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    How to secure your home when traveling for the holidays.

    December 13, 2019 5:15 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, December 13, 2019

    Secure your home while traveling for the holidays

    You have enough to worry about right before you leave town. Especially at the holidays, you want to be confident that your home is safe from thieves and other disasters.

     

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    You have enough to worry about right before you leave town. Especially at the holidays, you want to be confident that your home is safe from thieves and other disasters. How can you protect your home while traveling?
    How to secure your home while traveling for the holidays infographic.

    Install a strong deadbolt

    Mechanical or electronic, a strong deadbolt is an important way to help secure the entryways to your home. This includes the back door and side entrances as well as the front door. In more than half of home break-ins, burglars entered through either the front or back door.1

    Be smart about your locks

    The Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt works with Key by Amazon, and Prime members in select areas can have packages delivered right inside the front door, helping to keep porch pirates at bay. According to a 2017 study, almost 26 million Americans had packages taken from their front porch. Another 23 million had decorations stolen or vandalized.2

    Keep an eye on things

    Video doorbells and motion-activated cameras connected to your home security system are popular and effective options for monitoring your home from anywhere and giving you peace of mind. Approximately 60 percent of burglars said that the presence of an alarm causes them to target a different home.3

    Shine light on your home

    Any illumination outdoors, even holiday lights, can help keep your home secure. A working porch light or motion sensors on the garage can deter burglars. Tools, bikes and cars – all items stored in the garage – are among the most commonly stolen items during a break-in.4

    Look lived in

    Thieves are more likely to try a break-in when they think no one is home. Fool them by setting lights on an automatic timer, playing music or the TV, and using an Alexa Skill that provides a “soundtrack” to make the home sound occupied. Eighty-five percent of residential burglaries occur when the home is empty.5

    Don’t turn a blind eye

    Smart blinds can reduce the risk of intruders breaking in just because they see something they like through the window. Contact sensors on windows can also alert you if the glass breaks. Smart window dressings can be expensive but so is being robbed. The average value lost during a burglary is $2,416.4

    Detect other dangers

    Sometimes the risk comes from inside. Pair your smartphone with compatible safety devices that detect and alert you to smoke, flooding and more. There are more house fires in January than in any other month.6

     

    Find more security tips at Schlage.com/blog.

     

    Sources

    1. https://www.asecurelife.com/security-infographic/
    2. https://www.insurancequotes.com/home/porch-pirates-package-thieves-house-fires-holiday-120117
    3. https://airef.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/BurglarSurveyStudyFinalReport.pdf
    4. https://safeatlast.co/blog/burglary-statistics/
    5. https://www.hsmc-ul.com/alarms/crime-statistics
    6. https://www.safewise.com/resources/security-stats-facts/

     

    Thanksgiving security to be grateful for.

    November 21, 2019 11:51 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, November 21, 2019

    Thankful | Schlage

    Schlage would like to express its appreciation for some of the people and things we’re most thankful for when it comes to making our homes and families safer during this holiday time and beyond.

     

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    ‘Tis the season of reflection and gratitude. In that spirit, Schlage would like to express its appreciation for some of the people and things we’re most thankful for when it comes to making our homes and families safer during this holiday time and beyond.
    Thankful Thanksgiving banner.

    Thank you, motion-activated sensors, lights and security cameras.

    You make our lives better every day. How did we live without you before? You let me know if something mysterious is happening outside the house. We trust you to alert us if a porch pirate is nearby or if the kids got locked out again. Your vigilance is appreciated beyond expression.

    Thank you, high-quality deadbolts.

    You are the first line of defense against keeping our home and family secure. Your solid strength gives me peace of mind day and night, whether we’re home or away. We will never forget you, mechanical deadbolt, and will be sure to lock you consistently, even when we’re in the house. And you, smart lock, may be new to the home, but we are thankful for the convenience you provide without compromising on security. We’re thinking about bringing home another one, just as soon as we decide which one will fit in perfectly with the family.

    Thank you, fake rock.

    You had your time and you did your best. We appreciate your service, but we have a better way of granting emergency access to our homes now. With smart locks, we no longer need to hide a spare key. Enjoy your retirement in the new year.

    Thank you, smart home.

    Where should we begin? You do so much for us, from turning lights on and off automatically so people can’t tell if we’re on vacation, to adjusting the thermostat so we don’t waste money or energy, to helping us figure out how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon. Big shout-out to Alexa for that last one. Perhaps more than anything, we like that you let us make a scene when life gets hectic. Just one word and you take care of so many things at once – turn on calming music, dim the lights and lock the door – so we can relax. You’re the best.

