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    Smart devices to help you stay safe on vacation.

    May 21, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, May 21, 2021

    Smart devices while on vacation | Schlage

    Try these smart devices and gadgets to help protect your home while you’re away or tuck them in your bag to stay safer when you’re on the move.

     

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    Whether hitting the road for the long Memorial Day weekend or traveling farther afield for a few weeks, you want to make sure that your belongings are safe. Try these smart devices and gadgets to help protect your home while you’re away or tuck them in your bag to stay safer when you’re on the move.
    Family enjoying the beach while on vacation.

    Get the lived-in look

    One of the biggest deterrents to thieves is human activity. If it looks like you’re home, most intruders will go elsewhere. These smart devices can give your home that lived-in look, even when you’re chilling on the beach.

    Modern white home at night with lighting.

    Lights

    A house that’s perpetually dark – or with too many lights on in the middle of the day – can signal that the house is empty. Smart bulbs or lamps plugged in to a smart outlet can help. Some allow you to set a timer to turn lights on and off at certain times of the day, while others will do so randomly. For external lighting, you might add motion sensors. Someone lurking will often turn the other direction in a hurry when startled by an unexpected light.

    Sounds

    Noise coming from the house can have the same effect as lights. You could have Alexa play music periodically to make it sound as if you’re having a great party. There are also playlists available with everyday sounds – pots and pans banging while cooking, dogs barking, TV show dialogue – you can use.

    Sprinklers

    Dead grass could be a dead giveaway that you’ve left town for a few weeks. Make it look like you’re still around, tending your garden, with a smart irrigation system. Many of them you can set and forget, such as by putting them on a timer. Others, when connected to your home network or smart hub, can adjust based on local weather reports, only watering when the lawn needs it and not right before it rains.

    Lawnmower

    Overgrown grass can have the same ill effects as a brown lawn. A smart mower like WORX Landroid can help. If you’re worried about keeping the mower locked up while you’re out of town, though, you might just pay the neighbor kid to do your landscaping for you.

    Enjoy peace of mind

    Keep an eye on things even while you’re away. It’ll be much easier to relax and unwind when you trust that everything is as it should be back home.

    Woman looking at Schlage Home app on mobile phone.

    Smart lock

    You’re at the airport and you’ve checked that you have your passport for the 100th time, your phone is fully charged, you have a full stash of beach reads … but did you lock the door when you left home? With a connected smart lock like Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, you can check from anywhere using a compatible app. And if you did forget, no worries. Simply use the same app to lock the door and go catch your flight.

     

    Maybe you’ve left a pet at home or are worried about your beloved new houseplants surviving while you’re away. Create a unique access code for a pet sitter or plant waterer. There’s no need to exchange a key and you can see when they’ve used their code. You’ll have better peace of mind knowing everyone is taken care of.

    Video doorbell

    One of the many great things about the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt is that it works with the Ring Video Doorbell. All from one app, you can see who’s on your porch, speak to them and unlock the door if you need. Again, it’s a great way to provide easy and secure access to a house sitter or see if someone is poking their nose around things when they shouldn’t be.

    Furbo

    We love the idea of a pet camera, especially for those short trips. Our cats are pretty self-sufficient, so they’re fine while we leave for the weekend. But we still like to see and talk to them. Regardless of how long you’re away, treat yourself and your pet with the comfort of this technology.

    Robot vacuum

    This is admittedly less about home safety and more about mental sanity. Come home to a clean house, especially if those fur babies are really, really furry, with a robot vacuum.

    Take it with you

    You want to be smart on the road, too. These portable smart devices can help you protect your travel gear and enjoy your trip more.

    Traveler rolling suitcase out of airport.

    Luggage tracker

    Slip a luggage tracker like one from Trackdot or a Tile key tracker in your suitcase, daypack, purse or even wet bag. It will make it easier to locate your gear, whether it’s somewhere in the airport, still in the back of your Uber driver’s car or overboard on that rafting trip.

    Baby monitor

    Maybe your vacation is less rafting and more baby-friendly. Tuck a portable baby monitor that works with a smartphone app in your bag, so you can keep an eye on your little one at the Airbnb. Everyone will rest easier. And remember these tips for booking a safe vacation rental.

    Clothes

    Yes, your clothing can be smart. Cooler and more stylish than a bucket hat, the Neviano swimsuit has a built-in sensor that monitors UV levels and tells you when to seek some shade. There’s also the Levi’s Commuter x Jacquard jacket that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, as well as other shirts and jackets that can help keep you extra warm using battery packs or infrared light.

    UV sanitizer

    A portable sanitizer that uses UV light to help disinfect small items can help you stay healthy while traveling. This one from Homedics is small enough to fit in your purse or pocket, great for cleaning your phone, keys and other small items on the road.

