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June 27, 2019

Smart Speakers Are All The Rage Today Except....

We have written numerous articles over the last 12 years about locks, lock systems, safes, master key systems, doors, repair techniques etc.

Curiously, smart speakers like those offered by Amazon, Google and others have certainly made many of our lives significantly easier but they are found wanting too, as the above video, comediclee shows,

We posted the above video to our social networking pages and are seeing increasing views and likes from our viewers.

It does bring up a topical discussion though and one we feel is important to our readers here too.

Some of the articles we have written about new age smart locks can be seen here

In the above video, the man returns home only being unable to gain entry. Smart locks, for all their good intentions, suffer from many issues that should be considered prior to purchase.

Issues that can include:

  • Poor Battery Life
  • Weathering
  • Low Security
  • Hardware Failure
  • Increasing Insurance Premiums

Poor Battery Life

Many of today's smart locks operate using 4 AA batteries. We suspect manufacturers decided to use these low power systems due to their extremely cheap price points. 
I find repeatedly, customers often calling for locksmith services where their batteries have failed and they either do not have their mechanical over ride key available or their product has no mechanical key over ride function

It's not just digital smart locks. We are also seeing increasing calls to open safes, where battery failure is a common symptom. Often there are additional issues besides poor battery life including internal wiring not lasting or corroding that contribute to other issues where just replacing dead batteries may seem like a simple fix.


Weathering is another common pitfall that occurs repeatedly with battery operated smart locks. Often, once installed the lock will operate efficiently for sometimes 3 months before the user may need to replace batteries. But even correctly installed locks suffer from earth movements that affect the correct alignment of doors into their frames. This will often make operating the deadbolt too difficult for the motor inside the product to correctly throw the bolt. People may leave their homes expecting their door to lock behind them automatically, whereas they are often unaware that the product failed to adequately lock and secure their doors.

Other weathering issues rarely considered include, many digital smart locks are installed to external doors or prime entry doors, Sure the batteries might be on the inside but the keypad will be outside and naturally affected by changing weather. In some regions high humidity can cause internal  components to attract condensation. The water can make internal electrical components to short circuit. Also, when the weather patterns change to cold conditions, the freezing air and rain etc can cause batteries to wear down faster.

Low Security

Many manufacturers, to compete in the global marketplace, decided to use lightweight materials in the construction of their products. Security and access control are some of the reasons some people choose battery operated lock systems. Why anyone who cares about their families security and peace of mind, would choose to spend ~$195+ for a poor quality digital door lock, that is designed to fail within (often) 2 years, puzzles me!

Remembering that it is often all about price, how much is the security and ease of use worth to you?
Often consumers may spend hundreds of dollars on clothes and shoes or thousands of dollars on furniture, electronics or art only to secure their homes with cheap lock systems, It doesnt make any logical sense.

Hardware Failure

Like mentioned above, "the pain of poor quality lasts longer than the pleasure, cheap price provides"


"if you only want to pay peanuts expect to get monkeys"

Consulting your local trained professional locksmith before purchasing locks or other door hardware would be your best approach, in my opinion. Locksmiths have deliberately chosen to train to provide customers with quality offerings aimed at making your lives easier and secure.

You trust your mechanic to fix your car, You trust your electrician to keep your lights working. You trust your plumber to keep the water flowing. Doesnt it make perfect sense to trust your locksmith to keep your home secure?

Increasing Insurance Premiums

An often overlooked issue that many purchasers of digital door locks rarely consider is how installing a digital door lock might affect the amount of insurance you pay.

A number of companies including Walmart, Amazon and others are embarking on delivering groceries and purchases made online to homes and entering your homes to deliver, stock the fridge etc. These new services are attempts to deal with the porch theft phenomena that has resulted in recent years with the expanding delivery markets, While this practise might be considered more secure and more convenient, are you really willing to open your private abode to persons you dont know?

Insurance companies are salivating at the opportunities presented by allowing access to your private dwellings from people who "don't belong".

Also, many digital door lock users will give each user a code. How sure are you that any person is not sharing a code? How would you know if someone who is not authorized, enters your home?

Mechanical keys provide much more immediate security than digital locks because you must have and use a key to operate your lock. Besides the significantly cheaper cost of mechanical products, no requirement to replace batteries ever, even the ease to lock your door if weather affects your installation, you are better protected by using a key to access your property.

This article is primarily about digital battery operated products. Many commercial systems are significantly more expensive for good reason. They are made with higher quality components, often use stronger batteries or are hard wired to mains power. You see many commercial installations that use card/fob access control systems where you simply present your credential to a user interface. These are deliberately hard wired systems, because they last much longer and work continuously without having to maintain batteries.

