Archive for Padlocks

Cam Locks—The Lock 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.  Cam 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: toolboxes, mailboxes, vehicle glove compartments, vending machines, slot machines, desks, cabinets and lockers, to name a few.

SideWinder 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
Cobra 7 Cam Locks

As you can see, 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.

 Cam Locks are really the Lock you use every day. Locking Systems can help you choose the correct Cal Locks for your application.

RV Locks-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

I 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 RV 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 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 are systems 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.

The important thing is to come up with a 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.

I hope that this BLOG starts you thinking of security first instead of last.

If we can help you, please contact us at Locking Systems International.

Gas Pump Security Prevent Card Card Skimming

If you drive a vehicle your credit or debit card is at risk. Especially NOW!! As Gas prices increase, so does theft. What can you do and what are the gas pump operators and manufacturers doing to prevent and stop skimming? Credit Card Skimming is where the bad guys will put a device on the gas pump that will intercept your card number. I will go into where these skimmers are placed. Let’s start with what can you do to help prevent your card number from being stolen.

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

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

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

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

Many gas stations are requiring that you input the zip code that matches the credit card. When credit cards with a chip imbedded becomes mainstream many credit and debit card problems will go away. At Least until the Bas Actors find another way to steal your stuff!!

Lsidepot has Locks and devices designed to help prevent Credit Card Skimming.

The Cobra SideWinder Locks are Here!!

Cobra SideWinder High Security Locks have extreme picking resistance, limited key blank access and over 250 million key code combinations available. Each SideWinder lock has 14 combination locking plates each containing multiple anti picking grooves.

The 14 locking plates align with a sidebar to keep the inner cylinder engaged with the shell in the locked position. The SideWinder Symmetrical key that will work in either direction, making this a very user friendly lock.

ALL at an affordable price.

SideWinder High Security Cam Locks

Cobra SideWinder Locks

Cobra SideWinder High Security Cam Lock has extreme picking resistance, limited key blank access and over 250 million key code combinations available.

ALL SideWinder Locks have 14 combination locking plates each containing multiple anti picking grooves.

The 14 locking plates align with a sidebar to keep the inner cylinder engaged with the shell in the locked position.

The SideWinder Symmetrical key that will work in either direction, making this a very user friendly lock.

  • Comes in three sizes: 16mm(5/8″), 22mm(7/8″), 29mm(1-1/8″).
  • Over 250 Million Key Codes.
  • Anti-Drill Front Plate.
  • Symmetrical Key which will work in either direction.
  • Patented Protection.
  • Tightly controlled key blanks.
  • High Security at very Affordable Prices.

Cobra SideWinder PUCK Padlocks

Cobra SideWinder Locks

The Cobra Lock® Universal PUCK® With SideWinder Lock Cylinder padlock is made of Solid Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum and has no visible shackle.

It comes with the Cobra HIGH SECURITY Patented High Security Lock Cylinder. High Security at Very Affordable Prices!

  • Available is Solid Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminum Body’s.
  • This Padlock is protected by a U.S. Patent.
  • Shackle is not visible, therefore cannot be cut.
  • Comes standard with the Cobra SideWinder HIGH SECURITY Lock Cylinder  (High Security and Patented Lock Cylinder).

Cobra SideWinder Vending Locks

Cobra SideWinder Locks

Cobra SideWinder High Security Cam Lock has extreme picking resistance, limited key blank access and over 250 million key code combinations available.

Each SideWinder lock has 14 combination locking plates each containing multiple anti picking grooves. The 14 locking plates align with a sidebar to keep the inner cylinder engaged with the shell in the locked position.

The SideWinder Symmetrical key that will work in either direction, making this a very user friendly lock.

  • Available with or without Dust Cover.
  • Over 250 Million Key Codes.
  • Anti-Drill Front Plate.
  • Symmetricial Key which will work in either direction.
  • Patented Protection.
  • Tightly controlled key blanks.
  • High Security at very Affordable Prices.

For additional information on our NEW SideWinder Locks please click HERE.

The “Hockey Puck” Padlock

What is the “Hockey Puck Padlock”?  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 Padlock

A weak point in 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.

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.

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 Padlock

As 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 new Lock was designed and manufactured by Locking Systems International. 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.

Contact Locking Systems International for additional and help.

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.

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

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.  

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.