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    Give Santa his own code the night before Christmas.

    December 12, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Monday, December 12, 2022

    How Schlage saved Christmas storybook

    How Schlage gave Santa an easier way in and saved Christmas.



    Red book titled How Schlage Saved Christmas

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads; and mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, wishing I could settle in for a long winter nap.


    But sadly I knew someone must wait up to open the door, let St. Nick in and prepare for presents galore. So I sat by the entryway with spare key in hand, trying not to doze while I waited for the man. Before long my eyes became heavy, my chin fell to my chest and my breathing went steady.


    Then I awoke with a start and with the sun pouring in, the children rushed to the tree to open their presents; they couldn’t wait to begin. It didn’t take long before everyone saw, a distinct lack of packages stacked ‘round the skirt. “You didn’t let him in,” scowled mamma, looking hurt. She spoke not another word, but went straight to work, and filled all the stockings with socks and underwear; I felt like a jerk.

    Kid pouting next to Christmas tree.

    My glance dropped to the floor as my kids began to whimper, when from the corner of my eye I caught a slight glimmer. The spare key I’d grasped now laid on the ground; I’d meant to give it to Santa last night when he came around. I knew then and there, this would never happen again, never would St. Nick be unable to get in.


    I rushed to the store a day later, and made a dash for the lock aisle; my path couldn’t be straighter. The options were plenty but I knew a smart lock with multiple access codes was what I needed; I’d give a code to Santa so my kids wouldn’t feel cheated.


    So I picked up a Schlage and grinned from ear to ear, I was getting remote access and security, even when I wasn’t here. I could program the lock and control it with my phone. Then I’d give unique codes to my kids to let them in after school, even when they were alone. Our pet sitter could use their code to check on our dalmatian, and the neighbors could water the plants when we go on vacation.

    Letter to Santa with smart lock access code.

    I paid for my new smart lock at the counter with glee, and knew that mamma would be happy again with me. I delayed not a moment when I arrived home with pride; I installed the lock in minutes then sent a letter to Santa full of yuletide. I included an access number, one of his own, and now while we slumber, he can enter the home. Not 1225, that’s too easy to guess, so I programmed 54636377, the numbers for KINDNESS. I closed my letter with a humbling plea, bring a dolly for Molly and a bike for Mike, and mamma would like a new set of skis. As for me, I’ve got all I need – peace of mind and home security.


    When the night before Christmas rolls around in a year, I’ll join my family in revelry knowing there’s nothing to fear. I can just see it now: as I lay in bed welcoming sleep, St. Nick in his sleigh driven by his reindeer fleet. He’ll give his team a whistle, and away they’ll fly like the down of a thistle. And I’ll hear him exclaim, ere he drives out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

    If you’re worried that Santa can’t get into your house, don’t forget a smart lock can erase all your doubts. With remote access and advanced security, a smart lock keeps your holiday home filled with glee. If you’re not sure which smart lock to add to your list, our get help deciding tool is here to assist!


    Fire safety tips to keep your home and loved ones safe.

    November 11, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Friday, November 11, 2022

    fire safety | Schlage

    As temperatures start to drop outside, getting cozy inside your home is more attractive than ever. But before you do, take some time to review these residential fire safety tips. 



    As temperatures start to drop outside, getting cozy inside your home is more attractive than ever. Cooking comfort food, lighting a fall candle, or enjoying the season’s first evening around the fireplace may sound like the perfect autumn activity. But before you start on any of these, first review residential fire safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.
    Fire extinguisher on kitchen counter next to stovetop.

    Working Smoke Detectors

    The first step for home fire safety is to make sure you have working smoke detectors. At minimum, every home should have a smoke alarm on each level and outside all sleeping areas. Installing smoke detectors in each bedroom is also highly recommended. If you aren’t sure how old your smoke detectors are, it is a good idea to have them tested and/or replaced because older smoke detectors are less effective. Once installed, put a reminder in your calendar to test the batteries and vacuum around them to remove cobwebs (dusty smoke detectors are more likely to have a nuisance alarm). Smoke detector batteries need to be replaced at least once a year.

    Strategically Placed Fire Extinguisher

    Another key home fire safety measure is to have one or more fire extinguishers strategically placed in your home. When purchasing a fire extinguisher, look for one that is rated “A-B-C” and recommended for home use. Not all fire extinguishers are operated the same way; take time to proactively read through the instructions because there will be no time to do so in the event of a fire. Fire extinguishers should only be used by adults, so place them high on a wall where they are out of reach of children. When installing your fire extinguishers, choose a location that is near an exit and away from heat.

    Keep Bedroom Doors Closed

    Why is keeping bedroom doors closed a fire safety tip? Closed doors slow the spread of flames. Fires need oxygen to grow, and closed doors limit the airflow available for combustion. Keeping a fire contained gives firefighters more time to arrive on the scene and quickly handle the situation. Another important reason to keep bedroom doors closed in the event of a fire is that it helps contain smoke, reducing the risk of smoke inhalation as your household members evacuate.

