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How do I Choose the Best Combination Lock Box?

Article Details
  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Choosing the best combination lock box in which to keep items secure is not a split-second decision. A combination lock box is often designed for a specific, intended use. You must also decide between an electronic and a manual combination lock box, and whether you want a lock box that comes with a single, set combination, or one on which you can reset the combination manually.

The intended use of the combination lock box will be your first consideration. Combination lock boxes are primarily made for personal, business or real estate use. A bank lock box is another type of lock box, but these do not function on combinations. Personal and business lock boxes are kept in a secure area and are used for jewelry, files and other personal items. Real estate lock boxes, or key boxes, typically hang on the doorknob, gate or gas meter of a for-sale house to hold that house’s key so real estate agents trying to show the house will have easy access when the homeowner is away.

Electronic combination lock boxes are more common today, but there are still companies that sell manual lock boxes. Electronic lock boxes come with buttons you push to release the lock. Manual lockboxes have a numbered dial that, when spun correctly, will open the combination lock box. This is a matter of preference, because both types are secure.

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Some combination lock boxes come with a set combination, while others must be set by the user; still others allow the combination to be changed at any time. Having a set combination that cannot change means more security for the lock box owner. This is because anyone who knows how to change a combination can do so and release the lock. At the same time, if you forget the lock box combination and there is no reset function, you will need to hire a locksmith to open the lock box.

Material is one of the basic safety features a combination lock box offers. The two materials most often used are metal and plastic. Plastic lock boxes tend to be cheaper but can be broken into easier than a metal lock box can. Plastic is best for those on a budget, but it doesn’t offer the same strength as metal, and you will need to decide which is more important.

Other security features deal mostly with the construction of the lock box. Having a recessed lid prevents burglars from using a crow bar or screwdriver to pry open the lid. Concealed or recessed hinges are similar, because they keep thieves from punching out the hinge pins and opening the lock box. One security feature of some locks is that they become unusable for a time after someone enters the combination incorrectly. This tends to ward off burglars looking to get in and get out quickly.

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