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If you are calling in reference to a lock out it may be helpful to see our lock types page in order to help us to identify the type of door and lock you have and to give you an accurate quote for the work required.
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Quick links to useful articles and content on Bristol & Bath Locksmiths home page
We at Bristol and Bath Locksmiths have put together this website not only to showcase our business but also to provide useful information and help in relation to all matters surrounding locks and security in the Bristol and Bath area. This page features articles which we have written based on customer feedback of what would be useful, as well as our own experience of the changing security landscape in Bath and Bristol as well as nationally. We hope you will find them useful, the links below will take you directly to each article, alternatively you can just scroll down if you prefer to browse all articles.
- What to do if you are locked out
- Importance of locksmiths who know Bristol and Bath
- Dealing with broken keys – Why keys break
- What are 5 lever mortise locks and how do they work
- Crime Prevention advice – Correct use of stub handle locks
- Crime Prevention advice – Correct use of digital locks
- Bristol & Bath locksmiths guide to insurance approved locks and BS-3621
- Bristol & Bath locksmiths guide to DIY lock changes and fitting
- Locksmith’s Letterbox Tool Demo
Guaranteed work in Bristol and Bath with Bristol & Bath Locksmiths
We are proud to be able to say that at Bristol and Bath Locksmiths we carry out all our locksmiths services to the highest possible standards and only fit high quality parts sourced from our trusted network of locksmiths suppliers that operate in the local Bristol and Bath area. In fact we are so confident of the work we do and the parts we fit that we back up our work with our no quibble Bristol and Bath locksmiths guarantee. Our guarantee is 3 months labour and 12 months parts.
This means that within three months if you have any problem at all with your lock that is a result of a manufacturing defect in the lock, we will come and repair or replace that lock completely free of charge. From three to twelve months we will supply you with a new lock. It is up to you whether you wish to entrust the fitting to us at Bristol and Bath locksmiths at the the labour only charge, or make other arrangements if you prefer to do so.
If you feel you need to make a claim under our Bristol and Bath locksmiths guarantee please get in touch either by calling us on our main number above or by email on the contact form on the contact page if you prefer. The Bristol and Bath Locksmiths guarantee does not affect your statutory rights.
Being locked out, either due to keys lost or keys locked in, of one’s home can be a very unsettling experience and understandably a person finding themselves in this position will want to be able to get back in as soon as possible. The simple answer would be to say call an emergency locksmith such as ourselves. However doing so does incur expense, so it is first well worth taking a few minutes to take stock of the situation, and to see if there might be any possible alternatives to calling an emergency locksmith.
For example if you are locked out because you popped out into the street on nice hot sunny day to say hello to a neighbour having forgotten to take your keys out with you, it is possible that you may also have left a window open. Bristol and Bath Locksmiths would not advocate taking any risks with any dangerous climbs, but if the open window is at ground floor level and you are able to climb through it – hey presto you are back in your house and no need for the locksmiths.
Alternatively it is worth having a good long think about who else has, or might have, a key to your house; a family member, an ex-house/flat mate, a neighbour etc… This may sound like we’re stating the obvious but often a degree of panic can set in when you find yourself locked out and the obvious solutions can get overlooked; we have attended many an emergency call-out in both Bristol and Bath where a family member / friend / house-mate has turned up with a spare key just as our locksmith is leaving!
Finally it may be worth having a think about the possibility of DIY entry prior to calling the locksmith. We have all seen the detective type movies where doors are opened using a credit card. Fortunately from a security point of view, but unfortunately if you are locked out, it is not nearly as easy to do this as the movies would make it appear – it even generally takes trained locksmiths such as ourselves, with years of experience, considerably longer than what is depicted in the films. However if your door is old and quite loose against the frame, i.e. if there is a lot of play in the door against the frame when it’s shut, then it might just be worth giving it a go prior to calling the locksmith. However do bear in mind that this technique, even in theory, will only work on non-deadlocking night latch type locks (see our lock types page for more info). The picture in-set shows a Bristol & Bath Locksmiths technician conducting what is known in the locksmith trade as a ‘slip’ or ‘yale slip’. We use special cards that are specifically designed and manufactured to be thin and flexible enough to fit in between the door and frame, yet strong enough to be able to push the latch open and thereby open the door.
Other aspects to dealing with a situation requiring an emergency locksmith in Bath or Bristol
If you are still locked out once the above options have all been considered it is time to call an emergency locksmith. Bristol and Bath Locksmiths will be able deal with accessing your property, and replacing locks if need be, quickly and efficiently. However there may be other aspects that also need to be thought about. For example if your property is a flat or apartment within a larger building with a communal entrance and you require a locksmith because your keys have been lost or stolen, you need to bear in mind that whilst a locksmith such as ourselves at Bristol and Bath Locksmiths can change the locks to your flat, we would not normally change the lock on the communal door on an emergency call out, as to do so would mean locking out all the other occupants of the building.
The changing of a communal lock is something that needs to be coordinated by the owner of the building so that the locksmith can ensure all occupants get a copy of the new key. If you find yourself in this position, where your individual flat lock has been changed but you have reason to believe that the security of the communal entrance door has been compromised, Bristol and Bath Locksmiths would recommend getting in contact with the owner of the building as soon as possible. In the Bristol and Bath area there is a mixture of council owned, or controlled, and private sector rented housing. If your property belongs to the latter group then you will need to get in touch with the landlord or letting agent responsible. If your property is in the former group then knowing who, or which department, in Bath or Bristol city councils to contact can be confusing. If you live in Bath we would suggest looking at this page: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/your-council-and-democracy/emergencies of the Bath and North East Somerset Council website, it contains telephone numbers and various further guidance for reporting problems with council services and buildings in the Bath area. If you’re in Bristol a comparable resource can be found at: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/contact on the Bristol City Council website, although not as good as the Bath Council emergency numbers page its is nonetheless a good place to start.
We hope this was helpful to anyone finding themselves requiring an emergency locksmith in Bath or Bristol. Of course it goes without saying that where there is any risk to life, or possibility of any risk to life, the emergency services should be called on 999.
Large busy cities such as Bristol and Bath can be problematic to mobile trades-persons such us locksmiths; busy traffic, one-way systems, difficult parking, and pedestrian only roads do not make life easy. The problem is made even more acute when time is particularly of the essence – such as with an emergency locksmiths service.
