Archive for Locks

Aluminum Padlocks

Yes, Aluminum and padlocks do go together and Aluminum Padlocks can be secure. You are most likely to see these padlocks in use for what is called lock out padlocks. They would come in multi-colors and lock like a traditional padlock. But what about the Hockey Puck Padlock or PUCK Padlock, these are traditionally made of hardened steel and that will continue. However there are now some Puck padlocks in which the body is made of aluminum.

Aluminum PadlocksAluminum has some advantages over steel, weight is one and of course aluminum will not rust, making it ideal for any location where moisture is a problem. The padlock is usually used with a hasp that encircles the padlock giving it added physical security. Although drilling an aluminum lock may seem easy it could be made difficult by placing a few anti drill pins in strategic locations. Also when drilling aluminum the drill bit will tend to clog when drilling a deep hole.

The body of these padlocks starts out with solid aluminum billet, they then are milled usually by a very high tech CNC machine. From there either a protective clear coating is added or a color coating is added. Some anti-drill pins would be added, depending on the type of padlock. From this point on the remainder of the padlock is assembled as if it were steel.

A Cobra Universal Puck padlock made of aluminum could be combined with either an Abloy or Medeco lock cylinder to provide a Aluminum Padlock with high security lock cylinders. With the Cobra’s patented puck padlock the user can change the lock cylinder depending on where it is being used. If an Abloy lock cylinder was used with the Cobra aluminum body you will have a complete Puck Padlock that will provide extreme environmental protection.

Choosing Cobra PadlocksYou could even have these padlocks made with multiple colors very similar to the lock out type padlocks. With this feature you would be able to segregate your security by color. Also by using a high security lock cylinder you would gain key control. Most high security lock cylinders offer a very high degree of protection from lock picking, so high that most thieves will just walk away rather than try. This would be a way to increase your key security and keep your costs in check.

So yes aluminum and padlocks do go together very well and not just for the traditional lock out type padlocks.

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Garage Door IS Yours Secure ?

The Garage Door is probably the most used door in our house. It is also the most abused and could be the least secure door. Garage doors are constructed out of wood or aluminum. Each has its advantages and problems. Wood is the heaviest and the most secure, but it’s the hardest to maintain. Aluminum in comparison is very light and the easiest to maintain. New construction laws require garage doors to be built to the newest hurricane codes, which generally means they must have additional support structures to prevent the door from blowing out during high winds. If this happens the roof of the home could blow off.

Security Your Garage DoorIf you have an older house it might be a good idea to have a garage door professional take a look at it. They will be able to tell you what would be necessary to bring it up to current codes both in terms of the construction of the door and its security. There is also maintenance that should be done to the garage door and the opener. This includes lubrication of the tracks, rollers and the opener chain or screw. You should make sure that all the screws and bolts on the door and opener are tight.

Most garage doors have automatic garage door openers, there are three major designs, but they all server the same purpose. When a button is pushed a motor will raise or lower the door. There is a button usually near the door going into the house and of course the remote control which is in your vehicle. When a garage door opener is installed the locking latch is removed. The door is held (locked) by the opener. There is usually an emergency latch that when pulled will release the door from the track so that it can be manually opened. Some of the newer models have battery backups.

Commercial Locks

Medeco High Security

Keep in mind that the remote control is the key to your garage and maybe your house. When you have your vehicle parked outside it should be locked, preventing someone from using your key (remote control) to get into your garage. Once someone gets into your garage they can use all of your tools to try and unlock the door leading into your house. That’s if it’s locked in the first place. Most people consider this door an interior door, however you should use the same type locks as you would on your front door. This will include Deadbolt Locks

For additional information contact us at LockingSystems.com

Purchase Locks On-Line

Can locks be purchased on-line safely? The answer to this question is yes, however, not every on-line merchant will serve you well. You must answer this question, what are you trying to secure and how valuable is that to you? If you need a padlock to lock up a lawnmower shed then buy that padlock from any on-line merchant.

