Archive for the ‘Locks’ Category

Mechanical Meets Electronic in the Redundant Lock

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Best of Both Worlds!

AMSEC Redundant Lock - Maximum Security SafesWhat if you didn’t have to choose between the reliability of a mechanical lock and the convenience of a digital lock? What if, you could have both, in one lock? Now you can! Introducing the Redundant Lock.

This new lock by American Security Products, aka AMSEC, is a single lock with two high security rated entry mechanisms. Either precisely dialing the mechanical tumbler or entering your combination on the electronic keypad, will trigger your lock to open. This lock is not double the security, but is double convenience. So, why would someone care about having two options in a single safe lock?

Scenario #1 – You’re in a hurry and need to get into your safe, but for some reason your keypad doesn’t respond. You try again and figure it must be time to replace the batteries. The only thing is, you don’t have any at home. What an inconvenience, right? With the redundant lock, the mechanical dial is your backup plan. With the redundant lock you can change the batteries at a later time and open your safe with the mechanical dial now.

Scenario #2 – This time, replacing your batteries doesn’t fix the problem. It appears you are one of the rare few who have come across a digital keypad failure. You dial open your safe and call the safe technician to come at a later more convenient time. When the tech comes the lock repair is significantly simplified because the safe is not locked up, there is easy access to the lock from inside the safe door. If the safe had not had a redundant lock it may have required an expensive and time consuming drill and repair job.

Senario #3 – A solar flare or EMP attack knocks out all electronics. You want access to your valuables and even though your electronic keypad won’t function, you conveniently dial open your safe with the mechanical dial and are set for any circumstance that follows.

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Electronic Lock Not Working? Our Safe Experts Can Help!

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Electronic locks are popular choices for all types of safes from gun safes to jewelry safes, for good reason! These locks are sleek, convenient, and offer speedy access, but like anything electronic, technical issues do come up every now and then. An electronic lock malfunction can be irritating, but not having the solution is even more irritating! Fear not, our lock experts at Maximum Security have developed a troubleshooting guide to provide you with quick fix solutions for your electronic lock.

Step one for any electronic lock malfunction is simple; replace the batteries. Not just any old batteries will do, electronic locks require powerful brand new, future dated, good quality brand batteries (i.e. Duracell or Energizer). No matter what symptom your electronic lock is exhibiting, battery replacement will always be the first method step in troubleshooting.

After replacing the batteries, we hope your lock will be back to full working order, but if not, you’re the reason why we’ve created the Electronic Lock Troubleshooting Guide, to walk you through the diagnosis process and proper solution for your lock challenge. Check it out and let us know if you discover any other additional tips along the way that work for you!

A Behind the Scenes Look at Safe Cracking

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Can safes really be cracked, or is it all a Hollywood illusion? In the recently released blockbuster film, Now You See Me, a team of magicians known as the Four Horsemen, are masters of every trick in the book, including safe cracking. One of the Four Horsemen, Jack Wilder, claims that, “Nothing is ever really locked.”

So is it true? And is it as easy as these grand thief actors make it seem? Well, the most popular method of safe cracking is simply stealing the entire safe and hauling it to another location where the safe cracking time can be unlimited. In fact, by putting all of one’s valuables in a safe that’s fairly light and not bolted down, one is basically packing a suitcase full of treasures for the burglar to haul away, making it an easy steal. Since this is such a common burglar method, we highly recommend bolting your safe down. For more info on how to do this, see our article: To Bolt Down or Not to Bolt Down…That is the Question.

With that being said, safe cracking IS possible and can be attempted inside a person’s home, when the burglar is not able to haul the safe away to a more secure location. The complexity and the likelihood of success for the burglar depends highly on a safe’s burglar rating.  The Underwriter’s Laboratory (U.L.) has developed a burglar rating for home security safes called: Residential Security Container (RSC), which equates to a safe being able to withstand 5 “attack” minutes of rigorous prying, drilling, grinding, punching, chiseling and tampering attacks using common tools found in a home, specifically a: 3lb. hammer, 18” pry bar, screw driver, grinder, and drill. You may think: 5 minutes, that’s all? The point is that 5 minutes of “attack” time can take 15 to 20 minutes of actual time on the clock. Statically, burglars are only inside a house for 8-10 minutes in a typical home burglary and in that time they have to find the safe, figure out what tools they’re going to use, etc. By that time, getting to the actual safe cracking time is not very likely. Want even more security? Higher security safes are available and come with a commercial (for banks and jewelry stores) burglar rating like TL-15, TL-30, or TL-30×6 (the number represents the number of minutes that the safe can withstand an attack).

You’re still probably thinking: but what about those guys in the movies who are actually able to “crack the code” and open the safe without all the brutal attack tools. Well, we can’t say that it’s not possible, but the masterminds who have learned that skill are very far and few between. The time required can be hours, and they are definitely NOT your typical home burglars. Want to know more about safe cracking or think you can figure it out? Check out our behind the scenes video looks at how mechanical locks and digital locks work HERE. Most of all, keep your safe secure by following these tips: bolt your safe to the floor and make sure it has an RSC and/or a TL burglar rating!

Maximum Security is Now on YouTube!

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Yes, you heard right! Maximum Security has come to YouTube and the videos have just begun. If it has to do with safes, locks, or anything in between, we’re covering it.  Become a subscriber to our channel by clicking here, and get updates sent straight to your email whenever we post a new video. Check out our latest video playlists: “All About Locks” and “See How it Works!” below:

Have an idea for a safe video? Let us know! We’re here to make learning about safes easy, so don’t hesitate to let us know what you’d like help with, and we’ll make a video about it!

