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In today's world, safety is an issue. And when you're working with locks and keys out there in the real world, we want you to be as prepared and as safe as possible. As I've said before, this is an area that I am not an expert in, nor do I have much experience in. So, what I've been doing is reaching out to people who work with locks and keys and ask them for their tips, the procedures, and stuff they do to keep them safe. So, I sit down with Chad, a lock boss community member, also known as 'The Locksmith Life," and I'm excited to bring this conversation. The conversation was great and he has some reliable good tips that you might find useful. Enjoy!
PJ: Chad, so thanks for coming on and joining me and talking about safety and locksmithing.
Chad: Yes sir, I'm here. Ready.
PJ: Yeah. So hey, by the way, it was great to finally meet you at ALOA here a few weeks ago, and it was great chatting with you there for a little bit.
Chad: Yes, I was there.
PJ: Yes. Nice shirt.
Chad: I trying to look at rooms for the next one already, but they won't let you book them yet. I was going to book them already.
PJ: Okay, cool. Off to Orlando. We go, right?
Chad: Yup. August.
PJ: Good. So Chad, when we were actually at ALOA, we kind of briefly talked about safety and locksmithing. And how the job can be dangerous. And as we started talking, I was like, you know what? I think this would be great to record because I think it's going to be very helpful. So if we could hear, so now, can you remind us how many years you've been locksmithing total?
Chad: Total on and off, it was for 20-19 years and then full-time 24 now.
CHAD’S PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
PJ: Okay, yes, that's it, that's a few minutes, right? It's a few minutes. And so during that time, have you encountered some situations that were not very safe?
Chad: Definitely. I don't want to use stories to tell you to tell the folks out there. I worked on a scar on the interstate and the gentleman blew his fuel pump out just from South Carolina in New Mexico, he had to go back to South Carolina and meld me his key. And then a week later, he came back because his car was gone off the interstate. A week later, I got called to make a key for a price of $300 Smart Key. I went to this house, it was late in the evening, and on the way out there, I felt weird about it. So I called my buddy, which is a local sheriff here, and had him waiting to let him know because I had a feeling and when I got there, I had the key in my pocket all the time. And the guy was very shady. And I just kind of talked to him like normal, ask them questions about the car and where his key went and, asked him to prove ownership. And that's when he got weird. He didn't have anything. He said he had a bill of sale and it was someone who said, Well, when you get that bill of sale, let me know. And then while he was talking, I had pulled the emergency key out of my pocket while he was in the trunk looking for the bill of sale. And tried it in the door. And, of course, it was the key, the key for that car. And at that point, he said, let me know when you get to go sell. And as soon as I left the property, I was on the phone with the sheriff here and he was arrested 30 minutes later.
PJ: Wow! That sounds quite interesting. Like, what are the odds of that? Do you know what I mean? Like, that whole thing and so, something I'm really curious about in that story is the moment when you tried that key, which I'm sure you had to be a little nervous.
PJ: Right? And the second you realize that this is a stolen vehicle. That moment of like, Okay, I gotta get out of here. Who I'm dealing with is not a law-abiding citizen. Like, what was going through your mind? How did you like interacting with them in a way that would have allowed you to get out of there quickly?
Chad: Well, I stayed calm and stayed professional and I didn't want him to get any cues that I was nervous because you don't want to get caught up in a situation where you're in danger because apparently, that's going on in this country now. And so I just stayed calm and told him to give me a call when you get your proof of ownership, which I probably would have done for him to call the sheriff or that some fake forge something but was my stomach, my heart dropped to my stomach for that key turn that locks on that vehicle.
PJ: I can only imagine...
Chad: It was late, 9:30 In the evening, out in the middle of nowhere.
PJ: Really? Man, that's why I'm glad everything went well for you and the guy was able to get busted for that. But yeah, that's a crazy story. And so I'm curious after now doing that situation and living through that, I mean, a lot of times, after we experience things that help us kind of change the way we do things in the future, what do you do today, that helps you feel more comfortable and safe in situations that you might be a little interested about or nervous about?
