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    How to find a reliable locksmith

    August 30, 2016 12:04 PM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, August 30, 2016

    How to Find a Reliable Locksmith | Schlage

    Wondering how to choose a locksmith that is trustworthy? Here are a few tips and red flags to look out for when choosing a reliable locksmith.


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    More often than not, you’ll only need a locksmith at the most inconvenient time. If you’re like many of us, you don’t think about finding a reliable locksmith until an emergency occurs. You haven’t had the luxury of building a relationship with someone you'll be trusting with a most important job, your home’s security.
     

    The first thing you’ll do is Google search a locksmith in your area. What next? How do you know if the locksmiths at the top of the search results are reliable?

    How to find a reliable locksmith | Schlage

    Here are a few tips when finding a reliable locksmith:

    • Locksmiths should have a valid state locksmith license or registration. Make sure to ask for this upon obtaining service.

    • Some states require locksmiths to be licensed or registered. Ask if your state requires a license or registration, and say you want to see it when the locksmith arrives. Findalocksmith.com is a website sponsored by Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) and only features professional locksmiths who are registered.

    • Your locksmith should double check you are who you say you are. They should ask to see a valid ID and proof of residence/ownership. This is done to protect all parties involved.

    • Ask the locksmith to bring a written estimate of the total cost. If it seems low, confirm that is covers all fees such as service call, labor, replacement parts or mileage.

    • Find out if the locksmith has insurance to cover your losses in case your property is damaged during a repair.

    • Ask for the locksmith’s identification and business card. Make sure the information on the business card matches the company name on the invoice.

    • If the locksmith says it’s necessary to drill your lock and replace it, think about hiring a different person. A skilled, legitimate locksmith has invested in tools and education and should have the skills to unlock almost any door.

    • If the service was good, save the number in case there’s a next time and leave a positive review on their website or digital listing – for the next person in the same emergency.
    What tips do you have for hiring a trustworthy locksmith? Comment below to let us know. Be sure to visit the Schlage Security Center for more tips to keep your home safe and secure.

    Avoid these common home security mistakes

    August 23, 2016 12:04 PM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    Avoid these common home security mistakes | Schlage

    Home security systems can protect your home. However, human error often undermine these practices. Here are a few common home security mistakes to avoid.


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    Home security systems can protect your home. However, human error often undermine these practices. Here are a few common home security mistakes to avoid.
    Avoid these common home security mistakes | Schlage

    Hiding a spare key.

    Burglars know to check places such as a lawn ornament, rock or chair. Even first-timers know to check under the doormat. If for some reason you need to leave a key outside for an emergency, bury it in a place that’s not obvious and where you won’t forget, or ditch the key altogether by opting for a touchscreen or keypad deadbolt.

    Leaving doors unlocked.

    Nearly one third of break-ins in the U.S. happen due to unlocked entrances. Even though it’s obvious, burglars use the front or rear doors most often. Be sure to lock both. A garage door is the next easiest way to break into a house. Burglars can use a coat hanger to pull the emergency release lever to open it manually. If leaving on vacation, get out of your car and use the key lock on your garage door. A few extra minutes could be the difference.

    Forgetting to lock windows.

    Doors are obvious and easiest to remember. Windows tend to slip our minds and remain unlocked and/or open in many homes.  A good way to avoid this mistake is installing a locking mechanism you can open from the inside without a key to secure the windows. Also, do not forget to secure basement windows if you have any – these often go overlooked and create an easy entrance for burglars.

    Poor lighting.

    If lights are off inside and outside your home, it’s lets everyone know you’re not home. Add automated lighting inside so lights can come on even if you’re not around. Also, be sure to add motion sensor lights outside your home. It will help your electric bill as well as deter any would be burglars approaching your home.

    Being obvious that you're on vacation.

    Stay quiet on Social Media. Don’t post pictures of your toes in the sand with an ocean in the background. Be careful to post anything on social media when you’re away from home, especially on open networks like Twitter and Instagram which anyone can search.

    6 Best Practices to Keep Your Electronic Lock Safe and Secure

    July 18, 2016 4:59 PM by admin

    Monday, July 18, 2016

    6 Best Practices to Keep Your Electronic Lock Safe and Secure

    Electronic deadbolt locks are a great way to make life more convenient and provide added security to your home when you follow these 6 steps.

