For a while now, there has been a big hype about high-security locks, and there still is. The thing is, people are still trying to get passed them. While humans have creative minds coming up with ways to make it more difficult for intruders to get passed locks, there are still other creative minds coming up with ways to get passed them.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still many benefits to using high-security locks versus those standard ones you buy at Walmart or Target. A good rule of thumb is if you go for the cheapest lock possible, you are also buying that amount of security.
How much security do you actually get for a $20 lock? Is $20 even worth so little security? Probably not!
So how much are you willing to pay for your security? Well, security is just as much needed as food and water these days. You eat food to live, and drink water to live. If you have little or no security – well, how does that really help with preserving your life, your family, and your employees? It is very important that you take into consideration of your priorities.
So ultimately, what are your priorities? There are a few things that you, as the customer, should know when it comes to purchasing locks.
Things such as key control, durability, reliability, dependability, and your responsibility as the key user. Before we get into these, you must know why you should buy a high-security lock versus a standard lock.
Key control is critical, so what is key control? Well, if you were to look in a dictionary for locksmiths, it would say:
- Any method or procedure which limits the unauthorized acquisition of a key and/or controls the distribution of authorized keys;
- A systematic organization of keys and key records.
Key control is critical because if you ever lose that control, your security is at risk. Whether you are in charge of who has a key into your facility or your home, key control is essential for you to prioritize.
There are a few ways that you can lose key control. If you leave your keys somewhere public, and someone could easily take a picture to make a fake key – you’ve lost key control. If your employee gives her key to her boyfriend so he can get inside or if you lose your keys – you have lost it.
There are a few manufacturers of high-security locks that have different patents on their keys. Meaning the keys will most likely have further restrictions. Restrictions like keys assigned to a geographic area (e.g., restricted keys for different countries). It may be useful for you to know that most high-security companies have world patents for their products – adding a lot more security for key users. This is a form of key control.
As far as I have seen, high-security locks/keys have a patent on them. But what is patented on the key? Is the key or cylinder patented? Maybe both are patented.
Why does this make a difference? Well, if the cylinder is patented while the key is not, this makes it very easy for someone to fabricate your key and gain access. Even the most minor details such as these that you may not have known can affect your key control.
Keys for high-security locks are larger, thicker, and much more durable than standard keys. So you are less likely to break your key. The durability of these keys goes hand in hand with key control as well.
Durable locks are needed as much as durable keys. High-security locks are made to withstand physical attacks and other picking methods. What good is a lock if it’s not resistant to Mother Nature? High-security locks are much more resistant to weather and corrosion than your standard lock.
Reliability and Dependability
If you’re having problems picking out a high-security lock, knowing how to weed out the good potential locks from the others is a great start. How do you determine whether a manufacturer is reliable and dependable?
Well, that’s pretty simple. Look for manufacturers that produce high-security locks as their main product line.
Why? Just think, if a high-security lock is their main product, this means that they highly concentrate their resources on producing a high-quality product. If you are looking at a manufacturer that produces high-security locks as an extended product line to their standard lock, do you think they have put most of their resources into making the product? The answer is, probably not.
If you have a few candidates for a high-security lock, you could always ask your locksmith. Which one do they personally prefer? Ask for the printed guarantee. Do not make the purchase if you are not comfortable with your decision. If you are willing to spend a good little chunk of money on a high-security lock, it should be on one that you feel you can rely and depend on.
Key User Responsibility
As the key user, you do have a responsibility for your security. The lock cannot do it all by itself. It’s a good idea to keep the contact information on hand for the locksmith that installed your lockset.
You should keep him informed if your lock starts behaving differently. Is your key hard to turn? Is the cylinder loose? Does the knob or lever keep falling off? Maybe your door is hard to pull open. Is the door slamming shut when closing? Or have you noticed that lock or door parts are missing?
These are the kinds of things that could happen that you would need to contact your locksmith for.
If your key broke, got bent or twisted – it is advised that you do not operate your lock. If you use your dysfunctional key you can cause damage to the cylinder in the lock. You may even jam the key into the lock, or the key may break off in the cylinder. If you have somehow lost key control, it is your responsibility to take action. If you or an employee lost a key, a cheap, effective way to gain key control again is to simply have your locks rekeyed and assign new keys to anyone that needs access to that door.
For businesses and corporations, there tend to be different levels of security. If a single key goes missing, it is not a very big job to rekey and make new keys. However, if a master key goes missing, that means that all the lock cylinders that go to the master key will need to be rekeyed, and a new master key will be made along with single keys for all the employees.
Hopefully, this article is of help to you to understand the importance of buying a high-security lock and maintaining the security it provides. There are other things to consider, but this article gives you a good base to start from – and now you can begin your real search for the perfect high-security lock that suits your needs.