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Should You Buy a Biometric or Locking Safe? 

safe

When it comes to securing valuable possessions, dangerous items (like firearms), and essential documents, safes offer an effective, and reliable form of home protection. Today, there’s a wide range of solutions to choose from — from floor and wall safes, to safes designed specifically for guns or fire protection. However, picking the perfect safe is about more than browsing through product categories, and choosing the best fit for your home — you’ll also need to consider which locking mechanism you want to use for maximum security.

From standard “locking” safe systems that use keys, keypads, or combination locks, to high-tech biometric systems that read the unique pattern of your fingerprint — choosing the ideal solution can depend on a range of factors. Following, we’ll examine some of the advantages, and disadvantages of each safe solution, to help you make a more informed decision about your home security.

Defining Locking and Biometric Safes

The term “locking” safe usually refers to traditional mechanisms for safe structures — such as keys, electronic or manual keypads, or a combination of both. A key-access safe can provide an affordable and simple solution to your valuable-protection needs, but it also comes with the problem of key management. After all, a thief could find your key and easily open the safe. Electronic and manual keypad safes remove this issue, but represent another problem in the complexity of remembering number codes. For many people, biometric locks can eliminate the stresses associated with keys, and codes alike. These locking systems rely on your unique fingerprint as the code to lock, and unlock your vault. However, these security solutions are also very expensive. The best way to decide which option is best for you, is to look at three of the most important factors of any safe carefully:

  • Accessibility
  • Security
  • Cost

Biometric or Locking Safes: Accessibility

The most significant difference between “locking” and “biometric” safes is how they’re accessed. Though either type of safe will work to keep your valuables secure, the way you retrieve your belongings differs significantly. With a “locking” safe, you would use a key, a code combination, a code entered into a number pad, or a combination of both for access. In contrast, with a biometric safe, you would simply press the tip of the finger you used to code your safe against a scanning pad to operate the locking mechanism.

One of the most significant benefits of a biometric safe, is that you can unlock it quickly in the case of an emergency. Unlike with locking safes, where the user would have to fumble to find a key, or remember a code, items such as firearms can be retrieved instantly with nothing more than a fingerprint. However, biometric safes can also represent limitations in terms of accessibility, as only the person who has registered their fingerprint in the system can open the safe. Although some biometric safes can feature a “failsafe” key — the presence of this key leads to the same problems as a traditional “locking” safe.

Biometric or Locking Safes: Security

Security is a crucial consideration when purchasing any kind of safe. In both biometric and locking safes, the actual construction of the safe remains largely the same. Both will use strong and durable mechanisms to protect your goods. The difference however, is that while it’s easy to forget codes or lose keys, fingerprints are simple, secure, and incredibly difficult to replicate.

In the case of “locking” safes, anyone who finds the key to your safe, or knows your code might be able to access your valuables with or without your knowledge. In some cases, thieves and criminals might even be able to guess your code based on information that they already know about you — such as birthdates or favorite numbers. With biometric safes, only people with approved fingerprints can get to your property — promoting excellent security.

Biometric or Locking Safes: Cost

Finally, although it’s hard to put a price on security and peace of mind, cost can have a part to play when you’re choosing the ideal safe. Many people shop for their home security with a specific budget in mind, and that budget doesn’t always extend to the price of the latest technology.

Because the innovations surrounding biometric security are continuously improving to offer enhanced security and efficiency, these safes are significantly more expensive than most “traditional” locking safes. Though the exact cost of your safe will depend on the size, and type of safe that you choose – homeowners with a limited amount of cash might struggle to afford biometric technology.

Choosing the Right Safe

Importantly, whichever safe you choose, it’s worth noting that these structures will offer you greater protection in your home — providing safe and secure storage for valuables and firearms alike. Ultimately, your decision will depend on a consideration of each of the factors we’ve addressed above, as well as an evaluation of your own unique needs as an individual, or family.

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