10 Things to Keep in Mind Before Purchasing a Safe

safes
 
When purchasing a safe, you have a few things to consider. In order to find the ideal safe for your needs, consider a few things about safes before making the purchase.
 
There is so much more to safes than meets the eye. You cannot simply look at safes and guess which one is best. Moreover, you should not purchase your safe solely based on price, size, or color. Think about what you want to protect, and read about the different safe types below. When you know what your best assets are, and what the risks near you home are, you’ll be able to choose the perfect safe for your needs.
 
Fireproof Safes
 
Fireproof safes are actually more fire “resistant”. This means that they will withstand heat and smoke, and water in some cases. Fireproof safes protect sentimental or important items in the event of a house fire. These safes are not meant for valuables like cash and jewelry, as they’re not designed to keep intruders out the way that security safes are. You can find fireproof, burglar safes, which are not only fireproof, but also designed to keep others out of them.
 
Burglar Fire Safes
 
Consider the BF rating. Think about the maximum value the safe can protect, and determine if it will exceed the value of your belongings over the next 10 years. If anything increases in value dramatically, you may want a new safe to reflect the content inside of it.
 
Floor Safes
 
Floor safes are great for your extremely valuable pieces, as burglars will have a much more difficult time getting into them. However, they’re not great for withstanding fires, so it’s not exactly the best place for important documents or sentimental photos.
 

Don’t Confuse Fire Safe with Security Safe

There are safes available that can protect your belongings from both theft and fire. You must remember, however, that a simple fire safe does not have the security features necessary to protect the contents from theft. Conversely, a security safe that is not rated for fire protection might keep the contents from catching alight, but the materials inside the safe will still be in danger from temperatures that can reach up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to check all of the specifications before you purchase a safe, so that you can be sure that your safe can protect the way you expect it to.

Rating Your Fire Proof Safe

If you are purchasing a fire proof safe, then you can rest assured that the safes from which you are choosing have been through rigorous testing and will stand up to the ratings that they pledge. It’s really just a matter of knowing what the ratings mean, so that you can be assured of the protection that is offered. The lowest rating is a UL ½-hour fire endurance test, which will protect your belongings for up to a half hour at 1550 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also find UL 1-hour and UL 2-hour endurance safes. You probably won’t need them in your home, but you can also find UL explosion hazard safes, and UL fire-impact safes.

Safe Classifications Made Easy

You should be aware of the classification on any safe that you plan to purchase. The classification will tell you just how secure your new safe can be. The letters in the classification tell you what types of tools the safe is protected against. TL refers to hand tools, TRTL refers to hand tools and torches, and TXTL means that the safe is protected again hand tools, torches, and explosives. TL-15 indicates that it will take up to fifteen minutes to break in using hand tools, while a TRTL-30 will resist tools and torches for thirty minutes. The TXTL-60 is one of the highest classifications available.

Choosing a Fire Safe

If you plan to purchase a safe to keep your valuables from harm, it’s a good idea to take it one step further and make sure that the safe is fire proof. Be sure that the safe you choose states clearly that it is a fire safe. All fire safes should have at least one layer of fireboard, which is insulation on the inside of the safe. Stronger safes will have more layers of fireboard. Also, be sure that the door is good, or heat and smoke may get to the contents. Your safe should protect the contents from temperatures up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Anti-theft Safes and Fire Safes Are Not Interchangeable

While it is certainly possible to purchase a burglary safe that will offer fire protection, you should keep in mind that the same doesn’t work the other way. Strongboxes and lockboxes that are built to be fireproof will only keep your documents and valuable safe in the event of a fire. These strongboxes, however, are usually small and can often be carried out by thieves. For anti-theft protection, be sure that you are purchasing a true home safe. These will be large, with steel and concrete construction. No thief will be able to pick it up and casually leave with it, that’s for sure.

A fire safe is an important addition to your overall security strategy

A good fire safe is an important part of an overall security strategy.  The results of a fire can be devastating enough, but if you lose all of your important documents and other valuables, it is even more devastating.  So if you are considering purchasing a safe, make sure that it has a fireproof rating.  Typical fireproof ratings are 1-hour fireproof and 2-hour fireproof.  A 1-hour fireproof rating, for example, means that the safe has been tested under actual fire conditions to ensure that the interior of the safe does not rise above a certain temperature.

Fireproof safes are also tested to keep the interior humidity low, to prevent damage from the water used to put out the fire.  You can also buy special media safes, which are intended to protect valuable computer backup data from the harmful effects of fire and water.  They are tested to much sticter standards to keep your valuable media safe.  For more information on the fire safe.

Safes are key to a good business security plan

When you think about the security of the valuables, cash and important documents used by your business, one of the first things that should come to mind is safes.  A good bolted down safe can keep burglars from getting to these valuable items – they’ll have to settle for what’s easiest to take if they break in.  Think about the documents or computer backup data that would be nearly impossible to replace if lost in a burglary or a fire.

So a good burglary rated, fireproof safe is a must for any business.  Check to make sure the safe is rated in both of these areas.  Some common burglary ratings are UL TL 15 and TL 30.  Some commone fireproof ratings are a 1 hour or 2 hour fireproof rating.  These ratings mean that these safes have been tested to withstand burglars attempts to open them and tested under actual fire conditions.  If you need to safeguard valuable computer backup media, make sure you get a special media fireproof safe, as these have a much stricter rating to ensure that your media would not be damaged during a fire.

Jewelry safes offer high security for your valuables

Jewelry safes offer a high degree of security for your valuables.   Jewelry safes carry a burglary rating, such as the UL TL 15 or TL 30 rating.  This rating means that the jewelry safes have been tested against attempts to open them.  For example, a TL 15 rating means that a professional locksmith using common locksmithing tools was unable to open the safe in a period of 15 minutes.

Jewelry safes are constructed of special materials.  They usually have 5″ thick doors and 1-1/2″ thick steel bodies.  They use 1-1/2″ steel locking bolts, and the locking mechanism is surrounded by drill-resistant hardened steel plate.  They are designed to be bolted to the floor from the inside.  So if you want the most in security for your valuables, consider getting a jewelry safe.  For more information on jewelry safes.

A depostitory safe can provide you with convenience and security

If your business deals with a lot of cash or other small valuables, a depository safe can save you time and money.  A depository safe is designed to accept small objects like jewelry or cash placed in envelopes without having to open the safe.  You just drop the item in a slot or hopper to deposit it into the safe.   These safes have built-in baffles to keep someone from “fishing” the contents back out through the opening.  So, for example, you could have your cashiers deposit large cash amounts periodically throughout the day or night, so that the cash register never contains a large amount of cash.

If your business is robbed and the cashier does not have access to the depository safe, your cash is safe.  A depository safe is not really designed to protect your valuables from a determined burglar, however, so you should periodically empty it and place the contents in a more secure safe or take it to the bank.  Depository safes come in all shapes and sizes, with different sized openings, so there’s sure to be one that’s right for your business.