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  Safe Buying Tips

Home Safe

Home Offices

When you have a home office, you will have to utilize a safe where you can store important documents and cash. Rather than keeping them in a bank, which requires payment, a safe that is within a proverbial arm-length which you can keep an eye on may be a preferable option. You can also use a safe to keep jewellery or family heirlooms. A home safe should be secure from a lot of things, such as home fire or burglary. Here is what to look for when buying a home safe.

Fire resistance

In case of a home fire caused by electrical hazard or even an errant child playing with matches, you will have a lot less worry about your money, deeds or certificates burning to ashes when you have them stored in a good quality fire-resistant home safe. Items that would melt in high temperature such as plastic film or computer disks will be safe inside a fire-resistant safe even when high-temperature fire is blazing outside. The materials for a fire-resistant home safe have to be both an insulator and also inflammable. Examples for materials used to build a fire-retardant safe are gypsum, mica, and wood chips.

There will be a selection of safes with ratings that you can choose from. The ratings we provided are from UL (Underwriters laboratory). These ratings represent their level of resistance to fire, in descending order:

  •   UL Class 350, can stand heat up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and 85% humidity.
  •   UL Class 150, can stand heat up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and 85% humidity.
  •   UL Class 125, can stand heat up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit and 80% humidity.

Burglar resistance

Most safes serve the purpose of securing your valuables, such as gold or jewellery, against thieves or burglars. In order to do that, a safe should be:

Made of steel. A safe with harder surface would be harder to crack or break under pressure.
Attached to the floor of a wall. If the burglars are big enough in numbers or body size and you do not have an affixed safe, they will be able to move it to another location and slowly crack the key open.
Resistant to attacks with tools. Also set by Underwriters Laboratory, here are several codes that signify the rating of a safe according to its resistance to tools, in descending order:
TX, means that it can resist attacks from cutting torches and explosives.
TR, resistant to cutting torches.
TL, resistant to common hand-held tools.

Durability against tools:

Here are several codes (by UL) that signify the duration of a safe’s resistance against tools, in descending order:

  •   60, lasts 60 minutes.
  •   30, lasts 30 minutes.
  •   15, lasts 15 minutes.

Other tips

There are other things you need to take into account when you are purchasing a safe.
• Choose the type of safe you want according to what you want to store in it. A UL Class 350 is suitable to store flammable items like paper documents or finance records. A TX-60 is suitable for costly things like jewellery.
• Since a fire-resistant and burglary-resistant safe need different materials to build, i.e. Fire-resistant will use the less durable but insulating wood chips but safes to prevent burglary need the hard but heat-conducive steel.
• Depending on your purpose- to either prevent against burglar or protection from fire- you can have your safe attached to the ground or the wall. This is recommended if you use to safe to delay burglars.
• Unless you need a safe big enough to store antiques or family heirlooms like a china or grandma’s gramophone, stick to a smaller safe so that can be removed and taken with you in case of a fire or a flood.
• Last but not least, the key to a safe should only be accessible by you or a handful of other people. The fewer, the better. Also, do not leave a note entailing your password laying around, keep it somewhere secure or just memorize it.

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