The Ultimate Safe Buyer’s Guide
Courtesy of the Anderson Lock & Safe Family
Want to buy a safe, but don’t know where to start?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. At Anderson Lock & Safe, your safety and security are our #1 priority. We aim to not only provide exceptional services but also educate our customers on what we do best. Safes are a BIG deal in both investment and protection, and we’re here to help you take the next step. This safe buyer’s guide provides details on what you should be looking for in a safe, and what might best fit your needs for security.
We will be covering:
- Safe Types
- Fire Ratings
- Burglary Ratings
- Mechanical vs. Electronic Locks
1) Choose the Type of Safe You Need
Protect your guns and ammunition while maintaining proper gun safety in your household.
These safes are large and are often the most expensive type of safes. With its hefty amount of weight, thick door, and spacious interior, this safe type is guaranteed to fit your gun safety needs.
If you have a small handgun, we would not recommend a gun safe for its protection. Drawer safes, also known as pistol or handgun safes, are more ideal and much less costly.
Is theft your #1 concern? These give the ultimate protection for what matters to you most.
Burglary safes are fairly self-explanatory, but there are a couple of things you’ll want to consider when shopping for your best fit. You’ll want to be sure that ANY burglary safe you’re interested in or shopping around for has steel thicker than 10 gauges, or 1/8″. Anything thinner offers little protection against theft. Additionally, you’ll want to have at least a 1/4″ thick solid steel door. Any parameters lower than these two will likely only protect well against fire, and not theft specifically.
Depending on the weight of the safe you’re shopping for, we recommend you have the safe bolted to your floor as this makes the safe impossible to move, deterring theft once again.
When you have non-valuable items that you’d like to keep safe, fire safes are a great choice.
You are 3.5 times more likely to have a burglary than a fire, so if you’re interested in a safe strictly for fire protection, you’ll want to be cautious of the items you place in your safe.
The average home fire in the U.S. only lasts about 30 minutes on a complete burn down with the highest temperature being around 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live somewhere rural where the fire department is further away and a fire may take some time to put out, you’ll want to consider a fire safe. The same applies to whether or not you have a sprinkler system in your home. This is especially true if you are at risk of environmental factors such as forest fires.
2) Choose A Level Of Fire Protection
Fire ratings for some safes list both the time frame that the safe is built to last, as well as in what temperature. While the temperature of the fire is important, a fire is a fire. This factor is usually pretty consistent, so your best bet is to go with whatever time frame makes you feel most comfortable. Fire ratings usually range from 30-120 minutes, meaning your safe will either go as quickly as the fire or will last some time. Again, different locations and needs call for different ratings.
3) Determine If You Need Burglary Protection
All safes are not just safes and all safes aren’t created equal.
- RSC-Rate Safes/European Grade 0 – This is a Residential Security Container. It has the ability to withstand 5 full minutes of rigorous prying, punching, chiseling, and tampering attacks.
- TL-15 / European Grade 1 – It has the ability to withstand 15 minutes using common hand tools, drills, punches, hammers, and pressure-applying devices.
- TL-30 / European Grade 2 – It has the ability to withstand 30 minutes using common hand tools, drills, punches, hammers, and pressure-applying devices.
4) Choose A Lock Type: Mechanical or Electronic
Mechanical locks have been around for well over 100 years and are time-tested. If you plan to access your safe multiple times a day, mechanical is the way to go. Electronic locks can have keypad issues if accessed several times a day for many years, and they require battery replacements if this is the case.
Otherwise, we recommend electronic locks for your safe. Although they come at a higher price, electronic locks provide both ease and speed when accessing your safe. This is especially essential in the off-chance that there’s a break-in or breach in your home security.
Warranties on safes will entirely depend on the manufacturer. Typically, the manufacturer will offer parts and labor for a certain time period. Assuming you purchase the safe from a licensed dealer or locksmith, they will have to abide by this policy as well and guarantee the work for you.
If you hire a locksmith to install a safe for you (bolt to floor or wall), they will offer a warranty for the work as well.
Check out the huge variety of safes we offer. Click to view or download.