    Thank you, fire extinguisher.

    Fortunately, you mostly collect dust under the sink, but your mere presence makes us feel safer. Especially on Thanksgiving, when there are more house fires than any other day because of cooking, we know you have our backs. We appreciate your readiness during DIY projects and remodels, when power tools are running and flammable materials are in use. We’ll give you a thorough inspection again in a year, just to make sure you’re still good.

    Thank you, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

    There are few sounds worse than your high-pitched beeping. We wouldn’t have it any other way, though. Whether we’re cooking or the kids are sleeping cozy in their bedrooms, we know all of you are working tirelessly to keep us safe. You are kind of obnoxious when we make bacon, but we love you anyway.

    Thank you, family.

    You watch the kids, walk the dog and check in on us when we’re sick. You bring extra chairs when we over-invite for holiday meals and supply the ice for summer BBQs. You help us repaint when that new bathroom color doesn’t turn out quite like we expected and share your power tools for those tricky do-it-yourself tasks. We trust you wholeheartedly, and that’s why you get your own smart lock access code.

    Thank you, neighbors.

    You keep an eye on our home when we’re traveling for the holidays or during the summer. You collect our mail, water our plants and check on the cat while we’re gone. We can tell you’re diligent in your responsibilities based on our smart lock’s activity log in the app. (P.S. Thank you for bringing the sweet potato casserole. It’s really tasty and I will return your baking dish tomorrow.)

    Thank you, emergency responders.

    You all do so much for our family and community. We appreciate and respect the way you put your own lives on the line so that the rest of us can breathe easy. You keep our streets safe, come to our aid when we are hurt and protect us in innumerable other ways. Many, many thanks.

     

    Find more home security steps you should take during the holidays on our blog, and share what you’re thankful for on Twitter or Facebook.

    Thankful for home security.

     

    The ultimate Black Friday smart home wish list.

    November 15, 2019 11:51 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    Black Friday smart home wish list | Schlage

    Find home security gifts and smart home gadgets that will surprise the tech guru in your life. Prep for Black Friday with these Amazon Alexa compatible gifts.

     

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    It’s time to start planning for Black Friday already?! Smart home gadgets could be the answer for that special someone who’s particularly hard to shop for. Especially if the recipient is a fan of Alexa, here are a few home security gift ideas worth getting up early for.

     

    One of the things we love about this list, other than the fact that it shows how to take advantage of Black Friday, is that you can go all-in or pick and choose only what you need. With the right Alexa-enabled devices – think smart plugs and smart locks – along with Alexa Guard, you can create a customized home security system for you or your loved one.

    Amazon Echo and Schlage Connect smart deadbolt on front door.

    What is Alexa Guard?

    This free feature has gradually rolled out to Alexa users in 2018 and is now available throughout the U.S. To summarize, Alexa Guard allows you to say, “Alexa, I’m leaving,” and she will go into Guard mode. She’ll start listening for the sound of breaking glass and smoke or carbon monoxide detectors and alert you via your smartphone if she hears something. Guard mode can also manipulate your lights to make it appear that someone is home as well as arm your Ring or ADT alarms.

     

    If your gift recipient already has the gear to enable this service, well … you just saved a bundle. We bet they’d still appreciate your help setting up the feature. If not, keep reading for the home tech gifts that will make this a reality.

    Which Echo is compatible with Alexa?

    To set up Alexa Guard and opt in to Smart Alerts, you’ll need a compatible Echo device. This includes the Echo Dot, Echo Plus and Echo Show as well as a few others. Find the complete list in Amazon’s Frequently Asked Questions.

     

    Consider the need for additional Echo devices if your loved one wants to use Guard to detect glass breaking or smoke alarms. The closer the device is to these points they want to monitor, the more effective it will be. They might appreciate an Echo Show in the living room and an Echo Dot for each bedroom, for example.

    How can I control the lights with Alexa Guard?

    When you tell Alexa you’re leaving, Guard mode will turn lights on and off to fool potential thieves thinking about breaking in. It’s not random though. Alexa uses machine learning to figure out the lighting pattern most appropriate for homes like yours, so it knows which lights to affect. You can also choose which lights to include in the Guard mode settings.

     

    To enable this feature, get your loved one smart lights or lights connected to smart plugs that are Works with Alexa-certified.

