​Beat the Business Heat: Safeguarding Your Commercial Locks and Door Hardware This Summer

​Beat the Business Heat: Safeguarding Your Commercial Locks and Door Hardware This Summer

As temperatures soar, businesses must know that the scorching summer heat can wreak havoc on your commercial locks and door hardware. At Smallwood Lock & Supply, we understand the importance of maintaining a secure and functional workspace, and we're here to share expert advice on how to keep your business cool under pressure.

Why Summer Heat is a Security Concern for Businesses

The sweltering summer heat isn't just uncomfortable for employees and poses a significant threat to your business security. Taking proactive measures to address these vulnerabilities is crucial to protecting your assets, employees, and customers. Here's why:

  • Weakened Physical Security: Extreme heat can cause doors and frames to warp, compromising the fit of locks and latches. This creates vulnerabilities that opportunistic criminals can exploit to gain unauthorized access.
  • Increased Risk of Malfunctions: High temperatures can accelerate wear and tear on locks, hinges, and other hardware components, increasing the likelihood of malfunctions. A jammed lock or broken door handle can leave your premises vulnerable and disrupt business operations.
  • Electronic System Failures: Commercial security systems often rely on electronic components susceptible to heat damage. High temperatures can cause these systems to malfunction, compromising access control, alarms, and surveillance capabilities. Extreme heat also increases the demand for electrical grids, often resulting in power outages. These outages can turn off security systems, leaving businesses unprotected.
  • Employee Negligence: In the summer heat, employees may be more likely to prop open doors or windows for ventilation, inadvertently compromising security. The discomfort caused by heat can also lead to lapses in judgment and decreased vigilance, making it easier for unauthorized individuals to enter unnoticed. In addition, employees exposed to high temperatures may suffer from heat stress, impairing their concentration and decision-making abilities. This can result in reduced vigilance and slower response times to security incidents.

How High Temperatures Affect Your Commercial Hardware

In the graphic above, you can see that with heat, comes change. 

Metal Expansion and Warping: Commercial door hardware, often made of metal, can expand and warp under high temperatures. This thermal expansion can cause several issues:

  • Misalignment: As metal expands, door frames, hinges, and locks may no longer align correctly. This misalignment can make opening or closing doors difficult, compromising security and access.
  • Difficulty in Locking/Unlocking: Warped doors and frames can prevent locks from engaging correctly. This can lead to doors that cannot be securely locked or unlocked, posing a significant security risk.
  • Compromised Integrity: Repeated exposure to extreme temperatures can weaken the metal over time, reducing the overall integrity and lifespan of the hardware.

Lubricant Breakdown: Extreme heat can cause lubricants within locks to dry out or evaporate, leading to several complications:

  • Increased Friction: Without proper lubrication, the moving parts within locks can experience increased friction. This friction can cause the components to wear down quickly, leading to premature failure.
  • Lock Jamming: The absence of adequate lubrication can cause locks to become stiff or jammed, making them difficult to operate and increasing the risk of lockouts.
  • Maintenance Challenges: Regular maintenance becomes crucial in high-temperature environments to ensure locks remain functional. This includes frequent application of appropriate lubricants to prevent breakdowns.

Electronic Lock Malfunction: High temperatures can also affect the performance of electronic locks and access control systems, leading to malfunctions or glitches.

  • Component Overheating: Electronic locks contain sensitive components that can overheat in extreme temperatures. Overheating can cause these components to malfunction or fail.
  • Glitches and Failures: Heat can interfere with the electronic circuits and sensors within the locks, leading to glitches, erratic behavior, or complete system shutdowns.
  • Battery Life Reduction: High temperatures can reduce battery life in battery-operated electronic locks, leading to more frequent replacements and potential lock failures if the battery dies unexpectedly.

