How to be Insurance Compliant

One of the most important factors of home security is ensuring that you are compliant with the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. Having home and contents insurance is great way to protect your valuables should the worst happen, however what many don’t know is that you can actually invalidate your insurance by making a few small mistakes, making you potentially vulnerable.

 

What can invalidate insurance policies?

There are a few ways in which you can invalidate your home insurance; here are the top 10 most common situations which could potentially leave you without your insurance cover:

  1. Leaving your home unoccupied for too long

A condition in most insurance policies is that your cover may be invalidated should the house in question be left unoccupied for 30 consecutive days (average), this is also known as the Vacancy Exclusion Clause.

Empty houses are more at risk, especially during bad weather, as would be burglars may have a lower chance of getting caught. This can increase your chances of becoming a target.

 

  1. Not making required repairs

If your house is not in good condition and you have not made necessary repairs that could effectively have knock on effects in the stability and security can invalidate your insurance.

As part of the terms and conditions of your insurance policy, you must keep your home and property maintained to a suitable standard, if not it could be investigated to determine if the condition of your home played a part in the situation that has created an issue.

 

  1. Not informing your insurance provider of any renovations

If you are planning any home renovations that will potentially add value to your home, you need to inform your insurance provider before the renovations start as this may change the terms of your insurance.

The price of your policy will be determined on a number of factors, so you’ll need to talk to your insurance in case it will change any factors in your insurance. For example, if you were adding an extension that would add value to your home but should something happen to your home the extension you have just built would not be insured.

Similarly if you carry out DIY work on your home and it goes wrong, you may not be able to claim. More insurance policies do not cover accidental damage, so be aware of your terms and conditions before starting anything.

 

  1. Not having the proper locks

Most insurance providers require a minimum requirement for locks to be a least British Standard, so ensure that if it is a requirement of your policy that they are up to standard!

 

  1. Not locking the doors and windows when you go out

This is one of the most common causes of policy invalidation. Even if you are just popping down to the shop, you need to lock all windows and doors. This is because most insurance providers won’t pay out if no forced entry is used to illegally gain access to your home.

 

  1. Not telling your insurance that you are renting out a room

You need to inform your insurance provider will changes that happen since taking out the policy, this includes renting out a room. As renting out a room is seen as a risk, you can invalidate your insurance if you do inform them and wish to make a claim.

 

  1. Hesitating to call 999

If the worst should happen you need to contact the police within 24 hours of finding the incident. The sooner the better. If you do not, it can be treated as suspicious and therefore have consequences onto your claim and policy.

 

  1. Not informing your provider about a minor incident

Should there be an incident but no damage or very little damage was made, you will need to tell your insurance. Even if you are not looking to claim you will need to tell them about it should it be relevant in the future.

 

  1. Using your home for business

Many home insurance policies do not cover business within the home, if you are running a business within your home ensure that your policy includes it or you might find a claim denied should you need to make one.

 

  1. Not using your burglar alarm

A burglar alarm is one of the best deterrents for avoiding intrusion and will often lower your insurance premiums. However, you need to be doing all possible to protect your home so not setting your burglar alarm when you have one can have knock on effects should the worst happen.

 

How to Avoid Invalidating Your Insurance Policies

 

Read the small print

Always read the terms and conditions of your insurance policy and what it covers or doesn’t cover. If you are ever unsure, always ask.

Check all doors and windows

Get into the habit of checking all your doors and windows before you leave, and also noting down if there is any visible damage on them.

Avoid leaving spare keys around

Under doormats, plant pots and rocks are the first place a burglar will look. Consider investing in a high quality key safe or leaving a key with a trusted neighbour or family member.

Activate burglar alarms

If you have it, use it. They can be your best defence against ill-wishers and will always add more security to your home.

Keep an inventory of your items

Keeping a detailed list of your valuables, with serial codes, pictures and descriptions to ensure that should you need to make a claim you can easily show what is missing and the value.

