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The increase in crime, particularly theft, burglary, and home invasions has led to many people pondering what they can do to secure their valuables, weapons, and important documents.
One way to quickly add some security is via safes or everyday things that have hidden compartments. Many of you are familiar with gun safes but may not have considered a safe for other valuables.
Some may argue that any safe can be cracked or broken into. The truth is that it is harder than you are probably thinking and a lot of thefts are completed with the idea that it is best to grab what is easy and worth the most and get out. Very few thieves are going to stick around to locate a concealed safe.
Like any piece of equipment designed to provide security, it works by making it a lot harder to get at valuable items. No security is 100% guaranteed. How many of us lock our doors and feel good about it when in truth, a determined thief could just break a window and go right in or in pry the door open? Without extra layers of security, we are just deterring the least determined criminal opportunists.
Even a small safe can be very heavy.
Thick metal and doors are not light. While there are boxes designed to be mobile safes, the type that you are going to buy for your home or business and any that provides the best protection from thieves, is going to be cumbersome to move without some help, especially if it has much in it.
The outside size can be very misleading as to how much storage a safe provides.
As stated before, the walls of a safe are thick. This means that the outside can make you think that you are getting a lot more storage than you really are. When considering which safe to buy, make sure that take a look at the inside dimensions, especially if buying online. You may want to see a video the safe you want to buy or at least get out a tape measure so you can better visualize what you are getting. Returning a heavy item like a safe is a hassle that is best avoided.
Safes are often made to be bolted in place.
Sure safes are heavy but you can make it even harder for thieves by bolting them to a wall or to the floor. Of course, this means choosing wisely where you want your safe to go. Attaching so that the fasteners lock into a floor joist or wall stud will provide the most securement. You can either get a stud finder or tap on your walls. Studs are usually placed 16 inches apart but it can vary especially if it is an interior wall or someone was cutting corners when building.
Multiple small safes may be a much better option than a larger one that is harder to conceal and encourages you to put all your valuables in a single place.
Cache and stash points are a great thing. Smaller safes allow you to spread out the goods so even if one safe is broken into, you still have the others.
Safe boxes allow for some added security for those that travel a lot or live a more nomadic lifestyle.
A safe box can just be picked up and walked away with so it is not near as good as having a safe that is bolted in place. At the same time you may want one to keep a firearm in when traveling in some areas where you are concerned about getting hassled or your concealed carry doesn’t apply. It also prevents kids from being able to get into things that are potentially harmful or outright dangerous.
A safe is heavy. While some safes are under a 100 lb, other safes can weigh hundreds of pounds.
You need to consider the structural strength and integrity of your home or building. While a small safe that has under 2 cubic feet of storage space is going to be fine on any floor, a gun safe can weigh 300 lbs or more alone. It is easy to for someone to find themselves with a gun safe that weighs over 700 lbs when full of guns and valuables. That is quite a bit of weight to have over a small footprint.
Note: I am also providing a few options that are not safes in the traditional sense but they do offer some basic options for those on a budget or that just want a small stash point for a few things.
This is a very recognizable brand in the world of safes. For those that want a small safe that offers fire protection, this is a good option. The safe is UL rated to keep out water up to 8 inches deep for 24 hours. The fire rating offers you 1 hour at 1700 F. This temperature has been tested with documents, USB drives, and other valuables.
I like that they tested this safe to withstand falls as well. Let’s consider the scenario where your safe is on the second floor of a building and there is a fire that burns enough that your safe drops. Well this one is rated to stay close even if it falls 15 feet. That is pretty good for a safe in this price range.
The frontline security of the safe features a keypad that allows you to set your own unique combination and a secondary locking key. There is also an interior lock box. for even more protection.
I saw a review on Amazon with pics of this safe after the Paradise, California wildfire and all the documents and cash inside were fine. After reading the fine print it appears that you void the waterproof warranty if you bolt the safe down. Not a huge dealbreaker for me but it is something to be aware of.
