Simple Fire Resistant Safes
If you only want to protect important documents at home, like a will, automobile titles, etc. that are very important to you, but would be of little use to a burglar, you might only need a simple fire safe. These can usually be picked up at your local Walmart, etc.
They are not very secure, but they are fire resistant and might protect your valuable papers in the event of a house fire. Their fire ratings are not very good (fire resistant not fire proof ) and are time limited to one hour or less. But, these entry level safes are good for those on a strict budget.
One hint is to “not lock” it. Strange as that sounds, there is a reason for doing so. They are usually not bolted to anything and therefore can be easily taken from the home and opened elsewhere. If you do not lock the safe, the burglar will open it and see nothing of value to him, and hopefully, leave the safe behind. These safes provide very limited fire protection. For greater protection see the next section.
Burglary Safes (Burglar Fire Safes)
A burglary safe is more secure than the simple fire safe. They are heavier, and in the “safe world” heavy almost always equates to “more secure”. Steel is heavy and well built safes are made of steel! Burglary safes are usually concealed in some manner. The three main burglary type home safes are the stand alone safe, wall safe and the floor safe. Most of these safes are fireproof, not just fire resistant. It’s always good practice to check the fire rating before buying.
Standalone Home Safe
This type is heavy and usually made of steel. It can be fireproof and can be fitted with a wide array of locking devices, from key lock, to combination lock, and even all types of fancy electronic locks. They generally can be mounted to the floor or another surface but generally are just free standing. Their weight alone discourages removal from the premises. This versatile safe can be easily located in almost any “out of the way” place. Just make sure you have room to open the door fully! Also keep in mind that you may want to move it at some time. So, bear that in mind when buying.
This is a very popular way to hide important documents and other valuables in the home. People employ this type of safe to conceal their valuables inconspicuously out of site. The wall safe is more convenient than the floor safe because it is connected to the studs in the wall and does not require the home owner to stoop to use it. For even more security it can be concreted into place.
This type can actually be imbedded into a concrete floor. This makes them very immune to removal. The only down side to embedding it in the floor is that it can, over time, succumb to rust, because of how it is installed. Ask your local locksmith about this and about what preventative measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood of rust damage.
These come in various sizes, strength of security, fire resistance and price ranges. A gun safe is most often necessary to keep your weapons out of the hands of children. If that is your only concern then you need not worry yourself with fire resistance values or the use of highly secure locking mechanisms.
Of course, if you have a valuable collection, possibly even containing some guns that are irreplaceable, you need to protect them from both theft and fire. Talk to your locksmith about the fire resistance and fireproof ratings of the various models. The size of your collection will also help determine which model to choose.
The local jeweller used to be the most common user of a jewellery safe. Well today, affluent citizens in all countries have turned to jewellery safes for protecting their valuable, and often priceless, jewels and other valuables. They are fairly expensive, but, if you have fine jewellery, the expense can be justified.
Most jewellery safes are beautiful in themselves. The interiors of these units are delicate and easy not only on the jewellery but on the eyes as well. Many have beautiful wood and velvet interiors. But, don’t let the insides fool you. They are made of heavy duty steel (at least the good ones are).
Look for flexible drawer layouts that can accommodate your own collection as it changes through the years. Make sure to install the safe where it is well hidden yet very accessible to you. Make sure you allow enough room so that you can open the door fully. Arrange the drawers to keep your valuables organized and to prevent unnecessary stooping.