Electronic Safe Locks

ELECTRONIC SAFE LOCKS

Safe locks are divided into two categories: mechanical and electronic. Mechanical safe locks make use of wheels that must be correctly oriented by the use of a dial before the safe can be opened. Electronic safe locks on the other hand, make use of a solenoid or motor that must be activated by entering the correct user code on a keypad. In this post I will discuss five electronic safe locks that are in use today. Mechanical safe locks will be discussed in another post.

1. Dead Bolt

The dead bolt is a square-shaped safe lock bolt. It is designed to work with most safe bolt work systems. The bolt in this type of lock is retracted and extended using either (a) a motor-driven gear box, (b) a plastic nut-threaded shaft, or (c) a disengaging drive train mechanism. When the safe door is closed, and the handle is rotated to the closed position, the bolt either automatically returns to its extended position, or in those cases where a lock with a direct drive has been installed, it returns to its extended position by rotating the keypad a quarter turn counter-clockwise.

2. Spring Bolt

The spring or slam bolt is a bevelled safe lock bolt that is designed for use on safe inner compartments or cabinets where a bolt work system has not been installed. Unlike the other safe locks discussed in this post, spring bolts are non-dead latching. The bolt in this type of lock is retracted and extended using either (a) a motor-driven gear box, (b) a plastic nut-threaded shaft, or (c) a disengaging drive train mechanism. Because the bolt in this lock is spring activated, there is no need to rotate a handle in order to lock the compartment or cabinet; simply close the door and it will lock secure automatically.

3. Strike Bolt

The strike bolt is a hook-shaped safe lock bolt. Like the spring bolt, it is designed for use on safe inner compartments or cabinets. This lock works by receiving a pin or loop attached to the back of the door and locks it in place. When a valid code is entered the receiver unlocks. This allows the pin or loop to disengage from the receiver. Much like most car trunk locks, this lock remains unlocked until the compartment or cabinet door is closed and the pin or loop is re-engaged with the receiver.

4. Swing Bolt

The swing bolt is a quarter-circle-shaped safe lock bolt. It is the most popular type of electronic safe lock bolt in use today. It is designed to work with almost any safe bolt work system. When a valid user code is entered the motorized locking mechanism moves into the unlocked position, this allows the bolt work to rotate the swing bolt into the lock case when the safe handle is rotated to the open position. When the safe door is closed, and the handle is rotated to the closed position, the swing bolt automatically returns to its extended position and the lock locks secure.

5. Slide Bolt

The slide bolt is a square-shaped safe lock bolt fitted with a roller in one corner. When a valid user code is entered the solenoid retracts the “pawl”, this allows the bolt work to push the slide bolt into the lock case when the safe handle is rotated to the open position. When the safe door is closed, and the handle is rotated to the closed position, the slide bolt automatically returns to its extended position and the lock looks secure.

In addition to being quick and easy to use, electronic safe locks offer a number of features that mechanical safe locks do not offer including, but not limited to: multiple user codes, multiple user modes, dual custody access, wrong-try lockout, time delay, opening window, and audit trail.