Tuesday, October 29, 2013

3 technologies for a more convenient home

After writing consistently for almost 10 years, it felt good to take a few months off. But I missed it, and it feels good to get this article out to you. I hope you enjoy it..

3 technologies for a more convenient home

In a perfectly secure world, our homes would be locked up as tight as Fort Knox, with locks, bars, laser beams, sirens, the whole nine yards, and breaking in would require an effort suitable for a Mission Impossible movie. But that wouldn't be very convenient.

In a perfectly convenient world, we wouldn't lock our homes at all, and we could come and go without having to remember a key or a code. But that wouldn't be very secure.

The trick is to find the right blend of secure and convenient; making coming and going a breeze while being secure enough to keep the bad guys out.

Here are 3 products which can help you tip the scale towards convenience:

1.) Bluetooth Deadbolt

The Kwikset Bluetooth Deadbolt for iPhone is scheduled to hit stores at the end of this month, and looks pretty cool. (almost cool enough to make me want an iPhone. almost, but I think I'll wait for the android version instead..)

It allows you to open the lock with your iPhone, obviously, but it also allows you to share e-keys with other iPhone users - you can let a visiting relative open the door without having to hide a key under the mat!

2.) Keypad Deadbolt

You've probably seen these keypad locks around for years in commercial use, but now they're available in residential deadbolts. This is another great way to give access without having to make a physical key available, and the code is easy enough to change that you can create a new code when warranted.

This is also useful for when the kids come home after school, so they don't have to remember where their key is..

3.) Keypad Garage Opener

These have been around for a long time, but I didn't realize how inexpensive and easy they were to install until recently. I had always assumed they were wired to the garage, and if you didn't have one installed originally then it would be an expensive pain the butt to add one later. Wrong!

They're actually fairly inexpensive, and they work wirelessly - just like the remote button in your car.

I bought a Chamberlain Universal Remote at Lowe's last weekend for $40 and had it programmed and installed in about 15 minutes. Easy Peasy!

Some thoughts about safety

Unfortunately no security device or system is completely fool proof. Locks can be picked, windows and doors can be broken - even the family dog can be won over with some kind words and a few treats. But there are things you can do to make your home a less desirable target for bad guys. The San Jose Police Department's website has a pretty good list of reminders. (and all three of the items in this article help avoid leaving a key under the mat!)

I hope this gives you some ideas you can use to make your home a little bit better. Please feel free to give Cheryl or myself a call if want to discuss this topic (or any other topic) in more detail.

-Chris Butterworth