Firearms have been common in households not only in the United States but across the entire world. Aside from providing a means for protection, other people own guns for hunting purposes. Before safes or vaults were a thing, most people would store their firearms inside a cabinet, box, or chest. However, this is not the best way to keep such deadly weapons.
If you got kids at home, having anything less than a biometric gun safe could cause harm to them. Kids can type random combinations in a passcode-protected model and might unintentionally get the correct passcode.
A few years back, most options required a passcode combination to unlock. With modern-day technology, manufacturers added biometrics to safes and vaults. Fingerprint technology enables quick access without sacrificing security.
You may have read or come across a biometric gun safe, but if you have not and you are curious to learn, this article is perfect for you. If you think it is too much going through each section, you can use your browser’s search functionality to skip to whatever you want to know. However, we recommend not skipping any sections.
What are they?
A biometric gun safe is most likely the best option for customers looking for easy access and top-level security. Apart from biometric technology, manufacturers also use either passcode combinations or keys to secure a safe. These technologies have been around far longer than biometrics. Although they provide a good level of security, it is not as good as biometrics.
Let’s say yours is key-protected. We all know how easy it is to lose keys. What happens if you lose it at the exact time you need to access it? Imagine a robber invades your home, and you need easy and fast access. You might not get the right key, or you enter the wrong password combination out of panic. It could quickly end in a disaster. Biometric technology eliminates these issues, which makes it a preferred choice.
By the word ‘biometric,’ a biometric safe uses your fingerprints as the key to open it up. It is a great advantage to people who value quick access and security at the same time. So instead of having to secure a physical key or memorize a combination of numbers or letters, all you need is your fingerprint to gain access.
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Are they secure?
The short answer to this question is yes. Biometric safes are secure. They are better than key safes or passcode combination ones, which came before the ones with biometric. Since they use your fingerprint to authenticate access, you will need it every time you want to unlock the system. A problem may occur if your thumbprint alters in any way, such as a result of an accident.
It would be advisable to register at least two fingerprints for models that support it. The Sentry QAP1BE lets you enroll up to two users with up to two fingers each. This option is small, which you can place at your bedside for quick access.
Although you do not need to plug a thumbprint safe to use it, you may want to get yourself a watt generator. For a list of the best watt generators in the market, please refer to our article. You can also refer to high-watt generators if you need high wattage levels, else low-watt generators if you only need low wattage levels.
Are they worth it?
Biometric guns are worth it if you are investing in a trusted and tested brand and model. These expensive ones are reliable, and secure, whereas cheaper ones may not be as good and reliable as the former.
Knowing its worthiness would most likely depend on your budget and needs. If you have the money to purchase a reliable, expensive brand, then go for it. Otherwise, you may want to stick with ones without biometrics.
In the following section, you will know the main differences between a combination and a biometric option, the advantages and disadvantages’, and the things you should be looking for when buying one.
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Biometric vs. Combination
Combination and biometric gun safes have excellent security and reliability in storing your firearms. Just like everything else, both of these come with benefits and features that you may or may not need. If you have not decided yet, you will need to weigh the cons and pros of each one. Once you know the pros and cons, you can determine the best option based on features, quality, and price. Between the two, a biometric one takes advantage of advanced technology, but a combination safe may be better for you.
The first and probably most important factor is the price, which is relative to your budget. Most, if not all, biometric models are priced higher than combination models because of the technology used. Price does not solely depend on the technology. The manufacturer, model, availability, and tier also dictates price. Despite these facts, there should be one on the market that fits your budget. However, finding an affordable combination option that is reliable and most likely within your budget is easier to find. Whichever of these two types will provide the security you need to protect your guns.
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Although these combination gun safes work great and are already tried and tested, some people still feel better and are more comfortable with biometric models. Combination ones are secured using a passcode, a key, or a combination of both. It is typically safe, but robbers or intruders can guess or crack the code. Babies or children can also memorize the passcode you regularly type. Although you can change your passcode regularly to prevent it from happening, some people really can’t afford that risk. On the other hand, a biometric one can prevent children and intruders from unauthorized access.
In situations you need quick access, it is important to do it effectively, giving ones an edge over combination ones. However, what if it fails to recognize your fingerprint or you forgot your passcode? Some models let you use a backup key to gain access to the safe. Either of the two adds a layer of security and protection to your firearms.
Combination and biometric safes are both secure and reliable. Aside from guns, you can store other valuable items, such as passports, watches, jewelry, cash, and bank documents. Choosing between these two types is a daunting task, but the ultimate determining factor is your comfortability towards it and price. If you have the money to spend a premium and are comfortable using it, you may want to go for a biometric option. However, if you are looking not to spend too much money and are comfortable entering your passcode whenever you need to unlock it, the better choice for you is a combination one.
