Every year, millions of Americans are the victims of home burglaries and fires. Criminals find a way in or houses go up in flames along with valuables, priceless family heirlooms and important documents. To help protect their possessions, many people purchase a home safe, which is great… if they choose the right safe.
The problem is that most consumers have no idea how to correctly choose a reliable safe with the appropriate protections. Their purchase can give them a false sense of security, when in reality, their possessions are still vulnerable. So, how do you choose an effective safe? SecurityNerd spoke with Dov Israeli, Principal at Precision Lock & Safe, Inc. and MSafes, who breaks down the basics.
What to know before you shop for a safe
Buying a safe is a lot different than buying most products, Israeli says. For starters, there’s no regulation as to what can be called a safe, so there’s a wide range of protection offered by different products. Also, consumers are conditioned to shop for the lowest prices, and many rely on online reviews as well the look and feel of a product to help them make purchasing decisions. But that doesn’t work when it comes to home safes.
“People can knock and tap on safes and try to lift them, but that tells them nothing,” Israeli says. “A safe can sound or look solid, but that doesn’t tell you how much protection it offers.”
He says while consumer reviews tell you that a customer likes the way a safe looks or that it’s user-friendly, they don’t tell you the most important thing—whether or not it will truly protect you from loss. He says there are significant differences between safes that the average consumer can’t tell even when they touch and feel them.
“In quality safes, it’s what you can’t see that really matters,” Israeli says.
Unfortunately, he says many companies prey on unsuspecting consumers, and convince them to buy safes that don’t offer the protection they need.
So, how do you know if you’re buying a glorified box or a true safety device that will protect your valuables from theft and fire? Israeli says that all comes down to two important factors: certifications and standards.