General Question

metadog's avatar

How secure is a programmable deadbolt?

Asked by metadog (325 points ) August 5th, 2012

Hi! I was looking at putting new deadbolts on my house that have both a key pad and a remote control. The idea being to keep the house secure, but make it easier for my kids to get in when coming home from school. Are these devices secure? Bad idea?

Thanks!

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9 Answers

Nullo's avatar

What’s wrong with a standard deadbolt?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Security of any deadbolt is limited by how strong the wooden frame around the door. The frame can be strengthened with a reinforcement where the dead bolt goes through the frame.

gailcalled's avatar

How old are your kids? How dangerous is the neighborhood? How secure is secure?

PhiNotPi's avatar

A programmable deadbolt provides exactly the same amount of security as a regular deadbolt. The security of a house is not just determined by its deadbolts, but also by the door frames, windows, and walls.The only advantage offered is that you cannot lose the key (but you can forget the password).

elbanditoroso's avatar

Anything that has a chip (which what a programmable deadbolt does) is imperfect. Subject to electrical surges, etc.

funkdaddy's avatar

If someone wants in your house, they can almost always get in your house, so the programmable deadbolt seems just as secure in that sense. Houses just aren’t that strong.

It seems less likely for power issues to knock one out than for kids to lose a key, so I think accessibility would actually be in favor of the programmable model, right?

Thousands of people have pads for their garage doors and I don’t think it’s any more likely for people you don’t know to get in that way than any other. The problem comes from people you know but don’t necessarily want in there. As your kids get older this might include their friends.

Personally my main concern would be how easy it is to change the codes, if that’s simple, and I felt like I would actually change it every couple of months at least, then I think the programmable deadbolt is a great way to make sure your kids can get in when they need to while still letting you lock a door and not leave a spare key lying around under a welcome mat or flower pot.

Nullo's avatar

I generally recommend the analog over the digital where feasible, owing to a greater degree of reliability. I imagine that it’s easier to fix, too.

woodcutter's avatar

If you are in an area where the ground moves (drought), it could throw off the bolt so it wont hit the hole but instead drags on the edge and the servo motor might not be strong enough to fully force it in. In that situation a DB with a key might be more secure.

That, and I don’t trust electronic gadgets as much as the old tried and true manual mechanisms.
So far this year I have had to adjust maybe 2 dozen exterior doors and hardware as well as about that many interior doors that were not working right.

RocketGuy's avatar

You could use normal deadbolts and give your kids a key.

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