We all know what a lock is – it is the item or installation that we use to make sure that our valuables are safe and sound. Locks can be found in all kinds of places – you will find them in locker rooms in schools and gyms, you will find them in the doors of most homes and businesses, every vehicle has a lock and basically, you will find locks on most things that need to be protected. As you can imagine, locks have been around for a long time – man has been stealing and gaining illegal access for centuries now. The first lock can be traced back about 6,000 years in Egypt where the first mechanical lock was created by a locksmith.
A lock is held in a sturdy casing inside of which you will find a mortise – a metal bolt that is designed to move in and out of the lock hole. This is also commonly referred to as a deadbolt. This is what moves into and out of place when a key is turned clockwise or anticlockwise allowing you to open or close the lock.
There are many different kinds of locks and they work using different mechanisms. That said, lock manufacturers invest a lot of time using the same lock design but with different key mechanisms to make sure that locks remain safe. If you take Yale locks, for instance, they have had the same look for many years but no two lock mechanisms are alike – each lock requires a different key to operate.
One of the biggest problems with traditional locks is exactly what you need to operate them – the keys. Keys get lost, they get broken and even the slightest damage can mean that it cannot open your lock. This has kept locksmiths in money around the world. Modern technology, however, is bringing us locks that are much safer and easier to operate. You may have noticed that you are no longer issued with a key when you check into a hotel or even a motel – you are now given a keycard to get in and out of your room. This kind of modern lock eliminated the need for pesky keys – slide your keycard into your wallet as you would your credit card.
There are also keypad entry locks like those found in many places of business – only those who have the code can go into and out of certain areas. Technology has also brought us wireless locks – these were mostly found in commercial buildings but today they can be found in homes as well. All one needs to do is walk to the door and swipe their cell phone over the lock and it opens. No doubt there will be even more sophisticated lock designs in the future.