For business owners, their company is their livelihood, so it makes sense to want the best kind of security system in place for your office. The only trouble with that is there are many different types of door locks and security systems available — and some are more technologically advanced than others. Business owners are now faced with the option to use a traditional door lock, or upgrade to a more techy “smart” lock.
And while you may be keen to put your faith in the technology of a smart lock, it may not be the best move for your business. Here, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of installing a smart lock and whether it’s worth the money.
How smart locks work
A smart lock works by locking and unlocking doors using a combination of wireless technology, including electromechanical, wireless, and bluetooth. This eliminates the need for a key, as staff can use a fob, password or even a smartphone to unlock doors, which can be much more convenient for businesses.
Not all smart locks will need to replace your existing lock, and some work alongside your deadbolt. This is because the lock can be installed directly on your door, giving you the option to use your existing keys as a backup, in case anything fails. However as door-lock specialists Banham point out, there are different types of door locks available, so it’s worth checking to make sure your existing lock is compatible with a smart lock.
Smart locks can also control and restrict what part of the building staff have access to, keeping your office safer and reducing the risk of anything being stolen. Some locks can even be controlled remotely, if they are connected to the Wi-Fi, meaning you can ensure your doors are locked and secured even when you’re not in the office.
The disadvantages of using a smart lock
While smart locks can be convenient for your business, there are still some drawbacks that should be considered. For example, you could be left locked out if you rely on your smartphone to unlock the door, and the battery is down. If the system ever fails, you run the risk of being locked out if your phone doesn’t immediately connect, which could delay your entry to your office.
Relying on a password for entry may also be flawed, especially if you have any forgetful staff members that may not remember the password. It can also be possible for any passwords to be over-shared, and you should be aware that former employees may remember the password, or even still have the app on their smartphones.
Smart locks are vulnerable to hackers, much like all wireless technology. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connected locks can be easily hacked into, and some can be broken into even when the hacker is not directly outside the door. You should consider how secure the system is before installing it, and whether your smart lock is working alongside other security systems available in your office, such as CCTV cameras.
As the technology is wireless, you’ll need to make sure that your smart lock is always charged, and doesn’t suddenly run out of power, leaving you and your staff locked in or out of the building. This can be a hindrance, depending on how often you need to charge the lock or change the batteries, however most locks will give alerts to remind you to recharge.
Relying on a smart lock alone can be a gamble when it comes to locking your door, as you need to ensure that the deadbolt and strike plate are perfectly aligned so there is no unnecessary resistance. Not only does this make the motor work harder to lock or unlock the door, thus draining the batteries more quickly, it can also prevent the door from locking properly. You may find you need to check the doors are correctly locked, which defeats the purpose of a smart ‘convenient’ lock.
While smart locks can offer your business more convenience, it could be worth sticking to the tried-and-tested ‘traditional’ locking system. However, if you are looking to increase security with smart locks, it would be worth making sure you can still use your original keys in case the system fails. Combining smart locks with extra security — such as CCTV in case of any break-ins — can also ensure that the system is working effectively.