     

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    Smart home technology is quickly rising in popularity as homeowners choose products and devices that not only make day-to-day activities more convenient, but also give them peace of mind. When it comes to outfitting your home with this technology, it pays to understand the steps you should take to enjoy the features and benefits to the fullest. Here are six best practices that will ensure your electronic deadbolt lock is as safe and secure as possible.
    6 Best Practices to Keep Your Electronic Lock As Safe and Secure as Possible | Schlage

    1. Choose a secure access code / PIN.

    When choosing an access code for your electronic deadbolt, be sure to choose a combination that you are able to remember but cannot be easily guessed by others. Follow best practices for secure access codes by choosing a combination that does not have repeat numbers and consider choosing a long code instead of short.

    2. Keep an eye on the battery life.

    Each of the Schlage electronic keyless locks displays a low battery warning well in advance of the battery dying. While you'll have plenty of time to make the switch, it's important not to put this off too long to avoid being locked out. As a best practice, we recommend you go ahead and change the battery once a year when you change the batteries in the smoke detectors in your home.

    3. Store user codes in a secure location.

    Keeping track of all the user codes you've set up and knowing whether or not you've deactivated any outdated ones is key to keeping your lock secure. If you're using one of our connected deadbolt locks, you can keep track of these codes through the Schlage app but a great best practice is to have a backup log. Consider storing your codes in a spreadsheet or notepad and keeping that backup in a secure location.

    4. Lock your smart phone.

    With the Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt, you can talk to unlock using a compatible iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. It's important to set up a passcode on these devices so no one is able to freely access the Schlage Sense app.

    5. Find a home for the backup mechanical key.

    In the event that your battery does die before you are able to change it, all of Schlage's electronic deadbolt locks come equipped with a reliable backup, such as a mechanical key or a 9V battery. Be sure to place these backups in a secure location that can be accessed when you need them.

    6. Leverage safety features.

    Both the Schlage Sense lock and Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt come equipped with additional features designed to keep your home safe. Whether or not you choose to embrace remote connectivity in your lock, you can still take advantage of the unique features such as built-in alarm technology and auto-lock. With the built-in alarm, you can set your deadbolt to trigger an alarm anytime the lock is tampered with or a significant amount of force is applied to the door. With auto-lock, you can rest easy knowing your lock is set to automatically lock after a given period of time that you define after it has been unlocked. No more worrying if you locked the door on your way out.

    For more detailed step-by-step instructions for setting up each of the features mentioned above, visit our How-to-Center or check out our videos on YouTube.

     

     

     

     

    Home Security Steps You Should Take Before Leaving for Vacation

    July 13, 2016 3:58 PM by admin

    Wednesday, July 13, 2016

    Home Security Steps You Should Take Before Leaving for Vacation

    Don't let your home be vulnerable to intruders while you're away on summer vacation this year. Take these 5 home security steps before you leave.

     

     

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    Tis the season for family vacations and getting away from the daily grind to enjoy a relaxing retreat away from home. If you're planning a summer vacation this year, take one more worry off your list by ensuring your home is as safe and secure as possible. Here are 5 home security steps you should take before you find your home away from home.
    Home Security Steps You Should Take Before Leaving for Vacation | Schlage
     

    1. Proper lighting.

    A well-lit home is one of the best defenses against intruders. With recent advances in smart home technology, you can install a lighting system that turns on and off in intervals so your home is never left looking unoccupied. For a more affordable option, consider installing motion sensor lighting near your home's entry points. If you have a family member or friend taking care of pets or plants, ask them to turn random lights on and off throughout the home to get the same effect the smart lighting would give.

    2. Keyless locks.

    Keyless electronic locks not only make your day-to-day more convenient but offer peace of mind when you're away. If you choose a smart lock, like the Schlage Connect™ Touchscreen Deadbolt or Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt, you can check in remotely and make sure your doors are locked at all times. You can even manage custom user codes if the need arises for someone to need access to your home while you're away.

    3. Cameras.

    If being able to check in and see what is happening at your home is important to you, consider installing a few wifi-enabled security cameras. With remote capabilities, you can view what is happening at your home no matter where you are in the world.

    4. Garage security.

    Don't forget to secure your garage before you go. With a smart garage door opener and keyless technology on entry doors, you can be confident that the garage is not a weak spot for your home.

     

    5. Look active.

    Just like we mentioned with the lights an your home, giving the impression that the home is occupied is the best defense. Make sure you ask the post office to hold your mail until you return or have a friend or family member pick it up for you. You should also arrange for someone to maintain the landscaping and cut the grass if you plan to be gone for an extended period of time.