    Choose UL fire rated locks from Schlage

    UL Fire rated locks are independently certified through Underwriter Laboratories, Inc. to meet product safety requirements in the event of a fire. Because not all locks are fire rated, it is important to carefully read product descriptions before purchase. If you are shopping for a fire rated lock, confirm that it is “UL certified” before purchasing.

    Consider Emergency Egress

    Can your doors be easily unlocked and opened in an emergency? Schlage's keyed locks all feature emergency egress so you can unlock your door from the inside by simply rotating the lever, allowing you to leave quickly and conveniently. This feature provides peace of mind that, in the event of a fire, you and your household will be able to evacuate as fast as possible. If you aren’t sure what kind of door lock to choose, use our product selector tool to find the best option for your specific needs.

    Create an Emergency Plan

    Having an emergency plan for your household is the best way to make sure everyone is on the same page in the event of a home fire. Think through your home’s layout and outline two ways to evacuate from every room in your home; this gives you options in case one path is blocked. If you have a two-story home, consider purchasing emergency ladders. Your emergency plan also needs to identify a household meeting spot outside where everyone can safely convene. Once you have a fire emergency plan in place, make sure everyone in your family knows it. Practice the plan on a regular basis – at minimum, walk through the plan every year with your family. If you have children in your home, teach them about smoke alarms so they can identify what smoke detectors are, what a smoke alarm sounds like, and what to do if they hear a smoke alarm go off. Lastly, make sure everyone in your home knows how to call 9-1-1 and how to respond with stop, drop, and roll if their clothes catch on fire.

    Being careful to review fire safety tips regularly can keep you and your loved ones safe during a home fire emergency. At Schlage, we are committed to protecting what matters most. Looking for more ways to make your home safer this fall? Check out the Schlage blog for fall home safety and security projects.


    Home security and pets: 4 things to know.

    November 04, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Friday, November 4, 2022

    Pet security | Schlage

    Use these tips to have more peace of mind and better enjoy your fluffy friends. 



    Coming home to your pet after a long day is an instant mood boost. It’s no secret that pet ownership offers many benefits like increasing opportunities for exercise, time outside, and companionship. But have you ever wondered if having a pet helps or harms your home security? As we wrap up Animal Safety and Protection Month and Crime Prevention Month; use these tips to have more peace of mind and better enjoy your fluffy friends.
    Woman petting German Shephard dog laying on floor.

    Do Pets Deter Break Ins?

    It’s easy to picture a growling dog scaring off a burglar. If you have an intimidating or territorial pet, it is likely that they may prevent a break in. But for a determined criminal, even a top guard dog isn’t much of a deterrent. You shouldn’t rely on a pet as your line of defense against a potential threat. While your pet may be helpful in sounding the alarm, there are better ways to protect what matters most in your home. While fancy security systems are certainly something to consider, you should first assess how easy it would be for someone to gain entry to your home. Do all your exterior doors have top-rated, working locks? If so, are you diligent in locking up? At Schlage, our door hardware is certified highest in security, durability and finish, giving you peace of mind. Browse our products, and consider a smart lock to make it easier to keep your home secure from anywhere.

    The Risk of Pet Doors

    Many homes have pet doors to make it easier for your dog or cat to come and go. While they do offer convenience, pet doors are a hole in your home security. A small burglar may be able to enter your home through a pet door. More commonly, intruders may be able to reach an arm through a pet door to unlock the door, especially when the pet door is installed on a back or side door. Such access points are easy targets because they enable burglars to force entry from the back yard, which is often fenced in and out of sight for neighbors and street traffic. Protect your home by securing pet doors. You may decide having a pet door isn’t worth the security risk, but at minimum it is smart to make sure pet doors are not located close to door locks, install a cover and slide bolt to lock your pet door from the inside when not in use, and use a security system.

    Home Access for Pet Sitters

    The next time you are out of town, who do you call to take care of your pet? Many owners hire pet sitters and dog walkers to help when needed. While it may seem easiest to just hand out a copy of your home key to service providers or hide a key under your flower pot, think carefully about how that could impact your home security. Once you give out a key, you can’t keep track of what happens to it. Even the most trusted helper could potentially misplace your key, or it is easy for you to forget who all you’ve given a key to. We recommend smart locks for homeowners who frequently have service professionals in and out to take care of pets. Our smart locks enable you to grant temporary access codes from anywhere through the Schlage Home App. These innovative solutions pair ease of access with top-rated security, giving you peace of mind at all times.

    Coming and Going with Your Pets

    One of the most common activities to enjoy with your pet is going for a walk. Even if you are just going for a quick lap around the neighborhood, it is important for your home security to make sure you lock the door behind you. But with a leash in hand, messing with keys can be a hassle. For heavily trafficked side doors, we recommend our keypad locks that offer the convenience of keyless entry and autolock options. Autolock automatically relocks your door after 5 seconds, so you don’t have to worry if you’re a block down the road with your pooch and can’t remember if you locked the door. It’s tempting to think that your side door is less prone to break ins, but many intruders prefer an entry point that isn’t easily seen. That’s why it’s important to invest in your peace of mind by choosing a side door lock you can trust.