At Bristol and Bath Locksmiths we aim to overcome such problems by combining our local knowledge with a flexible approach. Many tradesman, including locksmiths, expect to be able drive their vehicle right to the door of the job, and then get frustrated when they are not able to. At Bristol and Bath Locksmiths we accept that this is not always possible and then look at ways to work around the problem rather than against it.
We know where we can get to and where we can park, and if that means our locksmith having to lug his tools over his shoulders and walk the rest of the way then that is what we’ll do! For certain jobs in certain areas, particularly around the Bath and Bristol city centres, our locksmiths even use the cycle option. The flexible approach is what gets us there fast – if you need an emergency locksmith then we believe that is what you have a right to expect.
It has come to our attention that it is getting increasingly difficult to tell genuine local Bristol locksmiths from the rouge operators that use modern technology to simply pose as local locksmiths when in reality they can be based on the other side of the country or even the other side of the world. For an explanation of how they are able to do this, and how to avoid getting caught out, see the article on our local Bristol locksmiths page.
Non-Destructive entry whenever possible with Bristol and Bath Locksmiths.
Unfortunately some locksmiths will go in with a heavy handed approach to opening locks simply because that is quicker and easier for them. At Bristol and Bath Locksmiths we will always take the time to do our best to gain entry using non-destructive methods – for example by picking the lock instead of drilling it out.
Of-course there will be times when this might be not be possible – unfortunately the reality of locksmithing is not quite like that depicted on films and TV where the expert locksmith can gain entry into any door and lock within just a couple of minutes using just a paper-clip! In reality some locks can not be picked within a reasonable length of time, and therefore drilling may be required. However we will always advise the customer as we go and always ensure that our work is carried out to highest standards with minimum, and usually no, damage to the surrounding door.
Insurance claim not paid due to ‘no sign of forced entry’? Bristol & Bath Locksmiths can help.
Being the victim of a burglary is a terrible experience. Whether at home or work the invasion of private space and possessions is an unsettling and disruptive ordeal. Insurance is supposed to be there to at least make matters a little easier to handle by replacing stolen items. Unfortunately many insurance companies in Bristol and Bath are refusing to pay theft claims where there is no sign of forced entry. The logic they apply is that if there is no sign of forced entry the property must have been left unsecured in the first place, or that the claim must be fraudulent.
However as locksmiths who specialise in non-destructive entry we know that it is possible to enter many properties without leaving any signs of forced entry. It is true that we have specialist locksmiths equipment and that many of the techniques we use require specialist locksmiths training; but some of these tools and techniques are unfortunately to be found in the criminal community in Bristol, Bath and nationally. We therefore believe that is extremely unfair for insurance companies to refuse to pay out insurance claims on the ‘no sign of forced entry basis’.
So to help those who find themselves in this predicament we have launched our ‘post burglary inspection and report’ service. As part of this service we will attend your property and carry out a full locksmiths inspection of all the doors, windows and locks on your property. We will then provide you with a full written report detailing how entry could have been affected without leaving any signs of forced entry – assuming we indeed find so. The report will include details of the tools and techniques likely to have been used and the availability of these tools and techniques. If you wish we can also take photos at the time of our inspection and include these in the report. We have already helped a number of clients in Bristol and Bath with their insurance claims, so if you find yourself in this situation give us at Bristol & Bath locksmiths a call now.
A substantial proportion of our call outs at Bristol and Bath Locksmiths are to attend customers requiring an emergency locksmith service after being locked out due to a broken key. As with all lock-outs this can be a frustrating experience and as locksmiths we often get asked why the key has broken. A broken key is a lot more likely with a cylinder lock key, for example ‘yale’ type locks and euro cylinder locks, rather than mortise locks (see our Lock Types page). This is simply because the mortise lock keys are bigger and therefore stronger. In the UK, and particularly in Bristol, these cylinder locks are very widely fitted.
There are a number of main reasons why a key can break in a lock. These are; poor quality key, fault with the lock cylinder requiring the key to be forced to turn the cylinder, fault with the lock back set requiring the key to be forced to turn the lock, or a fault with the door to frame alignment causing the latch to bind against the keep, therefore once again requiring extra force to need to be applied to the key to move the latch against the extra resistance. Sometimes of course it can be a combination of the above factors, however sometimes it can simply be due to the key getting old and breaking due to metal fatigue. Metal fatigue is stress damage that occurs within a metals molecular structure due to repeated cyclic stressing, loading and unloading, of the metal.
As a small digression from locksmith’s matters it may interest aviation enthusiasts to know (indeed many will already know) that the De Havilland Comet aircraft, the world’s first jet turbine passenger airliner, built in the UK, suffered two catastrophic failures of the airframe due to metal fatigue (If you would like to know more about the Comet this BBC article is great place to start).
Back to locksmith’s matters, a key is more likely to break due to metal fatigue if the combination of the lock cylinder is such that the first pin is low. This will mean that the key will have to have a deep cut to correspond with this low pin right up close to the shoulder of the key (see the diagram above which shows what the different parts of a key are called). As can be seen a deep cut means that there is little metal left on that part of the shaft of the key. Therefore the stress of the turning effort applied gets concentrated in this small area of metal making a broken key a lot more likely. Interestingly however, as any locksmith will tell you, a lock cylinder with a pin combination such as this is actually better from a security point of view as a low pin close to the shoulder makes the lock more difficult to pick.
With any key, but particularly on one with a deep cut close to the shoulder, Bristol and Bath Locksmiths would advise to have a good quality key and spare cut. This way if the key does get broken in the lock, we can get a locksmith out to any location in Bristol or Bath with special tools to remove the broken key without damaging the lock, as mentioned we do a lot of these in Bristol so we are experts even if we say so ourselves, and the lock will still be operational with the spare key.
What is a 5 lever lock and how does it work – An illustrated explanation from Bristol & Bath Locksmiths
A five lever mortise lock may often be specified by an insurance company or a security survey, and we at Bristol and Bath locksmiths have often been asked; ‘what is a 5 lever lock?’, and sometimes also ‘how do they work?’. We have therefore put together this short article illustrated with pictures to help provide a better understanding of lever locks.
