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How Do Locks Work?

Posted on April 24th, 2017 by Alert Protective

Locks are an essential component of home security. Locks keep our valuables safe. We find them on our doors, we find them on our safes, and we find them protecting lockers full of our possessions. Locks are the barrier between thieves and our things, and we use them every single day. But have you ever stopped to wonder how exactly they work? Below we describe how a typical lock works.

Nowadays, locks have become technologically advanced. Locks may involve all sorts of cutting-edge tech including fingerprint scanners, retinal scanners, facial recognition software, fobs and a myriad of other devices. However, for the vast majority of us, we still deal with locks that require a key to open. Most front doors, for example, still require a key. These locks are called pin-and-tumbler locks and here’s how they work:

Pin-and-tumbler locks have a series of spring-loaded pins which are contained in cylinders. The pins are placed at various heights, that correspond with the teeth of the key needed to open the lock. When the key is inserted in the lock, it pushes the pins up to their respective heights, making them match up flush with a track. When the pins are all properly aligned, the cylinders can turn and the lock is opened. All of the pins need to be pushed into place exactly in order for the cylinders to turn, which is why each key is unique to its respective lock, and why only that key will work for that lock.

Locks are a great way of keeping your things safe, but home security in our day and age requires more than just locked doors. The ultimate peace of mind comes from a home surveillance system, monitored 24/7, that incorporates alarms, cameras, and smart home technology to protect against theft, intrusion, and trespassing. To learn more about the ultimate security for a homeowner, visit our home security page. Alert Protective Services will help you determine the correct combination of modern technology to work in tandem with your home’s door locks to keep your abode protected.

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