Locking Up A Win

Replacement of locks meant a look at security technology

AT FRESNO CITY COLLEGE, THE SUCCESSFUL TESTING OF A LOCK ON ONE OF THE SCHOOL’S BUSIEST DOORS RESULTED IN A CONCERTED INITIATIVE TO UPGRADE THE INSTITUTION’S SEVEN CAMPUSES. THE SARGENT 11 LINE LOCK WON THE PRAISE OF COLLEGE LOCKSMITH MIKE YELINEK, WHO NOTES ITS SOLID CONSTRUCTION, EASE OF OPERATION AND MINIMAL MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS.

In the beginning, however, Yelinek was hardly an easy sell. In fact, in his own words he was “dead set against” changing lock brands. That’s because simplicity is a priority for Yelinek, who for the past 20 years has been the only locksmith for all of the college’s campuses.

“I have a small shop, so storage room for all the repair parts is a big concern,” Yelinek said. “I wanted to keep things consistent.”

His concern is based on experience. When Yelinek joined the district two decades ago, he inherited buildings equipped mainly with cylindrical knob locks, many of which had been in place for almost 40 years. The enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, however, mandated the replacement of those locks. Yelinek, naturally, chose to stay with the manufacturer of the locks that had maintained full functionality for four decades. But he soon learned that the quality was an issue.

“The handles began to sag almost immediately, and we were having more issues than ever with the knobs,” Yelinek said. “They were failing at light speed and required constant repair.”

Then, an ASSA ABLOY representative with whom Yelinek had spoken with several times about electronic access control products happened to stop by the shop, where he saw the shelves full of lock boxes labeled with the word “rebuild.” So he brought in a sample of the SARGENT 11 Line. The 11 Line’s unique T-Zone Construction provides strength and durability for the most demanding applications such as schools and hospitals. Yelinek’s decision was made almost instantly.

“As soon as I picked it up I realized it was a well-built product,” Yelinek said. “We installed the sample on one of our highesttraffic doors and have had dozens of people say how solid it feels and how smoothly it works. Then we put them in a few more places and got similar feedback.”

Before approaching the college’s administration about changing locks throughout the district, Yelinek didn’t let the superior performance of the installed locks diminish the thoroughness of his research. He checked out the lock’s UL testing, which confirmed that it performs better than any other grade 1 lock on the market. Yelinek says he also took the lockdown functionality into consideration.

“We needed something that could be easily understood by everyone, including our adjuncts, who aren’t key-carrying faculty but who would play a critical role in case of an emergency,” Yelinek said. “We opted for the push button on the inside in order to lock the classroom down. If the button is pushed in the door is locked.”

As of today, 11 Line locks are installed in high-traffic areas and in those where there have been break-ins. Yelinek reports that the first set of locks he purchased still look and operate as they did when they were installed more than a year ago.

In addition to those locks already on the main campus, Yelinek has more than 300 on order. His confidence in the product, he says, is based on the reliability of the locks already in service.

“When you make a decision like this, the bottom line is security, first and foremost, and the second issue is low maintenance,” Yelinek said. “You just want the locks to work so that you can install them and walk away and not have to come back for 10 years. That’s what I’m striving for, and with Line 11, we’re moving in the right direction.”

This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is the Publisher of Security Today magazine.

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