A Gateway to Protecting Lives

April 2, 2020

In Jacksonville, Florida, it seems as though one of biggest causes of death is drowning in a swimming pool; there seem to be reports of this on TV all the time.

How big is the problem?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (nonboating-related) occurred annually in the United States from 2005 to 2014 — almost 10 deaths per day on average.

About 1 in 5 people who died from drowning were children 14 and younger.

For every child who died from drowning, another five received emergency department (ED) care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

More than 50 percent of drowning victims treated in EDs required hospitalization or transfer for further care, compared with a hospitalization rate of about 6 percent for all unintentional injuries.

Nonfatal drowning injuries can include severe brain damage that might result in long-term disabilities, including permanent loss of basic functioning.

Do we classify drownings as accidental or preventable? We can have a lively debate over that question, but in many areas of security and locksmithing, foreseeable liability is a major concern.

Security professionals want to protect people from injury and death; it’s why many entered the security profession. They also want to protect themselves against lawsuits.

When you work on pool gate locks, it’s likely to be a life-and-death situation, so a locksmith must do it right.

Unfortunately, gate locks aren’t easy to install or necessarily reliable, because:

  • They’re subject to adverse weather conditions.
  • They often are installed on low-quality or damaged fencing.
  • Locks purchased directly from mass market retailers or online might be poor quality.
  • The locks aren’t installed correctly.
  • The locks aren’t maintained properly.
  • The locks are inadequate or inappropriate for the application.
  • Pools, gates and locks are targets for vandals.

It would seem addressing pool-area safety would be a top priority. If it could be demonstrated that having pool gates and locks professionally inspected and maintained would reduce pool accidents and shelter the pool owner/operator from liability, there would be much more interest in this vital area of locksmithing and life safety.

Locinox Mammoth

The Mammoth is a heavy-duty gate closer that supports gates of up to 330 pounds and are 5 feet wide. It complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, requiring less than 5 pounds of opening force, which makes it an extremely powerful solution for industrial and commercial gates.

The Mammoth includes the hydraulic Mammoth gate closer and hinge and the Dino hinge. Both hinges are equipped with double bearings to provide smooth, consistent functionality.

The Mammoth has a 180-degree closure, is reversible for left- or right-opening gates and is adjustable vertically and horizontally for an efficient installation in the field.

Featuring a patented hydraulic damping system, the Mammoth-HD can withstand extreme weather conditions, ranging from minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit to 158 degrees F. This temperature-control system keeps even the heaviest gates from slamming shut and leaving damage.

The Mammoth’s compact and powder-coated exterior is weatherproof and dustproof, is available in black or silver and is adaptable to round applications through the use of chain-link brackets to keep it customizable for any heavy-duty gate situation.


  • Double stainless steel bearing
  • Patented hydraulic damping
  • Adjustable closing speed
  • Quick-Fix anchor bolts for secure, fast and easy attachment
  • Vandalproof

More info: www.locinoxusa.com

Locinox LUKY

The LUKY surface-mounted gate lock features a powder-coated aluminum housing and stainless steel mechanism for complete weather and rust resistance.

The LUKY was designed specifically for use with a standard 1-1/8-inch mortise cylinder. The latch and deadbolt have three-eighths of an inch of continuous adjustment to allow for perfect alignment of the locking mechanism. A stainless steel throw of seven-eighths of an inch guarantees secure locking and ensures reliability.


  • Double cylinder deadbolt.
  • Key-operated self-latching bolt, allows free exit application
  • Four-hole mounting with two hex-head socket screws

More info: www.locinoxusa.com

Locinox Maglock

This surface-mounted electromagnetic lock has integrated push/pull handles and provides secure, reliable access control. It’s available in two versions, the MAG2500, which has 600 pounds of pulling force, and the MAG5000, which has 1,200 pounds of pulling force.

A raised edge on the magnet housing makes it impossible to put a crowbar between the magnet and the armature plate.

These models make for quick installation. You don’t have to have a welding box; drilling just five holes does the job. Locinox’s patented Quick-Fix mounting bolts provide a strong attachment to guarantee years of outdoor use.


  • 500-hour salt-spray resistant (SGS certified; ISO 9227)
  • Powder-coated aluminum housing
  • Anti-residual magnetism kick-off system
  • Voltage: 12V/24V DC
  • Current: 460mA/12V or 230mA/24V

More info: www.locinoxusa.com

Securitron GL1 Electromechanical Gate Lock

The heavy-duty GL1 Electromechanical Gate Lock provides weather-resistant access control for a wide range of gate applications. The GL1 provides 2,000 pounds of holding force for electrical and manually operated indoor or outdoor gates and is a good solution where preload is a concern, because it has a self-aligning receiver that helps compensate for gate misalignment and sag.