    What steps do you like to take to secure your home before leaving for vacation? Comment below to let us know!

    5 Easy Ideas for a More Organized and Secure Garage

    July 12, 2016 3:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, July 11, 2016

    5 Easy Ideas for a More Organized and Secure Garage

    Enjoy a more carefree summer by building an organized and secure garage space. Check out these 5 easy garage security and storage solution ideas.

     

     

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    Now that summer is in full swing and schedules are filling up from kid's activities and vacations to home improvement projects and social gatherings, it's a great time to make sure your home is organized, secure and ready to handle whatever the season throws its way. For many, the garage can be a source of stress as tools and toys are in disarray or even anxiety over forgetting to close the garage door. Here are a few of our favorite organization and security tips that you can incorporate in no time and enjoy a worry-free summer.

     

    1. Avoid leaning items against the wall.

    When it comes to storing rakes, shovels, brooms and more, it's easy to lean these items against the wall and walk away. It becomes a pain when one wrong move causes a domino effect and they all come crashing down. Assign a designated, secure location for each of these items by hanging hooks or try this DIY storage solution using old pallets. Get the full tutorial from HomeTalk.
    5 Easy Ideas for a More Organized and Secure Garage | Schlage

     

    2. Create a workspace.

    If you're the type of homeowner that likes to create and build things, then an exterior workspace is a definite need for you. Unfortunately, many homeowners tend to store way too much in the garage, making valuable real estate for working hard to come by. That's why we love this idea from Home-Dzine for a worktable that easily folds down to make room for vehicles or anything else you need to store when the workspace is not in use. Check out how simple it is to build your own fold-down worktable with this complete tutorial that saves time and money by recycling an old hollow-core door.
    5 Easy Ideas for a More Organized and Secure Garage | Schlage

     

    3. Place barely used items out of sight.

    Remove the stress of digging through piles of unused items looking for the one you actually need by keeping this clutter out of sight. Use the space near the ceiling in your garage to build shelving and store these items in bins. Take it another step and include a label to tell you what's inside without having to remove the bin to find out. We're big fans of this suspended shelving idea from The Family Handyman.
    5 Easy Ideas for a More Organized and Secure Garage | Schlage

    4. Keep toys and sporting equipment organized.

    Scrambling to find the kid's sports gear while running late to practice is a scene many parents know too well. Create a designated space for these items to help reduce the likelihood they could be misplaced and avoid having toys and gear strewn about. If your garage has exposed studs, use them to your advantage like Wendy of Designed to Dwell and create this easy storage system for gear and toys.
    5 Easy Ideas for a More Organized and Secure Garage | Schlage
     

    5. Upgrade your garage security.

    How many times have you left the house and wondered if you remembered to close the garage door? Even worse, you also forgot to lock the door leading from the interior of your home. With a smart garage device, you can check the status of the garage door and even command it to close remotely. Take security up another notch by installing a keyless electronic lock. This will ensure you and the kids will always have easy access but with features like auto-lock or even smart solutions, you can rest easy knowing your door is always locked.
    5 Easy Ideas for a More Organized and Secure Garage | Schlage

     

    What other storage solutions or security tips do you have for the garage? Comment below to let us know!

     

    When High Security Should be Top of Mind

    May 24, 2016 2:55 PM by admin

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016

    When High Security Should be Top of Mind

    Here are six ways smart home technology will increase the security of your home this summer by deterring theft and giving you peace of mind.

     

     

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    With Memorial Day just around the corner, many families are preparing for a busy summer full of home improvement projects and family activities. Whether your plan is to stay home this season or whisk away for a relaxing vacation, it's important to consider which steps you should take to deter criminals and keep your loved ones and belongings safe. Here are a few ideas that will increase the security of your home and give you peace of mind this season so you can enjoy what's really important.
    When High Security Should be Top of Mind | Schlage
     

    1. Ditch the keys.

    Hiding a spare key under a rock or doormat is just providing easy access to anyone that really wants to get in to your home. Even if you have the most clever hiding spot, it's easy for a neighbor or passerby to notice when you put that key back in place. Remove the risk and ditch the keys altogether by installing a keyless electronic deadbolt instead. Now you can enjoy the convenience of never getting locked out and make sure loved ones have access whenever they need it by assigning their own designated code.

