Monday, July 26, 2010

$*$ Schlage FE595VPLY505PLY Plymouth Keypad Knob Doorlock Bright Brass

I bought this for my garage entry door after purchasing a Schlage BE365 keypad deadbolt and FB52N dual knob/deadbolt sets at my local hardware store. I like this type of combo knob/lock with "Flex-Lock" feature for my internal entry door: you can set it (from inside) to either be locked from the outside, or unlocked. It always unlocks from the inside. (You should NEVER use it for a door with glass in it, or glass siding, that an intruder can break and reach through to open! Use "double cylinder" deadbolt locks for those applications.)

Schlage suggests this product for home offices and other rooms that need restricted access. Since I already have a first-line level of security for my garage (rolling code remote opener, emergency lock pull removed), I felt this was sufficient security without installing an additional deadbolt. The bright brass finish (code 505) matches those my HOA mandates, and Schlage claims to warranty the finish for the lifetime of the lock. Not much of a concern for me, the knob is inside my garage.

Installation into an existing locking knob application was easy, a 15-30 minute job requiring a Philips #2 screwdriver. Replacing my door frame strike with a more reinforced model took longer, as I had to enlarge the mortice; drill, chisel and hammer required, along with some skills (which I developed as I proceeded). I had a little more trouble installing this than the Schlage BE365 since the electrical cable was a bit longer than described in the instructions, so I had to spend some time arranging it inside without conflicting with the rear cover. I had a "helper" holding the outer part until I fixed the inside mounting plate on a "hands-free screw." If your door has a square cutout (not rounded corners) for the latch, Schlage does not include a square plate, but provides one free under warranty with a call to their technical support. Other than these quibbles, installation was a snap. Installation instructions are available on Schlage's web site, so you can see what is involved before you buy.

These products come with a new, latch-style strike plate with 3" screws ... one of the most important upgrades you can make to your entry door security! Many home intrusions are accomplished by "kick-in" entry, in which the door is simply kicked in and wimpy strike plates with 1" screws (a favorite of cheap builders) break the door jamb. No tools required (other than heavy boot). Several break-ins in my area in the last year are what prompted me to upgrade entry door security on my townhome. Yes, you can go buy a security strike plate, and 3" screws, at your local hardware store. If you do NOTHING ELSE, do that. But if you have mismatched keys in your home (as mine did when I bought it), why not go keyless? As pointed out by other reviewers, keyless entry means less keys to carry, not having to hand out keys to service people (keypads allow you to give them a code that you can disable later), and never getting locked out by accident (or by mischievous kids).

Some reviews have complained that you can't make these locks secure against "key bumping." Lock bumping has been demonstrated by a child, but with a well-prepared bump key and a pre-arranged lock. Not so easy for your average, opportunist burglar who's looking for quick, easy forced entry that doesn't attract attention. But I think you CAN make this bump-free -- just take the lock before installation to your locksmith and have the key bypass method disabled (instead of rekeying all locks to the same key). Voila -- you're bump-proof. But you also can't open the lock without the code. If the battery goes dead, you're out of luck. I haven't had this installed long enough to attest to battery life, but the product is supposed to flash the "Schlage" button in red, then green if the battery is low, or flash red repeatedly if the battery needs immediate replacement.

Best to leave a conventional keyed lock elsewhere on your home -- make THAT lock a high-security, more difficult to pick or bump model, like those from Schlage (Primus) or Medeco (M3). After reading the original "lock bumping" white papers by Barry Wels and Marc Tobias, I'm not as concerned about bumping, as it is more difficult than many Internet (and marketing) fearmongers proclaim. In the case of the garage door entry, I've got a rolling code remote opener, and (important security tip here) I removed the manual unlocking latch pull cord (these can be grabbed and pulled from the outside after breaking a window in the door). (In case of power outage, I can just use a coat hangar to unlatch the garage door.)

I've installed two of these Schlage keypad products in my home, and my girlfriend loves them. She was able to key in her own private code into each lock set, easier to remember for her. An added convenience for me is that you can change the PROGRAMMING code for these, so that mine are programmed with the same code of my own choosing. If you forget all of this for some reason, the lock can be reset to the factory codes if you have access to the internal lock (don't throw out those installation sheets, and keep them secure, e.g. in a locked firebox). In all, this is a really convenient product to secure an "interior" door or garage entry door, without having to fuss with a key.
(3 customers reviews)
Customers Rating=4.5 / 5.0

More Detail For Schlage FE595VPLY505PLY Plymouth Keypad Knob Doorlock Bright Brass

  • Flexible locking feature allows you to switch between locked and unlocked
  • Easy to install; one tool installation
  • Comes with 9 volt battery, 6 digit programming code, and two 4 digit user codes pre-set at the factory
  • Keypad illuminates so you can see it at night
  • Codes easily added or deleted right at the keypad using the lock's unique 6 digit programming code

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