Locksmith No More

Searching back for the origin of 'smith,' my findings indicate that the word was taken from the anglo-saxon word 'smitan,' which means to smite or strike. Later, the word 'smith' was used to describe anyone who worked with metal such as a blacksmith -- or a locksmith.

The Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) just concluded its annual convention in Las Vegas. One ALOA event this year which generated a fair amount of discussion was a scheduled membership vote to change the name of ALOA to 'ALOA Security Professionals Association.' The membership did vote in favor of removing the word 'locksmith' from their association name.  At this time it is unclear what that change will mean.

Conventions are always of interest to me. Not only do conventions provide an opportunity to renew friendships with people you usually only exchange messages with by phone or E-mail, but they also provide a glimpse of the products manufacturers will be featuring in during the coming months.

With few exceptions, the most popular booths at the recent ALOA (or ALOASPA) convention were those which featured traditional locksmith products. The most crowded booths were those which featured products for automotive lock servicing, distributors or manufacturers of auto locks, auto key machines and auto transponder keys.

The remainder of the booths at this convention were comprised of a mixture of safes, lock servicing tools,  keyless pushbutton locks plus manufacturers showing their latest high security locks, exit devices, padlocks, cabinet locks and lever locks.  The small group of booths where access control was featured were few and far between.

The term 'Security Professional' is in the eye of the beholder.  Attendees at ALOA voted to change their association name but then concentrated on products at the convention  aimed at traditional locksmiths. It will take several years to determine whether the present group of locksmiths will really choose to widen their interest towards new changes in the security field or whether Security Professional is just regarded as a different job description for locksmith.