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Old 12-30-11, 11:05 PM   #1
wheeldeal
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Home Security Safe

Can you guys recommend a brand? Is there a particular brand that stands out in the home security safe world (like the way Trek or Specialized stands out in the cycling world)?

I'm currently using a small Sentry safe that was purchased at Walmart/Costco/Target. I purchased it because it was fireproof. I use it mainly to store my important documents, along with a tiny bit of jewelry and some emergency cash.

But I would like to upgrade to one that has a digital keypad. Please let me know if there's a particular brand I should look at. I want something of Trek/Specialized reputation, not something Huffy/Pacific reputation.


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Old 12-30-11, 11:25 PM   #2
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Something a good friend of mine found out the truly heartbreaking way: "Fireproof" is a term with a time limit. My friend's safe was rated for 30 minutes. The house burning down around it did a number on the safe, and sadly...on the $10K in cash inside.

My recommendation: a safe deposit box.
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Old 12-31-11, 04:04 AM   #3
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Something a good friend of mine found out the truly heartbreaking way: "Fireproof" is a term with a time limit. My friend's safe was rated for 30 minutes. The house burning down around it did a number on the safe, and sadly...on the $10K in cash inside.

My recommendation: a safe deposit box.
I had another story about this. Long ago, working on small company's IT department, they had a fireproof safe for the backup tapes. Tapes didn't burn, but they melted and were unusable. The Fire Chief mentioned that had the safe not been placed in the center of the building, it would had been OK. A corner, or near an outside wall would be a good placement because it has a better chance of getting water from the firetruck hose after a SHTF situation.

Among the people I know, the general consensus is:

Home Safe -> Guns and ammo
Safe Deposit Box @ Bank -> cash, gold, jewelry, important documents.
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Old 12-31-11, 04:24 AM   #4
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Can you guys recommend a brand? Is there a particular brand that stands out in the home security safe world (like the way Trek or Specialized stands out in the cycling world)?

I'm currently using a small Sentry safe that was purchased at Walmart/Costco/Target. I purchased it because it was fireproof. I use it mainly to store my important documents, along with a tiny bit of jewelry and some emergency cash.

But I would like to upgrade to one that has a digital keypad. Please let me know if there's a particular brand I should look at. I want something of Trek/Specialized reputation, not something Huffy/Pacific reputation.
Obvious questions are what you want to protect, and who or what you want to protect it from.

If you're looking at important documents that don't have cash value in their own right then you can get small firesafes that look like a slightly oversized briefcase that you can tuck unto a corner somewhere.

If by "a tiny bit of jewelry and some emergency cash" you mean a couple of surplus rings and a couple of hundred dollars then a safe seems total overkill. If you mean your spare platinum Rolex and $100k in cash that's a different thing entirely.

If you're trying to protect something from fire you need a fire safe. If you're trying to protect it against thieves then whatever you get needs to be big and heavy and preferably bolted into a concrete base - if they can't open it they'll just take it away. Or they'll wait until your wife gets home, point a gun at her head and invite you to open the safe for them.

I've got a few important documents I keep in a safety deposit box at the bank and usually keep the equivalent of a couple of hundred dollars in cash about the house. It takes up so little space it doesn't need any special consideration, if someone breaks in and steals it (assuming they even find it) it's not a huge loss, and if I am threatened in my own home it's enough to give to someone and figure they'll probably take it and go. I figure a professional burglar isn't going to bother with our house because there isn't enough worth stealing and someone looking for money for their next fix will just take the cash and get out.
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Old 12-31-11, 08:23 AM   #5
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A digital safe is not an upgrade IMHO. The digital control needs batteries, yours does not.
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Old 12-31-11, 08:39 AM   #6
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A digital safe is not an upgrade IMHO. The digital control needs batteries, yours does not.
They always have a mechanical bypass of some sorts, usually some kind of key.
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Old 12-31-11, 09:01 AM   #7
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You could always increase the 'fire rating' of the safe by actually building it in to something.