    Your home should feel like a haven, but we know sometimes you just have to get away for a bit. When you do, follow these steps to keep your home safe before leaving on vacation.

     

    Smart devices for a safe vacation.

     

    Choosing the right security grade for your exterior deadbolts and locks.

    May 4, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021

    Right security grades for deadbolt locks | Schlage

    Here's what you need to know to choose the most secure, and stylish, deadbolts and locks for each door of your home.

     

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    When it comes to exterior door hardware, quality matters for both security and style. You need to choose a lock you can trust to help keep your belongings and loved ones safe. A great bonus is if it happens to enhance the curb appeal of your home, too. Here's what you need to know to choose the most secure, and stylish, deadbolts and locks for each door of your home.
    Young girl unlocking front door with Schlage Encode wifi smart lock.

    What are door hardware grades?

    The grades from door hardware testing are a great way to determine if a lock meets your security needs. Look for hardware that has been tested against the highest industry standards, like the BHMA residential grading system.

     

    BHMA is a group of industry experts that grades residential door hardware performance in the categories of Security, Durability and Finish. A grade of ‘C’ is good, ‘B’ is better and ‘A’ is best. When you see something is AAA, that means it received the best grade possible in all three categories.

    Residential door hardware security grades
    Now that you understand how to find the best possible grade (AAA) for deadbolts and locks, you can start to figure out what the best exterior door hardware is for each of your home's doors and for your lifestyle.

    Front door

    Yellow front door with Schlage Custom Handleset.

    Most break-ins – 34 percent, according to some reports – happen at the front door. That means improving security at your front entry is a good step toward improving the security of your home overall. Choose a deadbolt that’s been tested for quality against bumping, picking and forced entry and received the highest BHMA rating in Security.

     

    The front door is also your opportunity to make a lasting first impression. Greeting your guests with a chipped or faded handleset might cause them to think that other details in the home will be neglected. Instead, choose a deadbolt and handleset with a style and finish you love and that will last.

     

    Do both these features – security and style – come in one neat package? They certainly can. Schlage mechanical deadbolts and F-series handlesets are graded AAA in residential Security, Durability and Finish. When you want to make your home your sanctuary, someplace you feel both secure and comfortable in all ways possible, you know you can turn to Schlage.

    Back and side doors

    Schlage Encode Wifi Smart Lock in Bright Chrome on back door.

    Like many homeowners, you may find that your back door or side entrance are the most frequently used. Finish and security still matter here, but you may want to look for a lock that also adds greater levels of convenience. A smart lock or electronic deadbolt at the back door ensures that trusted family, friends and service providers who need access to the home have it without you needing to hide a spare that can be easily found by intruders.

     

    If you’re looking for a smart lock with a AAA grade, you’ll want the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, Schlage Sense® Smart Deadbolt or Schlage Connect® Smart Deadbolt with alarm.

    Interior and exterior garage doors

    Teal garage door with Schlage Keypad lever door lock.

    Convenience definitely matters for garage doors, whether interior or exterior. As we get closer to summer, we often find ourselves coming and going more frequently. Our outdoor DIY project list is growing and summer activities are picking up. Make it easy to get out the door to start the fun or get tools from the garage by choosing a AAA-rated keyless lock that adds convenience and an extra layer of security.

     

    The Schlage Touch™ Keyless Touchscreen deadbolt and lever are perfect for garage doors and are rated AAA in Security, Durability and Finish.

     

    For more information about door hardware grading and finding the most secure deadbolts, visit the Schlage Security Center.

     

    How to improve home security while boosting curb appeal.

    May 3, 2021 9:39 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, May 3, 2021

    Home security and curb appeal | Schlage

    We’ve put together a list of things that you can do to improve both your curb appeal and your home’s security.

     

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    Making a good first impression is important. Whether it’s family and friends, neighbors or potential buyers, your home’s curb appeal is the first thing that people will notice as they pull up the drive. Just as important as looking good, though, is making sure that your home is safe. So, we’ve put together a list of things that you can do to improve both your curb appeal and your home’s security.
     
    Four easy ways to improve home security while boosting curb appeal | Schlage

    Landscape

    Landscaping is probably the first thing on everyone’s list when thinking of ways to improve curb appeal. There are a lot of ways to update your landscape and improve the look of your house, ranging from fast and inexpensive to big projects that can take time and possibly the help of a professional. Some of our favorite, smaller projects to quickly improve your garden area are these Better Homes and Gardens suggestions for re-edging your garden plots and creating a new container garden.