In the UK in general, and including Bristol and Bath, the two most commonly fitted types of locks, so far as the inner workings of the lock are concerned, are; ‘pin tumbler’ locks (for example ‘yale’ locks and ‘euro cylinder’ locks) and ‘lever tumbler’ locks (for example mortise locks). You may wish to see our ‘Lock Types‘ page for more information on different types of lock. If you wish to know more about how a pin tumbler lock works an explanation is given within our short article about our locksmith training on our ‘about us’ page.
The picture at the top of this article shows a mortise lock with the front cover of the case removed. The parts coloured red in the picture are the ‘levers’ which the term ‘5 lever’ refers to. A lever lock can have 2, 3, or 5 levers. The more levers the more difficult it is for a locksmith to pick the lock, therefore the higher the level of security. A 2 or 3 lever lock will provide very little resistance to a trained locksmith, such locks are usually used on interior doors within a house where the main purpose of the lock is privacy rather than security.
The part indicated by the pointing pen in the top picture is known as the ‘stump’, the stump is actually part of the same casting of metal, and therefore fixed to, the ‘bolt’, the bolt is the bit that goes into the door frame when the lock is locked thereby locking the door. The top picture shows the lock in the locked position. As can be seen the stump, and therefore bolt, are prevented from moving to the right, and thereby unlocking the door, by the levers.
The second picture shows the inside of the lock as it is being unlocked. The key has lifted all the levers to the correct height in order to allow the stump to move through them into the unlocked position. The final picture shows the lock in the unlocked position. The stump has moved fully through to the right, the bolt has therefore fully retracted, and the levers have moved back down under spring pressure to their rest positions.
We hope you found this short article both interesting and informative, please call us at Bristol and Bath Locksmiths if we can be of further service.
How many unique keys (combinations) are possible for a lock?
At Bristol and Bath Locksmiths we often get asked this question by customers who are curious to understand more about how locks and keys work, so we thought it would be a great idea to do one of our mini-articles explaining the answer.
The exact answer of course depends on the type and model of lock, but the general theory is that the number of unique combinations is the number of values a variable within the lock can have, raised to the power of the number of those variables that there are in the lock. Yes, that is a bit of a mouthful and involves a bit of maths, to make it a bit clearer let’s take an example. In Bristol and Bath the most commonly fitted locks use a pin tumbler lock cylinder – as shown in cut-away in the picture inset – so let’s take that as our example.
This lock has 5 pins and, to make the maths a bit simpler, let’s assume that the lock can be manufactured with each pin set at any one of 10 height positions. Relating this to the paragraph above, each pin is a variable, and 10 is the number of values that each of these variables can have. So the number of unique combinations is worked out by 10 to the power 5, or 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10, which equals 100,000.
In practice most pin tumbler designs have less than 10 possible pin heights (which means less unique combinations – for example 8 height positions would be 8^5, or 8 x 8 x 8 x 8 x 8, which would equal 32,768), but have other variables, such as the number and shape of ridges on the key.
We hope you have found this useful, if you have a more particular query please give us call.
A very low security old lock – keyway is not even warded.
You would be hard pressed to find one of these in Bristol or Bath these days, but the lock picured is a very basic low security lock which makes an interesting contrast to the high security of the 5-lever lock discussed above.
Before lever locks, lock security was provided by way of warded key-ways which could only be passed by the correct key which would have all areas corresponding to the wards in the matching lock cut away. Warded locks provided a low level of secuity because a key that simply had all the possible ward areas cut-away would be able to operate any lock of that type – this is what was known as a skeleton key. However, this lock pictured does not even have warded security. As can be seen from the picture the key is effectively just a simple rectangular piece of metal. This means that pretty much any implement of roughly this shape and size would operate this lock!
So this lock is certainly not one we would recommend! However it is interesting to examine, and we hope you will find it useful in helping you to better understand the way more sophisticated locks, such as a 5-lever mortise for example, work (see the article above for a detailed diagrammatic explanation of how a 5 lever lock works).
Bristol and Bath Locksmiths crime prevention advice for stub/pad handle (split spindle) UPVC door locks
We have been receiving reports from our neighbourhood watch partners and the Avon and Somerset police about home owners in the Bristol and Bath area not correctly understanding the operation of these locks and thereby leaving themselves open to increased risk of burglary. We have therefore put together this article to explain what the problem is, what locks are affected, and the correct way to operate these locks for maximum security.
This problem applies to multi-point locks, as typically fitted to UPVC and composite doors, with split spindle (night latch function) operation – as usually identified by a paddle (also referred to as stub or pad) exterior handle – as shown in the picture. (please do note that some split spindle locks may not be fitted with a paddle handle, and some locks fitted with a paddle handle may not necessarily be split spindle – the important thing is identify weather your lock is split spindle – see below)
So we’ll start by explaining how these two different, solid spindle and split spindle, mutli-point lock set-ups work, and how to identify which one you have:
1) Solid Spindle (Also Known as Lever Lever).
In this arrangement there is a solid spindle (square profile metal bar) that connects the interior and exterior handles – if the interior handle is turned the outside handle will always turn with it and visa versa. In this arrangement, if the door is just pulled shut, without being locked with the key and/or by turning the handle up, it can be opened from the outside just by pushing down on the handle. As the operation of this set up is pretty straightforward users understand that to lock the door they must lift the handle and/or use the key, so no particular problems here, the reports we have received apply to the split spindle set-up discussed below:
2) Split Spindle (Also Known as Lever Pad).
In this arrangement there is no solid spindle that connects the interior and exterior door handles. The handles operate independently. In this arrangement if the door is just pulled shut from the outside, even without the handle being lifted up or the key being used, it is not possible to get back in without using the key. The advantage of, and reason for, this arrangement is that it gives a degree of passive security. For example if the home owner arrives home and just pushes the door shut behind himself – without actively engaging any lock – it is not possibly for a passer by to simply walk up to the door, push down on the handle, and enter the property – as would be the case with the solid spindle arrangement described above.
Unfortunately this is precisely the source of the confusion which often leaves such doors not properly secured. As users see that they are not able to get back in without the key when they just pull these doors shut, they, perhaps understandably, assume that the door is locked and that’s that. However, when these doors are just pulled shut as described above they are not fully locked. In this scenario it is only the latch that is holding the door shut, the multipoint mechanism has not been engaged. In this scenario all an intruder needs to do to force entry to the property is to force a small screwdriver or other similar implement in at the latch level and use the flex in the UPVC to get directly at the latch and manually push it back thereby opening the door.
