In a world that is kind of crazy and everyone trying to do their best to protect their family or their business, people rely on firearms. Safes help protect their valuables, hide their weapons, and serve many other purposes. However, we also enjoy technology and technology has extended itself to our gun safes in the form of biometric sensors that can read fingerprints. On the one hand, this may seem ideal because it allows you to skip remembering combinations or keeping up with a key, because your fingers are always with you, but you do kind of have to question whether it is a good idea or not. Do you know what to look for in a fingerprint gun safe?
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What Does Biometric Mean?
The word biometrics refers to anything that uses personal identifying features to work. Instead of a key, it may scan your eyes, your fingerprints, your face, etc. The theory behind it is great because it uses features that are uniquely yours, therefore not allowing access to its contents by someone other than you. The problem is, there are many people who feel that it is not as reliable as you may want for it to be, especially because the technology behind it is still relatively new.
Are They as Good as They Sound?
Biometrics are reliable in some situations. There are gun safes that use it effectively but in general, the most reliable ones are not affordable for the general public. It is a technology that, although quickly becoming cheaper to use, is fairly expensive and reserved for commercial use. This means that if you choose to go with biometrics, you may not want to take the cheapest route possible. Paying in upwards of a couple hundred dollars may get you a somewhat reliable fingerprint gun safe, but you may need to spend more than that to get one that will never fail you.
This is mostly due to the fact that the sensors are not cheap if you want a very reliable and effective one. When you purchase a gun safe that uses biometric technology, you are not only buying the technology, but the sensor that is going to make it work. If you go cheap, you may miss out on the quality that comes from the more expensive counterparts.
If you have the luxury to be able to afford a military or a commercial grade products, you can basically ensure that you get the best sensors and safes available. Most people are not willing to spend that amount of money. Unfortunately it can leave some a little disappointed at times, because the cheaper products may not work the way they had hoped.
Why Cheap Fingerprint Gun Safes Fall Short
Biometric sensors are designed to recognize the things that are unique to you. However, if you purchase a cheaper safe, which lacks in quality, any slight change could cause it to misread who you are.
For instance, some may read the amount of pressure that you put on your finger when you program it. If you add more or less pressure, it may give you a false read when you try to open it later. If your fingertip has been injured, a cut or a burn on it, it could change the way that area of your fingerprint looks. This could also cause a false read and deny you entry. The same type of issues could come up with other types of features that the biometric scanner may use, but since fingerprint scanners are the ones mostly used in gun safes, it does pose a problem and potentially make them very unreliable.
Along with the potential that is there for it to lock out someone who should be authorized to open the safe, you may also have fingerprint readers that open up for the wrong person. It happens because some sensors are designed to be less sensitive, thereby making it harder for someone to touch it wrong and end up locked out. This is especially common in the cheaper products that use sensors that are unreliable at best.
The larger tolerance is probably not ok for the owner who hates being locked out because of a tiny speck of dirt on his finger and/or gives other people easier access to it as well. However, if companies put a tighter tolerance on the fingerprint scanner and it locks people out based on the angle of the fingertip or the pressure that is applied to it, people in general will be displeased. In short, manufacturers have to come up with a happy medium in regards to sensitivity, price, and effectiveness. This does not always mean that it can meet a person’s quality standard for a budget friendly safe.
Are Fingerprint Gun Safes Worth Owning?
Not everyone will be happy with their purchases. If you purchase a gun safe that is made using an average or below average sensor, you may be disappointed by the fact that it locks you out more often than it works the way it theoretically should.
If you go with a cheaper biometric gun safe, you will have easier access but the downside remains that others may also be able to get into it. This does not mean that you should avoid them altogether. It simply means that if you want quality, you may have to spend a little more for it and be a little lenient on what you expect for it to respond to you.
How to Choose the Best Biometric Gun Safe
Despite the potential issues that may come with purchasing these products, it is still appealing to many. The idea of a quick access firearm safe is perfect for people who fear that their home or business may be broken into. It is easier than remembering a combination that cannot be stumbled upon by others. It is faster than keeping a key hidden away so that only you can find it and so you have to go retrieve the key before opening the safe.
In order to find the best one for you, you need to consider all of the available options. Read the reviews to find out what others have to say about it and keep in mind that cheap does not always mean reliable. It may also be beneficial to consider a fingerprint gun safe that has alternative opening options as well. This will eliminate the possibility of you having a cut on your fingertip and being denied access. It will also eliminate the chance of you being locked out because you are dealing with a stressful situation and touch it wrong compared to how you touched it when you were relaxed while programming it.
There are many fingerprint gun safes that have backup access to it and some of them still fall into the affordable category. It may be a biometric lock and a key or the biometric lock with a combination keypad. There are some that have all three to ensure you are never going to be locked out regardless of your situation at that time. Unless you can afford to spend a small fortune on a safe, one of these more cost effective options may be best for you.
Biometric technology is impressive. It can provide you very quick access to a safe and it can block out those who should not be inside of it. However, since it is still a technology that is constantly improving you may want to have a safe that has backup options. This will ensure when you need access, it is available to you, especially if you are going with one that is able to fit into your budget.
Maybe as time goes on and the technology continues to improve, quality safes will become more affordable and there will be a happy medium in how it responds. Until then, it is better to stay safe than sorry. Read our reviews and listen to what others have to say. Then make sure it has another route offered to open it.