Why opt for a fireproof safe
There are many different reasons that you should pick fireproof safe for your home. These include:
- Protection Against the Burglary – If you have valuables in your home, such as cash, jewelry, or family heirlooms, then the last thing you want to do is have them simply stashed in a closet. If you should be so unfortunate as to have your home broken into by a robber, a fireproof safe is going to keep your valuables safe from being stolen.
- Fireproof – As the name suggests, these safes are fireproof. Everyone has home insurance, but that will only cover you so far in the case of a fire emergency in your home. Though insurance might replace your home, it can never replace family memories, important documents, or precious valuables. A fireproof safe can help to give you peace of mind just in case the unimaginable becomes a reality.
- Waterproof – Some, but not all, fireproof safes are also waterproof. This is a great feature since emergencies aren’t just limited to fires. This is especially true if you live near a river, stream, or creek. A waterproof safe, like the First Alert 2037F, is a great system to help protect your important documents in any type of emergency.
- Heavyweight – One of the reasons that fireproof safes are such a good option for helping to prevent theft is that they are quite heavy. Since they need to have extra layers built in to make them fireproof, these safes can weigh well over a hundred pounds. This hefty weight makes them much more difficult for a burglar to pick up and take away with them during a break-in.
- Durable – As you would expect from a safe that weighs so much, these safes are exceedingly durable. Whichever one you choose to buy, you can rest assured that it is going to last a good long time. The materials used to make them fireproof also help to make them last for years to come, making your purchase a sound investment in securing your valuables.
- Convenient – The only other way that you can make sure that your important documents, like your passport, birth certificate, marriage license, etc. are safe from emergencies is to keep them somewhere else. The problem with this system, of course, is that they are not in a convenient spot if you need them. By getting a fireproof safe, you can keep your documents safe, and within easy reach should you need to access them.
Features to consider while choosing a fireproof safe
The first thing that you are going to want to consider when it comes to finding your fireproof safe is the capacity. The capacity of the safe is going to determine how many items you can fit into it, and the types of items that you can store within it. The best idea when buying a fireproof safe is to get one that can handle more than you intend to store in it right away. The last thing that you want to do is to limit what you can store in it since you will probably acquire more valuables and more important documents during your life after you purchase your safe.
If you are looking for the largest safe on the market, then the Steelwater AMSWD-500 is going to be the best option. It has plenty of room for valuables, as well as enough space for plenty of documents, even if you have a ton to store. On the other hand, if you are looking to save a bit of money and don’t need to store a lot of stuff, then the Honeywell 6104 might be a good choice.
The security system that your new safe employs will have a direct effect on how secure it is should you experience a break-in at your residence. There are three basic systems that you can choose from in this regard. They are:
- Lock and Key – This is the simplest system for securing your things, which also means that it is the easiest to break into. It operates much like a door on your house, in that it uses a key to unlock and open the safe. Of course, you need to be sure that you keep the key in a secure spot, or there is no way for you to get into your safe.
- Combination Lock – If you picture any safe that you have seen in a movie or show, a combination lock is going to be what comes to mind. It involves a dial that needs to be turned to the correct sequence of numbers in order to unlock the safe. This makes it extremely secure. Thankfully, if you should forget the combination, lots of safes with combination locks, like the First Alert 2087F, come with a key as well.
- Digital Keypad – Digital keypads are much like combination locks, except they instead of turning a dial, all you need to do is punch in the code. These locks will need the batteries to be changed every so often, so that is an additional cost. Much like a combination lock safe, many of these models also come with a key in case you forget the combination.
What temperature it can withstand and for how long
When it comes to a fireproof safe, you want to be sure that it is actually fireproof and not simply fire-resistant.
If you get a safe that is only fire-resistant, then your documents won’t last very long if they are exposed to high temperatures for a long period of time. The best idea is to get a safe that has the highest temperature and time rating possible.