It is therefore very important for home owners with this type of lock arrangement to follow the full and correct procedure when locking these doors to fully secure their door.
The correct procedure for fully securing a split spindle (stub / paddle / pad handle) lock is as follows: 1) Shut the door – the door is now held shut on the latch. 2) Lift the handle – this engages the multi-point hook or roller mechanism. 3) Turn the key – this throws the deadbolt (where fitted) and locks the mechanism. 4) Finally do not leave the key near the door where it could potentially be fished out through the letterbox – you would be amazed what some criminals can do with an old coat hanger!
We hope this helps.
Crime prevention advice from Bristol & Bath Locksmiths in relation to the use mechanical digital locks
It has come to our attention that, as with the article above in relation to split spindle locks, there is a widespread miss-understanding as to how these locks function that is leading to compromised security for home and business owners Bath and Bristol.
These locks do not have a key, instead the lock is unlocked by entering the code on the numeric keypad. The code is not pre-set at the factory. In can be set at the time of installation either by the customer, or more usually, the installing locksmith. The code can be changed should it be necessary to do so for security reason; for example if the user has reason to believe that it has got into the wrong hands. So far so good; the confusion centres on a miss-understanding of how the code can be entered in order to unlock the lock.
We recently attended upon a lady in Bath who asked us to come and change the code for her (the codes can be changed by the user but it involves taking the lock off the door and is fairly fiddly so most people leave the job to a locksmith). For obvious reason we will not reveal what her code was or is now, but lets’s just say for example that it was 1367. Our attending locksmith in Bath was asked us to change it to 6713; the lady said that while she wanted the code changed she wanted something fairly similar to make easier to remember. On the face of it this all sounds sensible, unfortunately however, as far as the lock is concerned, 1367 is exactly the same as 6713, or 6137, or any other combination of these numbers. These locks are fairly simple mechanical devices and will unlock no matter what order the numbers of the code are entered. The only way to effectively change the code is use numbers that were not in the original code.
We hope this explanation makes sense, if you require further help or would like the code on your mechanical digital lock changed give us call at Bristol and Bath Locksmiths.
How to Prevent Latch Lock Slip Card Attack
One of the techniques we use at Bristol & Bath Locksmiths to gain entry for our locked customers is known as a ‘latch lock slip’ or more commonly as a ‘yale slip’ – this is simply because the brand Yale has become synonymous with latch locks – a bit like Hoover and vacuum cleaners. This technique will only work on certain locks and certain door / frame combinations, but when it does it can sometimes get a door open very quickly and leave the customer, glad to be back in, but at the same time rather conerned about the security of their property.
If you find yourself in this situation and would like to know more about how you can improve the security of your property please watch the video below. The video shows the principal of how this entry technique works, how you can improve your security by fitting and using mortise locks and deadlocking latch locks, and also the difference beween manual deadlocking and auto-deadlocking latch locks:
A common question we get asked here at Bristol and Bath Locksmiths is; what is an insurance approved lock, and how can I tell if my locks are insurance approved.
Strictly speaking the answer of course depends on the insurance company and the exact context within which the question is being discussed, the answer can also depend on where you are located as some insurance companies will sometimes apply different minimum security standards in different regions. However, in the context of ordinary residential properties in the Bristol and Bath region; the term ‘insurance approved’ generally refers to a lock conforming to the British Standard BS-3621.
This then brings us to the question of what is BS3621 and how do I know if my lock(s) conform to BS3621. BS3621 refers to a series of tests which the lock is put through to test it’s security and vulnerability to common attack methods by a would be intruder. In essence these tests are a measure of long it would take a ‘professional’ burglar (simulated by a locksmith) to get get past the lock. If the lock can withstand a simulated attack for the stipulated time frames it is deemed to have passed.
Locks which have been put through the above tests and passed will display the BSi (British Standards Institute) kite-mark, in this context BS-3621, but there are others. BS3621 was introduced in the 1960s and has been updated over the years so usually on newer locks the ‘BS-3621’ will be followed by the year – for example BS3621: 2007. BS3621 originally applied to mortise locks only (see our lock types page) but was later updated to encompass night latch locks also; so a night latch can also be BS3621 kitemarked. The picture shows an example of a mortise lock with the kitemark stamped into the metal faceplate of the lock. So as can be seen it is not difficult to see whether or not your mortice lock is insurance approved – simply open the door and look at the faceplate.
And the same goes for the newer BS3621 nightlatch locks – simply open the door and lock at the face plate area as shown in the second picture. However when it comes to Euro Cylinder door lock set ups (see lock types page) the situation is a little more complicated. The reason being that the cylinder always has to be fitted with other door lock hardware – such as the handle for example, and the quality of this other hardware has a direct bearing on the vulnerability of the euro cylinder – particularly to the common form of attack known as ‘lock snapping’. Therefore the TS007 star system is used in order to give an evaluation of how secure the combined cylinder and handle will be.
The TS007 star system works as follows: A euro cylinder can be rated either 1 star or 3 stars, and a high security handle can be rated 2 stars – a standard handle being zero star. A total of 3 stars is required to give security equivalent to BS3261. So this can be accomplished either by fitting a 3 star cylinder, or by fitting a 1 star cylinder and 2 star handle. The picture shows the markings that will be found on a typical 3 star euro cylinder for example – such a cylinder could be fitted with an ordinary (non star rated handle) and yet still meet the minimum security standard equivalent to BS3621 for mortise and RIM locks (latch locks).
What if my lock has no markings or stamps?
If you cannot find any markings at all, or you find the manufacturer brand name and perhaps some other marking but not the BSi markings detailed here, it is fairly safe to assume that the lock you are locking at either has not been tested to BS3621 or has not passed. The BS3621 testing and approval process is costly for manufacturers so it would not make sense for a lock manufacturer to go through this process and then not stamp their product to confirm this.
In summary it’s all in the stamps which can be found on your locks. We hope you have found this article from us Bristol and Bath Locksmiths useful, but if you are still in doubt please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Seasons greetings from Bristol and Bath Locksmiths for Christmas 2016 & Winter 2017.
Xmas adverts on TV and the first few frosty mornings remind us that winter is here! We hope you have a great Christmas and a very happy new year. However, whilst enjoying the various distractions this time of year has to offer, it is very also important to recognise the fact the Christmas period can also potentially leave us more vulnerable to crime.
