Posts Tagged ‘electronic locks’

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.

Luxury Jewelry Safes – 5 Things to Look For

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Luxury Jewelry SafeWhere do you keep your jewelry?  If you are like many folks it’s in a bedroom or bathroom drawer, crammed in a too small jewelry box, or laying on your bathroom counter.  Maybe you are tricky, and even hide some special pieces in places a burglar would “never find”, or so you hope.

It’s not worth it.  The risk of your jewelry, with precious memories attached, left vulnerable to burglary and fire, just doesn’t make sense.  The thought, it would never happen to me, only works for so long.  The effort and investment required to protect these precious items and the memories they represent is well within reach…enter jewelry safes.

But not all jewelry safes are created alike.  In fact, it is easy to go to either extreme, buying a false sense of security or being scared off thinking jewelry safes need to cost many thousands of dollars.  Good quality, reliable luxury jewelry safes can be affordable and beautiful.

So, what to look for in your jewelry safe:
1)    Independently verified burglar protection, UL RSC labeled
2)    Independently verified fire protection, 1 hour labeled
3)    High security digital lock, UL rated
4)    Interior drawers with organizer sections and protective fabric lining,
5)    The right location to place your safe.

Webster’s definition for a safe is, a place or receptacle to keep articles (as valuables) safe.  Even a fishing tackle box meets that criteria.  I don’t think many of us would feel secure storing our precious valuables in that!  The well know testing agency United Laboratories, UL, tests burglary safes offering a Residential Security label to any security safe meeting the requirements of a quality home burglar safe.  Look for that label.

Fire protection is evaluated based on the minimum amount of time the interior of a safe will stay below 350°F.  A common question is, how long does a typical house fire burn?  Years of attempts to get statistics from fire authorities and fire personnel have brought me no closer to a firm answer than when I began. There are just too many variables involved to get an average or a statistic that can give us comfort.  After 16 years in the jewelry safe business my personal place of comfort is a minimum of one hour of independently verified fire protection.  UL, Mercury and ETL are all highly reputable testing authorities that test safes for fire protection.  This independent testing gives me the confidence that my luxury jewelry safe will perform when put to the test. Look for a 1 hour fire label from a reputable third party testing agency.

There are lots of options available when it comes to locks.  First, be sure you select a jewelry safe with a high security lock.  UL tests locks and verifies their quality.  For your jewelry, don’t mess around with any lock that isn’t designated high security by UL.  High security locks come in three primary styles, the traditional tumble style combination lock, the digital lock and the biometric fingerprint lock.  Any of these three will provide you the security you need.  The digital lock is just so much more convenient than the tumbler and more affordable than the biometric.

Finally, be sure to select a good placement for your luxury jewelry safe.  You want it to be secure so that no one can carry it out.  And, you want it to be convenient so that you will actually use it.

Now, what are you waiting for?  With a little help from the experts at Maximum Security your luxury jewelry safe can be selected and installed in days.  Come on in or call us at Maximum Security Safes, or visit our Jewelry Safes page on the web, and let us help you get your jewelry protected now.

Security Risk in the Dorms – Consider A Burglary Safe

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Laptop Security Safe Under Bed

Is your son or daughter headed off to college this fall? Have you considered a burglary safe? The dorms are great fun but can also present a security risk. In the midst of the new and exciting social environment students often leave their doors open. New friends and acquaintances stop by and visit and spontaneous gatherings occur. It may not be until hours later that they realize an iPod or digital camera is missing.

College kids these days have a collection of valuable electronic devices; laptops, iPods, iPads, cell phones, digital cameras and maybe even an eReader. In addition students often have some cash, jewelry or other valuables that are put at risk in the dorms. An effective, yet inexpensive security safe can provide a solid solution to this vulnerability.

Look for a burglary safe that has an easy to use, programmable electronic lock. The old fashioned tumbler style locks are time consuming to open and significantly decrease the likelihood that the security safe will be used. The lock should have a key back up in case your student forgets the combination or the batteries run out when the door is locked. Encourage your student to set the custom combination as soon as they get their electronic safe. They should select a combination that is easy to remember but not easy for others to guess. Birthdays are NOT a good idea.

