The Different Types of Safes

by Ryan Allis


The following article is about safes and different safe types: what type safe do you need? A home safe? A Business Safe? A fire resistant safe? A water resistant Safe? How large a safe for security?


Safes have a variety of functions, and all of them include protection of any important documents or any other type of valuable item. Such things require protection from theft and floods, fires, or any other natural disaster. There are different types of safes, but the two main types of safes are those which are designed for business use, and those which are designed for use in the home. Within each of these categories, there are many more differences between safes and the type of protection they provide.

There are a few different types of business safes to choose from. A major category consists of those which provide protection against theft. The locks on these safes are designed to be especially secure, even from professional burglars who are able to break more simple locks. Any documents or papers which require special security due to high confidentiality can be kept in these safes, freeing business owners from unnecessary worry.

Another type of business safes protect from fire. Almost always, these have the added protection of also having very secure locks. There are different stages of protection provided by fire resistant safes, just as there are different stages of protection with locks. An ordinary document becomes ruined at around 451°F, and most fires burn at around 1300°F. Therefore, it is obvious that papers need extra protection in case there is a fire in the office. The safes are able to keep the temperature inside around 350°F for different amounts of time. They do this by releasing moisture into the safe. The safes provide the fire protection for either 30 minutes, 60 minutes,120 minutes or longer.

Many businesses do not handle large amounts of cash on a regular basis. However, some companies, such as restaurants, do have a lot of money in their possession each day. For these businesses, deposit safes are a necessary security measure. Usually, these safes are fixed securely to the floor, as opposed to the more mobile home safes. The protection and security provided by depository safes is reliable and convenient during the business day, but it is not recommended to keep money in them overnight. Instead the money should be brought somewhere with added security, such as a bank.  Deposit safes generally do not offer fire protection.

The other main category of safes consists of home safes. There are only three main types of home safes; those designed for fire protection and those designed for theft protection, similar to the ones mentioned in the business safe section above and those designed for both theft and fire protection. The protection provided by fire resistant safes can be invaluable to families. They are able to save family heirlooms, valuable jewelry, or items which cannot be replaced like more material possessions can. Fire resistant safes are able to protect valuables by keeping the inside of the safe at a low enough temperature to resist damage for different amounts of time, as mentioned above with business safes.  Burglar/Fire safes are designed to provide the best of both worlds with a much heavier metal door and body than a fire resistant safe. They usually have a Group II combination lock which is designed to stop a knowledgeable thief. Check for both burglar and fire ratings when purchasing one of these hybrid-safes.

Although fire resistant safes have secure locks on them, home safes designed for theft protection provide even greater security. There are different grades of locks. Some of the more basic lock designs found on fire resistant safes are easy for advanced burglars to pick. However, the more complicated locks provided on most theft resistant or Burglar/Fire safes are a challenge for even professional burglars. It is hoped that the thieves will be deterred by the security provided by these locks, and decide to leave the premise without taking anything valuable.