Home safes are a great way to keep your treasured items safe and out of harm’s way. Just like anything else, buying a safe is not a one-size-fits-all approach. This means that the home safe that your neighbour has may not be the one you need. So what should you look for when buying your own safe for your home and family? Secure Your World has just the guide to help. Here are four brief points for what you need to know.
1. Fire resistant, theft resistant
Theft resistant safes are designed to protect your items against theft and burglary. Look for certification, this means they have undergone rigorous testing to meet set ratings. One of these ratings is called Cash Ratings. This can range from $5,000 to $500,000. In other words, the higher the cash rating the more secure the safe is from theft and burglary attacks. But remember, theft resistant is not the same as theftproof, it can only resist attacks for a period of time or up to a particular force.
Fire resistant safes are designed to protect your items against fire and smoke for a period of time. The insulation within these safes, release moisture when exposed to heat. The moisture released keeps the temperature within the safe below the level of paper ignition for a certain period of time and up to a certain amount of heat. Again, look for certification showing that they have undergone rigorous testing to meet set standards. You will see these types of safes carry a fire rating, this lets you know how long the inside of the safe will be resistant to fire. This ranges from 0 (meaning no protection) to 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, 2 hours and 4 hours. Again, safes cannot be completely fireproof.
There are also safes aimed at protecting particular items. For example, if you wish to protect computer data software such as CDs, tapes and external drives, it should all be stored in a certified data media fire resistant safe. This safe, in particular, will protect against more than just heat or fire, it can also protect against humidity and moisture.
2. What size safe is best?
To determine what size you should get, think about what you want to keep in the safe. Make a list of all the items you wish to store in there that you currently have and record their shape and if necessary, take into account how much space they will take up. Next, you need to consider your future needs. What do you hope to acquire that will need to be stored in the safe? By doing this you will avoid having to upsize in the future. If you’re not sure, consider adding at a minimum an extra 50% space to what you need.
3. Not all safes are made equal
Not every safe is made in the same way. Each safe is made from different materials or compositions. Not to mention each will have varying wall and door thicknesses. Buying a cheap, generic home safe will not provide you with the same level of protection or longevity that you’ll find in comparison to a quality safe made by brands like Lokaway, Yale and Dominator. Cheaper safes will usually only put in small amounts of welding and then use putty to fill in the rest of the gaps, hence its cheap price and quick turnaround.
Safes can even have different locking mechanisms too. One example is Lokaway safes. When the metal handle is twisted, the leading edge of the door is exposed from the left. This then allows the door to swing open on its hinge. To secure the safe, the handle is twisted in the opposite direction, enabling the door to move from right to left. The door will then slide to the side of the safe to lock. The image below shows this lock mechanism.
4. Where will the safe go?
Consider where the safe will go in your home. Take note of the dimensions of your desired safe. Will it fit in your chosen location? Most importantly, think about how the safe will get there. Will it fit through the door? Do you need to move furniture out of the way to get to its destination? Will the floor be strong enough to support the load of the safe plus its contents? Are the stairs strong enough to support the safe going up or down? Remember, depending on your chosen safe, once it’s in place, it can be a tough task to move it elsewhere. Tip: If you are unsure of how to make the installation a smooth process, then it is always best to contact the professionals beforehand.
Finally, buying a home safe is an investment, so it may not always be a good idea to buy the cheapest one on the market or the first safe you see online or in-store. Do your research and carefully compare each safe.