At last weeks National Hardware Show there were plenty of home security exhibitors and quite a few safe companies. From the smaller fire safes that hold documents to the larger home safes that weigh near 1500 lbs.
There are a number of different features to consider when choosing a safe that will protect your home valuables such as guns, jewelry, cash or metals.
1. Fire Rating
There is typically a BTU heat rating based on how much heat it can withstand but the better measurement is time/temp rating such as 2.5 hours at 1200 degrees. Better safes have multiple fire boards built into the door and walls.
2. Steel Thickness
This ranges from 14-7 gauge with the smaller number being the thickest amount of steel and therefore the most secure safe.
3. Active Door Bolts
The best safes will have four way active door volts which means the security bolts extend from the door in all four directions. Some safes can have up to 26 bolts. The thicker the bolt the better.
If you need to store firearms and in particular rifles the you’ll need to make sure the interior height has more than enough length to contain these. Look for multiple notches to hold barrels in place and multiple shelves at various heights that are adjustable. Jewelry drawers and handgun sashes in the door are also nice touches.
Some safes offer lighting just like a refrigerator so when the door opens the light comes on. Look for this as it’s definitely a nice upgrade.