Purchase Locks On-LineIf you are securing something valuable like your family by buying front door locks, then you should seek out an on-line merchant that specializes in locks and security. At this point you are not buying a commodity lock you are buying a security solution. LsiDepot should be your first choice to Purchase Locks On-Line.

Here are some things that you should look for in an on-line lock merchant:

  • Do they sell only locks and security items?
  • Can you call them and speak to someone knowledgeable in security?
  • Are they authorized by major lock manufacturers?
  • Can they custom build security solutions?
  • Can they sell “High Security” locks?

When you view their web site do you see only locks and other security items. Does their web site give you enough information to make a decision? If not can you easily contact them via email or phone? And if you do contact them by phone can you talk to someone that can help you select the correct lock.

Purchase Locks On-LineAre you able to order “Custom Assembled” locks. Custom assembled means assembled to your specifications, such as keyed alike, keyed different or master keyed. Can you order just the quantity of keys that you need. This is a very important part of key control. You should have just the amount you need and the ability to orders more in the future if needed.

Can you order “High Security” locks. These have patent protection on the lock and key, that helps prevent unauthorized key duplication. They also are built from high quality material to exact tolerances. And they are built to provide strong physical security.

Does this on-line merchant sell quality locks such as; Cobra locks, Abloy locks and Medeco Locks. If they do that is an indication that they are an authorized service center or manufacturer themselves and will be able to provide the proper help and solutions to fit your needs.

As I mentioned earlier in the blog and in many blogs in the past, your decision on where to Purchase Locks On-Line and how much to spend comes down to “What are you trying to protect and how valuable is that or they to you”.

LsiDepot.com

Lock Store

To Purchase Locks On-Line please go to LsiDepot.

What Is A Registered Lock Code?

Before we discuss a Registered Lock Code, lets discuss just what a lock code is. When a lock is assembled locking pins are placed inside. These pins allow the opening and closing of the lock with the key. There must be a way to transfer the locking pins to cuts on the key. This is called the lock code, sometimes known as a Key Code/

Registered Lock Code Cobra Patented Locks

Cobra-7 Key

A registered lock code is assigned and registered to a user or company. Only authorized users can order cut keys to a registered lock code. These types of codes are usually used on high security locks as an effort to control access. Our Company will maintain these codes in a custom designed computer database. This database will help to avoid repeated lock codes so once assigned they will never be duplicated or assigned to another user.

These types of codes are usually “Blind”. This means that by looking at the registered lock code you will not be able to convert it to a key cut. A lock code chart is needed to convert the code to a key cut that will match the locking pins in the lock and operate it.

With many non-registered codes, it is very easy to convert the code to a cut. For many, the code is the cut. This lowers the overall security of the lock as it gives no key control. Key Control is the ability to know how many keys were cut for a lock code and who ordered those keys on what date. Key control and registered lock codes go together.

Registered Lock Code from Medeco

Medeco M3 Key

High security locks are usually found at authorized service centers, such as Locking Systems International. They are more expensive than big box store locks, so you first must decide what you are protecting and how much is that worth to you. After making that decision, you will know where to make a purchase.

When you purchase a high security lock, registered lock codes are assigned to you. By keeping these codes you will be able to order additional keys later. The number of registered codes you get depends on if you order locks keyed alike, keyed different or master keyed. For example, if you order 10 locks keyed alike you will get one registered lock code. If you order 10 locks keyed different you will receive 10 registered lock codes.

I hope this isn’t too confusing. The biggest take away here is that high security locks and registered lock codes go together.

Locking Systems International has developed a custom database program that we use to keep track of your lock codes and the users authorized to order additional keys to that code.

Gas Pump Security – What is Skimming ?

If you drive a vehicle your credit or debit card is at risk from Skimming. What can you do and what are the gas pump operators and manufacturers doing to prevent and stop skimming? Skimming is where the bad guys will put a device on the gas pump that will intercept your card number. I will go into where these skimmers are placed. Let’s start with what can you do to help Stop Skimmingprevent your card number from being stolen.

