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Locksmith Glossary & Terminology

Most definitions below have been taken from or modified from the definitions provided by The List Council. Others have been taken from Busse’s Lock Service.

  • Access Control Device
    n. Any device or system that selectively allows entry by certain persons to an area while excluding others. Usually, this term is not used to refer to ordinary key-operated locks but rather to push-button, card access, or biometric systems. This can be anything from a simple mechanical push-button lock to retinal scanners, palm scanners or badge readers wired to magnetic or electrical locking devices.
  • ADA
    see Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Alarm System
    n. A system of electrical and/or electronic components which detect and report dangers, such as fire or intrusion.
  • ADA — Americans with Disabilities Act
    n. A US federal law dealing with minimum standards of building accessibility, as well as other issues concerning individuals with disabilities. This landmark legislation provides for stiff civil penalties for any business, workplace, or public institution that fails to provide appropriate access to disabled persons.
  • Annunciator
    n. Audible and visual signaling device.
  • Astrigal
    n. A molding attached to the face of the active leaf of a pair of doors and overlapping the inactive leaf.
  • Automatic Door Opener
    n. A device which automatically controls the opening or position of a door.
  • Barrier Free
    n. Having to do with the absence of restrictions to access by the handicapped.
  • Bit and Barrel Key
    n. Also known as a “Bit Key”, “Barrel Key”, or a “Skeleton Key”.
  • CCTV
    see Closed-Circuit Television.
  • Cipher Lock
    see Push-Button Lock
  • Closed-Circuit Television
    n. A television system connected by cables to monitors so events can be recorded or supervised remotely.
  • Code Cut Key
    n. A series of letters or numbers found on some locks. In the case of office furniture and some padlocks, the number is stamped or printed right on the face of the lock. Some automobile manufacturers also stamp or print this number somewhere on the vehicle. Others vehicle manufacturers keep the key code on file and can look it up for the owner by the VIN number. With a valid key code, one can originate a key using books or software and special key-cutting equipment.
  • Concealed
    adj. Installed within the door or frame, mortised and hidden from view.
  • Continuous Hinge
    n. A heavy-duty hinge that runs the entire length of the door, rather than at 2, 3, or 4 individual points.
  • Cylinder
    n. The lock component where the key is inserted.
    Also known as a “Cylinder” or a “Keyhole”.
  • Cypher Lock
    see Push-Button Lock
  • DCJS
    Department of Criminal Justice Services.
  • Deadbolt
    n. A locking device that, once fully extended, cannot be retracted except by operating the locking device (usually a key cylinder or thumb-turn knob). It cannot be “jimmied,” “shimmed” or pushed back.
  • Double Sided
    adj. A lock that has cylinders on both sides of the lock —as opposed to a single sided lock that has a thumbturn on one side of the lock.
  • Door Closer
    n. A device which automatically controls the closing or position of a door usually via a hydraulic mechanism.
  • Door Coordinator
    n. In conjunction with a pair of doors, a device designed to cause the inactive leaf to close first.
  • Door Knob
    see Key-In-Knob
  • Door Viewer
    n. A viewer drilled into the door that allows one to see outside without needing to open the door.
    Also known as a “Door Viewer”, “Peephole”, or “Eyehole”.
  • Electrified Lockset
    n. A lock which is controlled electrically.
  • Entrance Handle Set
    see Picture Handle Set
  • Finish
    n. a material, coloring and/or texturing specification.
  • Fire Alarm
    n. A system designed to detect and report conditions which may indicate the presence of a fire.
  • Fire Exit Device
    n. An exit device which may legally be installed on a fire door. Distinguished from other exit devices because it:
    1) is labeled for both fire and panic and
    2) has no means of locking the latch in a retracted position.
    Also known as a “Fire Exit Device”, “Panic Bar”, or “Crash Bar”.
  • Fire Detection Closer
    n. A device that will shut a door automatically when fire is detected to prevent the spread of fire.
  • Fire Resistant
    adj. Levels of fire-resistance are measured and rated, either by the manufacturer of the product or by Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL). Good quality fire-resistive safes are available with 1 hour, 350 degree labels and even more. This is the minimum recommended level of protection for documents.
  • Flush Bolt
    n. A bolt that is mortised into the edge of a door that will lock either or both the top and bottom of the door. Usually used on a pair of doors so that one door will remain closed or inactive, allowing the other door to lock into it.
  • Full Surface Mounted
    adj. Installed on the surface, or outside, of the door.
  • Grade 1, 2, or 3
    adj. This is a durability and security rating that is issued by ANSI. Specific security features and the durability of the product (the expected number of “cycles” or operations the product endures before wearing out) determine its grade. Grade 1 locks are very heavy-duty and are the only ones suitable for high-traffic public areas. Think of Grade 1 locks as “industrial strength.” Grade 2 locks are “commercial strength.” They are suitable for areas with moderate traffic, such as the employee-only areas of an office. Grade 3 locks are suitable only for residential applications. They will only last in a low-traffic area where people are not likely to abuse the product or treat it roughly.
  • Grip Handle Set
    see Picture Handle Set
  • High Security
