When it comes to high security safes, brand and reputation can be very important. There’s no reason to drop a lot of money on something if you can’t trust that it will deliver as advertised. Here we’ll look a bit at First Alert and see where this company comes from and how they have arrived to be the trusted brand that they are today. We’ll look at some of the history as well as what sets them apart from other safe manufacturers.
History and Inception First Alert initially began its foray into the world of home safety and security not as a safe manufacturing company but rather as BRK (Burke, Roberts, and Kimberline) which pioneered some of the first commercially available smoke detectors in the United States. The company’s real beginning started in 1958 in Aurora, Illinois though they didn’t really begin to gain traction until the mid 60’s when they created the first battery operated smoke detector to get a Underwriter’s Laboratory listing. Later they would gain some notoriety in the 70’s with a bestselling smoke detector sold by Sears. Finally, in the 90’s they made their way to home burglar and fire safes which they seemed to have a natural affinity for. Though they still maintain a focus on fire safety their safes are generally heralded as strong and well made additions to their comprehensive lineup of safety equipment.
First Alert continues to make a name for themselves as pioneers in fire safety and detection. In recent years they have created an electrochemical sensing carbon monoxide alarm that is the most sensitive available for residential purposes. Additionally they have launched their Tundra Fire Extinguisher Spray which is capable of discharging four times faster than conventional extinguisher and has received a number of awards for fire safety and innovation. In terms of safes the First Alert product line is varied with a nice medley of disaster (fire & water), burglar, and gun safes available. Their safes strike a positive chord between affordability and reliability that make them a sensible purchase for most applications even though they are not the principal focus of the company.
Finally First Alert has a strong record of community focus with a number of applaudable efforts to equip low income housing projects with reliable smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. While this might not say much about their product line they seem to be a standup company with a long history of innovation and reliable products focused on home safety and security which is enough to earn my stamp of approval.