3 Qualities Your Bank Vault Absolutely Needs to Have

 As a banking institution, people place their trust in you. However, if you violate that trust, it is almost impossible to get it back. One of the important elements of building and securing that trust is having reliable bank safes. At Minuteman Security, our 40-plus years of experience make us your security experts, and we wanted to tell you about three qualities you must have in your bank vault.

3 Qualities Your Bank Vault Absolutely Needs to Have

1. Reinforced Strength

Let’s get the most obvious quality out front first. Your bank vault needs to be strong–strong enough to resist the power of acetylene torches and other burglary attempts.

Modern bank vaults are nothing like the ones seen in old Western movies. Today’s vaults are typically made of concrete that is so thick it can’t be poured, and it sets very quickly. This is complemented by reinforcing steel rods.

2. A Solid UL Rating

UL stands for the Underwriters Laboratory. This organization is responsible for ensuring the safety and strength of various materials. The effectiveness of a vault is directly related to how much it will perform against a simulate break-in. There are several different UL ratings. You should select one based upon your individual needs.

UL Class 1 Vault

This type of vault will withstand a break-in attempt for 30 minutes. It is the lowest level on the UL scale.

UL Class 2 Vault

A class 2 vault performs better, withstanding a break-in attempt for 60 minutes, doubling the time of that in the Class 1 vault.

UL Class 3 Vault

This vault doubles the time of class 2, meaning it can withstand a break-in attempt for 120 minutes.

It’s important to note a few things about these times.

First, it only considers the time actually spent trying to break into the safe. It excludes setups, etc. It doesn’t cover attacks with explosives or thermal lances. It applies to the door and all sides.

The UL does not measure the vault for fire-resistance.

How Are These Vaults and Safes Tested?

These are tested either by UL or by the manufacturer by using a variety of tools to try to break into the vault. Some of these tools include:

  • Hand tools
  • Picking tools
  • Mechanical tools
  • Electric tools
  • Carbide drills
  • Power saws
  • Coring tools
  • Gas torches

These items are used to see if there is a breach. A breach is defined as a hole in the door or wall that is at least 96 square inches. If the locking bolts are broken, that is also considered a breach.

3. Does It Utilize the Advantages of a Time Lock?

Many bank vaults take advantage of this technology. With a time lock, there is a timer that prevents the vault, or in some cases, a safe, from being opened until it reaches a specified time. The vault will not open until that time, even if the correct combination is entered.

These locks are typically mounted on the inside of a vault door. Usually, there are three-time locks–one main one and two for backup purposes.

There are several benefits of using a time lock. We’ll take a look at a few of them.

It Helps Prevent Armed Robbery

This provides a deeper level of security. Delays can discourage robbers or give police more time to get to your location.

Ability to Send a Silent Alarm

In some cases, you can enter what is called a duress code. When that is entered, a silent alarm goes to the police. Because it is silent, the robbers don’t suspect that an alarm has been sent. In a time when seconds matter, this will enable you to get the help you need more quickly.

You Can Change the Codes

Suppose you have an employee who has access to the codes. Then, for some reason, that employee is fired. Now you are in the position where you may have a disgruntled employee walking around with vital security information!

That’s why it’s important to change the codes–or, in some cases, even create different codes for each employee.

You Can Preset Times

A time delay lock means you can easily set times when the safe should remain closed. This means if there is a bank holiday or if it is after hours, you can set the safe so that it stays locked.

What’s the Difference Between Bank Safes and a Vault?

These terms are often used interchangeably, but they represent two different and distinct elements. It centers around what is movable and what isn’t. Safes are movable. A vault is a room—or in some cases, a series of rooms—and while safes may be located in vaults, they are independent of them. While any building can contain a vault, they are typically associated with banks and financial institutions.

What Is the Difference Between Mechanical vs Digital Locks?

If you want a good example of a mechanical safe lock, look no further than the old Hollywood movies. These are the safes that require you to dial a number to the right, then the left, then the right again in order to open it.

On the other hand, digital locks are the latest and greatest in the new technology. We’ll explore these two locking methods and what makes them different.

Mechanical Locks

There are several benefits to mechanical locks. First, they have a pretty solid track record: They’ve been used in one form or another since the 1800s. With no electronic parts, they don’t require batteries or a power source, and typically, they last a very long time.

However, the mechanical safes were far from perfect. For example, if you forgot the combination, then you had to obtain the services of a specialized locksmith in order to open it. It can also become misaligned. This requires someone to come and reset it.

Digital Locks

Because the lock is digital, there is a dizzying array of possible combinations. In fact, there are as many as 999,999 of them! There’s also the ease of selecting your own password or combination to open it. Perhaps one of its best features is that if there are several failed attempts to open it, then it automatically blocks the users.

Minuteman Security: The Name Says It All

Our name stands for honesty, integrity, and more than 40 years of incredible service. We can help you with commercial safes, bank vaults, and safe deposit boxes. If you need anything that has to do with bank security, heavy-rigging for bank safes, or night depositories, Minuteman Security can help!

Extensive Experience Put to Work for You

Our extensive knowledge of the product is reflected in that we have over $2 million ensured and have a Class C license with the Texas Department of Public Safety to do alarms, video, and security consulting.

At Minuteman Security, we have the extensive products you need, and we ensure that we offer only the highest quality of security items in the Austin area. If you’re looking for something specific, just talk to us, and we’ll be glad to get you what you need.

We also provide drive-through equipment, audio/video security, bank equipment sales and service, burglar alarms, and digital video surveillance.
If you need a safe moved, repaired or opened, call Robert at Minuteman Security at (800)913-1237

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