Safe Locks Reviews
Safe Locks Reviews
There are thousands of safes in the market today and it is often difficult to decide which one to choose. So choosing a locking mechanism would narrow down your choices while choosing a safe.
Types of Safe locks
Safe locks can broadly be classified into conventional locks and Electronic locks.
Conventional locks: Conventional locks have been in use since the time man started to feel the need to secure his valuables. They do not need electricity and are durable and reliable. Locksmiths claim that the number of times that they have been called to drill open a conventional lock is far less compared to an electronic lock. These locking system are however loosing popularity in the electronic age due to their bulkiness and the fact that consumers find it cumbersome.
- Lock and Key – This is the most basic locking system and probably the most ancient system too. It uses a physical lock and key to protect the content of the safe. Price is the major advantage of this system. These are probably the cheapest locking systems and can be found on low end safes. They are light weight and can be used on portable safes. The major disadvantages of this system is that it is very easy to produce a duplicate key to open the lock. These locks can opened by a locksmith with just a wire and a screwdriver.
- Combination dial lock – This locking system is made from a combination of gears and dials which need to be aligned in order to open the lock. The main advantages of this system are reliability and endurance: Majority of the locksmiths believe that these locks ae more reliable and have lesser problems compared to the modern electronic locks. They provide better burglar protection as they take more time to open unless you know the combination of the dial. The most common problem that these locks have is that the dial ring may become loose and shift to the right or left, which will result in the lock not opening even when the correct combination is set. This is however a minor problem which can be corrected easily. Another problem with dial locks is that it is not easy to change the combination on the lock.
Electronic locks: Electronic locks are easier to handle and use electricity for locking and unlocking. They can either be directly connected to a power source or they use batteries. Locksmiths, however claim that these locks are not as durable as the old fashioned dial locks. Electronic locks can be classified into the following categories.
- Digital – These locks are most preferred locks by consumers because of the ease of usage. It is faster to type the combination of the lock as compared to turning dials. They are very popular in hotels as it is easy for the guests to set their own combination and it is also easy to reset the lock for every new user. Major problem of these locks is that the key pad wears out pretty quickly with repeated usage. This makes it easy for a burglar to read the combination of your lock. In case you are using this at your home or office, make sure you change the combination often.
- Biometric lock – A biometric lock uses a biometric scanner to scan a physical feature of the user and uses the pattern as a key to open the lock. The physical feature could be fingerprints, retina or iris, facial geometry and even the blood vessels under the skin. This technology however is still in its infancy and the possibilities of getting a false positive or a false negative is very high. Also, you need to make sure that you wipe the glass on the scanner after every use to prevent unauthorized access. Biometric locks are also costlier compared to other kinds of locks.
- RFID locks – This technology is one of the latest entrant to the electronic locking system. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. RFID lock consists of a scanner which scans the RFID tag which acts as a key to open the lock. These tags can be embedded in cards which look similar to a credit card, hence the popular name as “Card locks”
How to Choose a Safe Lock
The kind of safe lock that you choose would depend a lot on what you intend to keep in the safe. Here are some questions that you need to ask yourself before deciding on the type of lock.
- How valuable is the item you are trying to protect? Higher the value, better the protection that is required.
- If you are going in for an electronic lock, do you have an alternate power supply source in case the main power fails? If it is battery operated, how often should you change the batteries or recharge? If not, what are the alternate ways in which to operate the lock in case of a power failure?
- Are you looking for a safe lock for your portable safe? If yes, then choose a locking system that is light enough to carry, yet safe enough to protect the contents of the safe.
- What is the price of the locking system? If you do not want to spend too much on a locking mechanism, you could go in for a diversion safe.
- What kind of a warranty does the manufacturer offer? Does it cover burglary, fire or water protection?
- Whom are you trying to keep out? Is it just your kids and family members, a snoopy guest or a burglar? On an average, a burglar spends about 8 mins in a house that he has broken into. So, choose a lock which would take longer time to open. There have been many accidents where the kids have managed to open the safe and locked themselves in. There are videos which have gone viral three year kids have been able to open safe locks by just dropping it to the ground, hitting it hard with a hammer or simply meddling with a screwdriver. May be it is a good idea to take your kid along while choosing a safe lock.
- Is the lock certified to be safe by a certifying body like UL? This could ensure the quality of the lock.
A safe is only as secure as its lock. Choose a suitable lock depending on your need and affordability. If you are looking for extra protection, may be you could even opt for multiple locking systems for your safe.