3 Considerations When Buying a Safe

Purchasing a safe is a wise decision as a homeowner with valuable possessions. That being said, owning a safe doesn't make your belongings impervious to damage or theft. At Champion Lock & Safe Company, we've been in the home security industry for over 17 years, and during that time, many homeowners have come to us with questions on how to keep their home safe secure. Without further ado, here are our top three considerations when buying a safe.

#1: Understand the Protection Ratings of Your Safe

If you're considering buying a safe, you're probably already aware that they come with different types of protection ratings. The majority of home safes are designed with some level of fire resistance, water resistance, and burglary protection, but it's crucial to understand precisely what your safe's protection rating means.

For example, just because you buy a fireproof safe, doesn't mean everything you put inside will be safe in a fire. Many safes with fireproof ratings are designed to protect paper. To do that, they're engineered to maintain a specific internal temperature, usually below 350 degrees. Whereas your paper documents and certificates will be cozy and safe at 350 degrees, data and media such hard drives and CDs will likely be ruined once that thermometer hits 150 degrees.

#2: Have a Safe Installation Plan

One of the biggest blunders a homeowner can make when installing a safe is to underestimate the intelligence of their burglar. Even the highest-quality, most expensive safe on the market won't do you any good if a thief can easily find it and move it. It stands to reason, then, that our second word of advice is to have an installation plan before you buy a safe.

Most safes come with anchor holes which you can use to bolt down the unit to wooden, or better yet concrete, flooring. The savvy homeowner would be smart to take advantage of this added safety feature and make sure that if someone's going to try to steal your safe, it sure won't be easy to do.

#3 Know Your Lock Preference

Lastly, the third decision you'll want to make before you shell out the cash for a home safe is your preferred kind of locking device. You have two basic options: dial or digital. In this case, there's no obvious choice—each has its own pros and cons.

Dial Locks

Your standard dial (think back to your high school locker) takes more time to open than a digital lock, but generally, with proper care, will last a lifetime. Their primary downfall is that you can't change the code yourself. You'll need a pro to handle that job. Plus, in the unlikely event the dial does fail, you'll need to drill into the safe to open it and pay the price for a replacement lock.


Electronic locks, on the other hand, are lightning-quick to access, and it's easy to change the pin on your own, as you see fit. The pitfall to electronic devices is that because they depend on batteries, power, and electrical circuits, they tend to malfunction and run down more frequently than dials do. On the upside, they're cheaper to repair.

Equipped with these three insider tips, we hope your new safe will be a little more, well, safe! If you need additional assistance choosing a home safe for your property, don't hesitate to contact our seasoned locksmiths at Champion Lock & Safe Company.