Archive for Locks

Getting Your Security On-Line

Is getting Your Security On-Line Safe?  The answer is it depends on what you need and where you get it from.

This past year we all have become more comfortable in getting most things from an On-Line dealer or retailer. Those restaurants that survived this Pandemic did so by transitioning to On-Line order with pick up. Well, the same can be done safely with your locks.

Find out some information about your On-Line Lock Dealer.

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Do they service the locks they sell?
  • Can they custom key your locks?
  • Are they Authorized to sell High Security Locks?
  • Can they design and manufacturer locks and security systems?
  • Do they have an On-Line site, so that you can order locks 24/7?
  • Do they have lock experts on staff that you can speak to?

Security On-Line

In these times the most important question would be the first question, “How long have they been in business”. A lot of people started web only businesses in the past year to take advantage of the Pandemic and lock downs that we had. Most have no idea what they are doing, they are just “Passing Through” product to you the end user.

This may be OK for some types of businesses, but it could mean disaster for you. Only choose locks from someone you trust to be there in the long term. If you call an On-Line Lock, if you can call them at all, can they answer complicated technical questions? There are a few Lock Specialty Companies that can. Locking Systems International is one.

Buying a pre-packaged padlock to secure your shed in the back yard would be OK to order from any On-Line lock dealer or ever a big box store. But if you are protecting something of value or even people like your family only trust a lock company that offers full service not just sales. We can help you with all you security needs.

Getting your locks and/or security from an On-Line dealer can be safe so long as you do your homework on that dealer. Call Us Locking Systems International or go to our On-Line Store LsiDepot.com.

Contract Lock Manufacturing

So, what is Contract Lock Manufacturing? The simple answer is where a customer has a lock manufacturer build a lock just for them.

It is a lot more complicated than the “Simple Answer”. It usually does not only involve the design of a new lock, but also a locking mechanism. A lot of the time an engineer designs a product for his/her company but fails to design an off the shelf lock into this new product. At this point it is often cheaper to get a manufacturer to design a lock and mechanism, rather than redesigning this new product again.

Most lock manufacturers must have commitment for a large number of locks or high dollar amount. At that point, a contract is usually made between the company and lock manufacturer, such as Locking Systems International. From here the engineering will begin which will end with design samples for fit and function. Then production samples will follow. When the company signs off on the new lock and or mechanism, production will begin.

How it gets from design to production is usually a long process and involves many details such as:

  • Agreement as to the quantity of locks and price.
  • Who pays for any tooling costs?
  • What is a reasonable quantity of design and production samples?
  • Material and security level of these new locks and/or mechanisms.
  • Is there any electronics involved in the new products?
  • Does the new lock and/or mechanisms need to communicate with the new product?
  • Delivery dates of this new lock.
  • Quality control throughout the process.

As you see this process is not an easy one. This is a reason why many large lock manufacturers will not go through this process unless the quantities are extremely large. However, there are many smaller lock manufacturers that specialize in “Contract Lock Manufacturing” One such company is Locking Systems International, they can design these locks and/or mechanism is the United States, then manufacturer in their factories is Asia. There still must be enough quantity to make the process worthwhile for all those involved. However, they can deal with lower quantities as their overhead is usually smaller.

If your company needs a custom solution to your locking and product security, you should first decide what type of locking mechanisms that you need, and the quantity needed. When you have a clear understanding of what you need then start to contact Locking Systems International.

Cabinet Locks

Cabinet Locks is a kind of a “Catch All” phrase for locks that lock up cabinets, desks, lockers, medical carts, drug cabinets, and rescue truck cabinets, just to name a few.  Now that you are thinking about cabinets, what type of locks will work?  There is a wide range from mechanical to push button to electronic locks.  All have their place depending on what you are securing and what type of access control you need.

Cabinet Lock

For your desk, a single bitted utility lock would work just fine; however, if you are locking up drugs in a hospital drug cabinet then you would want to use a high security lock or an electronic lock with access control.

Types of Cabinet Locks:

  • Single or double bitted
  • Tubular (uses round key-can be upgraded to a patented 7-sided key)
  • SFIC (small formatted removable core) provides security with quick rekeying capability
  • Mechanical high security (provides key control in a high security package)
  • Push button (can be mechanical or electronic with increased security as you step up to the electronic version)
  • Electronic (provides high security with access control-you control who has access into the cabinet and what times they have access)

Electronic Cabinet Locks

These are the main types of cabinet locks.  There are many variants of each type of lock with the price increasing as you go from mechanical to electronic.

