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Thread: SECURITY AND SAFETY ALERT: Gun safes easily opened by three year old

  1. #1
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    SECURITY AND SAFETY ALERT: Gun safes easily opened by three year old

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/marcwebe...hree-year-old/

    A list of common gun safes are extremely unsafe to use in the home, especially if you have children.

    From the article:
    "Both small and large gun safes are sold at all major sporting goods stores and on-line retailers, including Walmart, Cabelas (37 stores), Scheels (24 stores), and Dicks Sporting Goods (450 stores). These safes typically cost $75-$200 depending upon manufacturer, retail outlet, container size and alleged “sophistication and method of locking.” There are three leading brands that are sold by these retail outlets: Stack-on, GunVault, and Bulldog."

    I recommend evaluation of each individual gun safe you have in your home. Many of these gun safes are can be easily unlocked, if you read the linked article you'll see a story about a child of a law enforcement officer which shot himself after opening the department issued Stack-On safes which were approved by the police department.

    Reason behind the flaw: Digital safes using defective designs with solenoids.

    Another section from the article:
    "In April of this year I initially contacted the Vice President of Marketing for Stack-On, Steve Martin to ask if I could visit their facility near Chicago to do a story on gun safes because they were the leader in the industry. He told me that their company generated $100,000,000 a year and that “they did not talk to the media.” I then told him that we had examined several of their safes and found every one of them to be easily opened, even by kids. He did not ask one question. I offered to send him links to the videos that we produced. He was not interested. I offered to come to Chicago to brief his engineering team on the design problems. Again, he was not interested. There has been absolutely no follow-up by Stack-On. In my world, that means that they either know of the problems and were concerned about their liability, or they do not care. Either way, it places any consumer at potential risk if they purchase these Stack-On containers until the security flaws are remedied."

    I'm extremely dissatisfied Stack-On is knowingly selling a product which is defective by design. These safes aren't security, they're snake oil.

    What safe should you use?
    Mechanical safes

    I may update this post in the future with responses from the companies, if they respond.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    My safe is sold under the Winchester label, but it's made by (I think) Brinks. I requires both a mechanical key to turn the bolt and the use of an electronic keypad to operate a solenoid which unlocks the mechanical bolt. Thus, while you may be able to manipulate the solenoid, you still need the key to perform the final mechanical unlock.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    This is not news, it is only being said once again.

    For the record, residential security containers (RSCs) are not safes. Construction, operation and locking differences define the difference. RSCs will deter those who have no intention of getting in. They may delay those intent on getting in. This is why the Four Rules/Eddie Eagle will save more lives of children than any locked container. But do we teach them? Do we enforce them?

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    I've got a cheesy little "safe" or "RSC" as Skid says, bought it for a song on closeout and apparently the company folded.

    It's plastic (or is that space age polycarbonate?) and after once having to knock the hinge pins out to get it open, obviously not foolproof. But it does serve as an effective barrier to my two sons, who so far are not allowed to be home alone for any meaningful period of time, and hopefully have enough sense to not try something so stupid.
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  5. #5
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    Just put your gun in a post office envelope and label it "homework" .. you gun is safe from kids.

    Its a good article/link. At least you know what you are getting for your money. I have some scattered around the house .. mostly dust covers for the firearm.

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    This is not news, it is only being said once again.

    For the record, residential security containers (RSCs) are not safes.
    "Safe: a place or receptacle to keep articles (as valuables) safe." - Merriam-Webster A more modern definition would be any system designed to deter or slow access, and provide evidence of tampering should access be attempted or attained.

    Hello, folks, I'm putting on an old hat1 for a few minutes, as there's a misconception here. There is no line of demarcation below which something is "not a safe" and above which "is a safe." It's a continuum, from a ceramic piggy bank to Fort Knox and beyond, and no safe on this planet is impenetrable. The best bank vaults aren't merely the metal walls physically securing their contents, but are layers of systems, some physical, some procedural, some both. A time lock, for example, is both physical and procedural, designed to delay or deter entry even if someone puts a gun to the bank manager's head. Some of the more ingenious systems aren't layers, but work in tandem, such that you can't disable one system without alerting the other and vice versa. On-site/off-site key access systems with independent communication with third-party (third site) monitoring is one example of dual-channel security. The two keys which need to be turned simultaneously by two armed missile officers are another, but there are more.