     

    While you’re at it, there are also a couple of things that you can do to your landscape to make your home safer. For starters, trim your hedges so they aren’t blocking the sight line to your windows or door. This reduces hiding spaces for potential intruders. Another thing you can do, especially if you are planning on going out of town, is to make sure that your lawn is maintained. An unkempt lawn can be an invitation to thieves. Hire a neighbor kid to mow the grass or schedule lawncare pros to stop by while you’re away.

     

    Take time to inspect your trees, too. Remove branches that can fall on your home or car during storms, take care of any insect infestations and make sure the roots aren’t causing structural damage to sidewalks or your home. This might be a good job for an arborist or other professional.

    Garage

    Fixing up your garage may not be the top priority when it comes to updating the exterior of your home, but it is a great way to increase your home’s security. Older garage doors may be easier to break into or open from the outside, and some states have standards for garage doors to make sure that they are able to stand up to the weather. If you’ve never replaced it, your garage door might not be up to current safety standards.

     

    Remember that a garage door upgrade is one of the best home improvement projects you can tackle to improve the resale value of your home. According to the Remodeling 2020 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com), homeowners recoup an average of 94.5 percent of the cost of a garage door replacement when they sell their home.

     

    There are some easy and affordable projects that you can do for your garage to give it a whole new, more welcoming look. One of our favorites is this faux wood garage door stain from Domestically Speaking.

     

    Also consider adding a Schlage Touch® Keyless Touchscreen Deadbolt to the door going from your garage into your house. The keyless lock adds another layer of security to your home without adding an extra key onto your ring.

    Door

    Having a welcoming entrance may be the most important aspect of your home’s curb appeal. Your front door can make or break someone’s impression of your home, so updating it is a quick way to drastically improve your style.

     

    You don’t have to get a new front door to make it feel like new, though. A coat of paint can do wonders. We suggest painting the door a contrasting color to your house like Shavonda Gardner did for her front door. The coral paint color pops against the darker walls and serves as the perfect backdrop for the Matte Black Schlage Connect® Smart Deadbolt and other accessories. Replacing your house numbers, mailbox if it’s on your door or porch, and light fixtures can add some extra personality to your front entrance.

     

    If you aren’t sure where to start, use this guide for choosing an exterior paint color and then get tips for painting doors and trims.

     

    To both improve the look of your home and increase security, we recommend replacing the hardware on your front door. Smart locks like the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt are easy to install and use. They not only make carrying your house keys around unnecessary, but many also come with a built-in alarm and smart app notifications so you can keep a better eye on who’s coming and going.

    Lights

    Once you’ve done all the work to improve your home’s curb appeal, it would be a waste if guests could only see it in the daylight. Outdoor lighting can help to highlight all the best features of your house and yard. Get some outdoor lighting ideas from the DIY Network.

     

    Maybe you don’t have a lot of evening guests or you aren’t all that worried about making sure that people see your landscaping at night. Before dismissing outdoor lighting completely, consider that a well-lit house is also a deterrent for thieves. Landscape lighting can get rid of the dark areas in your yard that could hide an intruder. Looked at a different way, a well-lit porch, especially when you can see house numbers clearly, can help first responders find your home in the event of an emergency.

    Find more DIY curb appeal projects on the Schlage blog. And if you need more tips for protecting your home and what matters most to your family, visit our Security Center.

     

    What to consider when booking a vacation rental during COVID.

    April 16, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, April 16, 2021

    Vacation rentals during COVID | Schlage

    Your next romantic getaway or family vacation might be just around the corner, but make sure it’s everything you’ve dreamed of by planning ahead with these tips for renting a vacation home during COVID.

     

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    After 2020, the travel bug is biting many of us extra hard this summer. More than ever, it’s a good idea to weigh all your options before hitting the road to stay healthy during vacation. One of those options is booking a vacation rental through Airbnb, VRBO or other similar company.

     

    Even as early as last summer, more and more people were turning to rental houses for safer vacations. According to AirDNA, vacation rentals booked between May 17 and June 10, 2020, were up 20 percent compared to that same time the previous year. There’s not much to suggest that that trend will change dramatically in 2021. Your next romantic getaway or family vacation might be just around the corner, but make sure it’s everything you’ve dreamed of by planning ahead with these tips for renting a vacation home during COVID.

    Happy family on vacation in boat on lake.

    What to plan for

    No one likes unpleasant surprises, especially when they’re trying to get some R&R. Step one is choosing your location wisely. While COVID cases have been on the decline, it’s still a good idea to avoid hotspots or areas that have safety regulations that conflict with what your personal comfort levels. If you like the idea of seclusion to avoid close contact with strangers, you aren’t alone. AirDNA also found that the most popular destinations in 2020 were beaches, mountain towns, lakeside getaways and remote areas within driving distance of major cities.

