In the United States alone, an unwanted home intrusion happens every 13 seconds, on average. Add in the number of car break-ins per year and you’ve painted an accurate picture of the necessity of proper security across the nation. Whether you’re going on a 10-day vacation and aren’t there to protect your home, or you’ve simply parked your car while out shopping, optimum lock security can be the difference between keeping your valuables and dealing with the messy aftermath of an attempted (or successful) theft. That’s where the right locksmith services can help. Here are five questions to ask to ensure you’re getting the right kind of security from a local locksmith.

Are you licensed?

This one almost seems self-evident, but you’d be surprised at the number of impostors on the market looking to make a quick buck. In order to operate at all, both home and car locksmith services need to be licensed by the state — a certification that comes usually only upon successfully completing an exam. Most locksmiths learn their trade on the job as they go.

Are you bonded?

As important as it is to be licensed, it’s even more crucial that local locksmiths be bonded. Think of bonding as a kind of guarantee of reliability for the company, since it involves insurance companies essentially underwriting the service. A bonded home or car locksmith is a trusted source that can be held accountable for incurring damage during the work or for simply failing to complete it at all.

How quickly can you let me back in?

Every call is different, so this will depend on a number of circumstances — namely, how far away are you from the brick-and-mortar locksmith shop? Still, some services value their speedy arrival time and might even make promises to be on site in 45 minutes or less. Try to pick the service based on its reliability, though, and not just its track record for being timely.

What do your rates look like?

This is another factor that simply tends to vary from situation to situation. Say you need an emergency call because you’ve locked yourself out of your car and you’re stranded in a questionable neighborhood. Something like that is typically going to cost more. because of the urgency of the call. Look into the rates of local home and car locksmiths before you find yourself in those scenarios.

Can you assess the security of my home?

The answer to this should always be: absolutely! Locksmiths are highly trained individuals who can identify particular risks like poorly installed deadbolts, loosened locks and more. In addition, most locksmiths are adept key copiers and can provide you with the proper security necessary for a highly sensitive task like that.

No matter what your security situation looks like, chances are that a home or car locksmith can tighten it up. But it’s important to ask the right questions in order to ensure you end up with a reputable and reliable company at your service. For more information, look into your local locksmith services today.