Fireproof Safe Buying Guide
Considerations Before Buying
If you have decided that you want to get a fireproof safe to protect your important papers, digital media and other valuables, it is important for you to choose the right one for your specific needs.
The best way to achieve this is to evaluate the different safes on the market and look at the features they offer. Compare these features against the needs you have and you will be able to narrow the field and make the choice much easier.
What are you keeping in your safe?
Every fireproof safe on the market is capable of storing paper documents that you want to protect such as wills, birth certificates, passports and other important papers. If you want to store items such as CDs, DVDs, hard drives, memory sticks, film and other items, you will need to get a special fireproof safe that keeps the internal temperature of the safe below 125 degrees. The more common internal temperature is 350 degrees but this is too hot for those fragile items to stay protected. Knowing ahead of time what you want to keep in your safe will ensure that you get one that has that protection ability.
Other Safe Qualities
- Waterproof – Many safes are waterproof in addition to being fireproof. This feature is important due to the sprinkler systems that are in many businesses and homes. In addition, if it is waterproof, it can protect valuables from flood damage as well.
- Impact Resistant – During a fire, floors can fall, supporting beams can collapse and the whole structure can come down. Impact resistance means that the fireproof safe can handle falling from a height and it won’t burst open, ruining everything inside.
- What Size? – You want to choose a safe that is big enough to keep all of your documents and valuables inside safely. This will vary from home to home. Overall, businesses may have a bigger need for a larger safe than a regular home, but that will also vary. Determine how much you have to put in the safe and then choose the size safe you get accordingly. It’s always better to get one that is a little larger so you can add things to it as needed rather than get one too small and then having to purchase another one.
- Weight – The larger a safe is, the more it will weigh so take this into consideration when shopping. The place you plan on keeping the safe will need to accommodate the weight safely.
- Locks – In addition to protecting your valuables and documents from fire and water, you want to protect them from prying eyes as well. This is why a locking system is important. There are several different kinds of locks that fireproof safes have: tubular, deadbolt, combination and electronic. The best and safest lock system to get is the electronic lock that has a backup lock that seals the safe if someone tampers with the main lock.
- Set a Budget – Fireproof safes can range from $20-$30 dollars up into the hundreds. It is better to set a budget s o you know which safes to look over. There is no point in looking at models that are outside of your budget range. You can go a really good fireproof and waterproof safe for less than $100.
Fire Protection Levels
When looking at different safes, you want to be sure that you understand the fire protection levels that they offer. There are certifications such as UL and ETL that let consumers know what the temperature ratings are and what they have been certified and verified to handle.
Those certifications will tell you the temperature that the fireproof safe is protected to, and for how long. You want to look for a temperature rating that is above 1400, the more above the better, and for a minimum of 1-2 hours.
It is a lot more common for theft to occur than to have a fire that destroys your home. For this reason you may want to consider a safe that has some security measures in place as well. The best thing to look at when you are looking to find a secure safe is whether it can be bolted to the floor. That is the best way to ensure the ultimate security because if a burglar can pick the safe up and move it, it doesn’t matter whether the lock is secure or not.
Other features to look for when it comes to theft protection is live locking bolts, recessed doors and hidden hinges which all help protect your private and important documents and valuables safe from theft and prying eyes.
Convenience is important to most people. No one wants to purposely get something that causes them a lot of trouble. The majority of safes come with features that make them convenient for the ones purchasing them. One of the important conveniences is that the fireproof safe should be convenient for you to access whenever you need to.
Look for features like detachable shelves, customizable settings, lighted control or lock panel, and being able to be mounted to a floor or wall. These kinds of features will make the safe a pleasure to own and accessing your valuables when necessary becomes very simple.
If you keep all of these things in mind when you start researching different fireproof safes, you’ll never go wrong. Always make sure you know the answers to the questions of what you will be putting in the safe, where you want to keep it, and the features you want it to have.
The information contained in this buyer’s guide will help the buyer understand what to look for in a safe for your home. With all of the choices available it is beneficial to you to have this information. You will be able to make an informed decision that will fulfill your needs and give you peace of mind that your important, special documents and valuables are safe in the event of fire or flood.