Archive for Locks

Lever Lock — The Standard in Door Locks

The Lever Lock is now the standard lockset for commercial applications.  Knob locks were replaced with levers, hence the name, Lever locks.  These locks came about due to ADA regulations and laws.  They are now the only door locks used in commercial applications and are finding their way into residential applications.

This is activated by pushing or pulling down on the lever, this will release the latch and open the door.  They will accept many different types of lock cylinders such as; high security and SFIC lock cylinders.  The Lever lock has been upgraded many times over the years.  They are available in electronic, push button and biometric packages providing unlimited access control.

Lever Lock

The lever itself created many challenges for manufacturers such as the outside lever breaking due to excessive force.  When the door is locked the outside lever will not move, people were pushing down on the locked lever causing the lever or inside locking mechanism to break.  This problem was solved by redesigning the lock mechanism so that when locked, the outside lever will move down freely; however, the lock latch will not activate to open.  Most commercial lever locks are designed to ANSI Grade 1 standards, which is the highest.

Features of the Lever Lock:

  • Standard door lock for commercial applications
  • Available in mechanical, electronic, push button and biometric versions
  • Available in many different types of finishes
  • Meet ANSI Grade 1 and 2 specifications
  • Protection of the lever handle with OverDrive™ technology
  • ADA compliant

Lever Lock Functions Available:

  • Entry Lock Function
  • Privacy Function
  • Passage Function
  • Storeroom Function
  • Classroom and Intruder Classroom Function

In residential applications, lever locks are mostly used for interior doors such as bedrooms, bathrooms and closets.  Unlike commercial lever locks, the locks used in residential applications are designed with an eye toward design.  They are also available in more finishes than with commercial lever lock applications.

The next big thing for lever locks and locks in general could be RFID (radio-frequency identification) and Bluetooth technology.  These would operate very similar to the same technologies available in vehicles.  The key fob would be on your person, when you approached the door it would either unlock directly or it would wait would a secondary code to get inputted on a keypad on the lock or near it.  This is known as two step verification which is being used today for passwords on some financial web sites.

For additional information please contact us at: lsidepot.com

Credit Card vs Debit Card

This has been debated before Credit Card vs Debit Card there are pros and cons to both types. Let’s take a look at both cards, but before we do, a lot of what is in this article depends on your own self-control. If you can control your use of credit cards then what you read below applies. If you can’t control your use of credit cards or you think of credit cards as cash, then you should lean more towards debit cards in most purchases.

Credit Card vs Debit Card

I will start by asking what might be obvious to most: Did you ever wonder why when you open a new checking account the bank falls over itself giving you a debit card? That is because this card is tied directly to your checking account and in some cases you savings account also. The bank makes a large amount of money charging for overdraft protection and on overdraft fees just to name a couple.

When you try and get a credit card you must fill out a credit application and depending on your credit score the issuing bank or financial institution might send you a card. If they do a credit limit will be attached, which means you cannot charge over that credit amount. You will get a bill once a month that should be paid within the terms.

If you have a dispute with a merchant both types of cards offer a way to resolve that dispute. With the debit card the merchant usually already has your money. With a credit card many times the card company will freeze the amount in dispute until resolved. This means that the merchant does not have your money. Let’s say that you charge a vacation through a travel agent and that company goes bankrupt before your vacation begins. With a debit card the money is taken from your account almost immediately the bank might put your money back into your account, but it could take some time. With a credit card nothing is taken from your account.

In the case of your card number being stolen, you are protected with both types of cards, however in the case of a debit card it could be weeks before your money is put back into your account. With a credit card you simply don’t pay those charges.

As I said in the beginning of this blog if you can control your use of credit cards, then professionals would say that they offer you the best protection.

Contact us at Locking Systems International for ALL of your Security needs.

Custom Locks – Built To Your Specifications

When you purchase custom locks, you get the ability to determine the security level, decide if you want them keyed alike or keyed different and the number of keys you want cut.  Once all of the options are considered “Locking Systems International” assemblers will put your order together using OEM parts.  One of the most important advantages is that the keys will be registered to you, meaning that you will have the only keys to open your locks.  When you buy locks from big box stores the keys are very likely to repeat themselves.  This means that someone else will have the same keys that you do.

Custom Hasp Designed BY Locking Systems International

Benefits of Custom Locks:

  • Choose the exact number of locks needed
  • Do you want them keyed alike (one key opens all locks) or keyed different (each locks requires its own key to open)
  • How many total keys
  • Security level (this is directly related to price), the higher the security level the higher the price
  • Registered key and lock codes
  • Choose the finish of your door lock
  • Master keying options (Master keying is where each lock has its own key with the master keys being able to open all locks).  Master keying systems are usually registered.

The choice that you make is convenience over security.  It is very convenient to be able to walk into a big box store, choose your locks and leave and for some applications this is a very good choice.

Decision

The decision that you should make before you purchase a lock is “What are you trying to protect”.  If you need a padlock for a storage shed where you keep your lawn mower, then buying at a big box store would be acceptable. On the other hand, if you are buying a lock to put on the front door to your house then you should consider a custom lock; after all, you are protecting the most important thing you have, your family.

