A Day in the Life of an Emergency Locksmith: An Honest Account

IKS are 24 hour Emergency Locksmiths in North London. We are approved by the Master Locksmiths Association and respond to emergency calls 24/7, including bank holidays.

A Direct Line to an Experienced Locksmith

Unlike many locksmith companies, our calls are answered by a fully qualified and experienced Locksmith and not a call centre. This means our qualified locksmiths can help customers, in emergency situations, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Avoiding a Locksmith Call Out Charge

We may be able to help with advice on the phone and avoid the cost of a call out. We always discuss the details of the issue with the customer and if the situation does need a locksmith to attend, we will agree on a fixed price and send a locksmith without delay.

Burglary Prevention and Burglary Repairs

A large part of our work is burglary prevention and security upgrades so we do much more than just emergency work. We install a wide range of high quality locks, bespoke security grilles and safes as well as other security products to enhance property security and reduce the chances of a break in. These are jobs that can be preplanned and scheduled, unlike emergency calls.

Unpredictable Emergency Situations

The emergency side of the business is much more unpredictable. We can receive calls at any time of day and emergency call outs can present a range of issues. We have emergency locksmiths in Islington, Barnet, Camden and across London and South Hertfordshire. We never know where the next emergency will be and what the issue will be.

24/7 Emergency Call Out Service

Managing the emergency side of the business means that no matter what I am doing or where I am I’m always aware that the phone could ring at any moment with the news that someone is locked out of their house, locked in or that they need a door repairs locksmith fast! 

emergency locksmith north london

Being an On Call Locksmith

We appreciate every call and every customer but I have to be honest, it can be frustrating to receive a call about a non urgent matter on a Saturday evening at 11pm. A 24hr emergency service is intended to be reserved for incidents that require an emergency response. For example, when someone can’t get into their home, has been burgled, had keys stolen or a child is locked in. As mentioned before, we don’t use a call center so that we can provide the best response possible.

When a Young Child is Locked in a House or Room

The circumstances of an emergency call out can vary from less urgent to extremely urgent. There have been occasions where small children are locked in a house alone and the urgency and the pressure to open a lock (particularly with people watching) is quite intense. We have also seen children locked in a bathroom. It is important to be able to stay calm under pressure and get the lock opened quickly when a child is in distress.

Cheap Emergency Locksmiths

Another issue with emergency locksmith work is the tough competition for emergency locksmiths in London. It is common for emergency locksmiths to quote unrealistically low prices, like £39, just to secure a job. Some customers who fall for this trick even call me back after to tell me they have been ripped off. That’s just the way the industry is, unfortunately, and that is why it is important to choose and reliable locksmith.

Cheap Locksmith London
Main Image Courtesy of katemangostar

Emergency Locksmith Approved by the Master Locksmiths Association

Choosing a Master Locksmiths Association Approved Locksmith will ensure that the locksmith dealing with your security is;

  • Qualified
  • Vetted
  • DBS Checked
Master Locksmiths Association Approved

Work Life Balance as an Emergency Locksmith

Managing to offer a fast efficient response and balance other work commitments and family life is challenging to be honest! Over the years I have become more used to managing my time and the stress that comes hand in hand with being permanently on call. It helps that I actually enjoy the fact it is unpredictable. You never know who you will meet and what can happen!

Why People Need Emergency Call Outs

  • Burglary. Securing the property and lock replacement.
  • Burglars snib or chain the door from the inside. The method of getting in will depend on the situation.
  • Stolen keys. Locked out and need locks changed.
  • Lost keys. Locked out and may need locks changed depending on the situation.
  • Locking keys in the house. The method of getting in will depend on the situation.
  • Being locked out by a child. Urgency to enter a property because a child is alone in the house.
  • Child or adult locked in a room. Locks opening and possible lock replacement.
  • Snib on the inside of the lock falls into a locked position. This is a common problem and may involve lock opening and lock replacement depending on the situation.
  • A failed PVC door mechanism broken in the locked position. Open and replace the mechanism.
  • Being handcuffed to a bed. Less common but it has happened.

How Much Should an Emergency Locksmith Cost?

In emergency situations, I come up against a range of emotions in customers from desperation, panic, distress and those who are angry and reluctant to pay the going rate for a locksmith to help them out of the situation!

