Choosing a biometric safe properly can save worrying on your valuables. The question can be answered by asking many questions about your valuables. Choosing the best one for you involves answering the questions and then selecting the model and manufacturer that best suits your needs and wants. The sales person will likely ask questions similar to those below.
Check the thickness of the steel with each manufacturer. While the Thickness is not a critical piece of this as a determined thief will eventually get into the metal box. The thicker the steel, the longer it will take him.
- How large should it be?
- What will you be storing in it? Papers and documents take up much less room than guns and jewelry and computer discs.
- Will you be storing any guns in it? Many are designed for 1-3 guns.
- How about any rifles? Obviously you can’t fit a long rifle in a metal box only 18″ long. Do you have a place for a 4 foot high gun?
- Does it need to be portable or easily movable? Many people keep them under the seat of their car for securing guns or cash when away from home. Alternatively, maybe you live in an apartment and move frequently. Do you need/want one that you can pick up and carry yourself? Larger gun safes can be 4 feet high, 2 foot square and weigh 700 pounds, not something you casually decide to move.
- Does it need to be fireproof? This will add expense to the purchase. The rating of fireproof safes is critical. The rating usually denotes two things: how long it can withstand the high temperatures of a fire, and the maximum temperature that it will still safely protect the contents. The higher the number or rating, the better as this will provide for the most protection in the event of a fire. Look for protection that will last at least an hour and withstand temperatures of at least 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. A few manufacturers such as Sisco Honeywell even carry waterproof fireproof biometric safes!
Additional features to consider:
- Many manufactures include a 2nd way to access the contents. This is typically a round key (like you see on pop machines). This will allow you to open it even in the event that the information is lost or in an emergency.
- All of them require power. All will have batteries, some will allow you to also run them on and AC power supply. Keep in mind that the security information is saved permanently even if the batteries die. Just replace the batteries from the front of the unit and it is in business again. AC power just simplifies life. All reputable manufactures will have a low battery warning that may be at least blinking light, but audio also.
- Smaller ones should have the ability to be mounted to the floor or a larger piece of furniture or cabled to something immovable to prevent a thief from simply picking it up and breaking it open at his leisure back at his property!
- If you are purchasing a biometric gun safe, insure it comes with a foam lining inside to protect the guns.
- Depending upon the manufacturer, some will store only 10 fingerprints and others will store 50. Determine your need.
- How long is the warranty and what does it cover. Many of the more expensive models will be a lifetime replacement if any tries (or is successful at) prying their way into it.
How is the construction?
Check the thickness of the steel with each biometric safe manufacturer. While the thickness is not the absolute critical piece of this as a determined thief will eventually get into the metal box, the thicker the steel, the longer it will take him, possibly deterring him from trying or requiring him to make enough noise or take enough time that he may be caught.