Gifting Guide Day 5: Make Your Entry Smart
Keeping Your Entry Secure But Accessible
One of the major issues I’ve encountered in the past when working with individuals who have difficulty answering their door is…how do we make it possible for frequent guests and caregivers to enter and exit the home but also keep the home secure? This isn’t an occasional problem for people with disabilities that require multiple caregivers or service providers to visit their home. Smart home technology has made it easier to keep an entry secure but also accessible to the homeowner, guests, or service providers. It prevents potential injury from trying to answer the door if the individual is unstable with mobility and also eliminates the need to give multiple people keys to their door.
When purchasing any smart entry device look for the following features to improve accessibility and safety:
- Remote control of the door lock and alternative means of activation such as smart device control or voice control.
- The ability to unlock the door manually in case the guest or caregiver does not use a smartphone or the wifi is down.
- Look for devices that use Zigbee connectivity to avoid wifi connectivity issues.
- The ability to view the doorbell camera quickly and easily on preferred device. Look for options that don’t require multi step activation of the video feed.
- For consumers with a mobility difficulty that makes it troublesome to answer a door I love recommending a smart lock that they can activate either by a remote, smart device, or voice.
- Look for a smart lock that allows you to set up codes and visitor accounts through the app for guests or caregivers that visit frequently. This increases security because the app will notify you when the specific person opens your door. It’s also easy to delete the access when that person should no longer have entry to your home.
- I suggest a door lock that also includes a keypad so if a guest does not own a smart phone they can enter their code to unlock the door.
- If the door lock includes Zigbee connectivity like the Schlage Connect Smart Deadbolt, it will eliminate potential issues with wifi connectivity.
- PRO TIP: For individuals with difficulty opening a door, contact a DME to discuss the possibility of installing an automatic door opener. Making entry and exit through the door completely hands free!
- Anytime you install a smart lock that will be activated remotely I highly recommending also installing a video doorbell so the user can see who is at the door before they unlock it.
- Be sure to look for a doorbell camera that can stream the video feed to your preferred device platform. An example would be the Ring Video Doorbell which can work with multiple smart device operating systems as well as Alexa.
Video Feed Device
- Investigate which device would be easiest to access with the individual’s preferred method. It doesn’t provide any benefit if the video is streamed to a device the user can’t activate!
- One of the easiest methods I’ve found for a user to view a video feed is through the Amazon Alexa Show which can be activated directly and also by voice.
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This list is provided for informational purposes only as APTAT does not endorse specific products or brands. When purchasing be sure to thoroughly research the product features to ensure it will meet your individual needs.