Let’s be honest; firefighters are not going to be searching through your home for a safe while they are fighting the fire and trying to get your loved ones to safety. By getting a safe with a high temperature and time duration rating, you will help to make sure that your items are that much safer. If that is what you are looking for, then the Steelwater AMSWD-500 just might be the right safe for you. It can last for a total of two hours at a temperature of 1,800 degrees. This should give your valuable items enough protection during the time that the firefighters are working to extinguish the flames.
The materials used in fire safes are generally very similar across the board. These safes usually have a combination of steel and insulation to help protect your items from being burned or damaged by water. The thing that helps to determine how fireproof your new safe will be is how thick these materials are.
If you look at a smaller safe, like the Honeywell 6104, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that it doesn’t have the highest temperature or time rating. The insulation and steel are both relatively thin, making this a nice and lightweight safe, which will offer minimal security in the event of a fire. On the other hand, the First Alert 2087F has thick steel and insulation, giving it a much longer endurance time at higher temperatures. Of course, this does make it a heavier safe, so don’t expect to move it around too often once you have it in place.
Once you have determined the capacity you need, as well as the heat rating you want to keep your items secure, then you should carefully plan where you are going to keep your new safe. The external dimensions of the different safes on the market are something that you will want to keep in mind after you have determined where you will keep it in your home. Obviously, if you have a smaller space, then you are going to need to make sure that you get a smaller safe. If space isn’t an issue, then you can go ahead and purchase any size safe.
One of the most common places that people like to keep their safes is in a closet in their bedroom. Even more common, is keeping it on a high shelf in said closet. If that is the case for you and your family, then the SentrySafe 1200 Fireproof Box
might be a good option. It is almost the size of an undersized briefcase, which allows it to fit onto smaller shelves or tight spaces easily.
Any time you buy anything that is designed to keep your items safe, you want to make sure that it is backed by a warranty. Though the hope is that you don’t ever have to use the warranty to replace any part of your new safe, it is nice to know that the company stands behind their product. Some of these safes are also quite an investment, so a warranty is an extra protection to make sure that you don’t lose any money if something should fail on the safe through its normal use.
Something else to keep in mind with these safes is since they are designed to be used in a fire, some companies will offer lifetime replacements should a fire occur. This, as we mentioned before, is a great way for a company to show that they stand behind their product. This lifetime guarantee also helps to make your purchase that much more of a value.
As we said previously, safes are relatively straightforward devices. They are designed to keep your things sealed up and safe from fire and not much else. Of course, there are still some extra features that might make your life a bit easier. One of the best things to keep in mind, especially if you have a lot to store, are removable or adjustable shelves. These shelves will make getting all of your documents and valuables into the safe that much easier.
Something else that you might want to keep in mind, especially if you live near a body of water, is getting a safe that is waterproof. If you do get a waterproof safe, your documents will be protected against more than just fire or break-ins, making it an even better investment in the security of your things.
Finally, if you get a safe that can only be opened by a key, it might be a good idea to get one that comes with an extra set. That way, should you accidentally lose the first set of keys, you will have a backup so that you can still get into your safe.
How to maintain your safe
Though these safes are designed to withstand staggering amounts of heat, that doesn’t mean that they are indestructible. There are several different things that you can do every once in a while to help make sure that your safe is functioning properly. If you don’t take the time to maintain your safe, you run the risk of it failing in the case of an emergency, so be sure to take some time each month to monitor the following:
- Battery Maintenance – If you purchase a safe that has a digital keypad, you will want to keep a close eye on the battery levels. Otherwise, you run the risk of the battery losing power on you, which makes opening the safe a lot more difficult.
- Moisture Control – Even if you get a waterproof safe, repeated exposure to moisture is eventually going to wear down the hinges and exterior of the safe. This could limit its effectiveness during a fire or flood since rust will make it much easier for these dangerous elements to enter into your safe and destroy your things.
- Cleaning the Surface and Interior – Since these safes are designed to be used for years and years, it is best to make sure that you keep them free of dust, dirt, and grime, on both the interior and exterior. You should also always make sure that your hands are clean when you are using your safe so that your important documents don’t get any dirt or grime on them when you open the safe up. A gentle cleaner is all you need to use to keep the safe looking like it just came off the shelf.