Today the Gun Safe market is probably the largest segment of the safe and vault industry. Very few gun safes are actually made in the USA.
Most USA "safe manufacturer's" actually import their gun safes from the far east, mainly from China and Korea.
The quality of many manufacturer's gun safes is questionable due to a number of factors including insulating the safes with types of "wall board" or sheetrock. While these do offer a minimum amount of fire and heat resistance many safes fail to protect the contents during a fire, including in most cases, valuable firearms.
While spending several hundred dollars sounds like a lot of hard earned cash it actually isn't compared to the value of the weapons being protected against fire and theft. A well made gun safe will offer longer fire resistance times and better protection against forced entry.
So, which type of safe lock is better? Most mechanical locks offer the reliability of opening over a long period of time, many times they last for decades.
A "Digital" or electronic safe lock in most cases will not last nearly as long as a mechanical lock just as your cell phone or computer lasts only a few years. A problem though: if your digital safe lock fails in most cases your safe will have to be drilled open, repaired and a new lock installed.
Many times there's no other option.
Most safe manufacturer's state that electronic safe locks have a 3-5 year lifespan while a mechanical lock will last many times more than an electronic safe lock.
If you suspect you may be having a problem with your electronic or mechanical safe lock call us at LaBarge Lock and Safe Technicians for a free telephone evaluation.
A "Redundant" safe lock is a lock containing both a mechanical and electronic safe lock combined into one. The keypad allows quick entry into the safe while the mechanical safe lock allows you to dial the safe open if the keypad or electronics fail within the lock.
However, "Redundant" safe locks are generally expensive and may have a larger than normal "profile" on the safe door. They may also require additional customization installation procedures of the safe door in some cases which increases the overall cost.
Some gun safe manufacturer's include a "key override" within the lock or safe door. However, the keys tend to be left inside the safe, disappear over time, leaving the safe owner locked out of the safe. Many times we can pick open these key override locks for the owner preventing the safe from having to be drilled open.
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