    The term "residential security containers" is neologism, courtesy of Underwriter Laboratories to describe a Level 1 anti-burglary container which provides for net access time of five minutes using "a variety of tools." Source. RFCs are still safes, and is called that by UL. Put simply, RSC is a rating, not a term for low-security safes, although some websites like this one as well as this one incorrectly claim otherwise, possibly because of "mine is bigger/better"-ism, or perhaps to encourage people to buy more than they need. For example, This $1,491 gun safe sports a RSC rating by Underwriters Laboratories. It's still a safe, but I'd rather buy a comparably priced model by Amsec.

    By the way, those tools include "chisels, wenches, screwdrivers, power saws, cutting torches, crowbars, abrasive cutting wheels, jackhammers, even specified amounts of nitroglycerin." The way they come up with the time of five minutes is non-standard, as all their other ratings for safes are based on materials, construction, and systems. Safes are attacked by a two-person crew via explosion, fire, hand/motorized tool tampering and a host of other methods of attack to test the security of the unit. That two-person team is comprised of UL test engineers. UL claims they have the best safe-crackers in the world. I don't know about that, but I've broken into one safe with UL's TL-15 rating, but I didn't restrict myself to the piddly tools used by UL's test engineers, and as a result it didn't take me RSC's 5 minutes, either. More like 2 minutes. The safe was toast, but its contents were intact.

    RSCs will deter those who have no intention of getting in. They may delay those intent on getting in.
    Safes with a UL RSC rating will always delay and may prevent entry. The questions are "for how long" and "what skill set and level of determination is required to gain entry?"

    This is why the Four Rules/Eddie Eagle will save more lives of children than any locked container. But do we teach them? Do we enforce them?
    I do, and I have no problem leaving my firearm out around my son, provided I'm in eye contact with it. He treats it as a bomb, because he knows if I even think he's touched it without my permission, he'll face some serious consequences, and he's right! On the other hand, under my direct supervision he has absolutely no problem going with me to the range for practice, and is very comfortable loading, unloading, and clearing. He's not comfortable with cleaning it, but that's another issue.

    I don't rely on Four Rules/Eddie Eagle in lieu of a locked container, though. I use it as another layer of security.

    1I was a manufacturing engineer for a security electronics firm. One learns a great deal about getting around security when one's job is to provide it. Our systems were top of the line, and were installed in major banks and museums.
    Last edited by since9; 07-29-2012 at 06:36 PM.
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    Regular Member Uber_Olafsun's Avatar
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    I can't remember my safe brand right off but it looks like one of the ones the kid was lifting and dropping. Another reason to secure the safe to a shelf floor etc.

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    "Nothing is foolproof to the sufficently talented fool"

    Remindes me of the 'childproof' pill bottles that only children can open!
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  9. #9
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Federal law requires some sort of lock to be provided with every gun sale
    And somewhere around here I have a bookmark to a video showing how easy it is to pick what are called wafer locks (straight, flat key), which is what most trigger locks & [I'm spacing on the name... mini cable lock that goes through the gun so it can't close] have.

    Granted, it was performed by a locksmith who makes a hobby of testing gun safes & locks, but each of them took him less than 30sec. Sometimes considerably less.

    From his video (which was informative, but laced with profanity), the safest locks have round keys.
    Here we go. 38 minutes. Worth a listen, but keep tender ears away.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIJFQ...ure=plpp_video
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    I was actually at these Defcon talks, and am acquainted with the folks who put them on.

    I think the takeaway is not that we should stop using them, just that we be aware of what they are, and what they AREN'T. If you buy tools at Harbor Freight, you have no misconception that they are Snap-On quality. Same here. These are NOT SAFES. They are deterrents.

    The other takeaway is that by pointing out, and PUBLICIZING these vulnerabilities, it will force the manufacturers to produce a better product.

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