    Whether you are a current pet owner or considering adding a new furry friend to your family, it is important to consider how having a pet affects your home security. For more than 100 years, Schlage has offered durable door hardware in a range of unique style combinations designed to help make your home safer and your life more convenient. Visit our product page to explore innovative solutions for keeping your home secure as you enjoy life with your pets.


    Home safety and security projects to complete this fall.

    November 02, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, November 2, 2022

    Fall home safety and security projects | Schlage

    Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and downtime before the holiday bustle to tackle these must-do fall projects.



    Fall is the perfect time to prepare your home for colder weather ahead and take care of any summer projects that may have gone undone. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and downtime before the holiday bustle to tackle these must-do fall projects.
    Grandmother, mother and two young daughters raking and playing in leaves outside.

    Test alarms and sensors

    Prepping for the holidays can be so much fun, but it can also mean increased safety hazards in the house. Over the next couple months, you'll be decorating for the holidays, cooking large family meals, enjoying fires in your fireplace, lighting candles, and maybe setting up a Christmas tree. Prepare for the additional hazards these activities bring by testing your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and replacing batteries.


    Also, make sure you have a functioning fire extinguisher on each floor of your home. Look for an expiration date on the label and make sure it hasn't passed. In addition, ensure that the pressure dial is in the green, or charged, area. Protecting your home against residential fires will give you peace of mind to enjoy making your home cozy during the holiday season.

    Check insulation points

    Doors and windows are the primary sources for wasted energy in most homes. Apply caulk, weather stripping and insulation inside and outside of the home to ensure you don’t waste any energy – or see increased energy bills – by letting heat leak out. Check on weather stripping around your doors, windows, and garage door; the felt strips seal these openings to prevent drafts, but they can wear down over time. Replace any faded weather stripping and fix drafty doors to increase energy efficiency.

    Clean your gutters

    Your gutters work hard over fall and winter, and they need your help. Clean them out before it gets too cold. This will prevent gutters from overflowing with rain or snow, damaging your roof, and prevent water from pooling at the base of your home, putting strain on your foundation. Remove the leaves that accumulate on your roof with a roof rake. Simply position the rake behind the leaves and pull forward until they fall off the roof. Once you’ve climbed up to your gutters, put on some waterproof gloves and scoop the leaves out by hand. Just remember to always keep one hand on the ladder for safety.

    Prepare your fireplace

    For wood fireplaces, clean them out thoroughly, check the chimney, and make sure that you have an ample supply of wood. Even if you plan on cleaning and maintaining it yourself, have a professional do an initial inspection. A professional will be able to make sure your chimney isn’t at risk for a chimney fire and can walk you through chimney safety tips. Gas and electric fireplaces can also benefit from an annual inspection before winter begins.

    Clean up your lawnmower, grill and other outdoor yard tools

    Your lawnmower, grill and other yard tools are probably dirty after a spring and summer of use. Don't let that dirt and grime sit around all winter. Instead, take the time to clean, tune up and properly store and/or cover these items so they will be ready to be fired up in the spring. Look back at your safety manuals to see which items can be safely stored below freezing during the colder months and make sure you take care of any winterizing items like draining used oil.

    Clean carpets

    Fall is an excellent time to clean your carpets inside. Carpets and rugs tend to collect dirt and dust and grime all summer long, and you’ll want them clean for indoor winter activities. Be sure to open your windows and air out your house as the carpet dries – another bonus of tackling this project in the fall.

    Drain outside water faucets and irrigation

    Not prepping your exterior water outlets could result in an expensive mess. Water lines exposed to outside temperatures, including underground irrigation lines and exterior faucets, can freeze. When water freezes, it expands, which can crack the pipes or hose bibs.


    Start by turning off the water lines inside your house. The shutoff valves are usually located near the main plumbing line that brings water into the home. Then open your outdoor spigots to drain the water in the lines. (If you have to drain your irrigation lines, you'll need a pro.) Check the faucets on occasion to ensure that water isn't leaking out. If it is, the shutoff valves either aren't closed all the way, or they're leaky and need to be replaced. It’s much easier to take care of any leaks while the weather is still warm, rather than realizing you have an issue to take care of in cold weather.

    Trim problem bushes and trees

    The last thing you want is for branches to collect frozen water or snow, get too heavy and fall on your house during a winter storm. Now is the time to inspect nearby trees and shrubs and cut any dying branches or limbs hanging over your home before they can do damage. Resist over-trimming, though. Trimming promotes new growth, so wait until your bushes and trees are truly dormant (after winter, in early spring) to do your annual pruning.

