Does Your Door Lock Protect Against This Break-In Method?

29517548_original(BPT) – From self-driving cars to Snapchat, digital technology continues to transform almost every aspect of our lives. While these big-ticket smart items make the headlines, many homeowners are more interested in how smart technology can be used to increase their level of home security.

Today, advanced image sensors, indoor video cameras and DIY security hubs allow the average homeowner to install security systems that are directly linked to the police. Homeowners can also lock doors and check cameras from their phones, regardless of their location.

“No matter how advanced your security system, your home is only protected as much as your weakest link,” says Randy Johnson, a professional locksmith with Lock-Tech in Orange County, California. “Far too often, it’s the weak door lock on the door that thieves use as their entry way into a home.”

A rising danger

Recently, Good Morning America reported on the increase in the use of bump keys to break into homes.

Bump keys can be purchased online and fit into just about any door lock. A burglar needs only to hit the head of the inserted key with a hammer or a blunt object. This causes the pins in the lock to jump, allowing anyone to unlock the door and easily enter your home.

Because this entry method is not easily noticeable, many people don’t even know their home was broken into.

Studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice found that household break-in rates regularly increase during the summer. Those findings are confirmed by F.B.I. data that show all criminal activity increases roughly 10 percent during the summer months.

These factors have led security experts to remind the public that not all door locks are the same and homeowners need to invest in bump-proof door locks.

Bump-proof locks

As summer crime spikes, the importance of having the right kind of door lock on your home cannot be overstated. Kwikset SmartKey locks are built with a patented BumpGuard technology that prevents would-be burglars from breaking into your house with a bump key.

Available in door knobs, door locks, smart locks, handlesets and more, there’s a Kwikset door lock with SmartKey security to fit virtually every door.

While there is no shortage of smart security options for your home, the Kwikset door locks specifically respond to a very real threat. This technology will be welcome news for moms and dads looking for the best way to protect their family and keep their valuables secure.

Separating Fact from Fiction: A Closer Look at American Hardwoods

23084782_original(BPT) – As home improvement projects take center stage, the search is on for products that will enhance, rather than jeopardize the health and well-being of our families and loved ones. Products made from American hardwoods have been the natural choice for healthy home and work environments for generations. Today is no different.

With so many options available in the current marketplace, Linda Jovanovich of the American Hardwood Information Center, www.HardwoodInfo.com, suggests a little more research, in order to separate product fact from fiction. “Health-conscious and environmentally responsible consumers are challenged to recognize products and materials that are both aesthetically appealing and safe,” she says. “I encourage taking a closer look at U.S. products – especially flooring and cabinetry, furniture and moulding – made from American hardwoods. They’re uniquely beautiful, safe and a friend to the environment. And they have the credentials to prove it!”

Treasured for Generations, and Forever Fresh

Enhancing our surroundings with products made from American hardwoods is a wise choice and a sound investment. In the kitchen or the bath, over the fireplace or on the floor, the sheer beauty, durability and timeless appeal of the products make a lasting statement everywhere. So paint it; stain it; repair it; refinish it; walk on it; restore it; love it; refresh it! The possibilities are endless.

Made in the U.S.A.

There is much to consider before making a purchase in today’s marketplace. What’s the product’s origin? Is it made of natural materials or is it a synthetic product steeped with chemicals and potential carcinogens? What health and/or environmental implications will its manufacturing process have?

In the U.S., quality standards and manufacturing practices are regulated and monitored by U.S. agencies and associations. Consumers can confidently choose products made from all natural American hardwoods knowing that the hardwood has been responsibly harvested and that manufacturing quality control standards have been met.

A Friend to the Environment

Flash back to seventh grade biology for a memory refresher about photosynthesis and long-term carbon sequestration.

* Growing trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, separate the carbon and oxygen atoms, then return the oxygen to the air.

* They use just the right amount of carbon to grow trunk, branches and leaves, and store or sequester the unused carbon for the life of the tree or the products made thereof.

That means using all natural American hardwoods for products like flooring and cabinetry, furniture and moulding contributes to the long-term sequestration of carbon.

Sustainability

For centuries, products made from American hardwoods have been providing lasting beauty, warmth and functional value to our homes and countless structures everywhere. Future generations can expect the same. The U.S. Forest Service reports that the volume of hardwoods in American forests today is 131 percent greater than it was in 1953 because more than twice as much hardwood grows each year as is harvested. That’s sustainability in a nutshell. We are not running out of trees – hardwoods are an abundant, renewing and sustainable resource.

Step into the world of American Hardwoods, www.HardwoodInfo.com, and take a closer look at the myriad of products made from this natural and healthy, uniquely beautiful, responsibly harvested and more-abundant-than-ever resource!

5 Easy Tips to Make a Bold Impression In Your Home

23186432_original(BPT) –┬áIf you are looking to make a change in your home, a small, inexpensive weekend painting project can transform your space and brighten your outlook.

According to a new survey by Nielsen and Sherwin-Williams, 72 percent of homeowners believe there is a positive emotional impact that results from painting a space. It’s no surprise, then, that nearly half of homeowners are enthusiastic about doing a home-painting project, and more than half of homeowners plan to paint an area in their home in the next 12 months, according to those same survey results.

A small project can make a bold impact on your home, such as painting a front door. Nearly half of all homeowners haven’t had their front door painted in two or more years, according to the survey.

Whether your project is big or small, John Gidding of HGTV’s “Curb Appeal”, “Dream Home” and Fox’s “Home Free” has five tips to liven up your space and make a bold impression:

Decide on Your Style

It doesn’t take much time or money to make a sophisticated, bold impression in your home. It has everything to do with finding your style. Paint is an easy and affordable way to define what makes you unique and personalize your space on any budget.

Find color inspiration everywhere

A color-matching app from Sherwin Williams called the ColorSnap Visualizer is a great way to help you bring color into your home in big or small ways. While traveling, snap a photo of something that inspires you and match the colors to Sherwin-Williams colors. Or simply upload a favorite photo and click on one of the colors from the image to match it.

Make One Change At a Time

You only have one day? That’s still enough time to make a simple change that makes a big impact. Spend a few spare hours on a Saturday painting a front door. It’s a fun project that is actually relatively easy and hugely rewarding. Small changes like this will make you feel a sense of accomplishment and give you the time to enjoy each improvement in your home, one small change at a time.

Think Outside the Box and Do Something Unexpected

Go ahead and flip the room upside down. Change the color of your ceiling. Paint the frame or even the face of a mirror. Create an ombre or chevron design on an accent wall. The opportunities are endless with paint and color. The more imaginative you get – the better, bigger, bolder impression you will make.

Change Your Perspective

Have something in your space that you can’t change? An awkward window, or a family antique you can’t get rid of? Rather than hide it, own it. Put it on display. Small changes to something quirky will give your space character and instantly entertain your guests as they walk into the room. “I once had a client who hated the large column in her dining/living room area. I designed a dining table that wrapped around it, using the column as support,” Gidding says. “Success.”

For more tips on how to quickly and easily make a statement upgrade to your home, go to swpaintingweek.com.

National Painting Week survey, conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Sherwin-Williams, was a national survey of homeowners.