     

    Wherever you end up, research the local rules and regulations before you book. Do they still require masks? Are public places still operating at limited capacity? Will you be required to provide proof of a negative COVID test or vaccine records at any point?

     

    Similarly, research what’s available nearby. You might still want to get out of the (rental) house at times, so make sure the attractions you’re interested in are open for business. Museums, amusement parks, historical sites, even restaurants might have shorter hours, require advance tickets to control capacity or have gone out of business altogether. Be prepared.

     

    Finally, check out all the amenities of the rental house itself. You’ll need to decide how you want to spend your vacation – playing with the kids and being active, relaxing and catching up on sleep, writing that first novel – and then make sure you’ll have what you need to achieve it. Consider outdoor space. Do you need a pool, a fire pit, sunny spots and lounge chairs for working on your tan, a yard for games? Also consider the indoors, particularly areas like a fully stocked kitchen, home theater and enough bedrooms for everyone to have their own space.

    Cabin on lake during sunset.

    What to ask

    Before you click that “confirm booking” button, contact the renting agent or property manager with important security and safety questions. It’s become increasingly important to know what the cleaning procedures are. For example, what is their process for disinfecting the house between guests?

     

    Ask what amenities are included. This goes beyond the pool and home theater we just mentioned. Some property managers might have removed items like extra blankets, towels and kitchen supplies in the name of cleanliness. When you know what’s already there, you’ll know what you need to bring from home yourself … or if you need to move on to a different rental.

     

    Read the fine print of the cancelation policy and ask for clarification on anything that doesn’t make sense. If we’ve learned anything in the last year, it’s that things can change suddenly despite our best efforts. Protect yourself in the event there’s another shutdown or if you have to cancel because of your own health.

     

    Another good set of questions to ask before booking a vacation rental, regardless of whether we’re in a pandemic, pertains to overall security. This includes everything from if there are working fire extinguishers to the presence of smart locks and security cameras to whether it’s safe to walk around the neighborhood after dark. Those smart locks also have the added benefit these days of not needing to exchange keys that may or may not be super clean.

     

    Our last piece of advice here is to read the reviews from others who have stayed at the property. We’ve been dealing with COVID long enough now that people will have commented on if they thought the rental was appropriately sanitized and prepared for visitors during a pandemic.

     

    If the property manager in unable to answer your questions or only provides vague responses, it might be best to find another rental you can trust.

    Excited family leaving home for vacation.

    What to bring

    One of the biggest upsides of booking a vacation rental is that you can maintain a self-contained bubble somewhere other than your own home. That being said, you might want to take extra precautions to keep that bubble even healthier. For starters, many travel experts recommend bringing your own cleaning supplies. You probably aren’t thrilled to clean on vacation, but sanitizing high-touch surfaces such as countertops, door hardware, faucets, remote controls and the refrigerator shouldn’t take you too long and it will be worth it if it helps keep everyone healthy.

     

    On a similar note, you might pack your own hand soap and towels. One Schlage employee reported after her return from a trip that the rental only provided bar soap. That might not bother you, but if you don’t want everyone to touch the same soap (and germs) over and over, toss some liquid soap in your bag before you leave home.

     

    Even when we aren’t fighting a pandemic, many people like to bring their own groceries to an Airbnb. Especially if you’re in a secluded area, this can help you from having to trek out to restaurants. Save money and limit your exposure to crowds by planning to make at least some of your own meals at the rental. Depending on what’s provided by the rental property manager, you might also need to bring some kitchen utensils or equipment.

     

    Make sure you bring games, books and other forms of entertainment. If you’re hunkering down on your vacation, this is a great way to fight off any boredom before it sets in. Pack your favorite board games, puzzles, movies, that bestseller that’s been sitting on your bookshelf for too long or a portable smart speaker for impromptu family dance parties.

     

    Vacation rentals are just one way to scratch your travel itch this summer. We’re all looking for safe things to do during COVID, and when you try safer vacation alternatives like road trips and camping, you might just end up with your most memorable getaway yet.

     

    Types of deadbolt locks for your front door.

    April 14, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    Types of deadbolt locks for front door | Schlage

    Your guide to understanding the different deadbolt lock functions and choose the right secure door hardware for your home.

     

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    Whether you’re replacing locks on a new home or looking to add more security to your current home, the aisle (or search results page) can be overwhelming with all the options. Check out our deadbolt lock breakdown below to help you understand the different functions and choose the right secure door hardware for your home.
    Schlage Matte Black Plymouth Front Door Handleset on Blue Grey Door.

