Tips For Choosing A Safe

There are a lot of safes for sale, and you might be tempted just to go with the cheapest safe that's big enough for your purposes. However, this would probably be a mistake, as you get what you pay for. There are a number of factors that should be considered before choosing a safe.

What Is It Protecting?

What you are going to be putting into the safe helps determine the type of safe you need. For example, if you're storing papers, you'll probably want a safe that's fire rated to keep these from burning. This rate is measured in hours, so a 1-hour rating will keep papers safe from burning for 1 hour and should probably be the lowest rating considered in your search for the perfect safe. This won't be enough if you're storing computer backups or anything that's damaged by heat. In that case, you'll need a media safe, which is temperature controlled so it doesn't go above the temperature that will destroy this type of item.

How Valuable Will the Contents Be?

When looking into safes for sale, consider also how much the contents of the safe will be worth, and use this to get one with an insurance rating high enough to cover this value. The insurance rating tells you the most cash that would be safely stored in a properly installed safe. Basically, the harder a safe is to open, the higher the insurance value.

How Big Does Your Safe Need to Be?

Remember, the safe is for valuables only, not every sentimental item in the home. A rule of thumb is to figure out how much space the items you want in the safe will need, and then purchase the next size up to make sure there's room for future additions.

Installed or Portable?

If you're trying to protect valuables from burglars, you'll want the safe installed, preferably in concrete or using a steel plate. Otherwise, the burglar can simply pick it up and take it with him, leaving plenty of time for him to figure out how to open it later. On the other hand, if it's only for fire protection, you may want to choose a portable safe everyone in the family can easily carry.

Type of Lock

The main options for locks include a digital combination lock that uses a keypad, a mechanical combination lock that involves turning a knob or a key lock. Businesses also sometimes use a safe with a combination of both key and combination locks, and some have a safe with a time delay lock as well. Like commercial door locks, these give an added layer of security but may not be necessary for the average homeowner.

Other Security

All safes can eventually be opened by a professional, so you'll want to use your safe in combination with good commercial door locks and a monitored security system to limit the amount of time a burglar would have to fiddle with the safe and try to get it open. 

For more information about safes, contact a business such as Georges Lock & Security Service.