    Check and secure door locks

    Exterior door lock alignment can be affected by changing temperatures. If there is moisture slightly warping exterior doors or if you have thick weather stripping, it can affect the fit of your door, potentially throwing off the latch or deadbolt alignment. If any of your exterior locks aren’t working like they should, use these solutions to get your doors and locks working together seamlessly.


    Use the changing season as a reminder to check and replace the batteries on any smart locks in your home. Schlage smart locks include low battery indicators, but it is always a good idea to install fresh batteries before the weather dips into low digits.

    What other projects are you taking on this fall to prepare your home for winter? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.


    How to choose the best smart lock to protect your home.

    September 20, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Tuesday, September 20, 2022

    Secure Schlage smart lock | Schlage

    Here are some things to consider when choosing the best smart lock for your home.



    Technology moves fast, and smart homes are getting more and more advanced by the day. Smart home ecosystems can be intricate or easy, depending on how tech-savvy you are and which devices you need in your space. Regardless of what you prefer, Schlage smart locks are compatible with multiple smart home devices and ecosystems for your best hands-free comfort and protection. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best smart lock for your home.
    Woman leaving home to walk dog after locking front door with Schlage smart lock.

    Enhance your smart home

    What smart devices are already in your home? Which smart features are your favorite? If you’re already using automated smart home devices but unsure of which door lock is best for your system, Schlage is a smart bet. Before purchasing a new smart device, think of the smart ecosystem already in your home and its compatible brands. Schlage works with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and Alexa, making it a trusted partner in most smart home automations and advancements.

    Identify security features

    When choosing a smart lock to protect and secure your home, look for extra security features. Some Schlage smart locks feature an audible built-in alarm that is triggered by tampering or attempted forced entry. We always recommend exterior door hardware with its own security protection, but more importantly, think of your home’s location and any existing security measures. What smart devices or features will bring your peace of mind full circle?


    Schlage locks offer customizable auto-lock technology, so you’ll know your door is locked, even when you’re away. You can choose to program your smart deadbolt to automatically lock behind you, setting the timing for anywhere from 30 seconds to 4 minutes. This makes your home safer and gives you peace of mind.

    Consider ease of access

    You have a variety of secure options for keyless entry and sharing access with guests. Choose to give access seamlessly through the Schlage home app on your smartphone with virtual keys. Or, if you prefer not to use your smart phone, there is always the option of granting unique access codes for the touchscreen keypad. Before choosing a smart lock for your home, know the difference between Schlage smart locks and the features to best accommodate your household.

    Discover remote capabilities

    Locking and unlocking your door with a smartphone adds major convenience to your life, especially when you can do it from anywhere. A smart lock can provide peace of mind with the ability to check the status of your lock at any time, from any place. Be sure to know the remote access capabilities of a smart lock and how to integrate it in your home and lifestyle before purchasing. Keep in mind, some smart locks need an extra hub to enable communication with your phone via WiFi and integrate with other smart devices. Simplify by choosing a lock with built-in WiFi, such as the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt or Schlage Encode Plus™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt.

    Know the smart lock's battery life

    Before installing a new smart lock, learn what to expect from it—about how long will the batteries last? Do you need a Bluetooth or Z-Wave compatible device to match your preferred smart home system? How may the deadbolt’s technology and amount of use affect its battery life? These are all important things to consider, but the most important thing is to look for locks with clear low battery warnings.


    With Schlage, you can check the status of your battery at any time through the Schlage home app. Additionally, you will automatically be warned of a low battery through the lock’s touchscreen keypad long before your battery fails. If you’re upgrading your smart lock, we recommend the Schlage Encode Plus™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt—our newest, most advanced smart lock, powered by AA batteries and WiFi. No matter which smart lock you choose for your home, count on our products to warn you of low battery weeks before losing power. And if your [digital key] device dies or you don’t change the battery to your lock in time, all our locks come with a backup mechanical key. With Schlage, you'll never need to worry about locking yourself out of the house again.

    Trust before you buy

    For the most secure locks on the market, let the BHMA residential grading system speak for itself. BHMA is a board of industry experts who grade the performance of residential door hardware on Security, Durability and Finish. A grade of ‘C’ is good, ‘B’ is better, and ‘A’ is best; ‘AAA’ is the best grade possible in all three categories. The Schlage Encode Plus™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt and Schlage ConnectTM Touchscreen deadbolt with alarm were graded AAA by the BHMA and backed by Schlage’s product warranty.


    It’s best to choose a lock supported by its manufacturer with a generous warranty like Schlage. We offer customers a limited lifetime mechanical and finish warranty and a limited three-year electronics warranty to the original user. Other manufacturers’ warranty terms can be found on their product packaging or website.


    If you value quality craftsmanship that is meant to last, choose a smart lock (and any other smart home device) manufactured by a brand with a tried and true legacy. For more information on our smart lock offerings and a look at which smart home ecosystems our locks are compatible with, visit


    How to find a reliable locksmith.

