Safes: Does size matter?

We’re talking about home security safes here.

Of course, there are people who think that ‘bigger is better’, and when it comes to safes, the media and major motion picture industry has done nothing to dispel this myth. Whether it’s a bank robbery flick rife with images of the huge circular vault, or a drug dealer movie with a giant wall safe filled with cash and drugs, we think a big safe must be better than a smaller one, right?

But if that is the case, then why did banks once do such a roaring business in tiny safe deposit boxes? It would seem like size doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to securing your valuables; it’s more about finding the right size and type of safe that meets your needs now and into the future.

It’s not about thickness

Some sporting-goods or hardware-type stores sell safes with an extra thick door. Thick is great, but in the case of safes, material matters more than girth: a safe that is thick but light and inexpensive does not provide nearly the protection you would want or expect in a safe. The reason is simple: that safe would cost a fortune to make if it were made of solid steel, and then it would cost another fortune to ship. What you need to look for is solid steel, which offers the best possible protection. The lower the number, the higher the gauge of steel.

Larger models with thick doors made of heavy gauge steel do have one obvious advantage: they’re impossible for a single or even a pair of burglars to pick up and simply carry out of your house. However, if you’re really concerned about theft, even if you have a larger model, it’s wise to make sure that your safe has anti-drilling features as well so robbers can’t drill through it while you are away.

Sometimes, theft is not so much of a concern as damage. Whether you are worried about day-to-day conditions like moisture and humidity, or disaster conditions such as fires, you will need a special type of safe to accommodate those needs. At this point, it’s not about size and weight but impermeability: if you have media and client data to store on behalf of your business, such as hard drives, CDs, thumb drives, SD cards and the like, your enemy is more likely to be temperature and humidity as opposed to theft. Often the largest, thickest safes are no deterrent to the elements that can erode the quality of photographs and delicate media; you will need a special media safe.

A giant safe stuffed with cash? We’ll take it – with a 1 hour fire rating, please

As per the famous novel, we all pretty much know that paper burns at Fahrenheit 451. Fire resistant safes should include fire retardant materials, not just thick steel, sufficient to create a minimum 1 hour fire rating if you plan to put money, documents or other papers inside. Of course, in practice, this may not be necessary – you may be able to quickly put out a fire, which could have started far away from the safe and thus does not expose your cash to high temperatures. However, you’re typically better safe than sorry (if you’ll pardon the pun). If you’re concerned about fire as well as burglars, we have sourced some very good quality composite safes that offer both a high security rating and a certified fire rating as well.

In summary, when you’re looking for a way to protect your valuables inside your home or business, don’t automatically assume you need to take a wall out to insert a vault; opt for the safe (no matter what size!) that will help you sleep at night knowing your valuables are well protected, without overkill.


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