Digital keyless – the future for door security

Digital keyless entry, stronger padlock security, sensible use of deadlocks and new window security requirements are all new trends currently emerging throughout the safety and security market.
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ASSA ABLOY’s Director of Marketing, Nick Penny, said stepping into the digital keyless space is the main focus for the company right now, and from an industry point, that is where the market is pretty much heading at the moment.

Keyless entry products have begun to take off due to awareness, according to Mr Penny, who says he thinks that it is also important getting this message across to resellers as well.

“We are all time poor and this is where our products are lending themselves into a different audience. Even with a keyless situation, consumers expect technology to be involved in their day to day lives and why not with your front door? Cars have had it for years, (keyless entry) and people expect it. I think the expectation from a hardware retailer’s perspective will be largely the same,” Mr Penny said.

“Most keyless entry products are retrofitable, so they fit into the old typical 001 style door prep. So you can take off an old one and put a new one on.

I suppose some of the traps people might fall into with competitor type products, is that they are a completely different footprint, so this can mean a large installation process. I think a person with average to above average handy man skills wouldn’t have an issue installing the product, but it doesn’t take much to get this sort of thing wrong either,” he said.

“I always wonder if we are trending the other way now where the market is more ‘do it for me’, with the rise and rise of Hire a Hubby and home maintenance franchises popping up everywhere. Whilst DIY is popular, we are still time poor and many of us don’t want to complete jobs that we can pay to get done. For me hardware stores that can offer this service will fill a big gap into the future,” Mr Penny said.

Future plans for ASSA ABLOY

Looking into the next 12 months, Mr Penny said ASSA ABLOY plans to continue with its ‘the finger’ campaign which has already achieved a 30 per cent growth in digital sales.

“We will continue a massive education drive, for the next 12 months, and we will look into new creatives for next year. It also depends on how these bays are set up in retail stores as well. I think retailers need to understand it is not just capitalising on digital space but asking consumers that if they have a good lock on their back door, why not match this $300 investment (of a keyless entry product) on the front door,” Mr Penny said.

Retailer response from the campaign so far has been great, according to Mr Penny, with positive feedback from a sell through point of view, especially from retailers who have displays in-store.

“The campaign has got people talking regardless – and we knew the creative would get a lot of reactions. It’s made people stop and look at it so it’s done its job,” he said.

Looking into the future, Lockwood will continue to harness the keyless range and once it has momentum, it will be a matter of adding technology to the products, Mr Penny said.

One thing Mr Penny said from feedback at recent conference is that there is a strong desire for retailers to go on-line and build their on-line presence.

“It would be interesting to see trends in other segments when it comes to on-line purchasing. For the hardware industry I believe that this is a massive opportunity, particularly with larger products that don’t typically fit into the small hatch back that most people drive around these days,” Mr Penny said.

“I think the hardware industry is slow to adopt in the on-line area, and those who are the first to adapt to the way people shop these days will definitely capitalise on this,” he said.

Allegion’s fire conscious locking systems

Becoming more fire conscious, when it comes to installing dead locks, is another major trend emerging currently, according to Allegion Residential National Sales Manager, Barry Pitman.

“With the former insurance requirements of double dead bolts being installed on doors, it also means people are locking themselves inside the house. Fire tragedies of late are from people being locked inside their house, during a fire emergency and not being able to get out because of deadlocks,” Mr Pitman said.

“Hopefully the fire laws change in Australia where residents are not allowed to use double dead bolts anymore, which is very similar to the laws in the US where it is actually illegal. In the past insurance companies have given policy discounts if you had a double dead bolt to protect your furniture and your products, but people are starting to realise lives are more important than a fridge being carried out the front door.”

“Once you have a bit of smoke inhalation – and you may have your keys in a draw, or a cupboard or handbag, most people end up at the front door and can’t get out. The insurance companies often now say that there is no further discount if you fit a double dead bolt on your door,” he said.

It is this for reason that Mr Pitman said the company is now promoting keyless entry products, such as the emergency egress door.

“So if you just come up to the door on the inside and it is locked on the outside, as soon as you turn the handle, the door is unlocked and you can open the door – which is much safer and that is what we are promoting for safety reasons. It’s about being safe for the person who resides in the house,” Mr Pitman said.

The Schlage Touch is a new range of products, to be launched from July 1, which have been brought out to offer a more fire safe alternative to deadlocks, according to Mr Pitman.

Schlage Touch (Allegion)“There are no keys on the outside, you have pin codes to come in and out with 19 different users, and on in the inside is a snib to lock or put into passage mode. Very simple to use in the event of a fire so this is where our trend is going over the next six months.”

“The new locks we are bringing out can be installed on a standard preparation on a door, installed straight onto that just with a Phillip’s head screw driver, And if you already have a lock on your front door, you just take that off and put this on it and it is less than a ten minute job,” he said.

