually advising that you bury landmines around your property - and your neighbours may not be overjoyed when their beloved cat, Tiddles, happens upon one)

Landmines aside, here's a few hints and tips on beefing up that security. 

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09 November

Handy tips to keep your home safe and secure

As a locksmith, people often ask me "Hey Stephen, which film won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1934," and to them I reply "It Happened One Night" and we continue with our drinks.  Okay, that only happened once and it was a pub quiz, but even so, I'm still proud of that answer. In reality, I find people are more keen to ask me how they can best protect their valuable belongings.

Aside from the obvious answer of getting me in to update their locks and home security (I had to get a plug in somewhere), there are other steps that can be taken and, in the spirit of the season of goodwill (nearly), and to mark the ending of Home Security Month (what, you mean you didn't know it was in October?), I've put together a few pointers on how to be just that little bit more secure throughout the winter months.

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12 October

French door repairs in Rotherham

Think of a locksmith and you might imagine wooden front doors, steel locks, big chains of keys and, quite possibly, the scene from Police Squad when, on being asked who he is and how he got in a property, an undercover Leslie Nielsen replies "I'm a locksmith and...I'm a locksmith" (www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRva7z8pvwc). The latter could be just me though.

In reality a great deal of my working week consists of repairing UPVC doors, whether they be the main entrance to a property, or, more commonly, as patio or French doors. And it's not only doors - fixing the mechanisms on UPVC windows is also a significant portion of my workload and an area in which I can provide assistance.

One of the issues that can cause problems with UPVC French doors is the failure of their locking mechanisms. When this occurs, the doors cannot be opened even when the key is able to turn. This, to use an understatement, is clearly not ideal. However, it need NOT result in the considerable cost of replacing the whole door  (although sadly some door salesmen will try to convince you this is the case). 

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05 November

Tilt and slide door repairs in Rotherham

Tilt and slide doors in Rotherham were a popular choice many years ago. These doors have often never received a service during their use! This means that there is a chance that now they are not so easy to operate or have developed a problem.

SF Locksmith is the leading specialist in tilt and slide door repairs in Rotherham and carry a wealth of knowledge in how to fix these patio doors. 

The great news is yes. And at a fraction of the cost of a replacement door. 

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