At Aaron’s Locksmith and Security, our #1 concern is keeping the most important things in your life safe: your family, your home, and your valuables. A home safe stores your possessions safely away from theft, fire, and water damage. If you are considering purchasing a safe for your home, consider the following questions to help you find the best one for your needs – continued from part 1.
4. What type of protection do you need?
Before buying a safe, it’s important to know what kind of protection you are looking for. Determining the types of items you will be storing in your safe can help you decide what kind of protection is most suited for your needs. Although all safes provide some sort of protection, they are not all equal. A safe that protects its contents from a home burglary may not be able to stand up against a house fire. Hence, purchasing the wrong safe could actually leave your items not “safe” at all.
According to Consumer Reports, the top causes of asset loss are fire, burglary, and water damage, with fire being the most common. Keep this in mind when making your decision. Composite safes offer protection against multiple types of invasion and are a good option if you would like to store all sorts of items in your safe.
5. What is your budget?
As with any other purchase, budget is one of the largest determining factors when looking into buying a home safe or gun safe. The cost of a basic safe is not likely to break the bank. However, certain features can add additional costs. For example, safes built with higher quality steel, extra locks, interior shelving, and bolting are upgrades that will raise the total price, so be sure to set a price point before heading to the safe store.
Once you’ve decided on the model you’d like to purchase, there are a few other costs to consider. Many safe stores offer a warranty on their products, which can cover the cost of stolen valuables in the case that a burglar is able to break in. Since safes are bulky and difficult to move, you may want to pay for delivery and installation, as well.
6. Is the safe accredited?
You don’t just have to take the salesperson’s word on the safety or quality of a safe. Most home safes will have an accreditation rating somewhere on the exterior of the safe. In order to read the ratings correctly, it’s helpful to get a general idea of how Underwriters Laboratories (UL) tests and rates safes. For example, burglary and construction quality ratings operate on a scale of B – G (B being the weakest rating), and fire resistance is graded with a numerical rating – the first number indicating the maximum temperate and the second detailing the length of exposure in hours.
7. What type of lock do you want?
Although there are many options to choose from when it comes to the type of safe you’d like to purchase, the decision is much simpler when it comes to selecting a lock: dial locks or digital locks. Each type of lock has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Dial locks: Just like the lock on your old gym locker, you rotate the dial left and right to input your combination. This type of dial is most reliable because, unlike digital locks, there is no risk of failure or power outage. However, if you ever need to change the combination, you will have to contact a professional.
Digital locks: These types of locks are commonly used in hotels, since they can be easily reset with a new pin number for each guest. Also, it is easier to open a digital lock than a dial lock. The negatives of digital locks are that they require batteries that need to be replaced regularly in order to unlock the safe.
8. Can your home safe be anchored to the ground?
One feature that is thought to be crucial to the success of a safe is its weight. After all, a heavy safe is harder to escape with if a thief is not able to break into it. While this is true, it is even harder to carry a safe that is bolted to the ground. Hence, many safe manufacturers design home safes with four holes in the bottom of each corner. Bolting the safe down is relatively easy; however, a safe store will most likely offer to bolt it in for you themselves for a small fee.
9. Will a safe suit your lifestyle?
Of all of the other tips on this list, this is perhaps the most important. Once you have evaluated the different types of safes as well as the features they come with, ask yourself the following: “Does this safe fit my family and I’s life? Do I see myself using this safe on a day-to-day basis?”
At the end of the day, even the highest quality safe will not keep your items secure if you do not actually use it. As soon as your home safe or gun safe is installed, collect all of your special items and place them inside. Then, get into the habit of retrieving, then returning these items throughout the first month. Once you’re used to it, it will become second nature to you.