How do you get into your home? No doubt, you have at least one front door key that enables entry, while securely protecting your belongings when you’re not at home. But is this really the safest and most convenient way of controlling access?
Keyless door entry systems have been around for some time now. Simply put, your trusty old mechanical lock and key are replaced with a remote control based on radio waves that communicates with a receiver unit. We’re all familiar with remote central locking in our cars but applying the same technology to our bricks-and-mortar homes hasn’t quite hit the mainstream in the same way yet. Why not?
I spoke to the Smart Homes Company, installers of smart home entry systems in London, Surrey and Sussex, to really understand the benefits of keyless entry door locks.
- No more keys
One of the easiest ways to increase home security is by doing away with traditional keys altogether. Think about it; owning a physical key comes with a degree of personal responsibility – what if you get locked out, lose the key or it gets stolen? Often, there’s no back-up plan other than calling out a locksmith. And even if you’ve played it extra safe and left a spare key under the doormat, in a flowerpot or with a neighbour – how secure is that? What if an intruder discovers the location of the spare key?
With a keyless entry lock system, worrying about keys will be a thing of the past. All you need is a personal entry code that you punch in to gain access, or a smart phone app to activate the door lock. Simples.
- Better security
Of course, the main reason to go keyless has to be to effect an improvement in home security, and this is where smart home security devices can show us all the way forward.
Locks, whether mechanical, electronic or keyless, are only as good as the level of security they provide. Keyless locks are generally compatible with a range of locking devices such as cylindrical latches, mortise locks, deadbolts, dead latches and exit devices.
Keyless entry locks should be easily computer programmable, meaning you can update your access codes anywhere anytime provided you have access to a computer device and the internet. This puts you in full control of your home security.
In addition, you should be looking for enhanced security features such as
- Adjustable passcode length
- Option to have a master code that can override other user codes
- Anti-tamper lockout after a certain number of incorrect passcode attempts
- Quick lockout options for emergency situations
- Multiple access codes such as a PIN followed by card entry
- Convenient installation
Upgrading your home security installation from traditional mechanical door locks to keypads and keyless entry systems should be straightforward and cause minimal disruption. Most keyless entry locks tend to be battery operated, meaning no awkward and expensive wiring is necessary, while access to the building is safe from power failures. There should be a battery life indicator to ensure continued operation at all times. Many keyless entry systems also feature mechanical locks for added convenience and security.
A more basic, cost effective solution is to install mechanical push button locks that don’t rely on batteries. There’s a universal combination code to gain entry that can be easily managed but lacks the more advanced features of more sophisticated keyless door locks.
- Easily authorise access
It’s not just you that may need access to your property. What about the cleaning lady, a dog walker or handyman that needs to enter your home while you’re not there? And what about larger properties with long driveways, or blocks of flats with communal entrance doors? A reliable entry system is not just about enhanced security, it should also help to make life more convenient for you.
It therefore makes sense to have some way to let people in without having to be there yourself. Rather than arranging to meet them on the doorstep or find some clever way to let them have a key, keyless entry systems offer a much more elegant solution.
Simply share your code with whoever you need to, eliminating all the above hassles while keeping your home secure. For added peace of mind, many keyless entry locks are able to store multiple unique user codes. This allows you to give a temporary unique access code to anyone you wish to authorise into your home, and the ability to delete this access code after the event.
- Sophisticated home styling
It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re considering improvements to your home security, but the visual impact of your new keyless entry system may well make or break the deal. In other words, style may be as important as substance.
Compared to traditional locks, keyless entry technology must look the part, whether your all-singing-all-dancing entry system is designed for indoor use or is expected to operate in harsh weather conditions exposed to the elements.
In our media gadget driven world, most electronic door locks come in an attractive package, complete with sleek touch screens and visually attractive designs that offer an elegant aesthetic not unlike the latest smartphones and tablets. From access control systems to video entry systems, looks matter hugely.