It has been a trying and scary time for most of us during this crisis. Battling to stay healthy and not get the virus as well as running a business as best we could during the different phases and the restrictions in place.
Thankfully, we are now in the new normal and that means we welcome back overseas visitors to our beautiful part of the Spanish coast. It also means people within different regions of Spain can return and stay in their holiday homes on the Costa del Sol.
Some people ask us what type of work we do for clients so here are a few examples of some jobs we have undertaken over the last year.
We remember when we had a call from an elderly lady who had been living with her family in Marbella during the initial phase zero of the lockdown, which meant no going out at all, apart for essential items or essential work. Finally, when she was able to return to her home in Benalmadena at the beginning of phase 1, she was shocked and upset to find that a family of 5 had moved into her home and were squatting there.
Thankfully, they left without too much of a fuss but the lady in question called us immediately to find out how they had got into the property and what she could do to prevent it from happening again. Upon inspection we found that her patio doors had lifted very easily off the rails, allowing them to be removed and entry gained into the home.
We removed the patio doors and refitted them with a system called anti-lift so that they could not be lifted out of their rails again. As an added measure of security, we also changed her locks and secured the rest of her property including adding scissor gates for an additional layer of security.
Something To Think About
It is not until something like this happens to a friend, family member, or you read it on an article like this, that you start to think about whether it ‘could’ have happened to you. Whilst not trying to scaremonger in the slightest, this was a real job we attended and by sharing the details of how they were able to gain entry to the property, it might make you want to think about taking some small measures that will make it harder to get into your property.
Prevention is a far better strategy than reacting to something that has happened to you already.
The ‘Frustration’ Of Not Calling Us First
One of the most common callouts for us is when someone has locked themselves out of their property, usually with the keys still inside. In this incidence we had a call for a very frustrated customer who was locked out.
However, before calling us the customer had tried to kick the door in to gain entry, unsuccessfully we might add, so in the end he called us. When we arrived, there was significant damage to the door so we had to take it all apart and put in a temporary solution until it could be replaced properly by an insurance claim.
While the damage to a door is not so common, we deal with hundreds of lockouts each year and can have customers back inside their homes in a matter of minutes.
Don’t Take Your Frustration Out On The Door
I know it is easy to say don’t get frustrated when you do something like locking yourself out, but a simple call to us as soon as soon as it happened would have saved a lot of time, effort and additional expense. It was good that we were able to secure the door temporarily but, if something like this happens to you, call a locksmith as we will have you back inside in a matter of minutes.
The crisis has affected people in many different ways, and it has also increased the ‘petty crime’ rates as some people look for ways to make extra money. For some, breaking and entering is their choice of earning some additional cash. There were numerous articles in the press about this type of theft so lots of homeowners decided they needed to do something to help stop it happening to them.
During the different phases of the crisis we have been asked to upgrade the security cylinders in many locks, making them harder to break, snap or gain entry through.
Security Should Be A Priority To Protect Your Home
Many of these clients took the decision to upgrade their locks and a preventative measure in case they happened to be targeted by thieves. It is always the wisest decision to use prevention as your security strategy, so you are being pro-active as opposed to reactive.
One of our clients was fearful of exactly how secure his property was so he went around his home and looked at where he thought the weak points of entry were. He then called us in as he saw that we provide a FREE security survey. Because of our experience and knowledge of how people gain entry to homes, we were able to point out ALL of the weak spots and advise him exactly how to secure them. We were then asked to implement the findings of our survey and fix the areas we had identified.
It Is What You Don’t See That Could Be The Problem
Our team are trained to identify weak areas of security, both in the home and within a business. It often surprises our clients when we point out some of these weak spots, especially as they had not even considered them as risks. It is very often what the trained eye can see versus the untrained eye that is the difference between average security and good security.
We often refer to people being locked out of their properties but, believe it or not, it is still possible to lock yourself inside a property. It is not as common, but it can happen for a variety of reasons. One such callout we had was from a lady who had snapped her key inside the lock of the front door, while she was inside. The set up of her home meant that there was no way to get outside, plus if she did, she would still not be able to get back in again.
Having called our emergency number, we arrived at the scene and set to work to in replacing the old, not very secure lock with a brand-new high security one. Not only was she able to now get out again, she also had a much more secure home thanks to the better lock in place.
How Good Is Your Lock?
It is something that many people don’t really pay too much attention to but, how good and secure is your lock? We often find cheap locks installed on properties which can cause many different types of issues from the example above, to worse things like being easy to break into.
If you are in doubt, why not call us out to take a look. If you have a good quality lock, we will tell you and you can feel rest assured you have the best quality item installed. If not, we will advise you and tell you exactly why it is not secure. Then you can decide if you wish to upgrade it or not.
Keeping Businesses Safe
We don’t just deal with domestic security and locks, we also help businesses secure their premises or we advise them on security. One call we had recently was from a car dealership that had been broken into. The thieves had gained entry and had tried to break into the safe. Thankfully, they were not able to, but they left the lock in a state. Our team set to work and took the entire lock apart before rebuilding and securing it. However, we advised that it was not actually a very secure lock and that a more professional thief might well have been able to gain entry. We ordered and then fitted a high security lock that was specifically for his type of safe, making it much harder to break into.
We hope the above examples of jobs we have conducted during the lockdown in Spain will help you take a look at your own home security and also remind you that for any lock issues, even just locking yourself out, our emergency service is always available to solve your problem.
Please make a note of our numbers +34 636 770 865 or +34 952 660 233 as you never know when you might just need the help of a locksmith. As you will have seen from the above examples, there are lots of different reasons our services are called upon.