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Picking A Safe For Your Home

If you still keep your money between your box spring and mattress, your insurance policies in a shoebox and your jewelry hidden in the freezer, then you might want to consider getting a safe for your home.

A Word About Fireproof And Theft-Proof Safes

I am sure you’ve seen safes at your local department or home improvement store that say “Fireproof” while others say “Theft-proof”, so which do you choose? Well, there are models available that provide you protection from both fires and thieves but it really depends on what you are protecting. The fire protection works by releasing moisture into the air when it gets to a certain temperature. While most safes are rated to keep the temperature below 350°F (most paper combusts at ~842°F), other media has a much lower rating and needs to be protected with a data-rated safe. Even with the standard under 350°F protection, paper items will not be pristine, only "usable", and even then it is questionable depending on the type of paper and ink. I would suggest if you have papers and photos you're worried about being damaged by extreme heat, get a smaller safe rated specifically for that and stick it in the larger safe or store them off site in a safety deposit box. Firearms, if stored in a fireproof safe, should be stored with dry packs. But remember that once the fire department has extinguished the fire – the water damage done to your weapon may be irreversible. NEVER STORE AMMO IN YOUR SAFE AS HIGH TEMPERATURES OF A FIRE MAY CAUSE THEM TO IGNITE RUINING EVERYTHING ELSE IN YOUR SAFE. It may be more logical to store your firearm in a high quality “Theft-Proof” safe. A Simmons Locksmith is a dealer of quality safes such as V-Line industries, Gardall, American Security and Cobalt to name a few…

Some Features That You Should Look For In A Safe

1) Thickness. You will want to look for one made of solid steel with a 1/2-inch door and 1/4-inch walls. Many companies have come out with “consumer models” which are lower in price but only have a 1/2-inch door and 1/8-inch walls. Just remember – the thinner the safe’s materials, the easier to pry open.

2) Relocking Failsafe. Choose a safe that features a good quality lock equipped with a relocking device so that just in case an amateurish thief tries to tamper with the lock, the device automatically relocks the bolts. Most safes bought from your local department or home improvement store DO NOT have good quality locks (i.e. they lack the relocking device).

3) Heat Resistance: For homes, it’s best to get a fireproof safe that can withstand 1,850°F (1,010°C) for a span of two hours.  This will protect most paper documents and items such as passports and most media.

4) Manufacturer’s Guarantee: Be sure to get one that comes from a reputable manufacturer and from whom you can get support just in case something happens to the safe.

5) Mounting: Bolt the safe to a floor or wall and make sure your new safe is positioned in an outside, reinforced corner or in the basement. Many people put their 500-pound safes in their front room and are suddenly surprised when the room floor is sagging 4 inches and the basement ceiling is falling apart. Or worse, when the safe finds it's own way to the basement. A safe needs space; hence, if you bolt it, bolt it such that long crowbars don't work in the corner you bolt it in. It's deadly for a safe to be turned on its' back or moved such that long bars can be levered. If there is a space, it gives the criminal an opportunity to pry it free and carry it out to their vehicle. Remember, if you can carry it into your home – the burglar can carry it out. Why would someone take the time to open it in your home if they can take their time and open it where they won’t get caught?

6) Condensation: Most safes are not waterproof and condensation can slowly build up on the interior of the safe.  This moisture can cause damage to the contents of the safe. To keep the moisture out of the safe, try to open the safe at least once every two weeks for about 20 minutes.  It also helps to not store the safe in areas of high humidity.  You can also use desiccant bags or other dehumidifying devices to help absorb the moisture.