Do home safes really protect your valuables?

Do Home Safes Really Protect Your Valuables?

November 2, 2020 by

Many people prefer to keep their money and other valuables in a bank, where security is assured once the items are locked in their personal safety deposit box. However, there are some possessions that you’d prefer to be more accessible and in your home. Considering the high frequency of home burglaries — where one in every six homes is targeted every year — it’s a good idea to have a home safe to protect items, such as jewelry, petty cash, collectibles, and important documents. This protects them from not only burglars but also other threats such as fire and water damage.

Are valuables secure in home safes?

Safes are very common in both homes and businesses. They vary in size and placement, though they should be fixed to a wall or other surface so they can’t be moved. They’re also typically placed in a hidden spot where they’re not apparent to thieves, intruders, and other people. When properly installed, your home safe should provide unmatched security, so even when burglars know where it is hidden, there is little chance of breaking inside.

Every household can benefit from getting a home safe that is designed with both anti-theft and fireproof features. There are many options, ranging from steel safes with biometric locking to fireproof or water-resistant safes, so you can find one that is best suited for the needs of your family.

Types of Safes

Safes are typically differentiated by the desired specifications, such as:

  • Burglar resistance
  • Fire resistance
  • Type of lock: time lock, electronic lock, key, or combination lock
  • Environmental resistance factor: water or dust

The specifications depend on the legal requirements imposed for the type of safe you want, which are described as follows:

Burglar-Proof Safe

These home safes are designed to protect your valuables from thieves. Even if you reside in the safest neighbourhoods, it’s prudent to have a plan for securing your possessions beyond an alarm system. There are different types of burglar-proof safe designs, including wall and in-floor safes that cannot be carried away by the burglars. Wall safes are generally recessed into one of your walls and concealed with a hanging. They are usually small in size with a couple of shelves to hold your most important valuables. On the other hand, in-floor safes fit into a recessed hole in the floor with a lock and handle on the top.

Whether the safe is bolted to the wall or floor, it’s typically made of solid steel, which makes it very heavy for anyone to attempt carrying it away. Common burglars would not be able to access valuables in a home safe unless they’re skilled in forging a fingerprint or picking key locks. The burglar-proof safes are rated in 15-minute intervals to determine how long it will take a skilled burglar to break into them. So, if they’re unable to open your home safe, they will likely move on to other more easily accessible items or flee.

Fireproof Safes

Home safes intended to prevent theft are not necessarily fireproof, unless it’s a hybrid model offering both forms of security. A fireproof safe should be capable of withstanding the high temperatures of a house fire, which is usually over 1,000 Fahrenheit, for a given duration of time (about 60 minutes). Ideally, the local fire department will have put out the fire before the integrity of the safe is compromised.

Fire-resistant safes are typically made from steel because it’s non-combustible, with heavy insulation to protect the contents from heat and smoke. However, there are different types of fire-resistant and insulation materials that can be used to offer varying levels of fire protection. It’s important that you purchase a fireproof safe with a rating of more than one hour to keep your jewelry and other valuables secure from fire for as long as possible. Keep in mind that fireproof safes may not necessarily be burglar proof unless they’re hybrid models. Installing a comprehensive home security system that includes a fire alarm will also ensure a timely response in the event of a break-in or fire for your peace of mind.

Waterproof Safes

These safes can be completely submerged in water without compromising their contents. They can protect valuable paper documents from water damage. Many fire-resistant safes are also waterproof, since it would be impractical for the safe to keep your valuables secure from a fire only to be damaged when extinguishing it.

Gun Safes

Every gun owner should have a gun safe to safely lock away their weapons when not in use and prevent fatal accidents, theft, or damage. Many gun safes are also designed for fire and water resistance and vary in size to accommodate different weapons types. A secure gun safe should:

  • Have an electronic or mechanical locking system with thousands of possible lock combinations.
  • Have at least three steel locking bolts with separate handles for operation and secured by a lock.
  • Have a minimum of 12-gauge thick steel exterior walls and double layers of the same for the doors.
  • Have protected door hinges to prevent door removal.

Final Note

Many households, including those who have not suffered burglaries before, agree that the security and peace of mind that comes with having a home safe is worth the investment. It’s important to get a UL-classified safe since the Underwriters Laboratories standards are internationally recognized for water resistance, fire resistance, and other vital ratings.

You can also install a home security system for greater protection, preferably with a monitoring service, to ensure a quick emergency response in the event of an incident even when you’re not at home. For more information on home security options, contact Canadian Security Professionals.

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