One of the most common reasons people call a local Locksmith is because their keys have been lost or stolen. When you lose your keys it can be a stressful time and you can struggle to think what your next step to take would be, but there are some essential things that need to be done and thought about to ensure your safety and the safety of your belongings.
Inform the Police
Firstly, you should notify your local Police Authority or Neighbourhood Watch group that your keys have been misplaced or stolen. Describe any notable features i.e. a particular key ring, so if they are handed in it may help to make a recovery easier.
What was attached to your keys?
As it’s very unlikely that you will just lose a single key, it’s more likely you will lose multiple as they were on a key ring. You need to think about what else was on your keyring. This could include a key or access fob to your workplace, a neighbour’s key, your car key or the key to your garage/outbuilding. You will need to inform any person that may be affected by the loss or theft of your keys, as they might also need to take steps to secure their homes.
Check with your insurance
Some insurance policies, whether home or vehicle, cover key loss and theft. This can be in the form of paying for a replacement to be made or covering the cost to gain entry. It is always beneficial to check with your insurance to know what your options are. However you should always also check whether this will affect your no-claims, although it might be more costly to find a solution yourself to might be more cost effective in the long-run.
If your house keys are lost or stolen, you may need to consider changing your locks. This is an absolute must if they have been stolen, as the thief could use your key to gain entry into your house. If you do not get them changed and someone accesses your house through the door with a key, your home insurance may be invalidated. Even if you have just misplaced your keys, it is still best to change the locks to give you piece of mind. You could have lost them; at work, whilst shopping or just visiting a friend, but you will not know who might have picked them up. Whenever a lost key situation arises the most important factor to remember is security.
It is best to employ a professional Locksmith to change your locks, as if you do the work yourself, your home insurance may not cover you after a break in. Keytek® Locksmiths can make sure that all your locks are up to insurance standards.
If you lose your car keys then you will need the services of an Auto Locksmith. These specially trained Locksmiths are able to cut new spare car keys and can reprogram your car so that the lost or stolen keys can no longer be used. Auto Locksmiths also tend to be mobile, so they can come to you. You will have to prove that you are the actual owner of the car. You can do this by providing the V5 document, providing the VIN number and some proof of your own identity.
Like with lost house keys, its best to replace the locks of the keys that have been stolen or lost. This is especially true if you keep valuable items, such as expensive bikes or power tools in these out buildings.
For whatever reason you have changed your locks, you will need to tell your insurance provider as it may invalidate your insurance otherwise. Your insurance will have a set of requirements that may include minimum safety requirements for your locks; if a future incident occurs such as a break and you wish to make a claim, by not meeting the listing requirement you can run the risk of not having valid insurance.
There are many different ways that a trained Locksmith can cut a key without needing the original, with the most common; cutting the key from a code, key impression or through disassembling the lock.
One of the easiest ways that a replacement key can be made is through cutting the key to code. The key code is the one that is used in manufacturing to fashion to right key for the lock from a blank key. With access to the key code, a Locksmith can very easily cut you a new key, but this is dependent on the Locksmith gaining the key code.
Another way, a key can be cut is through a lock impression. This is through a process of inserting a blank key into the lock to gain the impressions of where the key will need to be cut to fit the pins. However, this is a very difficult process to learn and should always be carried out by a trained, professional Locksmith.
Disassembling the lock is often the last resort as the lock will be dissembled for the Locksmith to try and reverse the engineer the key from the alignment and height of the pins within the lock cylinder. An important aspect to remember about this method is that a Locksmith would most likely need to pick the lock beforehand to then dissemble it, and would need to ensure that non-destructive methods are used to not damage any of the mechanisms. If the mechanism was damaged, it would most likely result in a new lock being needed.
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