Hard and Soft Security

April 19, 2017

As a teenager working at our family locksmith business, one of my duties was to answer the phone.  We had a price sheet near the phone with listings of various charges.  In those days a Segal single-cylinder jimmy proof lock was $16.95 furnished and installed while the double-cylinder Segal was $19.95. 

Before the introduction of tubular deadbolts, our locksmith business regularly installed cases of Segal jimmy proof locks. Customers were not concerned with the large, scruffy lock case or the dull bronze finish which rarely matched existing hardware decor.  Segal locks exuded one theme. When a Segal was locked, homeowners were confident that they had the best available protection against break-ins. 

The modern era has introduced a completely new set of circumstances. A few days ago a Judge in Chicago was shot and killed during a botched robbery.  The thief escaped.  However, a CCTV camera on guard filmed the incident and recorded the license plate number of the getaway car.  Police tracked down the car and the thief is now in custody.  Security measures installed at the robbery scene filmed the incident but did nothing to prevent the crimes from taking place.

Almost every locking device sold by locksmiths during the last century has been in the realm of hard security. Businesses, homeowners and cities across the country are now spending large sums to install CCTV cameras which can only provide after-the-fact, soft security.  

High profile cases such as the Boston marathon bombing and the botched robbery outlined above are providing a different sense of security.  We seem to be living in a period of time when the public is resigned to accepting anti-normal behavior as a way of life as long as the bad guys are eventually caught.  Soft security items should not be overlooked as a new vertical market for locksmiths.