How To Know Types of Building Security Lock Systems

Gone are the days when we could leave the front door unlocked. A simple bolt and nut lock is not anymore applicable. Having security lock systems is an assurance that we can be safe in the office or at home. It’s not like being judgmental or suspicious of your neighbors, but more like being protective of one’s property, family and life. Like they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Locks have evolved from being opened by a simple rotation of a key, to being unlocked by dialing/punching combinations or swiping key cards. The following are different types of security lock systems used in buildings:

  1. Cam lock – Invented by 1985 Volker Guelck, a cam lock is the simplest and the most common type of lock used in doors, safety boxes, lockers, drawers and cabinets. It is composed of a cam (a metal plate that is fastened to the base of the locking device) that rotates upon the insertion and turning of the key.
  2. Combination lock – The modern combination lock is based on a letter-lock that was created by an unknown inventor in England during the 17th century. The name itself implies that this lock uses a combination of symbols or numbers to be unlocked, making it the first keyless lock. The majority of combination locks consist of a rotating dial, that can be turned clockwise or counterclockwise, to select certain numbers or symbols in sequence. It aligns the disk tumblers inside, therefore unlocking the mechanism. Distributors offer more burglarproof vaults and safes by merging the power of combination lock with electronic lock.
  3. Cylinder lock – It’s called a cylinder lock because the main part is the cylinder. Upon insertion of the key, the cylinder rotates, and then the attached cam is turned. Twisting the key in one direction allows the cam to pull in the bolt, and releases the lock from the doorframe. Twisting it in another direction allows the cam to release the bolt, the spring snaps into place and so the lock is secured.
  4. Deadbolt lock – It works almost the same as the cylinder lock, but (from the name itself, “dead”) this one does not have a spring that snaps into place and secures the lock. The door is locked to (or released from) the doorframe manually by key or a thumb turn from the inside. Since there is no spring, this lock is hard to pick, making it the best choice in locks.
  5. Tumbler lock – This lock uses tumblers that occupy a slot in the bolt and prevent the bolt from moving. Only a specially notched key can lift the tumblers from the slot, allowing the bolt to move.
  6. Electronic lock – Another keyless lock, the electronic lock is powered by electric current. Some are attached directly on the lock while some are connected to an access control system. Compared to stand-alone, electronic locks, which are attached to an access control system, can trace unsuccessful attempts due to transaction log ins.
  7. Mortise lock – A mortise lock is composed of a flat, rectangular box that is inserted into a cavity or pocket in the door from its edge. Found in older buildings, this type of lock is seldom used because it’s hard to install, unless you are a professional. In spite of that, mortise lock is making its way again in the upscale residential construction in the United States.
  8. Child-safety lock – This type plays the role of cabinet lock, preventing children from accessing things inside the cabinet that can be harmful to them. Being naturally curious, they tend to open anything within their reach. This cabinet lock also protects a cabinet-full of pet food from pets, ensuring that the beloved animal keeps within its dietary limits. It is also used for drawers and bottles to keep pills and other dangerous stuff untouched.

Through the years, even the simplest security lock has evolved and combined with other types to ensure safety. Lock distributors now supply a variety of locks that range from simple to complex, and from dull to artistic. 


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