Custom locks give you choice and once you choose they are built to your specifications.

Contact Locking Systems International and we will explain how Custom Locks can save your money and are a better security option.

Battery Operated Door Locks

Yes, the title is correct.  You are probably asking yourself are these types of locks secure, what happens if the battery goes dead?  These are all good concerns, but consider this; if they can make cars that are completely battery operated, door locks should be easy and they are.  In this Blog I will discuss door locks which have battery operated electronics and use a touch pad.

Every Battery Operated Door lock must have mechanical components and this is very much the case in Battery electronic door locks.  Below are some of the features for the mechanical portion:

  • ANSI/BHMA grade 1or 2 certified lock
  • Weather resistant
  • Key override or at least some type of external secure override
  • ADA compliant door levers
  • Should fit into a standard door prep

The lock itself is usually controlled with a touch pad with numbers that look like the touch pad on a telephone.  This is where the user will enter their code to operate the mechanical portion of the lock.  Once the user code is entered and verified as a good code a solenoid or small motor is activated that moves a locking latch out of the way.  The user can now turn the knob or push the lever down to operate the lock.

There is usually one “Master User” that adds or deletes the other normal users.  There can be from 5-50 users depending on the manufacturer.  

Other features can include the following:

  • One time use code (used for service people)
  • Lockout Mode (can lockout a particular person or user code)
  • Passage Mode (allows passage from both the inside and outside)
  • 4-15 digit user code
  • Backlit keypad
  • Audible feedback when pushing a number on the keypad

There is a visual and audible warning when the batteries are getting low; batteries are standard 9 volt or AA type.  If the user ignores these warnings the batteries will eventually die, when that happens a key override is usually available.  The key override is built into the mechanical portion of the lock and it looks like any mechanical door lock.

These types of locks can be used in either a residential or commercial environment.  The grade 1 type locks will usually be used for commercial buildings and the grade 2 for residential.  For a better understanding of the differences between grade 1 and 2 you can search for a previous Blog that goes in detail: “Lock Grades and Functions”

For additional please visit us at Locking Systems International.

Transportation Locks – Securing Trailers and Containers

Transportation Locks are something that we don’t think about very often, maybe we should.  With terrorism high on everyone’s mind it is a different time then it was before 9-11.  Think about all the Tractor-Trailer (Semi-Trucks) that are on the road.  What are they hauling or what could they haul?  What about all the shipping containers that enter the U.S. through our ports?  Are they secure?  There are two ways to secure trailers and containers: one is by using security tags that are placed on the locking mechanisms and are tracked by serial number or RFID.  The other way is to use Cargo Locks and Locking Systems.  In this Blog I will discuss Transportation Locks.

Transportation Padlock
Hockey Puck Padlock

Types of Transportation Locks:

  • King Pin Lock: This lock secures the “King Pin” on the trailer.  Once placed on the King Pin, the trailer is not able to be hooked up to the tractor.  The tractor king pin is what connects the trailer to the tractor.
  • Glad Hand Lock: The “Glad Hand” is a coupling device that connects the air supply from the tractor to the trailer.  The Gland Hand Lock secures this device so that the trailer cannot be connected to the trailer.
  • Air Brake Lock: This lock connects to the dash board of the tractor securing the air brake switches.
  • Gear Down Lock: This lock secures the landing gear of the trailer preventing them from being cranked up into driving position.
  • Vertical Door Bars: These locks secure the rear doors of the trailer to prevent them from being opened.
  • Roll Up Locks: These locks secure the roll up doors that are found on some trailers.

Locks:

The above locking systems are only as good as the locks that go with them.  All of these devices have some cam lock or padlock.  These locks should be high security and patented.  This will provide both physical security and key control.  Padlocks from Big Box stores are not a high security lock as they don’t offer key control.  I have discussed key control in past blogs, briefly, if you can take your key to any store and have it duplicated you DO NOT have key control. Locking Systems Can help you choose the right lock.

There is more effort being placed on the security of Trailers and Containers.  New style locks have RFID built in.  Electronic locks are being deployed.  Tracking tags are getting additional electronic tracking capability.  GPS devices are being used.

No matter what is being used, the rear trailer door should be locked and the trailer should be secured from moving unless authorized.

For additional information please contact us at Locking Systems or at LsiDepot.

RV Security .. Your Mobile House

It seems that when we hook up our RV and head out for a week of camping we forget all of the things that keep us safe at our Sticks and Bricks homes and everyday lives. You have to remember that your RV is actually your mobile house. When you arrive at the campground and set it up you are in your house. Most of this “Security” is just common sense stuff that we practice every day.

  • Make sure that all your locks work properly including your storage locks
  • Lock the doors when leaving your RV
  • If you don’t feel comfortable when you arrive at the camp ground find another one
  • If your site doesn’t make you feel secure ask for another one
  • If you have a Motor Coach take your ignition keys when you leave or at least don’t leave them in the ignition
  • If you are towing a Travel Trailer or 5th Wheel keep your vehicle locked
  • If you are towing a small vehicle keep it locked

These are just some of the common sense stuff that if you practice your camping experience will be a much safer one.

