New Trends In Safety And Security
The notion of security and safety is an evocative one. According to leading industry experts, door opening solutions in the future will be very different to the traditional mechanical lockset.
Tom Devine, General Manager, Assa Abloy Australia Pty Ltd, says the impressive level of R&D in the industry means future product developments will be very exciting.
“Australian design expertise is impressive and already being exported to the world,” he said.
“Today, people want more than a deadlock to secure their home. Design-savvy consumers expect door hardware, internal or external, to be just as aesthetically appealing as any other home design feature. The challenge is to meet the diverse demands of security and safety with sophisticated design,” he said.
The ever increasing desire to protect family and possessions is another key factor. According to Andrew Weeks, Marketing Manager, Gainsborough Hardware Industries Ltd, this will result in a growing demand for innovative security solutions.
“Today, the consumer is better educated about the intricacies and functionality of locks and can be quite specific in design, style, function, finish and application requirements,” he said.
Daron Orth General Manager from Lane Security, says that there has been a shift to larger front doors in both height and width, as well as increased popularity with double front doors in dwellings that pivot or hinge. He sees an increase in the popularity of multifold patio door systems, where the doors leading to the outside patio and entertainment area can be opened to make way for a connection of the inside of the home with the outside lifestyle.
“The inclusion of glass into external doors has seen some very creative designs emerge, stimulating the need for security items and door furniture that compliment these designs but offer an acceptable level of security,” he said. “It is commonly perceived that glass is an easy point of access. Having so much glass and open space has bought with it the negatives of people being able to see inside the home,” said Daron.
The wider acceptance and affordability of mortise style locks has started to change availability of security options on the market. Once perceived as difficult to fit, expensive, and difficult to understand, mortise locks today are far more user friendly and affordable. Roller style locks are also being used more readily today.
Internal doors are becoming more imaginative and very affordable, with styles only ever seen previously in heavy, expensive and more difficult to fit solid timber doors. The once optional ‘panel style’ doors are common place with builders and home owners today and they are seen as standard items in homes.
In addition, says Daron, the square look is gaining acceptance at a break neck pace. “The straight edge look is very much in fashion and anything that picks up on this look has a very good chance of being accepted.”
In a move away from the standard installation of functional but economical consumer locksets to secure new homes, some major building companies and OEM manufacturers are becoming more discerning. Many are demanding residential locking solutions that are innovative and stylish which also comply with safety and security priorities. “Security door locks which offer convenience and style are an integral consideration in the realm of home improvements, new home construction and commercial requirements,” said Andrew Weeks.
According to Craig Caspersz, Senior Industrial Designer at Assa Abloy Australia, the relevance of electronic door opening solutions in the domestic market will increase over the next five years.
Acceptance of electronic technology by the Asian market has been phenomenal. Unlike our conservative domestic market more than 60% of Korean new dwellings are secured by electronic locking solutions. Although reliability, the possibility of technology failure and cost are of primary concern down here we can probably assume that uptake in the Australian market will eventually follow.
“There is also the challenge to ensure that whilst our commitment is to IP and products developed here in Australia, we need to constantly be on the search for ways to reduce manufacturing costs, and therefore to-market costs,” said Craig Caspersz.
Daron Orth agrees. “I see demand increasing for keyless locking options, slim line locking options and door furniture and accessories picking up the themes of the home decor, appliances, tap ware, lighting and door styles,” he said.
“To date, keyless locking has been highly publicized but I believe price and consumer confidence has dampened. As innovation, style and better value for money emerge in the market place, I see keyless locking as a common place in Australian homes into the future, whether that be remote, finger print, scan card, retinal or micro chip censoring. One thing is for sure though – security will become a higher priority in our lives!!”
And what about the not-too-distant future? According to Craig Caspersz it lies in interconnectivity. “Into the future plug and play technology will see interconnectivity come into its own with electronic solutions linking front, back, sliding doors, windows locks, garage doors and lighting systems,” said Craig.