Browsed by
Author: Charles Parker

How to Become a Locksmith

How to Become a Locksmith

Introduction

Nowadays, locksmith work goes well beyond lock and keys, drawing businesses from a variety of sectors which include commercial, government, residential or automotive but also, installing CCTV systems and safes, repairing faulty or damaged units among others that come under their remit. Due to this, the work of a locksmith has varied significantly day to day.

Acquiring the skills of a locksmith often involves a combination of classroom and hands-on experience. The tools and products that the locksmith has to work with, range from the simple to the most sophisticated devices and security systems. Therefore, experience in electrical work and carpentry can be so beneficial at his disposal.


What kind of training is required to become a locksmith?

Since training to become a locksmith involve a combination of classroom and hands-on experience, there exist so many schools offering locksmith training programs within the country, offering both online and in person courses. The British Locksmiths Institute, Master Locksmiths Association, and Associated Locksmiths of America are some of the approved training institutes. They are all good places to enroll into if you are looking for the program.

The locksmith training involves taking courses on topics such as commercial locks, electronic access locks, key identification, business security system, high-security locks, among others. For instance in MLA, they provide a four-course training program to ensure they produce fully qualified Master locksmith.

After enrolling for the course as a learner, you first undergo a general locksmith course which involves learning the general aspects of the trade. Later, you’ll undertake a first course where you learn how to pick and open locks. After this program, you’ll take the MLA entry exam and the Full member’s exam.

Learners who complete in-person programs have a chance to put their learning into practice using the tools that locksmiths use. To improve the hands-on experience, a locksmith competes for an apprenticeship as a trainee with other experienced locksmiths.


Are there any certifications or licensure requirement
?

Many states require locksmiths to have a license to practice their trade. The voluntary certification aids in proving to the clients that the locksmith has undergone the necessary training and experience. The fact that locksmiths are granted access to people’s homes and some sensitive security information, makes it necessary for clients to certify that they are trustworthy, reliable and qualified by checking their licenses.

To become a Certified Registered Locksmith, one needs to have passed an examination that measures knowledge in aspects such as, codes and codes equipment, blank key identification, professional lock opening technique, lockset servicing, etc. In some states, the locksmith is required to have passed a criminal history background check, completed an approved training course and have authentic licensing certifications from a recognized institution. For instance, at the Associated Locksmiths of America, they offer locksmith certification at the various levels of expertise. With additional experience, the applicant can either become a Certified Professional Locksmith or a Certified Master Locksmith.


Opportunities.

If you are looking forward to working as a locksmith for your first time, you may need to start out as a novice or a trainee for an existing firm. You can as well consider approaching an established, licensed and accredited Locksmith willing to take you in as a trainee.

Other locksmiths consider looking for opportunities in some of the established independent locksmith organizations, security equipment manufacturers or even hardware stores. Some of these companies are either large, or operating on a franchise, and will provide a 24-hour emergency response services. Big organizations such as universities and hospitals, will hire locksmiths and eventually keep them as their staff, which is a great opportunity if you secure a such a vacancy.

You might as well consider becoming self-employed. However, becoming self-employed is very competitive and may need you to do careful market research about how to better your services and become unique among the local business links and surveys.


What are the job Prospects?

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has estimated from their research that employment of locksmiths will have a 7% growth by 2020. The job prospect will be better for those who are offering services in areas that are starved and not well served by some of the established locksmiths. Since the salary of a locksmith depends on the quality of services that he/she offers, one will need to perform a good job to attract more clients, who will boost your reputation.

DIY – When to use a Professional

DIY – When to use a Professional

Maintaining your home can be great fun, part of the challenge is learning DIY skills and creating the home to suit your lifestyle and needs. Most people find gardening, decorating, painting and minor jobs around the home are fairly easy to carry out, when they have the time. It’s always important to make distinctions between the DIY jobs you can do for yourself and tasks when professional help needs to be called.

