Padlock Security: Choosing the Right Design
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One of the most common types of locks that we are all familiar with, is the common or garden padlock. Padlocks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, materials, and prices; but how secure are they, and when and where should we use them?
Although individual padlock design varies, the general principle remains the same, and they consist of a body, a locking mechanism, and a shackle or shank. The majority of padlocks are made out of metal apart from some disc padlocks, and some types of combination padlocks. The most exposed part of any padlock is the shank, and this is therefore the part that is most susceptible to attack, which is why the shanks come in different thicknesses (related to the size of the padlock), and are made from a variety of materials.
When to Use a Weatherproof Padlock
Knowing whether to use a weatherproof padlock is not quite as simple as it sounds. Many padlocks get used outside and are therefore exposed to the elements. You may therefore think that in these instances, weatherproof padlocks would be the obvious choice. But it’s not quite as simple as that. Most padlocks have a brass body and a steel shackle. A non weatherproof lock’s shackle is made out of hardened steel, whereas a weatherproof one is made out of stainless steel, which is anti-corrosive. The problem is that the stainless steel is softer than hardened steel making it easier to be sawn through or cropped off with bolt cutters. Generally speaking, because the internal locking mechanism is well protected inside the body of the padlock, it does not rust easily. Also, if you maintain it regularly by introducing a little lubricating oil into the lock via the key, it will help to keep it rust free. In certain environments, (by the sea for example), then use of a marine grade padlock would be recommended.
If you use padlocks to secure items that are covered under your contents insurance, your insurance company do have preferences in the types of padlock they recommend. The least secure padlocks are those that have fully exposed shackles, especially those that have elongated shackles. It just makes it so easy for any thief to get access with a pair of bolt cutters, or a hacksaw.
Closed Shackle Padlocks
The closed shackle padlock is one whereby the shackle is not totally exposed, making it more difficult for any wrong-doer to gain access to it. The partial protection is afforded by the fact that the body of the padlock extends upwards thus enclosing the sides of the shackle, leaving only the top partially exposed. Most insurance companied insist on this type of padlock as a minimum.
Straight Shackle Padlocks
These are also known as shutter padlocks because they are recommended for use with roller shutters. They can however be used for any application. Because they provide an enhanced level of security, they are often used to secure containers and warehouse doors.
The Discus, circular, or round shackle padlock, is different because the body of the padlock is not solid, and the shackle, when deployed, is a complete unbroken circle within its housing. Because the shackle isn’t spring loaded like a “standard” padlock, when cut or forced, it remains locked, offering a greater degree of security, making them a favoured choice.
British Standard for Padlock Security
Here at Castle Security we only recommend padlocks that conform to BS EN 12320. If you have any queries, or would like some advice on what padlocks to use, and how and where to use them, you are welcome to contact a qualified member of staff, who will be pleased to help.
To view other lock types please click here.
To discuss your requirements, please fill in the form to the right or ring Castle Security now on:
Tel: 0117 3660066 or
Mobile: 07831 195151 or