  1. The most important thing you can do is Do Not Use Debit Cards. Once your debit card number is stolen the bad guys can empty your bank accounts. The banks say you are protected, but until they investigate you have no money in your bank account.
  2. Before using a gas pump look at it, do you see anything attached to it that looks like it doesn’t belong there?
  3. Are all the pump access doors securely locked?
  4. Does the store attendant have clear line of sight to the pumps?
  5. Are there surveillance cameras pointed at the pumps?

If you feel uncomfortable at a gas station or you find one of the above items, then leave and find another station, they are on every corner.

stop skimmingThe gas pump operators are stepping up to try and prevent skimming by working with a specialty security company to come up with devices that stop this practice. The major point of attack are the card readers, this is where the skimming devices are placed. Below are some of the steps that gas pump operators are taking:

  1. Replacing the gas pump locks with stronger and more secure locks, some operators are going with high security cam locks and padlocks.
  2. Installing a specially designed box that encases the card reader to prevent access to it. This card reader security box is locked with a special lock that has patented protection on the lock and keys.
  3. Installing a special cover, secured by security screws over the gas pump control board.
  4. Installing a special security box around the pulser, this device is what counts the gallons of gas dispensed.
  5. The card reader manufacturers are also increasing the security of the reader itself.

Many gas stations are requiring that you input the zip code that matches the credit card. When credit cards with a chip imbedded becomes mainstream many credit and debit card problems will go away.

For additional information visit us at LsiDepot.com.

Deadbolt Lock – How to Choose!!

Most people know what a Deadbolt Lock is, but be careful because not all deadbolt locks are created equal.  There are differences and these differences could mean preventing someone from breaking into your home.  I am going to give you the information you need to make an informed decision when you  purchase a deadbolt lock.

Deadbolt LockThe first decision you need to make is do I buy a single cylinder or double cylinder deadbolt lock?  A single cylinder is normally used on a solid door with no glass; this type uses a key on the outside and a thumb-turn lever on the inside.  A double cylinder deadbolt uses a key on both the outside and inside, this type is normally used when there is glass on or near the door.  Once you decide on the lock cylinder type, you should look for the following:

  • The locking bolt should be at least 1” in length (past the door edge). This will prevent prying the door open.
  • The locking bolt should be made out of solid steel with a hardened steel insert. This will prevent someone from sawing the locking bolt.
  • There should be a “Free Spinning” guard around the outside of the lock. This prevents someone from using a wrench to turn the deadbolt lock.
  • The inner lock mechanism should be protected by a steel shroud. This shroud goes over the mechanism and between the outer and inner door.
  • Choose a high security lock cylinder. This will prevent lock picking.
  • Metal strike with 2.5” to 3” bolts. The metal strike fits on the door jamb; this is what the locking bolt protrudes into.  The 2.5” to 3” bolts are very important; you want these to screw into the door jamb, then into the supporting frame that supports the door jamb.

Occupancy Deadblot LockSome of the other questions will be color and finish.  Make sure that the finish is weather resistant; this will prevent the lock from losing its color and finish.  Also, do you want all the locks to be keyed alike?  This is where one key will open all your locks. Keying questions can be answered by our Lock Experts.

I don’t think that I could discuss deadbolt locks without mentioning the door itself.  You could buy the best deadbolt lock, but if the door that it mounts on is inferior, you will have no security.  The door should be solid, meaning solid wood, steel or fiberglass.  A wood door should have no rotten areas and a steel door should have no rust.  The door jamb should be solid and it should be supported by a solid frame.

To properly secure your home, every exterior door should have a good quality deadbolt lock.

Locking Systems can help you choose the Right Deadbolt Lock for your home or business.

 

What Is Key Control ?

