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David Batzofin (DB) and Steve Pearce (SP)

DB       And this is David Batzofin, it is Radio Today and talking about buying local, let’s talk to Steve Pearce about Locklatch, Steve good morning welcome to you.

SP        Good morning David

DB       Thanks very much for joining us.

SP        It’s a pleasure

DB       Tell me a bit about Locklatch, you know South Africans are so security conscious, well some of us are that we go to sleep at night we lock our windows, it’s boiling hot we dying of heat inside the house, but we scared that we gonna have people come through the windows is this what Locklatch was designed to get around?

SP        Yes that’s exactly it, the main use of Locklatch really is to be able to leave a window or a door open partially but locked.

DB       ok

SP        So it will prevent opportunistic theft, it won’t stop a determined intruder with tools and a pre-planned idea

DB       Right

SP        But nothing will stop that

DB       No doesn’t matter what you’ve got up.

SP        Exactly, it’s a layer of security but you know I think South Africans love to let a little bit of fresh air into the house, particularly in the summer months and Locklatch allows them to do that and sleep peacefully at night, the other use that a lot of people are finding for it is to let pets in and out.

DB       Well that’s what I was gonna bring up because often when my wife and I go away mmm overnight, anything longer than that and our animals go to the cattery but overnight when we leave in the afternoon and back in the morning, they stay at home and I was reticent to leave windows open but now with your product in place I can do that with relative peace of mind.

SP        I think more than 50% of our customers are buying it for pet access so that the maximum opening that it gives is seventeen cm

DB       Right

SP        It will let a cat in and out

DB       But not a German Shepard

SP        Not a German Shepard not unless you put it on a diet


DB       But then you want the German Shepherd in the house so when people think oh we just saw the cat go in and out then all of a sudden Killer is sitting inside waiting for you

SP        Yes exactly

DB       Is it a South African product? Is it your design Steve?

SP        No it’s not my design but it is a South African product the inventor is a chap called Anthony Bairos who is still very much involved in the business

DB       Right

SP        The story behind it, it was Anthony is a very keen sailor and he was sailing his yacht off the Brazilian coast and every time he pulled into harbour to go ashore and get his groceries he would leave the hatches on the boat open for ventilation he kept getting robbed, so necessity was indeed the mother of invention and Anthony invented Locklatch. So its manufactured here in the western cape, and we will be selling it throughout the rest of the world. So it is creating employment here and creating export opportunities. We’ve already agents in the UK and Kenya, in Namibia, we’ve got some enquiries from Texas for the US.

DB       And you didn’t even have to go through Dragon’s Den

SP        No but it would be a great product for Dragon’s Den, wouldn’t it?

DB       You know, I want you to describe the product in detail because I used to watch Dragons Den, it’s not on anymore but the problem is I felt so sorry for those people you know to have your dreams literally ripped off like a band aid and I understand why because they often fall apart on financials, and people who invent stuff aren’t interested in financials, they just interested in inventing stuff, so talk us through what. If people had to purchase your product what they get and can they use it on aluminium, can they use it on steel, can they use it on wood?

SP        Yes so to answer that, it will fit any door, window or hatch, whichever way it opens and whatever it’s made of.

DB       Ok

SP        And we supply the one way screws or the pop rivets to put it into the steel, or aluminium, or PVC frames and the product itself is made from C304 stainless steel it’s got a lifetime guarantee so if anything ever goes wrong with it, just give it back to us and we will replace it or we will refund you the money

DB       Ok

SP        Very simple guarantee, but I think importantly it’s not just about the product but because the product in itself, the design is very simple in many ways I think it’s a bit like Kreepy Krauly, when that was first invented

DB       Yes

SP        It’s beautifully simple but it fulfilled a need, and Locklatch fulfils a need in the same way, so it’s a solution to people ventilation problems, their pet access problems, keeping baboons out for instance

DB       Ah true in the Western Cape that I should imagine is a big deal.

SP        Yes and up in Natal with the vervet

DB       With the vervet monkeys

SP        Ya

DB       And they can’t learn even though they’ve got opposable thumbs, they not gonna be able, unless they’ve got a key!

SP        Yes (chuckle)

DB       Is that one key fits all? So in other words, if I’ve got half a dozen Locklatches throughout my house do I only need one key?

SP        You do and we kept it like that on purpose because we think the simplicity of that just helps homeowners if they’ve got multiple installations

DB       True enough. Now you mentioned putting it into wood frames with one way screws, now I’ve used those screws before, now what happens if for some reason you want to move it or take it out? How the heck do you get a one way screw out?

SP        I don’t know, is the answer


DB       I put you on the spot did I?

SP        You did yes, because we’ve just moved house

DB       Right

SP        And I’ve tried to bring the three Locklatches from the old house with me, and I couldn’t I’ve                        left them there, so I don’t know

DB       So where to from here? I know the product comes in one colour at the moment, you said its stainless steel so it’s sort of a dove grey colour almost.

SP        That’s right

DB       Are you gonna be looking at manufacturing, if it’s wood you would have a brown one, if its aluminium you would have white and black, or something like that. Are there going to be colours added to your range?

SP        Well there’s two parts to that answer, the first part is that we believe in simplicity so at the moment it’s sort of a Henry Ford

DB       Yes you can have any colour as long as it’s grey

SP        Any colour you like as long as its stainless steel, so we think we will stick to that but obviously we not deaf to the market so if the demand for a white one grows or a black one, or a bronze one, then we will obviously have to look at that, and that said I mean if people do want to paint it, it does take a spray paint very easily.

DB       And you’re based in the Western Cape, sales are online? How do people find out about you, I know, you popped up on a Facebook page of mine, I don’t know how but that’s how I got to find out about you, but how do regular people, for want of a better word, people are interested in the product, how do they find out about you?

SP        Well so they can find us at our website which is a reasonably explanatory website, that’s, just google it and it will pop up and we decided that collectively we will be the inventor, the manufacturer and the retailer

DB       Ok, keeping it simple

DB       It’s either, it’s a yes or a no product, I was gonna say there’s no grey area, but the product is grey so that sort of blows that out of the window. Steve give us a besides from the, contact phone number or should they just go via the website is that the easiest or Facebook?

SP        No anybody can phone me with the greatest of pleasure I’m happy to talk about the product

DB       Ok

SP        My number is 082 4472809

DB       Great stuff. Steve Pearce, thanks very much for joining me.

SP        Thank you David

DB       Take care, bye for now

SP        Bye

If you have any ideas on DIY home security, tips on how to prevent home burglaries please send your suggestions to [email protected] and we’ll publish and credit the author.


Further reading:

Crimes that South Africans Fear the Most

General & Safe Ventilation with LockLatch

5 Strategies to Keep Your Family Safe During a Home Invasion

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