My MLA EXPO 2019 Experience – Diary of a Locksmith
My weekend was well spent at MLA EXPO 2019 in Telford. The Master Locksmiths Association Expo is Europe’s largest locksmith show run by the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA). With exciting new security products, good deals on products and tools, training and an all-round great atmosphere it just gets better every time.
When I got home my son wanted to know how my holiday was. Not quite a holiday but a most enjoyable and informative few days. I travelled up on Saturday morning with my wife Anne who did a day at the show. I stayed for 1 night so I would have 2 days at the show.
Meeting Dom UK – Sponsors of MLA EXPO 2019
This year’s show was sponsored by Dom UK. I caught up with Owen on the stand and was interested to hear about their new products and partnerships;
- Keystone Programme with 2 new key systems Twido and Teco
- Workspace solutions with Bott
- Key Machine Manufacture with Keyline
- Shop display with Gondela
- Their Chipolo key/phone tracker has already helped me find my keys twice in the last 2 days!
Checking Out The Fin Lock – Winner of Security Product MLA Expo 2019
I was very keen to meet Timothy Finn and find out about Fin Lock, a lock which automatically deadbolts a wooden door. This is something very unique on the market and I don’t think there is anything similar that is for the residential market. I know so many people who don’t use their deadlock, leaving their property unsecured and invalidating their insurance policy. As you can see from the pictures, I did a thorough inspection of the product and I am keen to find out more about this interesting new concept.
My Best Buy at This MLA EXPO
I saw Sashstop at MLA Expo 2017 and was keen to revisit the stand. I met Paul Batty who came up with the lockable sash jammer which can be key operated from outside. The idea came when a family member was unwell and access to the property to help her was difficult.
I’m extremely impressed with the Sashstop Window Jammer which allows installation under the handle without the need to drill and provides much better security than a standard sash jammer window lock. I snapped some of these up at the show and will be highly recommending them to customers for window security.
Also of interest to me was the Sashstop Window/Door Restrictor and jig for fitting. Check out my Instagram account for a video of the Sashstop Window and Door Restrictor in action.
There were several attention-grabbing products and displays at the show. Luxury safes made a big impact! As a specialist in security safes installation these were of great interest to me.
The Luxury Range by Burton Safes really has the WOW! Factor. The LX Deluxe pictured here in blue really stole the show. It can be custom designed, and even colour matched to the colour of your favourite car. Click here to see a video showing the inside of the LX Deluxe.
This Luxury Gun Safe by Burton also packed a punch. It was shelved for the show with prizes for competition winners.
Insafes Range Rover Safe was also impressive.
At Phoenix Safes I tried out the colour switching safe fronts which can be changed easily depending on your mood or change of décor. I can see some of my London customers loving these as a feature for interiors.
Other Products That Caught My Eye
Phoenix safes had some smart looking security post boxes which I will investigate further. I have customers in London and Hertfordshire who I know would love these.
I was also impressed by their office security cabinets for commercial security.
Code locks Marine Grade Digital Lock in an eye-catching display grabbed my attention. The product looks smart in a matt black finish and offers high resistance to weather and chemical environments. I also checked out their range of cabinet locks and AL03 door controls.
Other companies that caught my attention were;
- Fullex – locking systems
- Dormakaba – high security locks
- Salto and Klevio – keyless entry systems that can be operated from your smart phone
- Module System – van racking
- PG Mutual – income protection – I know that this is a must for any locksmith
- JNE – innovative crime prevention and community safety products
There are certain stands I always visit at the show.
I had a chat with Nigel Rose and Simon Rose about the Locklock which double locks the door and keeps the door secure even if someone does manage to get the intruder resistant handle off. I was also interested in their De Raat safes and their rotary burr for those tricky high security door openings.
I picked up some high quality upvc handles at excellent prices.
I am a big fan of Australian product BiLock which is pricey, but the benefits make the price well worth it. The Bilock is superior quality and can be changed so easily that the customer can change it themselves. It is a super slick aspirational security product perfect for advanced master key systems.
I looked at a new precision key cutting machine which would allow me to cut a wide range of high security keys and cabinet keys with great accuracy.
I always stop by my regulars too; Era, Silca, Mul-T-Lock, Keyprint, Brisant, Assa Abloy and Abus.
The Auto Locksmith section “The Garage” in conjunction with the Auto Locksmiths Association (ALA) and sponsored by SILCA was back again this year. As a property security sepcialist this wasn’t an area I spent time in. I heard from others that it was even better than last year. There were good reports about the seminars and on vehicle training. I was keen to find a contact for vehicle tracking but ran out of time, any recommendations are welcome!
The MLA Gala Dinner
I was lucky enough to be asked to the Gala dinner on Saturday by John Horsley from Active Lock Centre. John was presented with the Nigel Rose cup for achieving the highest score in the MLA exam this year. The food and entertainment were excellent.
This year I stayed at The Ramada which I booked ahead as last year I struggled to find somewhere. It was very convenient for the show.
On the last day when I was on my way home I got a call from GJ Locks who specialise in non-destructive entry tools. It seems I won their competition where I had to rebuild a euro cylinder to a different size. Apparently one of their kits is winging its way to me in the post. A nice end to a great show. I just learnt on Twitter that I came third in the ABUS competition and the M&C competition happy days!
If you are interested in any of the products featured call me on 0203 284 1045.
We will be reviewing some of the products from the show. Look out for upcoming security product reviews on our blog. If you are a supplier and would like us to review your product get in touch.
This year I celebrated 10 years as a fully qualified MLA locksmith and in that time I have been to a fair few shows. Read my review of MLA Expo 2017 here. For me MLA Expo is an invaluable experience and helps to keep me ahead of my game in what can be a highly competitive industry. Congratulations to the MLA on a superb locksmith show 2019! I am already looking forward to MLA EXPO 2021!