Most people wouldn’t dream of trading in their remote control car keys for standard ones, yet how many residential owners have swapped their house keys for the same level of security and convenience?
Remote control locks for residential use are a little-known commodity in Europe and other places, but they are quite common in South Africa, the US and Korea. Magnus Eriksson, ASSA Product Manager Electromechanical Locks, says this can partly be attributed to a greater concentration of gated communities and secure buildings in those countries: “In South Africa, for example, it is common to use remote controls to access not only your front door, but the garage door and the gate surrounding the house or apartment building.”
He adds that it is far more convenient for the administrators of a gated community to replace electronic keys rather than mechanical ones, and cheaper too. “If you lose an electronic key, you just erase the electronic code and immediately issue a new one,” Eriksson explains.
Electromechanical locks can provide the same flexibility and convenience to homes in non-gated communities, as some “early adopters” in Australia and Sweden are discovering. In an ASSA ABLOY survey with homeowners who have installed electromechanical locks, respondents praised the lock for eliminating the need to fumble for keys. “I like the remote control function. It’s so convenient, you just press the remote as you walk from the car to the door,” said one user. Another added: “It’s so very practical—I can just open [the door] and the kids run in.”
Increased security is the other main advantage cited by some users who admit that they keep their homes locked more often now than they did prior to installation. Users also like the lock’s anti-panic function, which ensures that users can open the door with the inside handle at all times. “If there is a fire, you can always get out,” said a respondent.
A welcome beep
For Ann Olving, a consumer in Sweden who has had an electromechanical lock at her home for almost a year, the emergency exit functionality is just one of a number of advantages over standard key locks. “I like being able to open the locked door by just pressing the handle with one hand and I like the convenience of using the remote control or button on the lock to open the door when I’m carrying bags and things. It is easier to set the door in unlock/lock mode than it was with our old traditional lock, and if you forget to close the door, you hear a signal, which is good,” she adds.
The only problem that she has encountered with her electromechanical lock is that the batteries needed replacing after six months.
Does Olving like the electromechanical lock enough to recommend it? “I have already recommended it to others,” she says. “The lock creates interest from our visitors who actually notice that we have an unusual lock. Nobody cared about what kind of lock we had before.”
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