    July 29, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Friday, July 29, 2022


    Sometimes it’s best to get professional help when you don’t have a feasible way into your own home. Here's what you need to know before hiring a locksmith.



    Locking yourself out of your house usually makes for a funny story later, but when you’re faced with the problem, it can be infuriating. Our advice: don’t let the inconvenience or uncertainty of hiring a locksmith go to your head. Sometimes it’s best to get professional help when you don’t have a feasible way into your own home.


    Forego the risk of doing it yourself and damaging your expensive door hardware or windows; find a trustworthy locksmith to ease the pressure of your lock-out emergency. If you’re like us, hiring a locksmith is never top of mind until the moment you need one. And as much as we all wish it was a good friend on the job, it’s likely you haven’t met or gotten to know a good locksmith. How do you trust your Google search results?

     Schlage smart lock installation by locksmith.

    Confirm any precautionary measures

    Some states require locksmiths to be licensed or registered. Before reaching out for service, learn whether your state requires locksmith certification for business. If so, ask to see documentation and verify your potential locksmith’s credentials.


    You may be aware that many homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover locksmith fees. In case of times like this, brace for unplanned labor costs ahead of time. We advise you also verify the person you hire is insured to cover losses if your property is damaged during service.

    Look for “green flag” business practices

    Professionalism goes further than a handshake. Make sure a locksmith is thorough in their business practices—do they ask for a signature or identification to log you as a client? Legitimate and experienced locksmiths are known to ask clients for proof of residence/ownership to protect all parties involved in the transaction.


    You should also replace grout if you notice mold or mildew stains. While everyday stains will generally have a brLikewise, they should provide you with valid identification, business cards and a written estimate of the total service cost before or upon arrival. If the number seems low, confirm that it covers all fees such as labor, replacement parts and mileage. Also make sure the company information on their invoice matches that on their business card.


    If you call a locksmith who says it’s necessary to drill your lock and replace it, think about hiring another person. A skilled, legitimate locksmith has invested in the tools and education and honed the skills to unlock almost any door.


    Find a dependable locksmith by asking local friends and family, do a quick Facebook search or Google it if you prefer. Afterward, if your service is good, spread the word and leave a positive review on their website or digital search listing. Someone else will soon appreciate it.


    Remember your good experience in case you need a locksmith for less urgent jobs, too. If you’re rekeying or replacing all door hardware in your home, a trusted locksmith might be worth the investment. Try, sponsored by Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA), only featuring registered professional locksmiths. You may also explore our own resources to find a good locksmith.


    We hope you feel better knowing more of what to look for before you hire a locksmith. What tips do you have for hiring someone trustworthy? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to visit the Schlage Security Center for more tips on keeping your home safe and secure.


    When to replace door locks and other household items.

    July 28, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Thursday, July 28, 2022

    Replace door locks

    It's important to replace household items before they cause too much trouble. Knowing when to upgrade will save you time and money.



    It's easy to put off household maintenance tasks until something breaks or fails to work properly. You might fight with a sticky door lock for years before finally replacing it. You may even wear bulky sweatshirts inside during the winter just to avoid replacing drafty windows. But procrastination can lead to a lot of headaches and added expenses down the road. To keep you comfortable and safe, we've compiled a guide of household product replacement recommendations.
    Woman replacing front door lock with Schlage smart lock.

    Replacing door locks

    The top reason to replace door locks is security. If you've moved into a new home or lost your keys, your property will be at risk until you've updated your locking hardware. Do you have personal staff like housekeepers, nannies, or assistants? Play it safe and replace your locks any time you let a home worker go.


    Security also goes hand in hand with functionality. A lock that's visibly damaged or not latching securely is more than just an annoyance, it could be on the verge of failure. These days, it’s also worth updating just to enjoy the convenience of modern smart technology. Imagine the advantages of having a smart lock that opens with a code and connects with home apps via Wi-Fi.


    If you have decades-old door locks that lack features or don't match with recent renovations, it's time for an upgrade. Schlage provides innovative security solutions that are convenient, reliable, and easy to install. As long as you have a screwdriver, it’s simple to change a door lock. Find out more from our how-to center.

    Replacing grout

    Distinguishing between grout that's damaged or simply dirty can be tricky. If your grout is discolored but has no visible abrasions, all you need is a deep cleaning. However, it's time for a replacement if you see cracks, crumbles, or small holes that can let water seep down to your subfloor.


    You should also replace grout if you notice mold or mildew stains. While everyday stains will generally have a brownish color, mold will be more of a black, red, or green color.


    Luckily, you can restore grout (rather than a full replacement) if the damage is confined to a small area. If you notice cracks returning soon after a repair, however, you could have a problem with your subfloor or tile adhesive. That's when it's time to call in a professional.

    Replacing rugs and carpeting

    Rugs and carpets have a habit of overstaying their welcome. While the max lifespan is 10-15 years, we tend to keep them past this expiration date. This leads to dingy carpeting that's overloaded with allergens and stains.


