Safe, Safer, Safest: How to Choose the Safest Home Safe

When you buy a home safe, you don't want a weak little box that will hold your items but not truly protect them. Rather, you want a safe that can offer you top notch protection from a range of threats, and those threats include not only burglary but also fire and flooding. Here are five questions to consider when you are trying to find the safest safe at a place like Askwith Company:

1. What is the fire resistance?

Bush fires have become an increasing concern for many Australians who live near or in forests, but these are not the only people who need to worry about the risk of fires. In fact, home fires far outnumber bush fires, and in an average year, roughly 3,800 homes experience a fire.

These stats underline the need for buying a home safe that can withstand fire. When you are shopping for a safe, look at the fire rating. Usually expressed as a number of minutes, this rating shows how long the safe can handle burning before it begins to lose its structure. As most homes burn fairly quickly, you don't need an interminable number of minutes. Typically a half an hour fire rating will allow your safe to survive most house fires. Ask your local fire department how long fires typically take in your area.

2. How hot does the safe get inside?

In addition to looking at how long the safe can survive while being attacked by flames, you also need to look at how hot the safe gets on the inside. This fact is especially important if you are storing important paper documents, old film or computer electronics.

Safe temps vary for each of these items, but most electronics have warnings on them regarding what temps they require for safe storage. Look at those advisements and keep them in mind when looking for your safe.

3. How much water protection does the safe offer?

If your house is burning, your safe will likely be doused in water as the firefighters attempt to put out the flames. In other situations, your safe may be exposed to water due to flooding, excessive storms or other issues.

Because of this, if you want the contents of your safe to stay safe, you need a safe that can withstand water. When looking at safes, ask about their water resistance. Ideally, you want a safe that has been submerged to prove it can survive water.

4. Can it resist burglary attempts?

Once you have determined that your safe can withstand acts of nature, you need to think about human-made threats. Burglary resistance is not rated on all safes, but when it is, it is expressed as a number of minutes just like the fire rating.

Safe manufacturers test how long the safe can withstand burglary attempts made by everything, from hacksaws to explosives. In addition to looking at the number, also consider what tools were used to try to break into the safe. Ideally, you want a safe that can handle explosives such as nitroglycerin as well as blow torches and other tools.

5. Can it be hacked?

Traditionally, safes were designed to resist burglary attempts by having strong locks and thick metal exteriors. However, now, a number of safes are relying on technologically-advanced methods to stay locked. Some, for example, use biometrics and only open for certain fingerprints. Others, in contrast, have complex computer codes that allow the safe to do everything, from count money to send messages to banks.

If you opt for a safe that has tech-savvy components, you need to consider whether or not the safe can be hacked. Unfortunately, savvy hackers have been able to come up with codes that can open safes with USB ports. Ultimately, you have to weigh the benefits offered by the technology and compare that to any possible risks.