Key Control is exactly that: control of your lock keys. Getting there is much harder than you may think. You may think if you have your key with you then you are controlling it. There are many other considerations that go into total key control, they are:

  • How many total keys were cut for that lock code or lock?
  • Who has those keys?
  • Can you account for all your keys and who has them?
  • Has that lock code every been repeated?
  • Do you have a high security lock?
Key Control with Meeco

Medeco M3 Key

Lock security is only as strong as key control. You could have the strongest and best high security lock made, but if you can’t control your keys that very expensive lock is not very secure. It doesn’t matter what type of lock you purchase. You can make it more secure by practicing good key control.

It is more difficult to have good key control in a business. The rules are the same, but there are more people involved. This is where lockable key rings and tamper proof key rings are used. With lockable rings, you place the keys on a ring and they are locked usually using a high security lock. For tamper proof rings, the keys are placed on the ring, then the ring is clamped shut. Each ring has a unique serial number. The only way to get the keys off the ring is to cut it. By using these rings, you will be able keep track of your keys, they also help prevent lost keys.

When a key is lost or you can’t account for it, then a decision must be made. Should you rekey these locks or take a chance that the lost key won’t be found by the wrong person. This decision is made depending on what that lock was protecting and what that value is to you. Rekeying the lock is less expensive that replacing it. Rekeying involves changing the locking pins and cutting new keys to match. The older keys will no longer operate the lock.

Patented Key ControlHigh security locks come with registered lock codes and they give a higher level of key control. Usually key control is maintained in a computer database and keys can be accounted for until they get to the end user. What happens after is the responsibility of the end user.

Take key control seriously, without key control there is no real lock security.

Learn how we can help you start good Key Control practices, contact us at Locking Systems International.

Abloy Locks

Abloy Lock Company is part of the ASSA Abloy group of security companies. They have been manufacturing Abloy locks since 1907 from their home office in Finland. Today they have distributors and authorized service centers around the world. They also have Abloy owned offices in most major countries. Locking Systems has been an Authorized Abloy Service Center for many years.

Abloy LocksAbloy offers different types of locks designed for many different types of industries. Locks such as door locks, padlocks, cam locks, deadbolt locks to name a few. Some of the industries they serve are education, healthcare, government and retail. Their locks for doors are widely used in Scandinavian and European Countries where high security locks are widely accepted and used.

Abloy locks are different due to their “Rotating Disc” locking principle. This locking principle uses brass discs that come together to form a locking stack. These are designed to match the discs with cuts key. Due to this design there can be over one million lock codes available. The key does not look like a conventional key and you won’t find these at the big box stores or hardware stores.

Abloy locks are considered a high security lock due to their construction, key control and patented protection for the key and keyway. Distributors and service centers have contractual agreements with Abloy to maintain a high level of key control. Abloy service centers have additional training to provide extensive lock assembly services and a higher level of key control and key cutting services.

Abloy locks offer extreme environmental protection from moisture, salt spray, freezing, dirt, sand and other materials. This is due to the fact that they do not have locking pins or springs that traditional locks have. With traditional locks, dirt and other foreign material can get trapped in the pin chambers or cause the locking springs to fail which will cause the lock to malfunction. Also, with traditional locks, condensation or moisture can get into the pin chambers and cause the lock to malfunction in freezing weather.

Abloy Locks

They offer patented protection on the keyway and key. The first and last discs are called the profile discs, these are designed to match a particular key. This creates the keyway that Abloy then patents in the U.S. and worldwide. Abloy has now embraced electronic locks that offer both convenience and enhanced security by the use of electronic verification. The electronic keys are designed to open mechanical locks as well as the new electronic locks giving Abloy locks great versatility.

In Blogs I will highlight other major lock manufacturers. Contact Locking Systems for Additional information.

Key Codes — Are Yours Secure?

