If you have been in the market for new locks, you have probably heard or seen the words “High Security Locks“. But what do those words mean to you when you are trying to decide on which lock is best for you? To help you better understand what constitutes a high security lock, the Underwriters Laboratories or UL, have put in place clear guidelines for consumers.
The Underwriters Laboratory was founded in 1894 and is an independent, nonprofit product testing organization. A UL listing based on UL standard 437 is a good indicator that a lock qualifies as a high security lock. Any lock that qualifies for the UL standard will have a UL symbol on the lock itself or the packaging of the lock. It is important to note that UL listed locks can, in some cases, still be defeated. In order for a lock to qualify as a UL listed high security lock it must pass a series of tests. UL approved locks must have the following characteristics:
- All working parts of the mechanism must be constructed of brass, bronze, Steel, or equivelent corrosion resistant materials or have a protective finish complying with UL’s Salt Spray Corrosion test.
- The lock must have a minimum of 1000 key change options.
- The lock must operate as intended during 10,000 complete cycles of operation at a rate not exceeding 50 cycles per minute.
- The lock must not open or be compromised as a result of attack tests using hammers, chisels, screwdrivers, pliers, hand held electric drills, saws, puller mechanisms, key impressioning tools and lock picking tools.
The attack tests done by the Underwriters Laboratory includes ten minutes of picking, ten minutes of key impressioning, five minutes of sawing, five minutes of pulling, 5 minutes of prying and five minutes of driving. UL does not test locks for bump key resistance. In most cases, high security lock manufacturers use patented keys. The most secure locks also provide a high level of key control. The harder it is for an unauthorized person to have a copy of the key made, the more security that lock provides. High security lock designations dont apply to just the mechanical locks we have discussed above.
Today manufacturers produce a number of other locks that are considered high security locks. Electromagnetic locks, digital access locks, finger print and biometric locks can all be considered high security locks and as technology evolves, so do the options available to the consumer.
Whether you are looking to secure your home, business or office there is a wide array of products to serve your needs. It is important to consider the level of security required and what the potential threats are when deciding on the right high security locks for you. Is your home in a high crime area? Are you securing a business that is mandated by law to have certain security features? Do you have employees who will need keys or passcodes. Will you need to change those keys or passcodes often? You may also want to consider the type of door you plan to put your high security lock on. Is it glass, metal or wood? This will help to eliminate some of the options. Keep in mind that along with the higher security comes a higher price as well. Something to consider is how many doors you have that require high security locks.
Once you have considered all your particular security needs, you will have a better idea of what type of high security lock will work best for you. It is also helpful to have a reputable locksmith you know and trust. Your locksmith can answer any questions you may have, order and install your high security locks and will be there to troubleshoot any problems you may encounter with your new locks down the road.
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Stay safe Citrus county!