    What smart locks work with Alexa?

    While they aren’t yet a part of Alexa Guard mode, Schlage smart locks are compatible with Alexa-enabled devices. We especially love pairing the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt with these devices. Why? Because as the only Schlage smart lock with built-in WiFi, the Schlage Encode deadbolt does not require any additional hubs or adapters to connect with the internet or your Echo. Simply follow the directions in the Alexa app, then use voice commands – “Alexa, is my door locked?” and “Alexa, lock the front door” – to check the status of your lock and secure the door.

    What cameras work with Alexa?

    Security cameras and video doorbells are becoming increasingly popular ways to help protect the home. The Ring Stick Up Cam is an indoor/outdoor camera that works with Alexa. When you also have an Echo Show or Spot, you can use the Stick Up Cam to see and talk to a visitor before ever heading to the door. And because it’s one of many cameras made by Ring, you can make it a part of your overall ring of security.

    What are Alexa Hunches?

    Separate from Alexa Guard, Hunches can also help improve home security. With Hunches, Alexa can remind you if it seems you are forgetting something. She won’t randomly talk to or nag you, but if you say, “Alexa, goodnight,” she can suggest that you lock your door. And because you can use Alexa to lock your Schlage smart lock for you, you don’t even have to get out of bed if you did forget. That’s a double-win for both you and Alexa.

     

    We hope you like the sound of these smart home gifts as much as we do. You can learn more about the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt and find out where to buy one at Schlage.com/encode. If you aren’t sure that’s the perfect lock for your gift recipient, try our Get Help Deciding Tool. Remember that Alexa works with the Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt and Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt as well.

     

    And don’t be shy. Go ahead and put these gadgets on your own holiday wish list, too.

     

    All treats, no tricks: How to make your home safe for Halloween.

    October 22, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, October 22, 2019

    Halloween home safety tips | Schlage

    Securing your home during the haunting season – when home insurance claims for theft increase by 60 percent – will make sure your night is magical instead of monstrous.

     

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    When it comes to Halloween safety, protecting your kids is your number one priority. Once you have them decked out in safe costumes and reviewed the need to check their candy before eating it, turn your attention to your house. Securing your home during the haunting season – when home insurance claims for theft increase by 60 percent – will make sure your night is magical instead of monstrous.
    Halloween home safety tips.

    Remove tripping hazards

    It’s tempting to deck out the house in ghoulish decorations. We say go for it. Just keep your walkway and porch free of tripping hazards, including extension cords, jack-o’-lanterns and other décor. Also inspect paths and patios for cracks. Even if you can’t repair it before trick-or-treaters arrive, you can reduce risk by placing a chair, décor or something else eye-catching over the hazard.

    Secure handrails

    Trick-or-treaters – and their costumes – come in all shapes and sizes. Railings along your porch should be secure so youngsters can hang on when coming for their candy.

    Turn on the lights

    A well-lit house offers two benefits: trick-or-treaters can see where they’re going, and burglars will be turned off by lack of hiding places. Don’t merely turn on the porch light, though. Illuminate as much of the house as possible.

    Light pumpkins with electric candles

    Show off your carving skills but leave the traditional candles unlit. Opt for flameless, battery-operated candles for pumpkins and lanterns. This is a good idea year-round. It’s a great idea when small children with flowing costumes will be playing nearby.

    Organize a neighborhood patrol

    Pranks are a big part of Halloween. Even when intentions are good, things can run amok during the excitement, and vandals can use the revelry as cover for their antics. If you don’t have an official Neighborhood Watch, you can still organize a group to keep an eye on the streets and report any suspicious behavior to police. October – National Crime Prevention Month – is a great time to introduce a watch group in your community.

    Lock up when you go out

    Whether you’re taking the kids out for candy or going to a Halloween party, lock your doors. A smart lock like the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt provides additional security in that you can monitor the status of your lock from anywhere and receive notifications if there is a suspected security breach at the door. When you sync it with the Ring Video Doorbell 2, you can also see activity happening on your porch from the Ring App’s Live View. Similar monitoring capabilities are available when you combine your Schlage Encode lock with Amazon Cloud Cam.

    Secure other points of entry

    You might think you can keep an eye on things from your front porch while handing out candy, but there are lots of fun things to be distracted by on Halloween night. Make sure your windows and other entry points to the house – back doors, fence gates – are securely locked and well-lit.

    Care for your pets

    Your furry family members will be happier and healthier if you keep them contained. One of the last things you want is for your cat to slip out the door or your dog to get into the chocolate.