    If you're unsure how old your carpets are, first opt for a professional cleaning. Take note of how the carpeting looks and smells afterward. If stains and odors remain, then it's time for a replacement. Extra scrubbing and cleaning chemicals will only damage the fibers more at that point.


    Even if you're not noticing any unpleasant smells or allergies, replace your rug if it has visible wear and tear. Keep an eye out for excess fraying or burn marks in high traffic areas in front of doors and hallways.

    Replacing sofas or lounge chairs

    A good couch or lounge chair should provide a comfy amount of give for sitting. When the cushions start sagging to the point where lumbar support is lacking, it's time to replace. You should also consider updating your sofas if you notice creaking sounds when you sit. The noise could indicate that there is a problem with the frame or joints.


    The average sofa should last 7-15 years. While we often get sentimental with our favorite furniture, family members will thank you for replacing your old lounge chair before the fabric gets too tattered or stained.


    Another good time to replace your sofa is after a move or renovation. To get the most out of your new space, you'll need furniture that fits with the design scheme. For home style tips, check out our Design & Trends blogs.

    Replacing windows

    Have you noticed your energy bill creeping up higher than normal during the hot and cold seasons? Before replacing your HVAC system, inspect your windows for leaks that are wasting conditioned air. Telltale signs include wind drafts and condensation forming inside the window.


    Of course, you should also replace any window with visible cracks or glass damage. These windows could be on the verge of breaking completely, which could lead to bigger water, mildew, and security issues.


    If it has become tough to open or close your windows, that’s another sign it's time for a replacement. You might also want an update to take advantage of modern window features, which include better sound dampening and UV protection.

    Replacing old doors

    Most people won't think about replacing a door until they have trouble opening or closing it. In these cases, simply updating the hinges could solve the problem. However, you may consider a full replacement if you notice cracking, peeling, and warping.


    Depending on your climate, an exterior door should last around 30 years before a replacement is necessary. You'll know it's time for an upgrade if the door makes the rest of the home uncomfortable. We're talking doors that are drafty, open or shut too hard, or let in too much outdoor sound.


    It's also important to remember that doors play a major role in home security. If a door fails to shut snugly, it will be easier to break down. For more peace of mind, consider upgrading to a fiberglass or vinyl door with an electronic deadbolt.

    Replacing hard flooring

    When it comes to flooring, replacement time depends on the material. For instance, laminate flooring may last anywhere from 15 to 25 years depending on quality and wear. You'll know it's ready for replacement when you notice peeling caused by failing adhesive.


    Tile flooring will be at the end of its life when you see constant cracking. If you have low-quality tile, you'll get about 20 years of service. A high-quality tile product can last as long as 50 years.


    The lifespan of wood flooring also varies based on quality. A low-quality wood flooring will probably last for about 20 to 30 years. If you invest in a high-quality wood floor, you can expect to go 80 years or more before needing a full upgrade. In the meantime, you can simply sand down the wood and refinish whenever too many scratches form.

    Replacing toilets

    If you find yourself taking a plunger to a toilet at least once a week, it's time for an upgrade. You may enjoy a few more years of service with simple ballcock or flush valve repairs. However, excessive replacement parts are another sign that it’s time for a new toilet. For instance, if you have to replace the handle, fill valve, and flapper, then just get a new toilet.


    Another red flag is a crack in the porcelain. Even if you don't notice any leaks coming from the crack, this could be a sign that a full break is coming.


    It's also worthwhile to update your toilet to save water. Modern low-flush toilets use less than 2 gallons of water per flush, which is a major improvement over the 3- and 5-gallon toilets of yesteryear. Replacement will help you save on water bills while being environmentally friendly.

    Avoid expensive household repairs

    To keep your home protected and avoid expensive repairs, it's important to replace household items before they start to fail or become completely outdated. Check out the Schlage blog for more home design and DIY tips.


    Home security steps you should take before leaving for vacation

    June 01, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Wednesday, June 1, 2022

    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.




    ‘Tis the season for family vacations and getting away from the daily grind. Maybe you’ve been stuck at home for too long and you’re ready to just go … somewhere. 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 a high risk. Here are six home security steps you should take before enjoying your relaxing retreat away from home.

    Dog sitting on suitcases before family leaves for vacation.

    1. Look active

    A key part of vacation safety is giving the impression that the home is occupied. Try some or all of these ideas for confusing thieves while you’re gone:


    • Install a smart lighting system that turns on and off at random intervals. You might also opt for 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 different lights on and off throughout the home each time they visit. It’s the same effect of smart lighting but with a more manual approach. Leave blinds and curtains partially open so people can actually see lights turning on and off.

    • 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 by not leaving them on the entire time.

    • 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. Pause your meal delivery services and other regular drop-offs, too.

    • 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.

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

    2. Keep out of sight

    Hide valuables and other big-ticket items that would be tempting to intruders peeking through the windows. Stow away one-of-a-kind collectibles, laptops and other electronics in a drawer or closet. You probably can’t hide a television set, so consider leaving blinds and curtains closed for that room.