 

Read What Might Invalidate Your Home Insurance Policies

 

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How Not to Lose Your Keys in 2020

Losing your keys is one of the last things that you want to happen in everyday life; you might be locked out of your car, running late to an appointment or caught out in the rain, which undoubtedly, would have a negative impact on your day. However, there is a silver lining to this situation, as like most things it can be avoided through some nifty gadgets and helpful tips!

 

Can keys be tracked?

Most key fobs do not hold within them the technology to track them; however you can get some great gadgets that will allow you to track your keys. These devices can often be attached to your key ring and be activated and tracked through an app on your phone.

 

Is there an app to find lost keys?

Some tracking devices, such as the Amazon Tile work with an app on your phone that will allow you to locate the most recent location that your valuable has been pinpointed in and if in range will allow you to send a push to sound an alarm on the device attached to your valuable.

 

What is the best tracking device for keys?

Amazon Tile on Keys

Our top pick for a key finder device is the Amazon Tile.

This nifty gadget can attach to just about anything; your key ring, your backpack and even your purse! Using the smartphone app, you can locate any nearby valuable that you might have misplaced by the Tile Mate playing a loud tune to help you find it one prompted.

But what if your missing valuable is out of range? Have no fear, the Tile Mate tracked and pinpoints previous locations so you will be able to see where it was last pinpointed, but it doesn’t stop there. Through the extensive Tile community you can report an item missing on the app and if it is close to one of the over 5 Million Tile users can report its location to help you find it. Likewise, should you lose your phone, simply double tap the Tile button on any Tile device to make your phone ring, even on silent.

However, what is probably the best feature is that it is compatible with Alexa, so should you lose your keys down the back of the sofa, you can simple ask Alexa to find your keys activating the loud tune from your Tile device.

With 3 ways of securing your valuables, through adhesive dots; allowing even items such as your camera to be secure, the thread Tiles; which can threaded onto just about anything, or the slimline card version; allowing for it to be discreetly slid into your purse or wallet, whatever possession you would like secure there is a version that will fit you!

Buy the Essentials Combo on Amazon for £58.93, which includes 2x Adhesive Tiles, 1x Thread Tile and a Slimline Tile.

 

What is the best budget tracking device for keys?

TrackR Pixel key tracker on a set of keys

If you don’t want to spend quite as much for the Amazon Tile but still want all of the great features then the TrackR Pixel is a very agreeable second.

With many of the same features as the Amazon Tile with the added bonus of being able to see the last several places that were identified and not just the last one, giving you more options to search should you lose something out and about. Another great feature of this device is the light up LED alongside the activated sound; this means that you’ll be able to find your keys in a flash.

For the more than affordable price of £13.99 from Amazon, will provide you with 3 tracking devices in 3 different colours.

5 Top Tips on How Not to Lose your Keys

 

1. Give your Keys a Home

Setting aside a set place for your keys will help to stop misplacing them when at home. A bowl or a set of hooks on the wall are easy places that you can throw your keys on when you get home. So when you get that sudden rush of panic ‘where are my keys’, you know that you would have put them in their designated space and

However, do keep in mind this space should be kept away from any windows to avoid ‘key fishing’, from burglars who may notice them when walking by.

 

2. Make Them Glow

Specialist luminescent paint will make anything you paint glow in the dark! Try painting one of your own keys, so if you’re searching in the dark you can easily spot them, with the added benefit that you can easily identify them in the day as well.  

If you rent a property, make sure that you don’t paint a key that isn’t yours as your landlord might not take kindly to painting their key, in this case try painting a bike lock key or another item on your key ring.

 

3. Big, Bold Keyrings

Decorative keyrings can be your best friend as they can make your keys easier to find at the bottom of your bag or when searching around the house, but they also make them easily identifiable. If you were to lose your keys, you could speak to someone of authority in the area you have lost them. Talk to a police officer or a shop manager, and enquire as to whether a set of keys has been handed in. If they have you can easily describe and identify them as yours by the unique and bold key rings you have.