    Don’t be too scary

    Smaller children especially can’t always determine what’s real and what isn’t. Not everyone loves a haunted house. Try not to be too scary so that you cause children to startle and trip or run away.

    Don’t leave the candy bowl unattended

    First, you’ll run out of treats super quick. But you might also attract animals and insects. You’ll regret it when they burrow into your garden or the foundation of your home.

     

    Crime prevention is a year-round effort, especially during the holidays. For more tips on seasonal security, visit our blog archive. And don’t be afraid to share your own safety tricks – or photos of your ghoulish get-ups – with us on Instagram.

     

    7 projects for a safe and cozy home this fall.

    October 15, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    Fall home safety projects | Schlage

    Before you grab the cozy sweaters and make hot chocolate, make sure you check these off the list.

     

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    Pumpkins, turkey stuffing and snowflakes are right around the corner. Before you pull your cozy sweaters out of storage and make the hot chocolate, tackle these seven DIY projects to get your home ready for fall.
    7 projects for safe and cozy fall home.

    1. Repair your walkways

    Ice and slipping are about to be a problem. Set yourself up for a safer winter my repairing uneven, cracked or crumbling walkways. The same goes for your driveway. It will be much easier to clear snow and stay on your feet if you do. Tighten handrails and banisters around the porch while you’re at it.

    2. Light the longer nights

    Fall and winter mean longer nights. Replace the bulbs in your outdoor light fixtures, or install new lights so you can see when you get home in the evening. Extra lighting – around the front door, along the side of the house, near a gardening shed – is also a strong deterrent for would-be thieves. You might also consider timers for your outdoor lighting for greater convenience.

    3. Inspect your doors – Part I

    Deadbolts are a key ingredient to securing your home against potential intruders. Equally important is a sturdy door and door frame. Examine your entire entryway now and make sure there’s no warping or cracks in the wood that will keep your deadbolt from latching securely.

     

    Think back through the last year. Did your door stick? Did you have to push or pull on your door handle to get it to lock? It’s not unusual for changes in weather to affect the seal on your door. Now’s your chance to correct your door’s fit by addressing any issues with the frame.

    4. Inspect your doors – Part II

    Sliding patio doors tend to get a good workout in the spring and summer. You should always take extra precautions to secure these doors, but the fall is a good excuse to make sure the latch is still working properly. If you don’t have one already, install a rod or other mechanism in the sliding track to increase security.

    5. Heat efficiently

    There are plenty of DIY maintenance steps you can take to keep your HVAC system safe and operating efficiently. With an outdoor heat pump, remove nearby debris or vegetation so that it doesn’t restrict airflow. Indoors, replace the air filter, clean dust and dirt from the registers, and replace the water panel or humidifier pad. You can find more heating efficiency tips at HVAC.com.

    6. Get your bathroom guest-ready

    Fall is the start of holiday season for many of us, which often brings houseguests and large meals. A not-so-fun fact is that the day after Thanksgiving is the busiest of the year for plumbers. Knowing your bathroom is going to get a lot of use, replace the caulking around tubs and sinks to avoid leaking. Correct any ventilation issues to reduce the risk of mold. And if you’re expecting young visitors, take some extra precautions to childproof your bathroom with no-slip tub stickies, faucet guards and cabinet locks.

    7. Prepare for the holidays

    Planning on hanging lights or decorating for the holidays? Now’s the perfect time to install hooks or even add electrical outlets in easy-to-reach locations to make that process less stressful later.

     

    This list merely scrapes the surface of the steps you can take to make sure your house is ready for the new season. Find more home safety and security projects to complete this fall in our blog archives. Then head to our Design & Trends collection for ways to capture fall porch décor.

     

    Want easy wireless security? Start with Schlage.

    October 8, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, October 8, 2019

    Wireless security | Schlage

    With no shortage of wireless security options and the simplicity of Schlage smart locks, you can be your own smart home installer. See how easy it is here.

     

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    Reviewed Best of Year badge.

    You love the idea of never losing keys again, remote access from anywhere using your smartphone and making your deadbolt part of your whole-home, high-tech security. You’re ready to finally buy that smart lock, but … what happens when you take your Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt out of the box? Now you have all kinds of questions about how to install it, if you’ll need to call in a professional and if it’s really as easy as everyone says it is.

