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    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.

     

    12 vacation rental safety tips for your home’s exterior.

    September 13, 2019 6:30 AM by emily.bailey

    Friday, September 13, 2019

    Vacation rental safety tips | Schlage

    Security for vacation rentals – it helps you protect your investment and it makes guests happier. Here are 12 upgrades you can make outside your vacation rental to make it more secure.

     

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    Security for vacation rentals – it helps you protect your investment and it makes guests happier. Happy guests means positive reviews. Positive reviews means more bookings. And more bookings means more money. We think those are pretty good reasons to invest in safety measures for your rental property. Here are 12 upgrades you can make outside your vacation rental to make it more secure.

    Start planting

    Everyone loves landscaping that is gorgeous and green. But did you know plants also play a key role in security?
     

    • Trim your trees and bushes to prevent falling limbs from damaging the house during a storm and limit hiding places for potential intruders.

    • Steer clear of plants that could be toxic or prickly, especially if you offer a family- or pet-friendly accommodations.

    • Incorporate outdoor lighting along walkways. It highlights the most beautiful parts of the yard as well as helps people safely find their way in the evenings.

    Curb appeal still counts

    Paying attention to the front entryway of your vacation rental is vital. It needs to look good – think about the attractive photos on Airbnb and VRBO – and be secure.
     

    • Install a Schlage smart lock. Your guests get keyless convenience. Think about the easy check-in and no hassle of carrying or losing keys. You also enjoy major convenience by being able to create and manage multiple user codes for visitors, monitor access history and check that the deadbolt is locked from anywhere, even if your guests have left. Use our Get Help Deciding Tool to determine which Schlage smart lock is right for you.

    • Replace your door with a solid wood or steel option that is more resistant to break-in attempts than some other, weaker materials. Also make sure the door frame is still strong and not warped or cracked, which can keep even the strongest deadbolt from being effective.

    • Pair your strong door and smart lock with exterior cameras or video doorbells to easily monitor activity around your entryway. The Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt is compatible with the Ring Video Doorbell when you set up your lock with the Key by Amazon app, allowing you to see who is at the door before granting guest access, all from your smartphone.

    • Sliding patio doors, because they don’t have traditional deadbolts and usually aren’t visible from the street, tend to be easy targets for potential thieves. But you can secure them more effectively simply by installing a security bar or even just a wooden rod in the tracks. These small details go a long way toward putting guests at ease, says Evolve Vacation Rental. “If the back door doesn’t lock securely, they’re going to spend their vacation worrying about it – and that’s not the experience you want to provide them."

    • Make sure all windows, even those not on the first floor have working locks.

    Practical upkeep is key

    There’s a lot to maintain outdoors, especially if you have the kind of rental property that encourages gathering on the patio or around a pool. There are lots of low-maintenance curb appeal hacks , but you still want to be diligent in your upkeep.
     

    • Decks need to be ready for bare feet. Repair loose boards or nails. Bonus tip: If you’re installing or replacing a deck, check out these suggestions from Family Handyman for low-maintenance decking materials that don’t need regular staining and won’t splinter.

    • Make sure any railings around the patio and stairs are secure, not just for helping people up and down the steps, but also to keep kids from taking a tumble over a ledge. You might also consider the spacing of railing posts so that kids don’t get their heads stuck while peeking through.

    • Maintain walkways to avoid cracks and uneven footing that could cause a guest to stumble. A well-maintained walkway, driveway and pavers look beautiful and function even better.

    • Don’t forget the fencing and cover for your pool and hot tub. Be sure to check your local regulations about pool fencing.

    It might be tempting to skimp on security for a rental property if you aren’t living there. But not giving it its due can have negative consequences on your house-sharing business and your peace of mind. By investing in high-quality locks and making sure all exterior areas of the house are well-maintained, you’re taking an important step toward happy guests and healthy profits. Share your rental security tips with us on Facebook and Twitter.

     

    Avoid common home security mistakes with this checklist.

    September 10, 2019 9:15 AM by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, September 10, 2019

     Avoid common home security mistakes with this checklist | Schlage

    Home security systems can protect your home. However, human error often undermines these practices.

