Archive for Door Locks

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”.

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

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.

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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

RV Lock-How Many People Have Your Keys

You just purchased your new RV, Motor Home, Fifth Wheel or Camper Trailer; you take it home, put all your stuff in it and start off on your first trip.  Now let’s consider the one thing that people forget: the RV locks.  All RV’s have an entry door and storage compartments, the bigger the RV the more storage compartments. Now for the problem and how I discovered it.

RV Locks for your RVI recently went looking at motor homes.  As the salesman walked us through the lot, we walked in and out of new and used motor homes.  We opened the storage compartments and the front entry doors.  Somewhere in this process I realized that the salesman was using one key to open all the entry doors and another key to open all the storage compartments.  He carried no more than a half dozen keys.

After some research I discovered that most RV manufacturers buy their locks from just a few lock manufacturers that specialize in RV locks and locks mechanisms.  So, what should you do to make sure that your “House on Wheels” is secure?  The first and most important thing is to get the front entry door changed or call a locksmith and get it rekeyed.  Next, come up with systems to secure the storage compartments.  There could be 10 or more storage doors on some RV’s all having a RV lock.  That’s why I said earlier to come up with a system so you don’t have to carry around a dozen or more keys.

Below is a RV Lock system that you might consider.

  • Master Key the storage doors. This is where all the doors will have a separate key, but there will be one Master Key that opens all the doors.
  • Master Key the left side of the RV and the right side with different master key systems. In this case you will have to carry only two keys.
  • Keyed Alike: With this system you can have all the locks open with the same key or you can group doors, such as the left side opens with one key the right side with the other.
Cobra7 RV Lock

Cobra-7 Tubular Lock

The important thing is to come up with a RV Lock system.  I would prefer the Master Key System, this way when you take the RV in for service you could leave the keys for the storage doors that have serviceable items and keep the other securely locked.

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Medeco Locks

The Medeco Lock Company is a member of the ASSA-Abloy Security Group, a global lock and security Company. Founded in 1968, Medeco manufactures high security locks at its U.S. manufacturing facility in Salem, Virginia. Medeco makes locks such as cam locks, padlocks and door locks, sold into wholesale and retail markets.

Medeco M3 Vending Lock with KeySo what makes Medeco Locks High Security? There are a number of reasons, but the most important are their keys and keyways which are patented in the United States and Worldwide. This patented protection controls the keys. They also use different keyways in different industries, this keeps their industrial and door locks separated. Medeco uses Locking Systems International an Authorized Service Center to help them control keys and lock codes in their industrial business.

Medeco Locks are designed so that when the key is inserted into the lock it lifts and rotates the pins which line up to a shear line and sidebar. The pins on the sidebar will then line up and enter the holes in the pins allowing the lock to open. The pins are not evenly spaced which makes picking extremely difficult. This design is known as their Biaxial® Keyway. They were able to carry this concept throughout all of their lock lines, allowing for integrated locks. For example, a key for a door lock could also be used for padlocks or even cam locks. This design also greatly expanded their master keying capability.

In 2003, Medeco came out with a new design, the Medeco3 or M3. This added a new dimension called the slider. This slider must be positioned properly by the key for the lock to open. This added a third locking point and also allowed for the keys to be thicker and therefor a lot stronger. Also, this slider allows for an even larger master system by the position of the slider notch on the key.

Medeco inserts hardened roll pins in the face of their locks to increase drill resistance. Each of their locks are designed using quality materials to provide for the highest level of physical security. Most of their locks are UL listed.

Medeco XT High Security LockMedeco has recently expanded into electronic locks across their cam lock, padlock and door lock lines. They are using their NexGen design for cam locks, padlocks and SFIC locks. Their door locks are using a few different designs, the most versatile being the M3-CLIC. This allows for mechanical and electronic locks to be used in the same system using the same key to open both.

For additional Information please contact us at Locking Systems International.

Environmental Padlocks—What are They?

Environmental Padlocks are highly resistant to the environment such as rain, snow, salt, moisture and freezing.  There are many manufacturers that claim their padlocks are resistant to the environment; they even have test results to back up their claims.  To find out if a padlock is truly resistant to the environment you must look into the inner workings of the lock.

Abloy Environmental PadlocksThings to consider when purchasing environmental padlocks:

  • Is the outside finish of the padlock resistant to water, salt and moisture?
  • Is the lock rust resistant?
  • How does the inside of the padlock function?
  • Is the inside of the lock resistant to extreme environmental conditions?
  • Has independent testing been done on the complete padlock?

Abloy environmental padlocksThe above only relates to the environmental protection of the padlock, other items to consider are:

  • Is this a high security padlock?
  • Can it be keyed alike or keyed different?
  • Can it be master keyed?
  • Is the padlock able to be rekeyed?
  • Is there patent protection of the padlock and the key?
  • Is key control offered?

In my opinion and the opinion of many security experts, the Abloy line of environmental padlocks is one of the only lock manufacturers that can offer all of the above.  They have a very unique internal locking system that uses rotating discs instead of the pins and springs that most other manufacturers use.  These locking pins are held into position by the springs, when the key is inserted it moves the pins in or out of very small holes in the lock.  Severe environmental conditions can cause the springs to corrode and can cause debris to collect in the holes, all of this will cause the padlock to malfunction.  The Abloy padlock avoids this by not using pins and springs, instead when a key is inserted into the lock and turned; it rotates the inner disc to the proper position to open the padlock.  There are no small holes for debris to collect, no springs to corrode.

Abloy PadlocksWhere are environmental padlocks used?

  • Marine applications such as boats, docks, etc.
  • Applications near the ocean (protection from salt, air and spray)
  • Transportation such as trucks, shipping containers, railroad, etc.
  • Military applications
  • Gates and any outside applications

When buying a padlock for an outside location, the information above should help you decide the type of padlock that you need.  When purchasing any lock, the first thing that you should consider is how and where the lock is going to be used. Contact Locking Systems anytime for help is selection the right padlock for your needs.

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