Choosing the right type of lock depends on what you are securing, you wouldn’t want to lock up drugs with a simple utility lock.  The same holds true with electronic locks it would be overkill to lock up hand tools with electronic locks.

Let’s look at another type of cabinet which is used to lock up user keys.  These electronic cabinets provide security to protect keys for all types of applications and all types of items and products.  The cabinet itself is usually locked with electronic locks with biometric entry.  To open the door you have to put in your access code, and then scan your finger print or even your eye.  Once inside, the electronics will track what key you remove and for how long you have it.

If you are securing many cabinets, say in a hospital setting, then it is best you use a lock service center that can provide consulting services as well as helping with the lock selection and installation.  If you are only locking up a few cabinets then you should be able to purchase the locks and install them yourself.

Locking Systems International can help you choose the correct lock for your application. From Mechanical to Electronic we have your solutions.

2021 Security Check

It is that time of the new year. Your 2021 Security Check. In January of every year, I write Blog to help you think about your Home, Electronic and Personal Security. 2020 was a horrible year to say the least. The Virus has affected all of us in different ways. Working from home has dramatically increased. Computer, gaming, and social media has also increased. All of this increases our exposure to On-Line “Bad Actors”.

Here are Some Things to Consider:

Social Media:

I put this first due to all the bad information on social media that could cause you to do something that could cause harm. Do not believe “Anything” you read or see on social media until you confirm or verify this information with other independent sources. This is especially important with anything regarding the Virus or Vaccine.

Working from Home:

2021 Security Check

Locking Systems International

Working from home has dramatically increased this year, which is Wonderful, it kept people working and being paid. It has also created security problems. If you are working from home, keep your doors locked. Make sure that your Door Locks are in good working order. Contact Us if you need any help with your Locks. A few outdoor cameras would be a good investment in your personal security.

Your internet security should be reviewed. Make sure that you have changed the passwords on your modem and Wi-Fi router. As a reminder your password should consist of capital and small letters, numbers, and symbols. It should not contain any dictionary words and should be at least 12 characters in length. Invest in a good password manager, which is also capable of generating good passwords.

Video meetings have also greatly increased in 2020.

As with anything on the internet make sure that your video meeting software is secured with a good password. Also, you should know how to shut off audio and video on whatever computer you are using. You do not want someone taking control of your camera without your knowledge.

The computer you are using should have an updated Internet Security Program. A good one will be updated at least daily if not hourly. You should look at using a VPN program. You might already be using one to access your Companies servers and computers.

If you are using Wi-Fi, make sure that you control the routers passwords. This means that you have gained access to the router and changed the default password. Most router instructions or cable companies will tell you how to do this.

The most important thing is to stay safe; you already know how to do that.

Contact US if you need any help with Locks, Keys or Padlocks.

2021 Security Check

Locking Systems International

Benefits of Patented Locks

There are many benefits of Patented Locks, most if not all revolve around “Key Control” and physical security. Before we can talk about the benefits, we must answer the question, what makes a lock patented?

Patented Locks

Lock engineers design a lock that is different than others, this usually starts with the key and the keyway of the lock. They look for unique differences in this new design and what are the benefits. They also design physical security into this new lock. This could be the material the lock is made from or how the internal lock mechanisms work.

Once this process is completed then the lock manufacturer applies for a patent at the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). This process can take two years or longer and there is no guarantee that a patent will be issued. If a patent is issued, then the lock manufacturer can advertise the benefits of this lock as patented.

Patented Locks

Benefits of a patented lock depend on the points and features that were actually patented. Below are some of benefits of a patented lock:

  • Key Control is probably the most important benefit.  This is achieved by designing a key and keyway that is different and unique form anything else being sold.
  • Physical security, this could be construction material, anti-drilling protection on the face or front of the lock and the material of the inner components of the lock.
  • Some locks go through UL and if successful get an UL listing.
  • Environmental protection, some locks are designed and built to withstand, water intrusion, salt and cold temperatures.
  • Electronic Locks, these could have any of the above features and how they communicate with the electronic key and the App. The keyway would be different than a mechanical lock, buy could have unique features that are patentable.

As stated above of all the benefits of a patented locks the key and keyway are the most important.  As I have said in the past, “you must control the key to control the security”. This means that the key blanks must be controlled at the factory level. Usually this type of key needs special key cutting machines to cut them. These machines must be controlled also at the factory level.

The price of these locks is usually higher than off the shelf locks. I think that it is easy for you to see why a lot goes into developing a patented lock.

