Electronic Safe Locks
Most burglary-rated safes are equipped with standard mechanical combination locks. This type of lock, with the traditional numbered dial, is familiar to almost everyone. Simple and reliable, this type of lock has been used on safes for over one hundred years. The mechanical combination lock uses either a three number or four number combination that must be "dialed-in" before the safe door can be opened.
In recent years, a new type of lock, called an "electronic safe lock", has been developed for use on safes and vaults. The electronic safe lock uses a programmable electronic circuit in addition to mechanical components to control the safe locking mechanism. The use of a programmable circuit gives the electronic safe lock the ability to provide a large number of features not available in the traditional mechanical safe lock. These features include:
The ability to provide each user of the safe with a different combination. If an employee who has a combination to the safe leaves the company, only his combination needs to be changed - no need to change the combination of the other users.
Combinations can be quickly changed by the owner or manager of the facility - no need to call in a locksmith to change the combination.
Specific combinations can be programmed to only work on certain days and at certain times. For example, an employee who worked during the day could be given a combination that would only open the safe during day shift - her combination wouldn't work during night shift.
An "audit trail" record is kept in the lock. A report telling who opened the safe and at what time can easily be created.
The lock can be programmed to provide a time-delay period between the time when the combination is entered and the time when the safe unlocks. This is commonly done to discourage robberies.
The lock can be programmed to require two separate combinations be entered in order to open the safe. This is useful when your company policy requires that two people be present any time that the safe is opened.
Electronic safe locks are designed as "drop-in" replacements for mechanical safe locks. This means that most existing safes can be equipped with electronic safe locks without requiring that major modifications be made to the safe.
Extensive effort has been put into the design of electronic safe locks so that they are just as reliable as their mechanical counterparts. We highly recommend that you consider the use of electronic safe locks on the safes and vaults used at your company.
Electronic safe locks are available from most reputable locksmiths who sell and service safes and vaults.
(See related Security Tip: Introduction to Burglar and Fire Safes)
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Published May, 2016