Depending on the application, safes with electronic locks may offer a number of advantages over safes with traditional dial combination locks. First, electronic locks are much easier to operate than traditional dial combination locks. Traditional dial combination locks must be dialed precisely before they can be opened. If a mistake is made while dialing the combination, the entire combination must be redialed. Second, the combination to a safe equipped with an electronic lock may be easily changed by the end user; in contrast, changing the combination on a lock equipped with a dial combination requires a service call by a safe technician, if the combination can be changed at all. Third, some higher-end electronic locks have additional security features that dial combination locks do not. These additional security features may include: (1) multiple user codes (one for each authorized user of the safe); (2) dual control capability (two users must enter their code before the safe will unlock); (3) time delay functionality (entering the correct code on the keypad initiates a programmable time delay of 1-99 minutes before the safe will open); (4) time lock functionality (programmable time windows during which the safe may be opened or may not be opened); and (5) audit trail capability.
Safes with electronic locks are almost always powered by standard “AA” batteries or 9-volt batteries. Most electronic locks on safes will alert you when the batteries need to be changed. In addition, most electronic locks on safes have non-volatile memory – meaning your combination will be retained even in the event of battery failure. If this happens, you simply replace the dead batteries with new ones and enter your combination as usual. In some cases, the battery compartment is located outside of the safe beneath the keypad. In other cases, the battery compartment is located inside the safe. Electronic safes that have their battery compartment located inside the safe almost always either: (1) come with a power override box, which is a small battery box that can be to used to power the lock from outside of the safe so it can be opened and the batteries changed; or (2) come with a mechanical override key that can be used to manually open the safe so that the batteries may be changed.