Archive for Door 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.

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.  

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

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.

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.

 

Commercial Locks

Generally speaking Commercial Locks are purchased from service centers such as Locking Systems International. This is because of the higher cost of the locks, the additional keying requirements Commercial Locks Made in the USAthat might be needed and installation services. Now that you know where to get them what is the difference between residential and commercial locks?

  • Commercial locks are ANSI Grade 1 or 2
  • They are heavier duty made with commercial grade parts
  • They typically will have a higher number of master keying capabilities
  • They are designed to fit a larger range of doors with different thicknesses
  • They can interact and work with electronic door locks
  • Upgraded finishes with increased colors

Commercial LocksTo better understand this I am going to explain in a little more detail what the ANSI/BHMA grades are. First ANSI stands for American National Standards Institute, BHMA is (Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association). The three grades are the same for both. Here are some of the differences between grades:

  • Cycles-Grade 1=1,000,000, Grade 2=800,000 and Grade 3=800,000
  • Latchbolt Projection-Grade 1=3/4 inch, Grade 2=1/2 inch and Grade 3=1/2 inch
  • Impact Test-Grade 1=10 blows, Grade 2=5 blows and Grade 3=2 blows

These are just some of the differences there is almost a dozen that grade sawing resistance, different impact tests, force to latch door and others. The important thing to remember is that all locks are not created equal.

Commercial Locks

Medeco High Security

You will also find more high security lock cylinders used in commercial applications. Most of these lock cylinders will be protected by U.S. patents. This usually means that the cylinder is built to very high standards and they have very high key control.  Keys are registered to a particular company and identification is needed to cut additional keys. Key blanks are available at authorized service centers such as Locking Systems International.

The master keying abilities are also increased with the ability to have multiple levels of a master system. For example each floor of a commercial building could have its own master key with all the doors on that floor keyed different. The master key will open all the doors on that floor. There could be a grand master key that will open all the doors on every floor in the building.

Locks for commercial applications should be grade 1 or at least a higher quality grade 2. These will stand up to the repeated use in commercial buildings and businesses. It is also important to choose the right service center, Locking Systems understands commercial locks and locking systems.

For additional information contact Locking Systems or go to LsiDepot.com.

LsiDepot.com

Wi-Fi Door Locks And Much More

Wi-Fi door locks can be controlled by the internet.  That statement is true but there is so much more.  In this article I will explain what Wi-Fi door locks are and I will touch on other items in your house that can be controlled giving you a complete Wi-Fi house.

Wi-Fo Door Locks

The mechanical part of the lock must be made of high quality materials and should meet standard ANSI lock specifications.  Most of these locks will be battery operated and may have a key override or at least some other way to gain entry in case of battery failure.  You may see push buttons on the front of the lock which is becoming a standard feature. Many Wi-Fi Door Locks look like regular door locks and the mechanical part of the locks will operate the same.

The lock has a small computer and Wi-Fi chip that will communicate through your house Wi-Fi.  The setup is usually done through a laptop, tablet or desktop computer.  Entry codes are set up so that everyone in the house has their own code.  Temporary codes can also be issued, for example, to service people, a friend or relative.  They can be set up to expire in a certain amount of time.  Reporting and logging the entry and exits are also available.  It can log the time, date and what person opened the door.  If you are not home you can still communicate Electronic Push Button Lockswith the lock through its Wi-Fi connection.  For example, someone you know might need to get into your house and you are not there.  They will call you on your cell; you will then send a temporary code to the lock.  The person at the front door will enter that code and gain entry.

There many items in your home that can be controlled via Wi-Fi and more are coming, here are a few examples:

  • Thermostat-the temperature in your home can be remotely controlled just like the lock
  • Camera- commercial cameras have been able to be remotely controlled for years, now they are coming to the residential market
  • Plugs-when you are able to control a plug remotely then you can control anything that is plugged into it
  • TV’s, music, curtains, water leak sensors, refrigerators, and much more

We are very quickly approaching the point where we will have the “Connected House”.  Years ago the first home automation technology was called x10, it is still around today, however it is being replaced by Wi-Fi technology and in some cases a combination of x10 and Wi-Fi.

For additional information please contact us.

Custom Locks — Built To Your Specifications

Before I explain the benefits of Custom Locks, let me explain the difference between custom locks and standard “Off the Shelf Locks”.  When you walk into a big box hardware store and purchase a door lock or padlock, those are standard locks.  When you contact a lock “Service Center like Locking Systems International, you get the opportunity to have the locks assembled to your exact specifications, these are custom locks.

