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Theft Facts

Safes Review . . . and thoughts to consider.

SAFES: There are so many safes to review on the market that it is better to give a set of guide lines to consider when looking to purchase safes. I will also get into reviews of models of safes in other articles on our blog.

When shopping for Safes there are several things to think about. First, I should let you know that I take a lot of phone calls regarding which safe and what is right for the individual. So I want to take a look at several things to consider when shopping for the right safe. So let’s consider the following items, Fireproof Safe, Theft resistance, warranties, and installation.

Fireproofing and questions to ask:

Fireproof Safe. When getting a safe, it is very important to ask the type of fireproof material and length of time it will hold up in a fire. This is one of the main purposes of a safes and there is a lot of confusion. Remember we are trying to prevent accidents and what natural disasters can do during a fire and destroying our valuables. I know this obvious, but, we need to remember that fires last longer than 30 minutes. The fire department says from the time a fire first sparks until they are on the scene spraying water....will be around 30 minutes in the average residential fire. WOW!! That means that little safe you purchase from that “big box retailer” down the street may not make it. So get a least a 1 hour fireproof safe. Two hour if you can afford it or live in rural areas that will take the fire department longer to arrive. BUT WAIT...THERES MORE! (do I sound like a tv commercial?) Also ask “what kind of material was used to add the fireproofing”. There are three popular types.

Budget Safes and most gun safes use fire board material. Which is basically sheetrock that was tested at one time by an outside laboratory to hold up for 30 minutes against a fire. The sheet rock is cut and glued into the safe. Not much different than how you would sheetrock a house. But instead of tape and floating then texture and painting the wall, a fabric liner will be used to cover a seam. Looks good but is not the best at keeping out a fire. In general these safes are never tested against a fire after they are made. This is not the best in my opinion. (You will find these big box retailers and the packaging will always promise way more then what can be delivered) One last note: Stay away from gun safes with INTERNAL HINGES. There is normally no fireproof material where the hinge attaches to the inside of the safe. You can judge this by opening the door of the safe and feeling inside the safe where the hinge is attached. If you feel metal and can knock on it....there is no insulation there. Thus the old adage “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” and you just found the weak link.

One and Two Hour Fireproof Safes: Will normally use a liquid fill cement/sand and fireproof filler for protection. (This is good stuff.) Each manufacturer has its own secret reciepe that it uses but the results are all pretty darn good with this stuff. Because it is liquid filled there are no unseen seams that allow heat and fire into the safe. You will normally find this used on Home Safes and Office Safes.

High Security Safes: Will use the same liquid filled material but will use concrete as the base material. This will harden forming a concrete wall. (This is great stuff) So you get a steel wall supported by a concrete wall that is reinforced with an interior steel wall. You can find this used in TL rated jewelry safes like in jewelry stores. These can also be found in homes where there are large coin collections, gold coins, and large amounts of jewelry are stored. If you are considering one of these its best to contact your insurance company before buying one. Ask them about discounts on any rider policies you may have on your collection.

I will continue my writting on Safes and Reviews in other articles and on our blog. If you would like me to review something particular please feel free to email any questions you may have to sam@valuesafes.com
 
 
   
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