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A fireman is as cool as Jack Bauer or Indiana Jones: they rush into burning buildings and rescue people; they use raw force to smash open doors; they wear a cool uniform and drive in a big red truck.

A locksmith has a van, doesn’t wear a fancy helmet, and is a million miles away from being Dr Jones. On top of this, you’ll never see a locksmith kicking down a door. How dull!

But a fireman’s coolness comes at a price. The James Dean-esque esteem with which we view a fireman disappears once we see the consequences of what a he does to our doors.

If you’re trapped behind a door, a fireman will do what it takes to get you out as fast as possible. This means kicking down the door or, more likely, using a fat, heavy, metal battering ram to smash it open. Certainly not the most gentlemanly thing you can do to timber!

A fireman won’t charge you to come out, but you’ll pay plenty to repair what they do.

A locksmith, on the other hand, can most often open a door without damaging the lock. If the lock needs to be damaged, it’s pretty much always just the lock that gets damaged; the door doesn’t get harmed in the process.

You’ll pay for this locksmith service only a fraction of the cost of the door repairs needed after the fireman comes round.

Have a look at these pictures, taken after somebody uncaringly smashes a door open. They should’ve called a locksmith.