While safes have come a long way since their inception so too have the tools that are used to break and pry them open. While once upon a time a crowbar may have been enough to crack any fancy safe in the land this isn't the case anymore. Safes are quickly getting thicker, stronger, and more secure but so too are the tools that are being used to crack them. From plasma torches to thermite there are a lot of unique and powerful ways to break into safes nowadays. Are safes really secure anymore? Here we’ll look at some of the more interesting modern tools being used to break into safes and how you can be prepared to combat them.
When it’s not important to keep the safe intact there are a lot more options for getting into a safe. One of the more popular and effective modern methods of forcing your way into a safe is with the use of high-temperature torches used to cut a way in. Oxy-acetylene torches can reach temperatures up to 4500 F which is hot enough to bore a hole in steel but not hot enough to do so in an especially timely manner. The modern alternative is the plasma torch or alternatively a thermic lance. A plasma torch uses an electrical current to turn gas to plasma and can operate at temperature reaching 50,000 F. This is a huge step up from oxy-acetylene torches and is able to make much quicker work of almost any safe. A thermic lance uses pressurized oxygen to generate temperature around 8,000 F which is also more effective than an oxy-acetylene torch.
There are a number of interesting ways to blast your way into a safe though this doesn't always guarantee that the contents will also remain intact when all is said and done. One interesting method is the use of ‘jam shots’ which is essentially a directed charge of nitroglycerin which is used to blow the door off of a safe. This isn't exactly a discrete method though so it probably requires a burglar to relocate the safe before trying it. Another effective method is the use of thermite which is a quasi-explosive compound that can reach temperatures of 4,000 F. Thermite can be used to bore a hole in a safe or disable a lock in a fairly quick manner though again it’s not the most discreet method of getting in a safe.
If you've learned anything here it’s that technology isn't always on the side of the safe manufacturer. All safes can be cracked but usually, it’s a loud, messy, and time-consuming endeavor. The days of silent safe cracking are past. So, how can you prevent your safe from being cracked with one of the above methods? While a tougher safe will make it more difficult most safes are designed around the concept of buying time rather than absolute protection. Any burglar using one of these methods will likely be much more comfortable doing so on their own turf so one of the most effective ways you can protect your valuables is to bolt down your safe and make it as inconvenient as possible.