Let us take you back to the mid-1800’s at which time, for a brief time, there was something akin to “perfect security.” This was a much sought after state of existence where one’s valuable things could be safely contained behind a lock that could not be picked or broken. And for just a moment in time (about 70 years), perfect security was a reality.
A History Lesson in Locks
The first truly unpickable lock was the brainchild of Englishman Joseph Bramah who, as a polymath engineer came to be known as one of the fathers of pneumatic power. He also took a great interest in locks and created one that he claimed was so superior it could never be picked. He was so confident in the integrity of his lock that he issued a challenge with a reward to anyone who could break it. About the same time, Bramah’s new unbeatable lock caught the attention of the British crown and they sweetened the pot by asking for a lock that wouldn’t just be unbreakable, but would also alert the owner if someone tried to open it. Another Englishman named Jeremiah Chubb met that challenge with his Chubb detector lock.
For the next 70 years, perfect security was in place. That all ended with A. C. Hobbs, an American locksmith who threw down the gauntlet and not only cracked the Chubb’s lock, but also the Bramah. You can read more about how he did it here, but suffice it to say there has never been anything close to an unbreakable, unpickable, or perfectly secure lock since that time. One of the most famous old locksmith adages is, “There is no such thing as an unpickable lock, only a lock that has not yet been picked.”
Locks are Designed to be Opened
What is so tough about creating a lock that can’t be broken or picked? The loophole is found in the very nature of a lock itself and the fact that locks are designed to be opened. It wouldn’t be very practical to lock up your valuables only to never be able to unlock and access them again should you wish to do so. Locks must open and locks must close. Otherwise, what’s the point?
How to Gauge Your Locks’ Safety
So, what does this mean for you – a home or business owner in 2017? Having the simple awareness that any lock can be vulnerable is a start. How do you know if the lock on your home or business can be picked easily? The American National Standards Institute’s ANSI Grading System is a good place begin your research. This is a voluntary, independent grading system that the lock industry uses to self-evaluate how good a lock is at preventing break ins. Grade 3 locks are the weakest, rated as the minimum required for residential security (which should give you an idea of where your house’s lock ranks for security), while Grade 1 locks are the strongest.
If you’d rather not leave these types of decisions to chance, Big Red Locksmith has reputable local locksmith experts ready to help assess your current state of lock security and recommend ways to improve or upgrade existing locks and mechanisms.
Although there is no such thing as “perfect security,” you can rely on a professional locksmith, whose very livelihood depends on keeping your valuables, properties and families safe. If you aren’t sure if your existing locks meet the level of security you desire call us at 402-554-0499 today.