    2. Light the home.

    A dark home can signal to would-be burglars that no one is home. Create the illusion that the home is occupied by installing smart lighting and motion sensors that turn on and off at random intervals. A well lit home is one of the first deterrents intruders look for.

    3. Set up surveillance.

    Along with a well-lit home, visible cameras can also make criminals pass your home by. You can also opt for a smart solution that includes 24/7 monitoring, allowing you to check what is going on at your home no matter where you are.

    4. Activate smart alarm.

    Installing a smart alarm is a great way to make sure you receive alerts anytime unusual activity is detected at your home. You can choose for a third party to monitor your alarm for a monthly fee or avoid the fee altogether by sending alerts directly to you. Just install motion detectors around windows and doors to trigger the alert. With coordinating cameras, you can check in to see what set the alarm off and decide if a call to your local law enforcement agency is needed.

    5. Monitor the garage.

    If you have a garage attached to your home, you've probably panicked more than once wondering if you remembered to shut the garage door on your way out. With a smart garage opener, you don't have to wonder. Simply pull check an app on your phone to verify if the door is open or closed. If you've chosen an opener with remote capabilities, command it to close no matter where you are.

    6. Keep tabs on the door.

    You've likely had the same fear you forgot to lock the front door on your way out as well. With a smart deadbolt lock, like the Schlage Sense™ Smart deadbolt or Schlage Connect™ Touchscreen deadbolt, and an accompanying smart home hub, you can rest easy knowing the status of your lock is easy to check with an app on your phone.

     

     

    For even more tips on equipping a safe and secure home, check out this infographic.

     

     

     

     

    How to Increase Home Security with Smart Home Technology

    April 26, 2016 5:52 PM by admin

    Tuesday, April 26, 2016

    How to Increase Home Security with Smart Home Technology

    Looking for ways to increase the safety and security of your home this spring? Check out the latest smart home developments that will do just that.

     

     

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    Spring is not only a great time of year to clean and organize your home but also the perfect time to make sure your loved ones and belongings are as safe and secure as possible. While you scour your home to replace smoke detector batteries and ensure all home security devices are in working order, look for opportunities to improve the safety of your home. With the latest developments in smart home technology, you can rest easy while at home or away knowing you didn't forget to lock the doors or close the garage and have the right equipment in place to deter both criminals and disaster.
    Check out this infographic to learn how smart home technology can make your home safe and more secure. Which safety risk are you looking to combat with new technology?

    How to Increase Home Security with Smart Home Technology
     

     

     

    Looking for even more information on smart home technology? Visit our smart home center at schlage.com.

     

     

     

     

    When Should You Re-key Your Exterior Deadbolts and Locks?

    April 20, 2016 3:49 PM by admin

    Wednesday, April 20, 2016

    When Should You Rekey Your Exterior Deadbolts and Locks?

    Should you replace or re-key your exterior deadbolts and locks? Here are four moments you should consider re-keying for optimal security.

     

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    Re-keying your locks often requires a visit form a local locksmith which could prove to be more costly than replacing the locks altogether. It pays to understand when you should re-key your locks or opt for an upgrade. Here are four times you may consider re-keying your exterior deadbolts and locks to maintain optimal convenience and security for your home.
    When Should You Re-key Your Exterior Deadbolts and Locks? | Schlage

    1. Ready to simplify home access.

    Most homes have at least two or more entry doors and each of those doors features a deadbolt and handleset or knob/lever. Add on any keyed garage doors, and you've got a whole pile of keys to look after before you know it. Whether you're handy enough on your own or need to call a locksmith for help, re-keying each of your locks to fit a single master key can greatly simplify your life and end any fumbling around trying to find the right key. When you're ready to simplify even more, consider throwing away the key altogether and opting for a keyless option.

     

    2. Upgrading one or more handlesets.

    Are you taking advantage of beautiful spring weather to give your front door a makeover? Interested in updating your hardware to suit your personal style better? Or just need to make a functional upgrade? If all of your locks are set for the same key, you'll need to re-key any new handlesets you purchase.

    3. Lost or stolen key.

    Have you ever misplaced a key to your home? Whether you're the sole key keeper or have several household members constantly coming and going, a lost key could mean that the wrong person may gain easy access to your home. Unless you want to use this as an opportunity to upgrade your hardware, now is the time to re-key your locks.

