It seems that technology touches us in the most unexpected places. It can make our lives easier or make them so complex as to drive us crazy. Home security is one area that has evolved a lot in the last few years and one component that has become quite popular is the smart lock.
With the surge in vacation and short-term rental properties, security has become a bigger issue than in the past. Giving out keys and/or rekeying locks is costly and cumbersome. Not only do owners wish to keep track of who has keys, but they also need to know who is coming and going into their house at all times.
Smart locks come from a variety of manufacturers and in different styles and functionality.
The most sophisticated are fully electronic with built-in wi-fi which allows the user to operate remotely via an app on your phone or tablet. Most smart locks can be programmed with multiple access codes, so it is easy to identify the party that opened the lock. Some even allow the lock to connect to Alexa or Siri so they can be operated by voice commands.
Along with the use of a security system or security cameras the owner can keep track of the visitors.
Regardless of which technology you choose security is the goal of any lock. Most consumers are unaware of the grading system used to determine the functionality of a lock system. The grading system determines the strength of the lock against a series of tests that include a striking impact, a torque twist test, and a durability rating. Always check the label of any lock you install to make sure it meets the rating required for your application.
- Grade 1 – Highest Grade Security. The strongest grade ANSI recognizes can be used for any residential or commercial product.
- Grade 2 – Higher Residential Security. Designed to offer excellent security and durability. Used primarily for residential applications and some light commercial applications.
- Grade 3 – Basic Residential Security. The lowest grade provided by ANSI, and the minimum acceptable quality for residential door locks. Typically used for interior doors.
Any lock you purchase should have at least a minimum rating for the application you have chosen.
Other things to look for in a smart lock. Multiple access codes allow owners to vary and track user access. Built-in alarm technology senses potential security breaches at the lock, low battery indicator, fingerprint-resistant touchscreen, and optional voice control for hands-free convenience.
Not ready to move up to the electronic smart lock features?
Another option to avoid having a locksmith re-key your lock each time a key gets misplaced, or a tenant moves out is the SmartKey® technology from Kwikset. This type of lock makes it easy for anyone to change the key by simply inserting a small tool (a paper clip or brad will work in a pinch) into an access hole on the tumbler to instruct the lock to reset itself to a new key.
These locks are available at most hardware and home improvement stores and can be installed with just a screwdriver. This type of lock is an inexpensive alternative to a fully electronic smart lock.
Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit www.Scottsdale-AZHomes.com