DIY vs Professional Jobs

One of the first things anybody needs to consider before tackling any do it yourself jobs is whether they have the ability to do the work adequately. If the job is technical in nature, for example electrical rewiring, plumbing or roofing repairs, it could be the case that professional assistance is a necessity. There’s nothing worse than starting off a DIY project around the home or garden and making a mess of the job. If a DIY job goes wrong, the bill from a skilled professional called in an emergency situation could be far higher than if professionals had been called in the first place. So, take time to weigh up exactly what work needs doing and whether you have the abilities to carry out the job to an acceptable standard.

Anybody who works full-time could well find that larger scale DIY projects are difficult to manage and fit in with a work and relaxation schedule. So, take the necessary time to weigh up all the demands of the DIY jobs needing doing and assess whether or not it is practical to do them yourself.

As mentioned above, electrical jobs, plumbing works and DIY tasks involving roofing or working off ladders can be technical in nature, there are also health and safety hazards that need to be assessed before starting these jobs. If you are an electrician by trade, you will understand the very real problems that can occur when a house is fully rewired. Even when you have the technical knowledge, it’s often preferable to call in professionals to do some jobs, if you’ve never done this type of task before.

Over a period of time, DIYers learn more skills and have greater abilities to carry out different jobs around the home or garden. It’s also possible to learn a good deal by watching skilled tradesmen at work, so always try to be present when works are conducted around the home and this way you will learn a lot about DIY and how to approach tasks.

Finally, one of the great factors about DIY jobs is the unique appeal that can be added to any home or landscaped garden. DIY jobs also give you a great sense of satisfaction and pride. When you take the time to implement a planned approach to the DIY jobs needing doing around your home, and factor in all the works needed to finish your tasks properly, you will have a greater sense of pride and ownership. Just remember to stay safe and expect any job to take far longer than you originally anticipated.

Home Renovations at your Own Pace with Flexible Skip Hire

Home Renovations at your Own Pace with Flexible Skip Hire

Renovating your home can be a challenging task, often with strict deadlines for the return of hired equipment, adding additional pressure. This not only makes the renovation less enjoyable and more a chore than the exciting experience that it should be, it also can affect the quality of the work that you do. Working under pressure, instead of at your own pace, can result in a rushed or unfinished job. it is not uncommon for large scale renovations to run over schedule, which can be detrimental to both the budget and the work that is done. With a larger renovation, a means of disposing of construction waste is usually needed; most people hire a skip as an answer to this solution. However, many skip hire companies hire skips out with strict deadlines attached to the hire agreement. This is the last thing you need if you want to work on the renovation at your own pace. We’ve put together some tips and tricks to take the stress out of home renovation and how to manage the task at your own pace:

Shop Around
When looking to hire a skip for your renovation, don’t choose the first skip hire company that you find. Search for skip hire companies that offer flexible hire, companies that do not offer this can charge a delay fee if your skip is not ready for collection on the day that you agreed initially. This can make the process a lot more costly, especially if you are significantly behind schedule and require the skip for several extra days.

It is recommended that when looking to hire a skip, you should not only shop around for a company that operates a flexible hire scheme, but also for the best deal. Like most things in life, if you shop around you are bound to find a better deal than settling for the first option that you are presented with. Many skip hire sites allow potential customers to receive online quotations based on their needs. Therefore, it’s a good idea to gather a number of quotes before making your decision. There are also a few skip hire comparison websites out there, allowing you to input the details of your estimated requirements and gain access to the price quoted by a large selection of different hire companies.

Is There Anything Else To Be Aware Of?
When looking to hire a skip, you should be aware that some companies will charge the same price regardless of the duration that you require the skip for. Prices do tend to vary depending on the size of skip that is hired, but do not differ in terms of hire length.

