3 Types Of Locks & Tips For Using Them

3 Types Of Locks & Tips For Using Them


In escape rooms we use lots of different styles of locks. It is important to recognize the different types and locks. You don’t have to be a locksmith but a basic understanding of the different locks will help you win in an escape room

Combination Locks: This is the main type of lock used in most escape rooms. There is a large variety of combination locks. Some with have numbers or letters and even a direction. You may even find several different types of combination locks within the same escape room.

Here are a few tips when dealing with a combination lock. First analyze the lock. Is it numbers or letters or a direction? How many digits are required? Also double check to see where the numbers or letters line up on the lock. Some may line up on the front, the side or even the bottom.

Many times just lining up the digits is not enough. There may be a secondary action necessary to unlock it. Check if there is a knob that needs to be turned or a bolt that needs to moved. Sometimes there is even a small button that needs pushed or slide outward. If you still can’t open the lock and feel like you have the right combination, don’t be afraid to ask your host or game master if it is correct or not. You don’t want to waste too much time on the wrong digits.

Key Locks: There are so many different types of keys and possibility’s in escape rooms. The most important tip when dealing with a key lock is not to force it. If you break off the key in the lock then you may have just lost the game. If you are having trouble working a key locks, double check the key itself. Some locks may even take two turns. Sometimes the manufacturer may match the type of key or there could be a number on the lock and the key.

Electronic Locks: These computer controlled locks are being used more and more in next gen rooms. These electronic locks operate on a principal called ladder logic. It basically means that when an action is performed it tells the computer to release the lock. This action can be almost anything. From typing in a combination, turning a statues head or even swiping a prox card across a hidden sensor. One of the most popular types of electronic locks uses electro magnets. When you come across a magnetic lock it is important that you don’t force it. Sometimes the magnets have to “float” a little to work correctly and they may have a little bit of wiggle to them. One magnetic lock we used can hold up to 300 lbs of force.

Next time you are in an escape room take a moment to notice all the different types of locks that are used and how they work. Remember there is no shame in asking for help from your teammates or your game host if you are having trouble operating different types of locks.

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