Should You Install Electronic Door Locks?

January 26, 2018

As our lives get more high-tech, one feature of your home may one day go the way of the typewriter: your house key.

From fingerprint sensors to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled systems, keyless entry products are rapidly transforming the way Americans secure their homes.

These keyless systems may not be for everyone, particularly anyone that's not comfortable with technology.

However, if you are tech-savvy these keyless entry systems add another layer of home protection that's not available from a typical door. And you don't have to ever worry about losing your keys again.

Are these easy-access locks the right choice for you? If you're not comfortable with technology, they probably won't be. However, if you have no problem programming your DVR, universal remote and household thermostat, a keyless lock may be a good option.

Here are some of the technologies currently on the market:

Biometric fingerprint recognition - This is the latest and greatest keyless entry technology. Biometric locks recognize your fingerprint, allowing you to unlock your home with a swipe of your finger. This type of keyless lock requires you to program it with your fingerprint as well as those of the rest of your family or others you want to allow to access your home.

Keyless deadbolts - These are less expensive than the fingerprint entry system. They are very dependable and also offer keyed entry alongside the digital keypad for added peace of mind in case you forget your code.

Keyless remote door locks - These systems don't require keys or codes that you can forget. They include a fob similar to ones that you use for opening your vehicle. Using RFID technology, the door will open with the press of a button.

Smartphone-controlled locks - These locks synch with your mobile phone via Bluetooth. This allows you to control entry to your home remotely as well as track who is coming and going. Some of these locks will text you when someone else opens your home's door, while others will automatically unlock your door when you approach it.

Keypad locks - These entry systems require you to program an entry code. Though newer, more complex models may allow you to have individual codes for specific people or even program a greeting that will play when the door is unlocked.

Costs and security

Prices for electronic door locks range from $100 to more than $1,000, depending on the type of lock and features included. While they can make entering and exiting your home easier - unless there's a power outage or the circuit board fails - they aren't necessarily more secure than traditional keyed locks.

Burglars generally enter homes through unlocked doors or windows or by forcing open a window or door.

If security is your main concern, you're probably better off investing in solid wood or steel exterior doors rather than the latest electronic lock technology. Door jambs reinforced with steel plates will also make it more difficult for an intruder to kick in the door.

Whether you opt for traditional keys or a new, high-tech electronic lock for your home, you should make sure you are properly insured for a break-in. If you don't have homeowner's or renter's coverage, call us.

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