Locksmiths have been practicing their profession for centuries. The earliest known lock dates back over 4,000 years and has been discovered in Egypt. The science of creating and opening locks, or lock smithing, comes from the combination of the words lock and smith. Smiths were traditionally tradesmen that formed metal with forges and molds. A locksmith was a tradesman who formed and constructed keys and locks using a forge or mould. Typically, locksmiths’ Work relies on installing locks in homes and businesses and opening locked doors. Other locksmiths restrict their work to motor vehicles, fixing door locks and removing broken keys out of ignitions. Both regions are full time job. Locksmiths work in various environments. Some work out of an office while some work from a motor vehicle. Others are employed by institutions to keep their locking and keying systems.
Over time the locksmith’s trade has expanded and diversified. While there are still a few specialists that are capable of making complex repairs to locks, most locks are now mass produced and the vast majority of Serrurier agrée make residential and commercial lock fixes by swapping out components. While the current locksmith still fixes and opens locks, the focus has moved to installing better quality locks and designing key control systems for buildings which may be managed and monitored. Taken one step further, some locksmiths specialize in servicing electronic lock and access control systems for big businesses.
Some locksmiths become security consultants. Their job is to get the physical security requirements of organizations by determining the hazard level and safety requirements of the buildings. The task then becomes one of designing and overseeing the installation of combinations of safety equipment that creates a layered security system a system which takes into account all potential security hazard possibilities for a specific building. Such a system could include cameras, secured entry which needs a coded badge and subscribers and alarm systems. One of the few places of locksmithing that has stayed relatively the same is repairing and servicing safes and vaults. The locking mechanisms in massive safes and vaults are unique and custom made; no two are exactly alike and require specific knowledge. Consequently, a locksmith must be trained and professionally certified to operate on them. Professional Locksmiths are formally educated, trained and certified in the particular regions of locksmithing they practice. Their certification and training also has a necessary period of apprenticeship through a locksmith association.