FUTURE OF MECHANICAL LOCKS
I appreciate your articles and the magazine. I also am happy to see how the Locksmith Ledger is continuing to follow the newest technologies available within the physical security world. It is true, technology is changing this industry and electronic features can offer a tremendous number of advantages over mechanical locks. Traditionally there has always been a balance between security and convenience. As an example, does a building owner want the convenience of a master key system that includes cross-keys or maintain a more secure master key system that does not include cross-keys?
Through electronic access control, building owners can now be offered a secure facility while offering many conveniences that often conflicted. As an example electronic access control systems can program key cards to various doors. This acts as electronic cross-keying, offering convenience to building occupants, but allows the building owner to maintain a secure environment.
Electronic access control systems continue to evolve and offer new features. Integrated solutions are now being offered which include a card reader, door position switches and request-to-exit switches built into an electronic lock. This simplifies the installation process, by minimizing the number of wires being pulled around a door.
Other solutions like Power-over Ethernet (PoE) and Wi-Fi technology continue to offer advantages by allowing a building owner to leverage its existing building infrastructure to expand its access control system.
As the physical security world evolves and manufacturers continue to add new options and features into their electronic locks, locksmiths need to continue to expand their skill sets. Locksmiths also need to also maintain their focus on the mechanical lock. If a manufacturer scarifies mechanical strength to add electronic features or flexibility, does that add value to a building owner?
Added convenience through electronic access control offers remarkable advantages, only if it does not compromise the integrity of the mechanical lock. If an intruder can bypass an electronic lock through physical force or mechanical manipulation, what good are the electronic bells and whistles? Sure, most electronic access control systems offer alarms that can notify someone when a lock is forced open. Unfortunately in large institutions, hundreds or thousands of alarms can receive daily and few are monitored.
Thank you again for your commitment and focus to this industry and as electronic access control systems continue to be developed. I urge locksmiths to continue to ask questions. Continue to compare electronic locks to its mechanical counterparts. Convenience and flexibility offered through electronic solutions can only benefit building owners if the strength and integrity of its mechanical locking features is also maintained.
Assa Abloy Door Security Solutions of the Southwest
You nailed it in your editorial this June (“Locksmiths Must Overcome Typecasting as Mechanical Lock Specialists, http://tinyurl.com/typecast0612). I hope there are many that read it and take it to heart.Thank You!
Accurate Security Pros, Inc.
San Diego, CA
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