     

     

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    Home security systems can protect your home. However, human error often undermines these practices. Here are a few common home security mistakes to avoid.
    Schlage Custom 3/4 trim on front door.

    checkbox Choose quality

    If you’re going to rely on a lock to protect your home and family, you want to invest in one with high quality. Schlage offers both mechanical and smart locks rated best in Security, Durability and Finish by independent experts, so you know you’re getting the best the industry has to offer.

    checkbox Repair or replace what’s broken

    It’s also a good idea not to delay replacing anything that’s broken or worn out. In addition to your locks, make sure your doors are made of quality material – metal and wood are stronger than hollow options – and that the door jamb is not warped or cracked. Make sure windows are not broken, and address any frames that might need to be resealed. Don’t forget fences and gates, either. Replace broken slats or latches.

    checkbox Use what you have

    Nearly one-third of break-ins in the U.S. happen due to unlocked entrances. Burglars use the front or rear doors most often, while the garage door is the next easiest way to break into a house. No matter what kind of lock you have on your home and regardless of where it is – front door, back door, garage, windows – if you don’t use it, it can’t protect your belongings or your family. Once you’ve installed high-quality locks, be sure to use them every day.

    Schlage house key.

    checkbox Hide spares wisely

    Burglars know to check places such as a lawn ornament, rock or chair. Even first-timers know to check under the doormat. If for some reason you need to leave a key outside for an emergency, hide it in a way that’s not obvious.

    checkbox Opt for smart locks

    Ditch the key altogether by opting for a Schlage smart lock, which lets you create and manage multiple user access codes. When you can gain access to your home through the touchscreen or with your phone, you’ll never need to hide or track down a spare key again. Not sure which smart lock is right for you? Try our Get Help Deciding Tool.

    checkbox Turn on technology

    Technology can be a great advantage when keeping your home safe. If you have an alarm system, make sure its settings are appropriate for your lifestyle and that you’re actually turning it on.

    Woman entering user code on Schlage Touch Keyless Touchscreen Deadbolt.

    checkbox Create strong user codes

    If you have smart lock, choose user codes that can’t be easily guessed. Just like when choosing a password for your bank account or laptop, avoid birthdays, anniversaries and your own house number.

    checkbox Automate lighting

    If lights are off inside and outside your home, it lets everyone know you’re away. Add automated lighting inside so lights come on even if you’re not around. Also, be sure to add motion sensor lights outside your home. It will help your electric bill as well as deter any would-be burglars approaching your home. Timers are also a good option, inside and out. You can set them to be on from dusk until dawn when extra illumination is needed.

    checkbox Keep vacation hush-hush

    Stay quiet on social media. Don’t post pictures of your toes in the sand with an ocean in the background. It’s too obvious that you aren’t home and likely won’t be for some time. If you want to be extra sneaky, you can always post fake updates. Instead of photos of gorgeous mountain views, think: Another day at the office #monday :(

     

    With mechanical locks, smart deadbolts and tons of tips, Schlage can help you secure your home and prepare for a variety of situations. Visit Schlage.com to learn more about our security solutions, or find more ideas on our blog.

     

    Want more bookings? Try making your vacation rental safer.

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

    Thursday, August 22, 2019

    Vacation rental safety tips | Schlage

    Try these 14 tips for making the interior of your vacation rental safe for everyone.

     

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    Everyone wants a secure vacation rental. As the property manager, you need to know that your investment is well-protected, and visitors need to be confident that they and their belongings will be safe. When your guests are happy, they come back and they leave good reviews. Those positive reviews can turn into more bookings and more income for you. If that sounds good, try these 14 tips for making the interior of your vacation rental safe for everyone.

    Take care of the basics

    Copy the safety measures you already take in your own home.
     

    • Working smoke detectors should be installed in every bedroom, common areas and anywhere else local regulations require them. Remember to check and replace the batteries on a regular basis.

    • Carbon monoxide detectors are also recommended by most house-sharing services and, in some cases, are required by local regulations. Like smoke alarms, make sure the batteries are working correctly.

    • Fire extinguishers should be available in the kitchen, garage and near any heat source, such as a fireplace. Some experts also recommend one in each bedroom. It’s a good idea to check these annually, if not more often, to ensure they are in good working condition.

    • Accidents will happen, and when they do, guests will be glad for a handy first aid kit. Place one in the kitchen where people may be more likely to need it, and in bathrooms, where they’re likely to look for it.

    Think family-friendly

    Having a family-friendly vacation rental can literally pay off. You just need to take a few enticing extra steps.
     

    • Add amenities like a crib, highchair and baby gate . Families aren’t likely to travel with them, and they will certainly appreciate the convenience and ability to rest easy knowing Baby has a safe place to sleep, eat and play.

