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Tips and advice for buying an electronic safe

Tips and advice for buying an electronic safe

Dan Cartwright
Written by Dan Cartwright
Placed on 3 August 2020

Today, many cheap electronic safes are offered in DIY stores or online. It itself may seem tempting to purchase one, But watch out! Such safes are very fragile due to their construction.

Are electronic safes not to be trusted at all?

Yes, there are plenty of good certified electronic safes available that cannot be manipulated. All electronic safes certified according to European Standard EN 14450, EN 1143-1 and EN 1143-2 are equipped with a certified digital lock. These standards require an EN 1300 certified lock.

A certified lock according to EN 1300 costs at least around £150. A good electronic safe therefore quickly costs around £200.

With most inexpensive and non-certified security safes, we can assume that a simple and vulnerable lock or locking mechanism is fitted. Often these locks are also provided with an emergency key. In general, we also see similar constructions and locks with fire-resistant safes, but there we protect against fire and not against burglary.

What is an electronic safe?

An electronic safe is a certain type of safe with an electronic lock. This can be a burglar-resistant safe, a fire-resistant safe or a double-certified safe that offers protection against both. The electronic lock blocks and unlocks the locking mechanism based on a self-selected pin code that is entered.

In practice, most people looking for an electronic safe will simply be looking for a reasonable burglar-resistant safe with a digital code lock.

Advantages of an electronic safe

An electronic code lock offers various conveniences. You don't have to manage a key or just an emergency key. Several people can use the number combination of the safe to open it.

More advanced locks have a master code, user codes and an adjustable opening delay. This means that the user must wait a minimum of time after entering the code before the safe can actually be opened. There are also some electronic locks with readable memory and have an option to forward onto an emergency centre. Prices of such locks are from £250.

Disadvantages of an electronic safe

An electronic lock can also have its drawbacks. It often happens that users choose a difficult pin code and forget it. When there is no emergency key option, this simply means that the safe can no longer be opened in the normal way and an expert will have to be involved to open the safe. With most EN 1300 certified locks it is impossible to reset the safe and the code when it is closed.

Batteries are exhausted

The lock works on the basis of batteries and they go up once. What then? Most safes will send a signal in good time that the batteries are due for replacement. If you do not replace the batteries in time, the safe will no longer open at some point.

If the lock is supplied with an emergency key, this can be used to open the safe. With a (more expensive) advanced lock, an external battery can be connected.

Important considerations when buying an electronic safe

A good digital lock is not the only important thing with a safe, of course. For good protection, the housing and construction must also be of good quality to provide good protection for your valuables.

Before buying a safe, answer the following questions:

What do I want to store in it?

Money, jewellery and valuables? Take into account the value storage indication of the safe. A safe without valuables is hardly resistant and the contents cannot be insured.

Read more about burglary resistance, certifications and value storage in our selection guide

Do I need fire protection?

A security safe is not necessarily fire resistant and vice versa. If you are looking for a fire resistant electronic safe, take into account the certified fire resistance.

Read more about fire resistant safes

Where do I place the safe and can I anchor it?

With safes up to 1000kg, it is necessary to anchor in the wall and / or ground, otherwise you run the risk that the safe is taken in its entirety. Think in advance of a good place for the safe where you can easily reach and the safe can also be firmly anchored.

Read more about how to secure a safe


If you want to keep valuables and cash safe, always choose a safe with a certificate. There are safes that provide protection against burglary / theft, fire or a combination of both.

In general, the higher the investment, the better construction and protection against burglary and fire.

View all electronic safes

Would you like tailored advice for the best electronic safe for your situation? Feel free to contact our experts.

Dan Cartwright
Written by Dan Cartwright
Placed on 3 August 2020
Categories: Advice & Tips

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