TIGERKING Digital Security Safe Box for Home Office Double Safety Key Lock and Password 2.05 Cubic Feet
This brand is not one that I had ever heard of but they seem to be a pretty major player in the home and small business owner safe market. This safe is a bit snazzier looking than some and it boasts a very large size for storing valuables. At over 2 cubic feet, it is twice as big as many small home safes so if you are looking for something for major storage but don’t want a gun safe, this is a model to consider.
You can fit up to a 14″ laptop in this safe if you have a computer that you want to keep safe. Two different opening methods and 6 sturdy bolts make for a very strong safe. There is a second locked box on the inside of the safe as well for additional security for cash and documents.
There are quite a few security features on this safe. For example, if someone gets your main key and your pin code, if the secondary lock is locked, they still won’t be able to get it. The safe also has softer inner layers so you can lay things in the safe without them getting scratched up or damaged.
This is a more affordable version of the SentrySafe that I previously talked about. If you just want some basic protection and are on a budget then this is a safe that should be on your list to consider. It offers a lot of organized space and security for your money. This would be a good one for those that move more often than average.
Sometimes you just want a portable option for some added security. Travelers, tourists, and those that have to be on the road a lot for their jobs could all make good use of a portable lock box or safe for keeping some things more secure and where they can find them.
Viking is another brand that I see a lot of in the world of safes. For those that are fans of the high tech, this safe offers thumbprint recognition. I have heard mixed opinions on the overall security and ease of use of this style but let’s face it, most of us are just trying to keep out the average neighborhood or regional thieves and goons trying to grab what they can for a quick payoff and get the heck out.
I can see how thumbprint recognition could be nice because then you don’t have to worry so much about keys and combos. If it recognizes your print fast, then it may be a lot of faster for you to access what is in there than traditional safes.
While you wouldn’t catch me putting somethings in a book safe, it is still not a bad idea for stashing some things. If you have a lot of books or even just a few shelves of them, a book safe can offer a nice little cache point for some small items. I don’t think many thieves are going to toss a bookshelf when there are bedrooms and other areas that have a higher chance of a good payoff.
I have to say that you can get these book safes in number of different titles. There is more than one manufacturer that has book safes that are the Bible. Personally I think the dictionary would be a better choice because I have a bit of a bias. We have more than one thief in the family unfortunately and old Southern families used to use the Bible for a lot of record-keeping like births, marriages, deaths, etc. I used the family bible to get my work permit as a teen because it is considered proof of birth in North Carolina or at least used to be.
More than one older lady also used this to stash her spare cash. Well in the case of my Grandmother, the family thieves would actually steal from her Bible when she got older. They did it more than once.
This is one of the smaller safes that you can get. It is an affordable choice from a very well known manufacturer of safes. I like that it just has a combination lock to be honest. There are no electronics or fancy mechanisms, just old fashioned security and a basic safe style for stashing items. Yes a combination lock can be frustrating for some but it also is no frills and easy to use. You can stash the combination in a variety of places.
This simple and affordable safe offers fire protection for 1 hr at 1700 F sustained. It has space on the door to hang keys or slip in some documents or cash. For those that live in smaller homes and apartments, this is a safe that should be considered. Another perk is that even if you bolt this safe to the floor, it doesn’t void the waterproof protection and flooding warranty that comes with your safe. With dimensions of 16.50 x 14.50 x 19.00 inches on the outside, this safe will fit almost anywhere and take care of cash, jewelry, and documents that you want to preserve in case of a robbery, fire, flood, or other disasters.
Of course a gun safe is an excellent choice for securing all types of valuables beyond guns. They are a bit harder to conceal though due to the shape and size but it is not impossible. This gun safe is priced in the lower to mid range at least in part due to the smaller size.
While installing this safe may take a little planning and some tools, it is a good way to have a safe that is concealed and doesn’t take up other space in your home or business. This is a pretty basic safe. It is made to be concealed though. While the locking mechanism is supposed to be strong, I would rely on this safe for anything except very basic security and locking without adding an additional layer of security.
