In the past, locksmiths were heralded as artists of their trade. The earliest locks were created from wood and for hundreds of years, locks were reserved for aristocracy. In the 1800s, locksmiths specialized in crafting metal locks and keys by hand, and the profession was very highly regarded. Many would wear their keys as jewelry, and ornate antique locks and keys are still considered to be a treasure for collectors.
Today, locksmiths aren't quite as intimately versed in the creation of locks. Most locks are created in a factory and mass produced, but custom locks are still made for customers who need a higher degree of security. Modern locksmiths typically focus on improving the security of their client's home or business. A locksmith will also open doors to cars, houses and apartment buildings when the owner has accidentally locked themselves out.
Technology has made it easier for criminals to invade homes, therefore locksmiths are necessary to create an environment that feels truly safe. If you suspect the locking mechanisms on your doors and windows are inadequate, consider scheduling a consultation with a locksmith. He will let you know just how efficient your locks are, as well as give you suggestions on how to proceed if you want to change your locks or key systems.
For instance, if you want to give a housekeeper or babysitter a key without acquiescing control of your locks, you can have a master key created that opens the deadbolt and knob, while the key of your employee only opens the doorknob. Such a system can be used so a homeowner always has full control.
Of course, you can also have a lock and key made for other items like bicycles and gates. Perhaps you'd even want a mechanism created for a purely aesthetic reason. Ultimately, a locksmith can help you in a variety of situations, so consider adding one to your list of contacts.