    • Take the time to childproof the property. Choose coffee tables and other furniture with soft corners and install cordless blinds to reduce choking hazards. Check out these other childproofing tips ideal for any home, not just those you list on Airbnb and VRBO.

    Every detail counts

    There are tons of small details that we often don’t think about until it’s a problem. Protect yourself and visitors with these ideas.
     

    • Bigger Pockets suggests non-slip stickies in the tub and shower. Designs range from neutral to kid-friendly to themed to match the style of your rental.

    • Install a small safe for guests to secure their valuables during their stay, even if you’re located in a great neighborhood.

    • It’s a good idea to anchor larger furniture and flat screen TVs to the wall to avoid them tipping on guests, including small children, according to iProperty Management.

    • Replace light bulbs inside and out. A well-lit home is a safer home, not to mention a more convenient one when guests don’t have to go hunting for a replacement.

    • Consider technology like NoiseAware, a device that monitors sounds in the home and can alert you to increased noised levels such as during an exuberant party or with shattering glass during a break-in.

    Plan for vacancies

    For when you aren’t home and no one is staying in your rental, take advantage of home automation to help the house look like it’s occupied.
     

    • Set lights on a timer or take advantage of smart bulbs you can schedule to turn on and off. Also leave blinds slightly open so people se those lights and think someone is home.

    • Make smart lights part of a routine. For example, a “Vacant” routine in the Alexa app can simultaneously turn lights on and off, adjust the thermostat and play music to make it sound like someone’s in the house. That’s security and energy efficiency with a few simple taps on your smartphone.

    • Schlage smart locks can also be integrated into your smart home automation plan and controlled from anywhere on your smartphone. If your guests have left and the front door hasn’t been locked, simply lock it from anywhere for greater peace of mind. Also create and manage user codes remotely, a great solution if you need to grant access to house cleaners or maintenance prior to a new guest’s arrival.

    • If total automation is intimidating or a bigger investment than you’re ready to make, turn to smart plugs, which can add voice control and remote access on a more basic level to a variety of electronics in the house.

    Security inside and out is important for every home, even vacation homes. You can be confident that your investment is protected, while guests will appreciate the extra steps you’ve taken to make sure their stay is comfortable and worry-free. Share your rental security tips with us on Facebook and Twitter.

     

    Home security steps you should take before leaving for vacation

    June 20, 2019 10:58 AM by emily.bailey

    Thursday, June 20, 2019

    Home Security Steps You Should Take Before Leaving for Vacation

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

     

     

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    ‘Tis the season for family vacations and getting away from the daily grind. If you're planning a summer vacation this year, take one more worry off your list by ensuring your home is as secure as possible. Most homes are targeted by a simple selection process. A burglar chooses a house with easy access, excellent cover and good escape routes, but they will usually bypass one that requires too much effort or poses too much risk. Here are five home security steps you should take before enjoying your relaxing retreat away from home.
    Dog sitting on suitcases before family leaves for vacation.
     

    1. Proper lighting

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

     

    Bonus tip: Leave blinds and curtains partially open so people can actually see lights turning on and off, but keep valuables out of the direct line of sight from prying eyes.

    2. Smart locks

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

     

    Bonus tip: Choose a smart lock with a built-in alarm that can notify you of a disturbance at the door, especially if you don’t already have a security system.

    3. Cameras

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

     

    Bonus tip: The Schlage Encode lock now works with Ring Video Doorbell, so you can see who is at your door via the camera and unlock it remotely for trusted friends, family or service providers.

    4. Garage security

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

     

    Bonus tip: If you have someone stopping by to housesit or water the plants while you’re gone, ask them to park in the driveway instead of the garage to make it more obvious someone’s around.

    5. Look active

    Just like we mentioned with the lights and your home, giving the impression that the home is occupied is the best defense. Try some or all of these ideas for confusing thieves while you’re gone:
     

    • Create a “vacation” scene with your smart home hub. You could include locking the door, turning lights on and off, playing music occasionally and adjusting the thermostat. Not only does it make others think you’re still there, but it can help conserve energy and money as well.

    • Ask the post office to hold your mail until you return or have a friend or family members pick it up for you. A pile of mail and newspapers on the front porch is a giveaway that the house is vacant.

    • Arrange for someone – a friend or lawncare service – to maintain the landscaping and cut the grass if you plan to be gone for an extended period of time.

    • Ask a neighbor to put some of their trash in front of your home on garbage night.

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

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