I have used the GL1 on exterior swinging and interior sliding gates with great success. The Fail Locked model can accept a key override, which is pretty handy, even when the primary means of unlocking the gate is through an electronic access control system.


  • Automatic dual-voltage, no field adjustment required
  • Accepts a standard mortise cylinder
  • Optional latch status monitor
  • Covered by MagnaCare lifetime replacement, no-fault, no-questions-asked warranty

More info: www.assaabloyesh.com

HES 9600 Series Electric Strike for Rim Exit Devices

Rim exit devices are well-suited for harsh environments, such as outdoor gates, because they’re self-contained.

The two options for electrically controlling an outdoor rim exit are electrified trim or a rim strike. Although I like it, electrified trim requires a power transfer, which represents another possible point of failure from weather or abuse. A rim strike doesn’t require a power transfer and provides a reliable locking solution for rim exit devices on a gate.

The HES 9600 Series Electric Strike is a windstorm-resistant, surface-mounted electric strike that’s designed to accommodate rim exit devices that have a three-fourths-of-an-inch-throw Pullman latchbolt.

All components are encased within the strike’s stainless steel housing, so no cutting on the frame is required for installation. Simply place the electric strike on the surface of the frame, align it with the exit latchbolt and install. It’s field-selectable for fail-secure or fail-safe operation and for 12 or 24 VDC.


  • Installs in metal or wood frames
  • Static strength of 2,000 pounds
  • Dynamic strength of 120 foot-pounds

More info: www.assaabloyesh.com

Medeco All Weather Padlock

Padlocks continue to be a mainstay solution for securing gates, and the Medeco All Weather Padlock (AWP) withstands extreme weather conditions and resists physical attacks.

Ideal for outdoor gates where moisture is an issue, the AWP is made from extruded solid stainless steel and has a weatherproof cylinder seal cap, attached by a stainless steel cable, that seals the lock’s cylinder from harsh environments.

The AWP is also a high-security padlock. It can come with either a mechanical high-security cylinder to provide the benefits of patented key control and resistance to attack, or an intelligent key cylinder, which provides access control and accountability in locations that previously were impossible.


  • Comes in 5/16 in. or 7/16 in. shackle sizes
  • CLIQ or XT cylinders possible

More info: www.medeco.com

D&D MagnaLatch ALERT

D&D’s latest innovation is the MagnaLatch ALERT Child Safety Gate Latch with Electronic Alarm. The gate latch combines the best attributes of the original MagnaLatch, which revolutionized child safety around swimming pools, child-care centers, homes and businesses, with a dual-alarm system (audio and visual) if the gate remains open.

The magnetically triggered devices are designed to fit all square-post gate applications and most metal, wood or vinyl gates. They provide easy installation. No special tools or electricians are required.

  • At-a-glance Locked/Unlocked indicator
  • Long-life lithium battery included
  • Vertically and horizontally adjustable
  • Key lockable, can be rekeyed (by locksmith) to match house doors
  • Meets all international standards for pool gates
  • Round-post adapter kit sold separately
  • Limited lifetime warranty (2-year warranty on alarm unit)

More info: https://us.ddtech.com/

D&D TruClose Gate Hinges

TruClose Safety Gate Hinges were devised to overcome all the traditional hinge problems of rust, binding, sagging and staining. Industrial-grade polymers and stainless-steel closing springs deliver hinges that are designed to last a lifetime.

TruClose hinges are ideal for child-safety gates around swimming pools, homes, child-care centers, schools, playgrounds and hotels/resorts.

Regular and HEAVY DUTY models are available. Some models feature side-fixing legs that provide faster alignment/installation and added strength. Another major benefit is the innovative adjustable closing tension (self-closing), which can be done at the turn of a screwdriver from either end of each hinge.

More info: https://us.ddtech.com/

Hager HS4 GEO Padlock HG10 Cylinder

The HS4 GEO Padlock HG10 Cylinder has several programmable lock modes, which can be customized by the user and for the opening. These include automatic opening, with eight pairs of “hands-free” timed locking and unlocking per day.

The lock cylinder also provides visual feedback: A green light ring indicates granted access; a red light ring indicates denied access.


  • Shackle lengths: 1-3/16 in.; 2-3/8 in.; 3-9/16 in.
  • Optional audio feedback
  • Power: Lithium CR2 battery, 40,000–60,000 transactions, can be replaced without cylinder removal

More info: www.hagerco.com

Detex Weatherized Delayed Egress

The Weatherized Delayed Egress (WDE) is ideal for any location exposed to weather or moisture where delayed exit is required to prevent theft or to protect those trying to exit. I’ve had to install and repair vandalized WDE units on outdoor chain-link fences and exposed to hot summers and frigid winters in central Virginia, and they’ve held up well.

