Commercial locks and handles cop a lot more use and abuse than the locks and handles you use in your home. They therefore need to be a lot tougher and more robust, as well as being easy and intuitive to use and meeting any relevant laws and regulations.
Now imagine the poor lock and handle on the communal entry door of a 10 story block of apartments. Each floor has 5 apartments on it, and each apartment has an average of 3 people living in it. The typical usage rates for communal doors in apartment blocks are slightly less because of the provision of things like rubbish chutes, but can be averaged out at about 4 times per person per day.
At that usage rate, the lock, key and handle on the front door of the 10 story apartment block is being used 600 times per day, 4200 times per week or 218,400 times per year. That number is exponentially larger than the previous one, hence the need for higher quality components and regular servicing of locks and handles on commercial doors.
Commercial locks and handles have to withstand a lot more abuse than the locks and handles we use at home, and not just because of the number of times they may get used. As with all property that is used by those not directly paying for it, communal locks can be used with an attitude of indifference towards upkeep and maintenance. Think about the lock and handle on the communal door of the 10 story block of apartments again if you will. Do you think that every person that comes through that door and uses that lock treats it with the kindness, love, respect and tolerance that it deserves?
Only lock nerds like us think like this, but that lock and handle is the product of thousands of years of evolution that started with the rock in front of the cave. It is the result of countless hours of thought and design and redesign of its intricate components to maximise security and minimise cost of manufacture. Somebody has quite literally spent their life creating mechanical masterpieces like this, and how do you think most people pay their respect?
In our experience, most people treat a commercial lock and handle that isn’t their own by impatiently shoving the key in and turning it with a wrench, jumping on the handles with their feet, or trying to force it if it doesn’t open straight away. This sort of treatment is normal everyday usage for a commercial lock and handle, hence why they have to be made with top quality materials and components to avoid having to regularly call emergency locksmiths.
To comply with regulations, many commercial grade locks and handles have to be fire-rated. In regulatory terms, this means that they have successfully passed documented tests to ensure that they function correctly for a given period of time within a burning building. In practical terms, this means that the handle won’t burn your hand off if the other side of the door is on fire, and the latch won’t melt before you have a chance to escape.
A single example of a place where fire rated door hardware is needed is any doorway with a green Fire-Exit sign above it, although there are also many other situations in which it is also required by law.
Using the correct security hardware on the doors and windows of your home or business is a must in today’s regulatory environment. A multitude of different building codes exist, specifying exactly how and what must be used on commercial doors.
From the speed of the door closer, to the height of the handle, to the materials they are made from, all locks and security hardware must comply with certain regulations. Our emergency locksmiths in Melbourne understand these regulations and can advise you on and install the full range of commercial security hardware that is compliant to your particular needs.
Mortice locks are traditionally used in commercial buildings because there is less mechanism exposed to tamper with, as it is all installed within the door cavity itself. Just as shoes don’t come with socks and can have different coloured laces, mortice locks don’t come with handles or key cylinders. This means they can be put together with any style of handle or key cylinders to suit aesthetic or security requirements.
There are endless configurations and features available within the mortice lock range, such as self-latching, internal escape handles, high-security key cylinders, anti-lockout and anti-friction latch, to name just a few.
Disabled Access Locks (DDA) are usually just mortice locks with very specific functions and furniture. Most Disabled Access Locks have large handles and snibs that can be easily manipulated, and the internal handles are configured in such a way so that the person on the inside can always get out. An indicator on the outside to show the unlocked/locked status of the door is also quite common.
Commonly used on one leaf of a double door set, these are large chunky bolts that run the length of very tall doors so that normal sized people can lock large sized doors at the top and bottom.
Blocker plates are an oft overlooked but essential part of commercial security. Most external doors within a commercial building will be outward opening due to regulation. Without a blocker plate installed, the latch or bolt that holds the door shut will be visible between the gap of the door and the frame. When the latch is visible, it is attackable. We advise on blocker plates for all outward opening doors and even some inward openers.
Fire Exit Panic bars are designed to be opened quickly and easily in the dark or smoke in a single action in the event of an emergency. If a person runs into or is pushed into the bar, or pushes on it themselves, the lock will disengage and the door will open. There are many variations and configurations available, including options for single doors, double doors, alarmed doors and monitorable versions.
Another oft overlooked but essential part of any commercial door system is the door closer. Many people cannot be relied upon to close a door after they open it, and if it’s not closed then it’s definitely not locked. The solution is the humble door closer.
A door closer needs to be strong enough to support and close the door. It also has to be fast enough to discourage tailgaters, and it has to be slow enough to not injure anyone.
Usually installed on the top of a door and secured to the frame, but not always, door closers are essentially a big powerful spring, regulated by oil pressure so they don’t close too fast and cause injury. Cheap door closers are simply not worth the hassle, as the inevitable consequence of a broken door closer is dripping oil on the floor, as well as the possibility of the door injuring a person’s fingers or the door not shutting.
Electric Strikes do not operate by themselves and are only the final component in an access control system. They are used where the existing door hardware needs to be maintained for whatever reason; the electric strike simply releases the lock when necessary. They can be operated by any number of means, such as key, code, fingerprint, remote access, eye scan or card fob. They can be fail-safe or fail-secure, meaning that they will be unlocked or locked respectively if the power fails for any reason. They can be for mortice locks or surface fitted locks, and they can be fire rated or non-fire rated.
The quality of an electric strike will depend on how often it is used and the regulatory environment where it is installed. For example, electric strikes used in prisons obviously have to be of a very high quality. We don’t see the same products used on the average block of flats.
Mag locks are incredibly strong and simply designed. Magnetic Locks are similar to electric strikes in that they are never used on their own. They need a steady power supply and a way to open them, like a code pad or a card fob. They are usually installed in the top of a door or frame and don’t interfere with the existing door hardware.
These locks are typically fitted into shop front doors where the door is made of glass and aluminium. These doors are usually hollow and do not have much room for a traditional sized mortice lock. They can be self-latching or swing bolt, and the key cylinders are compatible with all existing high security restricted key profiles.
These are large and robust key-lockable bolts that are typically installed with through fixings onto commercial shop front doors. Their locking bolts are 13mm thick case hardened chrome plated steel and protrude at depth into the ground. The key cylinder is compatible with all high security cylinders and can be keyed into your existing high security master key system.
Very similar to the ADI Bolt above and made by the same company, there are a few different types in this range. What they all have in common is that they are all installed onto the door with through fixings so they can’t be ripped or bashed off, and all have a 13mm case hardened chrome plated locking bolt. In the example above, we can see one that has been installed onto the outside of a set of double doors to securely hold them together.
We have the experience and the expertise to solve all your locking needs when it comes to Commercial Security Hardware.
Give us a call today to discuss you needs.
Typically it is a fixed rate, of :
to remove the key. The service call comes with 30 mins labour included, and most broken keys are removed in that time. If the locksmith cannot remove it in that time, you will be re quoted to disassemble the lock, without obligation.