The benefits of owning a safe far outweigh the misfortune of not owning one. In times of crisis or emergency, peace of mind is priceless and in the long run well worth the investment.
If you own fine jewelry, family keepsakes, photographs, store cash, coins or other valuable collectables in your house, it would be wise to purchase a safe to preserve these items from fire and theft.
Protection from theft is often considered one of the first benefits of owning a safe. But just like theft, fire is just as dangerous and can consume your valuables faster than any thief. The average response time for response to a fire is about 3-5 minutes depending on your area. Depending on the cause of the fire, flames can engulf a room or entire home in a matter of minutes. Modern homes are often filled with furniture and decorations made of materials that burn rapidly. Polyester for example, burns much more rapidly than cotton, so when a house if filled with items made of these materials, the home is at greater risk for rapid loss in the event of a fire. So if you have items that need protection from fire as well, consider buying a fire rated safe to protect your valuables and keepsakes.
With thousand of home burglaries each year, it’s clear that protection from theft is one of the most obvious benefits of owning a safe. In any home burglary, time is of the essence and the more time you can put between your valuables and a burglar the more you increase your chances of keeping your things.
The prices of safes can vary greatly and will depend on where you’ll install it and what you’re trying to protect. On the lower end, handgun vaults range from $40 – $250 and can protect handguns and small items like wallets and passports. Please understand that handgun vaults won’t protect against fire. Fire rated safes range from $400 – several thousand dollars and the benefits of owning a safe like this is protection from both fire and burglary.
Once you’ve made the decision to purchase your safe there are two other considerations that will make it even more secure and will deter thieves even longer. The first is choosing a covert location inside your home. Many people place their safes in a garage or in plain sight on the main floor of their home but this only make it easy to spot. Choosing a more covert installation area such as a closet or some even build their safes into the walls.
Another way to make your safe more secure and less vulnerable to penetration is to have it bolted down during installation. Thieves have a better chance of opening a safe if they can tip it on it’s back to gain greater leverage with prying tools. So having your safe bolted down will decrease it’s chances of being tipped over and opened.
As stated earlier the amount of space you have and what you want to protect are some of the primary concerns when choosing a safe. Here are a few other things to look out for when making the decision to purchase a safe. Safes that are not made and/or tested in the USA should be researched carefully because manufacturing processes and testing standards are different. When making an online purchase, read the specifications carefully to ensure it will fit in the desired location. Also, be sure that if an online purchase includes free shipping and/or delivery be sure you know exactly what that means. Usually, free shipping will be non-discreet meaning your neighbors will know that you’re getting a safe. Also, if you see ‘curbside delivery’ it usually means the safe will be taken off the truck and placed curbside. It will be up to you to move the safe from your curb into your house or garage which isn’t really a problem if the safe is around 400-800 lbs and you have the proper equipment, but anything over that weight could be a real problem moving around and you could damage the safe.
This video demonstrates the superior quality, strength, and engineering, of a Liberty Safe over its competitors. Don’t trust the protection of your valuables to any safe. Choose the best; choose a Liberty.
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A fireproof safe can also be a lifesaver when it comes to protecting your most valued possessions and important papers. Bank safe deposit boxes may seem like a reliable and secure option when storing valuables. Cameras, security guards, and tons of steel can make this seem like a viable option but exactly how secure and convenient are safe deposit boxes?
Did you know that items stored in bank safe deposit boxes aren’t insured by the FDIC? As stated in their consumer news, “Plus, cash that’s not in a deposit account isn’t protected by FDIC insurance.” So this means that any cash you have stored in the safe deposit box that’s not deposited into an account is uninsured as is any other valuables or paperwork.
Items like passports, wills, and extra keys are not only uninsured but also inaccessible during certain hours. For these reasons, a fireproof safe is an excellent option when it comes to storing your valuables. The following items are just a few to be considered when storing items in your safe:
Lastly, in addition to storing your valuable items in a fireproof safe, you should also consider placing paper items like cash, birth certificates, etc. in a waterproof ziplock bag then placing that inside a fireproof bag. This will give an added measure of protection from fire or the fireman’s water hose should them have to extinguish a fire in the area of your safe.
Click here to read more about fireproof safes and their classifications.
