Pushing My Buttons
Although I don't really like believing I live in an area where I have to worry about locking my front door, experience has led me to understand otherwise. When I started the rooming house, the house had a lockon the front door, but I never got around to handing out keys. Mostly because I never locked the door. But as time has marched on, I have since decided it is a good idea to be able to lock the door. Although I don't really believe it is much of a crime prevention tool, it does make people feel more comfortable. It's also probably not a good idea to become known as the only house on the block that isn't locked.
Part of the reason I didn't lock the house in the past was because I was running the rooming house and handing out and keeping track of all those keys was a pain. Also, if I had someone move out who I had some question about, was I going to change the locks? I solved this by getting a keyless entry system. The first one I bought was cheap electronic one that worked as a deadbolt. That is, you shut the door and then a mechanism extends a straight bolt from the door into the frame around the door. This means that someone has to turn around and lock the door when they leave. It also means someone has to unlock the door to get out. That wasn't a good solution for the front door because people would forget to lock it behind them, etc. I am always looking for solutions that operate as a part of the function of the household and require the minimum of extra thought/effort or training.
The lock I settled on is a Kaba Ilco 6200 series keyless entry lock. Kaba Ilco has a range of locks also under the trade names Simplex and Unican. All of the exterior ones have a relatively bulky exterior body to house the combination system. There are lower profile ones for interior door locks. Mine is a inexpensive exterior dead-latch style. The combination is easily changed and set to any cobination of the five keys, and they can be used in unison. It was easy enough to install, not significantly more difficult than a regular lacth. I think the bore size was standard, but there where two extra bolt holes for the large housing on the outside. After five years of use, though, I had the replace the guts of it. I inspected it pretty carefully to find out what was wrong, and one of the bearing surfaces had simply been worn enough to cause a problem. I wasn't thrilled about the longevity. But I am realistic about it. It's still better than physical keys.
Over the years, I have found the keyless entry locks to be a great investment. Everytime someone moves out, within a couple of minutes I can have the combination changed. It gives everyone a feeling of security and each person knows the lock will be changed when they leave as well.