 

4. Carry them in Secure Pockets

The most common way that your keys are stolen is through open pockets and bags. An expert thief would be able to grab something from your pocket or bag without you knowing in seconds. To prevent this make sure you put your keys in a pocket that is closed by a popper or zip and keys that are in your bags should be in an internal zipped compartment. This will reduce your risk of losing your keys through pick-pocketing.

 

5. Invest in a Bluetooth Key Finder

Unfortunately we are all bound to lose our keys at one point or another, however by investing in one of the products we have listed or even another one you have found that’s right for you can save you stress and time.

These products can help you find your keys faster and with more ease than ever before, so if you did lose your keys you’d be thankful you invested in a finder.

How to Fix a Loose Door Handle

Unfortunately loose door handles and door knobs is an often occurrence with all the wear and tear that is daily put upon these household items. Whenever the handle pulls away, jiggles or just keeps turning with no purpose, you know it’s only a matter of time before it stops working completely!

Fortunately, we have put together this helpful guide to help you fix those pesky door handles and knobs so that they can be in working order!

*disclaimer, these are some helpful tips if you want to attempt to fix your door handle yourself. We would always suggest calling in a professional where possible to prevent further damage to the door.

 

Reasons doorknobs or handles can become loose

There are multiple reasons why a door handle or door knob might become loose, these can include:

  1. Wear and tear of time can cause the door handle or doorknob to become wobbly or loose so that it needs adjustments to be made tight again.
  2. It is an older mechanism and has been subjected to a build-up of dirt, dust and other pollutants that may affect the operation of the handle or lock.
  3. There might be a missing screw or a screw loose in the door plate.
  4. There might be an issue with the handle or doorknob mechanism malfunctioning

 

Popular types of door knobs

Exposed set-screw Doorknob

This doorknob has a set of exposed screws which secure the handle to the threaded spindle, and is often the most common way of attaching a doorknob. This version is often easier to tighten up a loose doorknob over that of a concealed screw doorknob as you can easily see how the doorknob is secured into place and how all the parts will fit together.

Hidden screw Doorknob

Although the screws cannot be seen there are still screws holding the doorknob to the spindle, much like the exposed set-screw doorknob. The major difference between the two is that all of the screws that hold together the doorknob are concealed behind a cosmetic faceplate.

 

How do you fix a door handle or Doorknob?

Step 1: Remove the handle or doorknob

If you cannot immediately see the issue the best course of action will be to remove the handle completely.

With exposed screws, you can simply locate the screw and loosen it using an Allen key or a screwdriver. Once all screws have been removed, you should then be able to remove the handle or doorknob.

If you have a handle or doorknob that has hidden screws, you will need to locate the detent access hole. The detent hole is spring-activated with a pin that sticks out to prevent the handle or knob from twisting on the door. You will need to use a flathead screwdriver to be able to press down on the pin. Once this has been done you should be able to spin the shaft which will enable you to remove the knob or handle.

 

Step 2: Remove the base

After removing the handle or doorknob the next step is to remove the base from the door. To remove the base, you’ll need to take a flathead screwdriver and try to slowly pry the ring loose. Be sure to be careful when removing the base as not to damage the backing plate. Should the backing plate be damaged it can stop the handle from ever going back on properly and you will need to call out a Locksmith.

 

Step 3: Identify the screws and tighten

After removing the base you should be able to see a set of screws, which most likely will need to be tightened. These screws run through the door and into the backing plate which is what holds the handle or doorknob together. Whist carefully holding the backing plate carefully tighten each screw.

 

Step 4: Reposition the base and restore the handle

After you have tightened the screws, you can put the base back onto the backing plate by clipping it into place. Once the base is in place you can place the handle or doorknob on the spindle shaft in order to line up the holes with either the screw holes (if you have visible screws) or the detent (should you have hidden screws).

The last step is to replace any exposed screws and you are finished with hopefully a fixed door handle or doorknob!

 

What to do if a doorknob is loose?

