Home safes are the perfect way to protect your family’s most valuable possessions while also keeping them close by. But with so many options on the market, it’s understandable if you’re confused. That’s why we’ve made this home safe buying guide to help you decide.
What Dangers Does Your Home Safe Need to Handle?
This is the most crucial question in any home safe buying guide and will help you narrow your search:
Fireproof Home Safes
The majority of home safes are designed to resist fire for between 30 minutes to 2 hours. That’s enough time to protect the contents from high temperatures before the fire services put out the flames. Sadly, fireproof safes tend to have thick but hollow walls (to resist heat transfer), making them easy to break into for burglars. So if you’re after something fire and thief-proof, make sure the safe is designed for both uses.
Ensure you buy a home safe with the correct fire-resistance rating for your possessions. For example, if you’re looking to store paper documents, then 30 minutes should be enough. But materials such as old tape recordings and hard drives need 1-2 hour protection, where heat temperatures will stay low for longer.
- Paper Documents
- Old Photos and Tapes
- Hard drives and DVDs
Burglary Home Safes
The best burglary safes will protect your most valuable possessions from robust tools such as torches, drills, and even small explosives. If you’re looking for a home safe that can withstand this, then search for a ‘TL-15’ rated safe. These can resist at least 15 minutes of break-in attempts and will be near impenetrable.
Deciding what burglary home safe you want will ultimately come down to personal preference. For example, many home safes can be anchored to the ground or wall to deter thieves, while others have different features like extremely thick steel and bolt vault style doors.
Water Resistant Home Safes
Protection from water is perfect for homes that are likely to flood. This feature is rarely the defining feature of a safe, but an added quality of fire and burglar-proof home safes.
- Paper documents
- Hard Drives and electronics
- Memories, photos, and videotapes.
Types of Home Safe Locks available
Next up in our home safe buying guide - locks. Every lock type has different benefits.
Combination/Mechanical Dial Lock
Definitely the most common on most Dial Lock safe models. With its ease of use and mechanically operated, there's no need for batteries for this type of These locks are designed and constructed to perform on burglary home safes, gun safes, bank locks, and the most demanding commercial applications. With more than two hours of manipulation resistance and 1,000,000+ theoretical combinations to combat auto-dialers, this form of lock is widely recognized as the standard of locks.
Keys are rarely used on the best modern-day home safes. They’re great for easy entry but easy to break into and shouldn’t be considered if you’re storing possessions with high value.
Electronic Keypad Locks
Electronic locks have become standard on the best home safes. They allow you to set a one to eight-digit code or password that deters thieves and allows only those with the code to enter. Make sure you choose an electronic lock that is UL Listed and EMP resistant, so thieves can’t turn them off with special tools.
These safes use fingerprint recognition for rapid entry and are fantastic for thwarting thieves. The downside is that they can restrict multiple user access.
What Ratings Should You Look For?
The best home safes are UL-certified or have a TL-rating. The UL rating indicates how fire resistant the safe is, while TL shows how long the safe can withstand tools. For example, we suggest looking for a TL-15 safe, which means it can withstand 15 minutes of aggressive tool use. The following will help you judge which rating you need for your possession’s value:
- RSC - Suitable for up to $5,000 content value. Withstands 5 minutes of attacks.
- B-Rated - Suitable for up to $10,000 content value.
- C-Rated - Suitable for up to $30,000 content value.
- UL/TL-15 - Suitable for up to $200,000 content value. Withstands 15 minutes of attacks from heavy-duty tools (except the top and sides).
- UL/TL-30 - Suitable for up to $375,000 content value - Withstands 30 minutes of attacks from heavy-duty tools (except the top and sides)
- U.L. TL-30X6 - Suitable for up to $1,000,000 content value. Withstands 30 minutes attacks on all sides.
Which Home Safe Brands Are Best?
The best and most trusted safe brands are made by US manufacturers, including:
- Sun Welding
- Sports Afield
- Shot Lock
- Social Safe
- Lock’er Down
What Size Home Safe Do I Need?
Deciding what size you need comes down to personal preference. An easy way to judge what size you need is to pile up everything you’d like to protect and measure the size. Usually, 1.2 to 1.3 cubic feet is enough for a foot-high stack of paper documents. We suggest that you think about the future too - are you likely to need space for new additions?
Small Home Safes
These are ideal for small items such as cash, passports, keys, phones, and jewelry.
Medium and Large Home Safes
Medium to large home safes are best suited for storing paper documents, folders, binders, cash drawers, multiple items, and large valuables.
Extra Large Home Safe
These are fantastic for storing large quantities of documents, firearms, and large valuables such as artworks or collectibles.
Home Safe Frequently Asked Questions
An essential part of any home safe buying guide, the FAQs:
How Much do Home Safes Cost?
The best US-made home safes will cost between $200-5,000. The price increases with size and additional features such as drawers and shelves.
Where Should I Buy a Home Safe?
A reputable website that stocks only legitimate manufacturers and has excellent reviews on their product pages. If you don’t buy online, go to a store that specializes in safes. If you use the US Safe Store, we’ll match the quote of any other online retailer. We also offer free shipping on all home safes.
Where Should I Put My Home Safe?
This all depends on your home’s layout. Burglars tend to check the main bedroom first, so consider basements for fire-protection or in closets for concealment.
Is a Home Safe Worth It?
If you’re looking to protect valuables that are more expensive than the safe itself, then the answer is an overwhelming yes. Alternatively, some possessions are priceless. You can’t replace family heirlooms, memories, and important documents.
Buy Fireproof and Burglar Resistant Home Safes
USA Safe store has a wide selection of home safes that have been tested to withstand house fires and burglar break-ins. We hope our home safe buying guide has helped you find what you need, but you can always get in touch with us today if you have any more questions!