In an puzzle room that shall remain nameless, my team burned an incredible amount of time on a lock that none of us had ever seen before (which is a remarkable feat). The crook who stole our time was was the “Pacsafe Prosafe 750 TSA Accepted Key-Card Lock.”
After asking folks in the escape room community, I learned that this chintzy little lock is an item that no one in my non-random sample had encountered.
We hate it when players lose or struggle in a room because the locking mechanisms are outlandish, so we’re spilling the proverbial beans on this lock.
How does it work?
The lock has a little slot on its side. All you have to do is push the credit card sized punched card key into the side of the lock, and it pops open.
If you try to slide the card up from the open bottom, the punched card key will not budge. This is what I did. I thought it didn’t work. In retrospect, it was a silly mistake, but I wasn’t the only one to make it.
How secure is it?
From a security standpoint, I think that all of these locks use the same exact hole pattern for their key.
It’s also a TSA-approved lock, so there are a ton of skeleton keys floating around that will pop the thing open.
There is no way that I would ever use it to secure something even mildly important. It’s a fancy diary lock.
How durable is it?
The lock feels pretty weak. I can’t say for certain how well it would stand up to the punishment that locks receive in an escape room, but if I were a gambler, I’d bet that it would be breakage prone.
There are other similar locks on the market, but they all seem like they are a repackaging of the same item.
If I were operating a room escape I wouldn’t bother with it.
It’s a needlessly confusing contraption and its build quality doesn’t inspire confidence.