    Single cylinder

    This is the most common type of deadbolt used. Single cylinder deadbolts have an exterior keyhole that throws or retracts the deadbolt using a key on the outside. On the inside, you can lock and unlock the deadbolt with the thumbturn.

     

    SHOP SINGLE CYLINDER LOCKS

    Double cylinder

    Double cylinder deadbolts are used when you want a little extra security. They are often chosen for improving security on doors with windows because they make it harder for potential intruders to reach through the glass and unlock the door. A double cylinder deadbolt features a keyhole on both the interior and exterior side of the door so the only way you can lock/unlock is with a mechanical key. However, this type of lock should be used with caution as it can make it more difficult to get out of the house quickly in the event of an emergency.

     

    SHOP DOUBLE CYLINDER LOCKS

    Electronic locks

    Electronic deadbolts often leverage the same security and durability of mechanical single cylinder deadbolts with the added convenience of a keypad or touchscreen. By allowing you to program a unique access code, electronic locks provide peace of mind so you never have to worry about losing a key again. These deadbolts, sometimes called non-connected locks, are controlled at the door and are not connected to your WiFi or other smart home technology.

     

    SHOP ELECTRONIC LOCKS

    Smart locks

    Like electronic locks, smart deadbolt locks are just as durable as a mechanical single cylinder deadbolt. You can connect your smart lock to your home network, either directly to WiFi or with a compatible smart home hub, depending on the lock you choose. You can then use your smartphone for easy programming and access from anywhere.

     

    Smart locks also provide the option to integrate parts of your home security with other smart home products to create routines and schedules that fit your lifestyle. Did you leave the house and wonder if you forgot to lock the door? No problem. As long as you’re connected to your WiFi or smart hub, you can access your lock remotely to check its status and command it to lock or unlock. Want to tell Alexa to lock the door, even when you’re too comfy to get out of bed? You can do that, too.

     

    SHOP SMART LOCKS

    No matter which type of deadbolt lock you choose, look for signs that you can trust your door hardware to help protect your home. Check that the deadbolt has the BHMA’s Best, or AAA, ratings in security, durability and finish. Look for a lifetime warranty so you know the company you’re buying from stands behind its products. And listen to what others have to say. Schlage is trusted in over 40 million homes and has over 10,000 five-star reviews. We’re proud to have earned the trust of so many homeowners and are committed to strengthening that trust into our next century of business.

     

    Securing your front door is an important step toward improving the overall safety of your home. Remember to be just as diligent when purchasing locks for the other doors on your home, including back doors and garage entries. Visit our Safety Center for more tips and recommendations.

     

    Time travel: Vacation safety tips from 1953 that still work.

    April 8, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, April 8, 2021

    Vacation home security then and now | Schlage

    We’re bringing back some classic travel safety tips from 1953 to see if they still hold up in the present day.

     

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    With the weather warming up and everyone itching to get out of the house (more than ever this year), we’re bringing back some classic travel safety tips to see if they still hold up in the present day.
    Home sweet home illustration.

    How to keep your home safe while on vacation: 1953 vs. Today

    Newspaper boy clip art.

    1. THEN: Tell your newsboy to stop delivery of daily papers until you return

     

    NOW: Most of us get our news online these days, but if you still love that inky fingertip feel, stick to the old-school advice and put a hold on your delivery.

    Milk boy clip art.

    2. THEN: Write—or phone—the milk company to stop deliveries. (P.S.—Don’t leave a note in an empty bottle. That’s a tip-off to a burglar that the coast is clear!)

     

    NOW: Go online and pause any meal delivery services you subscribe to. We’re not sure who would be collecting empty bottles from your porch today, but it’s probably best to still stick to that advice.

    Postman delivering mail clip art.

    3. THEN: Notify post office to hold up mail deliveries—or ask a neighbor to collect mail daily.

     

    NOW: This is still good advice. If you ask a neighbor and have a Schlage smart lock, be sure to share an access code, at least on a temporary basis, so they don’t have to wait to drop off any packages or envelopes.

    Retro clipart of man looking through keyhole.

    4. THEN: Close and lock all windows. Be sure all outer doors are securely locked.

     

    NOW: Maybe the best suggestion on this list then or now. The only thing we might add is to remember to turn on a security system if you have one.

    Retro clip art of lady with new fridge.

    5. THEN: Empty and turn off refrigerator, or turn regulator down to “vacation” mark.

     

    NOW: Unless you’re going to be gone for a month or more, leave the fridge alone. You can still dispose of or give away vegetables and other foods that will spoil before you return, but a full refrigerator is actually more energy efficient than an empty one these days.

    Retro clipart of two door stove.

    6. THEN: Check pilot lights on stoves and heaters. Better still, turn ‘em off. Be sure you’ve left no electric appliances connected that could overheat.

