For nearly as long as human beings have had the concept of ownership, they have been trying to protect what they owned from other people. Thanks to necessity, wooden and metal locks have existed throughout history, and today, there is such a wide variety of lock types that it can be daunting to choose the right one.
Where to Start
Whether the goal is to safeguard commercial or residential properties, a professional locksmith can help homeowners best determine the types of locks that best suit their needs. The Locksmiths Guild of Australia, for instance, maintains a database of locksmith businesses that qualify for membership by having at least three years of professional experience and meeting other requirements.
Types of Locks
Modern locks are either physical key locks or electronic locks.
Electronic locks can be unlocked with key cards, panels for punching in numbers or codes, and other electric or magnetic means. Electronic locks have the main advantage of requiring keys that are difficult to reproduce, though at the same time. Buildings and rooms secured with electronic locks can cause problems during emergencies or power outages. These sophisticated locks are becoming increasingly popular in commercial buildings such as hotels and offices. More recently, biometric locks that require a fingerprint, eye, or voice scans have also become available. Until the technology becomes more refined, however, experts warn users may face unwanted privacy and security risks.
Locks that require physical keys are the most commonly used worldwide.
These include knob locks or lever handle locks, padlocks, and deadbolts. Locked knobs and levers are frequently used for doors in residential buildings. They are inexpensive to purchase and easy to use and can be used in combination with padlocks — portable locks with U-shaped components that hook through sections of a door, fence, or object — for greater security. Padlocks may require keys or number combinations. For high-security purposes, both residential and commercial buildings use deadbolts, deadlocks, or deadlatches. These are usually constructed out of stainless steel for strength and durability.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list: safes, cars, cabinets, and machines may require other types of locks. To ensure that buildings, vehicles, and other properties are correctly fitted with the appropriate locks, or to learn more about locks in general, visit the Locksmith Guild of Australia or other professional association to find a skilled, reliable locksmith in any region.