Kwikset gets an A (from me)

Kudos to Kwikset, a door lock manufacturer and division of Black & Decker, which yesterday put out a study about homeowners' behavior and attitudes toward home security. I liked this study before I even read it because I noticed that it includes information about methodology. Here is the paragraph I love to see when someone sends me a study:
1 Telephone survey conducted among a national probability sample of 1,001 adults living in private households in the continental United States by CARAVAN®. Survey was completed during the period July 23-26, 2009. Margin of error +/- 3%.
This is good! And it's important. It gives the study instant credibility. Think about this the next time you want to put out a study, OK? And about the company and the content of the study: Black & Decker entered the security market last spring offering a new line of door locks that can be integrated into a security system. Here's a story I wrote about that. Seems like a smart and logical move. Black & Decker debuted their products at ISC West. This study appears to be new angle to get folks at ASIS to notice the product. The study says that most homeowners say security is important to them, but they're not "controlling access" to their homes. Almost half are not re-keying or changing their locks when they move into a new house. They're lending out the keys they have (and that former owners still have.) They've also got entries with different keys. (Now I know from the methodology that those surveyed do not all live on the coast of Maine, but I have substantial anecdotal evidence that the findings of this report are true, at least in small town New England. Here are the findings of my survey of the editors of SSN: Dan has keys, but doesn't lock his doors. I have a key to my house--it was given to us by the former owner. And, I know exactly where it is--on the floor of my unlocked car with the rest of my keys. Then there's Sam--he says he doesn't even have a key to his house.) But I digress... here's the release:
Kwikset® Study Reveals American Homeowners Are Living with Compromised Home Security National Survey Finds that Nearly Half of All Homeowners Did Not Change or Re-key Locks at Move-In LAKE FOREST, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nearly half of all American homeowners fall short when it comes to maintaining the security of their home, according to the findings of an American Security Study1 (July 2009), conducted by Kwikset®, the leader in innovative residential door hardware. Released today, the study revealed that an alarming 47 percent of homeowners did not change or re-key the locks to their home when they first moved in, and nearly one-third have never changed their locks or had them re-keyed at any point since moving in. This is despite the fact that more than half of homeowners surveyed routinely loan house keys to non-residents, and previous homeowners often continue to carry old house keys. The inaugural Kwikset American Security Study also revealed that although residential security often is cited by Americans as a top priority, data suggests that people are not managing access control to their homes accordingly. Of the half of all homeowners that loan-out house keys, nearly 10 percent reportedly have loaned out their key more than 10 times. What’s more, with 60 percent of homeowners having multiple home entries with different keys for each, there already is an increased margin of error for maintaining access control. “Probably the most significant insight from our study is that American homeowners may not even be aware that their home security levels are compromised,” said Brent Flaharty, vice president of Marketing, Kwikset. “Given that the majority of respondents have never changed or re-keyed their locks, combined with the fact that they’re loaning out keys to non-residents, there is a very real possibility of keys falling into the wrong hands and even being copied unknowingly.” The Smart Solution to Improved Access Control – As Easy as 1-2-3 Kwikset developed its SmartKey® re-key technology to help combat the disturbing national trend in compromised home security. This groundbreaking new lock technology gives homeowners the ability to re-key their own locks in a matter of seconds without even having to remove the lock from the door. In three simple steps, homeowners can re-key multiple SmartKey locks to one Kwikset key, or replace a lost or loaned key with a new key, all while the lock remains in place. “SmartKey has been hugely popular with home builders and homeowners alike since its introduction in 2007, and we want even more Americans to understand how this highly secure and affordable technology is a smart and simple solution for their home security needs,” Flaharty said. “With Kwikset’s SmartKey, homeowners won’t have to worry about how many lost or loaned keys are lying around; they can simply re-key the lock to a new key for improved access control and peace of mind.” How It Works SmartKey’s patented side-locking bar technology is central to the lock’s ability to be quickly and easily re-keyed. By using the included SmartKey Learn Tool and the existing functioning key, homeowners can safely match or change out keys without special training or outside contractors. Providing superior security, SmartKey deadbolts eliminate the typical sheer line, pin and tumbler mechanisms in its design, removing the most vulnerable points in residential locks. High-quality stainless steel internal parts ensure smooth operation, increased strength and exceptional durability. SmartKey technology is currently available in all Kwikset Signature Series keyed entry products, including handlesets, levers, knobs and deadbolts, as well as the new SmartCode® touchpad electronic deadbolt. Kwikset products are available in a wide selection of the latest styles and finishes at major home improvement retailers nationwide. About Kwikset For more than 60 years, Kwikset, manufacturer of America’s most trusted name in security, has provided beauty, security and peace of mind for millions of families. For additional information on Kwikset products, visit, or call 1-800-327-LOCK. Black & Decker Hardware and Home Improvement (BDHHI) Group is a division of Black & Decker, a leading global manufacturer and marketer of power tools, power tool accessories and security hardware. Today, the BDHHI Group includes some of the most recognizable hardware and home improvement brands in the world including Kwikset®, Weiser®, Baldwin®, Price Pfister® and K2™ Commercial Hardware by Black & Decker. 1 Telephone survey conducted among a national probability sample of 1,001 adults living in private households in the continental United States by CARAVAN®. Survey was completed during the period July 23-26, 2009. Margin of error +/- 3%.


"Then there’s Sam–he says he doesn’t even have a key to his house."

This is no longer true, actually. During the renovation of the kitchen this summer we found them (there are two keys on the ring; one is definitely for the front door, but I'm not sure about the other one). They had fallen behind the bookshelf we keep the cookbooks on. Gus immediately grabbed them and he now keeps them in his pocket at virtually all times, except for when they fall out and then he whines and complains until I help him find them. I'm not sure what he thinks the keys go to.

This is kind of a bummer for me because I enjoy using the line, "We don't even have keys to our house!" I may still use it. It's philosophically true.