More and more people are now recognizing the importance of keeping home safes to protect their valuable possessions. Options have now become more varied as compared to the old times when safe storages meant huge brass chests or burying possessions deep in the ground. So what are the things that you have to keep in mind when searching for the perfect home safe?
a.Safe rating – there is actually a way to determine the effectiveness of a safe in guarding your valuables, and it is called a “safe rating”. This is normally determined by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Intertek (also known as ETL). They are independent laboratories that conduct third-party testing or evaluation on home safes to indicate its build quality and ability to live up to its guarantee. So first off, you would want to make sure that your home safe supplier has been evaluated by either UL or ETL, as several smaller manufacturers no longer go through this process and may mislead you into thinking that this is no longer necessary.
The rating of home safes can be divided into two: the fire resistance rating and burglary protection rating.
Fire resistance is one of the major concerns of most buyers in the US. The National Fire Protection says that in a lifetime, a family will have about one out of four chances of encountering a huge fire in their home. This probability is quite large especially for crowded neighborhoods or those who run businesses at home. UL and Intertek ratings indicate how long a fire-proof safe can withstand extreme temperatures associated to a fire before its contents take on considerable damage. Home safes containing paper documents should not exceed 350oF on the inside, while safes that contain media files should not exceed 125oF.
The period of time before the interior of a fire-proof safe exceeds its temperature limit is also rated. This can range from 30 minutes up to about two hours for homes. Fires are said to commonly move around the house, and is known to stay in one room for only about 30 minutes. Fire-proof safes that can withstand extreme temperatures up to about an hour are normally sufficient for home use.
Burglary rating – Burglary resistance rating is more common for safes used on jewelry stores or commercial businesses rather than for home use. It is rated based on its ability to ‘protect’ itself from unwanted access by the use of tools, explosives, alarms, or torches. It can also be rated according to construction and how long it is able to resist common mechanical tools such as drills, punches, and hammers.
In addition, the mere ownership of a home safe is already a protection against burglars because it is harder to snatch a whole huge metal safe as compared to small items like jewelry.
b.Size of your valuables – most home safes get more expensive with increasing size because these safes allow you to protect more valuables and items with larger dimensions. Try to evaluate which among your possessions you really need to safe-keep before purchasing one. Most safes are 8” high, 10” wide and 10” deep. This is enough to handle priceless photos, documents, and jewelries. However if you find that you really need to safe-keep a signed Tennis racquet or that your jewelry collection is too vast for the standard size, then you will have to shell out more money to buy safes with larger storage space.
c.Price – safes do not always have to be very expensive, although most salesmen may probably try to convince you otherwise. One must evaluate what the family really needs to safe-keep and simply work around that budget. A standard safe can cost around $150 to $300 but may even go as high as $800.