The 4-1-1 On Locksmiths

http://vancouver.ca/police/community-policing/business-liaison.html

If you have ever had to search for a locksmith, you know that there are pages and pages of them listed in the yellow pages or on internet classified sites. What you may not know, is that a number of them are not licenced, or are running businesses without the correct licencing, which puts you at risk of being taken in during a time of crisis.

First of all, there are two types of licences that a locksmith can hold – both of which are issued by the provincial government.

  1. An unrestricted licence requires two years of apprenticeship under supervision, and the holder should be able to provide a security business licence.
  2. An under supervision licence – This person can only perform the work of a locksmith while under direct supervision of a fully licenced locksmith. Anyone with $120 can apply for this licence online with no prior training or experience.

Unfortunately, many fly-by-night businesses found on internet sites are not operating with the appropriate licencing. The good news is that you can verify a security worker licence online through the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General here: https://eservice.pssg.gov.bc.ca/security/utilities/

Here is what a properly licensed locksmith or locksmith company will have:

  • A business licence
  • At least one person with their unrestricted security licence
  • $1 million liability insurance – bonding is not required
  • WCB coverage (check their website for a clearance letter)

When you are shopping around for a reputable locksmith, you should ask that they have all of the above. If they don’t, move on to the next one. If you haven’t checked ahead of time and they show up in an unmarked vehicle with no business name, asking to be paid in cash only, and unable to produce any licencing, you risk dealing with a potentially shady business if you choose to proceed with their service.

It is good practice to seek out reputable companies before you need one in the middle of the night. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they are listed and/or have had complaints, and ask others who they would recommend. Don’t be stuck wondering, “Who You Gonna Call?” because you might just get Ghostbusters Security!

Courtesy of  Cst Anne Longley

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