The basics of home safe locking mechanisms are quite simple. However, once you get past the basics there is some amazing technology available that can really boost the protection offered by your home safe. There are a number of different security options past a thick wall and a combo lock that can react to various types of attacks on your safe. From wireless alarm systems to triggered lock downs there are some great options for people seeking additional security measures on your home or commercial safe. Here we’ll take a look at some of the state of the art anti-theft design that is being implemented in modern safes today.
Glass Plate Relockers
This is one of the state of the art anti-theft mechanisms that is becoming more popular in top of the line safes. This system has proven to be a great asset for safes in protecting them from a frontal assault method of burglary. The basic idea is that a tempered glass plate is installed between the door and the locking mechanism that when broken electronically trigger a series of hardened relocker pins. These pins are usually located in key positions in the safe that will prevent the safe from being opened unless each is individually dismantled which usually goes beyond the time constraints of a burglar.
Silent Signal Alert
This is another system that is becoming more popular nowadays for the additional security it can provide for home and commercial purposes. This is something that has only recently been enabled due to advancements in wireless communication technology. The idea is that if you are forced to open your safe against your will you can enter a specific predetermined key code that will alert your home alarm system or the proper authorities to the burglary taking place. It’s a bit of a revamped silent alarm system that has been in place in banks for years that has finally made its way to your home safe.
These were once used only for bank vaults but have recently been making their way into home safes and vaults. The basic idea is that these locks will only open after a predetermined amount of time after the correct password has been entered. In modern variations these can be programmed to only open at specific times during the day or locked out entirely for extended periods. These have become highly programmable and a great option for people looking for additional security in their home safe or vault.
Buying a custom safe can be an easy way to ensure that you get exactly what you want from your home safe. You don’t need to be constricted by the available models and you can help design something yourself that perfectly suits your needs. There are a lot of options and different criteria when it comes to customizing a home safe that you should bear in mind when thinking about ordering a custom safe. Here are some of your options for customizing your very own home safe.
Weight and Dimensions
It’s likely that if you are ordering a custom safe that you have a good reason to do so. Sometimes this comes down to the dimensions or weight of the safe. If you are planning to store something of a weird or unconventional size it may be easiest to buy a safe perfectly designed around these dimensions. Alternatively it is possible that you need a safe that fits certain weight constrictions. Even possible is to design a modular safe that can be disassembled, moved, and reassembled with ease. This can be a possibility with a custom safe that you may not be able to find in the stock models available.
Another option that you have when you order a custom safe is designing an interior that may not otherwise be available in stock safes. You can design special compartments or add shelves or really do anything to the configuration of the interior of your safe as you desire. Additionally you can specify certain materials to be used or even special upholstery for delicate items.
Specialized Locking Mechanisms
Another great option that you have when you get a custom safe is specifying the locking mechanism. This is really where custom safes shine. When you need something a step above the standard and you have something specific in mind a custom safe might be right for you. There are a lot of options for customizing the locking mechanism on your safe that can drastically increase security based on your needs. You can combine conventional methods of locking for increased security or add additional failsafes designed for your needs.
For those interested in custom safes it’s best to contact a professional and explain what your needs are and what your vision is for your home safe. From there you can get some blueprints drawn up and be on your way to having the perfect safe.
One of the great things about safes is they have a knack for really sticking around through the ages. Some of them are made from some of the toughest stuff on earth and won’t really ‘wear out’ over time. For this reason, if you’re on a budget, there’s no reason not to look into buying a used safe. It’s quite possible to find a used safe in good condition for a fraction of the price of buying it new. The body of the safe will usually have no problems but you may have to look a little closer at the condition of the locking mechanism and the smaller moving parts. Here are some simple tips when shopping around for a used safe to get the most out of your money.
Since buying a safe can be a bit of an investment it’s best to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting when you buy. For this reason, you need to learn as much as you can about the safe before you buy it.
The age of the safe should be an important factor in making your decision. Depending on what you’re looking for it is possible that your desired level of security was not available at the time the safe was manufactured. This is mostly related to the locking mechanism installed and any auxiliary features you may want in your safe as well. Find out when the safe was manufactured and if that will be an impediment to your desires for the safe. Luckily the basics of safes have remained the same for much of their existence so unless you’re looking for something state of the art you will probably be satisfied with the capabilities of an older used safe.
As previously mentioned it’s not exactly easy to wear down a safe in theory. This, however, only applies to the body of a safe. While the main structure will likely be intact and as strong as ever it is possible that some of the more complex moving parts have experienced some decay over time. The locking mechanism and any other moving parts are important to have inspected before you purchase a used safe. Since it’s an investment and difficult to move it will always be in your best interest to get it right the first time and make sure everything is in working order and good condition.