If a doorknob loosely spins on the spindle, the cause is usually that a set-screw similar to a grub screw, has loosened up and has lost its grip on the handle spindle. To adjust the screw or Allen key, look around the collar on the doorknob to identify the loose screw and using the appropriate screwdriver tighten the screws.

If a screw has been lost, you can take the doorknob to a hardware store to find a replacement.

 

DIY or Hire a Locksmith?

Depending on your skill level, repairing a door handle could be a fun weekend activity that challenges your knowledge or it could become a nightmare of a situation where you could actually end up worse than before!

 

Why Should You Hire a Locksmith?

  • Guarantee that the problem will be fixed
  • Saves time, frustration and energy
  • Can provide extra advice on maintenance and upkeep
  • Should a mechanism or lock need to be replaced it can be done immediately whilst the Locksmith is on site

 

DIY

  • Requires times and patience
  • Risk of the door handle not being repaired correctly
  • May require a range of tools
  • Inexperience could make the situation worse

 

Whether you decide to tackle the repair yourself or hire a Locksmith, there are many benefits to contracting your Local Locksmith to help you repair a loose handle. Not only will you get first class customer service, but are guaranteed the issue to be rectified.

Top 10 Locksmiths FAQs

We have created our top 10 FAQs based from what our customers ask us on a day to day basis. This guide will give you all the answers to the most commonly asked questions that you might ask when you need a Locksmith on the double.

How quickly can you get out to me?

The type of job can affect the response time of a Locksmith due its urgency. However we here at Keytek® have an emergency response time of 30-60 minutes, where possible, and for non-emergency cases will always try to get out to you within 1-2 hours.

Do you have a call out charge?

At Keytek® Locksmiths we don’t have a call out charge, we only charge for Labour (the time on site) plus parts if they are needed plus VAT.

Can you gain access without needing to replace the lock?

In the majority of cases you can gain entry to a property without having to replace the lock. Most locks, including uPVC and wooden locks can be bypassed by picking or other non-destructive entry techniques with relative ease when carried out by an expert Locksmith.

 

Our Locksmiths at Keytek® will always prioritize non-destructive entry techniques to help to you gain access to your property and as experts with both uPVC and wooden locks and mechanisms can easily bypass locks to get you in as quick as possible. In some rare cases it may be necessary to replace the lock, but this will depend on the circumstances of the lock out and the lock itself.

How much will the parts cost?

Factors such as door type and lock type will affect the cost of any parts required when hiring a Locksmith and the price you can be charged will differ from company to company. For example, the cost for a new lock on a uPVC door will change dependent on size, make, model and the level of security it holds as there are different standards of locks. See below for a brief overview of potential costs for parts.

Door TypeLock TypePrice Estimate*
WoodenYale Cylinder Replacement£20+
WoodenComplete Yale Replacement£40+
WoodenMortice Lock Replacement (5 Lever)£45+
WoodenMortice Lock Replacement (2-3 Lever)£25+
uPVCCylinder Replacement£30+
uPVCMulti-Point Locking Mechanism£60+

*Theses prices can vary and are only estimates. The exact cost of the lock will depend on size, make and model.

For a detailed and expansive overview of the costs of hiring a Locksmith, head over to our Locksmith Prices page.

How many keys will come with a replacement lock?

Each lock will differ with the amount of keys that it comes with, but you should expect to get 2-3 new keys with the installation of a new lock by an expert Locksmith.

Does the work come with a guarantee?

All work carried out by a Keytek® Locksmith, including any parts supplied comes with a year guarantee.  Any professional Locksmith should give you a variation of a guarantee to ensure that all work is completed correctly.

The Keytek® Summer Charity Event

In the warm summer months, we here at Keytek® gathered together in hopes to raise money for charity. Our 2019 charity was the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation, this fantastic charity raises money to help provide opportunities for children and young adults that have big ambitions and motivation but might not have had the best start to life. Recipients of this charity are the embodiment of the foundation’s core values; determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in adversity.

This charity has helped almost 2000 young people achieve their dreams and go on to achieve great things, and we were very proud to support them as our 2019 Charity.

