Safes

Seven Tips for buying a Safe for home or office

Image of open safe with valuables

Knowing the value of the contents

It is important to know the value of your contents before buying a safe. You will more than likely want your safe to be approved by your insurers for the things you intend to put in it. Even if insurance isn’t a consideration at the moment it is sensible to have the right safe for the contents in case you change your mind in the future and ask your insurers to cover the contents.

All good safes carry insurance ratings

These are discretionary guides and limits based on the strength of the construction of the safe. Insurance companies can alter the insurance rating depending upon the insurance risk.

For insurance purposes there is a difference between cash and valuables. Insurers don’t like cash but for historical reasons use the cash insurance value/rating as the base number for their rating. They suggest in normal circumstances valuables ten times the cash rating can be stored in the safe. In unusual circumstances the insurers can reduce or increase the rating citing risk, client, postcode and other personal circumstances.

Safe Type: Fire or Security?

It is a common request for fire protection in a safe. Security safes are commonly designed with fire protection in mind but unless they are tested in a furnace they cannot be described as fire resistant. If your desire is for fire protection you need to buy a fire resistant cabinet. If you need a secure safe you have to buy a security safe. There are a few safes with both ratings but they tend to be more costly than standard security safes. Fire resistant cabinets tend to be locked moderately and are lighter in comparison though strongly made and are difficult to bolt down which is an important factor for a modern safe.

Size of the Safe

Large security safe open
The size relates to the internal volume you need. Consider the contents you want to put into the safe and purchase a safe large enough for the contents. If you buy a safe that is too small, it could be that you may ‘out grow’ the safe and need a second one. When you have a safe you will probably, over a short time, think of other things to put in it. Choose a safe that is large enough for your future usage.

Safe lock mechanism types to consider

There are many choices in the type of locking systems on a safe. The lock could be either be key operated or by special code operated locks. Some old safes have dial combinations. These are very good and secure locks but they are fiddly to use and have gone out of fashion in favour of the easier to use digital lock.

Key operated locks are simple, inexpensive, have a long life with little maintenance required. The disadvantage is the key which must be carried or hidden.

Digital locks in their basic form are easy to use, the code number is personal and can be easily changed however, there will be batteries to change with this kind of locking type.

With any battery operated system there is always a risk of experiencing corrosion if not looked after and its important to:-

  • Always keep the batteries fresh
  • Change the batteries every year

Batteries are inexpensive to buy and having fresh batteries, provide a long life for the mechanism.

Some digital locks can provide a record of who unlocked the safe and when. Audit trails are available as options on some safes. They add considerably to cost of the safe.

Positioning the Safe

Choosing the right location for your safe to reside is important for ease of access. During installation of a Safe for customers, we get asked if we can fit the Safe in a loft or in the garage which is not a good idea as one location gets too hot and the other too cold. These locations are not convenient and the whole idea of owning a Safe is to have the peace of mind of using it!

It’s no good putting your valuable items on the sideboard saying ‘I’ll put that in the safe tomorrow’ so choose a location that is convenient to get to at any time.

Fixing the Safe

Most modern Safes must be anchored. Generally, insurers insist Safes weighing less than 750 kg must be bolted to the fabric of the building.

All security Safes are designed to be anchored and have bolt fixing holes in the bottom and in the back however some security Safes only have bolt fixing holes at the bottom.

To get advice on a new safe, call us today or pop into our friendly Trade Counter and we would happy to assist you choosing the right type of Safe suited for your needs.

Benn Lock and Safe Ltd

13 St David’s Square
Fengate
Peterborough

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