Lastly, if possible, find out what you can about the previous owner and use of the safe you wish to purchase. If you safe is coming from a loving home it’s more likely to be in good condition. You also want to know, if possible, why the safe is being sold in the first place. Be sure to find out everything you can and be extra careful when purchasing a used safe.
Having a vault in your home or business can be a very worthwhile investment. Besides the aesthetic perks of feeling like you’re in a Bond movie, having a vault can offer an incredible amount of storage as well as additional security for residential or commercial purposes. Installing a vault is quite a project though, so it may not be for everyone. It can be expensive and time consuming so the question is: who really needs a vault? Here is a brief outline of the pros and cons of owning a vault as well as some lifestyles that may be better suited to a home or commercial vault.
The reality is that the home or commercial vault is not for everyone. It is an expensive and huge project. Needing a vault usually comes down to profession or very serious hobbyists.
Jewelers and Bankers
When it is your profession to store large quantities of valuables you may need a vault. This definitely applies in the commercial sense to jewelers, bankers, and potentially lawyers. When you have such high quantities of goods you can benefit greatly from the storage space that a vault can provide. In addition to the bonus storage space you get the added perk of security. While some smaller safes can be lifted out and cracked later at their convenience this same option does not exist for vaults. You should ideally pair your commercial vault with a security system but for the most part your valuables will be equally or more safe in a commercial vault than they would be in a safe.
If you are a serious hobbyist you may benefit greatly from having a home vault. It’s not uncommon for gun collectors to install a home vault to house their collection. This will only really be needed when you reach an amount of goods that cannot conveniently be fitted into one or two home safes. The item you’re collecting will only merit a vault if it’s either valuable or dangerous. Aside from gun collectors a home vault may be beneficial to antique collectors or art collectors. The key issue is the amount of space it requires. If you collect stamps you’ll probably be fine with a safe.
When you need to keep something secure that is of an abstract and large size your only option may be a home or commercial vault. While it is possible to have custom manufactured safes it may be easier to install a vault. This mostly applies to collectors of valuables. Some possible items that might merit a home vault is something like large and valuable paintings or sculptures, antique furniture, or war memorabilia like antique cannons. The truth, however, is that your options are really limitless when you go for a home vault and you don’t have to deal with the same space constrictions as a home safe.
For the purposes of increased security and larger storage space, home safes can often be of an unwieldy weight and mass. This can make moving a safe from one location to another quite a challenging task. Luckily, home safes will spend most of their time in one locale; but, when the time arises to transport your home safe here are some quick tips to do so safely and without injury. It may be easier to consult a professional moving service but also may be possible to do it yourself with the help of some friends and the right equipment and knowhow.
The first step to moving your safe will be to create a plan and assess the challenges ahead of you. Stairs, inclines, and other obstacles need to be noted and planned for. Where you are moving your safe to, whether another location in your house or out to a truck, will require very different strategies. Begin by clearing a path and taking measurements for doorways and other obstacles in your path. If you plan to move it by vehicle it is important to know the weight of your safe as well as the carrying capacity of the vehicle and plan a means for raising the safe into the vehicle.
Next, you will empty the safe of all its contents before you start moving it. If possible, it is also best to remove the door of the safe. A lot of time the safe door will be proportionally heavier than the other parts of the safe and relatively easy to remove. Some fireproof safes include walls of sheetrock that can also be easily removed to lessen the weight of the safe for the purpose of moving.
Moving the safe can often be done with simple tools. A common method is to use steel pipes or rods to roll your safe with relative ease. You will also need a method of getting your safe onto the track of pipes. This can be accomplished with wooden shims inserted under the safe and sheer manpower to tilt the safe up. This method may not be as effective on thick carpets. If available, a hydraulic hard cart will always make the job easier.
The cardinal rule for safely transporting your safe up and down stairs or raising it onto a truck is that everyone involved should always have a clear place to jump to should the safe topple. Always have a well thought out plan for any emergency situations that should arise. Moving a large home safe is no easy task and can be quite dangerous if you don’t have the proper preparation and tools to do it safely.
Old safes can be truly beautiful, and even practical, pieces of history that are sought after by both antique collectors and safe collectors alike. Should you come across an old safe at a yard sale or flea market you can make an awesome project out of restoring it and even have some fun in the process. If the safe is still in working condition, and depending on the locking mechanism, it may still be suitable for storing valuables. If it’s not in working condition it could still make a nice aesthetic addition to your home or yard.
