Tag Archives: Master Locksmiths Association

Countdown begins to UK locksmithing and physical security industry’s biggest Trade Expo

The Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) is set to host Europe’s largest trade exhibition for the locksmithing and physical security industry. From 2-4 October, suppliers and manufacturers will meet visitors from all over the world at the International Centre in Telford.

The theme of this year’s MLA Expo is ‘Tomorrow’s Locksmithing Today’. This is designed to help encourage and develop a future generation for the historic profession.

Nearly 100 exhibitors have already signed up for the biennial event, which sees locksmiths meet with suppliers, exhibit their products and services, discuss industry trends and take part in training courses.

MLA development director Dr Steffan George said: “MLA Expo is a truly global exhibition involving people from within the locksmithing industry. 2015 marks the event’s eighteenth incarnation and is set to be the biggest yet.”

George added: “MLA Expo is one of the most anticipated events in the security industry’s calendar, offering a fantastic opportunity for locksmithing and security companies and professionals from around the world to come together. They can showcase their products and services, network, share knowledge and make new contacts.”

Dr Steffan George of the MLA

Dr Steffan George of the MLA

Representatives from the police service, the insurance industry and Neighbourhood Watch will also be at the sold-out event along with newly-qualified apprentices as the MLA strives to secure the future of the industry and ensure locksmithing is seen as a potential career.

ASSA Abloy – one of the world’s biggest supplier of locks and security solutions – has joined forces with the MLA and Skills for Security (the skills body for the security sector) to support an apprenticeship scheme. The locksmith apprenticeship was set up in January last year with a view to generating the first nationally-recognised qualification for the locksmith sector, as well as securing its future by encouraging more young people to consider locksmithing as a profession.

The MLA was established over 50 years ago to set and promote standards of conduct, practice and materials within locksmithing. The organisation is recognised as the authoritative body for locksmithing by the police service, the Home Office and other leading organisations such as the British Standards Institution.

As a not-for-profit association, the MLA ensures its member companies undergo strict vetting procedures such that members of the public, the Government and industry receive the appropriate service and advice.

The MLA’s members share the ethos that ‘skill and integrity’ remain paramount in locksmithing and are able to provide sound advice based on knowledge and experience.

*For a list of approved MLA companies visit www.locksmiths.co.uk

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MLA issues stark security warning to students and landlords ahead of new university term

Students and their landlords are being urged by the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) to tighten up security procedures in order to avoid becoming victims of crime when university term starts again.

Students are one of the highest ‘at risk’ groups when it comes to crime, and are often targeted for high value laptops, TVs and entertainment equipment which is all-too-frequently left in plain view and unsecured against intruders.

As letting out a house or flat to students is a thriving business, the MLA is urging landlords to make home security a top priority to ensure that tenants, property and possessions are safe.

Students are also being warned to take simple precautions to prevent their possessions and equipment from being stolen when they move into a new property – or return to their old digs – at the end of September.

Dr Steffan George: development director at the MLA

Dr Steffan George: development director at the MLA

The MLA is encouraging youngsters and their parents to question what locking systems are in place, when they were last replaced and how the copying of keys is controlled.

The organisation advises landlords to consult an MLA-approved locksmith, who will be able to carry out a security assessment on property and recommend suitable locks and fittings, as well as providing input from a safety point of view.

Dr Steffan George, development director at the MLA, said: “Whether they’re going to university for the first time or returning to study for another year, students will often find themselves in new accommodation. It’s important that they’re fully aware of security to keep themselves and their possessions safe as students are often regarded as an easy target by thieves.”

George continued: “By taking simple precautions, landlords and students can avoid many of the risks that can lead to crime and taint the student experience. It’s landlords’ duty to act in a responsible manner and they should install quality locks with patented keys which cannot be copied without proof of ownership or restricted keys that cannot be easily copied due to their unique design.”

The MLA has issued the following guidelines to students and landlords:

  • Ensure good quality locks are installed on both the main door and the bedroom door. For convenience, the locks can be configured so that each individual bedroom key also opens the front door
  • Inspect doors and windows to make sure appropriate locks are fitted, in good condition and meet insurance requirements. If unsure, ask a vetted MLA locksmith for advice and a full security assessment
  • Keep valuable items out of sight, away from doors or windows, and remember to lock rooms and the front door when you go out
  • Don’t hide a key under a doormat or flower pot as criminals are aware of this method, particularly in student areas
  • Don’t leave doors open when outside or if friends are going in and out of the property as a thief can take advantage
  • If a room or property is going to be unoccupied for a number of weeks, students should take all valuables with them or make sure they are out of view
  • When entering the property, ensure that nobody ‘tailgates’ you and gains entry
  • Ensure locks are correctly specified regarding egress in homes of multiple occupancy (exit without the use of a key is required in flats, apartments and shared houses with locks on individual bedroom doors)

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Home security awareness campaign proves positive for MLA and NHWN

The Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) and the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network (NHWN) have forged a positive home security awareness partnership after a recent window sticker campaign reached over 500,000 homes in the UK.

Sponsored by the MLA, the co-branded sticker campaign was put into action to support the membership of the Neighbourhood and Home Watch movement and to drive consumers towards highly skilled, vetted and inspected MLA locksmiths.

The co-branded stickers were successful in raising the profile of the MLA and the services which its members provide. The reverse of the stickers featured MLA branding and information on how to find your local MLA approved locksmith.

The MLA-NHWN Partnership has proven to be a great success

The MLA-NHWN Partnership has proven to be a great success

In addition to this NHWN groups have been encouraged to get boxes of the MLA’s Handbook, published together with the Sold Secure Approved Products Catalogue and containing lots of useful security information as well as lists of MLA Approved Locksmiths, which they can distribute to their members.

The latest edition is now available and NHWN groups are encouraged to contact the MLA’s head office to submit their order.

Benefits of the partnership approach

Kate Daisley, operations director at NHWN, said: “The MLA’s standing as a leading trade body for the locksmithing industry ties in perfectly with what the NHWN represents. A survey following this campaign has also revealed that 89% of people said they would be more inclined to use the MLA’s service knowing that they were working in partnership with the NHWN.”

The stickers used in the campaign

The stickers used in the campaign

Dr Steffan George, development director at the MLA, added: “As the leading approval body for the UK locksmithing industry, the MLA is proud to feature alongside such a historic and prestigious organisation as the NHWN. This campaign has been a great opportunity for MLA members, as it has reached communities and members of the public who may not have previously known about the MLA or if there was an MLA approved locksmith in their area.”

He went on to state: “However, most importantly this partnership has been of great benefit to the British public as it has helped not only provide essential security information to NHWN members, but also drive business towards good, honest trades people who are dedicated towards providing the best possible service.”

For further information on home security or to find an approved MLA company in your area visit: http://www.locksmiths.co.uk

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