Finding the perfect safe can be a difficult task. For over 30 years our goal at Original Safes has been to answer our customers questions in an honest and straight forward way that cuts through all of the hyperbole of rating systems and technical specifications.
Do Your Research Before You Buy a Safe
If you’ve been doing some research you’ll find that most safes sold today are nothing more than a thin metal box. Upon further research you will see that there is more to a safe than you might have originally thought. Search for “Jewelry Safes” on Google and you will find literally hundreds of safe companies that consider themselves “authorities” in the industry. Many companies proclaim to have expert knowledge about safes and vaults. But they don’t even have a brick and mortar store and only sell online. They want tell you what you all you are supposed to know about purchasing a safe and offer their “expert opinion” but in actuality have no real world experience in the safe business and are merely online retailers vying for your business. Look long enough and you’ll begin to see that there is often conflicting data on specifications and recommendations.
Why Is Original Safe Superior To Other Companies?
So you may be thinking why is Original Safe superior to other companies lists and opinions? For over 3 decades we have been providing our customers with some of the best security products in the industry. Original Safes provide service to most of the safe manufacturers in the U.S. and have extensive real world experience when it comes to safes. Many customers come to us confused by all of the conflicting information that they have been told about safes and vaults. Some safe manufacturers will say “that some protection is better than nothing at all” and will try and sell you a cheap safe that can be easily pried open or doesn’t adequately protect your valuables in a fire. In our opinion this is a lazy and dishonest approach and we don’t treat our customers this way merely in order to make a sale. When you stop to consider the reasons to invest in a safe, it really boils down to one critical issue: The contents you wish to protect are usually some of the most important and valuable items you own. It is our responsibility as experts in the safe & vault industry to cut through the rhetoric and misinformation that the internet is filled with and provide you with accurate data so that you can make an informed purchasing decision.
Top 5 Considerations Before Buying a Safe
- What size safe should I buy?
The answer is simple, one that is bigger that you think you need ! The most common thing we’ve heard from thousands of customers we have had through the years is that they did not buy a safe that was big enough and wish they went up a size or two. Pause and consider the value of the contents you’ll be putting in the safe in future years. Bigger is Better when it comes to buying a safe!
- What is safe security rating is right for the valuables I need to protect?
These are the industry guidelines for content value and various levels of security that safes provide. These values are often used for insurance underwriting purposes and are a good guideline for different levels of protection.
- RSC Up to $5,000 content value- passed a 5 minute attack test, If this safe had a TL rating it would be a TL-5 , Note, RSC ratings can by applied to low end safes that are easily pried open up to very secure safes that could pass higher rating test but the manufacturers don’t go to the expense of testing them.
- B-Rated Up to $10,000 content value – 1/2 inch plate door & 1/4 inch body
- C Rated Up to $30,000 content value 1 inch protection on door & up to 1/2 inch on body
- U.L. TL-15 Up to $200,000 content value- A TL-15 Rating means the safe door can successfully resist entry for a net assault time of 15 minutes when attacked with common hand tools, picking tools, mechanical or portable electric tools, grinders, drills or pressure devices.
- U.L. TL-30 Up to $375,000 content value -TL-30 means the safe door can pass the same test for 30 minutes. Note that this does NOT include attacks on the sides or top.
- U.L. TL-30X6 Up to $500,000 to $ 1,000,000 content value- U L 30 minute attack on all 6 sides of safe
- U.L. TRTL-30X6 $1,000,000 and up content value- U L 30 minute torch / tool attack on all 6 sides of safe
- Should I buy a hidden safe or wall safe?
Wall safes and concealed or hidden safes are typically not a good place to store your high value items . By design a wall safe is attached to studs in the wall and could be cut or pried out of the wall by burglars. Quite often the only fire protection that they provide is limited to the sheetrock in the wall. As for concealment, 99% of jewelry burglars are going to look for a hidden safe or wall safe and once found they don’t take very long to penetrate.
- What fire rating should I look for in a safe?
Your safes fire rating should be a top consideration. We recommend purchasing at least a 1 hour fire rated safe. Safes with less than an hour fire rating will not provide adequate protection to survive a typical residential or business fire. Why spend thousands on a safe that won’t protect your guns, jewelry, cash or other valuables during a fire? If you are on a limited budget we recommend buying a safe with the highest fire rating you can afford.We recommend looking for a safe with a CERTIFIED fire rating of 1 hour or greater. If you are thinking of placing any important documents or delicate items in a gun safe consider adding greater protection by investing in a small U.L. rated or U.S. made certified fire box you can place inside of your safe to protect your paperwork and more delicate items.Don’t overlook the fire seal on the door, Inexpensive big box retailers sell safes that don’t even have fire seals on the door but a fire seal is an important part of a good fire rating. One important thing the fire seal will do is prevent moisture from entering the safe on a day to day basis. It also helps keep rust and corrosion off of your guns or other valuables. During a fire the fire seal expands to seal out fire and smoke and preventwater from entering the safe in the course of extinguishing a fire.
- Should I buy a Floor Safe?
Floor safes offer great security if installed in the floor surrounded by concrete but often don’t provide much fire protection. Floor safes offer great protection for valuables due to the body of the safe being encased in concrete on all five sides. The reason they lack a fire rating is due to the door being exposed with no fire board to dissipate the heat from an intense blaze. Quite often this leads to the contents being destroyed in a short period of time.