As 24 hour emergency locksmiths Edinburgh we get used to dealing with pressure situations.
I’ve opening repossessed houses for the city of Edinburgh council, often with a few bailiff type characters watching on impatiently.
Probably the most popular type of lockouts I attend though are the ones between 12am to 5am. These can be quite pressurised jobs as the people are usually drunk, have lost their keys, and are not in the best of moods. Depending what locks are on their door it can take up to an hour to open, then you can be up to an hour fitting new locks if the old locks had to be drilled open – not what you want when you have drunks watching on!
However the lockout I attended a few weeks ago has to be the worst!
My phone rung at around 6.30am. It was a woman asking if I could open her door in an emergency. She had searched ‘24 hour Locksmiths Edinburgh’ on her phone and decided to use us after reading our online reviews. She told me her and her husband were due on a flight in just over a couple of hours and their passports were still in the house: Whilst packing the car the house door had closed behind them and both sets of keys were in the house too.
I told the woman i wouldn’t be able to open her door as my wife had just left for work, and I was watching our 1 year old baby until 10am. The lady then started pleading with me saying she’ll watch the baby if I open the door! she said she had tried calling other Edinburgh locksmiths but no one was answering their phones at that time.
I decided because the baby was awake, and the lockout was just a simple Yale lock ( I usually open in under a minute) I would go out and open it for her. I put the baby in the car seat and headed straight to the job: which was only 5 minutes away.
When I got there, I drove right up the driveway so I could keep an eye on the baby whilst opening the lock. This is when the pressure begun! usually with a Yale lock I would slip a special bit card down the edge of the door and 9 times out of 10 it will pop open. However, this door had a protective seal all the way down the edge which stopped the card from getting through. I told them I could try picking the lock for them, but if they needed in their house quick the fastest way was to drill out the lock and open the door with a screwdriver. They agreed, and told me they’ve seen it done plenty times as they were both local police officers. I Don’t know why but suddenly the pressure just increased!
As soon as I started drilling out the lock i realised straight away my drill was running low on power, and to make things worse and i didn’t bring the spare battery – the pressure just increased a little more! If my drill ran out of power half way through drilling the lock it would be a nightmare. I would probably have had to crowbar open the door, which meant I would have to repair any damage to the door and frame – not to mention they were in a rush to catch a flight!
To cut a long story short I managed to drill the lock with the power left in the drill. However, the lock would still not open? In the back of my mind I’m thinking the baby in the van could start crying at any minute. The 2 police officers are due on their flight soon. I’ve just destroyed their lock, and we were still no further forward than when I got there 10 minutes ago: PRESSURE OVERLOAD!!
It turns out a piece of metal in the lock was jammed and stopping the barrel from turning open – probably due to the lock being drilled open with a drill speed of about 1 mile per hour!
I persevered for another 5 minutes and eventually got the lock open. I then quickly fitted a new lock in record speed.
The 2 police officers were very thankful and happy they could now catch their flight. They quickly paid me, grabbed what they needed from the house and headed straight to the airport. They gave me a little wave as they drove past – I was sitting in the van in their driveway trying to compose myself – obviously they were unaware of the inner turmiol I had just endured!
I made a few mental notes of what not to do in the future, then went straight home for a strong coffee – and to put the drill on charge! ?