Safe locks

Safe locks

Safe locks – which locks are available?
Safe locks – mechanical or electronic? Safe locks: Number of required high-security locks in secure storage units Resistance grade according to EN 1143-1:

Safe lockswhich locks are available?

Safes have different safe locks. These range from traditional keys, to mechanical locking mechanisms, to electronic combination locks or fingerprint opening. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, the following article explains the safe lock differences.

Safe locks – mechanical or electronic?

Safes are available on the market with the following lock variants:

– Double-bit lock
– Mechanical combination lock
– Electronic combination lock
– Electronic combination lock with mechanical emergency lock
– Fingerprint lock
– RFID technology (check card)
– Bluetooth technology (cell phone)
As with valuables containers, there are also certified safe locks with locking mechanisms that have a defined resistance to unauthorized opening. These high security locks (HSS) are divided into classes A – D (1-4), with A (1) providing the least protection. Mechanical locks currently only reach classes A – C (1-3), only electronic locking devices play in the D class. The European standard EN 1300 regulates the requirements in detail.

A safe with resistance grade 0, 1 or 2 must have at least one HSS A (1). Resistance grade 3 requires one HSS B (2), resistance grades 4 and 5 require two HSS B (2), resistance grades 6 – 10 must be secured by three HSS C (3). The safes of resistance grades 11 and 12 require three HSS C (3) or two HSS D (4) and the highest resistance grade 13 must have two HSS D (4).

Safe locks: Number of high-security locks required in safes for valuables
Degree of resistance according to EN 1143-1:

Double-bit lock

Traditionally, safes are equipped with a double-bit lock. This applies to safes for both private and business use. The safe can be opened only by persons in possession of a key. Two keys are usually included in the delivery, but additional keys are usually available for an extra charge. The problem is the storage of the key, it must not be left in the apartment under any circumstances, burglars find it.

– No code that can be obtained by unauthorized persons
– Only persons with a key can open
– No need to change the battery
– Lock usually included in the base price of the safe

– Do not keep the key in the apartment under any circumstances
– HSS key up to 12 cm long, cannot be carried on a key ring
– Perpetrators recognize safe keys by their key ring
– In case of burglary often vandalism when searching for safe key
– Replacement keys often expensive

Mechanical combination lock

A mechanical combination lock consists of three or four discs, one above the other, which are to be turned clockwise or counterclockwise in a predefined sequence. The lock is labeled in increments of 10 with the digits from 0 to 90. The numbers in between are marked by dashes.

The opening mark is located at the zero, the change mark at the number 90. 3-disc locks have a code consisting of three two-digit numbers, 4-disc locks have a secret code consisting of four 2-digit pairs of numbers.

From the factory, the safe with three panes can usually be opened with the combination 10-20-30. To do this, you must turn the code disc four times to the left until the number 10 appears on the opening marker. In the next step, turn the disc three times in the other direction until the number 20 appears in the zero position. Then turn counterclockwise twice until the number 30 is under the opening marker. Then move the disc to the right as far as it will go. Opening the safe with the handle. If you make a mistake during operation, you have to repeat the entire process.

A changeover key provided allows the code to be changed. To do this, open the door 90 degrees and proceed in the same way as for opening, but linger briefly at the change marker rather than the opening marker. In any case, with the door open, test the code several times in the same way as the factory setting with the new combination of numbers to see if it works.

– Does not need a key and batteries
– Code can be changed at will by means of a changeover key

– One must remember the 4 to 8 digit code
– Difficult to operate, needs good light and often reading glasses
– Mistakes happen quickly when changing the code
– Usually additional costs compared to a key lock

Electronic combination lock

Electronic combination locks are increasingly replacing mechanical combination locks, since typing in the sequence of numbers is much less complicated than the tricky turning of the disc. Electronics require power, which batteries provide. On many models, the battery compartment sits on the outside of the safe, making them easy to change. When the battery is changed, the code is not lost.

If the battery is inside the safe, an additional external power supply ensures access when the batteries are weak and the opening code then works even without batteries. Some models also give an audible or visual warning when the battery is low. Electronic combination locks do not need mechanical keys. Different opening codes can be assigned to different people. Depending on the lock, logs provide information on which person opened the safe and when.

– Does not need a key, which can be lost or stolen
– Code can be changed at will
– If necessary, the code can be passed on to a third party
– Different persons can access by means of codes

– Batteries need to be changed after three to four years
– More expensive to purchase
– Do not forget the code

Electronic combination lock with mechanical emergency lock

The combination of electronic code opening or double-bit key offers both possibilities to open the safe. If the convenient locking electronics fail, a conventional key will help. Thus, the safe combines the advantages and disadvantages of electronic and key opening. However, with this variant the key can be safely deposited outside the house, for example in a safe-deposit box, since it does not have to be continuously accessible.

– Key can be stored safely
– Code can be changed at will
– Different persons can access by means of codes
– Can be opened even if the code is forgotten

– Battery change about after three years
– More expensive to purchase

Electronic lock with fingerprint

The fingerprint lock can be opened easily and quickly with the finger – without a key and without a numerical code. This puts it in the top class among safe locks.

The finger is always at hand, in contrast to an unwieldy key on a key ring. You do not have to remember a combination of numbers that may be forgotten one day.

Selected fingerprint lock systems allow to store the fingerprints of several persons. Some safes are available with mechanical emergency opening or with an electronic combination lock. Locking systems with biometric data work reliably. Remain even if the battery is changed. Batteries last about three years.

– The fingerprint does not change and cannot be lost
– The code is not necessary
– No key required
– Fingerprint can hardly be manipulated

– More expensive than mechanical or electronic locks
– Injuries to the fingertip gives problems
– Dirty or greasy fingers can lead to scanning problems

Electronic lock with RFID technology

Payment with contact-free bank or credit cards are ubiquitous, as is opening hotel rooms using a hotel card or the car without a mechanical key. Why not open a safe in this way? With this technology – as with opening by fingerprint – keys or numerical codes are no longer necessary, these exist only for emergency openings.

RFID stands for "radio-frequency identification. This works by means of a transponder and a reader. Data is exchanged in near-field communication without touching via low frequencies. The passive transponder does not have its own energy source, which it receives from the reader.

Plastic cards in credit card format serve as card transponders and open the safe quickly and easily thanks to the reader built into the safe. An ideal solution for hotel safes in particular, especially if hotel cards for door opening already exist and devices for programming.

– The access card can be reprogrammed
– The code is omitted
– No key required
– Emergency opening electronically by numerical code or mechanically with a key

– More expensive than mechanical or electronic locks
– Code card may be lost

Electronic lock with Bluetooth technology

Novelties include opening hotel safe or key safe using Bluetooth. This works with an app on the smartphone or iPhone. Bluetooth works by radio technology similar to WLAN, the data transfer takes place via the Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) between devices over short distances. The goal of Bluetooth is wireless connectivity between cell phones, tablets, computers and other devices.

Key safes can be easily operated with this technology. The small key safes open with the authorized cell phone automatically or by typing in a numerical code electronically. Simply download the corresponding app to your cell phone and assign the access codes to different people, permanently or for a limited period of time. By assigning different codes, residents, guests, craftsmen, care services or cleaning staff can remove the keys.

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