Child Automation and our Yale Deadbolt

When we get home, one of the kids asks for the house keys. The first one to ask gets the keys and gets to unlock the door. They love to unlock the door, so it’s frequently a race. I’ve been thinking it was time to give them their own keys, but its really hard when they can’t yet hold onto the same library card for more than a year. Stashing a key outdoors didn’t fit my sensibilities.

In exploring the options, I found a wide variety of locks. Push buttons. Numeric keypads. Bluetooth. WiFi. Smartphone Apps. Key fobs. So. Many. Options!

Some I was able to weed out straight away. Requiring a smarthphone is a non-starter. For that matter, requiring that we carry anything seems so last century. If someone gets locked out of the house naked, absent their sniggering sibling on the other side of the door, they should be able to get back in.

I found almost exactly what I was looking for in the Yale YRD240-ZW-605. I can easily program a unique key code for each family member. I can add a key-code for the neighbor to feed our pets when we’re on vacation. It has a Z-Wave radio built-in which pairs with my SmartThings hub. I can pull out my phone and lock/unlock the front door from anywhere. Instead of the far-less-secure key backup, this version has a 9-volt battery port which serves as the spare key.

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The Wife Acceptance Factor of this lock is very high. When she walks out the door, she just waves her hand at it and it locks the door. When she gets home, keying in the code is faster and easier than fishing her keys out of her purse. If her phone is already out, she can unlock the door on her way towards it.

The kids adore it, but the entry routine is  a little different than I expected. Before someone unlocked the door and we all piled through. Now one child enters their very own Simerson Secret Door Society code, enters, and then deadbolts the door. Then the next child enters their code and enters. When I pull into the garage, they run out the garage door so they can enter via the front door. Shucks, they still lock themselves outside just to use their secret code and get back in. I’m amazed that the batteries have lasted three weeks. The lock says it’s battery life is still 100%. Amazing.

2 Replies to “Child Automation and our Yale Deadbolt”

  1. We just recently installed a numerical keypad deadbolt on our front door as well. It’s definitely an improvement, and while it doesn’t come with smartphone or wireless capability the convenience factor is still huge.

  2. Yeah, you’re getting the majority of the value. The home integration adds a couple niceties. Five minutes after you’ve driven away from the house and someone asks, “Did we lock the front door?” Instead of backtracking, a parent whips out a smart phone and checks, and can also lock up the door. Or someone calls and says, “I’m here, where are you?,” and you reply, “I’m on my way, be there in 10 minutes, stand by while I unlock the door for you.” Those occasions are infrequent but quite handy.

    Does your lock have one-time key codes? I don’t recall if mine does or not, but because it’s tied into my home automation, I can create one time codes, as well as time limited codes, so for example, the housekeeper’s code can only be used on Wednesdays from 10-2.

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