Locksmiths Newcastle / Lake Macquarie

Choosing the Right Type of Safe for Your Home

Choosing the Right Type of Safe for Your Home

What should you consider when looking for the right type of safe

Choosing the right type of safe is critical to the security of your home, where you store your valuables, cash, keys and important documents. A safe is the last line of defence when an intruder bypasses dogs, alarms, and other security measures, so it is very important to choose a safe that is secure and trustworthy, for your peace of mind, but how do you select the best type of safe? Here’s Ambassador Locksmiths’ guide to choosing the right type of safe for your home, to help you decide.

Size of safe: Which items should be stored in a safe?

This is the first thing you need to do before going to the nearest store to buy your safe. The type of assets you will store in the safe will determine the amount of space you need.  The usual items stored in a safe are:

  • Collectibles
  • Documents
  • Jewellery
  • Electronics
  • Digital media
  • Guns
  • Cash

Estimate the volume of items you will store in the safe and add a bit of spare for more items in the future. A standard safe is around 25cm wide, 20cm high and 25cm deep.

Take note that smaller safes are easier to hide. They are also more flexible and can be used in other settings such as boats, apartments, and caravans. This will also set the price range of the safe to consider for your budget. The value of the items will also affect the type of insurance you will purchase.

Choosing the Right Type of Safe for Your Home » Type of safe

What type of protection does a safe provide?

Most home safes are built to protect your assets from theft, fire, or both, and some models also offer water resistance. Check which risks you want to prioritise in deciding which safe to choose.

Protection against burglars

Burglars will use tools to break into your home and safe, including power tools, hand tools, chemicals, cutting torches, and explosives. A burglar safe is categorised based on the type of tool they were intended to resist. There are two ways to classify safes: Performance ratings and cash ratings.

Construction ratings

Construction ratings are based on the way the safes were built, including the kind and thickness of materials utilised.

Cash ratings

A safe’s cash rating refers to the amount of money it can protect according to insurers. It takes into consideration the safe’s security and level of difficulty a burglar experiences when breaking into the safe.

A safe with a higher cash rating is more secure. It has more security features such as thicker bodies, thicker doors, more locking bolts and high-quality locks. These features are listed in the product description to help you decide which safe to choose.

Fire protection

It is critical for you to know the meaning of “fireproof safes”. Some assume that a fireproof safe will come out of fire completely unscathed. Unfortunately, it will not.

The safe’s contents will most likely be in perfect condition, but the safe itself will not. In fulfilling its purpose, it will suffer unrepairable damage in the metalwork, including scorching and melting. It almost definitely will not be in good condition for further use.

Fireproof vs. Fire Resistant Safes

Take note of the difference between fire-proof and fire-resistant. “Fireproof” refers to heavy-duty safes that give significant fire protection and can give up to two hours of protection to their contents. “Fire-resistant safes” only give a basic level of protection.

You can also check the safe’s fire rating. This is the total duration a safe can protect its contents from damage when exposed to significant fire. The ratings range from 0 (no fire protection), 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, 2 hours, and 4 hours.

Water resistance

This is an essential feature since building sprinklers, and firefighters use water to extinguish a fire. It will be disappointing to have a fireproof safe only to discover that water leaks into it. Similarly, it will come in handy during a flood or burst water pipe in the home.

Choosing the Right Type of Safe for Your Home » Type of safe

What type of safe locking mechanisms are available?

How you want to lock your safe is also an essential consideration in your decision. There are 4 types of locking mechanisms, each serving a different purpose.

1. Key Lock

A key lock is the simplest locking mechanism. It is practical and highly durable. Safes with a key lock are cheap and reliable. This is the best choice for an office or apartment. However, consider other types if you’re afraid of carrying a key around and losing it.

2. Mechanical Combination Lock

This is not so easy to use since you need to dial a 4-digit combination with a limb ring. You must select a number on the match mark accurately or else start all over again. This is suitable for those who have firm hands and a good memory.

3. Electronic Combination Lock

This type of lock makes the safe easy to access. You just enter the needed combination and turn the handle to open the safe. Manufacturers deter burglars in many ways:

  • Delayed opening
  • Protection against combination selection – the keyboard gets locked for at least 5 minutes during wrong attempts
  • The safe is connected to a protection desk

4. Biometric Lock

Similar to the electronic combination lock, a biometric lock is opened using your fingerprint. The biometric component is unique and difficult to forge. However, safes with this kind of lock are quite expensive.

Some manufacturers increase burglar resistance by putting together different types of locks. Some of these include a key, mechanical lock combination, biometrics and electric combination all together.

Choosing the Right Type of Safe for Your Home » Type of safe

How much should a home safe cost?

Budget will always be a concern for your safe, just like in any other type of purchase, but we suggest spending at least 10% of the value of items you will store. For example, if the assets you will keep in the safe is $6,000 – get a safe that is worth $600.

Hire Locksmith Services in Lake Macquarie And Newcastle Today

If you need to reinforce your safe with bump-proof locks or electronic locking systems, call us at Ambassador Locksmiths. We are experts in home and office security.

Similarly, if you have trouble unlocking any locks around your home, or have lost your key, we provide our services to Newcastle and Lake Macquarie residents. If you want to know more, call us today on 0407 452 424 or (02) 4942 2202. Alternatively, visit us online to find out more at ambassadorlocksmiths.com.au or email us at info@ambassadorlocksmiths.com.au.