The long dark evenings can provide burglars with good ‘cover’, the likely presence of Christmas presents within a home provides burglars with more motivation, and the fact that we may often be out attending various social functions, or visiting family and friends, provides burglars with more opportunity. This is a problem nationally at this time of year and Bristol, Bath and the surrounding region is no exception.
Bristol and Bath Locksmiths would not wish people to dwell too much on all this, Christmas is a time that should be enjoyed, but it is worth taking just a bit of time to make sure your locks and general home security factors are as good as they can be. It’s not so much about doing anything particularly different at this time of year, the good practices that we hope you have been applying all year round still apply, but at this time of year those good security items and practices become even more important. For example; security lighting is important all year round, but even more so at this time of year due to the longer darker evenings. Similarly with other items, for example good well maintained high security locks are important all year round but even more so this time of year when burglars have even more motivation and opportunity. Remember not all security measures require a locksmith or any other major expense to implement – in fact many can be implemented at very low cost or no cost at all.
Our Bristol and Bath Locksmiths ‘Security Tips and Advice’ page has won us a lot of praise and would be great place to start in order to make sure you haven’t missed anything. If you would like more detailed advice on any of the topics covered please feel free to give us a call now.
Bristol and Bath Locksmiths recommends the National Property Register.
The national property register is supported by the police, equipment manufacturers and insurance companies, and by can be found at www.immobilise.com. An items ownership details are recorded on there databases, which the police can then check when they recover stolen items, thus enabling stolen property to be returned to their rightful owners.
Another advantage is the that items marked with the immobilise logo are less likely to be stolen in the first place as thieves know that such items will be harder for them to sell on. In this sense the National Property Register functions almost like a virtual lock, thereby adding an extra layer of security to protected items. We are proud that Bristol and Bath are vibrant hard working cities, so let’s keep our hard earned possessions safe.
The national property register is free to use and can be found at www.immobilise.com.
Bristol and Bath locksmiths are always happy to professionally undertake any locksmith service you may require in Bristol or Bath no matter how big or small. However there are some locksmith jobs that a competent DIY-er can undertake for him or herself – with a little time and patience a good result can be achieved. As always the old rule of measure twice cut once should be adhered to, and of-course it is important to have the right tools for the job being tackled.
As far as where to get your locks and other parts is concerned Bristol is very well served with lots of large DIY stores. Wickes, B&Q, Homebase etc, are all well represented, and all carry most of the more common ranges of locks – especially for domestic applications. Being the vibrant cosmopolitan city that it is Bristol still has quite a few independent hardware stores that will carry at least some locks and sometimes some locksmith’s equipment too. The prices at such stores may be a little higher but they do have the advantage that the staff are usually more knowledgeable and may be able to give very valuable help and advice.
Bath being smaller is understandably less less well served by both the big operators and the smaller stores, so depending on the nature of the exact lock change or replacement needed a bit more forward planning, and perhaps a trip into Bristol, may be required. Operators such as Toolstation and Screwfix also carry locks and other locksmith’s parts and do next day delivery, sometimes free depending on your spend, so are worth considering particularly if you are in one of the more rural areas surrounding Bath and buying your parts is therefore going to involve substantial travel.
How to fit or change a Yale lock
One such fairly straightforward locksmith’s job is the fitting of a ‘yale’ or latch lock (see our Lock Types page). This great video on how to do just that contains all the the information you should need:
How to fit or replace an interior door latch and handle
Another locksmith job that can be tackled by a competent DIY-er is the the fitting of an interior door latch and handle. Once again check out this great video on how to do just that.
How to Change Euro Lock Cylinder
We do a lot of euro lock cylinder changes at Bristol and Bath locksmiths and are happy to do so, but assuming you do not run into any unexpected difficulties, a euro lock cylinder change is one of the easiest DIY locksmith jobs you could do. See this handy little video below which gives step by step instruction. However please do note that you will require the key to remove the old cylinder, without the key the old cylinder will need to be picked or drilled to enable it to be removed from the door, so if the lock change is due the old key being lost then you will require the services of a mobile locksmith such as ourselves at Bristol & Bath Locksmiths.
Here at Bristol & Bath Locksmiths one of the tools we often use when helping locked out customers is a tool known as a locksmiths letterbox kit or tool. This tool enables us to access various parts of a lock on the internal side of the door through the letterbox. Our customers in Bristol and Bath have often been impressed on seeing our locksmiths use this tool to quickly and efficiently gain entry in to their property, and have often suggested that we make a video and post it on-line, so now we have done just that – and here is the letterbox kit demonstration video:
Locked in Bathroom? Call Bristol & Bath Locksmiths, Not Fire Brigade!
It has been reported on a recent edition of BBC radio 2’s Jeremy Vine program that Fire brigades in Bristol and Bath are often being called out to attend to people who have somehow managed lock themselves in their house, often in the bathroom or toilet. Now it goes without saying that where there is a genuine risk to life, for example someone is locked in a bathroom and is thought to be suffering a serious health issue, this is indeed the correct course of action to follow. However if the person locked in is of normal health and there is no imminent danger to them or anyone else, then we would suggest that it would be much more appropriate to call an emergency locksmiths service such as ourselves at Bristol and Bath Locksmiths.
Calling a locksmiths in this situation not only leaves the fire brigade free to attend to genuine emergencies, but is also likely to be a far more cost effective solution to the household concerned. The reason being that whilst the fire brigade is free, to the householder, to call out, once there, they simply do not have either the time or the training and equipment to try to effect non-destructive entry. The fire service in the vast majority of cases will simply use brute force to smash open the door, leaving the householder with large bill to have all damages repaired. A good locksmiths such as ourselves on the other hand will have the will have the training, specialists locksmiths equipment, and time, necessary to affect entry with minimal, or often no, damage to the door, frame, and lock. So if and when you find yourself in this situation don’t call the fire brigade, call a good emergency locksmiths.
What is a Locksmith?
The originally locksmiths were actually blacksmiths that specialized in the manufacture of locks. In the modern day context a locksmith is a tradesman who specializes in the the installation and repair of doors and locks. A modern day locksmith will usually also attend to emergency lock-outs.
What else does a locksmith do?
