The first things to consider when purchasing a fire safe is what it will hold and where it will be placed. These two factors determine the interior and exterior dimensions. Fireproof safes come in many different sizes both inside and out. Smaller models can hold items such as keys, wallets, or electronic devices. These typically have less than one cubic foot of interior space. Larger models can hold dozens of folders or large boxes and can have an interior space of more than 20 cubic feet. A wide range of models are available between those two sizes.
You will notice that every fireproof safe has a fire rating. This is how long a safe can withstand the temperatures from a fire without being compromised. The most common ratings for commercial safes are one hour and two hours . This time is how long the safe can directly withstand at least 1,825 degree Fahrenheit conditions, or roughly the temperature of a flame. You may wish to purchase a model with a two-hour rating for additional peace of mind.
On these models, you can chose between either electronic or combination locks.
- A combination lock is the classic style for a safe, with a numbered dial turning tumblers in the unit. These are still popular in part due to the classic look and ease of use. Remember that changing the combination on a fireproof safe may require the assistance of a locksmith.
- Electronic locks are a newer option that is growing in popularity. They have an uncomplicated keypad for operation that can be programmed for multiple users while in a manager mode. Also, it is easy to change the combination on a fireproof safe with electronic locks. Most models will have a battery door that is accessible from the outside, which allows the user to power the lock mechanism back up without getting into the unit. Additionally, they will typically have a secondary access option, like a keyed lock, as a backup in case the electronic system has issues.
Black and beige are the two colors available on these safes. If you are putting it somewhere visible, such as an office, you should go with the one that best suits your environment. However, if you are placing it in a closet or underneath a table, you may want to go with the color that conceals it the best. Often times that means black, which allows it to blend into the shadows.
Two options you may want to consider for your security safe are an interior drawer and independently locking doors. An interior drawer can help keep important items, such as cash deposits, safe even from those who have access to the unit, since they will have a separate keyed lock. Fireproof safes with independently locking doors have two doors that each have their own separate locks.