What are Key Codes?  They are the numbers that come with the lock that you just purchased.  They contain information that identify the pinning sequence in the lock and in turn provides the information necessary to cut a key.  For example, suppose you take your house key into a big box store to get more keys made.  The store clerk will identify the type of key you have (the lock manufacturer), then he will either duplicate the key or use the number stamped on the key to make new ones.

Key Codes Cobra Patented Locks

Cobra-7 Key

Now, if you read the above paragraph again you will notice that you are never asked for your identification, meaning anyone can take your key and have another one made.  In other words, there is no accountability and hence no key control.

With high security locks, the key code is registered to you and that information is put into a database program that tracks your codes.  The key code is usually blind, this means that by looking at the code you cannot get information on how the lock is pinned or how to cut a duplicate key.  The blind code is matched with a pinning code which has all the information. Locking Systems provides High Security Locks and Key Codes.

Key Codes:

  • Used to identify the pinning sequence of the lock
  • Used to cut duplicate keys
  • High security locks require identification before keys are cut
  • High security lock codes are registered to the end user
  • Blind codes do not give away the pinning and cutting information
  • High security codes are maintained in a secure database

Key Codes Tamper-Proof Key RingsConvenience vs Security:

The locks that you buy at hardware stores or big box stores offer convenience in a mid-security level, this might be OK for most people. However, always ask yourself what are you trying to protect or lock and if that is valuable is it worth a little inconvenience.

You can’t buy high security locks at hardware stores or big box stores.  They are purchased at specialized locksmiths or manufacturer approved service centers.  These places will sell you the hardware and then register the lock code to you.  They will also provide you with the secure lock code and a way for you to use it if necessary.  They will also secure that code into a database where it will not be assigned to anyone else.

So, are your lock codes secure, do you even know where those code are?  Maybe it’s time to look at your locks, count your keys and decide if it’s time to get a higher security lock.

Need Help Call Us: 800.657.LOCK(5625) or www.lsidepot.com.

Tamper Proof Key Rings

What is “Key Control”?  The answer seems simple; you have control of your keys. But how do you do this and why is it important?  You should be able to account for of all your keys; for example, how many house keys do you have and who has them?  You could ask the same question about office keys and car keys. Key control becomes even more important if you have many keys that you must give to employees to service customers or equipment. This is where Tamper Proof Key Rings are used

Lockable Key RingsLet’s look at house keys. Whether the house is new or old, ask yourself two questions. How many keys were cut and who has them; a past house cleaning service, pest service or contractor that was working inside your home. If you answer “I don’t know”, the solution to your problem is easily resolved; replace the locks or re-key them. Both methods will provide the same results. You will know how many keys were cut and who has them. This will give you control of your keys and your security.

Over the years we accumulate keys for many applications, along with spare keys. If you own a business your spare keys, office keys and equipment keys are a very serious and potentially expensive problem.  Below are two methods of securing keys:

Tamper-Proof Key RingsTamper-Proof Key Rings:

Tamper Proof Key Rings have a permanent seal that cannot be opened once it is sealed with special sealing tools. These key rings have a unique serial number for tracking; and once crimped, there is a smooth surface to move keys around the ring. Tamper Proof Key Rings are available in solid or flexible rings and come in different lengths.

Lockable Key Rings:

Lockable Key Rings with the Medeco High Security Lock Cylinder secures the keys on the key ring.  Only the person with the proper key can open the Lockable Key Rings, thereby securing all the keys on the ring.  The rings can be solid or flexible and come in different lengths.

Lockable Key Rings - Tamper Proof Key RingsThese two methods provide the same solution; they both control your keys.  Let’s take a look at a real world problem for a business. In the vending business many keys are given to a service person to stock the vending machines. If those keys are not on a secure ring the service person can remove a key and come back after hours to remove money from the machine. With a secure key ring the key cannot be removed, the key rings are returned at the end of the day with all the keys attached. This is a perfect example of controlling your keys.

Do you know where all your keys are?

Contact us at 800.657.5625(LOCK) or LsiDepot.com.