Over Charged By a Locksmith?

I often come across customers who say, “I urgently need a locksmith I’m locked out”, but they are shocked at the price even though we quote a competitive London Locksmith rate. It never fails to amaze me how many people seem to believe a locksmith would come out late at night for a minimal fee.

Locksmith Prices

The price of an emergency locksmith job covers;

  • Time
  • Knowledge
  • Travel
  • Experience
  • Tools
  • Overheads

How Long Does it Take to Open a Lock?

Sometimes a job can take minutes and sometimes hours depending on the difficulty of the situation. Our prices will always remain fixed as quoted on the phone and agreed by the customer.

A Quick Locksmith Job

It’s funny how some people don’t recognise that getting access to the property quickly is positive and doesn’t mean they are not getting value for money! It’s not uncommon to hear “That only took 5 minutes and you’re charging that!”. I’ve even had a lady say to me “My husband doesn’t even get paid that much!”. You can read about what to expect to pay for a quick locksmith job here.

Locksmith Costs

To survive as a locksmith business in this highly competitive market we need to cover the costs of time, fuel, vehicles, tools, stock, marketing, admin and keeping knowledge of the industry up to date.

Running a Locksmith Company

When it comes down to it as much as anyone can enjoy a job it is about having a viable business and earning a living. We know that the prices that we charge are fair and highly competitive.

The Best Value Locksmith in London

IKS are a 24 hour mobile London locksmith. Not renting high street premises allows us to minimise overheads so we can focus is on providing high quality products and workmanship at really competitive prices. We can confidently say that IKS Locksmiths always provide excellent value for money.

On the whole my customers are very appreciative of our work. This is a real motivator for us as an independent locksmith company.

The Best Customer Service

At IKS Locksmiths we aim for the highest levels of customer service. For us this involves a range of factors;

  • Honesty and integrity. Being Master Locksmith Association Approved provides our customers with confidence and assurances. There are many Rogue London Locksmiths severely lacking in honesty and integrity!
  • Arriving at the job within the time frame promised. We always give a realistic timeframe to cover any possible delays. Some locksmiths lie about the time they will arrive just to secure the job.
  • Doing the job quickly and efficiently and avoiding unnecessary damage. It is not uncommon for a locksmith to drill a lock unnecessarily to profit further from a job. We will always aim for non-destructive entry.
  • Charging a fair fixed price. A trustworthy locksmith will not charge more than discussed on the phone. You would be surprised how many people I meet that have been ripped off in this way.
  • Understanding and empathy for what the customer is going through. We genuinely care about our customers. It is unfortunate that there are so many locksmiths out there that take advantage of the vulnerable.

The Problem With Being a Locksmith

My Main Difficulty as an Emergency Locksmith is the stiff competition from Rogue Locksmiths who are experts at taking advantage of customers who are calling around looking for the best price and arrival time. I have mentioned this before in my diary post A London Locksmith – Telling Tales where I tell how a locksmith near me uses underhand tactics to secure work and rip customers off as a business strategy.

What You Need to Know When Calling an Emergency Locksmith

Choosing an MLA approved locksmith will ensure that you avoid encountering one of the many Rogue London Locksmiths and the problems that I have mentioned above. Read this post for tips on what you need to know when looking for an emergency quote.

What’s Good About Being a Locksmith?

When all is said and done it is probably the unpredictability, the pressure and the challenge of the emergency side of the business that keeps us interested and motivated to keep going despite the difficulties.

It is a bit of a juggling act and there is never really a dull moment as an emergency locksmith. The situations we deal with and the people we meet really keeps us on our toes. You can read about The Joys of Being a Locksmith here.

Local North London Emergency Locksmith

I hope you don’t find yourself in a sticky situation, locked out or in or locked to something! If you ever need a Locksmith for locks, grilles or safes we would be delighted to assist. Save our number for emergencies.

To find out more about IKS Locksmiths click here.

How can we help you?

For professional security advice and information call to speak directly to Martin, our Master Locksmith and security specialist.


Master Locksmiths Association

Master Locksmiths Association



Contact Us


  • IKS Locksmiths Ltd
    Unit E2,
    Queens Rd,
    Barnet EN5 4DJ
  • Our Totteridge Address:
    IKS Locksmiths Ltd
    44 Greenway
    North London
    N20 8ED
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