     

    NOW: Adjust your thermostat so your HVAC system isn’t working as hard while you’re taking R&R. A smart thermostat can help you control your home’s temperature from anywhere, even let you turn the heat back up the day before you return. Unplug energy vampire appliances as well.

    Window shades retro clipart.

    7. THEN: Leave window shades up and, if practical, at least one light burning where it can be seen from the street.

     

    NOW: This still holds true. Score extra security by setting that light on a timer, either with a smart plug or by making it part of a “vacation” routine with your home automation system.

    Retro clipart of police officer.

    8. THEN: Tell neighbors and police when you leave and when you’ll be back. (P.S.—We know a fellow who forgot to tell the police when he’d return; when they saw a light on in his house, he had a tough time convincing the cops he lived there!)

     

    NOW: Not all areas will dedicate police resources to monitoring your home while you’re on vacation anymore. Go ahead and ask neighbors to keep an eye on your home, however. You might also consider security cameras you can check remotely while you’re away.

    Retro clipart of couple shopping for new fridge.

    9. THEN: Worried about your freezer failing while you’re away? Leave a key with a friend or neighbor and ask them to check regularly.

     

    NOW: We can see where this would still be a concern for some. Like No. 5 above, donate perishables if you’re going to be away for more than a few weeks, just to be on the safe side. And like No. 3, give the neighbor a smart lock code instead of a key.

    Clearly, Schlage has been obsessed with safety since Day One. We wouldn’t still be here more than 100 years later if it weren’t for our passion of keeping homes and businesses safe. For more modern steps to help keep your home safe on vacation, visit the Schlage blog.

    7 smart tips for trusting your home to pet sitters.

    March 2, 2021 9:02 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021

    Pet sitter | Schlage

    How do you make your pet sitter feel welcome without compromising digital security? We're sharing seven ways to safely give guests smart home access.

     

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    When you have someone gracious enough to house sit or pet sit while you’re away, you want them to be comfortable. Part of that is giving them access to the technology in your home and making sure they know how to use it. But how do you make them feel welcome without compromising digital security? Since March 2-9 is National Pet Sitters’ Week, we’re sharing seven ways to safely give guests smart home access.
    Golden doodle laying on couch with woman reading in background.

    1. Be careful who you trust

    If you’re entrusting your furry friend (or plant pal) to a house sitter, you probably aren’t too worried they’ll run off with your TV. That being said, only share credentials for your WiFi, smart lock and other smart home devices with those you trust wholeheartedly.

     

    Be judicial with what you give guests credentials for, too. If you don’t want them to be able to change the smart thermostat, you don’t have to give them those permissions.

    2. Set an access schedule

    When you do give your house sitter access to devices, check to see if you can schedule that access. For example, Schlage smart locks let you decide when the unique code you’ve created for your guest will work. If they’re staying from Friday to Tuesday, you can set the code to expire automatically on Wednesday.

     

    Not all devices will have this convenient scheduling functionality. If this is the case, we recommend setting a reminder for yourself to manually discontinue your guests’ access as soon as possible upon your return.

    3. Create a guest network

    You can also restrict access to your primary WiFi network but set up a guest network for visitors. This is a good way to protect your smart devices. Your house sitter will still have access to the internet but not the network that controls all of your devices. Think of it as your guest and your devices driving on two parallel roads that don’t intersect. Your pet sitter can still watch Netflix and post on TikTok, but they’ll have a harder time modifying settings of your smart home devices.

    4. Share passwords with QR codes

    Whether you grant main or guest WiFi access to your sitter, you can password protect your network. Instead of exchanging passwords they might forget, create an easy-to-scan QR code. Leave the QR code somewhere convenient like the refrigerator door.

     

    You can use a site like QiFi to create your QR code. Some phones can also generate one automatically when you select the “Share” option in the Settings menu.

    5. Add smart switches

    You think you have all your automations set up perfectly, then that light you scheduled doesn’t turn on. One reason could be that it’s turned off at the switch. To avoid this, and to keep your automations working correctly when someone unfamiliar with your home is visiting, choose smart switches and buttons at the wall. These will ensure that your devices will work as you scheduled them, even if they’re in the “off” position.

     

    This is also a handy tip for family members who live with you. Little ones who can never give the right voice command or someone who’s just in the lifelong habit of flipping a switch won’t interrupt your automation if you choose the right physical smart switches.

    6. Leave a helpful list

    Leave a list of common voice commands and instructions. Even if your pet sitter is tech savvy, they might not be familiar with the names you’ve given your devices. No matter how many times they yell at Alexa to “Turn on light!” it just won’t work if you called it “living room lamp.” It’s frustrating and opens the door for them to take matters into their own hands, disrupting your automations and possibly breaking something. You don’t have to include every single device name and how-to on your cheat sheet, but make it comprehensive enough to cover anything they might use.

