A number of homes and businesses feel safer having their meter boxes locked. So this week, we asked our mobile locksmiths about locking meter boxes: why would people want to lock their meter box, and what can our clients do to protect their meter boxes?
Why Lock a Meter Box?
There are a number of reasons to lock a meter box. Some residential clients wish to protect their privacy. Others, particularly our commercial locksmith clients in high traffic areas like Brunswick and Carlton, are worried about property damage. This property damage can be costly to fix, and if the power is disconnected for too long a time, refrigerated food can spoil. Burglars have been known to damage the meter box to gauge the occupancy of a building — if they disconnect the power and nobody comes out, they know the building is empty, and ripe for robbery.
So, it can be a good idea to lock meter boxes.
The problem with locking meter boxes is that if the reader cannot access the meter, they will estimate your energy usage. Estimates are typically based on past consumption and industry averages. This means that you may end up paying for more energy than you have actually used.
To make sure they have clear access to your meter, a number of energy companies will let you know in advance a rough time your meter will be read. This way, residences can clear the path to the meter box, and remove any padlocks they are using ahead of time.
Energy companies cannot always let you know specifically when their meter readers will visit. And remembering to lock and unlock your meter box every few months can be time-consuming. Luckily, there are alternatives…
Power Industry Padlocks
Don’t lock your meter box with any padlock. Instead, talk to us about Victorian Power Industry padlocks. Energy companies have master keys to Power Industry padlocks. This means that official meter readers are able to unlock your meter box when they are scheduled to read your meter. They cannot, however, unlock unapproved, or non-Power Industry padlocks, and so will have to estimate your energy consumption. At our locksmith store in Collingwood, we sell padlocks approved by the Victoria’s energy companies to take the hassle out of locking your meter box.
Lockwood High Security 334 Series
Victoria’s big four energy companies use the Lockwood High Security 334 Series. From Lockwood, these padlocks are mostly used in apartment blocks and commercial properties. These brass padlocks are designed for high security applications and have been endorsed by the Security Construction and Equipment Committee (SCEC) for “intruder resistant areas”. Because they are brass, they can also withstand the elements that meter box locks are subjected to. That is, they’re less likely to rust or corrode. Whether in store or on site, our locksmiths can provide our clients with Lockwood High Security 334 Series padlocks, so contact us today.
Master Key Systems
A number of our mobile locksmith clients worry about fitting a padlock to their property that can be opened using a master key. Energy companies have access to their padlock, yes, but these keys cannot be copied by anyone. It is a secure system. These padlocks are a part of a restricted key system. This means that only qualified locksmiths can copy the keys, and only then when they have the owner’s permission. Read more about restricted key systems here.