Look for a security safe that provides an easy way for it to be secured to something permanent. Often students use a tether cable to attach the safe to a bed or desk. The burglary safe should be easy to access so that your student will use it. Stowing it in a difficult to get to location, like deep behind the dresser, will deter use. There is no point in having an electronic safe unless it is used!

Look for a burglary safe that is large enough to fit their laptop computer as well as other electronic devices and miscellaneous valuables. We offer one that is just right for this purpose the Laptop Safe fits just about any laptop computer with plenty of room to spare, yet can easily be tucked under the bed or desk. This electronic safe along with a cable lock will give you peace of mind well worth the cost.

College is expensive enough as it is, nobody wants to absorb the cost of replacing a stolen computer or other valuables. Provide your student with a convenient way to secure their valuables and you will all have a lot more peace of mind as they go off on this exciting adventure. Call or visit us at Maximum Security Safes today, we are ready and able to help you get the peace of mind you desire.

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.

Home Jewelry Safes – Which Lock is Best for You?

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Diamond NecklaceHome jewelry safes are an excellent place to securely and conveniently store your jewelry.  First, select a good quality safe that’s the right size to meet your needs now and in the future.  Then you will likely have the opportunity to select the type of lock you want.  There are several things to consider as you select the lock for your home jewelry safe.

The three most common jewelry safe locks are the traditional tumbler style combination lock, the electronic/digital lock and the biometric or fingerprint lock.   The most important consideration is that the lock be listed by United Laboratories as a high security lock.  Anything less will not provide the level of security warranted for a home jewelry safe.

The high security combination lock looks very familiar.  It is the one you see most often in the movies where the thief turns the dial slowly listening carefully, sometimes with a stethoscope, trying to hear the correct combination.  These locks have the solid, traditional look that many people like.  They are however, cumbersome to open.  They are not like the old high school lockers that many of us remember, where you can dial in your combination with minimum precision, give it one good kick, and it opens every time.  With a high security tumbler you need to be very precise, dialing the lock four times one direction, three times to the other direction and then  two more times to the third number.    As we get older most of us will need to pull out our glasses to be able to accomplish this.  If you are off by just one tick mark you start all over again.  The traditional combination lock provides reliable, secure protection but not the most efficient access to your home jewelry safe.

The high security electronic or digital lock is currently the most popular lock on home jewelry safes.  These locks provide convenient, quick access.  When your home jewelry safe arrives you will receive easy to use instructions guiding you to set the combination of your choice.  Rather than a factory combination as with the traditional combination lock that requires a locksmith to change, you are able to select an easy to remember number that you can change yourself at will.  These locks are designed to prohibit a burglar from sequentially trying different combinations, hoping to get lucky.  After 3-4 incorrect attempts it locks out for a period of 10-20 minutes.  Following the lockout, if an incorrect combination is entered even once more, the lockout period begins again.  Batteries are typically of the common 9-volt variety and easily replaced from the outside of your home jewelry safe, in the faceplate of the lock.   The electronic locks provide convenient, quick access to your home jewelry safe at an affordable price.

The high security biometric lock is commonly known as the fingerprint lock.  The biometric locks offer all of the same conveniences as the electronic lock with the distinct advantage of not having a combination to remember.  While they are becoming much more reliable, as with any newer technology they are still a bit pricey.  Generally these locks allow several different fingerprints to be stored so numerous users can have access to the home jewelry safe.  The primary user or administrator is able to add and delete fingerprint users at anytime.  While the biometric locks are gaining ground they are still out sold by the electronic locks due to worries of reliability and price.

The locking mechanism is one of the key security components of your home jewelry safe.  While locks can be changed at a later date it is more cost effective to make the right selection up front.  Call or visit the experts at Maximum Security Safes and we would be happy to discuss this decision with you!