Travel Technology - I looking for a safe for my home
Apr 2, 07, 10:20 pm
With all of my electronics and other paper valuables such as birth certificates and etc etc. I need a safe.
What would you recommend? I'm not even sure where to begin. I would think bigger and heavier is better?
Apr 2, 07, 10:41 pm
They all list their fire rating- how long the house can burn around them before the heat gets inside to the papers and disintegrates them. Typical is around 45 minutes to an hour and a half, IIRC.
Look at it in the store. Try the lock and see if it is easy or hard for you to work. Some have holes (with plugs covering the holes) in the bottom, so you can run long bolts through them and bolt them to your floor.
With the ones with electronic locks, figure out what happens if the battery goes dead- will the combo be saved, how hard will it be to open it?
Compare internal space to the papers you have to put in it. If the max size of an unfolded sheet is 10", and you need to put 11"/A4 docs in there, you'll have to fold them. Is that an issue for you?
Apr 2, 07, 10:44 pm
You should think about what you want from the safe, since that will help you narrow it down. Are you just trying to keep other people from getting in? Do you want it to be fireproof? For how long? How much do you want to be able to store?
Pretty much anything other than the fridge sized safes are at risk for getting removed in a burglary, unless, as Gargoyle mentioned, it's bolted in your floor. Even then, though, if you're out of town, the crooks could have quite a bit of time to get it unbolted.
There are commercially rated safes and non-commercial safes. Commercially rated safes meet the requirements set by insurance companies to be able to insure businesses -- or for businesses to get a better insurance rate by having the safe. Generally, a safe receives a commercial rating if it meets certain fire proofing standards, as well as standards related to how long it would take for a burglar to break into it.
One other thing you could do to protect sensitive material, such as paper and computer backups, is to put one safe inside another safe.
Most safes that are out there are more about looking secure than actually being secure. If searching for the best safe out there it pays to research thoroughly. If your requirements are less extensive, go with whatever Costco has.
People use safes for protecting everything from guns to precious metals and jewelry to cash to personal documents and backup media. What you need really depends on what you're protecting. Valuables require something difficult to haul away. Personal documents and backups primarily require fire protection.
Apr 2, 07, 11:59 pm
I very much recommend cutting a hole in your concrete basement floor and installing an in floor safe that is seated in concrete. These things are actually quite cheap, fairly easy to put in, and have are virtually impossible to remove/steal. Make sure you get one that is waterproof as well as firesafe if you live in an area where your basement can possibly get flooded.
I've personally installed an in floor safe in the side of a concrete wall, still several feet below the surface and prefer this better. It is a little trickier to install and technically aren't quite as safe but I think they are a lot better than any freestanding safe you can buy.
Apr 3, 07, 12:39 am
As an alternative, you can get a safe at a bank. They are reasonably priced but two of the most obvious drawbacks are that you need to go to your bank to get your items and that the safe is only available during bank hours.
Apr 3, 07, 12:11 pm
get a safety deposit box for papers. just get a fireproof file cabnet and a decent insurance policy for your electronics. save the receipts, and take pictures of them.
the hole in concrete works, unless your basement floods, but they are not very big. certainly not going to hold all the electronics of a person who worries about them.
one morning I arrived at my business to find a huge (bigger than a doorway) hole in the side of my brick building. some very industrius group of people had chopped a hole in the wall, rolled the safe out and taken it away. it weighed over 1000 lbs, and probably close to 2000 lbs. mostly credit card charges and checks, and maybe a hundred or two dollars in cash. a lot of the cash was change and ones. I would have gladly paid them $200 to do that much productive work for me.
now, if you really want to store a lot of stuff, I have a safe in my current building thatI would like to sell. it is 7' high, 5' wide, and close to 3' deep. never been lifted, but would guess it to weigh 2000 lbs or maybe 3000 lbs.