Home Security Audit Checklist – Just For You!

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Print it out and do your own home security audit!

Burglary Numbers on the Rise in California: Be Prepared

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

For some reason lately, it feels like we’ve been hearing more stories of local burglaries than in the past. So naturally, we went to Google to find out what’s going on and look what we found!

Top headlines over the past few months:

And the list goes on! Although it will be awhile before we see actual stats for the current year, one fact is stunning: According to the FBI crime statistics, a burglary occurs somewhere in the U.S. every 15.4 seconds, and 87% of those burglaries are considered to have been preventable. So what can you do to best be prepared? To help with your home security, we’ve come up with some easy burglar entry protection tips to start implementing at your home right away. (more…)

Time to Upgrade Your Home Safe to a Digital Lock?

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

MAXIMUM HIgh Security Digital LockDo you have a home safe or gun safe with a mechanical lock? You know it’s time to upgrade to a digital lock when:

  • You need to find your glasses before you can run the combo.
  • A flashlight must be found and used to dial the combo.
  • You lose count while dialing and have to run the combo 3 times before getting it right.
  • You have to pay a locksmith the big bucks to change the combination because you gave it to a friend or family member and now wish you hadn’t.
  • Your spouse closes the safe but doesn’t lock it because it’s too much of a hassle to open it.
  • $350,000 worth of valuables are stolen out of your safe because it wasn’t locked.

Yes, it’s true. We have a customer who was so frustrated with the mechanical lock on their home safe that they closed, but didn’t lock their safe and recently had $350,000 worth of jewelry and other valuables stolen. Ouch!

Terminology can be confusing; digital lock, electronic lock, high security electronic lock. These terms are often used interchangeably. The keypad is simply a communication device that allows the user to input the combination and transfer that information to the lock on the other side of the door, inside the safe. The reference to high security indicates that the lock has been tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratory for reliability and security. These locks are easy to use and allow you to set and change your own combination. They have been around for many years and are recognized by most, including Underwriters Laboratory, as highly reliable and secure.

High security digital or electronic locks are different from the electronic locks frequently found on wall safes and small inexpensive home safes. These types of safes often have lower quality electronic locks that have not been through the rigorous testing at Underwriters Laboratories. Lower quality locks may be attractive in price but they are a clear example of, you get what you pay for. They are not appropriate for use with a high quality home safe or gun safe.

Is it time to upgrade your safe to a high security electronic lock? If so, give us a call and we will discuss this with you further or get you scheduled for the work to be done.

Gun Safe Digital Lock Not Working

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Digital Lock for Gun Safe
Digital locks on gun safes are great…most of the time. They provide quick, easy access to your gun safe, jewelry safe, home safe or business safe with the added benefit of allowing you to choose your own combination. But, when they don’t work it can be very frustrating. The good news is that U.L. rated high security digital locks are extremely reliable and the most common problems are things that you can address yourself, without waiting for, or paying for a technician.

The 4 most common problems with security safe or gun safe digital locks are:

  • Low battery
  • Improper handle position
  • Delayed handle turn
  • Lock out mode

The most common problem in security safe digital locks is low battery. Most gun safes have high security digital locks that are powered by one or two 9-volt batteries and are stored in the external keypad. Batteries typically last 12 to 18 months, but can last shorter or longer based on usage. A low battery condition may offer enough power to generate lights and tones, you may even hear the familiar click as the lock attempts to open your security safe. But, a low battery condition does not provide enough power to fully disengage the lock. To solve this problem access the batteries by either rotating the keypad counter clockwise a quarter turn or by giving the keypad a slight upward push. This releases the keypad from the front of the safe allowing you access to the batteries. Be sure to use fresh Energizer or Duracell batteries and be gentle when removing the old and replacing with the new. Often the wires that connect the batteries are quite delicate. When new batteries are installed, reattach the keypad to your security safe and your lock should be ready to operate under full power and your custom combination should still be in memory.

Another common problem with non-functioning security safe or gun safe locks is related to the handle position. If the safe handle is pressed fully in one direction or the other it can jam the lock making it unable to release when the correct combination is entered. The solution is to find the mid-point in the play of the handle and enter the combination, your gun safe, jewelry safe or home safe should open.
Newer users of security safes and digital locks are the ones most prone to the problem of delayed handle turn.

One of the security features designed into gun safe high security locks is response time. Once the combination is entered the handle must be turned within a few seconds, the precise time varies by manufacturer but is generally in the range of a few seconds. If the combination is entered and that time passes the lock re-locks and the combination must be re-entered for the security safe to be opened.

Lock out mode is another safety feature designed into high security digital locks. If the incorrect combination is entered three or four times, the number varies by manufacturer, the security safe goes into lockout mode for 10 – 20 minutes. The combination is not able to be entered during this time. After the lock out period is complete a single entry of the incorrect combination will put the security safe back into lockout mode, but the correct combination, entered on the first try, will open the home safe, jewelry safe or gun safe.

High security digital locks and good quality security safes, gun safes, jewelry safes or home safes provide peace of mind that is well worth the investment. If you are not sure that your safe is good quality or if you need a safe, call or visit Maximum Security Safes. We are experts in helping you select the safe that best meets their needs at a price you can afford.