We’re about a week in now and the dust is beginning to settle on this new year. We’re all a little older, perhaps a little wiser, than last year, and ready for new projects and responsibilities. For many that means longer working hours and less time at home. Perhaps you’re now considering whether your kids are ready to watch themselves at home, and whether it’s time to give them keys of their own. Well let’s take some time to address a few of your concerns and find some solutions for keeping your home and family safe when you can’t be around.
MY KIDS WILL FORGET OR LOSE THEIR KEYS
This is probably the first thing that comes to mind, especially if you’ve had to deliver lunch or gym shoes to your kid in the past. Afterall, the last thing you want is for your kid to be locked out until you get home because they left their keys on the bus that morning. The easiest solution for this is to attach the keys in such a way that they’re hard to forget. Get a keyring that attaches to your son’s cellphone. Clip the keys onto your daughter’s backpack or coat. You just need to plan enough that the keys won’t fall out of a pocket and into someone else’s hands.
NO, BUT MY KIDS ARE REALLY GOOD AT LOSING THINGS
If you want to be even more sure that your kids won’t lose their keys, just make it so there’s no key to lose. It’s 2017 now and lock technology has truly gone into the future. There’s a ridiculous amount of keyless lock options on the market, averaging around $200.
The most high-tech options out right now operate through your smartphone. You just click through an app when you get to the door and it opens right up. Some even have settings so they’ll unlock as you’re walking up and the lock senses your phone. You can give ekeys to all of your kids, and some of these locks can be programmed to send you a text alert when your son gets home from his piano lesson or your daughter comes home from soccer. Of course, that also means you’ll know if they come in after curfew, which may be an added bonus.
Even better, if your kid happens to also lose their phone or the battery runs out, or if they just aren’t old enough for a smartphone, many of these locks also have keypad attachments so they’ll be able to get in with a passcode if all else fails.
MY KIDS WILL FORGET TO LOCK THE DOOR BEHIND THEM
Everyone forgets to lock a door from time to time. It goes without saying that you’d be concerned about your kids leaving the house open for strangers. Worse, they might grant access while they’re home alone.
Smart locks are here to solve the problem once again. Some, like the August Smart Lock, will autolock after a set amount of time or when your phone is more than 100 feet away. Others, like the Kevo, use bluetooth so you can lock and unlock your door with your smartphone from anywhere. Thus you can quickly check the security of your home without spending 20 minutes waiting for one of your teens to answer their phone.
WHAT IF THE POWER IS OUT OR THE WIFI IS DOWN?
Smart locks sound great in theory, right? Until you consider that they might fail if the weather gets bad and a line goes down. Well smart locks run on batteries, so as long as you change them once or twice a year, you’ll be fine. Plan to do it when you check your smoke alarms. And fortunately, many of these not only use bluetooth instead of wifi (so you won’t lose the tether unless your phone runs out of battery), but also have key compatibility so you can open them the old fashioned way in an emergency.
I REMAIN UNCONVINCED
If you’ve made it this far and still aren’t sure, let me really sell you on the convenience of ekeys. Maybe you don’t have kids and just want to learn about smart locks and how they can work for you. Some of these smart locks come with a dedicated app allowing you to distribute keys to whoever you want and even put restrictions on them.
If you have a dog walker or cable guy scheduled while you’re out, you can grant them a limited access key that will only work at certain times on certain days so they don’t have complete access to your house. On vacation and your neighbor is collecting your mail? You can give them access until your trip is over. Do you host for Airbnb? You can distribute guest passes so your temporary tenants can come and go as they need without you needing to be around or worrying that they’ll accidentally keep your doormat key. Better yet, these apps let you track key usage, so you can find out who’s home and when.
Have more questions about smart and keyless locks? Drop us a line today to discuss your options with a professional locksmith.