What are these weird locks in San Diego?
November 14, 2010 5:27 PM   Subscribe

What are these locks which hang on gates (but don't seem to secure them) in San Diego?
posted by beniamino to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: They are commonly used by realtors and have small compartments in which a key or two can be hidden. The compartments can be opened by entering in a code.
posted by kitty teeth at 5:29 PM on November 14, 2010

Best answer: They look like realtor lock boxes - they hold keys to the house/apt/condo so realtors can show the place to their clients.
posted by nightwood at 5:29 PM on November 14, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks! I can stop fixating on this now!
posted by beniamino at 5:32 PM on November 14, 2010

I hope this isn't a derail, but I have one of those locked to my gas meter outside my house. I keep my spare key in it for when I lock myself out of the house or for when I am going for a jog/bike ride and don't want to take my keys.
posted by TooFewShoes at 5:35 PM on November 14, 2010

Sometimes contractors use them for the same purpose as real estate agents: they can give the code to employees and subcontractors and not need to worry about who has physical possession of the key.
posted by zachlipton at 5:55 PM on November 14, 2010

If you ever see a bunch of locks that aren't realtor's lockboxes on a gate or fence, it's probably love locks, a tradition which hasn't really made it to North America yet but seems to be popular elsewhere.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:09 PM on November 14, 2010 [3 favorites]

That was my initial thought as well, Rhomboid - there were a good many of them on several Paris bridges when we were there a few weeks ago.
posted by arachnid at 7:02 PM on November 14, 2010

By the way, those locks are not just found in San Diego, they're used pretty commonly everywhere I've ever lived in the US.
posted by polexa at 6:14 AM on November 15, 2010

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