Chad: Well, now, after that situation, I had ordered a dash camera for my work then and every time I go to the on-site, to a job site, I make sure my van is pointed out the vehicle I'm working on and it's a panoramic view so it catches everything and I take pictures. I could talk to it, tell it to take pictures, and it'll take pictures, snapshots of the property, and the address where I'm at, I just keep track of that in case something does happen. I have some kind of proof of, you know, and it also protects me and the customer even if it's legal.
PJ: Interesting, so if you don't mind sharing, what's the name of the system that you're using?
Chad: Oh, you got me on there. I've had it for over a year now so let me look for you.
PJ: Okay, yeah. Is it something that you bought online or like at a local retail store?
Chad: On Amazon. It's half of that after? That's how I watch the video and record the video puts on my phone. You got a trick question, PJ.
Chad: Find it, PJ. Ah!
PJ: It's okay. No big deal. No big deal. Okay, so outside of the camera, which is a great thing, I think it's becoming more and more popular. Now, the one that you have, is it synced to like a cloud or how does it keep recording?
Chad: Actually, it's just a SIM card thing, which would be a better idea, the cloud I need to look into that. It's just a SIM card thing. Cloud things are a good option to do. Definitely.
PJ: Okay. But, I mean, it sounds like at least, when someone sees a camera, I think that is probably I'm guessing some level of a deterrent?
Chad: Definitely. I have it in kind of a hidden spot. And I think I was talking to you about that. I think I need to put a detailed camera and use it when I pulled above where I have the camera right underneath my rearview mirror so I think I'm -
PJ: Okay. Yeah. I think I'm guessing that would be probably beneficial, right? The people -
Chad: - who could deterrent
PJ: - wouldn't know that. Good. Okay, so out of that situation, that bad situation you had, you're like, hey, I need to get a dash cam. I need to get it set up, really cool you can talk to it and it takes pictures, right? That's cool. What else did you do or change?
Chad: I just make sure I go in there and make sure I'm always faced and I always keep my back away and my face towards them and my back away from them. I never let them get behind me when I'm working and I carry a handgun on me as well.
Chad: No matter where I go. I mean, just to protect myself. I mean, I feel better about it and
PJ: Sure, I'm guessing it's probably like a concealed handgun?
Chad: I always make sure my van is facing towards where I'm working with the headlights on and I have these lower lights I keep to the switch and brightens up the area underneath lower and keeps it very well lit so you can see their faces, license plates to keep everything well lit. Especially in those late evenings and out in the middle of nowhere places I go.
PJ: Absolutely. So between the dash cam, you arm yourself. And when you're pulling up on a job, you're putting all your lights on making everything as visible as can be at night, right? It's so interesting, because so many times as I've been having these conversations and talking to people, it seems like a lot of the danger comes at night, which I guess kind of makes sense, and so being able to light up the area I think, is wonderful. And I think those are good tips that dash cam and lighting up that area that you're going to be working in, is good.
Chad: And then also let your significant other know or your partner know or somebody knows exactly where you're going to be at so they have an idea where your location is, as well.
PJ: Absolutely. Yeah, sounds good to have someone else have a location. Yeah. Chad, those are some really good tips. I'm curious. So after you've made that encounter, and then you've had these, you put these changes into practice, do you feel safer when you're out doing jobs with having all of this?
Chad: Yes, I feel. I do feel safer. I've always been very aware of my surroundings when I go in public. I am just very aware of the people that are just trying to fill there, just fill them out when you get there. Make sure you feel comfortable with them because I know a lot of shady people over these years and just be aware of your surroundings. Make sure to be very aware of everything around you constantly because, in our profession, it can be dangerous. It is. A lot of people want vehicles and we have all this stuff to do so take care of yourself and watch your back.
PJ: Absolutely. Chad, hey, I appreciate you coming on and not only sharing a bad encounter that you had but kind of the measures that you took afterward to set yourself up for more safety and I think a lot of people who are watching and or listening will get a lot out of that so I thank you for sharing. Are you currently using any of these tips? Are you going to start using any of these tips? Do you have anything that you would like to add to the conversation? I would love to read it and I'm sure many others would as well so I look forward to reading that. Thank you, and we'll see you next time!