The above is the core services a modern day locksmith will offer, however at Bristol and Bath Locksmiths we offer many more services. For example, we even fit cat flaps! Yes cat flaps, Britain is a nation of pet lovers, and the people of Bristol and Bath are no exception, this is why we are happy to come and install your cat-flaps for you. So, whether it be a brand new installation, or replacement of an old broken unit, give us a call and we’ll have in sorted quickly and without fuss. 🙂
Latest News From Bristol & Bath Locksmiths…
New Bristol & Bath Locksmiths Online Security Advice Page
We live in an era where more and more aspects of daily life are transacted online through the internet. Unfortunately with this has come a corresponding increase in the number of threats targeting online activity. For this reason online security has become a very important issue that we must all pay attention to. Therefore we have just launched our Bristol & Bath locksmiths online security page. There you will find lots of information and advice on all aspects of your online security. Please have a look, as you will see good online security is not necessarily about having the most expensive security software or locking your computers up in vault! The most important aspect of good online security is actually about educating yourself about what the threats are and how to spot those threats. We hope you will find the information useful.
New Gloucester Locksmiths Service Launched
At Bristol & Bath Locksmiths we are very proud to be growing by reputation and have just launched the latest of our dedicated area locksmiths services. Our Gloucester Locksmiths service will cover Gloucester and the surrounding area. We will continue to offer the same great service and value our regular customers have come to know and expect. So if you are after a locksmith in Gloucester give us a call. More details of our Gloucester service can be found at our Gloucester Locksmiths Page.
Bristol & Bath Locksmiths no Marketing Guarantee
Whether it be junk mail through the letterbox, nuisance marketing calls, or spam email, ‘marketing’ in all such forms is a real pain for those on the receiving end. Such marketing is not only irritating and time consuming, but can also cause real stress and inconvenience, especially for more vulnerable members of our community such as the long term ill, elderly, and disabled, who are often deliberately and heavily targeted by the these greedy, ruthless companies.
We at Bristol and Bath Locksmiths want to have no association whatsoever with such rogues, that is why we promise not to engage in any sort of direct unsolicited marketing whatsoever. Furthermore we want to encourage other good businesses, whether they be locksmiths or any other, to do same. We are therefore launching our new Bristol and Bath Locksmiths End Rogue Marketing campaign. We hope to be bringing you more on this exciting community initiative soon. 🙂
More Customer Praise for Our Keynsham & Warmley locksmiths Service
We were recently contacted by Anne from Keynsham Bristol who had been left unable to lock the rear patio door of her house after the key had broken in the lock.
Anne was in a real panic when she called us as it was fairly late in the evening and she was very concerned about potentially having to leave here house unsecured over night. We were very happy to be able to get our Keynsham locksmith over to Anne and quickly fix her broken lock.
Afterwards Anne was very kind to suggest that she was so happy with her experience of using Bristol and Bath Locksmiths that she would very happy for us feature her story.
New Clifton Locksmiths FAQs Section added
We are proud to report that our new dedicated Clifton Locksmiths service has been going for about 12 months now and in that time we have had some great feedback from our customers. A couple of our local Clifton customers suggested that we could add a tailored FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) section to our Clifton Locksmiths page – so we have done just that. You can take a look by following this link directly to the FAQs section.
New Bath Locksmiths Telephone Number Launched
Bristol & Bath Locksmiths are pleased to be able to announce the launch of our new Bath telephone number. The new Bath locksmiths number will run in parallel with our already established Bristol Locksmiths telephone number and customers will still be able to book work in any part of our coverage area using either number. However the advantage of the second number will be that we will now be able to answer all calls even quicker, and we will be able to tell whether you are likely to need a locksmith in Bristol or Bath even before we answer the phone.
You may be interested to know that prior to launching this second number we did consider the option of a so called ‘non-geographic’ number (for example 0845, 0870 etc), however a survey of our customers in both Bristol and Bath revealed that these types of numbers are not favoured by the majority of our customers. The two main reasons cited in the survey were firstly that these types of numbers generally cost more to call as they are generally not included in the ‘inclusive minutes’ offered by most telephone companies, and secondly that they give no indication as to the physical location of the business. This second point was considered particularly important when calling for a service that needed to be fast such as an emergency locksmith. We thought one of our surveyed customers put it very well when he said: ‘… if I’m locked out and need someone to come and let be back in as quickly as possible, I want to know that I’m calling a local locksmith with good local knowledge so I prefer to call businesses with local area codes’.
Our new Bath locksmiths number is 01225-684500, give us a call, and don’t worry you can still reach us on our Bristol number too! 🙂
Voted Number 1 Emergency Locksmiths in Bristol
At Bristol & Bath Locksmiths we are always trying to make sure the locksmiths services we provide are the very best they can be. Part of how we achieve this is by encouraging feedback from our customers by conducting surveys of our performance. We recently (earlier this month in May 2016) conducted a survey of customers who had used our emergency locksmiths service in Bristol. We asked customers to compare the service they had received from us with previous emergency locksmiths they had used in the past.
We invited feedback in three main areas; firstly speed – how quickly the phone was answered, how quickly the locksmith was dispatched, and how quickly he arrived; secondly price – how did we compare on price with other locksmiths in Bristol; and finally overall satisfaction – taking into account quality work and friendliness of staff. We are very pleased and proud to say that of the customers surveyed every single one voted us at Bristol & Bath Locksmiths number 1 in the these three key areas.
We would like to thank all those that took part, and we promise to keep up the good work. If you need a an emergency locksmith in Bristol give us a call now and become another one of our happy customers 🙂 .
Trusted Locksmiths in Keynsham Bristol
We would like to thank our customers in Keynsham for the great reviews and feedback of our Keynsham Locksmiths service. One lady in Keynsham recently sent us the following message after being locked out due to forgetting her keys inside: “Thank you ever so much for your help. You were quick, professional and very well priced. I will definitely be recommending you to anyone I know who needs a locksmith.”
We really could not have put it better ourselves – so we didn’t – we asked if we could publish the message in our latest news section and she kindly agreed. So there you have it straight from horses mouth so to speak. So if you require any locksmiths services in Keynsham, or any other part of Bristol, give us call now. Remember that we will give you a fixed price quote before commencing any work (usually over the phone when you first call us in fact), and all our work is covered by our no quibble guarantee.