    Bonus tip: Remember outdoor valuables. Roll your grill into the shed or garage. The same goes for bikes. Also, kids’ toys that lay out in the yard and don’t move all week, while not particularly valuable, can be a giveaway that you’re gone.

    3. 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 Plus™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, 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.

    4. Cameras

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


    Bonus tip: The Schlage Encode lock 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.

    5. 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. Think how easy it would be for an intruder to pull into the garage, close the door and gain access to the rest of the house, then load their vehicles with your belongings without the neighbors ever seeing a thing.


    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.

    6. Unexpected places for safety

    Stopping intruders is usually the leading security concern when we’re on vacation, but it’s not the only thing that affects safety. Now’s a good opportunity to conduct a quick version of your regular home security audit and make sure everything is working properly. You don’t want to come home to an unpleasant surprise, especially if it could have been avoided.


    Check for pipe leaks, test smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries and make sure motion-activated cameras and lights are still positioned correctly. Unplug electronics like your television to help protect them in the event of a power surge during a storm while you’re gone, as well as save on energy. It’s best to leave most appliances like your refrigerator plugged in and at the usual temperature.


    Bonus tip: Make sure your windows are closed and locked securely, even on the upper floors. If you have sliding glass patio doors, install a blocking bar in the track for a bit of extra security.

    You know your own home is secure now. But what about where you’re going? Read up on these security questions to ask before booking a vacation rental.


    Should you tip your locksmith and other home improvement pros?

    May 27, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Friday, May 27, 2022

    Tipping a Locksmith - Schlage

    Keep reading for tipping etiquette when you hire a locksmith and other home improvement professionals.



    There will always be times when you need to bring in the professionals. Your DIY skills might be top-notch, but rewiring your 100-year-old house to get it up to code is prime time to call an expert. Another time? If you’ve locked yourself out of the house, you probably need a locksmith. Once they’ve saved the day, do you tip them? Keep reading for tipping etiquette when you hire a locksmith and other home improvement professionals.
    Cash money and coins laying on marble kitchen counter next to Himalayan salt lamp and green plant.

    Should you tip a locksmith?

    The short answer to whether you should tip a locksmith is that it is not required, but it is appreciated. Unlike restaurant staff, locksmiths don’t rely on tips to make up a bulk of their pay. However, a tip might be particularly appropriate in certain circumstances such as emergency calls late at night, on holidays, when the weather is bad or if they had to travel long distances.


    Other times you should consider tipping your locksmith is if they’ve done an especially good job or worked quickly. It’s good to recognize their expertise by how efficiently they complete a task at or above normal standards. You might also offer a tip if they completed tasks you didn’t request. For example, if you hired a locksmith to replace your deadbolts after moving and they also repaired the hinges on your front door, that’s going above and beyond. A tip is a nice way to say thank you.

    How much do you tip a locksmith?

    When it comes to tipping a locksmith for work on your home, 15% to 20% is generally the standard. That could go up or down depending on the circumstances we mentioned above.


    Remember that a locksmith’s services are helping to protect your home and family. The repercussions of not hiring them can be significantly more costly – replacing an entire door, replacing electronics and other stolen items from your home, loss of peace of mind. A good locksmith is worth the investment.

    Who else should you tip?

    Some of the same “rules” for tipping your locksmith apply to the service providers below. Note that some employees, especially if they work for a larger company or chain, may not be permitted to accept tips. The suggested tip amounts below may change over time or be different depending on where you live.


    Tipping a contractor is not expected, nor is it typically done. Instead of tipping, you could include a clause in the contract agreeing to pay your general contractor a bonus if they complete the job early or under budget. A writer at The Washington Post recommended an occasional breakfast or lunch for the crew as an alternative and motivation to keep the job on schedule.


    Like contractors, tipping a decorator is not customary. They’d likely prefer referrals instead.


    For a typical job, tipping is not expected. If you want to, however, consider $10-20 per painter depending on the size of the job. says one instance when tipping your painter is a must, however, is if you’ve asked them to do something outside the original scope of work, such as touching up scuff marks.


    Tipping a plumber is not necessary. In many cases, your plumber may be the business owner as many of them are self-employed, and tipping the owner is generally not done. Because we think plumbing can be a nasty job, however, consider a 10% tip if you’ve called them for an emergency or on a holiday. They might decline, but it’s good to make the offer anyway.


    Electricians are similar to plumbers in that they’re often self-employed and don’t expect tips. However, if they did something extra or a job took longer than expected, a tip might be appropriate. Consider $20 as a starting point, depending on the situation.

    Yard maintenance

    Tipping regular lawn care workers who mow every week might be a bit much. Instead, you can tip them at the end of the season, usually $20-50 for each crew member. If they go beyond normal duties – trim a hazardous tree branch, for example – you can give them an extra tip.