     

    We don’t expect you to trust us when we say being your own smart home installer is simple. Take it from Reviewed.com, which recently named the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt its best overall smart lock for 2019. There were a lot of features they liked – that keyless convenience and remote access to name a few. But that wasn’t it.

     

    According to the review, “For starters, thanks to the app’s interactive step-by-step guide, installation and troubleshooting are a breeze.”

    Schlage Home app on iPhone screen.

    You’re an internet wiz

    That app they’re talking about is the Schlage® Home app. When you bring the Schlage Encode deadbolt home, simply follow the instructions on your smartphone and you’ll be connected to your home wireless network in no time. And because the lock has built-in WiFi, connecting to your secure network is as straightforward as getting online with your laptop. No additional accessories or hubs are required to get the wireless security for your home you seek.

    Look like a handyman extraordinaire

    “But wait!” you say. What about actually getting the lock on the door? Schlage smart locks, including the Schlage Encode deadbolt, are battery operated. That means no wiring and no need for an electrician. All you need is a screwdriver and a few minutes’ time. Our door hardware is also guaranteed to fit on all standard doors, so there’s no drilling or creating new bore holes. And with a low-profile trim on the Schlage Encode lock, you don’t have to worry about repositioning a screen door to still enjoy your wireless security. When we say installation is easy, we mean it.

    Hand installing Schlage Encode smart lock.

    Show your smart home installer skills

    With just the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt and Schlage Home app, you have two of the most basic – but important – elements for durable, smart and stylish front door security. Use the keypad, the app or a traditional backup key to lock and unlock the door. If you’re craving even more wireless security options and smart home integrations, you can pair your Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt with other devices.

    Schlage Encode smart lock with Ring video doorbell.
    • Ring – Make the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt and Ring Video Doorbell part of your Ring of Security to see and talk to guests at your front door, even if you aren’t home. You’ll need the Key by Amazon and Ring apps to use all the Ring Video Doorbell features, but once you’re connected, you’ll be able to verify the identity of your guests from your phone, and if you want to give them access to the house, you can unlock the door for them. That’s what we call security, control and convenience at your fingertips.
    •  

    • Key by Amazon – Even if you don’t have a video doorbell, Key by Amazon with your Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt could allow you to opt in to in-home delivery from Amazon. Prime users in select cities have the option toof allow packages to be placed directly inside the home, protecting your boxes from bad weather and the dreaded porch pirates.
    •  

    • Voice control – Use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control your lock with just your voice. “Alexa, lock the door,” or “Hey, Google! Is my door locked?” gives you more convenient ways to secure your home, even when you can’t make it to the door. And remember, because of the Schlage Encode lock’s built-in WiFi, you don’t need additional accessories to take advantage of voice commands.

    Adding wireless security to your home isn’t as difficult as you might think. We’ll let Reviewed.com share their take again: “The lock and accompanying app are simple and intuitive to use, jam-packed with useful features, and they had the fast lock and unlock times.”

     

    Be sure to check out the rest of the review of 2019’s top smart locks. We’re proud that the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt was the second overall pick and the choice for best lock to use with Apple HomeKit. The Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt also made the list’s cut.

     

    Still not sure which smart lock is right for your home? Try our Get Help Deciding Tool or ask us on Twitter or Facebook.

     

    Secrets to choosing a secure exterior door lock.

    October 7, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Monday, October 7, 2019

    Secure front door locks | Schlage

    Simply choosing the cheapest deadbolt on the shelf won’t cut it when it comes to home security. Look for these qualities when choosing a secure exterior door lock.

     

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    We could talk for days on all the options when choosing the perfect exterior lock for your home – mechanical vs. electronic, finish, single- vs. double-cylinder. But when you’re looking for the most secure, sometimes you just need help picking out the differentiating factors in a sea of look-alike deadbolts. In the spirit of National Crime Prevention Month, here are some secrets for picking out the most secure deadbolt.
    Schlage Addison deadbolt with handleset on front door.

    Premium construction

    It should go without saying that the most secure locks tend to be the ones made of the strongest materials. Schlage deadbolts feature premium metal construction. Some locks may have plastic components that won’t stand up as well to wear and tear or forced entry.

     

    Also pay attention to parts beyond the latch itself. For example, your deadbolt should include a reinforced strike plate, which you’ll install inside the doorframe. The bolt portion of your deadbolt extends into the hole in the doorjamb through the strike plate. Without a reinforced strike plate, you run the risk of the metal bolt tearing through the wooden frame should someone try to kick in your door.

    Installing strike with reinforcement plate.

