Here at Simply Safes, this is one of the most frequently asked questions that we receive.
We have put together this handy buying guide to help you make your choice. Ultimately it is our opinion that this broadly down to your own personal preference.
This guide also goes into further detail about the different options available on digital locks and your options when faced with a really long safe key.
How secure is a digital lock and can it be hacked?
When a safe is tested for insurance purposes, it is done in two parts, one is the safe and the other is the lock. The lock goes through testing and part of that is to check if it can be hacked by various methods.
Of course the lock is only as secure as the numbers that are programmed into it and ensuring all factory codes are changed. The last thing you want is not have deleted a master code that is readily available in product manuals online.
We also recommend that you ensure the code is changed regularly and to use different numbers in that process to avoid tell signs of keypad wear that might tip off an opportunist.
Is one lock type more secure than another?
Essentially, no one type of lock is more secure than another, as we have mentioned above. Locks are tested to a specific level for the type of safe it is fitted too.
Ultimately it boils down to keeping the code you set secure on a digital lock or keeping the key secure. For insurance purposes, your broker can insist you keep the key on your person at all times.
What happens if the batteries fail on my digital lock?
Is it some customers fear that if the batteries fail then the safe might spring open or go back to the default settings. Rest assured, it will definitely not just open and only in very rare cases will it go back to the default factory codes if at all.
In essence, we strongly recommend that you ensure you change the batteries regularly to avoid these kinds on issues. It might be wise to put a simple calendar reminder in for 6 months after your purchase to check the level of the batteries.
What happens if I lose a key to my safe?
If you should lose a key to an entry level model, then sadly it is not possible to get replacements in most cases. You could try a locksmith local to you, this needs to be a reputable MLA registered locksmith and not somewhere such as Timpsons. If you have purchased an Arregui or BTV safe from us then it may be possible for us to arrange a replacement key however we need proof of purchase and a form of ID before we are able to do this.
Should you lose a key to an insurance approved model with a double bitted key lock then replacements can be cut for you but a copy would need to be made from an original. If you have lost both keys we can arrange for an engineer to visit, they would use best practice to minimise any damages. Once open, a new lock can be fitted to get your belongings secure again.
Some key locking models from Burg Wachter and De Raat Security have the option to re-key your lock. This means should you lose a key or a staff member leaves with one, the safe is not compromised. As long as you have one key to open the lock, you can change the lock over to a new set of keys.
To do this, you would need to purchase a set of new keys in a kit from us - in the kit also comes a change key. All of this can be done without the need to call a locksmith out, saving you money. Please call us for more details and assistance.
What are my options on the really long safe keys?
If you have a higher rated safe that features long safe keys, which you do not want to keep on your person then in some cases it is possible to have key stem system. This is where the keys come in multiple parts and essentially you put the key together to open the lock.
The only part you would need to keep on your person in this instance is the part that features the double bitted key.
I need an audit trail and multiple users, is this possible?
Yes this is certainly no issue at all, you may require a more advanced digital lock to be fitted, if you require certain functionality. Where possible, we will find a product that matches your requirements from an off the shelf item.
This will be more cost effective for you and also quicker to be delivered. Please call one of our friendly sales team to discuss your options further
Are you able to provide digital locks with one-time access codes?
We have worked with several large customers on big projects where very advanced digital locks were required. This was for audit and internal purposes to provide added security for staff members. One-time access codes can be created off-site and then sent to the user that is present, once they have been verified.
We hope you have found this buying guide to be helpful, we understand that some of the tips may not apply to everyone.
In short, keys for safes that are approved for insurance purposes may need to kept on your person, so could prove an inconvenience. There is however, peace of mind in that you do not have to remember a code or change batteries.
An electronic digital lock has the benefit of no keys to keep with you and are easy to open for the user. The more advanced locks have various features which might be of more benefit to the commercial market.