For example, if this was installed behind another cabinet or other locking cabinet it would be alright. I still thought it was worth showing because it does offer something basic for storing things at home or keeping kids out of stuff.
Stash and cache points are something I have talked about in many articles. In fact, there is an entire post dedicated to the topic and some of the items you can use. Well, the small lock box is a good way to secure some small items or a handgun. For those that have not traveled in a long time or that have never traveled with a handgun, there are some rules and regulations that have to be followed.
One of these rules is that a gun is locked away where it cannot be easily accessed. Also, even if you get caught with a locked gun case in an area where they are technically not allowed, you are probably going to be considered a little more kindly if it is locked away and not so questionable that you had sinister intentions. While this box is not near as secure as a heavy home safe, it is an affordable way to keep some small items locked away and hidden at different locations.
This safe is hi tech and designed to fit between the studs in a standard wall. You could easily put a cabinet over it for ultimate concealment. Viking has a good reputation in the world of safes. This safe uses a pin code and biometric thumbprint system. You can set the system to remember up to 32 thumbprints which is way more than anyone should ever need.
The gun collector has good reason to be worried about the security of their collection. A fire, robbery, etc can wipe out tens of thousands of dollars in hardly any time at all. This safe will keep 18 long rifles safe and secure along with many other accessories and valuables that you have in your home. Of course, this is a large safe that also weighs in at 309 lbs before you put a single thing in it.
I really liked the idea of a stash point like this for a bug-out vehicle but I can see how great this would be for those that use their vehicle for work a lot of travel. How many people only use their hitch occasionally? Even those that use a trailer hitch more often than the average person, often just need it a certain time of year. This little stash point just seems like it would come in handy if you had to evacuate or bug out somewhere. For everyday use, you might want to stash a spare key or even a few twenties in case you get stuck out somewhere or lose your regular keys. Some models of Toyota trucks require special bolts for the Hitchsafe to be installed. Here is the link for those.
This is just another stash point that I thought was kind of neat. If you have a good-sized closet then this might be helpful. It is inexpensive and not a place many are going to look at. I was really surprised to read what a good fire rating the document pouch has considering how inexpensive this little stash point is.
This is a safe that makes me think of a spy novel I just got through reading to be honest. For those that like the tactical and high tech, this is a portable safe that you will want to take a look at. This safe will hold two handguns, a few mags and some other valuables or you can just use it for any combination of those things.
For your money you can choose between 3 different methods of access. Fingerprint, key, or a pin code will allow you to get into the box. The lid flips open fast making it a good choice for keeping a gun nearby but secure.
I kind of like the idea of a combination lock because you don’t have to worry about keeping a key around, losing it, or worry about batteries and electronics like you do with so many safes and security systems on the market today.
This small lock box provides cushioned storage for a small handgun and some other valuables. There is an included steel cable that allows the lock box to be secured to something stationary. That is a nice feature in an inexpensive lock box.
This safe is an amazing deal for the amount of storage space you get. At 4.26 cubic feet it is as large as 3 of the smaller safes featured in this article. I do have to say that this safe is lighter in weight than many gun safes I have seen, coming it at just 110 lbs. You can choose between opening with a key or using the electronic entry keypad.
I like that there is a separate internal compartment that is locked so you can have another layer of security for some smaller items. This would be a good place to store cash or other small valuables.
I grew up in a house where guns were everywhere. It was just expected that just like my father and his father before him that gun etiquette was learned at a very young age. Times are very different and those that have very young kids or have busy households with a lot of younger people in and out have reason for concern.
Gun do’s and don’ts are not taught as much as they should be and you are liable for what goes on in your home as well. This safe allows you to keep a long gun out but locked up so that it cannot easily be reached by kids. There is also some space for stashing other items. While this is not something that I need, I can see how this would be a useful style to have in your bedroom or over the door in some situations.
No safe is right for every purpose. You may find that you prefer to have several types and spread them out throughout your home or bug-out locations.
Do you have any brand of safe that you would like to suggest? Have you had a poor experience with any product in this article?