Companies and individuals need safes to protect documents, sensitive materials, money, weapons, chemicals, and family heirlooms.
But choosing the right safe for the specific objects at the right time is a must.
So, it is not as easy as buying the first safe you see with a lock.
There are many options for you, so don’t pick the first good deal you find.
With the internet, you can search for products in a snap.
Here are the top 5 companies that design and manufacture safe brands.
Use your due diligence when choosing the product that fits your needs.
Make sure you read the customer reviews and compare the pros and cons.
Take note that the best way to protect your valuables from burglaries, theft, flood, and fires is a high-quality and durable safe.
If you want to choose the best one for your needs, read on for varied safe features for your homes.
What Is a Safe Used For?
A safe is used to store possessions, including cash reserve for emergencies to save lives.
You can also keep computer backups to preserve your digital data.
Or, important documents such as bank account information, health, and home insurance, a will, car title, property deeds, car title or medical records, and the list goes on.
Spare keys for your safety deposit box at your bank, car, or home are better inside the safe.
Personal ID, social security cards, birth certificates, passports, or a marriage license should be kept in a flood and fire resistant place.
You can use the safe to keep your gold, silver, jewelry, and other family heirlooms.
Pay attention to the locking method of the safe when choosing a specific model, the temperature rating, and the inner capacity.
Before buying a safe, gather everything you want to keep so you know the size you require.
Remember, the safe size is listed as a volume in cubic feet.
Aside from that, also check the inner dimensions to ensure that the stuff you want to keep inside it will fit.
On top of the fire protection, many safes also feature waterproof seals.
This feature is helpful in a flood, forgotten bathtub, or burst pipe.
These features will protect your paper documents like passports, photos, deeds, and birth certificates.
The steel of the safe’s door and body is of great importance.
More often than not, most safe’s doors have ½ – ⅓ metal content.
The steel metal must be a minimum of 12 gauge.
When the steel gauge decreases, the steel’s strength increases.
Meaning, more layers of stainless steel will disperse the heat from any torch attacks and provide more strength.
On the other hand, composite doors thickness does not represent the content of the steel.
A safe with continuous weld has sturdier construction.
A continuous weld is different from spot welding because this is weaker and easier to take apart with a sledgehammer.
But, if you drill out the spot weld, using a torch and use a removal tool, you will end up having a solid metal.
Type of Locks
Observe the safe locking mechanism.
Combination locks may look old-fashioned, but it is still effective.
Key lock safes like combination locks are affordable.
Modern safes with a digital or fingerprint reader are more pricey than combination locks.
However, the ease of use is worthwhile because you never have to care about any passcode.
Senior citizen users might have a problem with fingerprint readers.
Their skin elasticity decreases with age, so the scanner might not interpret the fingerprint.
Digital locks have a master key backup if your battery dies, you forgot the code, or the scanner does not work.
Safe Within a Safe
There are safe models with a separate lockbox inside the safe that acts as a second protection layer.
This particular feature allows two people can access separate compartments of the safe.
Bolt Work Assembly
Bolt works is a locking mechanism that locks the safe’s door to protect it from prying attacks.
The internal mechanism assembly will ensure that the inner and outer parts are damage-free during drilling.
Pay attention to the locking bolts steel.
Longer bolts that extend into the door frame are stronger and will hold the safe better against attacks.
The bolt thickness also provides more protection.
Lock bolts that rotate increase the protection of the safe if there are attempts to move or cut the safe open.
Fire Resistance Standards
Every safe company uses different fire resistance standards.
But, despite some bold claims, there is no fireproof safe.
When testing for company-specific criteria, pay close attention to the heat resistance and testing time.
High resistance and low-temperature time are the same as low-resistance and high-temperature time.
A fire-resistant safe is an important purchasing factor.
Materials like paper documents must be kept in a safe not hotter than 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remember the classic book Fahrenheit 451?
This temperature is the heat index that the paper will combust.
Digital accessories, on the other hand, like hard drives and USB backups, should be kept in a safe with a minimum rating of 150 degrees.
Manufacturing and Warranty
A safe with a lifetime warranty reveals more about the company and the product it manufactures.
For one, it means they have a high standard because they believe in their products.
But, the varying components determine the warranties.
For instance, the dials and electronic locks are manufactured by another company.
The dial’s warranty does not reflect the manufacturer of the safe unless it is of low quality.
Do check where they manufacture the safe.
Basically, safe from China may have a lifetime warranty due to the minimal cost to maintain it.
Your best bet is American-made safe manufactured in the U.S.A. for higher standards and excellent quality control.
Remember that even if the company manufactures the safe within the U.S., they assemble some models in China.
American Security has the security solutions and safes to keep your possessions out of risk.
The company’s warranty is on the website page with their impressive standards for UL fire-resistive methodology.
