19 Mar Electronic Door Locks—What You Need to Know
Homes are getting smarter every day. Smart thermostats, smart TVs, and even smart locks are becoming the rule rather than the exception. But are smart locks right for you? As with so many things, the answer depends on what you want your lock to do.
Convenience or Nuisance?
There’s no doubt that keyless locks can be more convenient than fumbling for keys, but that assumes you’re comfortable with programming and operating them. If you’re still struggling with setting up programming on your DVR, smart locks may be more than you want to deal with. If you have trouble remembering your anniversary, will you forget what you need to open your door? Do you change the batteries in your smoke alarm before they go dead? Electronic locks use batteries, too.
On the other hand, if you constantly lose your keys or have frequent guests or tradespeople coming into your home, the programmability of electronic locks can be a huge convenience. You can set unique access codes for different people and erase them when no longer needed. It sure beats having to retrieve spare keys or changing your locks when you’re not comfortable with who has gotten a key. That’s why electronic locks are popular with businesses. You can even program some locks to restrict the times when a particular code is valid.
Are Electronic Locks More Secure?
Once again, it depends on the type of lock and the measures you take to keep them secure. If your lock uses a passcode that’s entered manually, how secure is the code and how carefully do you protect it? Passwords that are easy to figure out or are widely shared don’t do a lot to prevent unauthorized entry. Would you share the password to your bank account or email? Then why do it with your door locks? If your kids have the passcode, will they keep it safe?
Even biometric locks that use fingerprints can be defeated. In one test, lock-pickers were able to open a biometric lock easily just by using a paper clip to pick the backup key slot, bypassing the electronics altogether. So take a hard look at weaknesses in lock systems you’re considering. And remember that most burglars don’t enter through locked doors anyway—they prefer finding unlocked windows or doors or simply breaking glass or kicking in the door. So be sure your new lock resists physical damage with a good deadbolt and strong strike plate. And lock your doors and windows!
Are Electronic Locks Reliable?
Electronic locks are more complicated than manual ones, so there’s more to go wrong with them. They need circuit boards to control their operation, motors to move the locking mechanism and batteries to make it all work. Manufacturers are aware of this, so they go to great lengths to make them as reliable as possible. But circuit boards fail, mechanical parts can malfunction, and batteries can drain, so they’re not foolproof. When properly maintained, failures of electronic locks are rare, but not unheard of. Fortunately, most electronic locks also can be operated with standard keys, too, but keeping a backup key handy might diminish the point of having one in the first place. Of course keyless entry is just one of the benefits of an electronic lock, so as long as you buy a top-rated lock and keep it properly maintained, reliability shouldn’t be a big issue.
Welcome to Geek Heaven
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity make some electronic locks part of a total home security and management system. Smartphone users can synch their locks with Bluetooth and some locks can even recognize your phone and unlock the door automatically when you approach it. Others let you control the lock wherever you have a cellular connection. Some tell you who’s coming and going, and you can even get locks that send a signal to your phone when the batteries are getting low. If you want to see who’s at the door, you can get a lock that pairs to your security cameras and sends you a picture as soon as the lock is activated.
Talk to a Pro Before Making a Choice
Of course all these systems have features and benefits designed for particular needs. Before buying an electronic lock, give the pros at Alexius Security Lock & Key, Denver’s Hometown Locksmiths, a call. Our expert locksmiths are up-to-date on the latest electronic lock systems and can help you find the one that’s right for you.
Alexius Security has over 16 years’ experience and thousands of satisfied customers. We’re bonded and insured and offer several easy payment options. Our products and services are guaranteed, too. We’re at your service throughout the Metro Denver area 24/7 and have received a Better Business Bureau’s Gold Star certification five years in a row. We’re also part of Angie’s List and the Tom Martino Troubleshooter Network.
Visit our website, DenversLocksmiths.com, for a complete list of our services, policies, and testimonials from our satisfied customers. Then keep our number handy for the times you need professional, reliable locksmith services.