Our 2019 summer charity event found us out under the ruins of Corfe Castle battling an obstacle course that tested the very finest of Keytek’s athletic workforce! The Mud Trail consists of a 2km trail lined with obstacles, balance beams, rope traverses, cargo nets and water tubes to provide 2 hours of endless fun. However, once you add the tonne of mud covering and encasing every obstacle that’s when things get really interesting!

Caked under at least 3 layers of mud, all of us here at Keytek® thoroughly enjoyed the day under the sun traversing through the various obstacles with grace, letting our hair down and making the most of time out of the office. We had falls, slips, slides and even the occasional head first drive into the mud, but overall  it was a great day that allowed us to come together as a workforce and not only do something extremely fun but allow us to raise money for charity.

Many of our gracious Locksmiths sponsored us through the event alongside our family members, and got many a laugh with all of our muddy faces! Through their generous donations we managed to raise a grand total of £925!

We are proud to support John Thornton Young Achievers Fund, and help give young adults the chance to purse their dreams through scholarships and bursaries.

If you would like to know more about the John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation, click here to view their website.

What is a Smart Home?

You may have heard of the term “smart home” being thrown about, but what exactly is meant by having a smart home? The Oxford English Dictionary defines a smart home as: “a home equipped with lighting, heating and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by Smartphone or computer.”

Smart homes are becoming ever increasingly popular due to rapidly advancing technologies; they aim to make our lives easier and our homes safer too!  Have you ever had those niggling worries that you may have left your heating on when you’re out and about? With smart home technology there is no need to worry and rush back home to save on your heating bills. Find out why you can leave these worries behind in our blog below.

 

What are the Benefits of a Smart Home?

Any appliance in your home that uses electricity can ultimately be a smart object and respond to your instructions whether that is by voice command, remote control, tablet or Smartphone! Smart thermostats and lighting are becoming more and more popular, what a luxury it is to turn the heating on and get the coffee machine running just before you get home to escape a breezy winters day!

Smart lighting is also great when it is just too much of a struggle to get off the sofa to turn the lights off when watching your favourite Netflix series but it is also a good security measure too. You can set your lights on automatic timers to make untrustworthy people believe you’re at home when in reality; you’re in the sunshine relaxing by the pool on holiday!

How does knowing exactly what is inside your fridge freezer when you’ve just run into your local supermarket sound? A smart fridge can tell you exactly that by using internal cameras that connect to your Smartphone so you never have to worry about buying more than you need or forgetting an essential item for your Sunday roast! Plus smart fridge freezers allow you to watch TV or listen to the radio; making cooking and cleaning the kitchen much more fun, you may even be able to rope the kids to get stuck in and help too!

 

How much does it cost?

Smart home technologies are vast and varied, therefore, so are the costs. It depends on what you want to do to upgrade your home; it could be a small upgrade to a smart light bulb or a whole home revamp that could mean rewiring the electrics too! We’ve seen smart light bulbs from as little as £12.99 but costs for a full revamp can easily reach £8000… unless you’re Bill Gates whom has spent an estimated $100 million upgrading his home to a smart home! His home includes hidden speakers behind the wallpaper in every room and a heated driveway, how the other half live comes to mind!

 

What Technologies are out there?

Google, Amazon and Samsung have all developed smart home technologies which is hardly surprising seeing as they are all top names in Smartphone development. They ultimately all provide the same thing by connecting your appliances around the home to operate at your command but they do all have their own unique selling point. If you are thinking of buying one it is worth doing a bit of research into each product to discover what will work best for your home and your needs.

Along with the main hub that connects all the devices, you need a voice operated mini hub or download one of the purpose built apps on your Smartphone, tablet or smart watch to be able to give your appliances commands.

All three brands offer a range of smart appliances too including; door bells, thermostats, smart locks, cameras, light bulbs, speakers and more!

 

Smart Home Security

As well as making your life a little easier, smart home technology can also make your home a little safer. Starting around the perimeter of your home, cameras and motion detectors are now able to pick up movement in pitch-black darkness and are even able to differentiate the movements between pets and burglars so that you aren’t notified every time a cat jumps into your garden.