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Advantages vs. Disadvantages
Biometric gun safes have their advantages and disadvantages. These can help you determine if it’s the right type for you.
Below are some of their advantages.
Biometric models are pry-proof, at least most of them. Having this technology lessens the number of things that would worry you. Pry-proof technology makes it almost impossible for intruders to access it no matter how hard they try.
It stores multiple fingerprint records
Either you store a record of your different fingers, fingerprints from various people, or a combination of both. The number of prints it can keep is dependent on the manufacturer and model. Some can handle a few, while others can handle hundreds. For example, if you need someone else to access the safe for you, having their fingerprint stored in the safe makes it possible.
Some users register multiple copies of the same fingerprint for foolproof access. Certain manufacturers do not recommend it. It is best to read the instructions manual.
Equipped with rechargeable or replaceable battery
The power supply is one of the things you need to consider when looking to purchase a biometric model. Having it die on you is likely the last thing you want to happen. They either have rechargeable batteries or replaceable batteries. In the case of rechargeable, you won’t have to worry about running to a store to get a new one. You can quickly charge the batteries at home. However, if your model uses replaceable batteries, you will need to store extras at home.
Most models have a battery life indicator somewhere, so you must check it regularly to avoid it from dying on you. An SAE to metric conversion chart is a quick and easy way to look through equivalent values in a different metric system. A table is available in our article on SAE to the metric conversion size chart.
It can store a lot of guns
Whether you are looking for a 2-gun, 4-gun, or even 10-gun safe, a biometric one’s got you covered. There are a variety of options available, from bedside ones to huge cabinet ones. It is important to store all your guns in a safe to prevent accidents or unauthorized use, the same way you take measures to keep your cats and dogs safe at home.
Now that we have covered the advantages, it is time to jump on to its disadvantages.
It is quite expensive
When compared to combination models, these ones are far more expensive. Why? Simply because it uses more advanced technology than other types. If you want one, we suggest you keep an eye on great deals that come and go.
They require batteries to operate, which may be a deal-breaker to some people. You will have to monitor the battery life regularly so it will not die on you, which can be stressful. If you are forgetful or don’t have the time to monitor battery levels, a biometric one is not ideal for you.
A bit tricky to operate
This disadvantage is not limited to biometric safes since other gadgets that use fingerprints for authentication face this challenge too. Some models have issues in keeping or saving fingerprint data, which impacts performance and reliability.
Some models don’t have alternatives
Combination models have alternatives in case one method does not allow you from opening it. Although some biometric ones let you use a key to access it, it does not apply to all. Having an alternative is good in times a malfunction happens.
Factors To Consider
Just like any other product in the market, they have their pros and cons. This section walks you through what you should keep in mind when researching or buying one.
They come in several sizes and shapes. Some are large enough to carry ten guns simultaneously, while others can only accommodate two guns. You need to consider if you plan on adding more guns to your collection in the future. If yes, you should get a model that can accommodate more than what you currently have. Future-proofing always saves you money in the long run.
There is also such a thing called safe capacity, which is the number of un-scoped rifles or shotguns it can accommodate. On the other hand, scoped shotguns and rifles occupy more room.
Maximize Storage Space
Look for one that has an adjustable interior and shelves, allowing for more flexibility. Various manufacturers offer flexible storage spaces for your guns.
Having a raised one is more beneficial to the user than the guns. A raised one keeps you from banging your toes.
To gun collectors or enthusiasts, protecting their firearms from burning is a priority. Although most manufacturers offer a degree of fire resistance with their gun safes, you should be aware of its fire ratings. The best course of action is to conduct your research.
In packed areas, the average temperature of a burning home is between 1,100 degrees to 1,200 degrees for about 30 minutes or half an hour. On the other hand, if you live far from the city and away from a fire station, the risk of a longer fire is higher.
Find A Perfect Place At Home
You can typically place small ones at your bedside or inside a cabinet. But what about the large ones that can hold eight or ten shotguns or rifles? You might want to consider placing it at your garage, where you can bolt it to the floor. Bolting it prevents it from being moved, which will unlikely happen anyway because of its weight.
However, if you choose to place yours in an unheated area, it is best to purchase a dehumidifier. Always keep your safe at a secret location, away from the sight of people, especially strangers. Aside from the garage, the basement is another great place to keep it. Keep in mind that if experience flooding in your basement, do not place it there because they are not waterproof.
Large ones are often extremely heavy. Make sure where you are placing it is the permanent location. Dealers will most likely arrange for the delivery and setup of your newly purchased unit. However, if you need to move it, you will have to use an appliance dolly and two to three people to help you.
If you are still not convinced about biometric ones, there are several non-fingerprint gun cases in the market. Our article on the best gun safe will walk you through everything you need to know.