Proactive Measures to Beat the Heat

Implementing proactive measures can significantly mitigate the adverse effects of high temperatures on your commercial locks and hardware. Here are detailed strategies to keep your security systems functioning optimally during the summer months:

Regular Maintenance

Scheduling regular inspections and maintenance is crucial for ensuring the longevity and functionality of your commercial locks and hardware.

  • Routine Inspections: Regularly check locks, hinges, and other hardware components for signs of wear and tear, corrosion, or damage due to heat. This helps identify and address issues before they escalate.
  • High-Quality LubricationA high-quality, heat-resistant lubricant keeps locks functioning smoothly. Proper lubrication reduces friction and prevents components from seizing or wearing out prematurely. Ensure that all moving parts are adequately lubricated during each maintenance cycle.

Professional Inspection

Engaging a professional locksmith to assess your commercial security system can provide expert insights and recommendations.

  • Expert Evaluation: A professional locksmith can identify vulnerabilities in your security system that may not be apparent during routine checks. They can assess the condition of your locks, hinges, and electronic systems and recommend necessary adjustments or replacements.
  • Customized Solutions: Professionals can suggest customized solutions tailored to your specific needs, such as upgrading to more heat-resistant hardware or implementing additional security measures.

Shading and Ventilation

Protecting your hardware from direct sunlight and ensuring proper ventilation is essential for maintaining the integrity of your security systems.

  • Ventilation for Electronic Systems: Ensure that areas with electronic locks and access control systems are well-ventilated. Good airflow helps dissipate heat and prevents electronic components from overheating. Consider using fans or air conditioning to maintain a stable temperature in these areas.

Emergency Preparedness

A contingency plan for lockouts or malfunctions during peak heat times ensures your business remains secure and operational.

  • Spare Keys: Keep spare keys readily available in secure locations to resolve lockouts quickly. Ensure that multiple trusted personnel know where these spare keys are. 
  • Emergency Locksmith Contact: Establish a relationship with a reliable locksmith who can provide emergency services. A locksmith on call ensures you can quickly address any lock malfunctions or security issues from extreme heat.
  • Backup Systems: Consider implementing backup access control systems, such as mechanical locks or commercial-grade padlocks like the Master Lock Magnum Series padlocks, that can be used if electronic systems fail. This provides an additional layer of security and ensures continuous access control.

Regular System Testing

Regularly test your entire security system to ensure all components function correctly under high temperatures.

  • Simulated Stress Tests: During maintenance checks, perform simulated stress tests to see how your locks and electronic systems perform under high temperatures. This helps identify any weaknesses that need to be addressed.
  • Update and Upgrade: Keep your security system updated with the latest firmware and software updates to ensure optimal performance. Consider upgrading to newer, more heat-resistant models if necessary.

Top Padlocks for Heat Intensive Weather

Choosing the right padlock can make a significant difference in maintaining security during extreme weather conditions. Here are some of the best padlocks from Master Lock, ABUS, and American Lock designed to withstand high temperatures:

  • Master Lock Magnum Series: Our Master Lock Magnum Series padlocks are known for their durability and weather resistance, making them ideal for high-temperature environments. They feature a rugged construction and a weather-resistant coating that helps prevent rust and corrosion.
  • ABUS Granit SeriesABUS Granit padlocks are designed for extreme conditions. They offer high resistance to physical attacks and are made with materials that withstand high temperatures and harsh environments.
  • American Lock A700D: The American Lock 700 Series is made from solid steel with a chrome-plated finish, providing excellent protection against corrosion and heat. It's a reliable choice for securing commercial properties in high-temperature areas.

Partner with Smallwood Lock & Supply

Smallwood Lock & Supply offers a comprehensive range of commercial lock and hardware solutions designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. Our expert team can provide tailored recommendations for installation and maintenance services to ensure your business remains secure and functional throughout the summer heat.

Don't let the summer heat compromise your business security. Contact us today to learn more about our commercial security solutions and keep your business cool under pressure.

Jun 20th 2024

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