Lock technology is prevalent in today’s modern society. How can I make such a bold statement and be so sure about it? Well, ask yourself this – “In your daily life while going about your routines, do you encounter any locks? One? Even a dozen perhaps?”. Personally, within a day, I could be using up to 7 locks – 4 different keys to the doors of my house, one key for my car, one to my office building and another electronic key to the office itself. This is considered to be fairly normal. Some of you probably interact with even more than this.
What is the main driver behind having so many locks? Security of course, or at least a sense of security. A lock may not 100% guarantee prevention of someone breaking into your home, office, shop or car, but it will at the very least deter a would-be trespasser. This would also be dependent on your location. Obviously if it is notorious for break-ins or if there are other vulnerabilities of your establishment, having a lock may not be effective. The next question is then, “Why are there so many different types of locks?”. Well, each type provides a different level of security and I’ll provide an overview of a dead-bolts and combination locks.
One of the most common types is the dead-bolt lock. You probably have one of these on the front main door of your house. The component of the lock which prevents the door from being opened is a bolt embedded in the door. When you insert the appropriate key into the lock, turning in one direction will cause the bolt to extend into a notch (that is lined up) in the door frame while turning in the opposite direction will retract the bolt back into the door. So this type is designed simply such that the person with a key can easily gain access but more difficult for others without they key.
Another type is the combination lock, which consists of either one or more dials that you need to rotate into the correct sequence in order to unlock. With a single-dial lock, it is opened by rotating the dial in alternating directions – e.g. for the first number of the sequence, turn clockwise, then counter-clockwise for the second number followed by a clockwise rotation again for the third number and so on until the last number in the sequence. You’re probably familiar with these locks on school lockers (i.e. combination padlocks) and safes. A multiple-dial lock consists of two sides – one side has several mounted discs and the other side has a pin which goes through the center of the discs. Opening this type of lock involves rotating each of the discs to their correct sequence allowing the pin to be pulled out.