If you have landed directly on this section of our web-site then please take a few moments to browse around. There are lots of useful interesting articles on matters related to locks and locksmithing, and we also have a dedicated “Security Tips and Advice Page“. We also have a page dedicated to our Keynsham Locksmiths service where you can find more information on the services we provide in Keynsham. And you can of course always call us on:
Your Local Reliable Locksmiths in Frenchay
If you require an honest locksmiths service in Frenchay with fixed all inclusive value pricing then look no further than Bristol & Bath Locksmiths Frenchay service. We know Frenchay and we know locks, so we can get to you fast and sort out your problem quickly and efficiently. We professionally undertake all locksmiths services including emergency access following a lock out, as well as lock replacements and upgrades. We are also happy to carry out a security survey of every property we visit and give advice on any improvements that could be implemented. All our work comes with our standard guarantee for total piece of mind, so if you need a locksmith in Frenchay give us a call now – we’re sure you will not be disappointed.
Warning from your local Bath Locksmith; Don’t get caught out by Bath Half Marathon
Event such as the annual Bath half marathon are absolutely great; they encourage people to get and keep fit as well doing much for the local community in general; that’s why we at Bristol & Bath Locksmiths wholeheartedly support such events. However it is also important to not get caught out by the event and cost yourself time, inconvenience and stress.
Firstly, it is important to know which roads in Bath will be closed for the event. The map to the left shows the course the Bath Half Marathon normally takes and these roads will certainly be closed for the duration of the event. The event starts at 11:00 am on Sunday the 12th March 2017. Road closures are likely to be in effect from 9:45 am through to 3:30 pm throughout most of the course, and from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm in areas such as Great Pulteney Street where the start finish line is. Of course as well these road closures around the race route there is also going to be a very large amount of traffic as runners and spectators travel to and from the event. As emergency locksmiths in Bath we are all too aware that getting around in Bath can be difficult at the best of times, so we would very strongly avoid travel by car to or from Bath during the affected times if at all possible.
Secondly, if you are going to the event, either to participate or as a spectator, do remember to take your keys as you leave your house! We are aware that this is stating the obvious, but as professional locksmiths with many years experience we know from that experience that people are most likely to forget their keys inside and find themselves locked out when they are leaving to go somewhere that is outside of their normal routine. Something to do with the way the mind seems to work at a subconscious level; you are focussed on not forgetting to take, for example, your camera, your thermal top, your sun glasses etc, and you forget your key. We hope this warning helps, but if you are one of the unlucky ones who will find themselves locked out then give us a call, we’ll get you back in but on this occasion we may not be able to get there quickly!
The Emergency Locksmith in Clifton Bristol
Locked out in Clifton? With the launch of our dedicated locksmith Clifton service getting back in just got a whole lot quicker and easier. We are very proud to launch this new service, we know that our locked out customers in Clifton need a local Clifton Locksmith who knows Bristol, who knows Clifton, who is stationed close by, and can get them back in quickly and efficiently.
To mark the launch of the service Bristol & Bath Locksmiths team took to the skies over Clifton by hot air balloon. The picture inset, taken during the flight, shows the great views over Clifton and the surrounding parts of Bristol (the picture can be viewed full size by clicking on it). For more information on our dedicated locksmiths Clifton service click here; and don’t forget if you are a student in Bristol you will also benefit from a further 10% off the price of our already cheaply priced locksmiths services.
At Bristol and Bath locksmiths the majority of our work involves attending on customers who have been locked out. On attending such a call out our locksmiths in Bristol and Bath will assess the exact circumstances, type of door and lock, and then use one of the many locksmiths tools and techniques at their disposal.
Most of these tools and techniques are complicated and take a lot of time to get the lock and door open. However, one or two are fairly simple and sometimes can work to get a door open very quickly. By far the simplest and quickest is the technique that is generally referred to as a ‘slip’ using the tool that is generally referred to as ‘slip card’. The technique will of-course only get a door open in some circumstances, and even then it’s not always quick or easy even for our highly trained locksmiths, but sometimes this technique can get a door open very quickly – we are talking not even minutes but seconds.
Sometimes the technique can work so quick in fact that we have often had our customers in Bristol and Bath looking at our locksmiths in utter amazement, as if the locksmith had just done some kind of magic trick, and we have often had customers say things along the lines of ‘wow you guys should do a video of that and put it on you-tube’. Whilst it is always nice to be complimented, and yes doing a video and putting on you-tube would be fun, we have of-course felt that it would be irresponsible to do so, as without doubt such a video would prove to be an aid for at least some opportunistic burglars. We at Bristol and Bath Locksmiths are proud to say that we take our responsibility to both our local community around Bristol and Bath, and nationally, very seriously. We do make reference to the technique in our ‘Advice on what to do if you are locked out section’ above – but we would not broadcast a video demonstrating the technique in action.
So you can imagine our shock when we saw the very same thing being broadcast nationally on Channel 5’s ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ program. We understand that the programs were firsts broadcast in July 2015 but were recently shown again in January 2016 which is when they came to our attention. Bristol and Bath Locksmiths have now written to Channel 5 pointing how, in our expert locksmiths opinion, inappropriate we believe this footage is. We hope they will take heed of our advice and redact this footage if and when these programs get aired again.
There is an absolutely disgusting level of wealth inequality in this country, both nationally and in our local cities such as Bristol and Bath. This ridiculous level of wealth inequality doesn’t just lead to a huge inequality in the consumer services and items people can buy, such as cars, houses and holidays; but much more importantly it creates a massive disparity between the rich and the poor in their ability access health, education and justice.
This means that the country is locked in a self-perpetuating spiral of increasing wealth inequality; the rich keep getting richer and the poor poorer. At the bottom there are the many who literally can not afford to eat or warm their houses, as locksmiths in the Bristol and Bath area we see such situations everyday. Whilst at the top are the few, the parasites who quite literally have more millions and billions than they know what to do with. The only way to tackle this foul situation is through a fair taxation system that is run for the benefit of ordinary hard working people, not for the benefit of big business with their overpaid executives.
Bristol and Bath locksmiths support this initiative and would urge others to do so also. Their website can be found at: fairtaxtown.com
Dedicated Locksmiths Yate Service Launched
We are very proud to have just launched our dedicated locksmiths Yate service. So if you need any locksmiths service in Yate we can now get to you even faster. We know that when you are locked out and awaiting an emergency locksmith, an extra 10 or 20 minutes on our response time can feel like a lot longer than that; particularly on a cold, wet, and perhaps busy, day. This is why we have launched our dedicated locksmiths Yate service; we believe that this will save an average of 15 minutes in our response times to emergency call outs in Yate. For more information on our new Yate service see our ‘Lockmiths Yate‘ page.
