The first key-entry safe dates back to the early 1800s, corresponding to the arrival of the Industrial Revolution. The British Government, in reaction to a highly publicised burglary, issued a competition to create a unique lock that could only be opened with one designated key. At the time, Jeremiah and Charles Chubb, who were already in the lock business, submitted a type of lever tumbler lock (with a re-locker) which prevented unauthorised access by jamming up if the wrong key was inserted. Low and behold, the Chubb brothers were awarded the winners of the competition.

Today, Chubbsafes in addition to other safe manufacturers have designed a few other types of locks used throughout the industry. Three in particular that we’ll take a look at are electronic, combination, and fingerprint.

Electronic Locks Offer Versatility

If you’re leaning towards purchasing an electronic lock, then you are in store for a pleasant surprise. Electronic safes are one of the most versatile types of lock on the market. Never worry about misplacing a key again because electronic locks allow you to program numerical codes, passwords, and sometimes even pass-phrases depending on the device. Their multi-user function is ideal for business or residential use where more than one individual requires access to the contents.

The Phoenix Saracen SS0935E Home and Hotel Digital Safe is the picture perfect safe for hotels, lodges, or other facilities which provide accommodations for travellers and tourists. It has a £1,500 cash rating and £15,000 valuables rating. Its dimensions are large enough to store a 17” laptop computer, it has a 5mm steel plate door, and twin motorised locking bolts. Again, this is a great choice for hotels because of the override code function in the event of an emergency and the built in anti-tamper system which freezes the lock when three incorrect combinations are entered. One last point to emphasise in regards to electronic safes is that they’re much faster to operate and open than manual dials. So in terms of speed, they’re a step ahead of the rest. 

Combination Locks May Lack Security 

Combination locks use a rotating dial in unison with an internal disc to secure valuables. Like electronic locks, these also do not require keys, although you can purchase some with backup or emergency keys.

Dial combination locks are commonly used to secure doors, lockers, and other large scale metal storage facilities. Some banks utilise combination locks because they can program them to only open during specific a time, which adds another dimension of difficulty for plotting thieves.

The one notable disadvantage with combination locks is that they may lack security if the hinges of the container are not properly aligned. For example, if you’re locking a metal cabinet and both sides of the storage compartment aren’t designed properly, then the lock may not impede thieves. For that reason, it’s important to purchase security devices from a trusted and reputable organisation who delivers quality products.

The Burton Watchman 12 Dial Combination Underfloor Safe comes with the Safe Options quality guarantee and a mechanical combination lock. This safe is easily concealed under the floor with a re-locking device and 3-wheel standard combination lock.

Fingerprint Locks Are Simple and Secure

Biometric fingerprint enabled locks are the way of the future for their easy access and security. Forget about memorising lengthy combinations or keeping spare keys on hand because all you need to crack open a biometric fingerprint lock is your finger! What could be easier than that? With the swipe of your finger over the reader you can open a wide array of safes. These are wonderful multi-use safes because they case take up to 20 fingerprints and come with emergency radial pin keys.

Available in sizes ranging from small to extra-large, many of these safes are fire resistant and base fixed. The only disadvantage worth mentioning is that the biometric system may have a tougher time identifying your fingerprint if you work in a labour intensive field with your hands. For example, if you’re a carpenter and your finger imprint becomes impaired, the system may not recognise it. Again, these “what if” scenarios are rare and can be avoided by taking the necessary precautions.