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Where smart homes were once the domain of only the über wealthy, smart home technology is making its way into more and more modest homes and even rentals. There is no doubt that smart home technology can make life more convenient and save money, but smart home technology is also helping keep you safe as well. Security cameras and motion detectors are, of course, de rigueur elements in smart home security, but another often overlooked piece of smart home technology that can help make your home more secure are smart door locks. Here are 7 ways that smart door locks help improve home security.
1. Keys can be easily copied and easily found
Let’s face it, we all leave our keys sitting around in a number of very un-secure locations. From desk drawers to valet stands to key holders sitting right next to the front door, keys are easy pickings for ne’er-do-wells. Many people like to hide a key somewhere near their door in case they lock themselves out or need to let someone in unexpectedly when they are not home. We are all creatures of habit, however, and tend to hide keys in a fairly narrow range of locations, making them generally fairly easy to find for those who want to gain access to your home without permission. Smart door locks can be unlocked with your cell phone and if you happen to lock yourself out without your cell phone, you can just head to a neighbor’s house and call someone to let you in.
2. Impervious to lock picks
Most thieves and robbers are old hands with a lock pick and can gain access to your home in a matter of seconds without even needing a key. While smart locks are digital and can therefore be hacked, the number of thieves and robbers with the technological equipment and know-how capable of hacking a digital door lock are significantly lower than those that can pick a standard lock.
3. No more getting keys back from exes
We all have people in our lives that we trust at one time that later turns out to be unworthy of that trust. When we give people a physical key to our homes and later decide we no longer want them to have access, we have to either go through the hassle and expense of getting our locks changed or attempt to retrieve the key from that person – and hope they didn’t get a duplicate made. Many times, unscrupulous exes can even use the key as leverage and force you into uncomfortable confrontations you would rather avoid. With smart door locks, you simply revoke the person’s access. No fuss, no muss and no negotiating.
4. Smart locks keep a record of when doors are accessed and can even send alerts
Unless someone makes a mess of your home, you generally have no way of knowing when or if someone has entered your home without your permission. When you trust someone with a key, they can easily enter your home and steal something you won’t miss for a long time, without you being any the wiser for some time to come. Smart door locks will tell you exactly when someone has entered or exited your home and who it was. If you entrust your home to a house sitter or your kids to a babysitter, smart door locks also allow you to monitor their comings and goings while you are away.
5. No need to trust neighbors with your keys
It is quite common to want to leave a key with a neighbor, just in case you need someone to water plants or feed pets when you are away or be able to check on things in an emergency. But giving a key to a neighbor means you have to trust their judgment to keep your key secure and it also means you have to trust all the people that enter or exit their home. While you may trust your neighbor implicitly, that doesn’t mean the nephew or niece that comes to stay with them for the summer is quite as trustworthy. With smart door locks, you can grant access to your neighbor and only your neighbor – and be alerted if someone uses your neighbor’s phone to access your home.
6. Remotely grant access to emergency personnel
Smart locks are one component in an integrated home system. If you are away from home and get an alert from your smart smoke or CO2 detector, you can quickly have a neighbor go and check on things and potentially evacuate any pets. If your neighbor is not home or there is a genuine emergency requiring rescue workers, you can give them remote access to your home so they do not have to break down a door or window – which would be particularly frustrating if it turned out to be a false alarm.
7. Works with other smart home tech to create a secure network
Smart door locks are just one component in total home defense. Smart door locks can be paired with smart doorbells that work on motion sensors and can alert you to someone’s presence at your front door before they ever enter your home. As soon as the motion sensor on the smart doorbell is activated, it also begins recording video. This can be used to help protect your home from future break-in attempts if they don’t make it in the first time, or if they start looking for another point of entry. If they do manage to gain entrance to your home, smart cameras can show you exactly what they do once they are inside and give you video evidence to hand over to authorities to help them catch the perpetrator. While no security is 100% foolproof, smart door locks are one component in a complete system designed to help increase overall security.
Not only do smart door locks make your home far safer, but they are also far more convenient. If you are indisposed when someone rings the doorbell, you can see who it is from your smartphone. If it is a guest, you can grant them access from your smartphone without having to go to the door and if it is a delivery or service person, you can give them access and give them instructions right from where you are – and keep an eye on them when they are in your home. When you come home with arms full of groceries or your front porch light is out, you no longer have to struggle with getting a small key into a tiny slot. Just push a button on your phone and you’re in. Smart door locks are even becoming more and more affordable, providing homeowners and even renters of the most moderate means access to the latest in safe and convenient technology.