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Electronic safety locks: how to improve them

Electronic locks provide homes and companies with a high level of safety.

It only takes focusing on a single fact related to these locks to know that this statement is true.

While you need to change keyed locks when the key is lock, in electronic locks all you need to do is change the code when you suspect it has been intercepted by a hacker.

Furthermore, an electronic lock can’t be forced with techniques such as bumping, either.

This means that electronic locks are a smart option for any home or company, offering comfort and safety to your house or organization.

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How an electronic speed lock works

An electronic lock is an electromechanical system that opens or closes a door through the use of current. It holds a small motor that is controlled via electric impulses.

This motor can be activated in different ways depending on the type of electronic lock: using a keypad, a card reader, a fingerprint reader, a remote control, a smartphone app… In any case, this system only grants access when it receives correct information. The system closes through a mechanical lock that is operated using electromagnets. This makes the door locking safer.

This means that an electronic lock requires a source of electrical power to operate. One of the drawbacks attributed to these locks is that they can lock a door in case of a power shortage. In order to work around this problem, many electronic locks combine an electronic lock control with a physical one. In this way, they offer extra safety and reliability to the user.

These kinds of locks can be used remotely and are usually more expensive than conventional ones. However, they offer a higher safety and comfort. These locks are also manufactured out of various materials.

Electronic lock materials

These systems have an electronic circuit that is in charge of activating the opening and locking mechanism, as well as a mechanical part that can be a combination of metal and plastics.

These are usually encased in a stainless steel or plastic protective housing.

The operation of these locks may be affected by failures, which can be easily solved.

Main failures of electronic locks, and how to solve them

These are the main errors exhibited by these types of locks, and their corresponding solutions:

1. Battery issues: These locks contain batteries to prevent the lock to be disabled in case of a blackout. They may also get worn out, leaving the lock out of service. 

Solution: Even though they use long life batteries, they should be changed as per the periods outlined by the manufacturer. It is also important to control the battery charge of the control systems, since a failure would require the services of a locksmith, which may need the door and lock to get damaged during the typical opening procedure in these cases.

2.System failures: Since these are digital systems, these devices are susceptible to technical issues. Solution: It is recommended to perform a monthly maintenance to ensure that the system is in good operating condition.

3. Fragility: These locks are fragile when it comes to physical force. They are easily broken using the right tools. Solution: it is recommended that they remain concealed to prevent easy manipulation.

4. Mechanical problems: Even though they do not use physical keys, these locks still depend on a mechanical locking system, which may experience failures such as:

  • Lock strike problems: The lock strike is the metallic part into which the lock’s bolt is inserted. If the lock strike is not perfectly aligned, the insertion will not be smooth. In time, the strike may come loose and sink to a point in which the bolt no longer works. Solution: Ensure that the lock strike is level and tighten the bolts.
  • Hinge problems: Many locking problems are caused by the hinges of safety doors. If the hinges are not properly affixed, the door may gradually dip., eventually affecting the alignment between the bolt and the lock strike. Solution: keep the door’s hinges in good condition and securely fixed.
  • Dirty or unlubricated lock: Debris can accumulate in the door’s bolt and lock strike, which makes it impossible for the lock to work. Solution: door locks must be regularly cleaned with a moist cloth, and lubricated once a year with dry lubricants.

Despite these failures, electronic locks are safe and have a long service life.

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Electronic lock safety and service life

The safety will depend on the locking system that is installed, but generally, these types of locks are safer than traditional ones, since they allow for the control of who can access places that you want to protect.

Furthermore, these types of door safety locks don’t require changing the key when it gets lost. Changing the code will suffice if there is any suspicion that someone has hijacked it.

Electronic locks also cannot be forced using invasive techniques such as bumping.

However, if you really need physical safety in your home or business, you will need to have enough barriers and layers of protection (in addition to electronic ones) to delay burglars and force them to make as much noise as possible to enable detection. This way, you will have more chances for the burglar to desist in the attempt of entering your home or company.

The service life of an electronic lock will be determined by its batteries. These usually last for 6 to 8 months. This period may be extended by switching the batteries for others that have a longer life.

If, after reading all of the above, you are interested in installing electronic locks for your home or organization, you need to take a look at a few tips.

Tips when choosing an electronic lock

The choice of electronic lock will depend on the place where the lock will be installed, and the type of door.

To make the process easier, we recommend the following:

1. When in doubt, go for electronic lock cylinders. 

The electronic locks that see most installations are electronic lock cylinders. They look like your everyday cylinder, and are designed to be compatible with most mechanical locks installed on home and business security doors.

When operating via an electronic key, the keyhole is special, and they are designed to operate with proximity cards, electronic keys and electronic keychains. On the outside they have a kind of knob that controls the opening and closing actions of the system, as well as the programming and the battery replacement.

2. If you install hotel-style electronic locks, you can take advantage of the current mechanical lock. 

This hotel-style electronic lock can operate via proximity card or digital keypad, and sometimes lets you use the mechanical lock that is already installed, provided that the distance between the handle and the keyhole is compatible. Otherwise, you will need to consider changing the main lock.

3. Don’t install concealed electronic locks in businesses. 

These locks are installed on existing ones, and they are commonly found in homes. It is unusual to find them in stores or companies. They work via remote control, apps or manually from the inside of the home. It is the only electronic lock that is not recommended for installation in businesses.

4. Install motorized electronic locks to increase your home’s security.  

As a general rule, these are motorized electric locks that have an electronic system (digital keypad, proximity reader, remote control, proximity keychain or app) which provides the driving force to open the lock.

The best part about these motorized locks is that they can be programmed so that, once the door slams shut, they completely lock, performing the necessary key turns. This offers a high level of security, ensuring that the lock gets completely locked in the event that the user forgets. Its higher security has led electric locks to become more widespread than electric buzzers in condominiums in recent times.

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Electronic locks, an opportunity to increase your comfort and safety

These types of locks offer lots of comfort and safety to those who install them in their homes or companies.

These devices have a simple operation and guarantee a great level of comfort to users that use them on their day-to-day. Furthermore, they offer great peace of mind, since they are very secure.

They avoid having to change the lock as a result of lost keys and prevent burglars from using techniques such as bumping. In addition, they allow the access by different individuals to the home or company to be better controlled, among other advantages. 

Each door has a specific electronic lock that works best with them, so you are sure to find the one that best suits your needs.

At CLR we provide you with the best electronic lock for your home or business door. We carry high-security locks that offer the best comfort and highest peace of mind. Contact us and find out more about electronic safety locks.

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