Installing smart door locks is another great way of making your home just that little bit safer, from wireless locks to locks that have a built-in camera there is a wide variety of options out there! To see our favourites reviewed take a look at our recent blog “Yale Smart Locks Buying Guide”.

Interior cameras are also a great way to monitor what is going on inside your home when you’re not there, it could be something as simple as checking out what your dog has been up to during the day but it can also be a great tool should your home be broken into.

 

The Future of Smart Home Technology

Whether you love technology or hate it, there is no denying that smart home technology is becoming more of a common thing to have in and around your home. As well as aiming to make our lives easier during our usually busy schedules, it is changing the way we think about security. Take a look at our blog “The Future of Home Security” to find out what other technical advancements are being made to improve our home security alongside smart home technology! Keep up to date with the latest security news with our blog here at Keytek®.

The Best Smart Locks For 2020

The traditional key and lock might soon be phased out through the invention of the increasingly popular smart lock.  It is now possible for you to enter your home with a simple push of a button, a swipe of a card or even your phone!

Here at Keytek® we are taking a look at the best smart locks you can get in 2020 that will help you secure your home, protect your valuables and overall make your security more intelligent, prompt and effortless.

 

What are smart locks?

A smart lock is an electronic and/or mechanical lock that can open wirelessly with the authorisation of users. Most smart locks take away the need for a traditional key but rather can grant users entry through their smartphone or a key fob.

 

Types of smart door locks

The most common mean of entry include keypads, biometric or Bluetooth.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

RFID locks allow for entry by using a key fob or key card; much like the system that is used in hotels.

Bluetooth Enabled Locks

Some locks which can operate using Bluetooth will detect your smartphone’s Bluetooth ID and can open when you approach.

Keypads and Touch Screens

Early smart locks use keypads as means of entry, offering the user to set up a unique pin code to gain access. Newer smarts locks have replaced keypads with touch screens with panels instead of buttons, for sleeker design and increased security.

Biometric Entry

Biometric entry smart locks use fingerprint identification to operate the lock. This is now operating on most current smartphones.

 

Are smart locks really better?

The biggest benefits of smart locks are that they are configurable and can be more secure than the traditional key and lock. With  digital locks they can be changed at any moment, should you think that someone has gained the code for your home or stolen a key fob, you can disconnect, reprogram, or wipe any potential security risk within a matter of minutes. Likewise if you would like to give someone temporary access, you would be able to allow someone access to your home but maintain that you have complete control over who is coming in and out of your home.

 

Are all smart locks keyless?

Different models of smart locks will come with different features. Many of these digital locks come with a manual key override in case of fault or emergency. However, some models have committed completely to being keyless and do not have a keyway.

 

Why doesn’t everyone have a smart lock?

Similar to all new technology, it can take a while for people to completely trust in this new type of product. The advantage of the traditional key lock is that you know it is going to work, is going to secure your home and most of all you know how to operate it.

One potential downside there might be to smart locks is the unknown. What will you do if it doesn’t work, how will I enter my house, can they be hacked to gain entry? These are all questions that someone is bound to have when thinking of making the technological change. However, do keep in mind that as they become more popular, processes and procedures will become more common knowledge, the base level to operate them will become more widely spread and you can’t argue against the convenience these locks will bring into modern lives.

 

What do you need to consider when buying a smart lock in 2020?

With the start of the new decade there are some things that you may want to consider whilst you shop around for your new smart lock to make sure it is the best model for you.

How smart is it?

Different versions of smart lock will hold different features; all of which will aim to make your life easier. Before buying a smart lock you should consider what features you would like, for example, you can get models that sense when you are approaching the door so will automatically unlock the door for you.

Replace or Retrofit?

Some models require you to completely replace the mechanism within your door where as other can simply be retro-fitted over your existing lock. Retrofitting models can often be installed without professional help and can take only a few minutes whereas models that require replacing your existing lock will most likely need to be installed by a professional.