    Also look for longer screws – at least 3 inches – to attach your strike plate to the frame. If the screws are too short, it increases the chances that they’ll be ripped out of the frame during a high-impact security breach. Longer screws will help keep the strike plate in place, the bolt in the latched position and the door secure.

    Seal of approval

    There are several organizations that rate door hardware. The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association assigns grades based on security, durability and finish. A rating of AAA is the best a lock can receive. All Schlage mechanical deadbolts and handlesets are certified AAA. Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt, Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt with built-in-alarm and Schlage Touch™ Keyless Touchscreen Deadbolt have also earned AAA ratings. As you approach a CCC rating, know that the lock has not performed as well in BHMA testing.

     

    The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) also has a rating system based on durability and how well a lock holds up to attempts at forced entry. Grade 1 is the highest rating, while Grade 3 may include parts that are less durable or may not last as long. Schlage’s mechanical single-cylinder deadbolts are Grade 1, as are the Schlage Encode, Schlage Sense and Schlage Connect deadbolts.

    Company confidence

    Does the company that manufacturers and sells the lock have confidence in its own product? Look for phrases like “lifetime guarantee” or “warranty included” for an extra level of assurance that your exterior lock will provided your desired level of security. Schlage offers a limited lifetime mechanical and finish warranty as well as a three-year electronics warranty on its smart locks.

    Door strength

    If you’ve made it this far, you probably aren’t surprised to hear that the health of your door, not just your lock, is vital to your home’s security. If your doorjamb is weak or cracked, it becomes easier to break the frame and gain entry. Weak or lose door hinges won’t do you any favors either. As Family Handyman explained in their tutorial for reinforcing doors, “I never realized how easy it is to kick in a solid door that has old hardware until I tried it on our demonstration door. With two kicks in only five seconds, I destroyed the doorjamb and was in the house.”
     

    Installing door hinges with drill.


    The same goes for the door itself. Solid wood or steel doors are your best options rather than hollow core, glass or PVC.

     

    Whether you choose the superior security of Schlage or take a different route, remember that the most secure lock only works if you actually use it. Failing to secure your deadbolt, even if you’ll only be gone for a few minutes, leaves your home at risk for unwanted access by intruders. Learn more ways to secure your home with Schlage locks at Schlage.com/blog or discover how you can improve the safety of your entire neighborhood with tips from the National Crime Prevention Council.

     

    Secure exterior lock

     

    10 ways to secure your smart home for National Crime Prevention Month.

    October 1, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, October 1, 2019

    Secure smart home | Schlage

    These 10 tips for securing your smart devices and the network they connect to can help keep your personal information … well, personal.

     

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    October is National Crime Prevention Month, making it the perfect time to examine how secure your smart home is. More and more devices are being incorporated into the Internet of Things – even toilets – which makes it increasingly important to go the extra step to protect your home. Although nothing is 100 percent failsafe, these 10 tips for securing your smart devices and the network they connect to can help keep your personal information … well, personal.
    10 secure smart home tips for crime prevention month.

    Secure your devices

    1. Strengthen your passwords.

    Set unique passwords for each of your devices, email accounts and electronic locks in your house. It makes it too easy for someone to gain access to everything at once. Also avoid easy-to-guess passwords like 1-2-3-4 or your house number. Need helping creating safer passwords? Try these suggestions.

    2. Get the latest updates.

    Technology companies frequently make updates to the firmware for a device, even long after you’ve bought it. These often provide additional or improved security measures, so make sure you have the latest versions. Depending on the device, firmware might be updated automatically. You can also check the manufacturer’s website for new uploads.

     

    If you have a Schlage smart lock that remains connected to WiFi or your mesh network, you will receive automatic updates as they become available. Notifications are also available through the Schlage® Home app for your Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt or Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt.

    3. Choose reputable brands.

    When purchasing a smart device, buy from a reputable source. That means going with brands you know you can trust and stores with trustworthy reputations rather than someone off the street or hawking an electronic online. If you aren’t sure about a company, research them on Better Business Bureau or look for things like Schlage’s limited lifetime mechanical and finish warranty. We also offer a three-year electronic warranty, so you can be confident in the quality and security of your Schlage smart lock. There’s a reason we’re trusted in over 40 million homes.

    4. Go the extra step with two-factor authentication.

    Love it or hate it, two-factor authentication (2FA) can go a long way toward protecting your information. When you set up 2FA on your device, you will be asked to provide a code, sent to a separate device or email, to verify your identity. The extra step might not always be convenient, but it does cut down on security breaches.