    adj. Generally any lock that uses patented or unconventional design features to thwart the most common types of attacks on locks —picking, drilling, key duplication, and force. Most High-security locks are especially resistant to vandalism and conventional means of fitting a key. Some, but not all high-security locks also come with restricted keys.
  • Impression
    v. This refers to a method of fitting a key to a lock without disassembling it.
  • Interchangeable Core
    n. Locks that are designed to facilitate frequent rekeying without disassembling the lock. A special key called a control key is used to remove and replace the cylinder or core.
    Also known as an “IC Core”, “IC Lock”, or “IC Cylinder”.
  • Key Blank
    n. The uncut keys that are kept in stock before they are cut into a working key.
  • Key-In-Knob
    n. Any door handle lock with a key operated cylinder in one or more knobs.
    Also known as a “Key-In-Knob”, “Knobset”, “Door Knob”, or “Knob Lock”.
  • Keyway
    n. The channels or grooves in a lock that the key must pass through that distinguish one type of lock cylinder from another.
    Also called a “Profile”.
  • Knob Lock
    see Key-In-Knob
  • Knobset
    see Key-In-Knob
  • Latch Protector
    n. A device fastened to the door or frame that prevents access to the latch so it cannot be pried or forced back.
    Also known as a “Latch Protector”, “Latch Guard”, or a “Blocker Plate”.
  • Lockset
    n. A locking device, complete with trim, mounting hardware and strike.
  • Master Keyed
    v. To organize a set of locks typically where each lock opens with its own different key, yet one key will also open all the locks, allowing selective entry to doors to certain users.
  • Master Key System
    n. An organized set of locks typically where each lock opens with its own different key, yet one key will also open all the locks, allowing selective entry to doors to certain users.
  • Mortise
    adj. Pertaining to a method of installation in which only the face plate and trim is exposed. The lock case is installed in a pocket in the door or drawer.
  • Mortise Style Handle Set
    see Picture Handle Set
  • Padlock
    n. A detachable and portable lock with a shackle which locks into its case.
  • Panic Bar
    see Fire Exit Device.
  • Panic Exit Device
    see Fire Exit Device.
  • Patio Door
    n. Also known as a “Patio Door” or “Sliding Door”.
  • Picture Handle Set
    n. An ornate lockset typically found on the front door of houses consisting of a long handle with a thumb-piece and a deadbolt mounted above.
    Also known as a “Picture Handle Set”, “Grip Handle Set”, “Entrance Handle Set”, or “Mortise Style Handle Set”.
  • Push-Button Lock
    n. Push-button lock.
    Also known as a “Push-Button Lock”, “Cypher Lock”, or “Cipher Lock”.
  • Rekey
    v. Generally entails disassembling a lock to replace the pins or tumblers inside. Once completed, the lock requires a different key to operate than before.
  • Rim Mounted
    adj. A device that is mounted on the surface of the door rather than installed within the door itself.
  • Security Bar
    n. A device typically fastened to the outside of a desk or filing cabinet that provides higher protection and is locked with a padlock.
  • Sidewinder
    n. A higher security type of key with cuts on the side of the blade, as opposed to the edges. A special machine is required to cut these. Typically found on newer luxury cars such as Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Lexus, etc.
    Also known as “Sidewinder” or “Laser Cut Key”.
  • Single Sided
    adj. A lock that has a cylinder on one side of the lock and a thumbturn on the other.
  • Telephone Entry System
    n. An entry system typically found in an apartment lobby where a visitor can use a keypad to dial up the person being visited so the visitor can be let into the lobby remotely.
  • Transponder
    n. An electronic device that emits a unique radio signal. When the key is operated in the ignition lock, the on-board computer transmits a radio signal to the key. If the key is properly programmed, it echoes back the correct signal. The computer then allows the engine to start.
  • Trim
    n. Exposed components of a lockset or latchset which allow operation, enhance appearance or provide protection.
  • Underwriters Laboratories Listed
    adj. Listed in a directory as having passed specific Underwriters Laboratories testing showing that it meets minimum required standards for safety and functionality.
  • VATS
    see Vehicle Anti-Theft System.
  • Vehicle Anti-Theft System
    n. An electronic system in some General Motors vehicles which uses a resistor pellet of varying value imbedded in a mechanical ignition key.
  • Vertical Rod
    adj. A device (particularly a panic bar) that has rods that lock both the top and bottom of the door, as opposed to the side of a door.
  • Wafer
    n. A method of locking a cylinder as opposed to a pin. It is generally a lower security than pin locks and are usually found in desk locks or other small furniture locks.
    Also known as a “Disc”.
  • Wrap-Around-Plate
    n. A metal sleeve that is put around the lock and strike that reinforces the door and hides cosmetic damage.
    Also known as a “Door Sleeve”, “Wrap-Around-Plate”, or a “Door Wrap”.

Service Area

Bay Pines 33744
Belleair Beach 33786
Clearwater 33755 33756 33757 33758 33759 33760 33761 33762 33763 33764 33765 33766 33769
Clearwater Beach 33767
Dunedin 34697 34698
Indian Rocks Beach 33785
Largo 33770 33771 33773 33774 33778 33779
Oldsmar 34677
Palm Harbor 34682 34683 34684
Pinellas Park 33780 33781 33782
St Petersburg 33701 33702 33703 33704 33705 33706 33707 33708 33709 33710 33711 33712 33713 33714 33715 33716 33728 33729 33730 33731 33732 33733 33734 33736 33737 33738 33740 33741 33742 33743 33747 33784
Safety Harbor 34695
Seminole 33772 33775 33776 33777
Tampa 33601 33602 33603 33604 33605 33606 33607 33608 33609 33611 33615 33616 33622 33623 33629 33630 33631 33633 33634 33646 33650 33651 33655 33660 33661 33662 33663 33664 33672 33673 33674 33675 33677 33679 33680 33681 33682 33684 33685 33686 33688 33690 33697
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