Guide to Buying a Safe

Buying a safe is a wise investment but how do you know what type of safe meets your needs?

There is a large selection of security safes to choose from, so in order to buy the correct safe it helps to think about the following questions:

What do I need to protect?

Make a list of the valuable items you'd like to keep stored securely in your safe. If you're planning to store cash, how much of it will there be? What is the total value of goods you wish to store in the safe? How large does the safe need to be to store them? It may help to collect all the items you wish to protect together. This helps you assess the size of the safe you'll need. It will also help you consider the value of the items. In turn, this tells you what level of security you require by indicating the cash ratings you'll need to look for.


  

Do I need a Fire Safe?

If the items you are protecting are mostly papers or important documents and fire risk is a factor you may need to purchase a fire safe. These generally have a UL rating of 1hr and are independently tested. Data Media Protection safes are required if you need to protect media storage devices - tapes, hard drives etc



  

What is a Cash Rating?

All cash safes are rated with what is known as a 'cash rating' from the manufacturers, which gives a good indication of how secure the safe in question is, although this rating applies only if you have installed it correctly and according to manufacturers recommendations.
The cash rating is also indicative of other factors - for example the thickness and strength of the walls and door, the security and complexity of the lock and bolt mechanics, the resistance the safe has to being moved and the general build quality. Generally the higher cash rating a safe has the more secure the safe will be.


  

How is the Cash Rating of Security Safes Measured?

A cash rating of $1,000 means that you can store up to $1,000 cash or up to $10,000 worth of valuables. This means that your insurance company should insure $1,000 in cash overnight. You always multiple the cash rating by 10 when you are storing jewellery or other non-cash items. It is important to check with your insurance company if you have a specific high-value item that you wish to store, they may require your safe to have a higher cash rating than the actual cost of the item.




Do I need to contact my Insurer before purchasing a safe?

You should always consult with your insurance company before buying a cash safe in case they have particular conditions. Failing to adhere to these conditions may mean your insurance company won't cover any losses incurred should a burglar gain access to your safe.




What is a deposit safe?

There are various options when it comes to the interior of your security safe. Deposit safes allow cash to be placed in the safe without the safe being opened at all. This is achieved by means of a deposit slot or deposit drawer, usually at the top of the safe.
It is also possible to get a safe with internal lockable compartments and adjustable drawers.



Which is the best type of lock for my safe?

There are a range of possibilities when it comes to locking your safe and again you need to think which option will best suit you. You can choose a dial combination lock, key lock or electronic safe lock. You can have one lock or two (for example a key lock and a digital lock). Digital locks can be set with a time delay, multiple users and/or dual access opening so that two people are required to access the safe at all times.




Where is the best place to put my safe?

This is an important consideration. There are several types of fixings for safes. Some are free standing, whilst others can be bolted to floors, walls or large pieces of furniture, like the inside of a wardrobe. There are also underfloor safes which are designed to be fitted below ground level. Most smaller cash safes must be bolted down. Otherwise a burglar would simply pick up the safe and make off with it, breaking it open at their leisure.
Where ever you decide you will need to remember to add the handle to the depth measurement and ensure there is enough space for the safe door to open fully.


It is important to take all of this into consideration when choosing the correct safe to adequately meet your needs. Whichever safe you opt for you can be assured that you will be taking the best possible care of your property and valuables.