June 12, 2019

Walmart To Offer Free In House Delivery Including Stocking Your Fridge

A new service by Walmart, introduced this week is set to compete with Amazon for home deliveries of products ordered. Except that Walmart will have their couriers unlock your door, enter your kitchen, open your fridge and stock your purchased groceries on your behalf.

All you have to do is install a wifi operated lock to your entry door, give permission to Walmart employees to enter your home and to stock your fridge.

That all sounds wonderful, doesnt it?

Amazon introduced a similar service last year after successfully merging their acquisition of Ring and Bleep into their company, We wrote a few articles about Amazon Key and related services here.

Are you owner or resident,willing to allow people you dont know, permission to enter your home when youre not there, have access to your kitchen and pretty much the run of your house?

Are you prepared to pay the increased insurance premiums that will no doubt be incurred?

Even if these companies compel their employees to wear body cameras, so you can view them as they enter your private home, are you really going to open yourself to the privacy concerns?

Modern technologies are great in idea and sometimes in practise. But some ideas are just plain silly.
As a locksmith security specialist, experienced technician and appraiser, I continue to explain to my customers the pitfalls of some modern electronic battery operated security products. Many will agree with me once they understand the potential security and privacy concerns.

I often discuss with clients about their current push button battery operated deadbolt they may have fitted. In many of these discussions, the client points out that, after the third or fourth time replacing the batteries, they will go back to using the mechanical key. The most common reason, is they did not expect the regular and repeated need to replace batteries, adding significantly to their cost of their chosen product. Combine this with they being locked out of their residence when they least expect it and still requiring to call a locksmith to pick their lock open due to not carrying their key.

Electronics do indeed improve our quality of life. But at the exhorbitant cost of a ~$250+ electronic lock, that is more prone to power failure, weathering, house and door movement etc, requiring increased maintenance over the mechanical products that have been around for hundreds of years, the cost differences alone, one might think to keep using and relying on maintenance free security.


Home Advisor (formerly Service Magic) Testimonials And Sites That Recommend Us

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Danny was very professional and friendly at the same time. He not only gave me the quote and fixed the exterior door and explained his work. He was prompt and upfront about the work and did the work. He came in time took care of it on the same day. (Sasheethn K St Louis MO) June 2018d out problems but assured not urgent. Please feel free to have Danny pass out my number for my total experience review 314-351-5553

Charlie M. (St Louis, MO) November 2015

Danny was pleasure to meet and was very knowledgable. He explained several lock replacement options but I decided none of them were a good fit for a storm door, however, I did replace a lock on my entry door with a type of lock I had never seen before. I would highly recommend this company.
Patricia J (Bridgeton, MO) March 2014
They were prompt and showed up when he said he would show up. He knew his stuff. I had ordered new handles and he was honest enough to say that we don't need them that he can fix the doors and he did. Made me lock and unlock my doors to his satisfaction so that I knew what to do. Am very, very pleased with the service and cost.
Joyce K (Glencoe, MO) May 2015

Showed up on time for appointment. Was very knowledgeable about the project and offered a solution beyond what I asked to be done.
Stephen G (Chesterfield, MO) May 2015

Daniel was right on time, assessed the problems I had with two doors, made the repairs, and explained what caused the problems to begin with .... He is a "door expert" and a true professional. I highly recommend him.

Vince V (St. Louis MO) May, 2015

Danny was fabulous! He went over my concerns and he provided me with more than a fair quote. He was there when he said he was going to be there. I would highly recommend Danny. Cheers!
Denise S (Imperial, MO) May 8, 2014

Hired Danny to re-key locks on "new" house purchase. He advised to replace with new deadbolts & door knobs on 3 entry doors instead which I agreed with. All doors have 1 matching key & the safety of excellent quality product & workmanship. He also added new strike plate to door frame to complete project.. I recommend as your 1st & only call to a Locksmith.

Denise F (St. Louis, MO) April 3, 2014

Danny was very helpful in solving a pretty complex problem involving many lock.
Scott C (Eureka, MO) March 27, 2014

Needed patio door track to run smoothly. Arrived early, fixed door and explained what he was doing during repair. Quick and easy. Door works great, my wife will now speak to me, and I've become a better dancer.

Mike W. (Arnold/Oakville MO) July 2013

The owner spent a longtime with me on the phone helping diagnosis the problem. He was on-time, friendly and helped resolve my issue. I will definitely use him again!

Chris C (Lake St Louis, MO) July 2013

I had a very pleasant experience with Master Key Systems. They came out, did the job (which took longer than expected) and they did not change the price they quoted me. Now, I am not certain that it was a great value for the money because I don't have a comparison, but they did what they said, when they said, for the price they said. Enough said!!!

