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Fire, burglary and water damage cause the vast majority of property loss at residential properties. At the minimum, everyone needs a fireproof safe to store important documents and irreplaceable sentimental items like photographs. The safe provides the double benefit of water protection. Everyone has a few small items they would regret losing in a disaster.

Many people have valuables that they need to protect from fire, water and theft. The purpose of a safe is protecting all of the valuables that burglars favor, including cash, precious metals, jewelry and documents that can be used in identity theft, such as Social Security cards or passports. To achieve its end, the safe must be the right type, the right size and the right quality.

How do you choose a home safe that foils flames, floods and thieves?

Here are the important considerations professional locksmiths recommend:

Does size matter?

Size matters for several reasons. First, the inside dimensions determine what fits in the safe. Determining the right inside dimensions requires measuring the size of the items to be stored and also considering how much extra space you’ll need. It wouldn’t do to stuff a safe full of items, so make sure there is enough space to organize valuables neatly. Precious jewelry, for example, needs to be protected against being scratched or otherwise damaged.

Next, the outside dimensions must be considered. Most people store their safes in the master bedroom closet. Wherever you choose to locate the safe, be certain to measure the space carefully. It’s also helpful if the safe fits neatly into a discreet nook or other less visually prominent place. When safes are small compared to their surroundings, they are less noticeable.

Wall safes seem to be a favorite of slick, wealthy characters in spy movies. Since these characters tend to conceal microfilm, classified military documents, forged passports and bearer bonds, a wall safe makes sense. All of these items are light weight, and light weight is all wall safes can handle. If you plan to store papers and other light items, wall safes are just fine. Anyone who needs to store jewelry, precious metals or weapons needs a sturdier safe.

Floor safes are the best choice for heavy items. Weapons require special weapons safes that provide pry-proof metal, extra locks and locking bolts. These safes prevent accidents and prevent burglars from gaining access to arms.

Which type of lock?

Many folks choose a dial lock because they are familiar with them from school lockers. They also continue to function when the power goes out, which can’t be said for digital locks. Digital locks are similar to the safe locks found in hotel rooms. They are more convenient than dial locks. You simply enter a PIN. If you choose digital locks, you’ll need to change the batteries along with your smoke detector’s on daylight savings day.

Look for anchor holes

Not surprisingly, heavy safes are favorable to light ones. A lightweight safe can find its way into a burglar’s getaway van faster than a television. Regardless of whether the thief ever cracks the safe, if the cops don’t nab the burglar fast, you’ll never see it again. Wall safes solve this problem, but they aren’t a solution for heavy valuables. For that reason, reputable safe companies include four anchor holes on the safe’s bottom.

Safe manufactures intend the holes for use in bolting the safe to the floor. To anchor the safe, use a masonry bit drill to drive the bolts into the floor at the locations where the anchor holes will sit. If the room is carpeted, make sure to cut patches first to avoid causing the carpet fibers to unwind.

How do you know if its good quality?

Like most other products, safes vary in quality. Unlike most other products, safes come with a quality rating affixed to the exterior. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) determines these ratings by exposing safes to torture tests that determine their resistance to break-ins and fire.
UL rates burglary resistance and construction quality on a scale from B to G. B indicates poor quality. Professional safe crackers make short work of B rated safes, while the best among them fear the G rating.

Safes are never fireproof; they are fire resistant. A fire that burns long and hot enough can melt anything. What you want is a high rating for both the temperature and duration the safe can resist. UL indicates this by providing two numbers, one for temperature and one for time. For example, 350 degrees, 4 hours.

Leaving valuables unprotected has caused many people great losses. Whether from a fire, act of nature or theft, the loss of important documents, valuables and irreplaceable sentimental items hurts just as much. By finding a high-quality safe that fits discreetly into your home, you can rest assured that any intruders leave disappointed.

Professional Locksmiths are a great resource if you need help with a safe. If you already have a home safe and can’t get it open, need one installed, or want to change the combination, a trusted local locksmith is your best bet.

Action Locksmith is a family owned and operated business that has been keeping Michigan residents and businesses safe and up to date with their lock and security needs for over 30 years. With vast experience in all aspects of locksmithing, hard work and dedication, Action Locksmith has grown into one of the best locksmith companies in Michigan. Call today to learn more about our locksmith services!