Locksmiths In The News

Chicago television news shows were filled recently with the story of an animal which was stuck offshore on an ice floe in Lake Michigan. The first report indicated that it might be a wolf but later reports were that it was a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. My three retrievers, one border collie and I are always interested in a dog story. Rescue efforts eventually included two helicopters, a Coast Guard ice cutter boat and a cadre of police. A man in a kayak eventually coaxed the dog to shore and he was taken into custody.

It was later discovered that the dog had been lost for several days. One report was that the owner of an apartment building had the locks changed and the dog ran from one of the apartments when the apartment door was opened for the lock changing.

A news item from Europe is also of interest. The Union of Security Locksmiths represents approximately 40 percent of the locksmiths in Spain. With unemployment at 25 percent, many people can no longer make their house payments and locksmiths have been hired to open locked doors for the evictions. According to the Wall Street Journal, evictions are carried out by a team of police officers, officers from the court and a locksmith.

The amount of evictions has escalated to the point where demonstrators have assembled every time they see a locksmith truck because they know it is for an eviction. One locksmith firm reported that in the past they would have four evictions per week and now they have 100 per week.

If that locksmith was at fault for letting the dog get away, he may be liable for repayment to the police for their expenses. Locksmiths in Spain have had their trucks spray-painted and face angry crowds at every stop. The Union of Security Locksmiths has now decided to refrain from doing extreme evictions such as when children, elderly or ill people are to be evicted.

This reminds me of a problem we once had in our family locksmith business. One of our employees was out on a job to repair an aluminum door lock. A building tenant fell near the doorway and was injured. Although our employee had nothing to do with the fall, our company became legally involved because our employee was at the scene. Lawyers for the injured tenant required me to answer deposition questions about what training our company provides for new employees.

Knowing how to pick locks and fit keys is not enough for success in business today. You must know what jobs to take or refuse, make sure that your employees are properly trained and finally have the best possible insurance to back you up when all else fails.

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