What Can I Use A Skip For?
Most companies have the means of disposing of a vast range of waste. This can include items such as furniture or household appliances, mattresses and even carpets. Skips are also suitable for the disposal of general building waste, such as brick and concrete and also garden waste including soil and plants. The waste that your skip can contain is often dependant of the size of skip that is hired, therefore, it’s a good idea to clarify your intended use with the hire provider.

Tips For Working At Your Own Pace
When working at your own pace, be sure to hire all equipment on flexible terms. It’s also important to plan each step of your renovation before undertaking any work on the property. Although you will be working at your own pace, having an established plan will avoid any task being left incomplete. The most important tip is to have fun, renovating your home is an exciting and rewarding experience that should always be enjoyed.

Give you Home a Modern Garden with Composite Decking

Give you Home a Modern Garden with Composite Decking

One of the most cheapest and easiest ways in which to create a modern garden for your home is by using composite decking. This type of decking fuses together reclaimed wood and plastic fibres. It is incredibly low maintenance, strong and long lasting. It also differs to soft and hardwood decking as it does not need to be regularly treated and is resistant to rot, cracks and splinters. These are just some of the many reasons why people choose composite decking when they want to create a stylish and modern garden for their home. An additional bonus is that composite decking can be bought in a variety of colours, and it won’t fade, even when in direct sunlight for many years.

Below we share some ideas of how to create a modern looking garden by using composite decking

Patterns

Because composite decking is available in a wide range of colours, you can let your imagination go wild. If you plan to have a large decking area, then you can incorporate a central pattern of your choosing. For a smaller deck, you could edge it in a variety of different odours in order to crate a mosaic type pattern.

Create separate areas 
One fantastic way in which to define space in your garden is by the use of decking. If you want a seating area and a separate barbeque area, then use decking as a means to do so. If you want them to be placed on the same deck, then the areas can still be defined with the use of different coloured boards.

The Walkway
Composite decking looks great when used for the purposes of a walkway or simple path. This may be for you to walk from one area of the garden across a pond or to edge a small pool. The type of composite decking you choose can also be reflected by the décor in your garden. Perhaps you want a natural feel, so opting for stained wood is a good idea.

The use of steps
When you need to access a raised deck, then the obvious choice is to use composite decking in the form of steps. These will truly blend into the garden, as well as helping to create a focal point. The use of decking rails can also add to the overall look.


Lighting

Every modern garden needs lighting and one exciting way in which to create subtle mood lighting is by lighting up you decking in the form of small spotlights. They can be easily screwed into the decking edge. This is a relatively cheap way to light up your garden and will create a soft and warm glow.

Board width
One useful consideration when planning your decking, is that of board width. Should you use narrow or wide boards? If you have a large decking area, then wide boards can look particularly tasteful and modern. The general rule is that for smaller gardens where there is a lot of decking that covers the space, then narrow boards are probably best as they help to make the garden look bigger.

Shaped decking
The real beauty of composite decking is that it can be shaped with a rounded or straight edge, as it is very easy to cut. This all very much depends upon your overall decking design, but it does mean that you have a lot more choice when it comes to gardens that are nor traditionally square.

Composite decking is the obvious choice when designing and creating that stylish modern garden. Have fun and create the garden of your dreams.

5 Tips for a Pleasant, Low Maintenance Living Space

5 Tips for a Pleasant, Low Maintenance Living Space

Life can be busy, with various commitments like work, family and social life leaving little time for housework. As such, a low-maintenance living space is the ideal solution for creating a pleasant and practical home environment. Here are five tips on how to achieve it:

     1. Opt for open-plan living

Open-plan living is a great way for all members of the household to engage in different activities concurrently while still being able to interact. It’s nice for someone to be busy in the kitchen whilst keeping an eye on the children or chatting with others in adjacent living spaces. It’s also much easier to maintain an open-plan living space than several different rooms. There could be constraints to creating an open-plan area, such as walls, but as long as these aren’t load-bearing, it is relatively simple to move or remove partition walls. When it’s not possible to remove a wall, consider whether removing doors will help the flow between the living rooms. The trick is to create a living space that is as open as possible while maintaining distinction in each area through décor and furnishing.

