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Are E-Locks Reliable for Your Gun Safe?

Everything You Need to Know About Electronic Locks

A new age is upon us with the rise of electronic locks. Are you ready to make the switch? Let’s find out!

“E-locks” are becoming more and more commonplace on safes, and you might have some questions before switching over. Questions such as:

  • Are e-locks reliable?
  • Are they loud?
  • How do I change their battery?
  • What happens if the battery dies?
  • What if I forget my combination?
  • Should I get one with a backup key?
  • What about an EMP?

Sound familiar? Let’s dive in!

Are E-Locks Reliable?

This is a valid concern. At least it was, up until about 10 years ago. E-locks have seen a lot of change since they were first introduced. As the technology has gotten more reliable, so have the locks. These days a quality electronic lock is just as secure as a good mechanical one, and will protect your valuables just as well.

Are Electronic Locks Loud?

Are you concerned a burglar will hear you trying to access your safe in the event of a break-in? A typical e-lock will make a noise whenever you push a button. The beeps don’t tend to be very loud though, and some models offer a “mute” feature. If this is a concern for you, make sure that the lock that you’re buying comes with that feature.

How Do I Change Their Battery?

Changing a battery on an e-lock is as easy as it gets. The exact procedure will vary by lock model. Typically though, the battery will be accessible from outside the safe. A small, easy-open compartment houses the battery, and it’s simply a matter of popping out the old one and plugging in the new.

How often you have to change the battery will depend on your safe usage: are you opening it every day, or just once a week? That said, it takes very little power for the lock to operate, so you can expect your batteries to last you a good while. We recommend changing them annually.

What Happens If the Battery Dies?

We hear this concern a lot: what happens if the battery dies? The answer: nothing serious. You won’t be able to open your safe until the battery is replaced; however, the lock’s internal memory stores your combination even if the battery dies. Just drop a new battery in and you’ll be up and running again.

Oh, and on a final note for the batteries, for best performance we recommend Duracell batteries. This is because they supply the full voltage required by the device. As a result, they open your lock more consistently—and no, we don’t get any kickbacks for saying that. We just wish we did.

What About EMPs? Are Electronic Locks Protected?

EMPs, or electromagnetic pulses, can wreak havoc on electronic devices. How much havoc depends on the strength of the pulse, and how far away the device is. It can cause interference, take a device offline temporarily, or even permanently damage it.

Most quality electronic locks have been tested to be EMP-resistant. According to experts, the lock itself serves as a Farraday cage (or a shield), protecting the electronics inside the lock from electronic pulses.

What If I Forget My Combination?

This is probably the most common customer service issue we get. It happens a lot, especially when you first get your safe, or when it’s been a while since you’ve used it. Unfortunately, there’s not really a way to recover the combination you chose for your e-lock, but the good news is that there’s an easy solution.

Reputable safe manufacturers typically have a master code for each of the locks on safes that they’ve sold. So you call in, go through the process of validating your identity, and you can get the master code to your individual lock.

Should I Get One With a Backup Key?

Typically, backup keys are only found on cheap locks that aren’t UL-listed. Locks with backup keys aren’t more reliable or trustworthy. A quality e-lock doesn’t need a backup key as the lock itself is built to do its job effectively.

Which One Would You Choose?

We get this question frequently when people are looking to buy a safe. People want to know if an e-lock is worth the price of the upgrade. Truth is, mechanical locks and e-locks are both reliable. It’s really a matter of preference. Yes, e-locks are faster, and easier to use in the dark, and you can change your combo whenever you want. But if you’re fond of the old-fashioned look and feel of a mechanical lock, you’re not settling for less. As long as it’s UL-listed, your lock will do its job well.

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