It seems clear in the 21st century that all things mechanical must become digitalized, and traditional locks are no exception. The convenience of keyless locks makes for lighter janitor belts, and they enable you to secure the exterior of your home or business without having to carry a key. However, as with any security system, whether it's accessed by a key, an iris, a fingerprint, voice or a keypad, keyless locks have their advantages and risks.
How Could Keyless Locks Benefit Me?
Imagine this: You leave for a long weekend of camping. Taking advantage of your absence, Mr. Kitty leaps onto the counter, toppling the bud vase, spilling water into your state-of-the-art espresso maker's digital control panel and shorting it out. You get a call from your neighbor about smoke billowing from your kitchen window and how the fire department is on its way. Without a keyless entry, the firefighters will take hatchets to your beautiful, new insulated steel door because Mr. Kitty isn't about to open up for them. No worries, though, if you have keyless entry. You simply give your neighbor the key code to let the firefighters in as you swing a U-turn and head home. Hooray for the keyless lock!
How about this scenario? On an ordinary day, your teenager comes home from school with an armload of extra books in blowing rain. Without a keyless lock, your child must set school books down in water to dig out the house key hoping the rain doesn't penetrate the backpack zipper and fry the laptop. With the keyless lock, however, your A student can push the code in with one knuckle and without a dropped book or pause in the texting.
Not having to carry a house key also means one less opportunity for crooks who surreptitiously photograph keys and create duplicates.
The short answer is that keyless locks are convenient and safe. Why wouldn't you want one?
Are There Any Downsides?
Most keyless locks work by way of electricity. Let's revisit the teenager coming home from school. Maybe knuckling the keypad produces no results because the rain breached the failsafe feature and neutralized the electronics. Or perhaps the power went out just as the batteries perished, leaving you without a functioning keypad. This could be an issue.
You also have to remember that key codes require you to memorize them. How easy is it to forget passcodes? Pretty easy, considering most people pick one or two computer passwords to use for their many online accounts. Also, you'll want to change the codes regularly, especially if you or your family members divulged them to neighbors, friends and service people. Although changing codes is much easier than changing the mechanical locks, if keeping them in mind proves a bit difficult for you or family members, it can become a burden. Additionally, if the codes remain the same too long, the faces of the buttons tend to wear out, revealing which numbers are frequently used. A patient crook could break your four-digit codes without much strain.
So What Happens If They Fail?
Because keyless locks aren't foolproof, most also come with a cylinder and mechanical key. So you'll still have a way in if you're having trouble with the lock. But that also means you're not really saving yourself from carrying a key, after all. Plus, wherever you have a keyed lock, burglars can pick or bump it, rendering the electronics superfluous.
The best plan, then, might be to choose a keyless lock and keyed cylinder built with safety features that resist picking and bumping. Be sure to build some weather protection in at the keypad, such as a sealing flip up cover to keep it safe in inclement weather.
For more information on keyless lock systems, call to speak with a licensed, experienced locksmith at Area Safe & Lock Service. Our expert locksmiths and security professionals welcome any questions and are happy to provide a free consultation. Contact us today.