Why Fitting a Smart Lock to an Apartment Isn't Always So Simple
There's something both technologically advanced and yet so simple about a smart lock. It means that instead of looking for your keys you can just deactivate your front door lock with a smartphone app or even a voice command. If you own a detached home and wish to fit such a lock, then of course you can do so at your leisure. But what about when you own an apartment or unit? Though certainly not impossible, it can be slightly more complicated to have a smart lock installed in these types of dwellings. But why is this the case?
A Fire Core Door
The door to your apartment might be more than a rectangular piece of wood. Many apartment buildings and unit complexes require the individual doors to each dwelling to be fitted with a fire core door. This is a door that has been specifically designed to hamper a fire's ability to spread throughout the building. The industry standard is for the door to be comprised of a vermiculite core, covered with timber sheeting. While a standard wooden door can easily succumb to a fire, a fire core door has the ability to create a barrier for the fire (or at least slow its spread), making the fire more containable.
Compatibility of a New Lock
Any amendments to this door (as in fitting a new lock) need to be compatible with its fire core components. A new lock must precisely fit into the same-sized hole as the previous lock contained within the fire door. Any enlargements to the lock housing within the door have the ability to partially destabilise it, allowing it to theoretically be detached from its hinges as a result of heat and pressure arising from a fire. Some apartment buildings and unit complexes also require doors to be self-closing. So does this mean that you're unable to fit a smart lock to your apartment's front door?
Before you call a locksmith to order to install a smart lock, you need to speak with your body corporate or building management. While permission can be forthcoming, it might be the case that only a number of pre-selected smart locks will be allowed, generally as a matter of their compatibility with the size of the existing lock fitted in the fire core door. Ask to receive this permission in writing to protect yourself from any potential future claims of unauthorised amendments to your front door. Once this written permission has been obtained you are free to contact an appropriate locksmith to have the smart lock fitted.
Even though you own the dwelling, it's important to remember that you might not be able to simply fit a new lock of your choosing. There is some logic to this in terms of safety concerns, so it's always important to seek the necessary advice and permission before proceeding.