      2. Practical flooring 

The floor is the largest single area of the home that needs cleaning on a regular basis. Therefore, it is important to make it as low-maintenance as possible by installing flooring that not only meets your budget but is practical and hardwearing. There are many options including carpet, tiles, hardwood, laminate and vinyl. Hard flooring requires the least maintenance, and of these, laminate and vinyl are the most cost-effective. When changing an existing floor covering, remember to inspect the floor beneath as, particularly in older properties, you may find there are attractive floorboards that can simply be sanded and varnished.

      3. Choose the right furniture

Furniture in the living space of the home needs to be practical, comfortable and attractive, so it can be difficult to find suitable pieces that are also low-maintenance. A sofa is often the main item of furniture in the living room, but certain designs can be hard to keep clean. In households with pets or young children, a leather settee can be a great solution as it has a wipe-clean surface that doesn’t stain or hold odours. Avoid bulky furniture like bookshelves as they have lots of surfaces that collect dust. Instead, add storage space via wall-mounted shelving and built-in cupboards. Invest in an extendable dining table so that it doesn’t take up too much room on a daily basis but can accommodate more people when entertaining. Pick furniture with smooth surfaces for easy cleaning and protect wooden tables with a good quality table protector.

      4. Easy-care soft furnishings

Soft furnishings like curtains, rugs and cushions are a fantastic way to put your own stamp on a house, and they are also an easy way to update the décor. However, as with furniture, it is important to choose fabrics and finishes that are easy to look after to achieve a low-maintenance living space. Opt for machine washable curtains and avoid shag-pile rugs as they cling onto dirt particles. Look for cushions with anti-dust mite covers that are machine washable as they can be easily cleaned as necessary whilst retaining shape and plumpness.

       5. Recessed lighting
Suspended light fittings can be practical, but they can also attract dust and require frequent cleaning. Where possible, install recessed spotlights. These are available in a variety of attractive finishes and can include features such as being dimmable or angled. Halogen and LED are the main choices for bulb types, but for low-maintenance use LED bulbs as these produce a natural-looking light and are much more energy efficient, meaning you won’t have to change them very often.

5 Affordable Ways to Modernise your Home

5 Affordable Ways to Modernise your Home

Modernising your home can be costly, time consuming, and often labour heavy. Creating a contemporary feel to an ageing building with exhausted design, can seem an almost unthinkable concept. However, this does not always have to be the case; there are a number of fantastic options available to make this task effortless, affordable, and enjoyable. Here are five easy, low cost suggestions to create a modern feel in your home:

The Minimalist Look
One key feature of most modern homes is the abolishment of clutter, and the implementation of the ‘less is more’ concept. Creating an open space, or the illusion of an open space, can be a brilliant way of accomplishing a modernised feel in your home. The process can be as simple as removing general clutter and bulkier furnishings, or moving existing furniture to optimise the space available to you. The idea is to arrange the decor in a way that utilises the area and creates an open feel to the room. You can even add decorative mirrors to the room to give the appearance of a larger open space.

Atmospheric Lighting

Lighting can have a huge effect on the appearance of a room and create a contemporary look at a surprisingly low cost. There are several lighting options available to compliment your home, some require installation and others are simply operated via electrical outputs. Depending on your budget and skills, you may wish to install spotlights in the ceiling, or a dimmer switch to add a ‘mood lighting’ feel. For those looking to keep costs and labour at a low, consider adding up-lighters or lamps. You can also purchase LED strip lighting for a very reasonable price, these can be excellent when used to surround televisions, mirrors, or picture frames, or creating lighting borders around the edge of the room.