For additional information on our Patented Locks please contact us at Locking Systems International

Skimmers at Gas Pumps

Recently NBC News did a report on the increase of Gas Pump skimmers. According to this report they are showing up at more gas stations across the country. So what is a gas pump skimmer? This is a device that is placed inside the pump. It usually goes between the card reader and the rest of the pump. The access panel is unlocked, the card reader is unplugged and the skimmer is plugged into the reader with the remaining cable plugged into the other end of the skimmer.

So the question is how do the thieves get the gas pump panel key in the first place? The majority of pumps in the market place use an inexpensive lock. These locks have been in use for so long there is no longer any key control. This is changing very rapidly. Pump manufacturers are installing high security locks on their pumps. This will increase key control and help prevent thieves from opening the card reader panels. The keys that the thieves have will no longer work on these high security locks.

Many gas stations and convenience store chains are being pro-active by changing the locks on their current pumps, rather than waiting until they purchase new pumps.

So how does the consumer know if the pump is secured with the new high security locks? The average consumer doesn’t know. This can be helped by the gas station posting signs saying what they are doing to prevent skimming. Until then the consumer should be smart about where they purchase gas. Try using pumps that are well lighted and close to the attendant’s line of sight. If you don’t feel comfortable you could go inside and pay. Look at the pumps themselves; do any panels seem loose? Some stations put security seals across the panel. Are they there and not broken?

Medeco Cam Lock

You should also consider using a credit card rather than a debit card. If you use a debit card a thief can empty your bank account. Credit cards offer more protection, the major one being that they are not attached directly to your back accounts. I have written about using debit cards in the past, this is just another reason why I am not a big debit card fan.

It appears over the next few years gas pump security will increase quickly. Companies like Locking Systems International are helping both manufacturers and gas stations to secure their pumps as fast as possible.

For additional information and help choosing the right security for you, please contact us at: Locking Systems International.

Cam Locks—The Locks You Use Every Day

What are Cam Locks?  The fast and simple answer is a small lock that has a “Locking Cam” attached to the back.  These are the locks you use everyday. These locks come in a variety of sizes, shapes and configurations and prices from about $.80 for a small mechanical cam lock to $150.00 for an electronic cam lock.  Where have you seen or used a cam lock: tool boxes, mail boxes, vehicle glove compartments, vending machines, slot machines, desks, cabinets and lockers, to name a few.

Cam Locks

That’s a lot of information in a few sentences.  Let me explain this a little further.  The Locking Cam on the rear of the cam lock is usually made of steel and can be straight, offset or hook.  It can really have any design so that when the key is inserted into the lock and turned the locking cam will lock or unlock whatever it’s mounted on.

Below is a list of some popular cam lock styles:

  • Single Bitted – this is where the key is cut on one side
  • Double Bitted – this is where the key is cut on two sides
  • Tubular – this is where the key has a round or tubular design
  • High Security – these are cam locks manufactured by CobraLock, Abloy or Medeco and have a lock and key design that hold a U.S. patent
  • Electronic Cam Lock – the lock and key are electronic which provide a much higher level of security

Cam locks are very versatile.  They can be made out of many different types of materials and come in different configurations and sizes.  I will list some of these features below:

  • Can be made of steel, brass, zinc alloy and plastic
  • Come in sizes ranging from 3/8” to over 2” in length
  • Can be constructed so the lock core is removable
  • Can turn either left or right, either 90 or 180 degrees
  • Multiple diameters can be made (the standard is ¾”)
  • Can be keyed alike, keyed different or master keyed
  • Can be made in electronic versions
Cam Locks

As you can see, the cam lock is probably one of the most versatile locks ever made.  Over the years, the designs have changed and evolved, the materials have improved and the security has increased.  One thing has remained the same; all cam locks operate a locking cam: this is the definition of a cam lock.

 The Cam Lock really is the Lock you use every day. Find out more by going to LsiDepot.com.

Voice Activated Door Locks

We are all seeing more Voice Activated Door Locks bring advertised and being sold. By Voice Activated I mean they can be controlled by Amazon, Google or Apple devices. Such as “Alexa” unlocked the front door or “Hey Google” lock the front door. So how do these devices work?

The basic lock is remarkably similar to electronic locks, which I have discussed in past Blogs. The difference is that these locks have built in capabilities to communicate with voice activated controllers. They will usually communicate with either Bluetooth, WI-Fi or both. Bluetooth will be used to open or lock the lock; it will be controlled by your smart phone. Like all smart or electronic locks installation is particularly important. It must be installed so the mechanical action is exceptionally smooth and there is no binding. The motor inside these locks are not as strong as your hand as was the case in all mechanical locks.

These voice activated door locks can be set up to temporally allow someone in on a one-time basis, such as a cleaning service. They also have a tracking capability with history, so you can determine who entered your house and at what time. Great for making sure your teenagers come home on time!