Innovation from the US

Allegion is also currently working closely with Apple in the US, to bring in a new lock which is a Schlage sense lock, and may be sensed by a mobile phone.

“So if I am sitting at my desk, I can send a pin code to my house and let a builder in the house. Also if you have your phone on blue tooth, and you paired it to your lock, as you get out of your car your phone vibrates. Siri asks ‘what do you want to do?’, and you say to Siri, ‘unlock my door’. As you walk up the motorised deadlock unlocks the door only if you have your phone, and the credential of phone activation,” Mr Pitman said.

“We are the only ones at the moment working on this with Apple in the US with our lock to launch into Australia on the first of January. So it gives you all of the remote features being connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and mobile and comes with a free app, and you’ll be able to send pin codes to it and pin codes out of it,” he said.

While the remainder of the market remains fairly stagnant, Allegion will continue to forge down the new technology with this electronic keyless entry, Mr Pitman said.

Electronic locks shape the future

JMA Hardware General Manager, Broeden Mapps, agrees electronic locking solutions are the natural progression of security.

“You would be naïve, as a door hardware manufacturer, to ignore the idea of electronic security and I am sure most of us (hardware manufacturers) are already producing or considering an electronic locking option. Although there is a place for it in the residential sector I believe we are far off it being common practice,” Mr Mapps said.

“Having been thrust into electronic technology as soon as they could walk and talk, when generation Z takes hold, I believe we will see a surge in electronic security for doors,” he said.

Mr Mapps said there are still many things to consider, including a large percentage of consumers still entering their house through the garage, especially in new housing developments, which makes the front door the secondary access point.

“Aesthetics still seems to be of primary importance, rather than having an electronic lock with consumers opting for entry pull handles on pivot doors with euro profile locks,” Mr Mapps said.

Window security

Mr Mapps also said there are new BCA requirements for window restricting where security screens are not fitted and the drop under the window is 1750 millimetres or more. New BCA requirements ensure windows must be restricted by a lock to an opening of 120 millimetres, he said.

“Suitable for most window types, the JMA CRL01 Cable Restrictor is a cost effective and convenient way of satisfying Building Code of Australia requirements for both new buildings and renovations,” he said.

Demand drives advanced solutions

Mayo Hardware’s Master Lock Manager, Tresan Tesoriero, said she believes the Australian market is aligning more to the global market because consumers are becoming savvier and go on-line to look at what else is happening around the world.

“The development of more advanced solutions in the industry is currently driving demand. The Australian market, in particular, has the unique weather climate patterns, so a trend towards brass and weather tough locks, seem to be on the rise as well,” Ms Tesoriero said.

“In city areas especially there is a need for extra security, while near the coast, locks need to have extra weather protection. In general there’s a need for higher security, whether it be the back of tool box which is on the back of a ute, because people are spending more money on tools and they need that extra security when their car is parked on a work site or at home,” Ms Tesoriero said.

Masterlock has recently expanded its Excell range to include a wider range of applications as well as a weather tough line, which is suitable for marine environments for those consumers requiring extra weather resistance.

“The Excell range of octagonal boron carbide shackles, have an octagonal shape which is patented specific to Masterlock because it is harder to grip with bolt cutters. If you try to cut through the lock you will get through it once but you can’t actually remove the lock because you can’t turn the shackle, which means it actually has to be cut twice,” she said.

While the Weather Tough range and additional lines have been on the market since October last year, a high security brass range, branded Diamond Hex, is another addition to the market by Mayo Hardware.

Quality security is essential

Consumers are showing they are certainly not afraid to spend extra money on a good quality product, according to LSC Retail and Industrial National Account Manager, Scott Cairns.

“In hardware there is usually an entry level brand and then a more premium product, but with security we don’t really see that. There’s only really a mid-level and a high-level range. So house brands really don’t work within the security category. With our internal reviews, what we are seeing is an on-flow of customers who are looking for European quality, and this is what we continue to offer with our ABUS products,” Mr Cairns said.

LSC has also reported recent success with its ABUS key garages, which is an external product mounted anywhere outside and allows the homeowner to securely lock a key outside.

“Instead of the hiding your key under the old fake rock in the garden, this is a much more secure way of doing this, with a combination on the front of it, with secure access to your spare key. And it is a very cost effective and secure manner when leaving a key outside,” he said.

Back in black

With the Australia lock market continuing to evolve due to influences not only from the function of security, but also the look and feel of a product, Lane Security has released new matte black hinges and door furniture to coincide with this trend.

“The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home and the latest trend in kitchens is the matte black finish. If you have watched any of the numerous renovation shows on TV you would have noticed matte black tapware and accessories being used widely in kitchens and bathrooms. To enable consumers to carry this same trend throughout their home, Lane Security has also released matte black hinges and door furniture,” Lane Security Product Manager, Dean Beardmore said.

While recent trends in the safety and security market include the new matte black finish, a trend towards pull handles also continues to grow, he said.