Smart locks – Asking the right questions

Mila has just joined forces with Mighton to distribute its brand new Avia secure smart lock to the window and door trade market in the UK. We’ve done a huge amount of research on what the market needs and we’re very confident that Avia is the best solution for our customers.

We’re launching the new lock to the trade at FIT, but we’ll obviously be lining up at the show alongside a number of other manufacturers who are also launching their new smart offerings. So, with so much buzz around the technology at the moment, I thought it was time to give my advice on what fabricators and installers should be looking for as they select a smart lock for their businesses.

How secure is it?

The overriding consideration with any device surely has to be that it gives the consumer 100% peace of mind that their home is secure. With a conventional locking system, that comes from seeing the SBD logo on their door handle or the TS007 stars on their cylinder. But, with a smart lock, the reassurance has to come from the level of encryption being offered on the software.

One of the big attractions of any smart lock of course is that it allows users to control access to their home from wherever they are in the world, but there are obviously inherent risks in that if the system were to come under malicious attack or if the software failed for some other reason.

Fabricators and installers need then to be looking for those smart locks which offer the safest and most stable software security protocols available and which eliminate that risk. The Avia secure smart lock, for example, comes fully compatible with the Apple HomeKit framework, which gives reassurance that it has been reviewed and approved by Apple to ensure that it is secure.

How easy is it to fit?

Put aside all the technical features of a smart lock and the bottom line for many fabricators and installers is how easy it is to fit, and will that impact on my margin? Before you choose a solution, have a look at how long it takes to fit in your factory or out onsite and also consider whether it will have any impact on the multi point door locks you already use.

One of the reasons Mila has chosen Avia is that it fits on the inside of the door in place of the lever but uses a conventional Mila SupaSecure high security door handle on the outside. The additional fitting time is minimal then, particularly given that there is no wiring required either.

Can it be retrofitted?

Smart locks should represent a great opportunity to revisit previous projects and generate profitable new business, so a solution like Avia, which can be retrofitted is, in my view, always going to preferable to one which can’t.

Can it be tampered with?

While we know that there is a whole generation of consumers who can’t get enough of smart tech, there is still a large section of the population who are understandably cautious. A smart lock which fits on the inside and can’t be tampered with by an opportunist burglar is without doubt a better choice for these consumers than one which is in full view.

How easy is it to sell?

A smart lock should be an easy sell so you need to choose a solution which has all the answers to the questions which most consumers are likely to ask. For instance, is there a backSma-up key for emergencies? is there an audit trail to track the activity? is there an anti-tamper alarm? does it come with a warranty? If you can answer yes to all these questions, then the sales task will be made much easier.

The momentum behind smart locks is building all the time – if you’re heading to the FIT Show or not this month, now is the time to start looking at the options and making the right choice. More info on the Avia products are at: www.mila.co.uk

As always, you can contact me for more information via: scooke@mila.co.uk or via Twitter:@StraffordCooke

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