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Unlike a traditional safe, which relies either on keyed mechanisms or a number configuration to open, a biometric safe opens with a simple fingertip. Press the linked finger to a keypad, and the safe springs open. It’s a great choice for items that you need to access in a hurry, or if you are concerned about misplacing keys or forgetting combinations. Here are three factors that will help you make the best choice when buying a biometric safe.

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The best biometric safes are backup-plan ready. That means you can open one multiple ways. You can pop one open using the fingerprint reader, manually open with a key or bob, or enter a combination on a keypad. While the fingerprint reader is the primary way to access the inside, having multiple entry options enables access to more than one person if desired.

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Placing the correct fingerprint on the reader kick starts the process of opening a safe, but the mechanical devices inside that actually complete the action vary. Some safes are spring operated and open quickly. Others rely on gas struts that dampen the sound of the door opening. Whichever you prefer, it’s important the door opens a full 90 degrees for ease of access.

You’ll likely want to attach a biometric safe firmly to immovable objects like a floor or wall. If so, consider a safe with pre-drilled mounting holes that allow you to fix it to a sturdy surface. Doing so provides an extra measure of security against theft.

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