The first step to cleaning up and refurbishing your antique safe is to thoroughly clean it with a degreasing agent. Be sure to wear rubber or latex gloves while you work and cover the floor or work in the garage or outside. The best way to go about this is to use an old rough rag and thoroughly scrub the safe with the degreasing agent. You can make a simple homemade degreasing agent from ammonia, hot water, and dish soap; or, for an especially dirty safe you can use small quantities of baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar.
Stripping the Paint and Rust
Unfortunately there is no super easy way to strip away the old rust and paint from an antique safe. There are numerous methods that you can use depending on how delicate or rough the surface is. Working your way from a rough steel wool to a very fine steel wool is a fairly basic approach that will work for most surfaces and only requires a bit of elbow grease. Other options for stripping the paint and rust include sand blasting or chemical solvents. These options, however, require a bit more preparation and some additional safety precautions. Be careful to work in a well ventilated environment in case your old safe has a lead based paint.
Once your safe has been cleaned and stripped of paint and rust you can make some minor repairs if needed. If you are set on making an old non working safe functional this would be the time to take it to a professional. Some simple repairs that you can do on your own including banging out small dents or repairing the hinges on the door. Luckily, old safes are going to be a bit simpler than their modern counterparts so simple repairs are more feasible for the average handyman.
Once the surface has been thoroughly cleaned and the old paint and rust stripped off you are ready to repaint your old safe. It’s best to begin with a rust preventing primer as a base coat. Once you have your base you will want to spray paint your safe in either the original color or a color of your choosing. Apply at least two coats and ensure that it’s coated evenly. Apply any graphics or designs you desire and your safe is ready for use or display.
While this can certainly be a fun project sometimes it may be best to leave an old safe in its original condition. Should you come across something especially old or fantastic it might be worth an appraisal before you begin a home-restoration project. True antique safes may look better and be worth more without being refurbished.
Storing musical instruments in your home safe or vault can be an excellent way to insure its security but also poses additional challenges in maintaining value. Whether you are storing antique instruments, family heirlooms, or electronic audio gear, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure the safety and well-being of your musical instruments and equipment.
Humidity control is imperative for proper storage of most musical instruments. Especially wood based instruments, changes in temperature and humidity can cause the wood to swell and contract which will likely result in unwanted damage and cracking. We’ve briefly looked at various options for humidity control, but just to reiterate your easiest options are to store your musical instruments with desiccant packs or an electronic dehumidifier.
Before you store your musical instrument it is important to prepare it properly for storage. Your instrument should be disassembled if possible, cleaned, and conditioned with a specialty paste-wax. Be sure to avoid oil-based polish or alcohol when preparing your instrument for storage. Reeds should be removed if applicable and strings should be loosened before storage to reduce tension. It is best to store your instrument in a case that is specially designed for the purpose of long term storage before you put it in your safe.
Storing electronics and audio equipment has many of the same guidelines listed above that include properly preparing it and ensuring some degree of humidity and temperature control. One very important aspect of storing electronics that is often overlooked is to remove alkaline batteries. Over time alkaline batteries can break down and leak potassium hydroxide which could permanently damage your audio equipment. Storing your electronic equipment on a small wooden pallet can also be a good idea to avoid stray electrical currents.
Storing musical instruments requires some basic preparation but should be manageable for anybody that desires to keep their equipment in good condition. In addition to the above guidelines, musical instruments can also present some difficult spacial problems. Some musical instruments have odd dimensions that may require specialty safes or even a home vault for the adamant collector. And, lastly, it is always recommended if possible that you open up your safe periodically to check the condition of its contents. It’s always best to catch a problem before it becomes too late and irreparable.
Controlling the humidity in your home safe can be an important and sometimes necessary detail in retaining the value of your safe’s contents. Luckily there are some easy steps that you can take to control the internal humidity levels. An easy option is to buy desiccant packs which will absorb moisture and keep your safe dry and its contents free from humidity damage. These packs can be bought fairly cheaply at local retail stores or ordered online. Another options is investing in an electric dehumidifier to keep your safe dry and its contents free from mold or other forms of humidity damage. There are simple electric dehumidifiers on the market that are small and rechargeable that can be bought rather cheaply.
What kinds of items require a dehumidifier?
It is very common for gun owners to keep dehumidifiers in their safes. Guns, especially, are susceptible to moisture damage in the form of rust on the metal parts or a deterioration of the wooden stock over time. It is especially important when dealing with antique or heirloom guns to keep them dry and avoid damage caused by high humidity levels. Either placing desiccant packs or an electronic dehumidifier in the safe will suffice in keeping your gun safe dry and its contents undamaged.
