When it comes to buying a home safe to protect your valuables, it is a decision that you should not take lightly.
That’s because usually, home safes are for life. Unless they are broken into, they hardly get damaged or give you any reason to replace them.
Home safes are critical as they help to store sensitive assets in a secure location that is most often completely isolated from your existing security network and free from prying eyes.
There are different types of home safes, all differing in design, size, and complexity so it can be a complicated decision to choose the right safe for your home. There are many things to consider when buying a safe, which we will try to look through together to make the process easier for you.
Make a list of all the things you’re planning to put in your safe.
Will its content include keys, papers, cash, and jewellery?
Do you also intend to store large items like electronic gadgets and weapons?
Once you’ve got a good idea of items that go into your safe, it’ll be a lot easier to decide the size of safe you’re going to need for home.
Knowing the size of the home safe you need is important. It has to have a big enough opening if you intend to store jewellery in a box, a security cash box, binder document, large weapon, and so on. Keep in mind that the size of the things you intend to store in the safe will not only determine its storage size, but also the size of its opening.
Fire or Security
Most people prefer home safes that can survive a house fire with its content intact. But while it is true that home safes are generally built with fire protection in mind, they cannot be considered to be fireproof unless they have been tested in a furnace. In fact, most of the safes in the market are able to achieve only a small degree of fire resistance.
If your need for a safe is to keep your valuables secure in the event of a fire, look for the most fire-resistant safe in the market. However, if you just need a safe that will keep your valuables secure, you need a security safe.
There are a few safes that can meet the ratings for fire and security at the same time, but they tend to be more expensive than regular safes.
Wall Safe or Hidden Safe
Hidden safes and wall safes do not provide any special security but on the plus side, they are easy to conceal and do not take up too much space.
That said, wall safes are made from thin gauge steel and can be cut or torn out of the wall easily, so it is best not to use a wall safe to store your highly valuable or important belongings.
Wall safes and hidden safes are likely to be used to keep important items like prescription medicines out of the reach to your children or pieces of jewellery that are not too expensive. However, look for a more stable, good-quality safe for high-value belongings.
Safe Cash Rating
If you have homeowners’ insurance for your home and your belongings, it is important that you check the fine print of your policy to see what it says about keeping cash in the safe.
Insurance providers have what is known as safe cash ratings, which refers to how much money the insurance company is willing to cover if you lose the money in the safe.
A home safes cash rating typically starts at $1,000 cash and goes up to $100,000, but it is not advisable that you keep that much money in the house, even if it is in the safe.
If you’re also planning to keep jewellery in your safe, you should multiply the accepted cash rating of the safe by 10 to get the cover for jewellery. For example, if your safe has a $1,000 cash rate, you can store jewellery and other valuables up to $10,000’s worth in it.
Be conscious, too, that safes need to be properly designed and fitted to meet the requirements of most insurance companies, and this will be a consideration covered in any claim request.
That said, if you do have a house safe and no home and content insurance, you should consider getting cover as soon as possible. There are lots of reliable insurance providers in New Zealand including AMI Insurance, so you can get the necessary cover before it is too late.
The type of locking mechanism your safe has should be determined by the type of individuals that will access it.
Time delay lock, digital combination locks or a combination of several mechanisms can nowadays make home safes very complicated and you have to be sure the users of the safe can handle this technology before choosing such locking mechanism.
You can also choose a home safe with a mechanical combination lock because most people are familiar with these and can easily remember the combinations.
Another choice is to have a key lock but if you lose the key this is a bit risky.
Finally, whatever you choose, make sure you hire a reliable locksmith or a reputable installer in your area to set it up properly.