Upgrade Your Household Security With SimpliciKey

Geek Culture


Image courtesy SimpliciKey.com

I can probably describe half a dozen scenarios that have me walking to my locked front door and fumbling for my keys, and most all of them involve carrying a toddler in one arm and any mixture of items in the other — groceries, school bag (for 5 year old), soccer equipment, etc. You get the picture. Another fun scenario is the 5 year old with the full bladder who is running for the door while I’m still trying to unbuckle his little brother. Yet another has my wife needing to re-enter the locked house on the hottest day of the summer as three of us sit in the air-conditioned, running car and two of us (I won’t say which two) whine about needing to turn off the car so she can have the keys back.

It’s 2012! There simply has to be a better way to get into the house without a key, right? I’m not asking for a retina scanner; quite frankly, I’d love one but it would never fly with my wife. (I’m not even sure my HOA bylaws would allow it, but it sure would be cool!) And I’m not 100% sure about any sort of unlocking mechanism that can be done from an app on my mobile phone; that just seems like a system waiting to be hacked.

No, I’d like something like the security system on my truck. I still have the key to unlock the door, but the key fob will also unlock the door with a push of a button. I’ve been looking for something similar for my house, and during a recent visit to Costco I saw the SimpliciKey system for sale. Before I made the investment, I reached out to the company to see if they’d let me check out a sample unit before taking the plunge. They graciously offered me a test unit, and I’m happy to report that I’ll be making a trip back to Costco to purchase my own unit.

Let me go through some of the details so you’ll understand what’s involved.

First — installation.

Don’t let the bundle of parts intimidate you. If you’ve got a deadbolt already installed on your front door, then you’re going to find this super easy. US building code has some standard rules regarding the size and placement of the various holes that must be drilled to mount a deadbolt system, and the SimpliciKey system is designed to replace your existing system without any re-drilling.

(That said, if you want to confirm your existing deadbolt system is a match, the main cutout should be 2-1/8″ in diameter and the latch cutout is 1″ in diameter.)

The instructions show you how to remove your old deadbolt and installing the new system takes only five steps. You’ll want to test the deadbolt before installing the batteries in the door (takes 4 AA), so make certain it locks and unlocks smoothly. Of course, if you’re not comfortable doing this, you can also call a locksmith to install the system.


Image by Brad Moon

One thing I really liked about the installation components was the included Reinforcement Plate and Strike Box — I already had them installed, but if you don’t have these added security items, you get them with the kit. The instructions show you the proper order to install them to give the deadbolt some added strength.

Once you’ve installed the system and added the batteries, you now have three methods for unlocking the deadbolt — key, touchpad, and key fob.

The key fob is the simplest — two buttons, one showing an unlocked padlock, the other a locked one. Push the unlock button and the deadbolt unlocks. Press the lock button and I’m betting you can guess what happens. You can order extra key fobs — the deadbolt will work with up to 8 of them.

The touchpad is great — a six digit keycode locks and unlocks the deadbolt. An Admin Code is provided with your kit, and you’ll use this 7 digit code to make changes to your system such as adding additional key fobs, turning on/off the sound made when pressing the touchpad buttons, and even creating a new Admin Code. There’s also a Fast Lock feature that allows you to turn on a feature that makes locking the deadbolt as easy as pressing a single button on the touchpad. (The padlock button on the touchpad will NOT unlock the door with a single press, however.)

You can create multiple key codes, too — one for your family and one for visitors. After giving away the code to a technician, for example, you can go in an delete the visitor code and create a new one without having to create a new key for your family.

When the batteries in the system get low, you’ll see a blinking light on the lock (visible on both sides of the door) and hear a tone that lets you know it’s time to replace the batteries.

Of course, you can always use the traditional key, but this will require getting a locksmith to rekey the system to use your current key. (It uses a bump resistant 6-pin Schlage keyway, by the way.) You might be thinking it would be great not to have to carry a house key, but if those batteries die, you’re out of luck as they’re replaced on the inside of the house. Best bet? Make all three systems available and always carry a house key.

I’m very impressed with SimpliciKey. It’s easy to install and it works! The key fob works like a charm, and I can easily trigger the deadbolt from my truck. If the house alarm is set I prefer to use the touchpad, however, as I don’t need my oldest son rushing in the house before I have time to turn it off. And if my wife (or me) has forgotten something inside, we don’t have to turn off the car to get back in.

Note: I’d like to thank Alyshia for providing me with the test unit. It was all the convincing I needed.

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