Locksmithing in the Digital Age
CategoriesLocksmithing & Security Technology
Most security devices have some mechanical means of securing an opening – often a bolt lock of some kind, sometimes a magnetic lock. What separates an electronically powered lock from a key lock is the type of trigger that initiates the locking device – the basic structure of the lock “guts” are the same.
Many locking systems can be installed without a trained locksmith but knowing which type of locking system is appropriate and servicing installed locks is trickier. Magnetic locks for example are secure from both sides of a door and require a keycard or other device when entering or leaving. For life-safety reasons, magnetic locks must be ‘fail-safe’ meaning that when the power is off, the door will open to allow safe egress of occupants. Other types of electronic access, electric strike technology for example, can be used with a locking latch and panic bar, maintaining security from the exterior and egress from the interior.
Understanding the different types of locking systems and, critically, the life-safety features of each is an important aspect of locksmithing. Being able to service the mechanical components (the guts) of all types of locks – both electronic access and key access – is why “traditional” locksmith training remains important in the 21st century security business.
“Traditional” locksmith training is the ability to take apart a lock, troubleshoot the mechanical parts, repair if needed, reassemble the device and install locks correctly. Strong mechanical locksmith training combined with an understanding of master key systems and electronic access technology provide a comprehensive knowledge of the industry for individuals interested in a career or job in the security industry.
The Locksmithing & Security Technology program at North Bennet Street School provides comprehensive mechanical instruction (the ‘traditional’ training) as well as demonstrations and lectures on electronic access systems, often from guest instructors who are experts in the latest electronic security devices.
Graduates from the North Bennet Street School program leave with the skills needed to enter the security field as technicians in the field. Some graduates choose to continue their training to become Massachusetts Class D Systems Technician licensed and work more exclusively with electronic access technology.