When it comes to selecting lock hardware for a building, there are five things property managers should keep in mind.
Property managers should buy a quality product that will stand the test of time and is certified by a third party agency. Worn and rusted locks are a serious weakness in building security because they are easier to pick and break. They are also more difficult to open with a key as time passes.
If a lock has severe tarnish, rust or other visible signs of wear, it may be time to look for a replacement lock. If a lock is increasingly difficult to open with a key, especially on cold nights, it needs to be replaced or serviced immediately to avoid an inconvenient malfunction that may leave residents locked out and leave management with a hefty emergency locksmith bill.
3. Key control and re-keying
Managing a traditional pin and tumbler master key system is labour intensive, time-consuming and costly. New key control deadbolts provide significant time and cost-savings.
With a traditional system, a lost or stolen master key creates a significant security risk for potentially hundreds of residents. A property manager has to either hire an outside contractor (who charges a fee plus a cost per lock) or use an internal maintenance employee (who earns an hourly wage) to undertake the time-consuming process of removing all building locks, dissembling them, re-keying, reassembling them and then reinstalling each one.
When specifying hardware for a project, most property mangers opt for the cheapest products. However, the cheapest products often result in costly replacements and service calls.
The finish of lock hardware is often overlooked; however, it can make a powerful statement. Consider upgrading the style of lock hardware during a remodel or when embarking on a new project. Lock hardware designs have evolved from the ball knob to feature transitional or contemporary levers, which are available at all price points.
Amie Silverwood is editor-in-chief of Canadian Apartment Magazine and CondoBusiness magazine.