    House Cleaner

    If you have a regular cleaning person, give them a big tip at holiday time instead of after each visit. suggests a week’s wages.

    Pool professionals

    Regular pool service crews can be tipped at the end of the season, generally a minimum of $100. Professionals who visit for a one-time pool repair do not expect a tip, but you can offer one. For a few hours’ worth of work, consider $20, or more for a longer or more complex job.

    Appliance/furniture delivery person

    The people delivering your new washer/dryer, couch or other large items are doing some heavy lifting. A good rule of thumb is to tip them $10-20. Similarly, the home improvement store employee hauling a large purchase out to your car might appreciate a tip. Consider something around $10, which could very well double their hourly pay, making them extra happy.


    Depending on the size and distance of the move, the most common advice is $20 to $50. Personally, we’ve tipped more than that based on how quick and polite the crew was, as well as whether our belongings were handled without damage.

    Pet Care Worker

    If you have someone who walks your dog or does pet sitting while you’re away, tipping is not customary. You may want to tip, however, if you have a pet with special needs or is difficult to handle. Petful recommends 15% to 20%.

    There are other ways to show service providers how much you appreciate them. Leave a positive review online, either on a website like Yelp or on social media. Refer their services to friends and family as well. Small business owners especially will appreciate your positive word of mouth just as much, if not more, than a monetary tip. Remember them at holiday time, too. A gift card or small gift is a nice way to recognize the continued service of those you hire regularly.


    Hiring a locksmith you trust is important when it comes to keeping your home secure. Use these tips at the Schlage blog for finding a reliable locksmith.


    5 reasons a locksmith is worth the investment.

    May 23, 2022 by emily.bailey

    Monday, May 23, 2022

    Hiring a Locksmith - Schlage

    The decision to hire a professional locksmith can pay for itself in time, convenience and peace of mind when it comes to something as important as helping to secure your home.



    Hiring a Locksmith - Rekey locks - Schlage

    Like most things, the decision to hire a professional instead of employing a DIY solution has its trade-offs. But when it comes to something as important as helping to secure your home, the decision to hire a professional locksmith can pay for itself in time, convenience and peace of mind.


    Schlage locks are easy to install with nothing but a screwdriver and a few minutes’ time. But we’ll also be the first to recommend a licensed, registered locksmith if you need to rekey your locks or are undertaking a big task like replacing all the door hardware in your home. And if you’ve ever locked yourself out and locked your keys in, then you already know how valuable it is to have a relationship with a local locksmith or at least know where to find one. Allegion (maker of Schlage Locks) gives you quick, easy access to a registered professional with this online locksmith locator tool.


    Here are the 5 top reasons to invest in a locksmith:

    1. Convenience

    A licensed, registered locksmith will have the tools and the expertise to handle almost any challenge, 24/7, 365 days a year. You’ll save time, get professional service on your own schedule (even in an emergency) and help is rarely more than a click or phone call away.

    2. Knowledge and Experience

    Did you just move into a new home and are looking to rekey your exterior doors, providing single -key convenience for all your locks? This is just one example of service requiring a level of expertise even the most intrepid DIY enthusiast probably doesn’t possess. No worries when you leave it to a qualified ALOA (Associated Lock Smiths of America) professional and to locks you can trust.


    According to Jared Gehle at Schlage, “You should look to a locksmith anytime you’re not sure what you need or have any doubts about how to install or upgrade your door hardware.”

    3. Quality you can trust

    Schlage door hardware isn’t easy to rekey because rekeyed locks generally don’t meet our strength and durability standards. We recommend the job be left to professionals and to the guarantee of quality service they’ll provide.


    Says Gehle, “Fitting new hardware to existing door openings or undertaking something potentially complicated like rekeying or replacing a number of locks throughout your home can be a lot of work. A locksmith allows you to prepare for any eventuality, saving you time, money and aggravation.”

    4. Peace of mind

    More than two million burglaries occur each year, and in more than one-third of those, the perpetrators come in through the front door. Don’t trust your home security to just anyone or any old lock. The Schlage brand is trusted by professionals and in more than 40 million homes with a reputation built on nearly 100 years of innovation, strength, quality and style.

    5. Value

    You get what you pay for. Getting the job done correctly, right from the start, will pay for itself many times over. If you have a non-standard door, if you’re replacing locks and the door measurements don’t conform to Schlage specifications (if you’re replacing a mortise lock, for instance), these kinds of adjustments are many times beyond the skill level – and patience – of a typical DIY project.

    Hiring a Locksmith - Schlage

    “Even if you think you know what you’re doing, don’t hesitate to contact a locksmith for advice, a specific product recommendation or for helpful tips,” says Gehle. “There’s no substitute for expertise and experience. They’ve got all the right tools, and a locksmith will be there for you at every turn.”


    If you decide to hire a locksmith to rekey your locks or install new ones, define what is important to you, and choose a licensed lock professional you trust. Visit for more information and a wide range of innovative, stylish, high-quality door hardware possibilities.