In 2010 alone, there were over 2 million burglaries in the United States. Of these, 60 percent were forcible entry and the average loss per burglary was over $2,000. Over 70 percent of the burglaries took place on residential properties. Some of these burglaries could have been prevented with stronger, more advanced locks.
The traditional lock-and-key system has been around for hundreds of years. Don’t you think it’s time to upgrade your exterior residential door locks?
3 questions that will determine if you need to change your locks
- What grade is your lock? The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a non-profit group that standardizes rankings of builder’s hardware through testing products. ANSI grades locks 1-3 with grade 1 being the highest and meant for highest-grade security. Grade 2 locks are meant for the highest level of residential security. And grade 3 locks are intended for basic residential security. Visit Home Depot’s website to check your lock’s product details to determine its grade. If your lock is not grade 1, you should be heading to a locksmith.
- Are you missing keys? Even if you have the best lock money can buy, if a set of your keys has gone missing, there is potential for an easy robbery. When moving into a new home, owners have so many considerations that they may not prioritize changing their front door locks. To be safe, all new home owners should change their front door locks upon moving in. Additionally, if you ever unexpectedly lose your home key, you must change the locks.
- Is there a deadbolt? In the pursuit of preventing forcible entry, deadbolts are critical. Deadbolts should accompany other locks, such as those seen in hotel rooms. Even the visual of a deadbolt can deter potential criminals by showing them that you prioritize home security. The throw bolt should be at least one inch in length, making forcible entry more difficult.
Start-ups are investing time and energy into the smart lock industry
With advancements in iPhone technologies, companies have created “smart” items that make our lives easier and more efficient. For example, the Nest recently created both a smart thermostat and smart smoke alarm. On January 13, Nest sold their company to Google for $3.2 Billion.
Other firms are looking to gain notoriety in the smart lock industry, and simply fusing three of the most vital items everyone carries: a phone, a wallet, and keys, is turning into a profitable business model. Kwikset, Bitlock, Lockitron, Goji, and August Smart Lock are just a few of the firms that are looking to take advantage of this combination are.
One company that has taken smart lock technology a step further than its competition is Kwikset. In 2012, Phil Duman pitched the Unikey on ABC’s show “Shark Tank.” All five “sharks” on the show were extremely interested, and Duman won a $1 Million investment. On January 3, 2013 Dawson partnered with Kwikset Kevo and they created the Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth Electronic Lock. This product has won numerous awards including the 2014 Last Gadget Standing Award at the Consumer Electronics Show.
While smart lock technology is innovative, it is also very new. Do your research, or opt to stick with old-fashion locks, albeit the right ones. Check your exterior locks to make sure they satisfy the three criteria above. If they come up short, call a locksmith to secure your doors and the safety of your home.