Last Updated onHome » Blog » Home Safety and Security » Home Safes »
Home Safe Buying Guide
Welcome to our home safe buying guide. In this post we look at the features that you should look for when buying a home safe. We also discuss the various types of homes safes that are available. If you have never bought a home safe before, the various features that are available can be confusing. The prices of different types of house safes can also vary a lot. So, should you buy a combination safe, or a biometric safe? Do you need a waterproof and fireproof safe? Read on, and this home safe buying guide will tell you all need to know about buying a house safe for your home.
Home Safe Buying Guide – What You Need to Think About First
Before you start hunting through the thousands of home safes on Amazon or other stores, here’s a few things for you to consider. Work out the answers to these questions first, and your hunt for the best home safe for your needs will be a lot easier.
How Much Do You Want to Keep in Your Home Safe?
The first question to ask yourself is how much stuff you will want to keep in your safe. Home safes vary in size from small lock boxes upwards. The sizes of safes are usually given in cubic feet. A 1.2- to 1.3-cubic-foot safe will hold a stack of paper 1 foot high. The external dimensions of a safe can be misleading, because of the thickness of the walls. So, check the cubic-foot capacity of a safe as well as the dimensions.
What Do You Want to Keep in Your Home Safe?
Think about what it is you want to keep in your home safe. If it’s important documents, you may need a fireproof and waterproof safe. If it’s expensive jewelry, the anti-theft features of the safe will be very important.
Where do You Live?
Where you live may also be a factor in what will be the best home safe for you. If you live in a flood prone area, a waterproof safe would be a good option for you. If you live in a remote area, you will need to think about how long it will take the emergency services to reach you in an emergency. That will determine how long you need a fireproof safe to resist fire for.
Where Will you Install the Safe?
Think about where you will put a safe before you buy it. Some very large and heavy safes are only suitable for installation on the ground floor. Remember that you are going to have get your safe through doorways and maybe up the stairs. Small safes will be more secure when they are bolted down, so think about a location you can bolt your safe to a solid wall or floor.
Do You Need A Fire Resistant Safe?
If you can’t make your mind up about if you need a fireproof safe, consider this. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the average American household will experience at least 5 fires in a lifetime. Fortunately, most of those fires will be very small and there will be no need to report it. However, it does show how high the risk of fire is. If you keep important, irreplaceable documents in your home, a fire-resistant safe would be a good choice for you.
Do You Need a Water Resistant Safe?
If you live in a flood prone area, you might want to consider a water resistant safe. Especially if you want to preserve important documents. If you live on the fifth floor of a city apartment block, though, this won’t be such a big issue.
How Often Will You Need to Access the Contents of Your Home Safe?
How often you need to access the contents of your home safe will determine where you install the safe and what type of safe you need. If you do often need to get things out of your safe, internal shelves will help keep things organized. You probably also wouldn’t want to install the safe in the basement. Biometric fingerprint safes are quicker and easier to open. But there are some drawbacks to biometric safes as well.
What Type of Locking Mechanism Do You Want?
There are four main types of locking mechanisms. You have are safes that lock with a key. You can buy biometric fingerprint safes. There are manual combination safes. And, there are electronic keypad safes. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Key lock safes are the simplest type of home safes, but they can be picked, and the keys can get lost. Manual combination safes are simple and secure. Electronic combination safes need power to work, usually a battery. They usually have an override key lock as well, though, in case the power fails. Biometric fingerprint safes are easy to use and secure, but they can suffer with false readings.
Home Safe Buying Guide – Features of the Best Home Safes
In this section of our home safe buying guide, we look at the features to look for in a safe. These are the things that will indicate that the safe is a good one. The items here that are important to you will depend on the type of safe that you are buying. As with all things in life, the price you pay for a home safe will be an important indicator of quality.
Weight and Size
Safes that are large and heavy will be more of a deterrent to thieves. A heavy safe is a good sign that is well-built. The thickness of the steel walls is very important in a safe. The best locking mechanism in the world will be of no use at all if a thief can get through the flimsy steel walls. A large, heavy safe will also be harder for a burglar to take away. If a thief can pick up a safe, they will take with them and get it open later. If you do buy a small, lightweight safe, make sure that you bolt it down.
Safes vary in their specifications. You can’t make any assumptions when buying one. If you need a fireproof safe, for example, make sure that the fire resistance rating is clearly listed in the specifications. The best home safes won’t be described simply as fire resistant. The specs will clearly state how long the safe can resist fire for. The same is the case for waterproof safes. Check how long the safe will resist water for and decide if that is long enough for your needs.
The best home safes will carry UL or ETK certifications. UL is the Underwriters Laboratory. ETK is Intertek. Both are independent organizations that test home safes against the manufacturers’ claims. These certifications are usually given in respect of water and fire resistance. Some safes also have UL certification for theft resistance. A TL-15 rated safe, for example, will resist attempts to break into it for up to 15 minutes. Unfortunately, many home safes do not carry this rating. So, features like weight, thickness of walls, and type of lock will need to be considered.
The price of home safes varies a lot. You can get an Amazon Basics 1.20 cubic feet safe for under $100. On the other hand, a similar sized, 1.23 cubic feet waterproof and fireproof SentrySafe will cost almost $200. The best thing to do is to buy the most expensive safe you can afford that meets your needs. However, within reason, any type of safe is more of theft deterrent than no safe at all. Most burglars want to get in and out of a house as fast as they can. The harder you make it for them to grab your valuables, the better. If you need a safe to store very valuable items, like a watch or jewelry collection, it would be advisable to consult a home safe specialist.
Home Safe Buying Guide – Conclusion
There is a staggering 2 million home burglaries reported every year in the United States. That’s one every 13 seconds. That’s why installing house alarms and home safes is important for everyone. Choosing the best home safe for your needs can be daunting, but it’s worth doing. Anything you can do to make the burglar’s life more difficult will help protect your property and belongings.
We hope that you have found our home safe buying guide useful. If you did, please share it with your friends on social media. We’ll be bringing you more personal safety and security tips soon. If you’d like to be kept up to date with what’s new on Best Panic Alarm, please subscribe to our mailing list. Thanks again for reading our home safe buying guide. Come back and visit us again soon!