Paper documents being stored for long periods of time can benefit greatly from having an in-safe dehumidifier. The older the paper the more susceptible it will be to mold or mildew. This is especially of concern in airtight waterproof safes. Condensation can be trapped inside and eventually lead to mold and damage to your documents. It is recommended, especially for waterproof safes, that you open it up at least once every two weeks and air it out to help prevent a mold buildup.
What do I do if I have mold?
There are a number of different solutions for cleaning mold and preventing its growth. Vinegar, small amounts of bleach, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, detergent, and baking soda will all work well. Most of these need to be diluted and used with a spray bottle and a rag for cleaning. Tea tree oil and lavender oil are also natural solutions that have great results in combating mold. A common technique used once the mold has been cleaned is to put a few drops of tea tree or lavender oil on some cotton balls and leave them in your home safe as natural desiccant packs to preemptively combat future outbreaks of mold.
Bank deposit boxes have been used for centuries as a method for keeping personal valuables safe. It makes perfect sense because banks offer incredible security that is hard to match at home; but, there are some downsides to deposit boxes and there are many items that are better kept in a home safe. Some of the drawbacks of bank deposit boxes include a lack of twenty four hour access and very limited space restrictions. Furthermore, bank deposit boxes require a yearly fee that can add up over time. While safe deposit boxes may be perfect for certain valuables there are many items that are better kept in a home safe. The bottom line here is ease of access that certain documents require for specific situations.
Keeping your will in a safe deposit box is an incredibly common mistake that will even further complicate the already unpleasant process of death. Safe deposit boxes may be sealed for weeks upon the death of its owner and require a complicated and sometimes expensive process to open. This process may even require a court order. For this reason, wills are best kept in a fireproof safe at home or in a fireproof safe in your attorney’s office.
2. Power of Attorney
Power of attorney should be stored in a home safe rather than a bank deposit box because it is a legal document that is required in certain situations in which the grantor becomes incapacitated and may not have access to their bank deposit box. Similar to the will this document can be time sensitive and potentially inaccessible if stored in a bank deposit box.
3. List of Assets
This is one item that would be okay to store in a safe deposit box besides the fact that it should be regularly updated. This should include paper records as well as the list of pin numbers and online passwords that you use to keep your financial affairs in order.
4. Final Arrangement Instructions
It is important to keep a set of written instructions in case of the unfortunate event of your own death. These instructions should include a list of people to contact as well as burial wishes and advanced medical arrangements. If you wish to donate your organs upon death the permission to do so may not be attainable in time should you keep this document in your safe deposit box.
Many of the above listed items to be kept in a home safe hinge upon the inability to access a safe deposit box upon death. For this reason alone a fireproof home safe should be imperative. Though, another thing to keep in mind is retaining multiple copies of important documents. This will minimize the damage should one set be destroyed or damaged. Banks may offer incredible security but nobody is immune to the unforeseen and even bank deposit boxes can suffer damage and losses in extreme scenarios.
Installing a home safe into your wall can be a fun home project that is manageable with a little bit of research and some do-it-yourself knowhow. Everyone secretly wants to have a sleek wall safe hidden behind a knock-off Van Gogh in their lounge or den and with this simple guide you can be on your way to a cool new approach to holding your valuables. Bear in mind that while fairly basic, this project may be best suited for a professional if you do not feel especially comfortable with home do-it-yourself projects.
The first step is buying a safe. It is important for it to be small enough to fit between the studs in your wall and shallow enough to fit between walls. There are specially constructed safes specifically for in-wall installation that are highly recommended for this project. These safes are typically more shallow and come with pre-drilled holes for securing it to the studs. It is important before buying your wall safe to get an approximate idea of the distance between studs in your home.
Next you are going to use a stud finder to locate the studs in your wall in the location in your house that you want to have your wall safe. It is important at this time to take measurements of your safe to ensure that both the width. height, and depth are going to be able to fit into the designated area. Additionally make sure that there are no electrical or plumbing fixtures where you want to install your safe.
Using a drywall saw and a level or straight-edge you are going to create an opening in your wall. It is advisable to begin with a small hole so that you can check for plumbing or electrical fixtures. Once you are sure that the location is good you are going to cut a hole the same size as the rear dimensions of your safe.
Depending on the space between your studs and your drywall opening it may be necessary to fill in the extra space with shims or small pieces of plywood so that your safe will sit flush against the studs. Finally you will place the safe in your wall and secure it to the studs with screws. It may be necessary to drill small pilot holes in your studs before hand. Once you have done this you can install shelves if desired and you now have a home wall safe. Hopefully this project doesn’t seem too daunting. It is always a little bit intimidating when you have to cut holes in your wall but this project should be fairly manageable for most people.