“The freedom that comes with these security devices make them a pleasure to include in our daily lives.”
I have seen plenty of changes in the world in my lifetime. When you were born before color television was invented, that’s an easy statement to back up! While keyless locks are not as life-changing as cell phones or personal computers, they are great alternatives to traditional keyed locks. They may not be for everyone, but there are many reasons you will be happy you switched to keyless door locks.
Keyless door locks do not need actual keys put in them to unlock them. They can be installed almost anywhere you put traditional locks. Here is an overview of the different types:
This is the most basic type of keyless door lock. It is 100% mechanical, doesn’t use electric power, and is not computerized. It is a deadbolt lock that operates by entering numbers on the keypad. This combination acts on the lock just like the cuts on a physical key do in a keyed lock. Because these locks are mechanical, you can only have one code set at a time.
Once you get into the realm of electronic locks, you have a great deal more flexibility, because these are computerized. They essentially “tell” the bolt to release when you enter correct access information. This is similar to the way your car transponder key “tells” your engine to start.
You can do this with a keypad, a fingerprint scanner, or an electronic card key, for example. There are even smart locks now that will open using your smartphone. There is a lot more to say about the features of electronic locks, but that’s for another post!
They are convenient. These days, with push-button engine starters, you are probably not holding your keys in your hand after leaving your car. So, why search around for your house key?
They are great for children. Do your kids have a hard time remembering to carry a key? How many times have you had to rush home to let them in because they forgot it? Keyless entry eliminates that stress from your life. Depending upon the type of lock, all they need to open it is the code or a smart phone (and they always have that)!
They are easy for guests. I have never been a fan of handing out house keys every time someone comes to visit. It’s hard to remember to get the keys back, and it’s not wise to have numerous house keys randomly floating around. With keyless entry, you just give out the combination to your guests. When they leave, you can change it. More sophisticated locks even allow you to program temporary codes that expire after a pre-set amount of time. You can use the regular code, and give your guests a temporary one. That way, you don’t even have to change the code when guests leave.
They are great for service people. You may want pet-sitters or even neighbors to have access to your home when you are away. Again, keyless entry means you won’t give out keys you may not get back, or that can be duplicated before being returned. It is easier (and cheaper) to change the combination than it is to rekey the locks.
Landlords love them. It’s so easy when a tenant leaves. No more worries about getting back all the keys, or rekeying locks for new tenants. Everyone feels more secure.
Homebuyers love them. Imagine this (it happened to me). You buy a house. After the closing, the previous homeowner uses a leftover key to enter the house and get something he left behind! That’s just disturbing, but it shows just how important it is to control who has access to your home. Keyless locks mean not worrying about keys the previous owner may still have or gave away over time.
Some keyless locks can be operated remotely. For this feature, you need a smart lock, but how cool is that? If you are forgetful (or OCD), and sometimes go back to the door to double-check the lock, this is amazing.
They can provide accountability. You don’t have to keep track of who has keys. In addition, some of today’s electronic locks will even create a log of entries and exits. Know what time your kids came home, or when your dog-walker actually arrived and left.
They can save you money over time. With traditional locks, if keys go missing, the only fix is to pay to rekey or replace the lock. With a keyless lock, all you have to do is change the combination.
While there are many advantages to keyless entry systems, everything has its pros and cons. You’ll want to consider the following before making your decision to move to keyless door locks:
Keyless door locks are more expensive. Depending on the level of technology and sophistication, these locks will set you back more than traditional deadbolt locks. According to PC Magazine’s ratings of the best smart locks of 2017, smart locks with assorted features run from just under $100 to around $250. Mechanical combination locks are a little less.
Some can fail in a power outage. Electronic locks require electricity, and they will not function if the power goes out.
They are subject to “shouldering.” If people are with you when you open the door, and you don’t want to give them access to your home, you need to be careful they don’t see over your shoulder when you enter the combination.
Be careful choosing a code. Many people have difficulty remembering random numbers, and it is tempting to choose easy-to-remember codes like birthdates or anniversaries. Weak passcodes are easy for people to break, and people can find out a lot about you online.
All in all, the benefits of keyless door locks far outweigh the drawbacks. The freedom that comes with these security devices make them a pleasure to include in our daily lives. So, lock up America, and stay safe! And if you want to make your life just a little easier – go keyless!