Changeable Cabinet Locks-Patented Key ControlWhen 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 “Our Assemblers” will put your order together using lock parts.  One of the most important advantages is that we will registered the keys 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 repeated.  This means that someone else will have the same keys that you do.

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 the 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.

Custom LocksThe 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.

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 that  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 us at Locking Systems or LsiDepot for more information on Custom Locks.

Home Automation – How Much Is Too Much?

Is it home automation or home invasion?  Before this became popular, home automation was done by a few companies that specialized in it or it was a DIY for the home owner.  In either case the home owner owned and controlled the system.

home automationToday everyone wants to get into home automation, your phone and cable company, cell phone provider, alarm system company and many others.  They all offer the same services: the ability to control things in your home through your smartphone or tablet.

I recently saw a TV commercial from my cable company showing how you could control or monitor things like your heat or air conditioner, an open door or window, garage door, what about the water, do you have a water leak in your laundry room, how about your hot water heater is it leaking, these are just a few thing that can be monitored.  What the commercial failed to say was that to monitor just the above items, all your windows and doors will have to be wired, sensors will have to be installed on your water heater and in your laundry room, you will have to get new thermostats and new fixtures for your sinks, showers and tubs.

So let’s say that you wanted this and had all the modifications made to your home, great, now you can control and monitor all those things from anywhere in the world.  I hope that this gives you peace of mind, but…let’s look at the dark side.

Whoever is providing the monitoring service for you will know what time you leave the house and what time you return.  How long did you stay in the shower this morning, what is your air or heat set to, how many times you do laundry, and how much electric do you use.  I think that you can see that for everything you have monitored that data will be stored somewhere and if it is stored it can be accessed…think NSA.

Now let’s talk about your cell phone or tablet that controls all of this home automation, are they secured, do you have internet security software installed and updated, do you have a plan ready in case you lose one.  What will you do if a bad guy steals your cell phone and now has the keys to your kingdom?

I am not saying that home automation is a bad thing, but sometimes we can take things too far too fast.  Slow down and think about what you really want.

For more information visit LockingSystems.com.

What is Key Control — What Does Key Control Mean to You?

In some of the past articles that I have written you have seen me mention Key Control.  What is this and why is it important to you?  We must discuss Key Control in the context of lock security Lockable Key Rings-Provides Key Controlas they go together.  So, if you have your key in your hand you have control of your key and therefore you have Key Control right?  No that’s wrong.

Physical control is only one part of Key Control, there are many others such as:

  • Is the key protected by a U.S. Patent?
  • Do you know how many keys were cut?
  • Do you know where all your keys are?
  • Can you have more keys made—if so, where?

These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself.  Let me give a practical example that drives home the Key Control point.

Let’s say that you keep your house key attached to your car key ring, or maybe you keep your house key in the glove compartment of your car.  If you valet park your car or maybe take it in for repair, you turn your keys over to someone.  There is the possibility that someone can take your house key, walk into any Big Box Store and get the key duplicated.  When you get your car back all your keys are right where you left them.  The problem is that now someone has a copy of your key and they know where you live.  Sounds bad—it is!

Super48 Key-Bak Key Reel-Provides Key Control

Retractable Key Rings

Try this test, take your house key and walk into any Big Box Store.  Ask them to make you another key.  They will take your key and duplicate it.  No questions asked.  Look at all the key blanks they have that match the profile of many keys.

So how do you protect yourself?

  • Make sure the lock and key that you purchase are protected by a U.S. Patent. Yes, this will cost more to purchase but how much is your family’s safety worth.
  • Purchase your new lock and key from someone that will register your key codes to you.
  • You should not find these key blanks at Big Box Stores.
  • You will have to show identification before having additional keys cut.
  • Account for all your keys, if 5 keys were originally cut you should know where all 5 are and who has them.

Changeable Cabinet Locks-Patented Key ControlWas this Blog meant to scare you?  Yes it was.  It was also written to make you aware that all locks and keys are not created equal.  Any security professional will tell you that “Key Control” is one of the most important parts of the security of the lock.

So now that you know what Key Control is, what are you going to do about it?  Call us at 800.657.LOCK (5625) or www.LsiDepot.com.