UL assemblies are available which you can pick from to increase your rating. It won't stop melting or keep things from succumbing to heat, but it might preserve the safe a bit longer. A common 1 hour assembly is 2 layers of 5/8" GWB on 2x4 studs. Nail spacing and the like are dictated by the UL assembly you choose to use.
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Old 12-31-11, 09:05 AM   #8
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This is what I have
http://www.csnoffice.com/Sentry-Safe...88-SG1007.html
I don't remember where I bought it, but it's quite solid.
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Old 12-31-11, 09:31 AM   #9
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I use a Mason jar buried in the back yard.
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Old 12-31-11, 10:34 AM   #10
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I keep mine under the mattress.
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Old 12-31-11, 11:01 AM   #11
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Old 12-31-11, 11:33 AM   #12
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OT, sorry, don't mean to hijack, but... There's lots of former banks out there that have been repurposed. They usually don't move the vault out because apparently it is way too involved a thing. So I know of three businesses--used bookstore, newspaper offices, oil company offices--that have amazing, walk-in vaults with incredibly heavy doors and amazing locks and such. Bookstore uses it for rare books, but it's just for show--vault door is bolted open. Newspaper office uses it for their physical archives dating back to the 1920s... and toilet paper, paper towets, copier paper, etc. Looked like filing cabinets in the oil company vault. It would be so cool to have a building with a vault in it...

You might have luck scoring a commercial safe at a store fixtures auction, or something vintage and suitable by watching estate auction listings.
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Old 12-31-11, 11:41 AM   #13
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If you have something valuable that you're really worried about then I too recommend a safe deposit box at a bank. And safe you buy at home could be breached by a knowledgeable crook, or if the safe is small enough to pick up they'll just do that and work on in the comfort of their home. I have a cheap fire resistant safe for some stuff, but the real important stuff is in a safe deposit box. In the end off site protection is better then on site.
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Old 12-31-11, 11:23 PM   #14
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A safe deposit box wouldn't work for me. The closest bank with a safe deposit is too far away.

A little more details of what I'll be keeping in the safe:
Important documents (car titles, diplomas, passport, etc).
A bit of jewelry and watches (maybe $300 worth at most).
Spare keys
Check books
Emergency cash in case I need to run in a hurry (maybe $1,000) from a zombie apocalypse.

I really don't need a lot of "protection". I'm not keeping gold bricks or diamonds in there. It's just there so that I feel better when I go to work.
- If someone breaks in, the safe will slow down the thief until the police gets there. (Maybe 15 minutes to respond to the silent alarm)
- If there's a fire, the documents won't burn up the first minute, before the sprinklers kick in.
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Old 01-01-12, 12:30 AM   #15
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Then I'd go with something like MV linked.

Just place it in a good location.
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Old 01-01-12, 02:44 AM   #16
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A safe deposit box wouldn't work for me. The closest bank with a safe deposit is too far away.

A little more details of what I'll be keeping in the safe:
Important documents (car titles, diplomas, passport, etc).
A bit of jewelry and watches (maybe $300 worth at most).
Spare keys
Check books
Emergency cash in case I need to run in a hurry (maybe $1,000) from a zombie apocalypse.

I really don't need a lot of "protection". I'm not keeping gold bricks or diamonds in there. It's just there so that I feel better when I go to work.
- If someone breaks in, the safe will slow down the thief until the police gets there. (Maybe 15 minutes to respond to the silent alarm)
- If there's a fire, the documents won't burn up the first minute, before the sprinklers kick in.
In which case I'd suggest something like a small firesafe for the paperwork, leave your $300 in an envelope in a desk drawer or something and hide the $1000 under the floorboards or similar.

That way if you get raided by a junkie looking for his next fix he'll just take the $300 and clear off. A professional burglar is unlikely to break in for the sake of $1000 in cash but if he does then he'll take it one way or another whatever you do.

If you live in an area where people see all the comings and goings then having a safe delivered will give everyone the idea you've got something worth stealing, while the kind of safe you just chuck in the back of your car yourself will be the kind of safe that your burglar will just carry away if he can't open it there and then.
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Old 01-01-12, 10:01 AM   #17
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Personally I don't see what's wrong with what you have if you need a fire proof safe. If your not concerned with fire and you want to put valuables in it so they won't get stolen there is a far better idea then a safe for that stuff, and it's this: http://www.amazon.com/US-Patrol-Wall.../dp/B000SM3NRW A bit small, but perfect for jewelry; a thief would never suspect your stuff is hidden in an outlet. You could hide the outlet behind a table for example, or just out in the open and it would just like an outlet not being used.

Like I said before, a small safe can be picked up an taken to a thief's home to be worked on. If you have guns, you should have a gun safe, those are usually bolted to a floor, you could put your little safe inside of it.

But your not going to gain anything buying a electronic safe, electronics don't make a safe safer.

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