In a perfect world, a safe would be unnecessary. Stealing would be unheard of and fires won’t occur at all. But ours is far from perfect, hence, there is always the need for a safe whether you are a homeowner or a businessman. From keeping large amounts of cash at home to protecting valuable documents like a birth certificate, a safe serves multiple purposes. Safe manufacturers have come out with different types of safes and these are discussed below.
SafeQuarters Home Security covers the information you need to know about safes.
Understanding the Different Types of Safes
Safes are generally categorised into two: residential and commercial. Residential safes secure important and vital assets at home including cash and valuable documents. Commercial safes, on the other hand, protect assets like cash and valuables of small and large companies alike.
Residential safes can be used for a number of different purposes – fire, burglary, gun, and jewelry safes.
- Fire safe – This can be considered as the most basic type of protection one can have at home. These safes are fire resistant and thus can protect valuables that may not be of significant interest to burglars such as land titles and birth certificates. However, fire safes can only resist fire for a limited time, usually one hour or less. Still, it can be said that this type of home safe is good enough for homeowners on a strict budget.
- Burglary safe – Far more secure than fire safes, it is also the most popular type of residential safe. Made of steel, burglary safes are heavy and concealed in some manner. There are three types of burglary home safes available in the market– standalone, wall, and floor safe.
- Standalone – The standalone home safe, as the name suggests, is free standing. Made of steel and heavy, it can be difficult if not impossible for burglars to remove. It is often fireproof and can be placed in almost any part of the house. If you are to consider getting this type of safe, make sure that you have enough room or space to fully open its door.
- Wall safe – A wall safe is connected to the studs in the wall and gives convenience to its owner as there is no need to stoop in order to access it. Wall safe conceals valuables well wand can be concreted into place for enhanced security.
- Floor Safe – The floor safe is embedded into a concrete wall making it immune to removal. The only disadvantage is that it can eventually have rust due to the way it is installed.
- Gun safe – This is the safe you’ll need if you keep weapons at home. A gun safe is necessary to keeping guns away from the reach of your children and other individuals at home. Gun safes also vary in terms of sizes, fire resistance, and strength of security.
- Jewelry Safe – While a jewelry safe can be considered a type of commercial safe, you might be surprised to learn that affluent individuals invest in this type of residential safe to protect their priceless possessions. A lot more expensive than the other types of residential safes, a jewelry safe is often characterized by its delicate interiors. Made of heavy duty steel, it is also strong enough to resist burglar attacks.
Commercial safes provide a much higher level of security compared to residential safes given that its main end-users– businesses and organisations– are more likely to store larger amounts of cash than the average homeowner. Moreover, commercial safes can protect assets such as vouchers, land titles, and other important documents.
- Bank vaults – Also called a strong room, a bank vault is considered a type of commercial safe. It is an integral part of a building where it is in, typically containing different deposit boxes where cash and other valuable assets of the bank are kept. And contrary to its name, bank vaults are also used in other establishments such as hotels.
- Depository safe – The depository safe can hold cash and other valuables for a short period. Businesses like restaurants and retail establishments typically use this type of safe. These safes are designed to resist theft and burglar attacks but are usually not fireproof. Businesses with this type of commercial safe typically transfer the contents to a more secure location or establishment like a bank.
- Office safe – This is a stronger, more secure version of a home safe. Typically fireproof, it also has a more secure locking mechanism than a home safe. Office safes are likewise drop tested.
- Media Safe – Also known as data safe, this kind of commercial safe protects digital media such as CDs, DVDs, computers, back-up tapes, and other digital storage devices not only from thieves but also from high temperature and humidity. In today’s digital world, this safe is quickly becoming one of the most popular types of safe.
There are also custom safes designed according to certain specifications including features like thicker body and door, re-locking, time-delay, and interlocking bolts, among others. These custom safes are professionally manufactured and installed.
Understanding Safe Ratings
All safes are given cash ratings to indicate their levels of security. Cash ratings also represent the maximum amount of a safe’s content that an insurer will cover. This is determined by factors like the thickness of the walls as well as the quality of the locks. Simply put, the higher the cash rating is, the more secure the safe is.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is one of the organisations that test and rate safes. Its UL rating is considered a good indicator of a safe’s level of security. It pertains to how fireproof a safe is. For residential use, a safe with a UL rating of 350-1 should endure an hour of exposure to temperatures exceeding 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the other hand, UL also gives TL ratings to indicate how long a safe can resist burglary attempts. For example, a safe with a TL-30 rating means it can resist attempts for up to 30 minutes.
In conclusion, nothing beats the peace of mind that a safe can offer. Whether you are to protect assets like cash and jewelry or to store important documents, a safe can provide you with secure storage for your valuables.