How to Choose a Home Security Safe

Home safes aren’t just for expensive jewels and wads of $100 bills. They can be for anything you’d be crushed about if it were stolen, lost or burnt in a fire. This could be a birthday card that your child made for you when they were five, or a photo of you and your grandmother.

4HHome safes come in all sorts of designs and sizes. An article on provides tips in choosing the home safe that best suits your needs. Let’s first look at the three types of locking mechanisms: keypad combination, cylinder dial and keyed lock.

Keypad Combination

  • Fast access
  • Can be customized
  • Uses batteries (which means replacement is necessary).
  • This type of safe may be small enough for a burglar to just carry away, intending to figure out how to open it later. Bolt it to the floor.

Manual Dial

  • Requires knowledge and skill (including a screwdriver) to change the combination.
  • Because of this, most people settle for the manufacturer’s preset combination.

Keyed Lock

  • Some models/brands can be easily picked with paperclips; YouTube is full of tutorials. Buyer beware.
  • No thief is intimidated by this kind of locking system. At worst, he’ll just take the safe with him and deal with getting it open once he’s home. Bolt it to the floor.
  • Nevertheless, these safes can protect from water and fire damage.

A big heavy safe with a good locking mechanism is not inviting to a burglar. Ideally, the safest safe is big, heavy and has a digital or manual dial locking system. Even if you have only a few valuables, a big hulking safe will deter a burglar. But if you’re not concerned about burglars, at least be concerned about fire protection—or rather, slowing down a fire.

The ability of a safe to withstand searing heat varies. They are rated for this ability. For example, says the article, a common rating is that of one hour at 350 degrees. But this rating probably will not protect sensitive electronic items in a house fire. All safes have a fire and water protection rating.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.