New dedicated locksmiths Thornbury service launched
As with our Yate service detailed above we also now have our dedicated Thornbury locksmith service. This means that the same great locksmiths service our customers have come to expect from us can be brought to you even quicker in the Thornbury and Alveston area. You can still contact us on our central number (0117 3361122), or see Thornbury & Alveston service page for more details.
We now offer a 10% student discount to all Bristol University, Bath University, UWE, and Bath Spa University students on all our locksmiths services
Bristol and Bath Locksmiths recognise the fact that Bristol and Bath are now more than ever university cities with student numbers growing not only at our more traditional institutions such as Bristol University and Bath University, but also at UWE (University of the West of England) and Bath Spa University. We also recognise that when students need a locksmith they need a locksmith that is not only fast and reliable but also a cheap locksmith.
At Bristol and Bath Locksmiths we already pride ourselves on excellent value cheap prices, however to make our locksmith services even more affordable to our ‘hard up’ students we have now introduced our 10% discount scheme to cover students from all four of our regions institutions.
So whether you’re locked out or locked in (yes it does happen!), whether you need a locksmiths Bristol or a locksmiths Bath we are the people call to get you back into your students dorms quickly, reliably and cheaply. In order to claim your discount please present any form of identification confirming your student status.
We Now offer a 10% discount to neighbourhood watch scheme members…
Bristol and bath locksmiths believe in doing our bit to support the creation and maintenance of safe communities. We think neighbourhood watch programs such the ‘Bristol neighbourhood watch and home watch network’, and the various local schemes in Bath are great. The national website through which all official local neighbourhood watch schemes, including Bristol and Bath, can be found at www.ourwatch.org.uk.
We hope that being part of such a scheme will make it less likely for you to need a locksmith service, but if you do, we now offer a 10% discount to all such scheme members in Bristol, Bath and the surrounding localities.
Joining a neighbourhood watch program is a great way to improve the effective security of your home, but for some extra tips and advice why not take a quick lock at our security tips and advice page – it’s full of great advice from your local locksmiths.
Our 10% discount scheme now also extended to all NHS staff…
Bristol and Bath locksmiths service values the hard work our doctors, nurses and various other NHS staff do, we have therefore now extended our 10% scheme to all NHS staff.
We are now a proud member of the Bristol Pound scheme…
The Bristol Pound is an initiative that aims to support local independent businesses in the Bristol area by encouraging the money that is spent in Bristol to be re-spent at local independent Bristol businesses rather that being syphoned away by large national and multi-national corporations which are usually head-quartered in London or abroad. You can find out more about the Bristol Pound scheme by visiting the Bristol pound website: bristolpound.org
Bristol and Bath Locksmiths are proud supporters of the Bristol pound. We are happy to accept Bristol Pounds, and pledge to re-spend the Bristol pounds we earn back into the local economy wherever possible.
Bristol and Bath Locksmiths wins praise for innovative logo design…
We would like to thank everyone for the surprising number of compliments we have had for our logo. Designed in house in our own offices, the Bristol and Bath Locksmiths logo uses the letter ‘O’ of the word Bristol, and the letter ‘A’ of the word bath, to form what depicts a traditional key-way – i.e. effectively a symbol, or icon, which most people immediately associate with locks and locksmiths.
* Pricing and Terms of Business:
Bristol and Bath locksmiths starting price of £49 applies for standard non access lock change jobs (i.e. where the door is already open) performed during normal office hours (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm). The price is for labour only and the price of lock itself will be additional and will depend on the type of lock being fitted, you will be quoted a total fixed price including the lock by either the locksmith or our office support staff when you call. Alternatively we are happy to fit customer supplied locks in which case only the fixed labour rate of £49 will apply.
Rates for emergency locksmiths services (i.e. attending to lock outs) will be slightly higher due to the trickier and potentially more time consuming nature of the work and will depend on the type of door and lock etc you have. Once again you will be given a fixed price quote, based on the nature of your particular situation, by the locksmith or office staff when you call.
Rates for all out of hours locksmiths services (i.e. outside of Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) will be higher for all jobs, and rates for late night locksmith services (i.e. all days of the week after 12pm) will be higher again. As with all our locksmith services you will be given a fixed price quote by our staff when you call.
We are proud to offer a ‘no call out charge’ service, we are one of only a few locksmiths in Bristol and Bath to offer this. On attending your property if we are not able to gain entry, or fix whatever lock problem we have come out to you to fix, there will be absolutely no charge for you the customer to pay. However please note that we do operate a cancellation charge on emergency locksmith services (lock outs etc). The reason for this is that as soon as we receive your call, and we dispatch our locksmith to you, we start incurring costs on the job (e.g. fuel, locksmith’s time etc). During busy periods we may also need to turn away other emergency jobs from calls received soon after yours if we do not have another locksmith free. For these reasons we operate a cancellation charge of 50% on the quoted labour price for the job. So for example if we are attending to a lock out where the customer has asked that after opening the door we also change the lock, and we have quoted £69 labour and £38 for the lock, the cancellation charge will be £34.50 (50% of the £69 labour price). To help avoid the possibility of incurring a cancellation charge it may be worth taking a few minutes to read our ‘What to do if you are looked out’ article near the top of this page. It contains lots of common sense, but often overlooked, ideas to think about to possibly be able to ‘DIY’ access your property without the need for a locksmith. To go directly to the article click here.
Please note that while our prices for Bristol and Bath are normally the same, we do reserve the right to vary prices between Bristol and Bath. This is particularly so for our out of hours locksmith’s services, so if in doubt please check when you call.
Finally please note that in order to help equate supply and demand of services Bristol & Bath Locksmiths may refer some jobs on to other partner locksmiths and locksmith companies that we work with. In such cases Bristol & Bath locksmiths will be acting as an introducer only and your contract will be with the locksmith or company doing the job, not Bristol & Bath locksmiths. As such their terms may differ from ours, if in doubt please feel free to double check this either when you first call or when the locksmith attends your property.
If you require any further information or clarification on any of the above or you wish to book one of our services please give us a call now on: 0117 3361122.
If you are viewing this page on a mobile device you can ‘click to call’ 07999 500135
Bristol & Bath Locksmiths can service any address with 20 miles of:
Bristol & Bath Locksmiths
15 Vera Rd
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