Delayed-egress equipment can protect against loss at outdoor gates or exits. WDE models provide a secure locking system, with a 15-second delay and a 100-decibel alarm when someone attempts to exit.


  • Factory-programmed, prewired delayed egress controller / power supply
  • 10 ft. flex conduit loop
  • Code-compliant delayed egress signage
  • Fire-alarm override connected at controller / power supply
  • System doesn’t require magnetic lock; panic provides delayed exit

More info: www.detex.com

SDC GL160 and GL260 Series GateLok

I have used GL160 and GL260 Series GateLoks in what could be termed worst-case scenarios, and these locks work great. They’re built to withstand physical abuse and harsh weather conditions and are fully serviceable if service ever is necessary. They provide a key override, which is handy, and a mechanical bolt-locking solution rather than an electromagnetic one.

GL160 and GL260 Series GateLoks are designed to provide access control and remote locking and unlocking capability for manual or automatic chain-link, tubular steel and wrought-iron sliding gates, or swinging tubular steel and wrought-iron gates.

They have a well-encased bolt and can be set up for fail-safe or fail-secure operation, so they aren’t subject to loss of security because of power failures, nor are they particularly susceptible to physical attack.


  • Solid stainless steel 5/8 in. diameter locking bolt
  • Low current draw
  • Auto relock switch
  • Weather-sealed steel housing
  • Designed for 3-in. fence post and 2-in. gate post, adaptable for smaller sizes

More info: www.sdcsecurity.com

LockeyUSA SUMO SSC/SSCHD Safeclose hinges

SUMO SafeClose self-closing hinges are fast and simple to install and easy to adjust by using the provided allen key. The hinges feature an audible click with each tension adjustment.

They’re engineered to be bind-free and rust-free, and are ultraviolet-stabilized, so they won’t fade in the sun. The hinges are sold in pairs. SSC hinges close gates up to 99 pounds; SSCHD (heavy-duty) hinges close gates up to 187 pounds.


  • Nonrusting polymers, aluminum, stainless steel
  • Adjustment: Vertical
  • Gate material: Metal, wood
  • Frame/post shape: Square
  • Minimum post size: 1 in. SSC; 2 in. SSCHD
  • Ideal gate gap: 3/4 in.
  • Mounting: Surface, screw-on
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime

More info: www.lockeyusa.com

LockeyUSA SUMO GL2 Gate Lock

The SUMO GL2 Gate Lock is a surface-mounted combination gate lock that’s easy to install; it doesn’t require a gate box. The SUMO GL2 locks automatically but features a passage function, and a key-lockout feature prevents code use when the lock is locked with a key.

The SUMO GL2 installs on gates up to 3-1/2 inches thick, and the adjustable strike accommodates gaps between the post and gate of up to 2 inches.

A slam-prevention device must be installed on the gate to retain the product warranty.


  • Zinc-plated steel
  • Teflon-coated stainless steel interior components
  • Lifetime mechanical warranty

More info: www.lockeyusa.com

LockeyUSA gate closers

LockeyUSA gate closers range from the economical TB100 and TB175 closers for lightweight gates and doors, up to the “Cadillac of Closers,” the TB950 Magnum.

The TB100 Turtleback is an economical gate closer that pushes the gate closed. An adjustment knob allows you to adjust the speed control. It’s recommended for vinyl, wood, steel and chain-link gates under 125 pounds and less than 54 inches wide.

The TB175 Garden is a flush-mount closer that’s equipped with a hold-open feature, along with adjustable closing and latching speeds.

The TB175 mounts on the opening side of gates up to 125 pounds. It works with most in-line hinge arrangements and pushes the gate closed.

LockeyUSA recommends the TB175 for metal, vinyl and wood gates under 125 pounds.

TB200, TB400 and TB600 Hydraulic Gate Closers are extremely easy to retrofit on gates more than 30 inches wide.

The closers can be installed on metal, vinyl and wood gates 50–125 pounds for the TB200, 75–175 pounds for the TB400 and 150–250 pounds for the TB600. Each model also can be installed on chain-link gates by using a TB-LINX chain-link adapter.

TB250, TB450 and TB650 Adjustable Hydraulic Gate Closers match the TB200, TB400 and TB600 closers, respectively, except that they have an adjustment dial to control the gate-closing speed.

The TB950 Magnum is a concealed heavy-duty hydraulic closing system that’s designed to act as the closer and hinge. This closer, which can be used on gates up to 250 pounds, is in use at the Churchill Downs racetrack, which proves that it can withstand heavy traffic and use.

More info: www.lockeyusa.com

Tim O’Leary is an experienced security consultant and a regular contributor to Locksmith Ledger.

About the Author

Tim O'Leary

Tim O'Leary is a security consultant, trainer and technician who has also been writing articles on all areas of locksmithing & physical security for many years.