    5. Reset before you sell.

    If you decide to sell your smart device or leave it at the home when you move, be sure to complete a factory default reset or follow manufacturer’s suggestions for removing personal data before transferring it to the next owner.

    Secure the perimeter

    6. Secure your wireless network.

    Use a WiFi Protected Access II (WPA2) protocol rather than the older Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) for better security. And while you’re at it, use those password tips from earlier to protect your WiFi even more.

    7. Give your network an obscure name.

    It’s tempting to simply call your network “Bob’s home WiFi,” but you can improve security by naming it something that isn’t traceable directly to you. Be creative – “New England Clam Router” – or just random – “Green network.”

    8. Disable guest access to your network.

    When you hand over access to others, you lose a certain amount of control over how your network is being used. Deactivate it completely, or at the very least, be extremely picky about who you allow to log on.

    9. Add a firewall.

    A firewall is hardware or software, or sometimes both, that prevents others from accessing your private WiFi network. It controls both incoming and outgoing network traffic. When it comes to protecting your smart home, installing a firewall can keep prying eyes off your personal data.

    10. Don’t connect if you don’t have to.

    Lots of products come with bells and whistles that you just don’t need or won’t use. Do you really need to log in to Facebook through your refrigerator? Or play Spotify from your toilet? Deactivate a feature or don’t provide login information if it simply isn’t necessary.

    Whether it’s an intruder trying to break into your home or a hacker attempting to access a smart device, thieves look for the point of least resistance. By adding additional layers of security like strong passwords or a high-quality deadbolt to your front door, you can reduce the likelihood of falling prey to theft. Find more ways to secure your home at Schlage.com.

     

    Increase your door security with the right deadbolt lock.

    September 27, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, September 27, 2019

    Door security with deadbolt | Schlage

    We all agree that door security is not something to take lightly, but you might be surprised how often some skimp on quality when choosing a deadbolt for their home.

     

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    We all agree that door security is not something to take lightly, but you might be surprised how often some skimp on quality when choosing a deadbolt for their home. With the right deadbolt lock, you can increase door security easily and affordably.
    Schlage Century handleset on coral front door.

    Types of door locks

    At the most basic level, you have two deadbolt options for an exterior door – mechanical and electronic or smart. When considering a mechanical deadbolt, you can break it down even more to single cylinder or double cylinder. A single-cylinder deadbolt requires a key to lock and unlock your door from the outside only. A thumbturn is used for locking on the interior. This is the most common deadbolt today.

     

    A double-cylinder deadbolt requires a key for locking and unlocking on both sides of the door. While this provides an additional layer of door security – intruders can’t break a nearby window and simply reach around to flip the thumbturn – it is not always permitted on some properties. Because a key is required to unlock the door, even from the inside, it carries additional risks should you need to leave the house quickly in an emergency. For this reason, check with local building codes before installing a double-cylinder deadbolt.

     

    Smart locks often feature a number of benefits that increase your door security, including built-in alarms, the ability to see when the deadbolt is locked and who has accessed the deadbolt, and unique access codes that remove the need to (unsafely) hide spare keys.

     

    The new Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt with built-in WiFi also has a built-in alarm that can detect potential breaches at the door and alert you via a smartphone app. The Schlage Connect™ Smart Deadbolt with Z-Wave Plus technology and Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt also feature built-in alarms. All three Schlage smart locks allow you to program multiple access codes – including up to 100 for the Schlage Encode deadbolt – and provide the keyless convenience and peace of mind that make them so popular. Choose which smart lock is right for you and your family with our interactive Get Help Deciding tool.

    Lock security grading

    Regardless of whether you opt for mechanical or smart locks, you’ll want to check the BHMA grading of the deadbolt. BHMA, or the Building Hardware Manufacturers Association, is an independent organization that evaluates door hardware and assigns it a grade (Good, Better, Best) based on its Security, Durability and Finish. A grade of AAA is Best, meaning it got top marks in all three categories.

     

    Schlage mechanical deadbolts have earned a AAA grading from BHMA. So have The Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt, Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt with Z-Wave Plus and Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt. That Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt with Zigbee technology is rated BAA, only because it does not have the built-in alarm feature.

    Signs of quality

    Beyond BHMA grading, there are other signs of quality to look for to make sure you’re getting the most secure door hardware. Companies that stand by their products often offer lifetime warranties. Schlage offers a Limited Lifetime Mechanical and Finish Warranty on all its locks, as well as Limited 3-year Electronics Warranty on smart locks and keypad deadbolts.

