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FYI Hardware Guy: Key to security can be simple

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By Ed Pfeifer
Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

For a long time I had several keys for my home; a different key for every door.

Those keys, along with a few car keys, keys to my store, padlock keys and keys to mystery locks added up to a really heavy key chain.

Finally, one day after wrestling that ridiculous bundle of keys from my pocket and sorting through them like a monkey picking lice, I decided enough was enough. I had to do something to reduce the tonnage.

The simple solution was to key some door locks and deadbolts to a common key. I considered a few ways to go about this project and finally decided to install new Kwikset brand locks, which have a re-key function called SMARTKEY.

SMARTKEY technology was developed as a way to make re-keying extremely simple while, at the same time, maintaining a highly-secure lock.

Additionally, and this I really like, the locks can be re-keyed an infinite number of times ­­­— no locksmith required.

The SMARTKEY technology is so simple and the instructions so basic that, after doing a couple of them, I set my son loose to install and key one.

He found it slightly more challenging than I but, then again, he was only 10 years old. Yes, it is that easy.

The installation of the lock is no different than any other entry set or deadbolt and re-keying is a speedy 3 step process.

Thanks to this quick re-keyability, SMARTKEY locks allow a single key to control multiple doors, a real convenience.

But there is more to it than convenience.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of all is the high level of security SMARTKEY locks provide.

For example, keys left with neighbors and friends will work for as long as you want them to. If you go away on vacation and provide a key to a house sitter, you can re-key your locks immediately after returning from vacation and render that key useless.

Likewise, if you need to provide temporary access to your home, no problem; simply re-key one of your locks, leave the rest alone and when the temporary access is complete, change that lock back to the original key.

SMARTKEY locks are available in popular brass and brushed nickel finishes, which stand up well to the abuses of weather and dirt.

They also have a heavy feel to further reinforce a quality image. They are extremely difficult to pick and they don't get wobbly and loose like low quality locks.

The SMARTKEY locks that my son and I installed have performed well and the re-key function has come in handy once already.

I am very pleased and although I normally refrain from using brand names in this column, I am unaware of any competing product on the market.

So if it's security you seek, if a handsome, high quality lock is on your agenda, or if like me, your keychain doesn't fit in your pocket anymore, consider installing a couple Kwikset SMARTKEY locks on your doors.

It just might solve some problems for you.

Ed Pfeifer is the owner of Pfeifer Hardware Inc., 300 Marshall Way, Mars. If you have questions, call the store at 724-625-9090.

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