More than 500 super strong parts work together. The outer shell is a sandwich of ultra-tough steel and slabs of ground up rock fireproofed to 1,200 degrees. 26 hardened steel bolts clamp the door deep into the sidewalls and a lock with 1.2 million possible combinations gives easy access if you know the code.
The secret to what makes the safe so strong is the way engineers make its steel skin.
In this 300,000 square foot Utah factory that these Liberty safes begin life as 9 ton rolls of coiled up steel. It’s 5 times thicker than the steel used on car body work, and incredibly tough. Workers must wrestle this super strong steel into a precision formed box. It’s a mighty engineering challenge.
When choosing the right safe for your home or commercial space, fire rated safes may be among those considered. The safe you choose should function according to your need. Fire rated safes provide fire protection classified by the amount of time your valuables will remain safe at certain temperatures.
30 years ago, we had about about 17 minutes to escape a house fire, today it’s down to about 3 to 4 minutes. Today, modern homes and offices are built with less expensive materials that are much more flammable and burn faster. If there’s a fire, you won’t have time to collect valuable items you may want to save AND the people you love. Modern home and office fires give you time to do one thing; GET OUT.
For this reason, many people choose to protect valuable or irreplaceable items by purchasing a fire rated safe. Not all safes are created equal and not all offer fire protection, so it’s important to know what you’re protecting to find the type of safe that best suits your needs.
We’ve all seen a label with the letters UL next to a rating for major electrical and household appliances. The UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, a global company that does third-party testing, certification, and auditing for commercial products. Intertek ETL is another testing and certification company providing similar services. Chances are you will find UL and ETL markings on many of your household devices and appliances.
Fire rated safes tested in laboratories are placed in a huge furnace with thermal couplings connected to a computer to record data. The furnace is heated to 1200°F in about 10 minutes and maintained at this minimum temperature throughout the duration of the test. As the temperature of the furnace is raised, the computer reads internal temperature changes and when the internal temperature hits 350°F the test is complete.
Normal house fires range between 800°F – 1200°F which is why the minimum furnace temperature during testing is set at 1200°F. Paper begins to discolor just above 350°F, scorches at 410°F, and burns at 451°F. Guns can withstand more heat but items like plastics and other items need to be considered carefully. The average house fire is extinguished in 20 minutes. Fire storms burning through neighborhoods average 2000°F and higher and can level an entire neighborhood in minutes.
It’s important to consider the melting and burning temperatures of the items you plan to store in the safe.
Not all safe manufacturer test are created equal nor are they all conducted in an independent laboratory. This is why product research on your part is important. Some manufacturer safes are “factory certified”, meaning all testing is done in-house without independent witnesses. You’ll want to know if your fire rated safe was tested inside a furnace or is the fire rating derived from the rating of the fireboard or composite alone. If the safe was tested inside a furnace, you’ll want to know how long it took for the furnace to reach 1200°F or the testing temperature. A fire rated safe with a one hour rating where the furnace took 40 minutes to heat up and was tested for only 20 minutes should not be given a one hour fire rating. You should also consider that heat rises so the placement of the heat couplings that read the internal temperatures are important as well.
Studies show that modern houses and materials are more flammable than those of the past. Modern homes tend to provide us with just minutes to escape. Wood houses burn hotter than concrete homes and brick houses tend to burn hotter as brick absorbs more heat than concrete. The materials of the items we choose for furniture and other decorations can also affect the burning temperature and escape time considerably.
If you’re storing cash in a fire rated safe, you should definitely consider emergency response times and invest accordingly. If the items you store in a safe are at all worth the investment to protect them from fire, by all means spend it. If the stored items are fragile or even much more valuable than the safe itself, you should consider purchasing a “fire box” as well. These items will have an additional layer of fire protection, protecting them for an extended period of time at higher temperatures.
When securing valuables, theft is often considered first, but fire is a constant threat as well. A fire rated safe could be the difference between the loss of important documents or valuables that could have been saved, and the sigh of relief you feel when returning to your fire-damaged residence to see your safe still standing.
Buying a fire rated safe or any other type of safe is a great investment. Stay informed and ask questions to be sure you have the right safe for your needs. You should also check with your insurance agent to see if any discounts are in order for having a fire rated safe in your home.