Smart Home Integration

The ideal smart lock would be easily paired to other smart home devices such as an Alexa, Google Assistant or Homekit for a fully immersive smart experience. Depending on the model, make and brand of smart lock, you should consider what smart objects you might already have and how you would like for them all to interconnect.

Alternative Entry Means

Some smart locks will come with a manual key override built into the lock should the keyless technology fail, whereas others may have multiple ways of access for example through keypads, key fobs or a fingerprint system. Having multiple ways of access would mean that should there be an issue with one method of access you would still be able to open your door. When buying your smart lock consider what options you will have should your lock fail and what different options of access each model offers.

 

What are the best smart door locks for 2020?

 

August smart lock

Best Overall: August Smart Lock Pro

£399 from Amazon

This lock seems to truly have it all, with a multitude of different pairing opinions to smart home devices and an array of clever features that really allow you to utilise all of the benefits of a smart door lock whilst still maintaining a sleek and stylish look! Connecting with Alexa, Google Assistant or the Apple HomeKit, whichever smart home platform you have is compatible with this door making it all too easy to control access of your home with just your voice. Another great feature of this smart door lock is the easy to navigate, easy to use app that allows you and additional chosen users access to your home. Another amazing feature of this lock is the auto-lock and auto-unlock feature; you can set the smart lock to automatically lock or unlock when your phone gets within a certain distance of your home meaning that with hands full of shopping there is no hassle to try and grab your keys.

This lock is really the stand out for landlord and Airbnb hosts as it offers a hassle free and efficient way to let guests in and out of your home whilst ensuring that your home is secure. This lock integrates into the Airbnb booking system allowing you to give your guests a virtual key when they book that only works for the dates that you set it for.

 

Samsung smart door lock

Best Price: Samsung Digital Door Lock

£129.99 from Amazon

Although cheaper than the other models in our list but still relatively expensive, the features that you get with this smart lock are definitely worth the price. Samsung are a global brand featuring a range of sleek and clean, phones, TV’s and appliances, which have now branched out into the world of smart locks. Without a keyway, this lock is completely keyless and can only be opened with a code of radio frequency identification (RFID) card. With no keyway it means that this is truly a keyless smart lock, making traditional methods of forced entry such as bumping or picking not a threat to security.

A great feature of this smart lock is the random security code feature. Some might worry that with the keypad it might leave impressions of what the code is to get into the house but rather with this feature engaged, 2 random numbers will have to be pressed before the password can be coded in. This means that intruders are prevented from checking the fingerprints left to try to gain entry.

 

Smart Yale Lock

Best Aesthetic: Yale Conexis L1

£269.99 from Amazon

This smart lock is the most attractive and discrete model on our list and with all of the different finishes you are sure to find the right colour to fit within your home. Looking like the regular ‘lift and lock’ handles that are commonly seen on uPVC doors, the Yale Conexis L1 is designed to work with existing multi-point locks by replacing the handle and cylinder of the existing lock.

The general functionality of this lock is basic but effective; with the use of the app or a RFID tag you can easily open the door. And as a massive benefit, Yale have designed RFID tags that can be attached to almost anything such as the back of your phone(should you not want to use the app), your bag or even a watch, meaning that with one swipe of a RFID enhanced item you can gain access to your home. Although no external keyway on the door there is a thumb turn internally for easy locking and unlocking once indoors. A downside to this smart door lock however is that it cannot connect to other smart home objects without the use of a Z-Wave module, this optional module (costing approximately £60) will allow the Conexis L1 to connect a SmartThings system.

Overall, although the Yale Conexis L1 doesn’t have a mass of features it can do what it says on the box, providing that smart door lock system without the chunkiness or obviousness of other models.

 

In summary, we have now only started to see the wonders that using smart technology can do for us, and the ease that it brings. Not only will smart locks give you complete remote control over your door security but they also can come with a wide range of features such as, smart home integration capabilities and forced entry alarms that give you peace of mind that your home is safe.