For controlling the lock from your smart controller this will usually use WI-Fi. You could set up a routine where if you said goodnight “Alexa” a routine would start that shut off the lights, locked the doors and maybe give you a weather report. It is endless on what your routine could be. All of this controlled by your voice.

Controlled by your voice can also be a problem. So, if a burglar came to your front door and said “Hey Google” unlock the front door, would that door unlock? It is particularly important that for any device such as a thermostat, door lock, alarm system, etc. that they can only be controlled by your voice or the voices that you authorized. Another way would be to set up a secondary authentication like a security code that the smart controller would have to hear before activating. Most of these have the capability to learn voices and only respond to those voices.

Voice activated door locks are an evolving industry, as they get smarter, they will become more secure and will be able to more closely communicate with your smart controller. You will also see (AI) artificial intelligence play a bigger role in household security.

Contact us at Locking Systems International for additional information.  

Key Rings Provide Key Control

I have written blogs and articles in the past regarding Key Rings and what they can do to protect your keys. In this article I will explain how Key Rings can help you control your keys.

It doesn’t matter what type of lock you have, it can be the most secure lock money can buy, if you can’t control all your keys then you have no security. Control means that if you purchased 10 keys with your locks, can account for all of them? If you conduct an inventory can you put your hands and eyes on all ten keys. If not, then you have lost control of your keys and you must decide to either rekey these locks or replace them. Either of these options would be more expensive than the key rings below.

Lockable Key Rings:

Lockable Key Rings - Tamper Proof Key Rings

These generally have a lock on the end of the ring. This lock is usually a high security lock that provides its own key control. The flexible ring is constructed out of high grade flexible stainless steel. They are also available in solid rings. Both come in various sizes. Once keys are put on the ring it is locks and the keys remain there until the lock is opened again. If a key is broken, part of it remains on the ring for accountability.

Tamper Proof Key Rings:

These key rings are locked with a special tool, once locked they cannot be reopened again. The only way to take the keys off is to cut the ring. They are available in either solid or flexible key rings in multiple sizes. They both have a unique serial number to provide tracking and to attach to a person, which provides accountability and they are lighter and easier to carry.

Both key rings will provide the key control outlined above. It always amazes me how people and companies spend many hundreds of dollars on locks but forget the most important part the Key. The key rings mentioned above are more expensive than regular hardware store type rings, but ask yourself how important is your key control?

These types of key rings are only available from specialty lock distributors such as Locking Systems International. We can provide the correct type of key rings for your application. We also have the capability to properly make the locks for the lockable key rings.  

Security Check for 2020

It’s time for your Security Check the new year. In January every year I write a Blog to help you think about your Home, Electronic and Personal Security. In 2019 new advances in electronic locks and Alexa® and Google® Assistant trying to help us with our everyday lives.

Home Security:

Purchase Locks On-LineMake 2020 the year that you invest time and money in securing your home. Do all your doors have deadbolt locks? What about the door going from your garage into your house? ALL doors going into your house should have quality locks and you should know who has keys. You must maintain key control. Does your home have an alarm system? They have come down in price consider getting one installed this year.

Locks:

Security CheckDoor locks made big advancements in 2019. Most of these came in the way electronic locks communicate. Physically these locks should be up to the standards of at least a Grade 2 lock. The manufacturers have made it easier to set up and control electronic locks with your smart phone or through your smart assistant. It is now easier to control these locks from a distance through Wi-Fi. Later this year I will be writing a Blog detailing the new advancements in electronic lock technology.

Smart Assistants:

Security Check your Smart assistants like Alexa® and Google® Assistant are appearing in more devices, such as smart lights, speakers, thermostats, electronic locks, and automobiles. These are just a few, there are many more. I don’t think that this trend is going to stop. They are getting better at understanding humans and anticipating what us humans want. I believe that these advancements in smart assistants are good. They will spear head advancements in AI. We just have to make sure that we control and secure smart assistants. They mostly work through Wi-Fi, so make sure that your Wi-Fi is secure with a strong password. Make sure that your routers, modems and switches have been configured with strong passwords that you have provided. If you don’t want them listening for their wake command, you can always shut them off. They all have an on/off button.

Make sure that you all travel safe, especially if you go out of the United States. Always leave your itinerary with someone back home, along with copies of your passport and drivers license. Buy travel insurance that can help pay for any medical emergencies or emergency transport back home. And finally, be aware of where you are, if your gut tells you not to go somewhere, don’t go.

As usual if you require additional information your can get our contact information HERE.