How safe are your possessions?

One of our basic needs is to protect our goods and valuables. How many times have we wondered: is it safe to keep my jewels or money at home? Will my kids be in danger of shooting themselves if I buy myself a gun? Will I get bankrupt if a fire starts by any chance in my office?

The need for safes appeared shortly after humankind discovered money, gold and other valuables. Until 1820 they helped only against theft, but starting in the 1840s they were designed, by using so called Wilder technology, to protect effectively against fire. The burglar resisting safe was first patented in 1835 by Chubb Safes (it is believed that they were already producing them for almost 20 years).

There is a whole highly developed industry behind safes: they are usually made of metal, are designed to be fire and environmentaly resistant and are using high tech electronics, laser-cut doors or memory recall capabilities. One of the world’s largest home security providers is Sentry Safes. They offer high quality at competitive prices and in more than 70 years of being on the market they have remained faithful to the founder’s beliefs: quality, affordability and innovation.

The safes generally have two main destinations – for home or office use – and can be classified in three main types:

1) Burglary Safes – they offer protection against theft, but very little against fire. Usually they have solid metal walls and a heavy door resistant to a drilling, cutting or prying attack. Hardened resistant metals are often used to slow down attempts to break in to this safe.

2) Fire Safes – usually they are made of a thin metal double wall and have a fire-resistant insulating material between the walls. They have a minimum level of security, because they are designed to protect (especially papers) against fire. They have to maintain an internal temperature of below 200 degrees C (the point at which documents will be destroyed) .The safes provide the fire protection for either 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes. Similar to them, but a bit more effective, there are the “Data Safes” which maintain less than 52 degrees C (the point at which data media is destroyed) and also protect against high humidity, electro magnetic contamination, etc.

3) Fire / Burglary Safes – They are generally multi-purpose safes and offer good protection both against thefts and fire. They are designed like a burglary safe, but have a secondary wall inside, which contains insulation (the material that helps maintaining a low temperature).

Usually home safes are used to prevent stealing or destruction of our family’s property: money, papers like receipts, contracts, personal and financial documents, jewels and sometimes other things which can be irreplaceable: photos, videos. For good protection of these valuables we need Fire/Burglary Safes. Usually, these safes are located in the floor or in the walls.

The wall safes demand a special framing and it is better to place them as low as possible because, in the event of a fire, the temperature is lower at ground level. They are very practical for those of us who value their possessions, but don’t want to keep them in a bank. They are easy to install and access and they do not require special modifications of the interior or the design of the house.

When we don’t have enough money to buy a professional safe it is always better to remember about diversion safes! They don’t look like the typical steel safe and, although they have no protection against fire, they can discourage a potential burglar, who hasn’t got the time to search the whole house.

We can use as diversion safe containers for soda pop, canned fruit, home cleaners, or even books. They have removable tops or bottoms so that we can put our goods in them, weight so that they appear normal when handled and most important, they are quite cheap compared to a normal safe.

We also don’t have to forget that a gun safe is the most effective way of preventing a tragic accident at home! Usually they are made of steel and the size is according to the size of the gun you want to secure. The bigger the safe is, the more it costs. But although it will cost an extra amount of money, it’s better to remember that we should diminish the risks by keeping the guns safe.

When buying a safe we have to think of its destination, how accessible it is, how many options we can get for the amount of money that we are willing to pay and how it is rated (what is its level of security against thefts, destruction). The best thing would be to hire a company that can monitor and protect your house/office and values. But when this is too expensive, safes are the next best option.

Video: 10 things I learned after losing a lot of money | Dorothée Loorbach | TEDxMünster

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