They did a 1-hour test at 927º Celsius or 1700º Fahrenheit.
And, two-hour testing at 1000º Celsius or 1850º Fahrenheit.
In order to pass the endurance test, the interior temperature must not go beyond 350º Fahrenheit.
Not to mention the burglary science that is too difficult to explain, but this is available in their UL’s specifications.
American Security safe models with burglary and fire-resistant standards tags reflect the guarantee they are holding.
But, not all models meet are up to this standard requirements.
Nonetheless, you will not see any misleading information on the label.
- Safes with higher-end models have explicit scientific standards.
- Burglar and fire-resistant safes go through some extensive criteria.
- Their tight opening between the body and the door makes bar attacks almost impossible.
- High-level security safes are all manufactured in the U.S.A.
- Their lack of customization options limits the protection level.
Fort Knox has accessories and options that set them apart from other companies.
If you visit the warranty page online, the most noticeable thing you will read is the lifetime warranty on reinforced steel liners, re-lockers, clutch-driven spinner handles, uni-body construction, and more.
The website has endless buttons to challenge you to Build & Price your Vault.
You can check cutaway diagrams showing the safe doors composition, fire resistance results, and interior options.
Fort Knox’s entry-level safe can withstand about 649ºC (1200ºF) for about 45 minutes.
However, the site did not specify the standard safety for burglary.
The notable space between the safe’s body and the door could be a potential pry bar entry.
The starting price is at $1,200for these safe.
Fort Knox allows customer customization options.
- The fire resistance for basic models is acceptable.
- All safe is manufactured in the U.S.A.
- Customization enhances added security options.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Potential pry bar attacks.
- No burglary resistance test was described on their site.
- You pay more for the name rather than the protection it provides.
The manufacture and design of Sturdy Safe are very transparent.
If you check their YouTube channel or company website there are many videos about their products.
Everything from mechanical or manual pry attacks to bolt manipulation is almost impossible.
Their site has very informative details about fire insulation and customers’ feedback on how the content of the safe was protected when his house burned down.
The contents were safe that firefighters impressed with it bought one for themselves.
Sturdy Safe’s website has loads of detailed information on the steel size and construction it uses.
The steel body is around six or a seven gauge.
They sell a variety of safe models and also offer custom designs.
Their cheapest unit (20″ W 18″ D 20″ H) costs $737.
The Sturdy Safe company is owned and managed by the same family for 53 years.
All safes exceeds the UL safety requirements, and are 100% American-made.
- They have proven and documented security.
- All safe are manufactured in the U.S.A.
- Lifetime Warranty.
- Option for customization is available for enhanced security potential.
- The safes look very plain.
Homeland Security Safes
Homeland Security Safes are all manufactured and assembled in the United States.
It has a lifetime warranty.
For the lower-priced safe, the fireproofing can protect your valuable possessions for about 45 minutes at 816º Celsius or 1500º Fahrenheit.
However, with expensive models, their safe can withstand a peak of 1260 ºC or 2300 ºF temperature.
It is difficult for burglars to crack this safe because of anti-pry construction.
Homeland Security also has excellent customer service according to customer feedback.
On their social media page, there are different custom designs for patrons.
A high-level security safe is $1,099 and goes up for larger sizes, customization, and additional features.
- Paint designs are customizable to your specifications.
- Lifetime Warranty.
- Every safe is manufactured and assembled in the United States.
- Option for customization available for enhanced security potential.
- They did not describe any testing for burglary resistance.
All Vault Pro safes are manufactured and assembled in the U.S.
The company’s safe has three standard series but can customize safes according to your specifications and needs.
Every model is customizable for a higher level of safety, security, and aesthetic appearance.
Vault Pro’s pricing is very competitive.
They have a very informative video and a walk-through of how they made the safe and the theory used to all standards of safety.
The safe doors use a half-inch plate of about 10 gauge steel on their cheapest unit.
For sturdier construction, every model has a continuous weld.
Their cheapest safe can resist a minimum temperature of 649 ºC or 1200 ºF in one hour.
It can be customized with ceramic fireproofing to resist 1260 ºC or 2300 ºF in one hour.
Customers can opt for thicker metal.
They can even make a customized vault door for you.
You can even customize the width and height of your safe.
Prices start at USD 1599.
The warranty information is available on their website.
- Even the most basic models are fire-resistant.
- But, customization offers limitless security and safety potential.
- Available paint designs for customization.
- The tight opening between the body and the door pry bar attack is difficult.
- Vault Pro manufacture and assemble their safes in the U.S.
- The site did not describe any burglary resistance test.
The Bottom Line
In brief, a good safe will ultimately be another heirloom.
A safe can protect your valuable possessions.
I cannot count the price as an advantage or a disadvantage.
Choose something that fits your requirements to protect your valuables.
If security and safety are your priority, invest in a safe.