What Is An Electronic Deadbolt?
One of the more popular elements of residential security lately has been the electronic deadbolt. Electronic deadbolts are a more modern take on a traditional cylindrical deadbolt. They feature all of the same mechanical components of a “standard” deadbolt, but also feature either a keypad or touchscreen in addition.
What this means is that locks are far more convenient to lock and unlock, as you don’t have to remember a key. The keypad or touchscreen accepts a pin, much like in an electronic safe keypad, to activate a motor that engages or disengages the bolt.
Your Houston Tx locksmith, Guardian Safe & Lock, will briefly but thoroughly discuss everything regarding these electronic deadbolts, from safety and security to possible alternatives.
Is my Electronic Deadbolt Safe?
In the digital age, many people feel more concerned with trusting hardware that’s become more computerized, due to a fear of failure or hack-ability. Fortunately, for most electronic deadbolts at least; this is not the case. Should electronic deadbolts fail most types installed on residential properties are keyed as well.
What this means is that if your electronic deadbolt were to fail for any reason; such as moisture damaging the circuit board on the inside, or the batteries dying, that your electronic deadbolt would still function as a single-cylinder mechanical deadbolt. You can always still use the key override to gain access to or secure your property, some convenience is just lost until the electronic portion of the deadbolt is repaired or replaced.
Can An Electronic Deadbolt Be Hacked?
As for being “hacked”, this is technically true in some cases, but functionally nonexistent in real life. Most electronic deadbolts are “stand-alone” units, meaning that they require no network or electrical wiring to function. The “brains” of these locks are contained inside of the lock, and there’s no network for them to speak over. This eliminates hacking the same way that your pocket calculator can’t be hacked; there’s no way for outside sources to communicate with or control the machine.
Certain wireless and even WiFi controlled locks do exist, and can be somewhat susceptible to “hacking” over a network. However, thieves are criminals of opportunity and always take the path of least resistance. Consider if you were a would-be burglar looking at your home. If you saw a WiFi controlled electronic lock on the front door, would you take the time to connect a computer to and force that lock to open electronically?
Or; would you simply take a brick to a window or try another door? If you’re worried about thieves electronically bypassing your lock, you should first worry about simpler and faster ways to penetrate your security, as thieves will most likely target these first before attempting a sophisticated method like computer hacking.
How Else Should I Protect My Home?
Electronic deadbolts are great for convenience, but don’t really add much to the security of your home or property that a traditional deadbolt wouldn’t. As a residential locksmith as well as commercial locksmiths, we recommend these other pieces of residential security hardware:
Double Cylinder Deadbolts
Consider replacing your single cylinder deadbolts, especially those on glass doors, with double cylinder deadbolts. Double cylinder deadbolts require a key on both sides of the door, which eliminates the possibility of a burglar breaking glass and reaching around to retract your deadbolt via a thumb-turn.
Stronger Strike Plates or Strike Boxes
The piece of metal on the door frame where the latch of the lock falls in place is called a strike plate. This is where your locks would fail under force. Always be sure that your strike plate is made from high-quality steel, and is secured with at least 3” long screws into the door frame. Alternatively, you can invest in a strike-box, which fully surrounds the latch with hardened steel and provides much more resistance to force.
A Door Guardian is another type of locking hardware primarily used to reinforce locked doors or childproof them. Door Guardians are installed along the frame of a door, and can be mounted at standard height or along the top of a door to prevent kick-in attacks from the outside or a child simply unlocking a knob and walking out of the home. They advertise as being 10 times stronger than a deadbolt, and there are videos online of doors fitted with Door Guardians surviving attacks from a sledgehammer.
CCTV Security Cameras
Surveillance camera installations are another proven way to prevent or mitigate theft. Security cameras actively record what happens on and inside your property. With modern advances, some systems include options like motion tracking, night vision recordings, and facial or license plate recognition. Security cameras can be fairly affordable for traditional analog CCTV systems, but can also be wired digitally to record over the cloud. These cloud-based systems ensure footage from your cameras can’t be destroyed or tampered with.
Whether you need a home security safe to protect documents and property from fire, or a Houston gun safe for storing a collection of firearms, safes are a great way to mitigate what burglars may be able to get their hands on. At the end of the day, everyone has some property they’d like to secure more than their other belongings. Putting that property inside of several hundred pounds of concrete and hardened steel that’s bolted into the foundation of a building is a proven way to protect it. While this level of protection isn’t possible for an entire home without an astronomical investment, safes are an affordable way to bring the same piece of mind on a smaller scale, and are always recommended.
What Is An Electronic Deadbolt – Conclusion
Electronic deadbolts are perfectly safe and acceptable units to install on your home. However, you should be aware that they add no additional protection over what a standard, single cylinder deadbolt provides; only convenience. For commercial protection, consider looking into access control installation by contacting your locksmith in Spring, Cypress Tx locksmith, or the Locksmith Conroe, Tx trusts.
Our locksmith technicians are licensed, bonded, and insured to not only suggest what could be done to further protect your home, but install that hardware for you as well. If you’re looking for more ways to protect your home or other property, give our shop a call at 832-534-8687 to schedule a free quote!