Notes from the Editor: Before, After and During the Fact

April 2, 2018
Life was simple decades ago. When a locksmith had a job requiring greater security, the answer was always the installation of a bigger or better deadbolt. I installed Segal jimmyproof locks by the case in those days. Physical looks of the hardware was not important, only performance mattered.
As alarms grew in popularity my refrain as a locksmith was that locks prevent break-ins before they happen (before the fact). Alarms may scare a few bad guys away but in most cases alarms only indicate that a break-in has already occurred (after the fact).
This love-hate relationship between locksmiths and alarm installers worked for a few years until electronic locks appeared. Electronic products could be used to secure an opening, show when an opening had been breached and to trigger an alarm to sound in case of trouble. Electronic locks closed the gap between mechanical and electronic security issues.
Electronic locking seemed like the final answer until the recent school shootings in Parkland, Florida. Now we know that every physical lockdown system I know of can be bypassed by using a fire alarm pull station. The shooter pulled the fire alarm and then waited for students to fill the halls as class room doors opened (during the fact). The existing school lockdown system, if any, was immediately negated.
Lock companies have been scrambling to build the ultimate school lockdown system. Politicians have been scrambling to avoid any mention of possible government solutions. One malicious tug at an alarm pull station indicates that we currently do not have any solution in sight either from lock companies or politicians.
Our job as locksmiths is to have a solution for every security problem. For once there is no real current answer.      


In our Marks USA Product Testing article in the February issue of Locksmith Ledger, we incorrectly states that Marks USA exit devices were made in the USA. Marks USA M9900 Rim Panic Device meets “ Buy America” and comes with a Lifetime Mechanical Warranty.