Residential Home Safes
Home Safes and Residential Safes
Should You Get a Home Safe?
A safe can be an essential addition to your home. You will be able to protect your valuable possessions such as jewelry, documents, money or electronics from burglary, fire or both. If you’re thinking of investing in one, there are a lot of choices in the market with different features and “strong” (pun intended) points.
Before acquiring one, however, it helps to determine what you intend to use it for. The type of safe you will eventually install in your home will all depend on your personal considerations. Here are some of the questions to ask to help in your decision:
What items are you looking to store in your safe?
What is the net worth of the valuables you wish to store?
Are these valuables commonly kept (and needed) at your home or can you afford to place them in a safe at the bank?
How much storage space do you need?
How much are you willing to spend on a safe? Note that the better quality safes can get quite expensive.
Are you concerned about theft, fire or both?
Are your items insured? If so, does your insurance policy require your safe have a specific rating?
Types of Residential Safes
With your needs considered, it is time to look at the kinds of residential safes available in the market.
There are essentially 4 basic types.
1. Fire Safes. Fire safes are UL rated as they can resist up to 350 degree fires. This is equal to approximately 1700 degrees of external temperature. It is important to note that fire safes are not good anti-burglary units, unless they are classified under both fire proof/burglary safe. For this kind of protection, read on to the following section.
Used for: Storage of critical documents that are difficult to replace such as wills, automobile titles, birth certificates or passports. They are usually used to store items that may be of great importance to you but has little value for a burglar With increased security due to terrorism and identity theft, it is essential to have your important identity documents survive a fire.
2. Burglar or Burglary Safes. Because they are made of heavier materials, burglary safes are considered more secure than a simple fire safe. They are usually made of solid steel plating or a combination of solid steel and fill materials such as concrete that is mixed with fire retardant filler. So they could be fireproof, as well.
Used for: Safekeeping of both documents and valuables such as jewelry or money.
Under this category, there are different variants to choose from depending on your needs and where you have designated the safe to be located:
a. Stand Alone Safes. These are typically made of steel. If needs dictate, they can be fireproof. Additionally, they can be fitted with a range of locking devices from key locks to combination locks to electronic locks. As the name implies, these are mounted to the floor and are free standing. Stand alone safes are very heavy and this alone is a deterrent against removal from the premises. The advantage of these safes is that they can be situated in an inconspicuous part of your home where there is room to open the door fully. These safes are also relatively cheaper than wall or floor type safes and are a good option for sensitive documents or smaller items.
b. Wall Safes. Homeowners opt for these for storing currency or important documents. It is built into walls and fitted between the studs in the wall. These can be made more inconspicuous by concealing in a bookshelf, under a painting or through a built-in sliding panel. For even greater security, these can be concreted into place.
For protection from theft, these are rated for time required to cut a 6 inch hole in the door.
c. Floor Safes. These safes can be embedded into a concrete floor. This makes it very difficult for burglars to remove. They are similar to wall safes because they are also narrow so they can fit between floor boards. They can be concealed under furniture or carpet or even made to look as part of your floor.
Because they are embedded into the floor, however, these safes are prone to rusting.We can recommend measures to reduce likelihood of rust damage.
Burglary safes are used for safeguarding documents, valuables and currency. However, for large amounts of currency, it is recommended that cash rated safes be considered. What is a cash rating? It signifies the amount an insurance company will cover for the contents of the safe in the event of theft or damage. Safes with a cash rating have been tested on how secure they are and are rated on based on this category. Under test conditions, safes are broken into and based on the resistance to attack, are categorized into cash ratings. Higher cash ratings indicate better resistance to a security breach.
3. Gun Safes. We all have heard of stories of tragic accidental shootings in homes. If you keep a gun or a collection of guns, it is important to have a gun safe to keep them secure -- against theft and most importantly, to keep children from getting their hands on these deadly weapons.
These come in various sizes, strength of security, fire resistance and definitely, price ranges. The choice you make will all depend on your requirements and your budget.
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With over 50 years of experience in the business, Dick’s Lock and Safe offers sales and services with a wide array of choices.
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