Physical protection as we’ve known best serves physical security when implemented with multiple and intricate layers of different safety methods. Safes and vaults are considered to be the most inner layer that holds within it most valuable assets, information. The value of the content usually determines the degree and the complexity of security mechanism needed, the size is what defines if a given security container is a safe or a vault, safes are small containers and vaults are spaces that we can walk into. Security accessories such as combination locks, cryptographic locks, biometric locks make safes and vaults more secure to attacks, though the intent of any safety container/facility is to achieve impregnable levels of safety that is often not the case as the weak link or vulnerabilities in the lock mechanisms can lead to compromising the access to the valuable content placed within it. The features provided by a safe or a vault is subjected to tend to one particular form of attack, fire resistant safes can be forced open with simple tools and burglar resistant safes are prone to fire attacks, it is highly advised to use safes that are both fire and burglar safe Underwriter Laboratory (UL ) standards. Also, safes can be used in combination complementing each other and enhancing overall safety to a great extent.
The second most important thing after we have chosen the right container is to choose a right kind of lock, UL Standard combination locks help protect the safes and vaults while choosing a good quality combination lock, the factors to be considered are durability, impact handling, manipulation resistance and mechanical strength. All those factors would be present in a UL group 1 and 2 combination lock.
Most Burglars use forceful and physical methods to attack a safety container and a relocking device would highly be helpful in here because relocking device enabled safes are specifically designed to protect against forceful attacks from the outside which would trigger the well placed relock mechanism thereby safeguarding the vault from attacks like dial punching, torching, and drilling. Some sophisticated relocking enables safes do not even let authorized users let access in during certain periods during which it also sets an alarm when anyone tries to punch in the combination codes. The aforementioned combination locks are not only prone to force punching but also can easily be compromised if the position of the dial is horizontal and clearly visible with a direct line of sight, which allows people around you to take a peek in while entering the combination, with digital screens, we can use vision restricted combination dialing so that unauthorized personnel cannot learn the combination so easily.
The advantage with a combination lock can become its disadvantage when adequate care and attention is not taken when changing the combinations on the locks, most companies use manufacturers or vendors to change combinations so that they do not make mistakes that can endanger the safety of the vault, most often than not mistakes while changing combination are very obvious when done without fully reading the changing instructions manual. The combination is a simple task but mistakes in it can cost a great deal.
Safe burglars often want to work quickly and fast, they lack insufficient skill to crack open insulated safes, they are fairly unskilled in handling the safes, after a few attempts at code punching they will stop investing more time and money in breaking a safe, while some safe burglars would have a medium level skill to break or manipulate a combination and would use any opportunity they have to use their limited knowledge in manipulation when they can afford.
Some of the prominent mistakes made when dealing with combination locks are:
1. Writing down code combinations in hidden places around or on the combination lock, with assumptions that only they would be knowing about it but many smart burglars often look out for such self-offering hidden combination around.
2. Using Personal information such as birthday, address, phone or email as the code for the combination lock, this personal info can be easy to memorize but also very easy to research and find out.
3. Not scrambling enough on the combination keys after locking, if not attentive or careful enough then this practice can defeat the whole purpose of a combination lock as it will be very easy to tamper with when the keys are not fully and randomly scrambled.
4. Making a safe container mobile or placing them without maximum restriction on its mobility which can present a burglar with being able to easily transport it to a safe place and crack open in their own convenience.