     

    If you have the opportunity to test a deadbolt or other door hardware before you purchase it, look for something that actually feels substantial and strong in your hand. Schlage locks are made from premium metals – a quality you can feel – while some other manufacturers rely on plastic or other materials that may be more prone to breakage.

    Other door security options

    Oftentimes, the best-secured doors do not rely on deadbolts alone. Total home security is a combination of several efforts. Before installing any kind of deadbolt, make sure your door is properly prepared. A door or frame that is warped or with rotting wood offers a weak foundation for even the strongest of locks.

     

    If you must hide a spare key, take proper precautions to do so in a non-obvious and, as a result, secure way. Use these tips for hiding a spare key safely.

     

    Fans of smart deadbolts and other smart home solutions can use that to their advantage in other ways. Setting lights or window shades on a timer, or syncing them to a mobile device to control them from anywhere, can give the appearance that someone is home and deter intruders. Pair a security camera with select smart locks or a smartphone so you can see when someone is at your door no matter where you are.

     

    Choosing the right deadbolt doesn’t have to be difficult when you use our Product Selector Tool. And remember that door security isn’t somewhere you want to cut corners. Read why high-quality door hardware is worth the investment.

     

    How to create secure access codes for Schlage smart locks.

    September 19, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, September 19, 2019

    Create secure access codes for smart locks | Schlage

    There’s more to high-quality locks than just a strong deadbolt latch. We’re sharing these tips for how to create secure access codes for smart locks.

     

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    There’s more to high-quality locks than just a strong deadbolt latch. That’s why we always encourage you to make sure your door jamb is structurally sound. It’s why Schlage smart locks feature fingerprint-resistant buttons that won’t show wear. And it’s why we’re sharing these tips for how to create secure access codes for smart locks.

    Don’t try this at home

    Steer clear of these codes. They’re easily guessed by potential intruders, so no matter how strong your lock is, your home won’t be as secure as it could be.
     

    • Don’t use your own birthday or anniversary.

    • Don’t use your house number.

    • Don’t use your own phone number.*

    • Don’t use 1-2-3-4. It’s the most common four-digit code out there.
       

    * You might use a phone number if you’re a rental property manager and assign user codes to guests. In this case, we recommend using the visitor’s last four digits of their phone number for their code. The code will change frequently, depending on who’s visiting, so there’s less risk than using your own digits.

    Nurse entering code on Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

    Do program smart codes

    Now that we know what not to do, try these tips for creating a strong user code.
     

    • Spell a “numeric” word. Think back to the early days of texting when you had to punch the 2 three times to cycle around to the letter C. Maybe you choose 4663 (“HOME”) or 7246 (“RAIN”).

    • Use phone numbers you dial frequently but aren’t unique to you, like the one for your favorite pizza shop.

    • Choose the longest code possible. Some Schlage locks accept codes from four to eight digits long. Visit our How-To Center to learn how to change the code length.

    • Use a close friend’s birthday.

    Track your codes the smart way

    Especially if you create multiple access codes, you might need a way to remember what code belongs to whom.
     

    • If you have the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt or Schlage Sense™ Smart Deadbolt, you can use the Schlage® Home app to track access codes. Visit the Access Code screen by tapping the people icon at the bottom of the home screen, then tap the name of the person whose code you need to look up. You can then change or delete codes as necessary from there.

    • Use a free online note-taking tool like Evernote that you can access from your phone or personal computer when you log in to your account. Try not to be too obvious when noting what the codes refer to, just in case in there are prying eyes.

    • Hide a user code in your phone’s directory. For example, you could create an entry for your housekeeper and hide their code within what looks to be a phone number. If the user code is 0649, you could list the phone number as (525) 406-4921. Make sure your phone is passcode protected for even more security in case of loss or theft.
    Housekeeper using Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt;

    Change Schlage smart lock user codes

    If you’re realizing that your code isn’t as strong as it could be, use the links below to learn how to change your Schlage smart lock access codes.
     

    Finally, if you think one of your access codes has been compromised but aren’t sure which one, you can complete a factory default reset. This will wipe the memory of all existing codes and you can begin from scratch, assigning new codes you know to be secure. Check out our How-To Center for instructions.

     

    Visit Schlage.com to learn more about products that can help keep your family safe. Or check out our blog for more helpful tips to get the most out of your home security.

     

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