What are the biggest security concerns of customers these days and what solutions do you have for them?
Avoiding home intrusion is the biggest issue motivating people to call us. Most burglars strike between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm when they know folks are at work and at school. Although security systems are a deterrent, a seasoned burglar will be in and out of your house in less than 10 minutes – far less time than it takes the police to arrive because an alarm was set off. So, good, strong locks are your best defense. We specialize in high-security locks that cannot easily be compromised, and high-security keys that cannot be easily duplicated. A lock too difficult to breach will send thugs the other way; they look for easy targets.
When leaving home for a night, a week or even months, what do you suggest that homeowners do to secure their residences?
Many factors impact your home’s security while you are away. First and foremost you want high-security locks and keys. Today, standard keys can be replicated easily and standard locks are susceptible to bumping, drilling and picking. A high-security lock will stop intruders in their tracks and send them looking for an easier target.
Motion lights help illuminate dark areas, and your landscaping can help or hinder your security, too. Make sure that shrubs do not obscure your windows; you don’t want to give a would-be thug some cover from passersby. Consider using gravel on your walking paths near your home; gravel is much louder than flagstone and can alert you to someone nearing your home. Barking dogs are a big deterrent, especially one with a big bark!
Lastly, if you are away for an extended period of time, consider getting a Kevin, the virtual roommate, which scares off burglars by mimicking a real person. Kevin is the first IoT device to simulate the presence of people in a room by emitting light, shadow effects, and sound. Burglars will think someone’s home, and won’t want to break in for fear of being caught.
Please explain the variety of locks that you can install. Are some better for particular purposes than others?
We only sell quality products that we can stand behind. We believe so strongly in the products that we sell, that we offer an 100% guarantee on materials and labor on all products purchased from us, for as long as our customer owns his/her home. What this means, is that if for any reason, at any time, the door hardware that we’ve installed has failed or is not working properly, we’ll fix it or replace it free of charge. There’s a big difference between the locks available at big-box stores and the ones that we sell, although many carry the same brand name and same label. Nearly all of the door hardware available at big-box stores are made of thin metal and have plastic components. Also, in big-box stores, all locks in the same case (box of new locks) are keyed alike. So, if you buy two locks and the guy behind you buys locks from the same case (box) of locks, he now has a key to your home (and you have a key to his!)
We install door hardware purchased from us and door hardware purchased by the customer – everything from the very basic – read not-so-secure – to the most secure locks on the market. Very basic locks tend to be used by landlords on rental properties because they are inexpensive. We mostly sell these to property management companies. We sell and install mostly medium grade (medium security) and high-security locks. It all depends on the customer’s comfort level. Your home is probably your biggest investment; it should be well protected.
When moving into a new home, what security measures do you suggest?
When moving into a new home, we recommend taking advantage of our free security assessment. We look at the age and security of the current door hardware and make professional recommendations. We pride ourselves in providing honest advice and we always act with integrity. At a minimum, we recommend re-keying the current locks (having your existing locks work on new keys). Re-keying is a cost effective way to be sure that any existing keys will no longer work. If the current locks are old or in bad shape, we recommend changing the locks. Lastly, we recommend considering a keyless deadbolt (touchscreen or push-button) lock for your high-traffic door. This will save you from having to give out keys (that could be lost), save you from having to hide keys, prevent you from getting locked out of the house, and no one then would be able to make unauthorized copies of your keys.
What other new security items are available now or will be available in the future?
More and more we’re seeing smart locks with finger-print readers. In the future, some of the features once available only in the commercial market will be available to residential consumers, such as locks can have time entry restrictions and locks that can provide audit trails.
Lastly, I want to talk about the how easy it is for someone to obtain a copy of a standard key. I don’t want to be alarmist, but you should be aware. There exists an app called KeyMe (and there are kiosks of the same name around our area). If you have standard keys (Kwikset, Schlage, Yale, Wise, MasterLock, Baldwin), all it takes is for someone to take photos of both sides of the key, upload it to the app and a copy of your key will be available for pick-up at 7-11 or RiteAid. Why does this matter? Because KeyMe has no way to verify whether the key that you’ve just requested is actually your key and not someone else’s key. If ever you leave your keys unattended at the coffee shop , a garage or at the gym, it only takes seconds for someone to upload a photo of your key to the app. And, several minutes after that, your key is available for pick-up.