Buying a safe for your home is not as easy as you might expect it to be. This is usually because most people have no idea what they should be looking for. As a result they end up with something that doesn’t get the job done.
Our goal with this short guide is to give you the best information so you can make the best possible decision. Here is a list of the things you should know before you buy a fireproof safe.
What Size of Safe Should I Purchase?
To answer this question you must first figure out where you want to house the safe. Will it be in a basement, bedroom, or some hidden space within the home? The space you have available is what will ultimately determine what size safe you purchase.
You must also consider what you plan on storing in the safe. Will it be small items such as laptops, keys, and paperwork? Or will it be bigger items such as guns?
We recommend you buy a safe that is bigger than what you think you need. This way, as more things get added in, you will still have plenty of space.
Not All Safes are Created Equally
There are basically three types of safes you can install in your home. They are floor safes, hidden safes, or wall safes.
When it comes to overall protection, hidden safes and wall safes are not the best. While wall safes are easy to conceal due to their small size, they are just as easy to break into due to the thin gauge steel they are made out of. Hidden safes are also very easy to break into.
If your goal is to prevent burglary, a floor safe is your best bet. They are actually engineered to protect against burglary. This makes floor safes the best option for storing valuables such as jewelry.
Security Rating Best Suited To Protect My Valuables
There are a variety of different items that people want to keep in a safe. Some of them include cash, important documents, and jewelry. The items you are trying to keep safe, as well as their overall value will determine what security rating is best for you.
To help you better understand the various levels of security a safe can provide, we have a few guidelines that can help you choose the right safe.
- If the value of the content you want to keep safe is $5000 or less, go with a B-rated safe.
- If the value of the content you want to keep safe is $10,000 or less, go with a B/C- rated safe.
- If the value of the content you want to keep safe is $200,000 or less, go with a L. TL-15 rated safe.
- If the value of the content you want to keep safe is $500,000-$1,000,000 or less, go with a L. TL-30X6 rated safe.
Different Types of Fire Ratings
Always opt for a safe that has a fire rating of at least 1 hour. Anything less than that and your paper documents will not survive. You also want to make sure the safe has a fire seal. A good fire seal is capable of expanding up to 5 times and won’t allow smoke and fire to enter the safe. Even better is the fact it will also keep moisture out.
Different Types of Locks
When it comes to fireproof safes, one of the most commonly asked questions is about what type of lock is the best.
There are basically two types of locks. Electronic and mechanical. Mechanical locks are the traditional locks. In order to break into this type of lock would require an expert burglar.
If you opt to use a mechanical lock, make sure it has a minimum of two redundant locks. This way it will take a long time to break in. If it takes too much time to break into, most burglars will just move on.
To keep the quality and integrity of the lock in tack, a mechanical look will need to be serviced at least once every five years.
The second type of lock is the electronic lock. Electronic locks are also known as digital locks and they are a good option as well. If you opt to use an electronic lock, make sure it is EMP resistant.
Electronic locks run on batteries. Be sure to check them and replace them every few months.
Where To Place The Safe
Where you place the safe will be one of the tougher decisions you will have to make. And being that every home is different, there is no one best place to install a safe. However, the most secure place would be where two outside walls meet. Usually this would be in a corner somewhere in the home.
If your home has multiple levels, keep the safe on the ground floor. Always make sure the safe is out of sight and in an area that would be difficult for a burglar to find.
Never install a safe in the master bedroom or in the garage. Those are the first two places burglars tend to look.
Home Safe FAQs
How Heavy Should The Safe Be?
In all honesty, the heavier the safe, the better. You don’t want a safe that’s so light it’s easy for someone to pick up and carry out of the home.
Not only are heavy safes harder to remove from the home, but they are also more durable than lighter safes.
Should The Safe Be Anchored?
When a burglar breaks into a home, the first thing they do is try to move the safe somewhere else. The easiest way to prevent this is by anchoring the safe.
Even if you think your safe is in a hidden place that no one could ever find, you should still anchor it.
The good news is most safes will come with anchor holes. The best way to anchor a safe is in the concrete. If you do not have that option, you can anchor it to a wood subfloor. Please know that a wood floor will not provide an adequate amount of protection for the anchor.
You will therefore need to take extra steps to secure the wood floor before anchoring the safe.
Do You Need Multi Layered Security?
Just because you have a high quality safe in your home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take additional steps to protect your valuables.
You should therefore take a multi layered approach. Make sure you have a good alarm system in place as it will serve as a good deterrent.
Watch the company you keep and never let people you don’t trust into your home. Even if you trust an individual, be careful with who you tell about the location of your safe. Only the people in your immediate family should know where it is. This would be your spouse and children.
If you notice unfamiliar people driving around your neighborhood, take notice. If you feel unsafe, call the police.
You should also consider installing motion activated lighting. When burglars see light they tend to scatter.
While you never want to act in fear, you should take extra precautions to ensure your family, your home, and your belongings remain safe.