    7. Pause your personal automations

    Pause or turn off any schedules and automations that might disturb your sitter. This could include the “Wake Up” routine that automatically turns on lights and the coffee maker. Your sitter might appreciate a nice brew waiting for them … or they might be mad that everything woke them up before they were ready.

    Smart home technology can add greater convenience and security to our lives, and our guests’, every day. For more tips on getting the most out of your smart devices, check out our Technology and Home Security sections of the Schlage blog.

     

    What really makes a lock secure?

    February 26, 2021 6:00 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, February 26, 2021

    Home Security - Secure locks - Schlage

    Here's what you need to know to choose the right deadbolts and locks for each door of your home.

     

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    When it comes to exterior door hardware, quality matters for both security and style. You need to choose a lock you can trust to keep your belongings and loved ones safe. A great bonus is if it happens to enhance your curb appeal, too. Here's what you need to know to choose the right deadbolts and locks for each door of your home.
    Secure Schlage smart lock.

    Door hardware grades

    The first step to finding the most secure exterior door hardware for your home is to look for hardware that has been tested against the highest industry standards, like the BHMA grading system. BHMA is a group of industry experts that grades residential door hardware performance in the categories of Security, Durability and Finish. A grade of ‘C’ is good, ‘B’ is better, and ‘A’ is best. A grade of AAA means the door hardware has earned the best possible rating in all three categories.

    Home Security - Door hardware grades - Schlage

    1-inch bolt with spinning pin

    Schlage locks come with a solid zinc 1-inch bolt. This is larger than many bolts on the market, and it does make a difference in security. It helps to protect against attacks by kicking, sledgehammer and similar impacts.

     

    Schlage bolts also include a hardened steel pin inside that spins in response to sawing attacks, so it can’t be cut through. Plus, a half inch of the bolt remains in the housing when locked for even more kick-in resistance.

    Longer screws

    Schlage offers a strike reinforcement plate with 3-inch screws. These add even more impact resistance. Be advised, though. If you have a sidelight (a window that runs parallel to your door on the side that latches), the 3-inch screws may be too long to use. This is one of many reasons that sidelights are a security liability and should be avoided.

    Sleek profile

    A low-profile face on a deadbolt makes it more difficult to grab with a wrench or pull off.

    The features above apply to both mechanical and electronic locks. Other features, like the ones below, are specific to Schlage electronic and smart locks, giving these innovative deadbolts higher levels of strength and security.

    Anti-pick shield

    Schlage smart locks like the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt come with an integrated anti-pick shield to provide added security. The shield doesn’t affect the look of the lock, but it does strengthen it against lock pick attacks.

    Completely keyless

    Some locks, like the Schlage Touch™ Keyless Touchscreen Deadbolt, don’t come with a key cylinder. That means there’s nothing to pick and no way to use a fake ‘bump’ key to bypass it.

     

    Many homeowners feel comfortable having a backup key option, but the truth is that once you adopt an electronic lock, it is unlikely you’ll need a key again. Most electronic lock users stop using keys completely, given how easy it is to share access electronically or with an access code. With a low battery indicator across our electronic locks, you don’t have to worry about getting locked out and needing that key.

     

    Even if you don’t go completely keyless, electronic locks make it possible to eliminate the need for spare keys that can easily fall into the wrong hands. Just use access codes that can be easily created and deleted as needed. Plus, with no spare keys floating around, there’s no need to ever rekey the lock.

    Encryption

    Our smart locks feature the same type of encryption used in online purchases. In other words, if you’re comfortable ordering from Amazon, you can trust that the connection between your Schlage smart lock and your smartphone is just as secure. Schlage is committed to offering electronic options that add convenience without sacrificing security, and that’s why we always design our products with data privacy and encryption needs top of mind.

    Remote access

    Lastly, when choosing between smart locks, consider features that create a sense of trust that everything is working like it should. For example, with the Schlage Encode deadbolt and Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt, you can use the Schlage Home app to check the status of your lock remotely. Did you remember to lock the door before you left the house? Just confirm from your smartphone without running back home. And if you did forget, you can lock the door from your phone. You can also set up notifications so you know when access codes are used. That means you can track who’s been to the house and when, even while you’re away.

    When choosing products that are meant to protect our homes and families, it’s important to look for the best. Keep an eye out for these features the next time you’re updating your door hardware. Learn more about Schlage’s commitment to quality at our Security Center.

     

    5 essential smart products to improve your home security.