Always keep a watch over your children, know where they are. Most campgrounds have pools or are near lakes or rivers. Never leave them alone near any body of water. Most of this is just stuff that we do every day; however, when we go camping we sometimes forget that all the rules that apply in our everyday lives should also apply when we are camping.

RV storage is also something that we should consider. If you store your RV at your house keep it locked. Instead of keeping a window open for air circulation keep a roof vent open. If you store your RV at a storage facility find one that is fenced and has some type of security gate. Security cameras would be a great plus. Again keep your doors and storage compartments locked and a roof vent open. Consider an alarm system with an internal video monitoring system. Many RV’s have sky lights, these are mode of plastic that can be easily cut open. You should go by and check your RV as often as possible.

Also consider changing your locks if possible. I am on my fourth RV and all of them use the same key for the storage compartments. This didn’t give me a great sense of security.

Always remember that your RV is your mobile house. If we can help please contact us at Locking Systems International

What is an SB Lock?

The answer is that an SB Lock (single bitted) is a cam lock available in five different lengths that is used in many different applications. I am going to expand on that definition giving you a clear picture on how versatile the SB lock really is.

SB Lock

The name SB Lock stands for “single bitted”. This is where the cuts on the key are only on one side of the key. They are very similar to a standard house key, only smaller. They are available in five different sizes from 3/8” to 1-1/2” in length. Many manufacturers make this type of lock using the standard 54G keyway. Some manufacturers call this lock a utility lock. They are typically used to lock cabinets, desks, tool boxes, utility cabinets and even paper towel dispensers found in rest rooms. These locks are considered low security.

SB Lock Features:

  • Inexpensive utility lock on standard 54G keyway
  • Constructed out of zinc die cast
  • Lock face could be zinc or stainless steel cap in chrome or black
  • Available in five lengths
  • Can be keyed alike, keyed different or master keyed

If these locks are purchased from Locking System International or our On-Line store LsiDepot, they can be keyed in lots of one to thousands. They are used in applications where the idea is to keep honest people out. These locks are easily defeated and should not be used where higher security is necessary.

SB locks internally use wafers instead of locking pins. These wafers are made out of brass and are designed from 0 to 7 which will correspond to the cuts on the key. For example; if wafers 1-3-5-3 are used then the key is also cut at 1-3-5-3. When both match the lock will operate.

SB Lock

SB locks from different manufacturers can be mixed and used together as long as they all are on the 54G keyway, which is the most common. Keys from one manufacturer should operate locks from another manufacturer. As a commodity type lock in many cases price is the deciding factor as to where to purchase these locks. Many are made in China where this type of lock have been made for years. The limiting factor in purchasing from China is the quantity. Tens of thousands of SB locks must be ordered at one time. Most manufacturers that use this type of lock purchase them from Companies like Locking Systems International where they can get them in any quantity and get them custom assembled.

Contact us at Locking Systems International for large quantities, for smaller quantities, you can purchase anytime at LsiDepot.com.

What Is The Hockey Puck Padlock

What type of padlock is the “Hockey Puck”?  As the name suggests it is shaped like a hockey puck.  It is 2-7/8” wide by 1-1/2” thick.  It has no visible shackle and is usually made of solid hardened steel.  It comes with many types of lock cylinders and security levels.  Most manufacturers stick to the basic size and construction materials, with the difference in the lock cylinders.  More on this later.

Hockey Puck PadlockA weak point in most padlocks is the shackle, which is the attacking point.  Some shackles are cut very easily with bolt cutters.  The Hockey Puck padlock was designed to combat this by not having a visible shackle to cut.  It has an internal shackle that is operated by the lock cylinder.  When the lock is opened it moves down and out, this moves the shackle to an open position.  When the lock cylinder is closed or locked the shackle moves to a locked position.  In this position the shackle will go through the holes of specially designed hasps.

Hockey Puck Padlocks

Hasps designed for this type of padlock usually shrouds the padlock so that it can’t get attacked on the sides or get “wrenched”.  These hasps are usually made of hardened steel and are designed for a specific application.

Hockey Puck Padlock Features:

  • Round padlock usually made of hardened solid steel
  • No visible shackle to cut
  • Many different types of lock cylinders
  • Steel shackle
  • Choice of security levels-dependent on the lock cylinder

Hockey PUCK PadlockAs I mentioned earlier in this article, the lock cylinder is the major difference between the designs of these padlocks.  Most of the hockey puck padlocks are physically secure and very difficult to attack.  The cylinder is the factor that makes the difference between the padlocks.  As in all types of locks the cylinder defines the security level.  To get a high security hockey puck padlock you should look for one that has a patented lock cylinder that provides key control.

Most of these padlocks come with a particular lock cylinder and it cannot be changed, so the security level can’t be changed.  There is a new style patented hockey puck padlock on the market that allows the end user to change the lock cylinder.  This is a unique design in that the end user can purchase a lock for a particular application at a particular security level, if the need arises to go to a higher security level, the end user can very easily change the lock cylinder. This Type of Hockey Puck Padlock is known as the “Universal PUCK Padlock”.

Go to LsiDepot to learn more about Hockey Puck Padlocks.

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