You have come to Gujrat Steel’s website in search of a product that seems simple enough because a safe is just a metal box, right? Upon further investigation, you find that there’s more to a safe than you initially thought. Search the Internet, and you will find many self-proclaimed experts that tell you what you are supposed to know about buying a safe. Look long enough, and you start to see that there is often conflicting information.
In our experience, what usually happens is that the customer guesses as to what they need, and often the decision centers on size and price. Our thoughts are that some protection is better than nothing at all. When we stop to consider the reasons to invest in a safe, it comes down to a straightforward but critical issue: The contents we wish to protect are often some of the most important and valuable things we own. Our philosophy is “do not compromise on quality when it comes to your life-savings.”
With this being the case, we feel it is our responsibility as experts in the security and safety products industry to cut through the endless bits of information and misinformation and give you only the most important considerations when seeking the best solution to your challenge.
What Are The Top 5 Things One Should Keep In Mind Before Making a Purchase?
- What Size Safe Should I Purchase?
The answer is simple: one that is bigger than you think you need! The most prevalent feedback we receive from the thousands of customers we have served over the years is that they did not buy a safe that was big enough.
You will only add to the contents over the years. When it comes to buying a safe, bigger is better!
- Not All Gun Safes Are Made Equal:
Gun Safes come in various sizes and shapes. Some are mere boxes that have no protection from fires or burglary. In gun safes, the most important features to evaluate are the locking mechanism and the fire rating.
Normal gun cabinets are made of very thin steel (16 to 18 gauge) and can easily be broken into using a hammer and a screwdriver. Gun safes use thicker steel (10 to 12 gauge). The door construction of a gun safe is very important. It should have at least ¼ “ of solid plate steel on the door.
The fire rating is an important factor and it is unfortunately ignored most of the time. Make sure your gun safe has a fire rating of above 1 hour. Safes with a rating below 1 hour usually don’t survive a fire. It doesn’t make sense spending an insanely high sum of money for a safe that won’t be able to guarantee the safety of your valuables.
If you cannot afford a safe with a rating of >1 hour, choose the one with the highest rating within your budget.
- Fire Rating To Protect Money And Paper (important documents):
Fireproof safes and composite safes should have a minimum rating of 1 hour. Those with fire-ratings less than 1 hour will not provide adequate protection to paper and cash in a fire. You cannot predict where a fire will start.
It may be far away from the safe, which will give you sufficient time to put it out. Or, it may start too close to your safe. In such a situation, it will be better to have a safe that has a greater resistance to fire. We would recommend that you don’t put large amounts of cash in your fireproof safe.
- Safe Portability:
One of the factors related to the size of the safe is the portability of the safe. You basically have two choices: the safe can either be completely portable or fixed in a permanent location on the floor or wall.
However, since a portable safe is easy to move, but it may also be easy for a burglar to move. Be sure to consider your safe cannot simply be picked up and carried away before you make your purchase.
- Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind. Where Should I Place My Safe?
In our experience, one of the most challenging decisions for customers is where to place their safe. If you do not have a burglar alarm system in your home or business, placing your safe “out of sight, out of mind” is very important.
While not every situation is the same, we offer you some considerations BEFORE you invest in a safe:
- Will the placement of the safe encourage you to use it? If your safe is hard to reach or in an area you usually do not like to go (dark, dusky part of the basement), will you be committed to using it?
- Is there adequate light to see inside the safe as well as how to operate the lock? A dark corner of a closet might be great for hiding the safe, but if you cannot see the hash marks on the combination dial, you will be frustrated.
- Is the location adequate to hold your safe? A heavy safe needs strong flooring.
We always recommend bolting your safe to the ground. Concrete is better than wood.
- Burglars will go to the master bedroom or walk-in closet first to find small, high value items. New safe buyers often favor convenience over security and place their safe in the master bedroom. First, consider anchoring your safe into concrete vs. a wood floor. Concrete floors with a good concrete expansion anchor fight back against the burglars.
Here are some ideas on places to put your new safe:
- Under an enclosed stairway with an access door.
- In a guest bedroom closet.
- In a utility room.
The Bitterness of Poor Quality Lingers Long After a Cheap Price is Forgotten.
Don’t buy a cheap safe to store your most prized possessions in. Most of the time you are placing your most valuable and important items that you own in the safe that you purchase. Make sure that the safe you purchase is appropriate for the items you are storing in the safe.