Locks and bolts are reliable and simple security systems that can be easily installed in homes and in commercial establishments. These systems have been used for thousands of years since the early beginnings of human civilization.
Modern-day security threats, however, have become increasingly sophisticated. Some thieves are highly skilled in opening locks of various forms, including combination type locks. This is why high-tech security systems are necessary for homes and business establishments for better security and protection.
History of the lock and key system
The most ancient lock and the key device were discovered in an archaeological site in Nineveh, the capital of the ancient Assyrian Empire. The Egyptians developed a wooden pin lock device that had the basic mechanisms of modern pin and tumbler metal locks.
The Egyptian pin lock system had a bolt and door fixture, which could be opened using a customized key. The pins within the lock were lifted out drilled holes within the bolt when the key was inserted. This allowed the bolt to move while the key was inserted.
Meanwhile, the oldest type of lock device in Europe is the warded lock. It was the most common lock design in Europe from the Early Medieval to Renaissance period. Purely metal locks were developed in Europe from around the year 870 to year 900. English craftsmen were credited for developing these locks.
Robert Barron perfected the design of the lever tumbler lock in 1778. The lock had a set of lever mechanisms that prevented the movement of the bolt if the key was not inserted. The double-acting lever mechanism required the lever to be lifted to a specific height by a key specifically customized for the lock.
Jeremiah Chubb made significant improvements on the lever tumbler lock starting in 1818. He designed locks that had multiple levers that needed to be precisely aligned to allow the bolt to move. Later designs involved spring-loaded pins that also prevented the bolt from moving. The keyless combination lock is a modification of this design.
High-tech modern locks
Classic lock designs are still used today with some modifications.
Many types of high-tech modern locks are actually a result of the convergence among the mechanical, electronic and digital types. The basic lock and bolt design are maintained but some electronic and digital components have been added. For instance, some high-tech locks require biometric keys like fingerprints to be opened.
High-tech locks can range from small padlocks to complex vault locks or blast door locks. The key components are modified to have multiple authentication requirements. These are also programmable and customizable depending on the user.
One of the simplest forms of electronic lock system is the PIN number system that requires the user to enter a pre-programmed PIN on a keypad. This system is also oftentimes integrated with an alarm system that will be triggered if the PIN is entered incorrectly in three successive attempts.
Electronic locks and alarm systems may also be connected to a phone line that can alert the local police. You may also be alerted via your mobile devices through SMS or the internet.
Here are some of the reasons why you should choose electronic and digital lock systems:
1. Added layers of protection
Using digital lock systems will provide your house or establishment additional protection.
Unlike ordinary mechanical locks that can be opened by skilled lock pickers using simple DIY tools, electronic or digital locks are more sophisticated. They require higher skills and more sophisticated instruments to hack.
If the electronic lock system has an alarm, it would provide another layer of protection that could deter would-be thieves.
A simple 4-digit PIN-enabled lock system has thousands of permutations/combinations, 10,000 possibilities to be exact. Most systems are programmed to allow only a maximum of three attempts before the alarm is activated.
2. Convenience of use
Simple mechanical locks need exact key configurations to be opened. The key to a lock needs to be duplicated to allow other members of a family or an establishment to have access. So if you have multiple doors in your house or workplace, you will need multiple keys and multiple duplicates.
Electronic lock systems may only need one master PIN code that can be memorized by authorized persons. On the other hand, the individual fingerprints of authorized persons can be used as keys. Biometric keys are more convenient than physical keys which can be easily duplicated or lost.
3. Flexibility of access
PIN codes, passwords, and biometric parameters can be programmed into the digital lock and key systems. Multiple users can be granted access without needing to bring physical keys. On the other hand, electronic key cards may also be required for employees to serve as their IDs and monitor their attendance.
Digital lock systems may also be programmed to provide multi-tiered security authorization. For instance, some employees of a bank may only have limited access to the bank vault.
4. Easy integration with other systems
You may easily integrate a digital lock and key system with existing systems. In many instances, you do not even need to remove the standard mechanical locks. Alarms, biometric sensors, cameras, apps, and mobile devices can be connected to electronic or digital locks.
It would be possible to remotely lock or unlock doors using your mobile device even if you are hundreds of kilometers away. Depending on your security provider, you may use a special app for this purpose. This way, you can allow guests to enter your house or establishment even if you have not yet arrived. You may simply need to enter the necessary PIN codes via your mobile smartphone.
5. Long-term cost-effectiveness
Considering the various features and benefits of using an electronic lock and key systems, you will be able to save money in the long run.
One common problem with the purely mechanical lock and key system is losing the key. This can be avoided by eliminating the need for physical keys. You will not need to have multiple duplicates of keys for various rooms in a house or work establishment.
The advantages of using an electronic lock and key system truly outweigh those of older lock and key versions and types. Hence, it is the better choice when it comes to ensuring the safety and security of your home and/or business establishment.