Freshen Up

Often, simply painting the room can be all it takes to create a fresh and modern look. Paint can be purchased at very affordable prices, especially white paint which is great when attempting to make the room look both cleaner and sleek. Incorporating white paint with the ‘minimalist look’ (mentioned above), will have your home looking modernistic and immaculate with minimal cost and effort. You can also paint wooden furnishings white, to blend into the room and add give a more spacious appearance.

Old Is New

If you’re on a tight budget, then popping to your local charity shops can be a great way to source new furnishings for your home. It is amazing what people get rid of these days, you can come home with bags full of lovely new items for your home at the fraction of the cost! Visiting charity shops is both fun and exciting; you never know what gems you’ll return with.

Get Crafty

If you’re the creative type, or know someone who is and is willing to help you out, consider making your own decorations or furnishings for your home. This can be as simple as creating small, but effective hanging decorations or even customised plant pots. If you’re good with wood, you could build your own furnishings, such as tables and chairs, for a considerably lower cost than you would pay when purchasing them elsewhere. Creating your own wooden items means you can use better quality materials and customise the design to your specifications. Another great idea is to consider reupholstering furniture that you already have with contemporary fabrics. This can really make a difference to the appearance of your home and can be very rewarding.

So what are you waiting for? Get down the charity shops, grab yourself a tub of paint, and Feng Shui your furniture. Your friends will wonder how your home looks so great with such minimal cost and effort!

How to get registered as a close protection officer

How to get registered as a close protection officer

A close protection officer is a bodyguard who protects people of high rank or affluent people from the risk of assassination, abduction, physical attack. They are also called as personal protection specialists.  The life of the Head of the state, politicians, Members of the royal family is under constant threat. So is the need for executive protection agents to save them.  To work as a close protection officer, you may need a license from a Security industry authority.

What are the two types of licenses?

1. Frontline license

2. Non-front line license

Who all need a license from SIA?

A front line license is required for those  who are sole traders, partners of a company or directors of companies and they perform certain activities that require licensing. They do these activities to execute a contract. A non-front license is required for those who are in charge of those who carry out activities that require a license. You should be above 18 years and should pass verification of your identity.

What are the documents required for registration?

Do you have your UK passport? Then consider that your registration is almost completed. First, you have to apply online and send SIA the required information. They will check and if every information is correct and genuine, SIA will provide you with a license. But, if there is a mismatch in the address given in the passport and your actual address, you have to go to the nearest post office along with required documents. In case SIA asks you to submit them some documents, you have to give them original documents only. If your documents are in some other language than in English, you should submit them an originally  translated copy of the document they ask you to provide them with, online.

What about the cost of application for license?

You may have to pay an amount of 220 pounds, which is a non- refundable. The license you get from SIA is valid only for 3 years and  you may have to reapply for it four months before the month of expiry of the license. The authority will come to your office for a verification and if needed, they will ask you to submit certain documents as well. You will get a tax rebate if you have paid the fees for yourself. If your employer has paid, no such privileges will be given.

Through whom should I apply?

I can apply for a license myself or through my employer. If you are going to apply yourself login to the SIA website just like your Gmail or Yahoo account. You have to sign up by choosing an ID and a password. The next step is to sign in to your account. Fill in the required details. Verify the details once. Click submit. The SIA will check all your information and if further information needed, they will ask you to provide. They will provide you with a plastic ID card which they expect you to carry while carrying out your responsibility. Are you applying through your employer? Then also the  procedure is same. But, instead of trying to match with individual information, the SIA will match it with business information. This is the procedure followed for getting registered as a close verification officer.

For more information, visit SI4.

5 Benefits of Installing Porcelain Tiles

5 Benefits of Installing Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain is often considered a delicate material, suitable only for delicate crockery. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Innovations in porcelain technology mean that it can now be produced in thick slabs, making it an attractive, simple to install, easy-care and tough flooring option for both indoor and outdoor use. While there are many reasons to choose porcelain tiles for your home or business, here are a few of the key benefits.

