You want to keep your important documents and belongings secure and out of the hands of would-be-robbers, and one of the best ways to do that is by using a home safe. But, these safes come in all different sizes, styles, and ratings. How do you know which safe is best for your needs? Following are some excellent tips on how to choose a home safe by Atlanta Experts Locksmith.
What Do You Plan On Storing in the Safe?
First, ask yourself what you plan on using the safe for – What do you plan on storing inside the safe? Do you want a place to keep important papers, do you have valuable jewelry or collectibles, or are you wanting a place where you can stash sentimental items that won’t be destroyed in a fire or flood? Depending on what you plan to use the safe for will determine which home safe is best for your personal needs.
A safe that provides excellent fire protection usually does not make for a good burglary safe, and a safe that is intended to protect against fire doesn’t always provide the best burglary proof solution. The trick is in finding the best features for your personal needs. Safes that are for burglary and fire protection have either a fire board or a poured filling to protect its contents from becoming overheated.
When a safe is tested for burglary, it goes through rigorous testing in attempts to crack open the safe using a myriad of tools and must remain locked and unable to crack the code or pick the lock for a set amount of time. For instance, if the safe is rated as a TL15, that means it took at least 15 minutes for a would-be-thief to open it. For a safe to provide you with protection against burglary, you may feel more protected by using one that is made of thick steel. However, many of these safes that make your valuable impenetrable by thieves actually do not protect your belongings in case of a fire. One important thing to keep in mind when it comes to using a safe for theft protection is where you choose to store the safe. Make sure it is out of view, and if you store it inside a wall or on a floorboard, be certain to bolt it down properly. Another piece of advice that sounds obvious but needs to be noted is to use the safe as it is intended by always keeping it locked, either with the combination or key lock.
A safe that provides fire protection typically has two thin sheet metal boxes, one inside the other, with a layer of insulation in between. Or, a metal safe may be used if it has a Type X fire board mounted on the inside. When a home safe is tested to receive a fire rating, it is placed inside a furnace that is heated to high temperatures and then dropped from a height of two to three stories onto concrete. Then, the safe is put back into the furnace. For the safe to be considered fireproof, the inside may not get hotter than 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Insurance Rating on Safes
Having a home safe often gives you a break in insurance rates. The insurance company will want to know the qualifications on your safe which will help to determine the replacement value of your valuables. Most insurance companies will require that your safe is rated at least a TL-15, TL-30, or TL-30X6 High-Security Safe. These ratings are usually based on the results from rigorous testing done by Underwriters Laboratories UL. You should be able to find the rating on the label of the safe.
Before you run out and buy just any safe for your home, understand what the various types, sizes, styles, intended protection levels, and ratings of the safe. Basically, a good rule of thumb is to purchase the most expensive safe that fits within your budget, but there are other factors discussed that will help you know how to choose a home safe.