    4. Moved to a new home.

    You may be surprised to hear that many homeowners do not change the locks as soon as they take possession of a new home. There's no telling who had access to your home prior to you taking over so replacing or re-keying all locks should be first on your to-do list.

    Have questions about re-keying your particular lock? Give our customer support team a call at 888.805.9837.

     

     

    7 mistakes to avoid when purchasing exterior door hardware

    April 8, 2016 7:11 PM by emily.bailey

    Friday, April 8, 2016

    7 Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing Exterior Door Hardware | Schlage

    Make sure you do your homework and avoid these seven common mistakes when purchasing exterior door hardware.

     

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    When it comes to choosing the best exterior door hardware, there are many factors to consider to ensure the right fit for the style and security of your home. Choosing a new deadbolt and handleset may not be as simple as picking up whatever is available on the shelf. Make sure you do your homework and especially avoid these seven pitfalls when purchasing exterior door hardware.
    7 Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing Exterior Door Hardware | Schlage

     

    1. Not thinking about security.
    The number one concern on your mind when it comes to deadbolts and handlesets should be security. Not all deadbolts are created equal. Be sure to look for the highest security grade possible - Grade 1 certification - to ensure the quality and durability of your lockset. For more information on security grades, check out our guide to security grades
    2. Going for the most affordable option.
    When it comes to securing your home, this is one time you don't want to save a few bucks if it means sacrificing quality and durability. Be sure to research the safety ratings as discussed above and find out whether or not your new product would be covered by a warranty in the event it stops functioning properly or the finish begins to corrode. At Schlage, we offer a lifetime limited mechanical and finish warranty and a 1-year limited electronics warranty. For more information, visit our website.
    3. Not considering the features and benefits.
    Beyond a manufacturer's warranty, there are other things you should look for in your door hardware to make sure it's the right fit for you. Is it easy to install on my own or will I have to hire a locksmith? Does it guarantee other security features like bump-proof and pick-proof? Is there a wide variety of designs so I don't have to sacrifice style to get the best security?
    4. Not optimizing for your lifestyle.
    Deadbolts and handlesets have come a long way in recent years. Not only can they secure your home, but they now offer the ability to add greater peace of mind and convenience to your day-to-day life. For homeowners that are constantly on the go, a keyless electronic deadbolt may be the best choice for you. If you're interested in smart home living, you can also opt for a connected deadbolt that works in sync with other smart devices in your home making it easier than ever to feel safe and secure. Check out these benefits of going keyless to see if this is the right option for you.
    5. Ignoring existing accents and hardware.
    The style and finish of your door hardware can go a long way in tying your entire home together. Look to existing hardware like lighting or architectural accents for inspiration. For example, the clean lines of the Craftsman-inspired home above pairs perfectly with a more contemporary handleset. Your front door is the perfect opportunity to introduce your personal style before guests step foot inside.
    6. Choosing the wrong finish for your climate.
    Where you live can affect the lifespan of your hardware as well. For example, in coastal climates some finishes are more likely to tarnish than others. Be sure to research the materials used in your lock to decide which is the best fit for your home.
    7. Forgetting to check the handing on levers.
    Finally, you may think you can pick up any lever off the shelf. Unless you want the headache of trying to figure out how to install it upside down, pay attention to the handing of the lever versus which side of your door it will be on. Here's a quick guide to help you determine which is a right hand or left hand lever.

    Have other questions about your exterior door hardware? Feel free to ask in the comments below or give our Customer Support team a call at 888.805.9837.

     

     

    How to DIY Your Own Smart Home [Infographic]

    February 5, 2016 3:36 PM by admin

    Friday, February 5, 2016

    The DIY Smart Home | Schlage

    Don't let the cost of smart home technology scare you from building a smart home. Take a look at how you can DIY your smart home for less.

     

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    There are many benefits of building your own smart home but many homeowners feel overwhelmed by the cost and wealth of options. Take some of the anxiety out of it by selecting devices you can easily install and manage on your own. Breaking it down by the conveniences that are most important to you and your family can simplify it even more and help you prioritize which devices to buy over time.

    That's why we created this infographic to take some of the guess work out of building a smart home. Take a look at some of the top combinations of devices we recommend whether you want greater security, energy efficiency or just looking to entertain yourself and guests.

    Which smart home scenario appeals most to you? Comment below to let us know!


    The DIY Smart Home | Schlage
    Looking for even more information on getting started with your first smart home? Take a look at our Smart Home Center at schlage.com for more articles and infographics.