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Commercial Locksmith

Experienced Commercial Locksmith in the Livermore Valley

How to Choose a Commercial Locksmith

When you’re in need of a commercial locksmith, what do you do?  Many people turn to the Internet and do a quick search using the term “commercial locksmith”, “commercial locksmith____ (city name) ____” or even “commercial locksmith near me”.  This search may produce a list of contact numbers. However, there is a very big difference between a “locksmith” and a “commercial locksmith”.  How can you be certain you’ve called a quality commercial locksmith when you need one?  Let’s examine some of the differences between a Locksmith (who may provide residential or home services) and a Commercial Locksmith (CL) and what to look for in a CL.

A commercial locksmith is an expert locksmith and quite adept at working in the commercial sector.  What does this mean?

First of all, a Commercial Locksmith (CL) should have several years of experience in the industry (at least 2 years).  A CL technician should be familiar with the most prevalent hardware used for storefronts and retail applications, as well as building and construction.  He/She should have the ability to quickly assess a situation involving commercial hardware and repair or replace the necessary products.

Second, a commercial locksmith must be licensed through the BSIS (a requirement of locksmiths in all sectors) AND possess a California State Contractor’s License (C-28; specialty licenses D-16, D28 specialty are also acceptable in most cases) in good-standing from the California State Licensing Board (CSLB).

Third, a commercial locksmith should be knowledgeable about the State building codes and regulations.  In California we are bound by the rules provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the California Building Standards Codes Association (CBSC).

Your CL technician must know how to maintain code compliance.  This is a very important issue.  In fact, the newest version of NFPA 80 states that all fire doors (in the commercial sector) must be inspected (and maintained to code) annually.  Although this regulation is not yet enforced, it soon will be.  Fire door compliance, like fire extinguisher compliance, will soon be enforced by your local AHJ (usually you city fire department).  For example:  If you have a place of business, you are probably familiar with the requirement to get your fire extinguishers inspected every year.  If not, you may receive a visit and citation from your local Fire Department.  The inspection regulation regarding fire doors will soon be handled similarly to the one that has existed for many years for fire extinguishers.

Fourth, choose a Commercial Locksmith who has the ability to work on fire doors (modify, core drill, install new/different hardware) WHILE maintaining code compliance.  If you need work done that involves a commercial fire door you want to choose a CL who has an IQP license from Intertek.  The IQP license (Intertek Qualified Personnel) allows your CL to legally make modifications to fire doors (i.e., install hardware, access control, or added security) and have the ability to re-label the fire doors.  Certified IQPs have Warnock Hersey (WH) labels that will be applied after their work is completed. The AHJ or Fire Department conducting annual inspections of fire doors knows that these doors are in compliance when they see the Warnock Hersey label.  This will give you peace of mind that things are done correctly from a compliance perspective which can save lots of money (as little as $1,000 to as much as $10,000s+).  Also, this will allow you to feel safe and secure knowing that, in the event of a fire, you, your team and your property will be protected as well as possible.

As you can see, it is important to choose the right Commercial Locksmith.  If not, it can be a very costly decision.

For a brief overview of this article, here are the CL requirements in list form.

How to Choose a Commercial Locksmith
  1. Look for Experienced Commercial Locksmiths
    1. At least 2 years of experience in the commercial sector
  2. Check for Licenses
    1. BSIS (LCO)
    2. CSLB (C-28; or a specialty license D-16 or D-28 may work)
  3. Ensure knowledge of Code Compliance
    1. NFPA
    2. CBSC (California Building Standards Commission) / CBC (California Building Codes)
  4. Ability to work on and field modify Fire Doors
    1. IQP (Intertek) Certification and WH labels


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