Lock Safari: Seattle

Lock Safari: Seattle

I recently spent a few days in Seattle on business and ended up with a free day. I hoped to see (among other things) a few interesting locks on Lock Safari: Seattle and I wasn’t disappointed.

Lock Safari: Seattle – Marijuana Stores

What I was disappointed in were the marijuana stores. I don’t partake, but I did walk by quite a few of them, hoping to spot some good security measures. Because the legal marijuana trade is still largely a cash-only enterprise, it attracts a certain criminal element. One thing these stores are not spending their cash on is high-security locks. Boo.

This doesn’t mean these stores are soft targets. Most have armed guards, both in uniform, and not. I only went into one (because I would have looked really suspicious if I hadn’t) and noticed an extremely good alarm system and a multitude of cameras. One would still like to see good locks, but one also assumes this isn’t the threat model these businesses are most worried about.

Lock Safari: Seattle

Of course, as in any large city, I saw the usual assortment of Medecos. These included (from top to bottom) models from the Original, Biaxial, and m³ lines. For what it’s worth, this organization also coincides with my preference for Medeco locks. If I were going to have one it would be from the Original line; the one I would least want is the m³.

Lock Safari: Seattle

Lock Safari: Seattle

Lock Safari: SeattleThough not technically “high security” I ran across a Kaba Peaks examplar on a municipal building. The Kaba Peaks has an additional moveable element contained in the portion of the keyway that protrudes from the lock. This is for key control – Peaks key blanks are controlled by patent, ensuring that organizations who invest in the system don’t have to worry about unauthorized copies of keys being made.

Lock Safari: SeattleI saw a lot of good padlocks on Lock Safari: Seattle, too. This Abloy 330 was on a Seattle Times newspaper stand.

Lock Safari: SeattleIn the same nest of paper boxes, I also found this Abus rotating-disc padlock. Though it isn’t marked as a Granit, it otherwise looks to be from the excellent Granit line (possibly an older model). Either way, this is a pretty good lock.

Lock Safari: SeattleI walked by this big Abloy 340 several times before recognizing it. Someone is taking protecting their bike seriously. The only problem? It was there the entire time I was, leading me to believe that perhaps the owner has lost the key. This would be a shame because without the key, there’s no getting into this very good, very expensive padlock.

Lock Safari: SeattleThe mass transit authority in Seattle seems to use the BiLock system. This is one of the few BiLocks I have encountered in the wild. These locks are popular with large systems because of the insanely large number of keys possible in a master-keyed system. This is a first-generation BiLock, without the moving element of the Bilock NG (“Next-Generation”)

Lock Safari: Seattle

Lock Safari: Seattle – Surprises

I found a couple of really uncommon specimens in Seattle. The first – which was actually one of the first locks I saw period – appears to be a Kaba Gemini. I’m not sure why, but this specimen does not bear the “UL” stamp of a UL-437-listed high security lock. Still, the pins originating at 12, 4, and 8 o’clock in the cylinder are evident. In my opinion this is one of the most elegant high security locks on the market and I was really happy to find one.

Lock Safari: SeattleMy girlfriend and I were walking to dinner when I remarked to her that I had been a little disappointed in Lock Safari: Seattle. Two minutes later I looked over and saw the next lock which was a true “first” – the Miwa EC. The pins in this lock – and its key – are magnetic. This was on an apartment building in Capitol Hill.

Lock Safari: Seattle

Lock Safari: Seattle – Cheating

I couldn’t be this close to Duvall, WA without stopping into the Security Snobs showroom. Though I got the impression they aren’t used to walk-ins, I enjoyed playing with all the samples and shooting the bull with the salesperson, who is a fellow lock-nerd. I got to handle most of the locks in the Abloy, BiLock, and EVVA lines, as well as some real odd-ball stuff. I don’t receive any compensation (or even recognition) from Security Snobs, but if you need a high-security lock, this is where I recommend you go.

Lock Safari: SeattleAs I walked out I noticed their lock: an Abloy Protec. I wasn’t surprised, but I was happy to see that they practice what they preach!

Lock Safari: Seattle

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