In many provinces in Canada there is little regulation in regards to the home/commercial security industry, which are usually serviced by locksmith companies. While many legitimate locksmith companies do not just install locks, they install all manner of home or business related security equipment such as CCTV and alarm systems. There are many that just deal with traditional key and locking systems.
These types of lock only companies have caught the attention of may media outlets in Canada as well as those south of the border in the United States.
It has really become a case of buyer beware, especially in the home security industry here in this country. Many of the businesses that dominate business directories such as the yellow pages are not at all Canadian. In fact there are some that are based in places like New York city, yet have ads in major metropolitan areas such as Vancouver or Toronto.
I recently spoke to the owner of Locksmith Mississauga about this alarming (no pun intended) trend, Given the fact that in reality you are trusting your families security to these people, usually in an emergent panic situation, it is wise to be aware of a give sways that you are not dealing with a professional.
Lack of transparency in regards to pricing is the number one give away, there should be a set price list for services as well as locks, If there isnt, be cautious. Some of these untrained locksmiths will reach for a drill, before even inspecting the problem, this is a dead give away. Many people are not aware that most trained professional locksmith technicians can pick a lock in under two minutes and open your front door. This is the preferred method to open any door that is malfunctioning, especially when the remedy may be something as simple as having a new key cut.
In one sting video a so called locksmith can be seen prying a door handle off with a pair of giant channel lock pliers, no trained or reputable company would allow a technician to behave in this manner.
While there are many industries that sub contract jobs to individuals, such as the appliance repair or furnace and air conditioning repair industries, most of these people are trained and licensed.
If you happen to find yourself in the unfortunate situation of needing a locksmith on a snowy Canadian evening in January, make sure you are dealing with a professional with a local Canadian office, referral is always the best recommendation!
You can also use the internet to find out if there is a local locksmith association near you and ask for a recommended company in your area or call one of national security companies that has a local office and ask for a referral.