A lock is a fastening device: a thing which keeps people from opening something, such as a door or a box. Locks can be released by an object called a key, or by an electronic card, or by secret information, like a code. The verb to lock means to set the lock so the door or object is closed. A person who works on locks is called a locksmith.
Types of lock mechanisms[change | change source]
A key lock is a lock that uses a key (a piece of metal with teeth like a little saw) to open it. Someone must put the key in the lock and turn it to open the lock. This lock is used in doors and locks for boxes. Key locks can be defeated by picking them.
A combination lock is a lock that uses a dial (a knob with numbers all around it) to open it. Someone must turn the dial to the right numbers in the right order. This is called the "combination." This lock is used on safes and locks for bicycles.
An electronic lock is a special lock that can only be opened with a message from a computer. This message can be stored in a computer chip on a card (called a "key card" or "security card"). Or it can be made by a computer looking at someone's fingerprint or eye.
Types of lock[change | change source]
Deadbolts are locks which cannot be moved to the open position except by rotating the cylinder.
Security[change | change source]
No lock is completely safe, though some are safer than others. Locks can be defeated by brute force or by lock picking. The most common brute force tool is the crowbar, commonly called (UK) a jimmy or jerry or (US) a wrecking bar.
Picking involve tools such as pin-tumbler lock picks, skeleton keys, bump keys, pick guns etc. Carrying these tools, especially after dark, is an arrestible offence in most countries except if the owner is a registered locksmith.