Low maintenance

Unlike most other paving materials, porcelain has an extremely low level of porosity. This means that porcelain tiles are naturally resistant to staining. Any spillages just sit on the surface until mopped up. They also don’t need to be sealed, which means that there is no need to re-seal them to keep them looking good. All that is needed to care for porcelain is to sweep and mop it from time to time to keep it in top condition.

Hard wearing

Porcelain is incredibly tough. It is ideal for outdoor use as once the tiles are made, the pigment is permanently locked in, meaning that it is UV resistant and does not fade due to weathering. It is also able to cope with sub-zero temperatures. A further benefit of porcelain is that it does not scratch easily and can cope with the rough and tumble of daily life.

Slip-resistant

Because porcelain is impervious to moisture, it is highly slip-resistant. Porcelain tiles are available in a variety of textures, and can be produced with varying levels of grip. For outdoor paving which will be used in wet conditions, choose a more textured tile, and if grip is a key concern, check the DIN 51130 slip resistance factor.

Attractive

Porcelain has long been associated with beautiful and desirable objects, and its use as a floor tiling material is no exception. New production methods mean that it is now possible to choose tiles which are indistinguishable from traditional stone apart from the ease of upkeep. Alternatively, the smooth elegance of a plain textured tile, or the natural beauty of wood effect might appeal.

Suitable for indoor our outdoor use

A popular feature of contemporary design is the concept of blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor zones. This is where porcelain paving comes into its own. While porcelain is very popular in bathrooms and kitchens due to its water-resistant nature, this feature also makes it perfect for living or commercial interiors leading into outside spaces. With tiles of various thickness, it is possible to have a seamless transition from an indoor room to a balcony, patio or courtyard. Different textures of tile can also be used to create subtle changes of area.

When considering flooring and paving options, porcelain is the ideal solution for anyone seeking to combine practicality with style.

Do you need a licence or permission to hire a skip?

Do you need a licence or permission to hire a skip?

It’s time for a clear out, or possibly a renovation, and the easiest way to get rubbish taken away without a dozen trips to the tip, is to hire a skip. However, many people are confused about whether you need to get a licence or ask for special permission in order to hire a skip.

Will it be left on public property?
If your home is facing a public road, and you want the skip to be placed on the road, then you will need to get a licence from your local council. In most areas you will find that the council will grant skip licences only to the person you are hiring from. Essex County Council for example has a list of requirements for a skip licence, including public liability insurance for £10 million, which will only be suitable for the company that will lend you the skip. Northumberland County Council specifically states that will not issue licences for members of the public, and all applications must be done by the owner of the skip.

If you aren’t sure of your council’s requirements, check their website, or phone their office and ask to speak to someone. You may find they have further advice, such as time restrictions (for example if the skip can only be in place for a certain number of days).

Additional Safety
If you are having the skip on public property then it can be a hazard to members of the public, especially at night. Your council may require you to ensure that it is properly marked, to help prevent accidents. This may include traffic cones around the outside edge, reflective strips on the body of the skip, and night-time safety lamps on the corners. They may also require that the skip company’s name and phone number is prominently displayed on the skip itself, so that if there is an accident the company can be contacted quickly.

If your skip is delivered without night-lamps or reflective strips, you should ask the company to provide them. Although the hire company has the licence, the person who is using the skip is responsible for ensuring that it is clearly marked, and you could be fined up to £1,000 if you fail to do this.

What if the skip is on private land?
If you are having the skip placed on your driveway or garden then you do not need a licence or permission. You may wish to let your neighbours know, as the truck that delivers and collects the skip could be in place for some time, and might block access to their property, but this is just a courtesy.

Skip placement restrictions
You cannot leave a skip on the pavement, as it is obstructing a right of way. You also should not block access to other people’s homes (such as having it left in the road but in front of their driveway) or on another person’s property, without their written permission.