Antonio B (Saint Louis, Missouri) March 2013

Professional.. Upfront about charges. Fixed the sticky door within 20 minutes. I will recommend Master Key for exterior door issues.
Muthu R (Ballwin, MO) July 2012

Danny was a master craftsman, knowledgable and professional. I will be calling on him again in the future as well as passing on his services to friends and family.

Marsha L (Saint Louis, MO) July 2012

Danny was excellent! I called him on a Monday to fix a sliding glass door. He happened to have the exact part we needed (and it was not an easy find - we had looked everywhere) and he came over Tuesday evening. He stayed until 8:00 until the job was done, and cleaned up afterwards. He was courteous, professional, and efficient! I could not be happier!

Rachel P Maryland Heights, MO (July 2012)

He did an excellent job. Got there on time and quickly solved the issue. Was very pleasant and explained the situation and how to keep the door from sticking in the future. Would definitely use Master Key LLC again!

Neil F. (Saint Louis, MO) April 2012

Danny was very friendly and knowledgeable, although his apprentice seemed to do most of the work, Danny kept an eye on him to make sure it was done right. He had very reasonable pricing for re-keying.
Greg D (St Louis, MO) October 2011

He was extrememly fabulous and helpful and did a wonderful job. He was very professional.
Shannon M. (Arnold, MO) October 2011

Growing up spending so much of my time in Italy, the uniqueness of the Nova Classico left quite an impression on me. To be able to have and enjoy them in my own home here in the states is a nostalgic indulgence I'm enjoying beyond words. Thank you Danny for coordinating this transaction.

Joseph M (Chicago, IL) September 2011

great job. hired on the spot and he did job right then at great price

Ron B (Arnold, MO) July 2011

I searched the internet and found your services. I received three phone calls within several days. A service call was scheduled. Two gentlemen arrived promptly, analyzed the problem and fixed it.
James & Florenc M Saint Louis, MO July 2011

The repairman was on time and did an excellent job of fixing a very stubborn door lock. He was persistent and cleaned up the work area afterwards. I would use this service again.

Brenda F (Saint Peters, MO) June 2011

Danny at Master Key Systems has succeeded in making the purchasing of our Meroni door locks, from Italy, an absolute breeze. Even though I live in Australia with a 16hr time difference and was ordering door knobs from Italy that weren't in stock, the whole process was faultless. Danny was prompt and efficient with all his emails and made sure we had covered every possible variable so that the product I received was exactly as required. I would have no hesitation in recommending Danny for your next purchase.
Patrick Carr (Canberra, Australia)

Your product really helped because I needed to secure a nurse's station adjacent to a waiting room and needed a pocket door. Unfortunately, no real options were available to lock a pocket door effectively that would keep me compliant with HIPAA and secure an area that stores medical supplies. This was vitally important as this particular waiting room was for "waiting detox patients". Thank you very much.
Randall R The Fritz Clinic (Birmingham, Al) March 2011

Danny was very polite and knew what the problem was and how to fix it. He also gave me some information about other issues that could arise with my door and locks. Will hire again if I ever need that type of work done.
Jason M Imperial, MO March 2011

I had an exterior basement door that dragged when opening and closing. The hinges were not fitting properly and the door frame had shifted, probably due to the age of the house.The screwswould not go far enough into the wall without hitting stone...even using a special drill bit. Dan worked a long time drilling and sanding to shore up the door as best as possible. I know it will never be perfect. He could have easily sold me a new door and the same issue would happen. He was honest, thorough, and did an excellent job without charging me a fortune. I'm satisfied with the door now. If you want an honest, experienced man, Then Dan is the man

Roger M Saint Louis, MO March 2011

I purchased the Cowdroy P697 Pocket door lock with key over the internet. I emailed questions before my purchase and was provided with the answers quickly by return email. The purchase was quick and easy and the lock was shipped immediatly. Installation is quick and easy. But you do need to convert millimeters to inches (use the internet) in the installation instructions. And the lock looks great and works great. I will do business with them again. THANK YOU

Ed D (February, 2011)

Who Are We?

Welcome to Locks210.com.
This site is to inform about historical and modern approaches to Keys and Physical Security products and services.
Locks210.com, established in 2006, offers residents and businesses of St Louis Locksmith premium quality products and services. As the Premier Bilock Extreme Security Dealer in The Mid-West,
Our conveniently located workshop and service vehicles are uniquely designed to offer trade qualified, bonded, insured tradespeople with knowledge and experience spanning multiple countries and product lines.

Shipping and Returns

All products are sent in manufacturers condition.
All products are subject to sales tax where applicable.
All products are dispatched within 10 business days of remittance.
All products are subject to manufacturers warranties.
All products returned within 30 days, will be 95% refunded less shipping.
Prices are subject to change without notice.
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