    September 30, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020

    Home exterior at sunset | Schlage

    With everyone claiming “smart home this” and “smart home that,” where do you begin? Let us remove some of the confusion. Here are five high-tech yet simple products that can improve your home security.

     

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    Technology – that constantly evolving beast that is either loads of fun or a source of endless headaches. Which innovation do you pick? Which should you pass on? And with everyone claiming “smart home this” and “smart home that,” where do you begin? Let us remove some of the confusion. Here are five high-tech yet simple products that can improve your home security.
    5 Smart home security products.

    1. Smart lock

    Smart locks are typically more secure than traditional mechanical deadbolts. When it comes to Schlage smart locks, you’ll find some of these leading security features.

     

    • Most Schlage smart locks have a built-in alarm that can detect a disturbance at the door and alert you via your smartphone. You’ll find this option on the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt and Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt with Z-Wave Plus technology.

    • Unique user codes for trusted individuals can be added and removed as necessary, letting you control who has access to your home and when.

    • With no need for a key, you don’t have to worry about a spare ending up in the wrong hands.

    • Check the status of your deadbolt from anywhere, and if the door is unlocked, simply lock it using a compatible smartphone app.

    • Schlage smart locks feature the same data encryption technology used for online shopping to help protect your information.

     

    And you can improve security even more when you pair it with a smart home hub that controls other devices like your lights or motion-sensor cameras.

    2. Video doorbell

    Knowing who is at your door before you get off the couch is convenient. Knowing who is there before you unlock the door while you’re at the office is a necessity. Get that enhanced smart home security we just mentioned by combining a Schlage Encode deadbolt with the Ring Video Doorbell. With these devices together, you have the ability to see who’s on the porch, decide if you want to give them access and unlock the door using your smartphone. It’s a great way to have both peace of mind and convenience in the palm of your hand.

    3. Backup power supply

    A storm blows through and you’ve lost power. You still need to keep your home and family secure. For some devices, you’ll need a backup power supply like a generator. For others, like Schlage smart locks, there’s no need to worry. All our electronic locks are battery operated, so they’ll continue to work even if the power is down.

     

    Generators are starting to go smart, too. Consumer Reports explains how you can now use your smartphone to monitor usage on some models.

    4. Glass break sensors

    Intruders like to pick the easiest entry point, and that’s not always the front door. Sometimes it’s a window or maybe it’s a glass patio door. Install sensors that can alert you when glass is broken. Safety.com shows you what to look for with this perimeter security device and names its favorite options.

    5. Voice control

    Being safe in your home isn’t just about stopping intruders. What if you or a family member have fallen and can’t reach the phone to call for help? Just say the word and Alexa or Google Assistant can place a voice-activated call and unlock the door for your neighbor. Convenience at your fingertips is a time saver. Control with your voice could be a life saver.

     

    To make your home as safe as possible, be thorough. A strong deadbolt is vital, but you’ll be better off when you combine that with a variety of security measures to cover all your bases. Start by using our Get Help Deciding Tool to find which Schlage smart lock is right for you. Then check out what technology works best with your favorite deadbolt to start building your safest home yet.

     

    When you should rekey your exterior deadbolts and locks.

    August 19, 2020 7:45 AM by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, August 19, 2020

    When to re-key locks | Schlage

    Here are four times you may consider rekeying your exterior deadbolts and locks to maintain optimal convenience and security for your home.

     

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    Rekeying your locks often requires a visit from a local locksmith, which could prove to be more costly than replacing the locks altogether. It pays to understand when you should rekey your locks or opt for an upgrade. Here are four times you may consider rekeying your exterior deadbolts and locks to maintain optimal convenience and security for your home.
    House keys laying on moving box.

    1. You're ready to simplify home access

    Most homes have 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 keep track of. Rekeying each of your locks to fit a single master key, whether you do it yourself or call a locksmith for help, 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 going keyless altogether and choose a Schlage smart lock.

    2. You're upgrading one or more handlesets

    Did you take advantage of beautiful spring weather to give your front door a makeover? Are you interested in updating your exterior hardware to suit your personal style better? Or do you just need to make a functional upgrade? If all of your locks are set for the same key and you want to keep it that way, you'll need to rekey any new handlesets you purchase.

    3. Your key has been lost or stolen

    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 or stolen 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 rekey your locks.

    4. You 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 still has a key from before you moved in, so replacing or rekeying all locks should be first on your to-do list.

    If you’re rekeying because you’ve moved, you can find more real estate resources to make your transition as simple as possible at Schlage.com.

     

    As important as keys and deadbolts are, there’s much more to keeping your home safe and secure. Find more tips for protecting what matters at the Schlage blog.

     

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